GDB 18.0: MORNING MADNESS

Jason Gregor
November 09 2013 09:06AM

Yesterday at 4:45 p.m. news broke that the Oilers had traded Ladislav Smid to Calgary, and a half hour later the Ilya Bryzgalov signing became official. Some wondered if the two deals were connected. I believe they were, but not just for financial reasons.

Trading Smid freed up $2.786 million in cap space for the remainder of the season, and $3.5 mill cap hit for the following three years, while Ilya Bryzgalov was signed for $1.75 million, which starting today is $1.393 million in actual cap space. The Oilers could have signed Bryzgalov to that deal without moving Smid; however, I do see a connection between the moves.

The Oilers aren't making the playoffs this season. The coaches and players won't think that way, as they should, but in making these moves I believe Craig MacTavish recognizes the disappointing reality that the Oilers are already 12 points out of a playoff spot.

I expect the Oilers to be better in their final 65 games, but they won't go 38-17-6 in their final 65 (which would give them 92 points).

An hour after making the deal, MacTavish stated that he felt the Oilers had more depth on the blueline, and he expected Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to be two possibilities to replace Smid's size. Klefbom is 6'3" while Nurse is 6'4", but neither will replace Smid right now. Both of them will push for a roster spot next season, although Klefbom likely will get some games near the end of this season.

MacTavish made this move with the long-term future in mind, more than the short term, and I believe the Bryzgalov move was also made with the bigger picture in mind.

MacTavish is hoping Bryzgalov can come in and either out perform Devan Dubnyk, or push him to play better. That helps right now, but more importantly he needs solid goaltending so his players can taste some success. I don't see the Bryzgalov signing as a big risk. He can't be worse than what they have, and despite some of his past comments, I doubt he will be a bad influence in the dressing room.

The Oilers are finally starting to get comfortable with Dallas Eakins system, and if they can get some victories they are more likely to buy in even more and should enter next season more comfortable in their overall game. For that to happen they need better goaltending.

The Oilers outplayed Tampa Bay on Thursday, one of the better teams in the league, but they lost. We all saw the need to try and improve the goaltending right away, but I feel that MacTavish also did it with an eye on next season.

Eakins isn't getting fired, and next year will be the first time in four seasons that the Oilers won't have to learn a new system. They will enter a season with some actual continuity and understanding of their system. They won't need 10, 15 or 50 games to get comfortable with their new coach.

The Oilers need to have a strong second half. They will get more comfortable in the system, and if they can win some games down the stretch, at least they will end the season with some confidence.

These trades were about the big picture, and the Smid move also gave MacTavish some cap flexibility so he can make even more moves leading up to the trade deadline.

SMID TRADE...

The Oilers lose this trade today; because Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit are both prospects and there is no guarantee either one of them will ever play. They won't help the Oilers today. It is fair to question why MacTavish made the move, but I believe he made it to get some cap flexibility short term and long term, and he felt Smid was expendable.

Smid was their best shot blocker and most physical defender. He will be missed. Despite his offensive shortcomings, no one ever questioned his willingness and desire. He competed, and he was sick of losing. He was well-liked in the dressing room, and he really enjoyed living in Edmonton. I know being a good guy off the ice, doesn't always coincide with victories on the ice, but the community will miss him. I

On a personal note, I enjoyed interacting with Smid. He was always throwing out barbs and chirps. He would chirp anyone and he was always smiling, even when he was pissed off. A part of me feels bad for Smid, because he is leaving one rebuild for another. I don't see him racking up a lot of wins in Calgary and being on a losing team for that long must start to wear on a guy.

At the same time I don't think Smid's departure is a major blow to the Oilers. They will miss his competitiveness and shot-blocking abilities, but Andrew Ference plays the same game, and if Klefbom is ready next season he has more overall upside.

I also don't think Taylor Fedun's play led to the Smid trade. Craig MacTavish said he had been discussing this deal with the Flames for a few weeks. Smid's puck moving ability was a concern for the team, especially in Dallas Eakins' new system.

TODAY'S GAME....

The Oilers and Flyers are the poster boys for underachieving so far this season. The Oilers sit in the basement of the western conference, while the Flyers are a disappointing 2nd last in the east. The Flyers only have nine points.

