FIRE UP THE MACBLENDER

Jason Gregor
November 08 2013 11:28AM

It was five years ago that I posted an article about the MacBlender. People were outraged that Craig MacTavish would change his lines up frequently, of course 95% of NHL coaches do this, but people needed someone to blame so MacTavish was the guy.

Fast forward five years, and I think it is time for the GM to fire up the MacBlender again.

This time the blender will be set on the Trade setting.

The Oilers need a shake up.

You can try different line combinations, bring guys up from the minors, but it won't mask the issues.

The first order of business has to be bringing in another goalie. I'm not sure MacTavish can wait much longer, hoping that Devan Dubnyk will find some consistency. MacT needs to bring in someone to challenge Dubnyk or even move him to the backup position.

The Oilers outplayed the Lightning last night. The Bolts turned the puck over way more than the Oilers, but Ben Bishop covered up their mistakes. Right now, the Oilers don't have that luxury.

OPTIONS...

Most teams won't just hand you their backup, unless they have a solid #3 waiting in the wings.

Anaheim has lots of depth in goal, but I don't see them making a move right away.

Jonas Hiller, 31 years old, will be a UFA at the end of the season. He has a $4.5 million cap hit, so the Oilers would need to send some money to Anaheim to acquire him. He is their starter so it is unlikely he's the one the Ducks would move.

Viktor Fasth is on injured reserve. He is 31 years old and has one year left at $2.9 million. He's only played 28 games, and after a ridiculous start his numbers have come back to reality.

Frederik Andersen, 24 years old. He's won all four of his NHL starts and has a sparkling 0.952 SV% and a 1.36 GAA.

John Gibson, 20 years old in his first pro season. He's had 9 starts in the AHL with a 0.951 SV% and a 1.61 GAA. The Ducks aren't trading him.

The Ducks would most likely be willing to part with Fasth, but they can't trade him until he is healthy, so I don't see a Ducks/Oilers trade happening right away.

BLUES...

The Blues have Jaro Halak and Brian Elliott, with Jake Allen playing in the minors. The Blues could move Elliott, but they aren't in any rush. The Blues expect to make a long run in the playoffs, and I doubt they would weaken their goaltending depth right now. Unless the Oilers were willing to overpay for Elliott, I don't see a trade brewing.

LEAFS...

Many expect James Reimer to be dealt, but the Leafs are in no rush to move him. They know Edmonton is desperate, so their asking price is very high. They could move Reimer and bring up Drew MacIntrye, 2.11 GAA and 0.912 SV% in AHL, but the Oilers would need to overpay.

It is a fair argument to suggest the Oilers should overpay, because until they get consistent goaltending they aren't going to win. Maybe MacTavish feels the same and would be willing to "lose" a trade, to better his team.

OTHER....

The Oilers could sign Ilya Bryzgalov to a pro-rated one-year deal. He is big on family and his son plays hockey and his daughter is a figure skater. There would be lots of opportunities for his kids to enhance those skills during the Edmonton winter. Bryzgalov wouldn't cost you any players, and he has a much better track record than Jason LaBarbera.

I understand there would be much trepidation in signing him, but the Oilers might have no better option.

Do you see another option, a realistic one, for MacTavish to pursue?

WRAP UP....

We know that MacTavish, Kevin Lowe and many of the Oilers scouts are on the road scouting opposing players and goaltenders, and they have had conversations with opposing general managers.

Is a trade coming? I believe it has to.

The players will never come out and say it, but their confidence in Dubnyk is diminishing. I know he isn't the only issue on the team, but it is easier to hide an inconsistent winger or defenceman. When your goalie is struggling it is easy to see, and even more difficult to overcome.

I believe it is time to fire up the MacBlender.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 mayorblaine
November 08 2013, 11:32AM
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yes please. make it so.

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#2 Spoils
November 08 2013, 11:34AM
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no

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#3 West oastoil
November 08 2013, 11:37AM
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Based on the above options, I'd see if you could sign Bryz to hold things down until next summer when it's easier to fix the problem, and you aren't giving up any players now. Too bad - I thought Dubey would post numbers at least as good as last year, and at that level the season wouldn't be done like it is now (barring something miraculous).

