IT'S GETTING LATE EARLY

Lowetide
October 31 2013 05:09PM

 

The Oilers struggles early in the season bring some familiar items from years previous, including the extreme value of high draft picks. With the Oilers currently 28th overall in the NHL standings, a top 3 selection is possible (if things continue). How valuable is a pick that high? Very valuable. How good is this season's crop? Early returns are mixed. 

EARLY TOP 5

The top 5 is an interesting lot, and of course this is so early that we'll expect to see all kinds of movement in and out of the top 10 as the season rolls along. 

  1. C Sam Reinhart 6.01, 185. A two-way center (righthanded) who can deliver offensively (his 15, 9-18-27 with Kootenay is an impressive start, "in the range" with other top end players of recent vintage). He's from a hockey family, you can't find a negative word about the kid. Extremely likely to be drafted by Buffalo unless Tambo wants to help at the lottery. I spoke to Guy Flaming about him yesterday, and he is regarded as an outstanding prospect with impact offensive potential. (Reinhart photo at the top of this article courtesy Lisa McRitchie, all rights reserved)
  2. D Aaron Eklbad 6.04, 217. OHL ProspectsEkblad is a tower of power on the blueline. He's a physical specimen that is incredibly difficult to play against in the corners and in front of the net. Offensively, he's still growing and gaining confidence in his ability to run the transition game, but he's made great strides on the powerplay where he looks more confident distributing the puck and using his shot.
  3. C Willie Nylander 5.10, 163. Elite Prospects: A highly skilled player offensively. Nylander skates very well, has impressive hands and is excellent at handling the puck at high speeds.Hockey sense is very impressive and he likes to shoot the puck a lot, but is also capable of delivering perfect passes. A very agile player that protects the puck well and skates hard in the offensive zone. On the other hand, his defensive game needs some work. Not a selfish player, but at times he tends to hang onto the puck for too long, instead of making the easier play. Has the tools and skills to lead his team in all offensive aspects.
  4. C Leon Draisaitl 6.01, 209. The "German Gretzky"  would be a good fit in Edmonton. Kris BakerDraisaitl plays the game at high pace, using a slick handle and elusiveness to break into the zone. He shows good strength on the puck, and isn't afraid of using his body to make plays at both ends of the ice. Draisaitl's passing skills make him a dangerous threat when chased. If he continues to fire the puck more often, Draisaitl could pile up the points in his draft year and cement his status as a top-five pick
  5. L Sam Bennett 6.00, 178. OHL ProspectsBennett is simply a fantastic all around talent. He's been consistently one of the most dangerous players in the OHL this season (10 goals, 10 assists in 10 games). If there's a job that needs to get done, Bennett is the man to do it. His offensive instincts are terrific and he's great at finding holes in the defense, which will allow him to score his share of goals at the next level. But he's also a terrific playmaker who can assume that bull in a china shop mentality to make plays. His work along the boards and on the forecheck is also excellent. As a penalty killer and defensive player, his game is growing leaps and bounds, which suggests that he profiles as an above average two-way player moving forward. TSN scout Craig Button recently suggested that he could challenge for first overall, a concept that isn't incredibly far fetched.

FUTURE VALUE OF THE PICK

In previous seasons, the Oilers were looking at either moving up (last season) or adding picks (Taylor AND Tyler) but this coming season may be one in which Edmonton's pick is long gone.

Why? If Craig MacTavish is trying to pry an upgrade for the current Oilers then the first round pick is probably going to be asked after by other NHL clubs doing business with the Oil. 

The third overall pick has delivered an outstanding young player in recent seasons:

  • 2008: D Zach Bogosian
  • 2009: C Matt Duchene
  • 2010: D Erik Gudbranson
  • 2011: L Jonathan Huberdeau
  • 2012: C Alex Galchenyuk
  • 2013: L Jonathan Drouin

OVERALL QUALITY OF THE PROSPECTS

Its early, but sources have suggested that the 2014 crop of prospects is not as deep as 2013, especially the top of the chart:

  • Redline Report: "we don't feel the talent at the very top end of this class rivals last year's star studded crop." 

