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. 

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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 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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#2 Glenn
October 31 2013, 08:39PM
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I am very sad to hear that kids yell at Eakins Oilers Suck in front of his 5 year old daughter! Also, that people yell Oilers Suck as they are driving away from the gas station. It is not his fault! He is too classy to make excuses or point fingers but none of this is his or MAC Ts fault, give them a chance! Jesus H C...! Ask anyone who knows hockey eg Ken Hitchcock, Randy Carlyle, Brian Burke etc. who the best young coach in hockey is- Dallas Eakins! Give him and MACT a chance please! Rome wasn't built in a day! He has a 4 year deal. By next year this team will be way better than today! GIVE HIM SOME SUPPORT or at least stop the ridiculous VERBAL ABUSE! Edmontonions are better than this!

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#3 spliff
October 31 2013, 09:10PM
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A quote from Ebs:

“We have full confidence we can come back. It’s going to turn around,” Jordan Eberle said. “I think there’s a lot more panic with you guys and in the city than there is in this dressing room."

WTF? There lies the problem. If Ebs and his millionaire buddies consistently played with the will to win, then yes, the fanbase should not panic. The problem is, they don't play hard every game, and after seven years of suck, a rebuild going in reverse, and a management team that makes Garth Snow look like Sam Pollock, I think its quite understandable that the fanbase is fed up. Also, I don't think the fanbase is panicking, I think the fanbase is disgusted and rightfully feels cheated by an unqualified management team that has not even come close to delivering a product that they promised us.

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#4 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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#5 DSF
October 31 2013, 08:41PM
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Harlie wrote:

Normally not down with the good grief thing but 'It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' is apropos right now, so I say cheers to you good man.

Good Grief only gets pulled out when my Bullcrap Meter ® gets pinned in the red.

Anyone who doesn't lay this disaster at Lowe's feet is dreaming.

The buck stops there.

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#6 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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#7 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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#8 steveb12344
October 31 2013, 05:23PM
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Suck bad for Ekblad?

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#9 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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#10 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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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 Zarny
October 31 2013, 08:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

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.

Relax.

Ovechkin didn't like it when Oates moved him to the other wing and struggled under a new system. He's doing ok now.

If Krueger was still coach, Yakupov might have 7 goals, but he'd never be a player you could put out during the last 2 minutes of a Stanley Cup final.

As for a clue about dealing with impact/elite players take a look at Kadri. 200 ft player now.

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#18 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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#19 Don W
October 31 2013, 08:35PM
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Just looking back at the past drafts I wonder why anyone would think that the oilers could draft their way out of last place.

If they can trade the pick for a guy that can help this team play the right way I'm all for it.

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#20 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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#21 Citizen David
October 31 2013, 10:07PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

MacT doesn't score the goals, you are correct. But he does make rookie GM strategical errors, like telegraphing to the league that he is boldly moving Horcoff and Hemsky, and then being surprised when experienced GM's lowball him with offers. leaving him unBOLDed.

For all his sales talk of bold moves, we are left with Grebishkov (now on waivers). Joensuu (looking more and more like a long term injury problem), Perron (out with mystery injury - concussion? what a surprise in a player that missed a year with one), Horcoff for Larsen ( in minors), Macintyre(reflex signing and a waste of cap space), Gadzic (old school face puncher with no other talents), and Boyd Gordon, a marginal upgrade on Belanger, it is beginning to look like. Belov might be a keeper although no more than a 5-6 dman on a good club. No upgrade in goal. No upgrade at center. No upgrade in toughness. No upgrade in compete. A rookie coach that seemed to have been signed impulsively after an interview for a different job. I rate his efforts so far as pretty amateurish, what you would probably expect for a rookie GM.

And what were his qualifications? Was he selected after an exhaustive search of the hockey world for crafty GM's out of a job? Did Kevin Lowe think outside the box? Or did he sign a buddy from the boys on the bus that happened to go to grad school and talked real good?

