A WEEKEND TO FORGET

Brian Sutherby
November 11 2013 03:30PM

After a weekend of sharing the same bed with Wanye in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, I have a lot of catching up to do. Please forgive me for being a couple days behind, I’m still haunted by the awkward leg touches as I’m sure many of you are haunted from the Oilers weekend.  I figure I’ll weigh in with my two cents even if I’m behind.

BROKEN RECORD

Not much on the ice has changed in "Oilerland" I see, just more of the same inconsistencies, and no results. I’m not going to dive back into each game and dissect them because it’s the same things that are costing them. To many turnovers, poor defensive zone play, and a lack of any physical element to their game. It’s tough to win in this league with those deficiencies.

TRADE

I struggled a bit with seeing Ladi Smid moved. In past years I’ve never gotten to watch many Oiler games but I remember playing Smid and he was always a nuisance if you were in and around the Oiler net. He was annoying during and after the play.

Nothing was different this year from that standpoint.  I saw him as the only guy that made it tough to be in front of the net or got in someone's face when a teammate needed. He wasn’t the toughest or scariest guy in the world but he was the only guy that I saw that was willing to do it every night on this blue line.  A willingness to compete and be uncomfortable for your teammates is a great thing in any dressing room.

This team needs a shakeup no doubt and I know with the Bryzgalov addition something had to give but when the main concern people have with this team is the makeup and the Oilers having too much soft small skill, why ship out the only guy on the back end that didn’t play a soft game?

WHY NOT

I have seen some who are concerned with the Ilya Byzgalov addition to this locker room and I can understand the concern. I just don’t see at this point how can it get any worse?

The team is a mile below .500 and whatever is happening in that dressing room at the moment would appear to be rock bottom.  It's not all Dubnyk's fault, he's played great at times and struggled during other stretches but if there is a cheap opportunity out there to potentially get better, I think at this point you take it.

UPSIDE

The hope is this guy has learned from his antics in Philly and can provide some depth at the position and maybe the Oil get a bargain moving forward. Thinking somehow this guy is going to come in and hurt a locker room that was 4-11-2 and has since chalked up 2 more losses, I don’t quite understand.

Many goalies are a little different to begin with, if he’s a problem in the room or hurting the focus of young players on the importance of winning then it’s a one year deal and you move on. He can still be sent to the minors or sent home if things get stupid this year as well.

They aren’t winning as is, so I don’t mind the gamble at all. I just wish they didn’t move Smid to do it.

GAGNER

He’s slowly starting to catch some heat here for the start to the season he’s had. Coming off his injury, it obviously hasn’t been the start to his already shortened season that he envisioned but what did you really expect? Struds did a piece on him at the start of the year and how behind the eight ball he would be coming back from this injury and the awful timing of it to boot.

TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY

This is such a tough decision for players. The majority of athletes will do whatever it takes to be with their team even if they are not 100% healthy. This leaves players very vulnerable to scrutiny if they are not performing. Lost in it all is the fact he's hungry to play and willing to sacrifice his body for his teammates.

The players know what he is enduring and I’m sure they love him for it. I've played with several guys that had to be 100% healthy for 2 weeks before suiting up. This didn’t always sit well inside the walls of a dressing room because rarely is anyone that healthy during the season.

It’s easy to pile on guys right now when things are going bad and things haven’t been good for Ganger so far, but let’s give the guy some credit.  How easy would it have been for him to sit back and say “boy things are going rough around here, I'm just going to let the boys handle this rough patch and I'll sit up here in this cozy press box for a couple more weeks, till things settle down.” Some guys would do that.

This is a guy that's still clearly hurting, you can see it on the bench when he takes any kind of hit and instead of taking the easy route he chose to dive head first into this fire with his teammates.

He’s another small skilled guy and who knows what the future may hold for him and others on this squad the way things are going but I applaud him for his gutsiness even if things haven’t started that great. I wouldn’t have expected much else from a guy with a shattered jaw, injuries take time.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES

If you missed it, please don’t forget to vote for our friend Struds who was in the final last night on CBC. If he wins, a nice chunk of change will be donated to a local charity here in Edmonton, The Inner City Children’s Program.

With as much losing that is going on around here, let’s all step up to get a big win for Struds and a great local charity.  It's not too late, please vote here.