We should keep in mind that the draft year is just coming into view and not in complete focus. There's every chance the top 5 above will change order and others may work their way up to the top. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It's a delicate balance. Craig MacTavish may have been mulling over trading the first round pick in 2014, but with that pick squarely in the lottery it may be too valuable to trade. That said, can the Oilers afford to put an emphasis on another high draft pick? Is it time to trade this pick BECAUSE it has such great (potential) value?

We'll see. A month from now the Oilers could be out of lottery territory and the point may be moot. Or they could be focused on the draft and next year. The draft pick--and the season--are in the balance.

Early. 

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 steveb12344
October 31 2013, 05:23PM
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Suck bad for Ekblad?

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 05:25PM
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Why invest into this season when it's already over. To think a 3-10-2 team can go 40-20-7 the rest of the way is just plain stupid. MacT has already mentioned they're not going to rush into anything to help their cause this season, so tanking is the best opportunity again this season. Wait it out, make a play for a top pairing blueliner at the deadline or next summer. With the addition of Nurse, a top pairing blueliner along with Rienhart perhaps, things could be different next season.

Why rush into anything when sucking alone, has its rewards. It's what our Oilers do best.

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#3 big slick
October 31 2013, 05:25PM
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First time first

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#4 Richtor
October 31 2013, 05:27PM
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If there's any year to trade a 1st round pick for established talent, it's this year. All these guys are debatable. No consensus #1.

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#5 David S
October 31 2013, 05:49PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Why invest into this season when it's already over. To think a 3-10-2 team can go 40-20-7 the rest of the way is just plain stupid. MacT has already mentioned they're not going to rush into anything to help their cause this season, so tanking is the best opportunity again this season. Wait it out, make a play for a top pairing blueliner at the deadline or next summer. With the addition of Nurse, a top pairing blueliner along with Rienhart perhaps, things could be different next season.

Why rush into anything when sucking alone, has its rewards. It's what our Oilers do best.

I Googled "Infinibuild" and this gem popped up in the search results.

Nurse isn't going to be a difference maker in his first NHL season anymore than Justin Schultz is right now.

The purpose of this year is to prepare our core to win by throwing them into the fire and exposing their weaknesses as offence-first players. It's about forging them into champions by stripping them bare. Tanking at this stage of the game is the last thing you want to do and would damage them beyond repair.

Play your guys the best you can to try to win. Make astute moves when the opportunity arises to fill holes. Trade your #1 pick and a player (Hemsky?) for the D-Man we so desperately need.

Goal 1: Stanley Cup Playoffs team.

Goal 2: Stanley Cup contender.

Goal 3: BAM! Stanley Cup!

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#6 mlcsellil
October 31 2013, 05:50PM
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It is or should be beyond belief to the fans, that these types of articles need to be written before the season is even a month old. The Oilers, management and ownership need to do something soon to turn this team around. I really think MacT has his hands tied, if we are to believe that he doesn't like a losing culture, doesn't like complacency and is impatient. Somebody must be telling him to let this train wreck run the course. He sure as hell isn't listening to the fans or the media.

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#7 Bobby
October 31 2013, 05:51PM
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Aaron Eklbad has been compared to Chris Phillips of the NHL

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#8 Darren
October 31 2013, 05:54PM
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Talking draft already still October , watching the scoreboard hoping Oilers lose for better draft pick.

Losers.

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#9 shane
October 31 2013, 05:56PM
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The top 5 of 2014 would have been the 5- 15 of the 2013 draft.

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#10 madjam
October 31 2013, 05:57PM
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Oilers will soon be finishing their book of how to rebuild a contender . Should be a wealth of info . At least we know which way to go on next years draft - the opposite of what they decide ?

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#11 Jackson
October 31 2013, 06:00PM
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Oilers could pick #1 for the next 5 yrs they would still lose.

There needs to be new senior management until then it will be deja vu all over again.

Lowe has no idea how to build a winning team. Keep on making excuses.

