LOOKING AHEAD: CHANGING THE BLUELINE

Jason Gregor
December 18 2013 11:37AM

This is what the Oilers blueline and depth chart looked like at the start of the season. It looks even worse now with the trade of Ladislav Smid, but it is obvious that the Oilers D corps will look significantly different at the start of next season. Nick Schultz, Corey Potter, Anton Belov and Denis Grebeshkov are unrestricted free agents, and Belov is the only one they might re-sign.

Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Taylor Fedun and Philip Larsen are restricted free agents. The first three will likely be re-signed, while Larsen should be let go.

How will Craig MacTavish re-build his blueline, and who should he be looking to sign?

We can all agree the Oilers need a top-pairing D-man, but the only way to get one is through free agency, or by trading one of the four skilled forwards.

Here is the list of the top 45 pending UFAs. Many of these guys will sign with their teams before July, so the list will be shorter, but it will give you an idea of who is available in free agency. I listed them by age. 

Player  Team  Age  Cap Hit 
Bouillon, Francis  MTL  38 $1,500,000
Mitchell, Willie  LAK  36 $3,500,000
Robidas, Stephane  DAL  36 $3,300,000
Markov, Andrei  MTL  34 $5,750,000
Phillips, Chris  OTT  35 $3,083,333
Morris, Derek  PHX  35 $2,750,000
Sarich, Cory  COL  35 $2,000,000
Weaver, Mike  FLA  35 $1,100,000
Tallinder, Henrik   BUF  34 $3,375,000
Orpik, Brooks  PIT  33 $3,750,000
Hainsey, Ron  CAR  32 $2,000,000
Alberts, Andrew  VAN  32 $600,000
Klesla, Rostislav  PHX  31 $2,975,000
Komisarek, Mike  CAR  31 $700,000
Guenin, Nate  COL  31 $600,000
Engelland, Deryk  PIT  31 $566,667
Pitkanen, Joni  CAR  30 $4,500,000
Greene, Matt  LAK  30 $2,950,000
Gilbert, Tom  FLA  30 $900,000
Colaiacovo, Carlo  STL  30 $750,000
Girardi, Dan  NYR  29 $3,325,000
Stuart, Mark  WPG  29 $1,700,000
Ranger, Paul  TOR  29 $1,000,000
Benoit, Andre   COL  29 $900,000
Smith, Derek  CGY  29 $775,000
Sulzer, Alexander  BUF  29 $725,000
Strachan, Tyson  WAS  29 $550,000
Phaneuf, Dion  TOR  28 $6,500,000
Meszaros, Andrej   PHI  28 $4,000,000
Quincey, Kyle  DET  28 $3,775,000
Stoner, Clayton   MIN  28 $1,050,000
Kostka, Mike  CHI  28 $625,000
Niskanen, Matt  PIT  27 $2,300,000
Nikitin, Nikita  CLB  27 $2,150,000
Butler, Chris   CGY  27 $1,700,000
Stralman, Anton  NYR  27 $1,700,000
Fraser, Mark  TOR  27 $1,275,000
Diaz, Raphael  MTL  27 $1,225,000
Fistric, Mark  ANA  27 $900,000
Prosser, Nate  MIN  27 $825,000
Schultz, Jeff  LAK  27 $700,000
MacDonald, Andrew  NYI  27 $550,000
Russell, Kris   CGY  26 $1,500,000
Fayne, Mark   NJD  26 $1,300,000

The five players in bold are playing top pairing minutes currently, however Markov, Phaneuf and Girardi are the only three I'd consider top pairing D-men. Tom Gilbert and Andrew MacDonald play lots of minutes on bad teams just like Petry in Edmonton. The Oilers can't sign Gilbert when they already have J.Schultz and Petry on the right side. They are all similar players. The Oilers need to diversify their blueline. They won't win with three non-physical right-handed D-men.

Phaneuf is the best UFA option. If he doesn't re-sign in Toronto he will get at least $7 mill/year for seven years. Phaneuf isn't a top-10 D-man in the league, but he is a legitimate first pair defender. If he is available, the Oilers will try and sign him.

Girardi is a very good #2 D-man. He doesn't bring any offence, so he can't be a true #1, but he is solid in his own zone.

Markov is turns 35 on Friday, and if he tests the free agent waters, I'm sure he will sign with a contending team. He only has a few years left to win a Stanley Cup.

