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 Step Daddy J
November 08 2013, 01:22PM
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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.

You Guys Want Bold ?? Well What About Bold and SMART ?? Here It Is ; Bold and Smart !!!! : Jordan Eberle , Taylor Hall , Jason LaBarbera , Justin Shultz , to Philadelphia Flyers for Erik Gustafsson , Ray Emery , Matt Read , Samuel Morin , Anthony Stolarz , 2014 1 st Rounder , 2015 1 st Rounder .

I Think this is a great deal for both teams .

What do you guys think ??

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#2 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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#3 Spoils
November 08 2013, 11:34AM
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no

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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 Truth
November 08 2013, 12:46PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

Go Bold. If Philly wants Eberle, give him to them .... just make them pay for it. Get back Couturier and SImmonds somehow.

Bold is Giroux. Any less is a downgrade.

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#9 Step Daddy J
November 08 2013, 01:57PM
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pkam wrote:

Sounds like a move to start another rebuild.

Not So .. Think about it guys ... Taylor Hall is often injured . Eberle is streaky . We need D right ? Gustafsson is our replacement for Justin AHL Shultz . Matt Read is a great young kid and could replace Eberle or Hall , for that matter , at least Read doesn't get hurt . Emery for LaBarbera . Emery is vastly undervalued . I think he could start on the Oilers Team . Anthony Stolarz would be our Future Goalie . Samuel Morin would go great with Nurse . Morin is 6"6 .

And hey , if the Flyers Tank ( And they will ) than 2014 1 st Rounder could help us land Aaron Ekblad ( D Barrie Colts Ht/Wt:6' 3"/207 lbs ) . 2015 First Rounder , well , I think you guys know who Katz really wants .

This is not another move to start a rebuild , this is a Genius Glen Sather type of trade where the Oilers deal a Star ( Jimmy Carson ) to another team and get 3 - 4 awesome pieces back .

Now I'm not saying Hall is Carson ( Even though Jimmy had better numbers than Taylor at this point in their career ) but I really believe this trade would work majic for the Oilers . I really like Matt Read . I think he could bring grit , heart and determination to the Oil . Spark some magic .

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#10 Rival
November 08 2013, 12:32PM
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Ducey wrote:

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.

Still better than Dubnyks .878! lol

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#11 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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#12 sizzay
November 08 2013, 02:33PM
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Assuming Dreger is not entirely correct on the Oilers not trading Eberle, I would like this deal:

Eberle + 1st for Simmonds + Couturier

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#13 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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#14 Step Daddy J
November 08 2013, 01:41PM
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Truth wrote:

I think I better come join you at whichever local establishment you've been at since 10AM.

Erik Gustafsson and Samuel Morin , who is 6"6 by the way , are excellent Defenceman . Morin is the real question . He could turn out to be Gold , or Bust . Some people might say the same thing about Eberle ..

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#15 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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#16 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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#17 BingBong
November 08 2013, 12:29PM
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For what it's worth:

@DarrenDreger: In the eyes of Oilers managment, Eberle will be an Oiler forever. Forever is a long time, but, he's not a trade target.

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

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#19 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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#20 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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#21 Lochenzo
November 08 2013, 01:06PM
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Do you think Ryan Miller may waive his NTC just to get out of Buffalo at some point this season? He'd just be a rental.

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#22 mayorblaine
November 08 2013, 11:32AM
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yes please. make it so.

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#23 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 Truth
November 08 2013, 12:52PM
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@Citizen David

I agree that trading Giroux for Eberle is rather pointless, as they are both offensive specialists. IMO, if the Flyers seriously wanted Eberle the only player I would accept in return is Giroux. It is aalways said that the team who acquires the best player wins the trade. You don't trade Eberle for Couturier and spare parts. You trade for Giroux using Eberle and spare parts.

Don't ever see that trade happening, but if it's Eberle they're after, it's Giroux or bust.

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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 Czar
November 08 2013, 12:52PM
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MacT should be calling the Wild about Harding or even Kuemper,both would be an upgrade on our cardboard cutout Dubnyk.

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#34 Lochenzo
November 08 2013, 01:01PM
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Unfortunately, those teams with extra goalies are all high in the standings right now. They can afford to be patient. An Oiler kid or a 2014 or 2015 1st round pick. I would not want to give up any of those in a bad deal.

Bryzie is the route I would take given the current situation. But assuming the Oil do sign Simpson, that'd take them to 50 contracts.

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#35 Ryan2
November 08 2013, 03:00PM
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@ Jason Gregor - We all agree that the team is poorly constructed, but why is the coaching staff getting a free pass on the struggles this season? Everyone piled on Krueger last season when the team started to fall apart at the start of the stretch run last year, BUT they were at least in the playoff hunt at that point. This season, they will be out of it by the end of November with what everyone agreed is a better roster.

There are a number of coaching related issues on this team. The special teams are a disaster this season (PK can be explained by losing key pieces from last year, but the PP has the same or even better cast than last year), d-zone coverage is non-existent and even when the team is playing the "system" the overcommit can be manipulated by passing to leave the slot open (see Detroit game), and the players do not seem to be playing with any fire/passion (or maybe they do not believe in what Eakins is preaching?).

A good coaching staff will adapt its scheme to the roster it is dealt. Thus far, we have not seen anything in Edmonton to indicated that the current one is capable of doing this. At what point do they pay the price for it?

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#36 Step Daddy J
November 08 2013, 03:14PM
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DumbestComment wrote:

We think you are retarded!

I think Peter Pocklington is Retarded . You all want the Oilers to win but you're too blind to see what a great deal this is , for both teams ..

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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 Stack Pad Save
November 08 2013, 12:43PM
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@Alsker

Go Bold. If Philly wants Eberle, give him to them .... just make them pay for it. Get back Couturier and SImmonds somehow.

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#44 NJ
November 08 2013, 12:51PM
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Steve Ott.

20 min TOI last night vs LA.

8 Hits

Why the negativity towards this guy...??

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#45 Crooked
November 08 2013, 01:00PM
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The incompetence of Steve Tambisleepy: the gift that keeps on giving.

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#46 Ricky
November 08 2013, 01:21PM
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@Soccer Steve

No Reimer! He is the only goalie in the league that looks shakier than doobie! He is playing on a better team, therefore his numbers look better stats guy!

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#47 Dan 1919
November 08 2013, 04:31PM
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@Ryan2

Here’s tomorrow’s headline, “Oilers Get New Head Coach.” Fast forward one month from now, does the 9th coach in the three years change anything... It won’t, it’s this team’s makeup why they are so bad.

It is realistic to say the Oil would have 4-5 more wins and be around 9th place right now if they had average goaltending.

They need to quit firing coaches and fire defencemen and goalies. To Mac-T’s credit he was trying to sign Shneider in the offseason, and they weren’t counting on Dubnyk but they also weren’t expecting him to be this terrible. I thought Labarbra was a bad signing when it happened. T

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#48 Hammers
November 08 2013, 11:32PM
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Not finished yet Bryz in Smid out for 2 to OKL Expect Ebs to go & resign Hemsky . That would never surprise me , Is Ebs & LOWER PRICED "d"(Larsen) worth Giroux +3RD RD PICK

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#49 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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#50 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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