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#12 Rheal1
October 31 2013, 06:00PM
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This post is obviously superfluous. Another top 5 pick in June? Add another 20 top 5 picks and as long as KLOWE runs this crappy team we SHALL KEEP L-O-S-I-N-G. For God's sake, 12 Sydney Crosby up front and 6 Bobby Orr in the back end as well as two Patrick Roy in net will still result in one loser team as long as KLOWE is at the helm!!! Katz is writing the book on how to successfully run a professional sports franchise right into a huge crater. I pity the wasted careers of Eberle, RNH & coy. They will demand - or their respective agents should - a trade ASAP. BTW I dressed as an Oilers player at work today and I was confused for a clown. No joking...

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#14 Richtor
October 31 2013, 06:06PM
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Guys, we all know this team sucks, but you need to calm down.

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#15 westcoastoil
October 31 2013, 06:07PM
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I just threw up in my mouth at the idea of ANOTHER top 5 draft pick list in October actually having meaning to this club.

Until they are back to .500 I'm out.

Happy Halloween folks - Boo - the jokes on you.

Love, Your Edmonton Oilers

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#16 StHenriOilBomb
October 31 2013, 06:12PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think that's a great point, but the other part of it is contract. Along with the idea of dealing the pick for a currently useful NHL player is the benefit of not having yet another bonus filled contract (the Oilers have a bunch of them again this year).

The next question: do you spend it now for your need, or wait until the moments on the draft floor just before your turn?

Along with what David S. said, I think MacT has to really define what kind of move he's looking for and jump on it when it comes up. If that's next week, at the deadline, or at the draft, so be it.

Quick - the move has to be made looking at next year, you're right, but it's foolish to tank for all of the reasons David S. suggests.

Look where it's gotten us so far.

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#17 Harlie
October 31 2013, 06:13PM
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Damn, I kept staring at that chick picture waiting for it to turn into some 60's starlet or Scarjo.

Alas, I'll help fill the void

http://nitzyshockeyden.blogspot.ca/2011/07/17-year-old-gretzky-almost-played-in.html

Oops my bad. that was the wrong 60's chick, lemme try that again

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/04/26/learn-how-to-sleep-in-a-toilet-stall-like-a-pro/

Gross, that wasn't it, ok found it.

http://girlmags.blogspot.ca/2011/07/dude-vol-10-no-6-november-1968.html?zx=20020b0409275b26

See..told ya.

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#18 Citizen David
October 31 2013, 06:13PM
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Whoever started the this years top end crop is not as good as other years failed massively. These are some great players. If the oilers continue to struggle and will have a top five pick the must not trade it unless the return is clearly a win for the oilers. Keep the top end talent coming in. You have to pay a dear price for it.

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#19 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 06:13PM
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David S wrote:

I Googled "Infinibuild" and this gem popped up in the search results.

Nurse isn't going to be a difference maker in his first NHL season anymore than Justin Schultz is right now.

The purpose of this year is to prepare our core to win by throwing them into the fire and exposing their weaknesses as offence-first players. It's about forging them into champions by stripping them bare. Tanking at this stage of the game is the last thing you want to do and would damage them beyond repair.

Play your guys the best you can to try to win. Make astute moves when the opportunity arises to fill holes. Trade your #1 pick and a player (Hemsky?) for the D-Man we so desperately need.

Goal 1: Stanley Cup Playoffs team.

Goal 2: Stanley Cup contender.

Goal 3: BAM! Stanley Cup!

What a wonderful fiction that would be David.

Bartender- i'll have two of what David's drinking please.

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#20 God
October 31 2013, 06:22PM
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It's so depressing to be discussing the draft when we're only 14 games into the season. It's so obvious that the playoffs are a bust that we're talking draft picks.

The life of an Oiler fan: depressing.

Prozac please.

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#21 wiseguy
October 31 2013, 06:25PM
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Are we talking about top draft picks? Well then....

HERE COME THE OILERS!!!!

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#22 Lowe Expectations
October 31 2013, 06:33PM
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If I'm any of the players mentioned above, coming to the Oilers is the last thing I'd want to do.