MacDonald plays 26:16/game, but many in New York feel is he likely a #3 on a good team. He isn't very big or physical, but he'd be a major upgrade on N.Schultz, Potter or Larsen. He likely will get a deal worth $3.5-$4.5 million if he chooses the free agent route.

The odds of landing a top-pair D-man via free agency are slim, considering Phaneuf and Girardi are the only options, so MacTavish likely has to look at a trade to facilitate that position.

The names that some feel might be available include Tyler Myers, Zach Bogosian and Alex Edler. There would be others, depending on what or who MacTavish offers up in a trade, but if they do acquire a top pairing defender it will cost them one of Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov and possibly something more. ( I don't see them moving Hall or RNH).

OTHER OPTIONS...

There are some other names on the aforementioned list that would help the Oilers. They desperately need a big, strong defender like Matt Greene or Brooks Orpik. I doubt those two make it to free agency, but if the Oilers need to find a player similar to those two. They need some size in their bottom two pairings.

The Oilers might look at signing a veteran for to a one or two year deal, just so they don't have to rush Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom or Martin Marincin and play them more minutes than they are capable of handling.

Players like Derek Morris, Paul Ranger or Mark Stuart could be good stop gaps until those kids are ready to play more minutes.

You will notice that there are very few big, heavy D-men available. It is hard to find big D-men who are quick enough and savvy enough to play sound defensively and not get exposed by speedy forwards. The Oilers desperately need some size and strength on their backend, and while Nurse and Klefbom are big it would be asking a lot for a 19 and 20 year old to play significant minutes against men.

MacTavish needs to add a top-pairing D-man, but he'll also need to find at least three new D-men for next season. This isn't impossible. The Colorado Avalanche completely changed their blueline over the summer, and they are a much better team because of it.

Here is who they used last year, and who they are using this season.

2013 

Player  GP  G  A  P  +/-  TOI/G
Tyson Barrie 32 2 11 13 -11 21:34
Matt Hunwick 43 0 6 6 4 21:31
Erik Johnson 31 0 4 4 -3 20:45
Jan Hejda 46 1 9 10 -3 19:41
Greg Zanon 44 0 6 6 -16 19:19
Ryan O'Byrne 34 1 3 4 -8 18:51
Ryan Wilson 12 0 3 3 4 18:30
Stefan Elliott 18 1 3 4 -3 17:30
Shane O'Brien 28 0 4 4 0 15:30

2013/2014 

Player  GP  G  A  P  +/-  TOI/G
Erik Johnson 33 4 8 12 18 22:21
Jan Hejda 29 3 6 9 19 22:13
Andre Benoit 32 2 10 12 1 20:42
Nate Guenin 32 0 4 4 -2 18:31
Cory Sarich 31 1 8 9 7 17:49
Matt Hunwick 1 0 0 0 0 17:27
Tyson Barrie 19 1 4 5 2 17:25
Ryan Wilson 10 0 4 4 2 16:48
Nick Holden 13 2 3 5 -1 16:38

Johnson and Hejda are their top pair, which begs the question why Matt Hunwick and Tyson Barrie played more than them last season? Pretty easy to say Joe Sacco wasn't using the right guys.

The Avs have added Andre Benoit, Nate Guenin and Cory Sarich in place of Greg Zaone, Ryan O'Byrne and Hunwick. Barrie is now their #6 D-man, while Hunwick is in the American League.

The Avs weren't afraid to change their roster, and they didn't guarantee guys like Hunwick and Barrie jobs just because they played significant minutes last season. They went out and re-tooled their blueline. They didn't add big name players, but they got better players and their team is better because of if.

WRAP UP

It is painfully obvious that the Oilers need to improve their backend. Nick Schultz will be traded at the deadline, and the Oilers should say goodbye to Potter and Larsen. Belov's play has regressed and unless he has a solid second half, I wouldn't bring him back either.

MacTavish should be instructing his scouts to watch these UFAs closely, and find out which ones will help the Oilers improve. He has to improve his blueline over the summer, and the organization can't expect those spots to be filled with rookies. If they do, then the Oilers are in for another long season next year as well.

Do any of those name appeal to you? If so, who and why.

DAY 14...MONTH OF GIVING

Darrell bid $5,000 on our Eskimos dinner at Vons Steakhouse yesterday bringing our monthly total up to $53, 950. Awesome.

Today's packages include...

Package #1:

  •  A $1,000 Easton Hockey shopping spree at United Cycle.
  • Pair of club seats (sec 120, row 15) for Oilers vs. Canucks on January 21st.
     

