OILERS RECALL GREBESHKOV

Lowetide
November 27 2013 07:36PM

The Edmonton Oilers recalled Denis Grebeshkov from the minors today, placing Phil Larsen on IR and changing up the roster look a little on the back end. Edmonton's defensemen have been under siege for the entire season, and there appears to be no relief in sight—can Grebeshkov help this time?

When Grebeshkov was signed by the Oilers during the off-season, there was a very specific idea about his role and how the veteran might be able to help:

  • MacT: “What I see with him is he had a bit of a rocky year last year in the KHL. But he’s coming back as soon as we get his immigration (worked out) and he’ll be training virtually the whole month of August here. He’s going to be highly motivated on just a one-year deal and I’m sure he wants to make a career over here. He’ll be a good role model for Yak (Russian forward Nail Yakupov). Denis is a hell of a guy.”

Well, as it turned out, Grebs was a little rusty, a little slow and a little addled, and the result was some fairly chaotic hockey at the NHL level.

  • 3, 0-0-0 +1 11:36 2pims 2 shots 42 shifts

That's not much, folks. Coach Dallas Eakins nursed him through those games and it became obvious that the Russian was rushing back to the big leagues and not in game shape.

HE'S BACK!

Grebeshkov did have something to offer last time he was in the NHL, but this season the Oilers had a lot of options and didn't need to suffer through while he rounded into shape. Grebs went to the AHL and performed thusly:

  • 11, 2-3-5 E 13shots

That's the kind of boxcar you would expect from a healthy Grebeshkov based on our previous viewings of him (before he skipped town for Russia). Ten days ago, our own Jonathan Willis had this observation about Grebeshkov:

  • Willis: He needed time in Oklahoma City to stabilize his game, but the results of late have been encouraging and if he keeps playing as he has the last little bit he will work his way back to the majors.

Grebeshkov has been recalled, and may get another shot on this road trip to show what he can do.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

If Grebeshkov has done the work—and it sounds like he's worked hard in OKC—then this opportunity should see him get a full look to see if he can help. So far this season, Anton Belov has moved up the depth chart to grab more minutes, and maybe the other Russian in the race can do it too.

We're about to find out.

(Grebeshkov photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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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 TSN 1260.
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#1 Cynic
November 27 2013, 07:44PM
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The solution for a team that can't play defence is to recall a defenceman who can't play defence?

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#2 The Last Big Bear
November 27 2013, 10:04PM
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You know who would be better than Grebeshkov?

Smid.

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#3 Tanks A Lot
November 27 2013, 08:33PM
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Are we tanking the season again?

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#4 Greg
November 27 2013, 08:35PM
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I think we're all missing the valuable life lesson here. If at first you don't succeed...... Try, try, try, try, try, try, try, again.

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#5 Walter Sobchak
November 27 2013, 09:58PM
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A little off topic.

Just want a throw out a big congratulations to Billy G & Dougie Weight for entering the USA HHOF.

Give me a team of Team full of those guys please!

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#6 Casey
November 27 2013, 09:36PM
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Really MacT? You chose to call up Grebeshkov over Taylor Fedun? Fedun this year, 2 goals in 4 gamse. Grebeskov 0 goals 3 games. Ridiculous

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#7 BubSlub
November 27 2013, 07:46PM
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Lets dream...DelZotto a healthy scratch and Grebs brought back up hmmm..

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#8 Greg the Hammer Valentine
November 27 2013, 07:58PM
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I would prefer Kulikov to DelZotto and the price would be about the same. DelZotto is a Justin Schultz kinda D-man and we don't need another one. Anyway, we are still waiting for that Smid replacement...

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Thanks for the Grebs update, LT. I hope he helps, but I'm going to stow that in the 'wait and see' category. I think this team needs less turnovers not more, and that was always my issue with Grebs.

I'd love a Belov profile one of these days. Is he enjoying it in Edm? In North America? Where would he fit on another team's roster? 2nd pairing in a contender! 3rd? What kind of price tag to resign him?

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#10 Danger Pay
November 27 2013, 07:44PM
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Hold on boys, here we go again!

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#11 admiralmark
November 27 2013, 08:08PM
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Brutal just brutal. He's a train wreck and i'm talking about his last full season with the Oilers. This year he was more on the horrendous side of things. I'm not saying there's a better option.. But if Grebs is our best choice it says a lot. And none of it is good.

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#12 Lowe Expectations
November 27 2013, 08:24PM
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After much thought and analysis my conclusion is..... NO!!!