They can't wait any longer though. Bad goaltending demoralizes a team

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#4 burketheturd
November 08 2013, 11:38AM
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Agreed, you can only wait so long. I really hoped DD would get back to where he was last year, but time has run out.

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#5 Towersofdub
November 08 2013, 11:39AM
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is it worth signing bryzgalov on the cheap, if possible...pro-rated $1.0MM for a year, throwing him in for a run of games, and if he doesn't get the job done, just put him on waivers? where's the harm now? as long as he's cheap. Dubnyk may or may not get his game together over the next 10 games...the season will be over by then if we don't get some goaltending.

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#6 Talbot17
November 08 2013, 11:39AM
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at this point any of those options are good. Bryz i would consider strongly, he wants to prove himself.

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#7 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 11:43AM
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I unfortunately have to agree with you Gregor. I have been a big fan of letting Dubnyk develop with the team as he shows a ton of potential and there have been a lack of better options. But the potential isn't being realized. The team has a fragile psyche and you can see a visible wilting in the team every time a weak one goes in. This team doesn't have the character to help out a goalie right now, they need help from a Goalie. I think the Oilers need to make some huge moves to get a bonafide Goalie and a top 2 D-man..... Tall order for the MacBlender.

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#8 Westcoastoil
November 08 2013, 11:43AM
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On the plus side: that MacT tried to upgrade on Dubey in the summer tells us his assessment that we needed to be better in net was bang on vs. not putting a package better than Conacher to get Bishop.

Tambi

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#9 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 11:44AM
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Towersofdub wrote:

is it worth signing bryzgalov on the cheap, if possible...pro-rated $1.0MM for a year, throwing him in for a run of games, and if he doesn't get the job done, just put him on waivers? where's the harm now? as long as he's cheap. Dubnyk may or may not get his game together over the next 10 games...the season will be over by then if we don't get some goaltending.

Season is already over.

That is the problem is it worth this year giving up a ton to solve the Goalie problem? I think so .... as long as you get the right guy...........I am not confident in any of the guys Anahiem has and I don't want a nutter like Bryzgalov near the Oilers already fragile psyche, he might get the whole team institutionalized.

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#10 hallsyoilerforever5
November 08 2013, 11:46AM
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Goaltending has been such a major issue this season. I'll take Bryzgalov over LOLbarbera right now. Have him and Dubnyk fight for the #1 role. I don't even know why Labarbera was brought in. Not that goalie you want to have both goaltenders fight for the #1 role.

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#11 HardBoiledOil
November 08 2013, 11:46AM
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Bryz it is !! MacT, make the phone call !!

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#12 Craig1981
November 08 2013, 11:48AM
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The Oilers had always had great goaltending. Moog, Fuhr, Randford, Salo.....then came post lockout where they have never been so bad. I think missing a top tier goalie might have a lot to do with it.

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#13 Rival
November 08 2013, 11:49AM
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If Bryz is the best option then do it. The time is now to make a move. This is why I hated the J.L signing. Dubnyk clearly needed someone to really push him and we all knew this guy wouldn't. Even after it was known that Mac T was looking to acquire Schneider...Dubnyk is still playing like crap.

This organization has given DD plenty of chances...its time to move on.

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#14 mr common sense
November 08 2013, 11:49AM
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A man is feared by what is between is legs and so too the team must first buy and surgically attach some stones....the rebuild will start there.

Steve Ott

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#15 mayorblaine
November 08 2013, 11:50AM
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clarification - yes please to a trade. forward, defence, goal - no matter.

never, ever, ever, Bryzgalov. Never, ever.

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#16 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 11:50AM
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Besides the fact that he used to be good in Phoenix ... which is also where Labarbra came from ... and where Mike Smith resurrected his career. What evidence do you have that Bryzgalov has a decent and consistent game left? They got rid of him from Philly and bought the guy out because he was inconsistent and a nutter. That is worse than Dubnyk, at least Dubnyk isn't going to make the dressing room worse.