Come back from insanity Doug. Boyd Gordan an marginal upgrade on Belanger??? The Belanger triangle was the worst thing I've every seen in hockey. If you stayed away from players with concussion history you'd have almost no one to choose from and you'd be excluding players like Crosby. The Perron trade was a massive win. Pajaarvi's injured at the moment too I believe. Belov has been one of our two best defenseman and we got him for free. Horcoff was about moving salary to make way for other deals. People gripe about moving Horcoff and not moving Hemsky... GM's don't care about what MacT says, it's about the position he is in. They didn't low ball him because he said he'd make bold moves but because he's a rookie GM for a team that's trying to turn the corner after a long dark period. He's made it abundantly clear that he won't make stupid deals that he gets ripped off in. That hasn't stopped the sharks from circling. It doesn't matter what he says. So far he has done so much more good than bad. If you expect him to fix ten problems on the team in one offseason then you're out to lunch.

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#22 dougtheslug
October 31 2013, 09:25PM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

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.

MacT doesn't score the goals, you are correct. But he does make rookie GM strategical errors, like telegraphing to the league that he is boldly moving Horcoff and Hemsky, and then being surprised when experienced GM's lowball him with offers. leaving him unBOLDed.

For all his sales talk of bold moves, we are left with Grebishkov (now on waivers). Joensuu (looking more and more like a long term injury problem), Perron (out with mystery injury - concussion? what a surprise in a player that missed a year with one), Horcoff for Larsen ( in minors), Macintyre(reflex signing and a waste of cap space), Gadzic (old school face puncher with no other talents), and Boyd Gordon, a marginal upgrade on Belanger, it is beginning to look like. Belov might be a keeper although no more than a 5-6 dman on a good club. No upgrade in goal. No upgrade at center. No upgrade in toughness. No upgrade in compete. A rookie coach that seemed to have been signed impulsively after an interview for a different job. I rate his efforts so far as pretty amateurish, what you would probably expect for a rookie GM.

And what were his qualifications? Was he selected after an exhaustive search of the hockey world for crafty GM's out of a job? Did Kevin Lowe think outside the box? Or did he sign a buddy from the boys on the bus that happened to go to grad school and talked real good?

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#23 beloch
October 31 2013, 11:42PM
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FFS Edmonton. Stop hogging the top picks! We all know you'll just play them on your top scoring line as 18 year olds, give them $6M/season before they've earned it, and eventually turn them into spoiled, defensively irresponsible, overpaid, post-loss-pub-crawling brats who wouldn't be worth a pugilist and a bag of pucks in a trade.

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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#28 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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#29 fed-up
October 31 2013, 11:31PM
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DSF wrote:

Dallas Eakins is NOT Randy Carlyle.

You're right, he isn't.

But Eakins developed Kadri. Not Carlyle.

That's why he was brought in. The Leafs owe a lot of their success to Eakins.

Just saying

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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 Dog Train
October 31 2013, 08:44PM
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That draft pick looks more valuable right now than it will by season's end if you ask me. As bad as our record is right now, I have a hard time believing that we won't improve as the season rolls along. I don't see us making the playoffs, but I don't see us finishing in lottery territory again. If that 1st round pick helps us fetch a top pairing dman or a top 6 forward with size, grit and toughness then we would be foolish not to take a look at moving it.

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#34 madjam
October 31 2013, 09:18PM
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Glenn wrote:

I am very sad to hear that kids yell at Eakins Oilers Suck in front of his 5 year old daughter! Also, that people yell Oilers Suck as they are driving away from the gas station. It is not his fault! He is too classy to make excuses or point fingers but none of this is his or MAC Ts fault, give them a chance! Jesus H C...! Ask anyone who knows hockey eg Ken Hitchcock, Randy Carlyle, Brian Burke etc. who the best young coach in hockey is- Dallas Eakins! Give him and MACT a chance please! Rome wasn't built in a day! He has a 4 year deal. By next year this team will be way better than today! GIVE HIM SOME SUPPORT or at least stop the ridiculous VERBAL ABUSE! Edmontonions are better than this!

Don't you be guilt tripping us here because of a couple of jerks you'll find in any city . I believe we are smitten by the Roman collapse of our team of which he is part of , not the rebuild as you allude to . He'll get his support when positive results come , and unlikely before that .