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#13 Harlie
November 27 2013, 08:32PM
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Please be the start to a trade.

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#14 **
November 27 2013, 09:40PM
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the fact that he was plus 1 immediately qualifies him for top 2 duty lol.

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#15 Greg
November 27 2013, 08:27PM
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What the hell? Why is everybody so mad? Once Grebeshkov puts on that oiler jersey again, you won't even notice him... I promise.

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#16 Rocket
November 27 2013, 08:32PM
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Nice 'cause I need another reason to make fun of this team. What's that? There's a game tomorrow? I'll be watching. I'm addicted. Sigh...

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#17 Ryan2
November 27 2013, 10:09PM
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I heard a rumor that Toby Peterson was signed by OKC today as well.......

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#18 Fresh Mess
November 27 2013, 08:17PM
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Oh my god

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#19 Casey
November 27 2013, 09:36PM
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Really MacT? You chose to call up Grebeshkov over Taylor Fedun? Fedun this year, 2 goals in 4 gamse. Grebeskov 0 goals 3 games. Ridiculous

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#20 dougtheslug
November 27 2013, 11:25PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Just finished watching the flames game. They matched the level of 'try' of Chicago and were unlucky not to get a point. An admirable effort, one that the oil have yet to match this year, and now I hear the oil are test driving the Lada again. Will this galactic fail of a season never end?

The season ends.April 12,2014. The galactic fail, however.........

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#21 Dan 1919
November 27 2013, 09:20PM
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@camdog

I see where you’re going with this... the Oilers are terrible. You’re right, Gilbert would fit right into the top 4 perfectly, that still doesn’t mean he’s a top 4 dman though.

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#22 Reg Dunlop
November 27 2013, 10:56PM
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Just finished watching the flames game. They matched the level of 'try' of Chicago and were unlucky not to get a point. An admirable effort, one that the oil have yet to match this year, and now I hear the oil are test driving the Lada again. Will this galactic fail of a season never end?

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#23 Walter Sobchak
November 27 2013, 09:49PM
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The season is toast, why wouldn't you call up Klefbom and see what he could bring to the table? He can't be worse then Grebeshkov..........

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#24 Dan 1919
November 27 2013, 09:17PM
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Garbagekov will unfortunately not help anything, enough said.

As for Devon Dubnyk. The guy let’s like 4 goals in on 3 shots and somehow none of them were even minutely his fault.

The good news is Bryz will be better because it’s impossible to be any worse than Dubnyk. I just wish we’d see more accountability in this organization and Eakins actually just said, “Dubnyk needs to be considerably better and what we’ve seen so far this season isn’t good enough.” I believe that would actually help the moral on this team as the players all know Dubnyk sucks (obviously), and it would reassure them that they have a new goalie and the coach believes this could be a big turning point if they go out and give him a solid compete level.

I still believe this absolute train wreck of a season so far can be shored up in two words, “Devon Dubnyk.” The Oil would be sitting in around 9th/10th right now and looking to add a key piece to hopefully make this, “The Year,” if they had an NHL starter to start the year.

Instead we can only hope with all our might that they salvage this already written off season.

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#25 Al Low
November 27 2013, 10:02PM
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At what point does 6 Rings come out of retirement to play on the blueline?

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#27 Dog Train
November 27 2013, 09:59PM
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On a positive note, this frees up more ice time for our young dmen in OKC. Hopefully Grebs plays well enough to become trade bait by the deadline.

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#28 K_Mart
November 28 2013, 06:45AM
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MacT must really want Reinhart. And McSavior next year.

Usually I'd say enough is enough with the tanking, but McDavid has me second guessing that thought next year.

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#29 steveb12344
November 27 2013, 09:48PM
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I don't see what the big deal is. He's being called up as an injury replacement for our 7th D.

Even if he does draw in, (maybe for Potter?) he is likely to be 6th D and get minimal ice-time.

He will likely be gone when Larsen gets back, and the only way any of this changes is if he plays so well that he can push someone else out.

It seems to me like a low-impact, low-risk move, and likely much ado about nothing.

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#30 Ducey
November 28 2013, 09:18AM
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BOBO wrote:

Sometimes (almost always) I don't understand the logic of the Oilers management, it is apparent that Fedun would be a player to develop for the future and he has earned that right and then some... why waste time on an old Russian player who can't get in shape?

Because you want to keep your young players playing, not eating popcorn in the pressbox as the 7th D.

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#31 Aitch
November 27 2013, 08:34PM
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Against Nashville, eh?

Might as well display Grebs for show & tell. Some team in need of a vet near/at the deadline might give up a 6th for him.