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#17 Taylor Gang
November 08 2013, 11:51AM
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Bryzgalov?

Oh my god just the thought of that actually being a legitimate option...

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#18 Bishai in the Benches
November 08 2013, 11:51AM
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Would there be a possibility to sign bryz to an AHL deal, similar to cheechoo last year? If he plays well for a stretch in the A, give him an NHL deal instead of instantly gambling cap space and a roster spot without really knowing what we are getting.

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#19 Metal&Oil
November 08 2013, 11:51AM
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What about putting together a deal for Wings net minder Petr Mrazek? I know the Wings are really high on him but they do have Howard locked up till 2019.

I don't know what players I'd send to Detriot but thats the goalie "to at least push Dubnyk" that I would target.

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#20 Spoils
November 08 2013, 11:52AM
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@Spoils

3 trashes eh, let me expand on this.

undisciplined own zone turnovers, goaltending radically below expectations, worst injured team in the NHL, new systems...

I like the view that time will clean a lot of this up.

I say have patience. We are more likely to win the cup two years from now (than now) so let's wait until a good deal presents itself or until we are a contender.

Then lets bring in a goalie.

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#21 Rival
November 08 2013, 11:54AM
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Why is Bryz such a bad idea? Its not like anyone on here is saying to sign him for 3-4 years. We are talking a one year deal. I don't see a ton of risk.

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#22 Talbot17
November 08 2013, 11:55AM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

Season is already over.

That is the problem is it worth this year giving up a ton to solve the Goalie problem? I think so .... as long as you get the right guy...........I am not confident in any of the guys Anahiem has and I don't want a nutter like Bryzgalov near the Oilers already fragile psyche, he might get the whole team institutionalized.

It's not just about the fact the season may be over or not, you bring in a guy like Bryz you're not giving up any assets while the team is 'desperate' in the eyes of all the other GMs in the league...you are bringing in a guy who wants to prove himself at the NHL level and also this pushes Duby to realize he needs to get his act together. You make a move for a goalie in the offseason IMO or you obtain Bryz short term and get this team on a bit of a role, then make a decision later on/closer to the trade deadline (see OTT and Tampa)

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#23 Clarko
November 08 2013, 11:55AM
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I wouldn't overpay for anyone right now. Bryz is really the only option, but not sure if that is even a good option.

The fact is that this team is already out of the playoff race. Wait until the trade deadline when many teams will be looking to bolster their rosters for the playoff race/long playoff run. Then we could probably get a decent goalie at a big discount then what we would have to pay now.

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#24 BingBong
November 08 2013, 11:55AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

The Oilers had always had great goaltending. Moog, Fuhr, Randford, Salo.....then came post lockout where they have never been so bad. I think missing a top tier goalie might have a lot to do with it.

Salo was a great goalie?

I agree that Dubnyk has shown he's not the long-term answer, and that the team has little confidence in him, but I just don't see any moves that would make sense right now, at least without overpaying.

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#25 TonyT
November 08 2013, 11:56AM
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I have to agree with the majority on here. Bryzgalov as a tryout till the end of the year, till either a) someone has taken the starters job b) UFAs will be available. Trading (likely a high) first rounder, or skill can be used on other needs rather than an overpay on a goaltender. I do believe a shakeup is needed, if only for the phsyche of the team.

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#26 DSF
November 08 2013, 11:58AM
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Brian Lawton ‏@brianlawton9

Are the Flyers setting up for another trade with a team that is their next opponent? Has it happened before yes........Will it happen again?

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#27 DSF
November 08 2013, 12:01PM
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Allan Walsh ‏@walsha

#OctagonHockey client Jason Chimera of the Washington Capitals has signed a 2 year extension with the club. 11 points in 15 games this year.

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#28 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 08 2013, 12:01PM
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Don't worry everyone the architects who put the Oilers in this spot have a plan.

1. They are gonna tell us first that there isnt another team in the league who wouldn't want the talent that is assembled here.