Package #2:

Package #3:

  • A Party for 10 at the Druid Irish Pub. Includes food and four drinks for each person.
  • Two tickets to an exclusive Hot Stove with Jordan Eberle on January 22nd, hosted by ATB Financial. A great place to take your son or daughter to meet Eberle. Includes appetizers and food.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds go to Santas Anonymous.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

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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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#101 Dan the Man
December 18 2013, 03:43PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Yea. Not sure what that is about.

I have a separate question on this topic for you though.

Matheson has suggested several times that the Oilers are looking for a gritty, tough, clear the front of the net, D man (3rd pairing). Here's an example:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/11/wanted-by-edmonton-oilers-tough-mean-third-pairing-defenceman/

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/01/would-oilers-be-interested-in-la-defenceman-keaton-ellerby-off-waivers/

http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=8b411abe-23c8-407f-8e66-d1e16a448198

What's curious about this, however, is that MacT passed on Peckham and Fistric in the summer and numerous other UFAs or trade opportunities and traded Smid.

I'm seriously wondering if MacT/Eakins actually want this player type.

It doesn't seem like they do. MacT obviously places a lot of value in "puck movers" which is fine but then why keep Nick Schultz? I can't really think of anything he's good at? I'm guessing no one wanted him at is current salary but he will probably get moved at the trade deadline.

Trading Smid was dumb and I would rather have Fistric as my number 7 guy over Potter. Oilers also should have taken a chance on Gilbert instead of Grebeshkov.

Smid - Petry

Ference - Gilbert

Belov - J Schultz

Fistric

Larsen

Not perfect but better than what we have currently.

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#102 Sean17
December 18 2013, 03:44PM
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How about Pronger?

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#103 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 03:45PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Peckham was more about his dedication to team and fitness. They felt Fistric couldn't move puck well enough...Why they moved Smid, I honestly don't know. The timing of that trade made zero sense to me.

They seemingly want a guy who can clear the front of the net, but also move the puck. Great to want, harder to get.

I think you hit the nail on the head there with "but also move the puck"

I think that is probably what damned Smid… though, I completely agree the timing and return remain questions for me.

With bottom pairing guys you tend to see one flaw or another… usually they can't skate or pass very well, but they are physical… or they are Philip Larsen (great skater, decent passer… lost when the cycle hits in his own end, can't really play tough)

Once you dial up to being physical AND being about to move the puck… you usually aren't looking bottom pairing anymore.

The strategy -- as best I can tell -- seems to be to go for puck movement/possession first and look for a guy with those skills who can play tough…

I think they hoped Belov might fit this mold for one of their 4-7 spots (he's shown nice things in both departments in stretches).

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#104 Bucknuck
December 18 2013, 03:47PM
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If the Oilers keep sucking as bad as they have been, then it is not outside the realm of possibilities that their draft pick could have some excellent trade value. I think you would have to add a player to make it sweet enough to tempt a team to trade a #1 D, but if a team is rebuilding, that just might be possible.

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#105 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 03:51PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

It doesn't seem like they do. MacT obviously places a lot of value in "puck movers" which is fine but then why keep Nick Schultz? I can't really think of anything he's good at? I'm guessing no one wanted him at is current salary but he will probably get moved at the trade deadline.

Trading Smid was dumb and I would rather have Fistric as my number 7 guy over Potter. Oilers also should have taken a chance on Gilbert instead of Grebeshkov.

Smid - Petry

Ference - Gilbert

Belov - J Schultz

Fistric

Larsen

Not perfect but better than what we have currently.

N. Schultz is still here because they can't trade them all at the same time… but if he's here at the deadline, I'll eat my hat.

Trading Smid is fine in and of itself… but the timing, return and apparent rationale (cap room to sign Bryz we were told) don't make much sense.

It's not just MacT that prefers puck movers. Look at how Eakins deploys his D. He is having a love affair with Larsen.

Gilbert would have been a helluva bargain, but I don't think you'll find many around here welcoming him back.

With the logjam at D in the AHL I'd expect MacT to offer Grebs one of them unconditional waiver buyout things (like Rajala) so both can move on.

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#106 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 03:54PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

If the Oilers keep sucking as bad as they have been, then it is not outside the realm of possibilities that their draft pick could have some excellent trade value. I think you would have to add a player to make it sweet enough to tempt a team to trade a #1 D, but if a team is rebuilding, that just might be possible.

Keep in mind the JBow return. That's a good comparable (if not perfect).

22nd OV and a pair of middling prospects.