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#32 Rob
November 27 2013, 08:41PM
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There is a reason why he earned the nickname Garbagekov. If we need a guy short term why not call up Klefbom or Marincin on a short term look until Larsen is better.

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#33 camdog
November 27 2013, 09:12PM
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If Gilbert was on this team he would be the teams best d-man. The only guy that might be better is Petry, so second best at worst.

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#34 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 07:03AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

A little off topic.

Just want a throw out a big congratulations to Billy G & Dougie Weight for entering the USA HHOF.

Give me a team of Team full of those guys please!

This team could use a Bill Guerin or three. Congrats to them both, well deserved.

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#35 Smokey
November 27 2013, 10:45PM
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Tanks A Lot wrote:

Are we tanking the season again?

His turnovers are always of the grade A variety. I've always admired his ability to turn over the puck in such a smooth,unique and costly way. Then later in the game he will send 120 foot stretch pass up the ice with a quarter inch of clearance past a sprawling defender, or make a sick backdoor play on a slap pass that make you wonder how he can be so jekyll and hide. Im looking forward as are you to the horrow show, hope he gets two assist for every goal he gives up.

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#36 Jimmer
November 27 2013, 09:56PM
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Hey, how happy is Grebs that he got called up?

Happier than a Camel on Wednesday.

Hump Daaaay!

(*Que the Geico music!)

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#37 madjam
November 27 2013, 10:16PM
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Seeing as we downgraded from Ahl to Khl and lesser leagues for players , it does not come as much surprise they would go back to Peterson . How about Dallman and Lee on defence from Khl ? To bad we don't have much success procuring players thru Nhl normal channels .

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#38 sizedoesmatter
November 28 2013, 07:16AM
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Hard to figure what the Oilers are doing with the defense. Gritty players are traded. soft players are promoted. Would be nice to see an opposing player on there a** once in awhile.

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#39 Reg Dunlop
November 28 2013, 09:27AM
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Ducey wrote:

Wow, a lot of you fellas need to settle down. Grebs will be in the pressbox as the 7th D.

He is a vet who can fly back and forth between OKC and the Oilers, can play a game here and there, and is cheap.

Its called depth, and it ensures that the kids don't have to be called up to sit in the pressbox/ get thrown into the fire before they are ready.

Depth? I have to question that. He is 'depth' just like Cam Barker is 'depth'. A boarderline 3rd pairing guy in the KHL last year. Signing him was simply a bad move and continuing to give him a push, opposed to admitting the mistake and sending him back to Stalingrad, compounds the error. Keeping the prospect D away from this team this year makes sense but playing Denis clearly demonstrates that the tank is on or that mgmt. are buffoons.

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#40 Smokey
November 28 2013, 09:41AM
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Ducey wrote:

Wow, a lot of you fellas need to settle down. Grebs will be in the pressbox as the 7th D.

He is a vet who can fly back and forth between OKC and the Oilers, can play a game here and there, and is cheap.

Its called depth, and it ensures that the kids don't have to be called up to sit in the pressbox/ get thrown into the fire before they are ready.

Whats cheep about a number 8 defender in your organization making 1.5. If MacT did not hand out stinker contracts to Grebby, Jones he would of had dough for a goalie. Instead he dumped a 4 NHL defender.

MacT signed a player on personal history and because he said he was a nice guy. If that does reek of poor judgement then I don't know what constitute bad decision making. Bringing back players with a declining skillset because of personal history is another problem this organization has. They do it because they can't fill their roster with NHL caliber talent because who wants to play for buffoons.

Fire Lowe, Fire MacT. I'm almost willing to go to Rexall to start the chant once Bryz implodes. But I won't buy tickets for this product.

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#41 Greg
November 27 2013, 08:27PM
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What the hell? Why is everybody so mad? Once Grebeshkov puts on that oiler jersey again, you won't even notice him... I promise.

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#42 Rick Stroppel
November 28 2013, 12:09AM
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The Oilers must lead the league in players brought back after they have been "let go" in one way or another: Kevin Lowe, Anderson, Klima, Ulanov, Comrie, Smyth, now Grebeshkov. The Flames are a close second: Conroy, Tanguay, Olli Jokinen, Cammalleri. None of these players were better the second time around. What does this tell us about the strategy and tactics of these organizations? They are totally out of ideas. For many years now, they are not moving forward, they are treading water or falling back. You get rid of a player for a reason, and that player's skills erode, why do you need to bring him back? Because your team was mediocre before, now it is just plain bad. Oilers and Flames are now last and second last in the Western Conference. I know what you are going to say, what about Dustin "Pancake Man" Penner, thriving in his second tour with the Ducks. Let's see if he can keep this up for a season or two. To me, the failure of Oilers management to address glaring weakness on the back end means they have decided it is time for another lottery pick, if not top 3 or 4. I am just a poor "tier 2" fan, I really can't afford tickets. If I was actually paying to watch live, I think I might feel very strongly about what is happening.