2. Tell us that macT is impatient and WILL make things happen quickly.

3. Have Bob Stauffer tell us that big BOLD moves are coming.

There ya go folks the solution was easy I am already planning the parade.

just sayin'

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#29 Benny Botts
November 08 2013, 12:03PM
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@Gregor

Jason, I heard that Bryz agent said hes had 3 or 4 offers from NHL teams but has turned them down. Could one of those not have been the Oil? Theres one option down. Also what is your take on the Eberle rumuors to philly? You would think there would have to be a RW coming back because there isn't much depth there at the moment.

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#30 tileguy
November 08 2013, 12:04PM
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Save the trade bait for grit, goaltending can be solved in the summer and their is lots of potential in the pipeline for D. I wants a couple of big nasty forwards.

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#31 Talbot17
November 08 2013, 12:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Brian Lawton ‏@brianlawton9

Are the Flyers setting up for another trade with a team that is their next opponent? Has it happened before yes........Will it happen again?

We probably want :Corbourne They probably want: Hemsky and a 1st pick and prospect (prob D prospect)

We need: goalie likely bargaiing chip to get goalie in trade market: 1st pick + player...

I agree though, Phili is probably as desperate but they are right at the cap with a underachieving team.

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#32 mr common sense
November 08 2013, 12:06PM
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tileguy wrote:

Save the trade bait for grit, goaltending can be solved in the summer and their is lots of potential in the pipeline for D. I wants a couple of big nasty forwards.

100%

Steve Ott

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#33 Puck_In_Throat
November 08 2013, 12:07PM
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I made a similar comment on a the Taylor Fedun thread but I think it applies just as well here.

What other team "anoints" a starting goalie without giving them competition? Tambellini brought in Khabi but he was never the competition that Dubnyk needed.

Even LA, with Jonathan Quick, kept Bernier to push Quick until Bernier's stock was high enough to trade for a good return. Dean "Trademaster" Lombardi was even smart enough to get Ben Scrivens out of Toronto, who is a capable YOUNG backup who can continue to push Quick.

Who is pushing Dubnyk?

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#34 Truth
November 08 2013, 12:07PM
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Tim Panaccio ‏@tpanotchCSN 1h Told today Flyers are talking with EDM about Eberle.

Am I the first to put that up, or is Wanye just deleting all posts that involve a trade with Eberle?

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#35 Craig1981
November 08 2013, 12:09PM
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BingBong wrote:

Salo was a great goalie?

I agree that Dubnyk has shown he's not the long-term answer, and that the team has little confidence in him, but I just don't see any moves that would make sense right now, at least without overpaying.

I don't disagree with that. I personally believe as teams get closer to playoffs, when backup goalies aren't going to see any ice time (barring an injury). Teams might be more willing to give up a goalie for offense or defense help that can go in their lineup .

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#36 DSF
November 08 2013, 12:09PM
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Talbot17 wrote:

We probably want :Corbourne They probably want: Hemsky and a 1st pick and prospect (prob D prospect)

We need: goalie likely bargaiing chip to get goalie in trade market: 1st pick + player...

I agree though, Phili is probably as desperate but they are right at the cap with a underachieving team.

I assume you mean Couturier.

And, yeah, he is exactly what the Oilers need at #2C.

I can't imagine the Flyers would move him for Hemsky, though.

More likely Eberle.

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#37 Truth
November 08 2013, 12:13PM
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I would like to see Stauffer (or someone connected to the organization) tweet that MacT is talking to Holmgren about Giroux. Just for fun.

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#38 Mac962
November 08 2013, 12:17PM
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Something has to happen and soon as we all know, a few losses at the beginning of the year you can over come - 4-11 or whatever our record is now is damn near impossible. Move or toss the season aside, i would rather die fighting then die not having fought at all if you know what i mean. No matter what deal the Oil make now, they will overpay.

Get off your collective arses Mgmt and do something. Other Teams always seem to be able to make deals during the year, Not us.

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#39 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 12:17PM
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@DSF

I would do a deal Eberle for Couturier. That would be a huge improvement for the Oilers and than you could try and trade Gagner in a package for a goalie or a D or worst case scenario move him to the wing.