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5. Twitter:@briansutherby
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#1 ubermiguel
November 11 2013, 03:35PM
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I've been watching Gagner for 5 years. Way too often I've seen him just watching the puck in the defensive zone and losing his man. It might be more obvious after his injury and with a new system, but it's been an issue for years.

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#3 nick
November 11 2013, 06:44PM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

I hope it was only 3 you listed. I'm sure many played a part actually but I hope it wasn't 1,2, 4 or 5 because I wouldn't have chosen that player for rash moves.

Eakins wasn't playing him as much as Smid had in the past. Perhaps there was something there Eakins didn't like? I don't understand that either however.

I don't believe from the things I've heard or seen about Smid it had anything to do with his character in the dressing room. Quite the opposite actually. He appeared to be a great teammate and dressing room guy.

I think that the trading of Smid was a useless and classless act by the MacT. This guy was character through and through, A guy like Ference can't match up to Smid and don't say Ference won the cup because on that Boston team I could win a cup. Brutal treatment of a guy who gave up free agency to stay with the Oilers. They just lost one of the few guys in that dressing room with Heart and desire. Too many passengers on the Oiler train and Smid was one of the few workers.

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#4 Low elbows
November 11 2013, 03:41PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

I've been watching Gagner for 5 years. Way too often I've seen him just watching the puck in the defensive zone and losing his man. It might be more obvious after his injury and with a new system, but it's been an issue for years.

Broken jaw or not he is too small, a defensive liability and has a NTC for 4 mil plus per season- great signing Mac T

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#5 James
November 11 2013, 07:19PM
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@DSF

I actually think you may be right here. Before I read your comment, reading the ones above it, this was my immediate thought.

I will probably get trashed for this, but I think Hall really drive this kind of garbage. I don't know why, but something about that kid just rubs me the wrong way. Is he skilled? Yes. Does he drive the play? Absolutely. However, there is something wrong with his off-ice attitude, I just get that feeling. Not that he's rude in interviews or whatever, but something is off there and his buddy Eberle is not the same kind of leader...that kid is more of a follower for sure. If Hall says it, Ebs is probably buying into it.

I feel for Yak. It's clear he's struggling and it's also clear that he is being shut out somehow. Cliques are bad news. Morale isn't going to improve with high school BS. IMO, Yak shouldn't be the one shipped out if this is the case...break up the Heathers.

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#6 D
November 11 2013, 06:43PM
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DSF wrote:

It's so "high school" but I think Yakupov may be being shunned by the other young guns.

Agreed. For the record, if there is a dressing room problem/cancer with the guns, I don't believe it's Yakupov.

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#7 Jay
November 11 2013, 06:47PM
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Hopefully they do trade yak though, poor guy doesn't deserve to be on this pathetic team. He belongs in the NHL.... Not his fault he was drafted by this echl team

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#8 ubermiguel
November 11 2013, 03:43PM
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Low elbows wrote:

Broken jaw or not he is too small, a defensive liability and has a NTC for 4 mil plus per season- great signing Mac T

If Eakins can coach some defence into him it will turn into a good signing. I've just about given up on him learning faceoffs.

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#9 DSF
November 11 2013, 06:41PM
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D wrote:

I noticed that on an Eberle goal a while back as well - he was kind of avoiding Yak. I questioned then if there was a dressing room problem.

It's so "high school" but I think Yakupov may be being shunned by the other young guns.

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#10 DSF
November 11 2013, 06:52PM
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D wrote:

Agreed. For the record, if there is a dressing room problem/cancer with the guns, I don't believe it's Yakupov.

I expect you're right.

My guess is the Hall-Eberle cabal.

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#11 Wanye
November 11 2013, 04:59PM
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PFFT you wish we shared a bed. I spent the weekend in Dubai with supermodels lined 10 deep.

*combs hair using a kitchen fork found on ground*

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#13 mlcselli
November 11 2013, 04:39PM
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I want to make it clear re: Gagner--I'm not a hater. However he can't hold a candle to Arcobello as a centerman. Arcs is better in the dot and with and without the puck all day long. I think the reason Eakins is using Gagner, (unsuccessfully), at critical times instead of MA, is his way of showing MacT that Gagner should be traded before his No Trade takes affect. Archobello has proven his case. After 7 seasons of watching Gagner, I believe he is giving his best effort, but he is being outshined by others with less experience.