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#43 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 08:19AM
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S cottV wrote:

Oiler history that is relevant today - a skilled first line centre backed up by a tank as the 2nd line centre. Gretzky - Messier / Weight - Arnott / RNH - Gagner? RNH is still 2 years away from the start of any comparables to Gretzky and Weight. Gagner will never compare to the effectiveness of Messier and Arnott. Arnott was way better than most gave him credit for while he was here. A developing RNH and a lack of presence Gagner are far from owning the middle of the ice on the first two lines and it shows in lack of possession and advanced zone play. The lack of a stud d man and general weakness in the back end adds to this problem. Keep RNH, Hall, Eberle, Perron, Gordon, and use anyone else including Yak in potential trades to fill the centreman hole on the 2nd line and the stud d man hole in the back end.

You are new here eh?

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#44 Mike Krushelnyski
November 28 2013, 08:46AM
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Good thing we got rid of Smid

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#45 S cottV
November 28 2013, 08:56AM
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@Spydyr

Yes - something to do for some fun. Your point?

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#46 Ducey
November 28 2013, 09:05AM
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Wow, a lot of you fellas need to settle down. Grebs will be in the pressbox as the 7th D.

He is a vet who can fly back and forth between OKC and the Oilers, can play a game here and there, and is cheap.

Its called depth, and it ensures that the kids don't have to be called up to sit in the pressbox/ get thrown into the fire before they are ready.

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#47 BOBO
November 28 2013, 09:11AM
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Casey wrote:

Really MacT? You chose to call up Grebeshkov over Taylor Fedun? Fedun this year, 2 goals in 4 gamse. Grebeskov 0 goals 3 games. Ridiculous

Sometimes (almost always) I don't understand the logic of the Oilers management, it is apparent that Fedun would be a player to develop for the future and he has earned that right and then some... why waste time on an old Russian player who can't get in shape?

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#48 S cottV
November 28 2013, 09:44AM
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@Spydyr

Thanks for the welcome. To get one of a #1 d man and or a 200 ft 2C, I agree Eberle could go instead of Yak. Just think Yak might generate more bargaining power, that actually might fill one of those holes. Not sure about the "draft the best player philosophy" when its a winger involved - too many times. What good are high end wingers, with no depth in the middle and back end? You cant seem to deal them without getting raped, they get frustrated playing mostly in their own end, underperform, lose value and then you really can't deal them.

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#49 Ducey
November 28 2013, 10:48AM
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Smokey wrote:

Whats cheep about a number 8 defender in your organization making 1.5. If MacT did not hand out stinker contracts to Grebby, Jones he would of had dough for a goalie. Instead he dumped a 4 NHL defender.

MacT signed a player on personal history and because he said he was a nice guy. If that does reek of poor judgement then I don't know what constitute bad decision making. Bringing back players with a declining skillset because of personal history is another problem this organization has. They do it because they can't fill their roster with NHL caliber talent because who wants to play for buffoons.

Fire Lowe, Fire MacT. I'm almost willing to go to Rexall to start the chant once Bryz implodes. But I won't buy tickets for this product.

Sorry, I forgot. The Oilers lost the last game. That means we must be enraged about who sits in the pressbox and fire everyone!

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#50 S cottV
November 28 2013, 08:05AM
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Spydyr wrote:

This team could use a Bill Guerin or three. Congrats to them both, well deserved.

Oiler history that is relevant today - a skilled first line centre backed up by a tank as the 2nd line centre. Gretzky - Messier / Weight - Arnott / RNH - Gagner? RNH is still 2 years away from the start of any comparables to Gretzky and Weight. Gagner will never compare to the effectiveness of Messier and Arnott. Arnott was way better than most gave him credit for while he was here. A developing RNH and a lack of presence Gagner are far from owning the middle of the ice on the first two lines and it shows in lack of possession and advanced zone play. The lack of a stud d man and general weakness in the back end adds to this problem. Keep RNH, Hall, Eberle, Perron, Gordon, and use anyone else including Yak in potential trades to fill the centreman hole on the 2nd line and the stud d man hole in the back end.

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