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#23 Dangilitis
October 31 2013, 06:37PM
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LT, I thought you promised yourself you wouldn't be talking about the draft by January this season. Now you're talking about it in November! We are regressing...

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#25 dougtheslug
October 31 2013, 06:47PM
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Five top ten draft picks in the last six years, including three number 1 overall picks, followed by almost unimaginable suckage, should be enough to convince anyone without 6 Stanley Cup rings that this model of building, or re-building, or re-re-building a team DOESN"T WORK!!!

It seems to me that other models (drafting smartly and developing players appropriate to a balanced team), effective pro-scouting and timely trades and signings, and recognizing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, instead of hanging on to marginal players hoping they will get better, would be more prudent.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 06:49PM
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If Krueger was still coach, Yakupov would have 7 goals by now. It's Eakins fault for Nails slow start. Eakins obviously has no clue when it comes to dealing with impact/elite players.

I hang Yakupovs slow start squarely at the feet of Dallas Eakins. He's creating problems where they don't exist. The kids have all had difficult moments, why single out just Yak?

Only a fool would trade a first rounder before he knows where that selection will be at. Ride this suckage out and add another player to fill one of many holes that still remain. The competitive Bruins team did just that with Seguin.

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#27 BLAKPOO
October 31 2013, 06:49PM
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I think people are overestimating Lowe's role in the organization. By the same token you should be saying that Brian Burke runs the Flames. Last I checked our team President is bald and very good at deflecting attention.

Lowe was involved in hiring MacT, who hired Eakins.

If you're baking pizzas at Domino's, you don't call the district manager when the pepperoni bin is empty. The same way a customer wouldn't call the president because he ordered shrimp and got black olives instead.

I'm by no stretch a Lowe fan, at all, but blaming him for the current play of this Oilers squad would be like blaming him if the skate sharpener breaks or the towels aren't white enough. Don't misdirect your frustration.

The current record is the result of player performance. Those guys need to have some accountability - they're the ones on the ice. You can blame Eakins, but I have yet to hear a player say his system isn't sound. They're just not implementing it well enough yet.

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#28 DSF
October 31 2013, 07:02PM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

I think people are overestimating Lowe's role in the organization. By the same token you should be saying that Brian Burke runs the Flames. Last I checked our team President is bald and very good at deflecting attention.

Lowe was involved in hiring MacT, who hired Eakins.

If you're baking pizzas at Domino's, you don't call the district manager when the pepperoni bin is empty. The same way a customer wouldn't call the president because he ordered shrimp and got black olives instead.

I'm by no stretch a Lowe fan, at all, but blaming him for the current play of this Oilers squad would be like blaming him if the skate sharpener breaks or the towels aren't white enough. Don't misdirect your frustration.

The current record is the result of player performance. Those guys need to have some accountability - they're the ones on the ice. You can blame Eakins, but I have yet to hear a player say his system isn't sound. They're just not implementing it well enough yet.

Lowe also hired Steve Tambellini who hired Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Kreuger.

Now that Lowe has hired MacT (who has no experience), who was fired by Tambellini, who then fired Kreuger and replaced him with an AHL coach who has never won anything and has no NHL experience, we are expected to absolve Lowe of any culpability?

Good grief, he's the PRESIDENT of HOCKEY OPERATIONS.

How is the hockey operating?

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#29 Oiler63
October 31 2013, 07:11PM
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Lowetide, if Oilers were to make a pitch for Ehrhoff, is the pick enough or is it more than enough that oilers should ask for Ehrhoff+?

I'm talking about Oilers' 1st in 2014.

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#30 a lg dubl dubl
October 31 2013, 07:13PM
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Trade it. Trade it now.

I didn't catch the interview on 1260, but I heard that Byflugin(sp?) might be on the block, if that's true MacT better get on that ASAP lol

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#31 a lg dubl dubl
October 31 2013, 07:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Lowe also hired Steve Tambellini who hired Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Kreuger.

Now that Lowe has hired MacT (who has no experience), who was fired by Tambellini, who then fired Kreuger and replaced him with an AHL coach who has never won anything and has no NHL experience, we are expected to absolve Lowe of any culpability?