Claude Giroux has 0 goals in 15 games. Scott Hartnell has 1 point in 11 games. Wayne Simmonds and Jacob Voracek each have 1 goal in 15 games.

Giroux had 41 goals and 140 points in his previous 125 games.
Hartnell had 45 goals and 75 points in his previous 114 games.
Simmonds had 43 goals and 81 points in his previous 127 games.
Voracek had 40 goals and 85 points in his previous 126 games.

The Flyers are struggling because their best forwards can't produce.

Flyers analyst Steve Coates told me yesterday that the Flyers are an extremely fragile team right now. When something goes wrong in a game they unravel, and they haven't been able to overcome adversity.

Despite below average goaltending and some five-star giveaways the Oilers haven't folded their tents, except for the brutal Detroit game, so far this season. The Oilers have at least battled throughout the majority of their games.

The Oilers need to attack the Flyers right away. Score first and see if the Flyers will wilt. Eventually Giroux, Hartnell, Simmonds and Voracek are going to start scoring, the Oilers have to try and delay that inevitability for at least one more game.

LINEUP...

Perron-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Joensuu-Gordon-Arcobello
Gazdic-Smyth-Yakupov

The fourth line could also include Ryan Jones or Wil Acton. Those players rotated in and out during yesterday's practice.

David Perron and Jesse Joensuu will return to the lineup, and the Oilers will dress their healthiest forward group of the season. If you switched Yakupov for Arcobello, the top three lines would be what most projected them to be, but Arcobello has earned the right to stay in the top-nine.

If the Oilers can stay healthy, Eakins will finally have the option to move guys in and out, or up and down the lineup based on performance.

Ference-Petry
Belov-Larsen
N.Schultz-Fedun

Dubnyk

The D pairs could also change with Anton Belov replacing Smid. The Oilers backend isn't very big or physical, but the Oilers feel they can move the puck quickly, and that should allow their fast, skilled forwards to generate offence.

MORNING GLORY....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Flyers and Oilers will each get a point. This one ends in a SO, and the Oilers get the bonus point in a 4-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Wanye and many others miss the first period. Wanye slept in because he spent three hours talking to babes on line after returning home from the bar. Unlike Chip from Napolean Dynamite, none of Wanye's babes lived in the same country, however, so there will be no nuptials in his immediate future. But he will SQUEEEEEEEE when Eberle scores in the 2nd period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fedun scores for the third consecutive game. His comeback story just gets better and better as he becomes the first D-man in the expansion era to score a goal in his first three NHL games. Fedun was the first D-man to score in his first two games since, Marcus Ragnarsson in 1995/1996. (Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau for getting me that answer.)

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
Avatar
#51 Mikey
November 09 2013, 01:51PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
0
props
Spydyr wrote:

Trash poll I love it.

I would trade anyone on the team not named Hall or Nuge for Subban.

So you would only trade Hall or Nuge? I am confused.

Avatar
#52 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props
Bob wrote:

Do you really think we need another offensive defenceman? Do you really think he's worth our best player?

Who are you "Bob"? Scott Howson? How much will you pay me Scott for that answer?

Stupid f***

Avatar
#53 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
12
props
Spaz wrote:

The saddest thing about this game was that the game after MacT sells off Smid to get a replacement for DD that's the performance we get. Devan your job is on the line and you give up 4 goals on the lowest scoring offense in the league. BOLD STATEMENT.

^this

Avatar
#54 Batfink
November 09 2013, 02:00PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
10
props

Jeebus, this is on coaching. the players have no idea what to do or where to be. Proof is in the fact that our special teams are a million times worse and we can't seem to do what we were good at last season. I think, looking at the effort, there is some kind of 'work to rule' going on here and they're giving DE the rope he needs to hang himself and his AHL systems. I think their doing EXACTLEY what they are asked. Except for DD.

Avatar
#55 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 02:04PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props
Spydyr wrote:

If this was soccer they would have been relegated years ago.

Relegated. Not regulated.

Avatar
#56 Sam Reinhart
November 09 2013, 02:34PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
10
props

Hi ,

This is Sam Reinhart please Edmonton don't draft me, if you do I will retire from hockey.

All the best

Sam

Avatar
#57 Ed from Edmonton
November 09 2013, 02:43PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
6
props
Spydyr wrote:

Can they send Eakins down to OKC and recall Nelson?

Eakins looks like he could use a bit more seasoning in the AHL.