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#14 Eddie Shore
November 11 2013, 06:27PM
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DSF wrote:

Okay....now this is getting serious....

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance 1m

If EDM unhappy with him, Larionov said Yak open to trade: “We’re willing to make a move. Any team. That happens and that’s part of life.”

I'm not sure what Igor thinks he will gain by going public with this? I'm also not sure what Nail thinks he deserves from the team but his play has not warranted increased opportunity. The circus continues...

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#15 MessyEH!
November 11 2013, 04:26PM
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Why wouldn't Eakins put Gagner on the wing. MAcrobello was doing great at Centre. Much better than Gagner by eye and stats. I know it's a small sample size. But Gagner is looking like he needs a stint in OKC.

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#16 Todd
November 11 2013, 05:49PM
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DSF wrote:

Gagner has never scored 50 points in 7 NHL seasons....not once.

I rest my case.

He scored 0.8ppg in the lockout. 100% of the games played. Thats works out to 65pts. Or does Chicago only get 60% of the Stanley Cup for last year?

Nice try. You are funny, I do admit that.

We get it. Oilers suck. You hate them. You like to rub it in. You have no life and spend your days on an Oilers fan site to bash them. (seriously who does that?? - I couldn't imagine spending even 1 minute on another teams blog.. sad really). You hate Lowe and everything about the Oilers organization. We hate you. I rest my case.

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#17 DSF
November 11 2013, 06:36PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

I'm not sure what Igor thinks he will gain by going public with this? I'm also not sure what Nail thinks he deserves from the team but his play has not warranted increased opportunity. The circus continues...

Larionov going public is about as close to a trade demand as you can get.

Did you notice, after Yakupov scored last night, only newcomer Phillip Larson, was genuinely congratulating Yakupov while Hall and others barely acknowledged him?

Big trouble brewing kids.

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#18 DSF
November 11 2013, 06:50PM
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Kirk brackenberry wrote:

Why is this trouble? Given this teams ineptitude in making necessary trades I think a forced one is something to celebrate. We can't keep all the kids and well I personally would rather see Ganja or Eberle go, Yak is fine....just don't F this up and get an actual NHL top DMan for this kid.

Maybe they can trade him to Calgary for Ladislav Smid. 😳

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#19 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 04:20PM
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The problem is that fans were promised bold moves. All the fans knew what bold was, moving out a soft Gagner and some prospects for a legit 2c. Also moving out one of the 4 top wingers for a legit top 2 d man .... The fans know bold and we see more of the same old same old crap. Move out a legit guy like Smid for useless parts when we need less parts and more core guys who can get the job done at the nhl level.

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#20 Serious Gord
November 11 2013, 06:53PM
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DSF wrote:

Okay....now this is getting serious....

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance 1m

If EDM unhappy with him, Larionov said Yak open to trade: “We’re willing to make a move. Any team. That happens and that’s part of life.”

Say sayonara to Nail. And the oil will not get full value - that's pretty much guaranteed.

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#21 book¡e
November 11 2013, 07:42PM
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D wrote:

Agreed. For the record, if there is a dressing room problem/cancer with the guns, I don't believe it's Yakupov.

Remember Yakupov doesn't go to bars or party. The boys have often been seen partying after loses.

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#23 Rod from Viking
November 11 2013, 06:30PM
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DSF wrote:

More Trouble in River City ®

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance

Igor Larionov says he’s got a trip planned to Edmonton to discuss how Nail Yakupov is being used. Pretty unhappy.

Maybe Katz should have listened to McGregor and stayed out of the way when the management wanted to draft Murray, it was his decision to draft Yakapov and that is a fact. The Oiler's have a new title to Stauffers daily radio show after the teams start and recent moves, It is now called "Oiler's WTF Now".

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#24 D
November 11 2013, 06:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Larionov going public is about as close to a trade demand as you can get.

Did you notice, after Yakupov scored last night, only newcomer Phillip Larson, was genuinely congratulating Yakupov while Hall and others barely acknowledged him?

Big trouble brewing kids.

I noticed that on an Eberle goal a while back as well - he was kind of avoiding Yak. I questioned then if there was a dressing room problem.