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#40 Citizen David
November 08 2013, 12:19PM
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Oilers fans have collectively lost their minds. The amount of support here for Bryzgalov is ridiculous.

If the Flyers want Eberle I would do it but I'd make them pay through their teeth. I'd want Couturier and B. Schenn plus we'd have to make it work cap wise. Which would have to bring more players into the trade.

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#41 Harry
November 08 2013, 12:21PM
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Spoils wrote:

3 trashes eh, let me expand on this.

undisciplined own zone turnovers, goaltending radically below expectations, worst injured team in the NHL, new systems...

I like the view that time will clean a lot of this up.

I say have patience. We are more likely to win the cup two years from now (than now) so let's wait until a good deal presents itself or until we are a contender.

Then lets bring in a goalie.

How long do.you think these players and the fanbase for that matter can put up with all this losing? I cant imagine what its been like being someone like Gagner or Hall. Guys who come fromwinning pedigrees to this GONGSHOW! Mactavish has to do his job. This morning i heard Eberle-Philly runours.

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#42 DSF
November 08 2013, 12:21PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

I would do a deal Eberle for Couturier. That would be a huge improvement for the Oilers and than you could try and trade Gagner in a package for a goalie or a D or worst case scenario move him to the wing.

Well, I have a feeling a couple of Oilers will be staying behind when the team leaves Philly.

I would try Eberle and Gagner for Couturier and Simmonds.

A second line of Perron-Couturier-Simmonds would be killer and be able to take on the toughs.

The Oilers might have to take on Mezaros contract to make that work.

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#43 Citizen David
November 08 2013, 12:21PM
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Truth wrote:

I would like to see Stauffer (or someone connected to the organization) tweet that MacT is talking to Holmgren about Giroux. Just for fun.

I don't want Giroux. He's more of what we have, we need better d, better goaltending and more diverse forwards. He's also terribly overrated and on top of that will be making 8.275 a year starting next year. Pass.

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#44 Ducey
November 08 2013, 12:22PM
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How in the world is Bryzgalov a good option??

He had a .900 save % last year. He got cut from an ECHL team in October! The guy is done.

An easier solution to the fact that both of your goalies (who have historically been pretty good) suck? Turf the goalie coach. Maybe a new guy gets them back on track.

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#45 He Who Knows
November 08 2013, 12:22PM
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Sign Brizzy, wont cost a player or prospect. Sure he is an oddball but this team needs one of those. Also Gregor if you ever get K-Lowe on your show, can you let him know how much the fan base despises him. I don't think he up to date with social media. Thanks.

He Who Knows It All

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#46 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 12:23PM
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@DSF

As an Oiler fan that would be best case scenario ... is Paul Holmgren actually that stupid .....I hope so

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#47 DSF
November 08 2013, 12:24PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

As an Oiler fan that would be best case scenario ... is Paul Holmgren actually that stupid .....I hope so

He certainly has been in the past.

He traded JVR for Luke Schenn.

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#48 BingBong
November 08 2013, 12:24PM
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Something's gotta give in Phili; they're struggling worse than us. Giroux - 0 goals. Couturier - 0 goals. Streit - 0 goals. Simmonds - 1 goal. Their offensive numbers are horrendous.

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#49 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 12:25PM
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@He Who Knows

He who knows .... knows what. Bryzgalov is not an option period. He can't even play in the ECHL ... that is 2 tiers below the NHL... that is how far that guy has fallen. Please put some effort and find a legitimate option somewhere in or at least NEAR the NHL level.

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#50 XL Lebowski
November 08 2013, 12:28PM
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They need a replacement for DD now. It's evident when they outshoot teams like Tampa and come out on the short end. And who's been in charge of stock piling the cupboard? Where are the young goalies in our system? Dubnyk's career can be traced back to the time when they didn't have an AHL club. Remember that? Remember DesLaurier sitting on the bench of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Montreal letting their young goalies develop? That was really helping our goalies and our players wasn't it? Who's responsible for that?

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