No, they can't

Avatar
#58 Ed from Edmonton
November 09 2013, 02:47PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props
cubsfan wrote:

can we send Eakins to OKC for a conditioning stint?

No, we can't

Avatar
#59 Chris.
November 09 2013, 03:33PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
54
props

Today I could not force myself to watch the game all the way through without using the fast forward. I keep selling more and more of my seasons tickets to total strangers. I no longer visit Oilersnation, Copper and Blue, Lowetide, Black Dog, MC79, Cult Of Hockey, Hockey Buzz, or the Oilogosphere on a daily basis. I now rarely comment on any of the content written. (Once a favorite past time of mine) I'm listening to more and more music on the radio. I haven't bothered to watch the first episode of Oil Change Season 4 because I no longer care to have a behind the scenes look at yet another coaching change, high draft selection, and rhetoric filled training camp...

Honest reader; before you hit Trash it; please understand that I didn't jump off the bandwagon... The bandwagon itself has finally disintegrated to the point that I, like many others, have been unwillingly thrown clear; left standing on the side of the road, badly wounded, unable to help those still trapped on the smoldering wreckage as it wildly plummets toward certain disaster.

I think I'll take up jogging.

Avatar
#60 Ari Gold
November 09 2013, 03:36PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
9
props

Sad to say, the Nuck fans here predicting Dubnyk's demise and the constant turbulence in management destroying the cohesiveness of our team may have been right. I hate them more than Hitler, but they were right.

I hate it when Canuck fans are right.

Given that this current management group has only been together for a few months, it would only set us back by a few months if we chuck'em. We've got a rookie owner, president, GM and coach. That's not a recipe for winning. Chuck em all but Katz because he's not replaceable. Bring in a few people that've done the bloody job before.

No more rookies in management!

And please start coaching Yak. He needs some direction.

Avatar
#61 mlcselli
November 09 2013, 03:44PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
5
props

I have finally figured out why the team loses all the time. Nobody wants to wear the inspirational jacket that Eakins has. That's it!!!!

Avatar
#62 Alsker
November 09 2013, 04:05PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Didn't see much at all of her from the waist up, if it was her. She's one spirited gal fo sho. Didn't notice till later, but she broke my nose in two places. Glazed donuts are the best...

So true so true, hmm almost drunk nuf to give her a buzz and c whats shes up to...NOT(there is not nuf rye/vodka/rum in the world) But those D's hmmmm

Avatar
#63 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 04:32PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
4
props
bob wrote:

wanna fight?

Monkey bars after school.

Or do you prefer the bike racks?

Avatar
#64 Dave
November 09 2013, 09:22AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
25
props

Would Arcobello better at center than Gagner for the game tonight?

Avatar
#65 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
November 09 2013, 09:31AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
12
props

Smid without the puck was poetry in motion. Smid with the puck? Flipping the puck up the glass doesn't work in todays game. When you watch the better teams the defence puck movement is creative and usually against the flow of play. The way Smid moved the puck was almost a turnover every time he moved it. A great soldier but becoming a dinosaur in todays game. Good luck Ladislav

Avatar
#66 Ron Burgundy
November 09 2013, 09:39AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props

Jason (or others) - how does the 50 contract limit work?

According to Capgeek Bryz brings us to 51 contracts. Do the rules perhaps allow a team to go over 50 if players are on IR (as I'm guessing MacIntyre and Pitlick are)? Or do the "buried" Grebs/Eager not count for some reason?

Seems to suggest more moves on the way in any case. As does the fact that Yak is on the 4th line given our depth at RW, and we are playing (and presumably scouting) a team we've been linked to in trade rumours for about 6 months. Could be an interesting day.

Avatar
#67 Bryzarro World
November 09 2013, 10:18AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
12
props

In his first game Bryz will pitch a 42 save performance and yak will score a hatty. While celebrating his third goal Bryz will grab him and tell him to "chill because three goal is nothing compared to the universe". Yak's mind will be blown to the point where he gives up hockey and pursues a degree in 18th century Belgium lesbian studies

Avatar
#68 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 10:30AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
2004Z06 wrote:

He did. Labarberra could not have been predicted to be this bad. This is Mac T's do-over and he will grab a legit number one in free agency this summer.