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#35 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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#36 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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#37 spliff
October 31 2013, 11:23PM
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Klowe and MacT can rationalize and justify all of the things they've done so far in this 'rebuild", but the bottom-line is they are in last place in the Conference, again. When KLowe hires his buddies, and the team perpetually struggles despite massive financial support and incredible patience and loyalty from the fanbase, what does he expect? MacT said he looks at 14 game sample to make judgements. I'm looking at a 7 year sample, and from that sample I can safely say the KLowe and his sycophantic buddies are unqualified to manage an NHL team, and that they are absolute amateurs who have turned a once respected franchise into a perpetual basement dwelling laughing stock.

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 DSF
October 31 2013, 09:28PM
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@dougtheslug

Jim Nill was available.

Oh, the humanity.

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#42 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
November 01 2013, 12:13AM
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@Tokenhill

Eakins: "I assumed that we knew what a traditional D-zone coverage was and it was clear that we didn't"

Did Dallas kinda just trash Smith/Bucky/Krueger/Renney?

I honestly think that presser was great: he absorbed blame, emphasized that his system has/will be tweaked, and emphasized that players will learn to make defence a priority so they can continue to showcase skill.

I know it's all talk at this point, but I'm willing to give it a bit of time to see if what he's saying will come true. If he can make Hemsky/Hall/Eberle/Yak 200 ft players, then maybe as fans we won't have to cling to excitement about top 5 draft projections every year...

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#43 Zarny
October 31 2013, 08:20PM
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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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#44 madjam
October 31 2013, 08:34PM
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Unfortunately their is nothing worth getting excited about next years draft personnel wise . Nothing going to make us better going into next season , and that's a depressing scenario and thought . we either trade our way out of this or spend another 4 years floundering in the basement of league hoping the odd one develops into a usable positive NHL player . Mind you our young ones will then be on their downswings or to expensive to keep . So goes the vicious circle/cycle of Oiler hockey life .

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#45 DSF
October 31 2013, 09:15PM
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Zarny wrote:

Relax.

Ovechkin didn't like it when Oates moved him to the other wing and struggled under a new system. He's doing ok now.

If Krueger was still coach, Yakupov might have 7 goals, but he'd never be a player you could put out during the last 2 minutes of a Stanley Cup final.

As for a clue about dealing with impact/elite players take a look at Kadri. 200 ft player now.

Dallas Eakins is NOT Randy Carlyle.

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#46 Zarny
October 31 2013, 09:43PM
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DSF wrote:

Dallas Eakins is NOT Randy Carlyle.

Eakins did the heavy lifting with the Marlies but Carlyle certainly isn't hurting his game.

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#47 Loweblows
November 01 2013, 07:41AM
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Eakins now admits the swarm was a mistake because the team hadnt learned defensive fundamentals(see steve smith). It takes a man to admit their mistakes. As for the people telling Eakins he sucks in front of his 5 year old please stop. Eakins wanted his own people to help with the transition but KLowe had to protect his kingdom and wouldnt allow it. Save your venom for Lowe at the game or on postings like this site. Insulting a man in front of his children is classless.

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#48 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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#49 Zarny
October 31 2013, 09:10PM
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Citizen David wrote:

I bet the McDavid ticket is fools gold. Betman will want to bring in Seattle McDavid's year to help them out and get fans into it with a superstar. Expansion teams get the first overall.

No I don't think expansion teams are guaranteed the 1st overall pick. Columbus, Minnesota, Nashville didn't. I believe they just get more balls in the lottery.

I also don't think the NHL will expand less than 2 years from now.

Still, if that was the case you could just trade that pick too.

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#50 DSF
October 31 2013, 09:12PM
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Dog Train wrote:

That draft pick looks more valuable right now than it will by season's end if you ask me. As bad as our record is right now, I have a hard time believing that we won't improve as the season rolls along. I don't see us making the playoffs, but I don't see us finishing in lottery territory again. If that 1st round pick helps us fetch a top pairing dman or a top 6 forward with size, grit and toughness then we would be foolish not to take a look at moving it.

I'm curious.

Since the lottery is now 14 teams, which 13 teams do you see the Oilers finishing ahead of?

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