Good grief, he's the PRESIDENT of HOCKEY OPERATIONS.

How is the hockey operating?

because hes won 6 cups...

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#32 Oiler63
October 31 2013, 07:18PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Trade it. Trade it now.

I didn't catch the interview on 1260, but I heard that Byflugin(sp?) might be on the block, if that's true MacT better get on that ASAP lol

Totally agree.

If Oilers decide to part with the pick, they should trade as early as possible for a bona fide first paring D man. It's a no loss case for oilers to trade early. If the team continues to suck, they will at least get face value for the pick by acquiring a top 2 D man. If the team turns around later half of the season, the trade could be a major win!!

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
October 31 2013, 07:19PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

because hes won 6 cups...

Don't see his number up in the rafters. If it weren't for his buddies 99 and 11, he'd have zero rings.

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#34 Muji
October 31 2013, 07:19PM
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Oh god. The season just started. After a long, long, long summer of anticipation. And we're already in Excited Last Place Hockey (ELPH) mode. No. No. Nooooooooo!

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#35 Rama Lama
October 31 2013, 07:20PM
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I like Nylander he looks the perfect size and skill set for what we need..........now only if the hockey gods cooperate.

I am confident that coaching combined with our excellent management can lead us to another top five draft choice.

GO OIL!

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#37 hockeycrazed
October 31 2013, 07:28PM
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We kept suggesting what Kevin L should do to improve the team, did he ever care to listen? Does he even read this column??? No, he doesn't, even if he did, he won't, because he is the president, we are not, simple as that, got it? He is the Brain, ours simply full of mush, understand? Why else would he hire his buddy MacT to run his outfit?! Hah, now you see it, don't you????

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#38 Greg
October 31 2013, 07:33PM
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Why the hell does Klowe still have a job here?

The longer this goes on I'm starting to have serious doubts about Katz.

At least that sac of crap Pocklington knew how to ice a winning team. Even after he sold the farm in the early 90's. Edmonton was never a perennial favourite to win the draft. Let's face it for all of Pocklington's short comings (and there were a lot) he never let the team get this messed up.

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#39 DSF
October 31 2013, 07:39PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Don't see his number up in the rafters. If it weren't for his buddies 99 and 11, he'd have zero rings.

His jersey should be up in the rafters...with him in it.

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#40 Joel k
October 31 2013, 07:41PM
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This is a business you hire friends around you to protect you. Lowe knows at some level he has failed as a President, but he has protection. He became Daryl's best friend. He is protecting his job.

Given his results it is obvious he is a huge failure. However he has been excellent at politics so far. look how many people have been fired around him.

Kevin L job is protecting his job. Nothing else. I can't wait till next year to write the same thing.

To quote Willie Nelson as his Wife walks in on him with another women in bed

"Are you gonna believe what you see? Or what I tell you?"

Daryl believes the latter.

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#41 Oilers42
October 31 2013, 07:45PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think they'd have to send some money to Buffalo, so a player would have to head east for that reason alone. I think a first from Edmonton would be hard for Buffalo to turn down, though.

I should mention have no idea if Ehrhoff is worth that btw.

He's not. he's way to old

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#42 KSC10032
October 31 2013, 07:47PM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think they'd have to send some money to Buffalo, so a player would have to head east for that reason alone. I think a first from Edmonton would be hard for Buffalo to turn down, though.

I should mention have no idea if Ehrhoff is worth that btw.

Given his contract length and age, he's not even close to being worth a 1st rounder that is certain to be no worse than #10 overall, and probably closer to top 5.

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#43 KSC10032
October 31 2013, 07:49PM
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DSF wrote:

Lowe also hired Steve Tambellini who hired Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Kreuger.

Now that Lowe has hired MacT (who has no experience), who was fired by Tambellini, who then fired Kreuger and replaced him with an AHL coach who has never won anything and has no NHL experience, we are expected to absolve Lowe of any culpability?

Good grief, he's the PRESIDENT of HOCKEY OPERATIONS.

How is the hockey operating?