He was no to grab a free agent goalie this summer.No doubt there.It will probably be an over pay though.I just hope he gets a franchise calibre goalie capable of winning the Cup in four years.

Avatar
#69 David S
November 09 2013, 11:01AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props

#OilersNationMemes

Avatar
#70 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 11:10AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
7
props

Nothing cures what ails a team like a visit from the oil. Philly finds their offence today, scores 5 against Dubby in a shutout.

Avatar
#71 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 11:17AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props
Spydyr wrote:

I sure hope Gagner is really popular in the dressing room.Then maybe the team get a get a number two centre that plays 200 feet.

I'll second that!

Avatar
#72 Spaz
November 09 2013, 11:37AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
8
props

Can we rename the team to the Edmonton Slumpbusters?

Avatar
#73 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 11:38AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props

After 17 mins in the first it's hard to tell if Oilers have a positive spin on those trades morale wise... 2-0 Philly. All hope is now futile. Sigh X 2

Avatar
#74 Shooter
November 09 2013, 11:45AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
10
props

Anyone who still believes in the competence of Kevin Lowe and thinks he has a done a good job, please send back your Oiler Fan Membership card immediately.

I've been an Oilers fan my whole life. I grew up in the 80's and boy we were spoiled back then. It pains me to see what Lowe has done to this team. He has been the GM and then president over the last 13 years. Check the stats. This has been a sinking ship for 13 years and the man does not have the skills to fix his mistakes. Yes, he was a proven successful NHL player, with 6 rings I hear. Now he has had long enough to prove that he doesn't know how to run a hockey team.

Please fire Lowe so the fans can start to respect this organization again.

Avatar
#75 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 09 2013, 11:52AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
10
props

Wasn't mactavish hired to put the Oilers over the top? He said he is impatient and the time to develop is over it is time to start winning. How does this man have a job?. Wether or not Tambo had to go is one thing but Tambo was fired only to give MacT the job.

Since we are pretty much out of the playoffs it has proven that he FAILED! He was going to make it better. Tambo was fired so MacT could look like the hero and has that ever back fired.

The league is laughing at him right now over the bryz signing. DD .847 1st period only but it doesnt build confidence.

LOWE MACT BUCKY SMITH must go. there is no plan they have no real clue and the product shows it.

Go to Hell Katz you rich paternal intercourser. You have intercoursed your fans big time

Avatar
#76 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 11:54AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
8
props

Guess the "braintrust" thought they had too much grit in the line up.So they traded their toughest d-man for more "magic beans". Then again they traded Stoll and Greene for a puck mover.Some things never change.

Avatar
#77 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 11:55AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
6
props

This team looks more and more the same for a while now. A loser. How much longer before Taylor Hall & coy demand trades? Thank you Kevin Lowe for knowing more than a little bit about winning! & there was never a concern about that:)

End sarcasm.

Avatar
#78 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 12:18PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I love you.

Hmmmm ORG must be a Riders fan when it comes to the CFL because he started drinking early today with a comment like that. Get out today.

Avatar
#79 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 12:21PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
3
props

Chicago has been looking at Gagner and Smid for a couple years now.I wonder if MacT even called them before the trade?

Avatar
#80 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 12:23PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
0
props
Spydyr wrote:

Some one will sign him this summer.As the player he is - a backup goalie.

I hear you sir. And with the busload of impending UFA goalies in the summer, the Oilers can get a proven winner for a reasonable price. However I must confess that the Bryz nut guy could actually use his rental status (I highly doubt he wants to re-sign long term in the frozen tundra of Deadmonton)to re-emerge as a hot tender. Please.

Avatar
#81 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 12:25PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
6
props
wtf wrote:

Team with the least amount of hits last season: Chicago Blackhawks

Teams with :Marian Hossa,Patrick Sharp,Patrick Kane,Duncan Keith,Brent Seabrook,Jonathan Toews also Chicago.Do you think the Oilers have anything close to that?Even remotely close?

You don't hit much when you have the puck most of the game.

Avatar
#82 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 12:29PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
0
props
James wrote:

It doesn't, but we're also playing guys like Gordon on the pp and keeping the first line out way too long. Yak is struggling and yet he's getting tons of pp time over people who may have a better chance. I find these combinations, for both special teams, a headscratcher sometimes. Why in the hell is Nuge on the PK, even if it's to take a draw? He's been abismal in faceoffs this game.