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#25 DSF
November 11 2013, 07:21PM
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Here's my Crackpot Theory® of the day.

I'd wager Smid (a fellow East European) said something about how Eakins was abusing Yakupov.

Makes more sense than MacT's explanation.

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#27 Todd
November 11 2013, 05:42PM
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DSF wrote:

1) MacT gave him a verbal promise that he would not trade him before his NTC kicks in.

2) Gagner is NOT a "50-60 point guy". He had never broken 50 points in his 7 seasons and he's sure not going to do it this season.

3) The Oilers leading scorer at the moment is Jordan Eberle who is only on pace for 64 points despite playing 1st line minutes and 1st unit PP. Gagner gets the 5th most minutes at evens and is 9th in PPTOI/G.

Not a chance he would score 50+ even if he had been healthy from the start of the season.

I know you love to twist facts, only focus on the 1 out 10 stats that support your arguments and then duck and hide like a schoolgirl when your predictions are all wrong. (Dale Tallon for GM of the decade anyone)

Gagner has been 0.6 ppg, 0.6 ppg, 0.8 ppg

Injuries aside. Extrapolated over the year thats 50pts, 50pts, 65pts

I rest my case.

Or as I said in my original post are you a fortune teller predicting injuries? Durability, injury prone, yadda yadda. He played 100% of the games last year.

Now go back in you cave and hide. Nobody around here wants to hear your BS right now.

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#28 DSF
November 11 2013, 05:59PM
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Todd wrote:

He scored 0.8ppg in the lockout. 100% of the games played. Thats works out to 65pts. Or does Chicago only get 60% of the Stanley Cup for last year?

Nice try. You are funny, I do admit that.

We get it. Oilers suck. You hate them. You like to rub it in. You have no life and spend your days on an Oilers fan site to bash them. (seriously who does that?? - I couldn't imagine spending even 1 minute on another teams blog.. sad really). You hate Lowe and everything about the Oilers organization. We hate you. I rest my case.

Sorry Sparky...you don't get credit for points you didn't score in games you didn't play.

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#29 RexHolez
November 11 2013, 06:38PM
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Trade yakcity?? This team sunk to lows I never even thought possible! I'm disgusted everytime I even think about this team. Hopefully sportsnet will start showing more flames games, I can't watch this team anymore

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#30 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 04:30PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

Why wouldn't Eakins put Gagner on the wing. MAcrobello was doing great at Centre. Much better than Gagner by eye and stats. I know it's a small sample size. But Gagner is looking like he needs a stint in OKC.

Why is right. You would think that Eakins watched oilers games before taking the job or is actually watching from the bench. Either way it seams obvious to move Gagner to the wings and put arcobello at centre....why isn't it happening?

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#31 nrXic
November 11 2013, 08:17PM
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Anyone remember when Hall was berating Yak on the ice after a play (play ended with a Yak SOG and goalie held it for a whistle)?

This was prior to Hall's injury, not too long ago.

I couldn't understand it, myself. Seemed...rude.

I gave Hall the benefit of the doubt because at the whistle he was wrestled to the ground, maybe he wasn't happy with Yak not stepping in. But it just seemed so weird that I took note of it. Hall looked like a kid throwing a tantrum...against a fellow player.

I'm in Calgary so I don't get to listen to Sport Radio as much as I'd like, but has this stuff been covered in the Edmonton media?

If there is a high school clique going on, the only way to fix that is either bringing it out in the media so they step it down a notch, or trade them.

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#32 jr_christ
November 11 2013, 08:58PM
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It's interesting that people have brought it up... I certainly didn't want to be the first. However, I am glad it was brought up. I can't stand watching Hall throw his tantrums on the ice... It's pathetic. I did notice when Hall snapped on Yak after a weak shot on goal which was held. I didn't think much of it... But I have been wondering for about a month if maybe Hall is a bit of a negative nancy in the dressing room.

If Yak wants out, I can't really blame him. I am sure there is only enough room for Hall's ego in the dressing room.

This is like that book - lord of the flies. You put boys in charge and this is what happens. We need veterans leading this team ... Not a whiny little bitch whom everyone seems to look up to.

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#33 -30-
November 11 2013, 04:50PM
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I think that it's time we realize that the Edmonton Oilers are the new Toronto Maple Leafs.