As much as it galls me to admit it "super troll" DSF is right on this one.

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#44 dougtheslug
October 31 2013, 07:50PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I like Nylander he looks the perfect size and skill set for what we need..........now only if the hockey gods cooperate.

I am confident that coaching combined with our excellent management can lead us to another top five draft choice.

GO OIL!

Nylander, at 5 '10", would be the perfect fit for this team.And I wouldn't put it past this management team to call him the "Best Player Available" when the inevitable happens.

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#45 BLAKPOO
October 31 2013, 07:54PM
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DSF wrote:

Lowe also hired Steve Tambellini who hired Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Kreuger.

Now that Lowe has hired MacT (who has no experience), who was fired by Tambellini, who then fired Kreuger and replaced him with an AHL coach who has never won anything and has no NHL experience, we are expected to absolve Lowe of any culpability?

Good grief, he's the PRESIDENT of HOCKEY OPERATIONS.

How is the hockey operating?

Hey man, like I said I'm not a Lowe fan. But seriously... MacT is solid. Eakins was the Godfather a month ago, now people think he sucks because the players aren't adhering to the system and giving the puck away every chance they have. What does this have to do with Lowe?

Tell me, right now, how firing Lowe gets us a win on Saturday? How does firing Lowe stop Yakupov from being a defensive liability? How does it help Dubnyk stop floaters from 50 feet out? How does it make Eager stop playing like a frightened girl? Make Hall's knee heal faster?

If it's March and our record is still as bleak, and Eakins' systems are still ineffectual, then maybe we can talk about management dropping the ball. But as it is now, although there's still miles to go, this team is as set up as it's been in years. It's up to the players now to fulfill their expectations.

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#46 Lloyd B.
October 31 2013, 07:56PM
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First NHL Edmonton Oiler draft pick First Edmonton Oiler goal in NHL 5 Stanley Cups as an Oiler First NHL Edmonton Oiler drafted Player to become GM First NHL Edmonton Oiler drafted Player to become President

Sounds like he should be in the rafters to me. Except... Why isn't Sather there?

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#47 a lg dubl dubl
October 31 2013, 08:01PM
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Lloyd B. wrote:

First NHL Edmonton Oiler draft pick First Edmonton Oiler goal in NHL 5 Stanley Cups as an Oiler First NHL Edmonton Oiler drafted Player to become GM First NHL Edmonton Oiler drafted Player to become President

Sounds like he should be in the rafters to me. Except... Why isn't Sather there?

He should be, but I think its because hes still workin for the Rangers, I could be wrong though

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#48 Zarny
October 31 2013, 08:18PM
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I wouldn't count on a top 3 pick lol.

The slow start was predictable but they aren't that bad. Cgy, Buf, Fla, Jersey, Dallas, Winnipeg, Columbus, Carolina...it's a long season.

The preference is to trade the 2014 first rounder. Bold moves require currency.

MacT has 1 or 2 of the top 6 F, a couple D prospects and picks to get it done. No one wants to trade their McDavid ticket so 2014 it is.

You make the trade when the right deal is available but right now is unlikely. The upgrades MacT is looking for aren't available 13 games into the season.

Perhaps the trade deadline but it might not be there until the draft ie Jersey snags Schneider.

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#49 tapper
October 31 2013, 08:20PM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Assuming you can get 100 cents to the dollar, now is exactly when you look at trading the pick. Buy low, sell high and all that.

Worst case, you get 3rd overall pick value in return, and the trade is a wash.

Best case, the team's results catch up to the fancy stats (helped by the return here) and you're sitting with 3rd overall value while only giving up a mid-round (?) pick.

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#50 Zarny
October 31 2013, 08:20PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Oiler63 wrote:

Totally agree.

If Oilers decide to part with the pick, they should trade as early as possible for a bona fide first paring D man. It's a no loss case for oilers to trade early. If the team continues to suck, they will at least get face value for the pick by acquiring a top 2 D man. If the team turns around later half of the season, the trade could be a major win!!

That trade isn't there right now.

Teams with bona fide first pairing D still think they can make the playoffs.

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