Until they put someone in the goalies lap on the pp it will continue to suck.

Avatar
#83 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 12:36PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props

Maybe the Oilers should trade for Giroux he can't finish either. Perfect fit.

Avatar
#84 Hockey fan 1976
November 09 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props

Wow...you would almost think the Flyers are in the PP. team is the biggest joke in the league. Must be nice to pay 6 mill for 3 players and they are invisible on the ice. What a joke!!!

Avatar
#85 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props
James wrote:

Agreed, we need some greasy goals. Stop trying to score the pretty, highlight reel ones because it's not working.

I don't think you want any greasy goals....If there are 5 greasy goals scored today.....the score will be Philly 5 Oilers 0

Avatar
#86 Spaz
November 09 2013, 12:45PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props

Not to say that I'm approving of Eakins use of them so far, but I get why he's trying.

Avatar
#87 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:22PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
Reg Dunlop wrote:

Hall looks like he may have spent last night at the bar.

For anyone thinking that size doesn't matter, watch Eberle. If the smaller player is as committed, is quicker to change direction and is faster from point A to B then size is not relevant. However, big, mean NHLers in today's NHL are just as fast, quick and motivated. This isn't 1980 when slewfoots like Brad Marsh populated rosters. All else being +/- equal size is the determining factor. The oil will remain detritus feeders until more than 1 of the dwarfs are converted into actual men.

No poop.

I would say two Gagner and Hemsky.

Avatar
#88 Hemmercules
November 09 2013, 01:32PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
5
props
Spydyr wrote:

Chicago has been looking at Gagner and Smid for a couple years now.I wonder if MacT even called them before the trade?

If you know Chicago was looking at them then how could Mact not know? Good grief. Why even bother with your goofy comments.

Avatar
#89 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:34PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
Hemmercules wrote:

If you know Chicago was looking at them then how could Mact not know? Good grief. Why even bother with your goofy comments.

Feel free not to read them.It won't hurt my feelings.

What I said is I wondered if he called them not if he knew they were looking at them.

Avatar
#90 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:35PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props

6 min left, i hope our retarded coach pulls the goalie...

Avatar
#91 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:37PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
4
props

@Bob

Why does trading Hall for a Norris winner make you an idiot?

Avatar
#92 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
26
props

and to think I had been defending Dubnyk all bloody summer. He sucks. He just really sucks. He is a big bag of Suck. I'm so mad at his level of suckiness. I can't even describe his suck it sucks so bad.

Avatar
#93 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
6
props

4-2 Thank you DD. We love you:)

Avatar
#94 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:42PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
3
props
Bob wrote:

your an idiot

Thanks for the insult. Since you're so f-nnin' smart, figure out this mess for us all.

Avatar
#95 Johnnydapunk
November 09 2013, 01:45PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
8
props

Such a giant man who plays so tiny in the net, Dubnyk you gong show.....

Avatar
#96 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:47PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
Bob wrote:

lets see what other people think. props if you would trade Hall for Subban. Trash if you wouldn't

It's probably going to be a bit biased on this website but I doubt Habs nation would make that trade if offered.

Avatar
#97 Smokey
November 09 2013, 01:48PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
7
props

Eakins is reasonable coach I think. But this team needs someone to install confidence. Pat Quinn anyone? Oh right, we discarded him cause he was outta touch with todays current player...My ass. Eakins lost the room 2 weeks ago, the kids quit. Then they trade a heart and soul guy, who predicted someone would get traded to the dark side which will help their rebuild. Then they signed a cosmonaut to tend goal cause the giraffe who's currently tending hasn't got it between the ears and cost this team probably ten times this season.

I watch the games to test my Oilers allegiance, but this is painful.

Katz should sell this team to someone with a pulse.

Avatar
#98 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
Spydyr wrote:

Trash poll I love it.

I would trade anyone on the team not named Hall or Nuge for Subban.

No Sh*t. He said Taylor Hall though...

Avatar
#99 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:51PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
3
props
Bob wrote:

No Sh*t. He said Taylor Hall though...

And I voted trash.Then put my two cents in.

Avatar
#100 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 01:52PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
5
props

How do we know that the call on Gagner was a bad call?.....because the call was hitting from behind....and EVERYBODY knows Gagner doesn't hit!

Comments are closed for this article.