It sure looks like we're headed down that road. How many more years do we need before we match their dreadful record?

At this rate we'll all be dead or senile before the Oil ever contend again. :(

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#34 Batfink
November 11 2013, 04:51PM
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There are only two alternatives.

1) There is a conspiracy to keep a 5hitty product going and reap the money that us suckers keep paying. In which case, it's (hypothetical) Molotov time. (Please don't actually firebomb them if this turns out to be true.) This makes them negligent.

2) They are trying their hardest to win and do right by their loyal fans. This make them incompetent. (Once again, hold off on the rioting.)

Either one should result in a firing somewhere. Does anyone truly believe that the players are giving 100% on the ice in the face of adversity, the coaches are giving 100% to adapt systems and coaching methods to strive to win and the management are doing all in their power to provide the assets needed to be a contender? Somebody's asleep on their watch....

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#35 DSF
November 11 2013, 05:32PM
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More Trouble in River City ®

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance

Igor Larionov says he’s got a trip planned to Edmonton to discuss how Nail Yakupov is being used. Pretty unhappy.

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#36 Alsker
November 11 2013, 07:21PM
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Whoops, thought it was ON sorry. Damn phone how did I get DSFNation? Excuse the intrusion.

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#37 DSF
November 11 2013, 07:22PM
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James wrote:

I actually think you may be right here. Before I read your comment, reading the ones above it, this was my immediate thought.

I will probably get trashed for this, but I think Hall really drive this kind of garbage. I don't know why, but something about that kid just rubs me the wrong way. Is he skilled? Yes. Does he drive the play? Absolutely. However, there is something wrong with his off-ice attitude, I just get that feeling. Not that he's rude in interviews or whatever, but something is off there and his buddy Eberle is not the same kind of leader...that kid is more of a follower for sure. If Hall says it, Ebs is probably buying into it.

I feel for Yak. It's clear he's struggling and it's also clear that he is being shut out somehow. Cliques are bad news. Morale isn't going to improve with high school BS. IMO, Yak shouldn't be the one shipped out if this is the case...break up the Heathers.

This.

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#38 James
November 11 2013, 07:27PM
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Also, thanks for the player perspective Brian. I appreciate the insider views you and Struds provide. I feel for Sam too, tough break...literally. Eakins is misuing him though, he should be brought back more slowly than he is, or perhaps on the wing. Eakins isn't doing him any favours by inserting him in the top two lines and making him play large minutes just because the team is tanking. We're not winning the season anyway, no harm in bringing Gagner along slowly.

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#39 James
November 11 2013, 07:29PM
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@DSF

Like I said, it's probably not the popular opinion but it's the feeling I get. I'm actually pretty thankful he wasn't gifted the captaincy if there is something going on in the locker room. If what we think is true, and I'm not saying it is for sure, then that would have been a terrible choice. Gifted players don't necessarily make the best choice, you need to consider all aspects of the person.

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#40 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 03:47PM
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So Brian, what's your take on why they chose to move Smid?

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#41 Pucker
November 11 2013, 04:20PM
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He should be on the wing. Maybe with Boyd and Joensuu.

something like: RNH-Hall-Ebs Arco-Hemsky-Yak Boyd-Gags-Joensuu . . . I guess that leaves Acton-Smyth-Jones

Hemsky & Yak together kind of scares me but I've been quite impressed with Arco's work. Yak is going to get better.

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#42 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 04:51PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So does it lead you to believe that MacT is incompetent, or do you think it's more likely that he did the deal for reasons that are not yet obvious?

Oops, sorry ....I was posting this just as you were posting your answer. Please disregard this one. Thanks

The obvious vote is incompetent until proven otherwise.

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#43 Todd
November 11 2013, 05:06PM
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Low elbows wrote:

Broken jaw or not he is too small, a defensive liability and has a NTC for 4 mil plus per season- great signing Mac T

You are so smart. Predicting the broken jaw, and bad start. How did you know!?!?! MacT should hire you.

FYI - his NTC is only next year (1/3 of the contract). He can be traded this year. And until July 1. Then again the 3rd year. If he plays less sh1tty there is no contactual reason why he wouldn't be attractive. Manageable contract for a 50-60pt guy. On the right team (who doesn't have ALL small skill) he would be a nice fit.

I thought from day 1 MacTs play was to trade him this year or pre July 1. MacT just forgot to hire you to fortune tell the broken jaw thing.

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#44 DSF
November 11 2013, 05:29PM
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Todd wrote:

You are so smart. Predicting the broken jaw, and bad start. How did you know!?!?! MacT should hire you.

FYI - his NTC is only next year (1/3 of the contract). He can be traded this year. And until July 1. Then again the 3rd year. If he plays less sh1tty there is no contactual reason why he wouldn't be attractive. Manageable contract for a 50-60pt guy. On the right team (who doesn't have ALL small skill) he would be a nice fit.

I thought from day 1 MacTs play was to trade him this year or pre July 1. MacT just forgot to hire you to fortune tell the broken jaw thing.

1) MacT gave him a verbal promise that he would not trade him before his NTC kicks in.

2) Gagner is NOT a "50-60 point guy". He had never broken 50 points in his 7 seasons and he's sure not going to do it this season.

3) The Oilers leading scorer at the moment is Jordan Eberle who is only on pace for 64 points despite playing 1st line minutes and 1st unit PP. Gagner gets the 5th most minutes at evens and is 9th in PPTOI/G.

Not a chance he would score 50+ even if he had been healthy from the start of the season.

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#45 DSF
November 11 2013, 05:45PM
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Todd wrote:

I know you love to twist facts, only focus on the 1 out 10 stats that support your arguments and then duck and hide like a schoolgirl when your predictions are all wrong. (Dale Tallon for GM of the decade anyone)

Gagner has been 0.6 ppg, 0.6 ppg, 0.8 ppg

Injuries aside. Extrapolated over the year thats 50pts, 50pts, 65pts

I rest my case.

Or as I said in my original post are you a fortune teller predicting injuries? Durability, injury prone, yadda yadda. He played 100% of the games last year.

Now go back in you cave and hide. Nobody around here wants to hear your BS right now.

Gagner has never scored 50 points in 7 NHL seasons....not once.

I rest my case.

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#46 mlcselli
November 11 2013, 06:13PM
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DSF wrote:

More Trouble in River City ®

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance

Igor Larionov says he’s got a trip planned to Edmonton to discuss how Nail Yakupov is being used. Pretty unhappy.

If this is true, then Yak is the next trade

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#47 Kirk brackenberry
November 11 2013, 06:42PM
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DSF wrote:

Larionov going public is about as close to a trade demand as you can get.

Did you notice, after Yakupov scored last night, only newcomer Phillip Larson, was genuinely congratulating Yakupov while Hall and others barely acknowledged him?

Big trouble brewing kids.

Why is this trouble? Given this teams ineptitude in making necessary trades I think a forced one is something to celebrate. We can't keep all the kids and well I personally would rather see Ganja or Eberle go, Yak is fine....just don't F this up and get an actual NHL top DMan for this kid.

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#48 DCC
November 11 2013, 07:40PM
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DSF wrote:

It's so "high school" but I think Yakupov may be being shunned by the other young guns.

You are spot on DSF....this has been witnessed at recent player events.

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#49 book¡e
November 11 2013, 07:46PM
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With that said, none of us know anything.

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#50 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 04:22PM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

I don't really have one. I'm confused by the message. Perhaps there is something behind the scenes that I'm unaware of. He wasn't flashy, he wasn't perfect but I feel like they just traded away something they already lacked(grit). I hope there is a replacement coming sooner than later. They just got even easier to play against.

Brian, I posted this earlier .....what do you think?

I think it's five things

1) They felt they needed to do something quickly to right the ship and they had limited options

That combined with

2) They needed short term cap relief to bring in Bryz....

3) They need mid term cap relief to make significant change(s) at the trade deadline

4) Smid was not part of the long term plans and they actually like Horak and Brossoit ( they believe it adds organizational depth even if they are perceived as losing the trade)

5) MacT felt he needed to back up his rhetoric about being impatient and not accepting a culture of loosing

* I'm not saying that any of the 5 things couldn't have been dealt with differently....just offering up what I think was the explanation

...

I guess what I'm asking is, do you think it was something tactical like is listed above, or is it more likely something else that is more political, like things said or taking place in the dressing room?

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