JBow is not Weber. But he's damn good, he's still young and signed an extension long term at a reasonable rate with the Blues right away.

Our pick is going to be worth a lot more than that package the Blues offered. A lot more!

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#107 Sean17
December 18 2013, 03:56PM
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Suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked...

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#109 He Who Knows
December 18 2013, 04:07PM
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Rebuild 24 is on the way. Mac-T either gets values on the trades he is seeking or he blows up more than half the team and builds it right this time. Tambo that bastard and the lord of the rings had no clue. Ekblad is definitely a keeper. I guess we will see if a team will give max value for that pick. Either way this rebuild coming up should be shorter and probably has a better blueprint to follow on. And as always, screw you Kevin Lowe.

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#110 A-Mc
December 18 2013, 04:10PM
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If this Ekblad guy is as good as people seem to think he is, i dont see how the Oilers can trade that first rounder..The return would have to blow our minds.

In all honesty, who isnt rooting for failure through next season! WE WANT MCDAVID

#PerpetualREBUILD

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#111 Low
December 18 2013, 04:11PM
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Jason! Once I want, you reporters come out say, "replace the cancer in this oilers management team (klow) rather than the players." please have the heart or ball to indicate who has been killing our beloved hockey team. You so called media members always duck the major issues knowingly, if you think that May affect your job security. Also, already looking or mentioning for UFA players for the summer seems to be losers mentality!!!

Klow=franchise killer

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#112 Bucknuck
December 18 2013, 04:12PM
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I look at Montreal, with Galchenyuk in their lineup, and wonder how much they would like to reunite him and Yakupov. Would they consider Yakupov, Klefbom and our 1st rounder in 2014 for Subban? Do you think it would even make them think about it before they said no.

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#113 Guy Lafleur
December 18 2013, 04:14PM
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Cant tell me Boris Fistric wouldnt look better than what is back there now , should never have let him walk .

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#114 A-Mc
December 18 2013, 04:20PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I look at Montreal, with Galchenyuk in their lineup, and wonder how much they would like to reunite him and Yakupov. Would they consider Yakupov, Klefbom and our 1st rounder in 2014 for Subban? Do you think it would even make them think about it before they said no.

Pk is an RFA but is up for renewal at the end of the season. He has a love affair with Montreal - he's said it many times that it's his favorite team since he was a boy.

Couldn't he just accept some absurd Offer sheet that the Oilers couldn't match, and buy his way off the team before he ever plays?

That does seem like a fair deal for both sides though. Yak/Klef and our 1st (top 3) is a huge payment. The salary deal for subban would be something like 7m/yr for 7 years likely, wouldnt it? Hmm i still think it's worth it!

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#115 bazmagoo
December 18 2013, 04:24PM
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Girardi would be a great fit for the Oilers, but will be costly. Could totally see N Schultz and Belov being resigned, if they were both playing 3rd pairing minutes they could be effective. Plus both would likely be available at under $2 million. I just can't see the Oilers trading either unless someone comes knocking with a 2nd round pick at the deadline, but it's unlikely either would garner that level of interest in my opinion.

Philip Larsen will be moved though, agreed, and Potter will not be resigned. I'd even bet Justin Schultz could be moved at some stage as well, just a hunch.

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#116 Freewheeling Freddie
December 18 2013, 04:25PM
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How many free agents will want to come here? We will have to do massive overpays. .Players will take less to go to another team. The Oilers don't have the best reputation around the league. The new arena may help We are the new version of the Oakland Seals. People are starting to quit caring about this team. It is sad how this team is been run into the ground. Time to wake up Daryl.

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#117 HOGGER
December 18 2013, 04:25PM
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Trade Gagner and our first round pick for Phaneuf and a contract extension. With Arcobello playing so well Ganger is expendable and the leafs are hurting up the middle. Gagner being from Toronto might also be an upside for the deal.

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#118 outdoorzguy
December 18 2013, 04:29PM
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Nothing will change!! Oiler management are incapable of assessing talent, making decisions to improve the team or ensuring that the on ice talent is professional grade.

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#119 Bucknuck
December 18 2013, 04:29PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Pk is an RFA but is up for renewal at the end of the season. He has a love affair with Montreal - he's said it many times that it's his favorite team since he was a boy.

Couldn't he just accept some absurd Offer sheet that the Oilers couldn't match, and buy his way off the team before he ever plays?

That does seem like a fair deal for both sides though. Yak/Klef and our 1st (top 3) is a huge payment. The salary deal for subban would be something like 7m/yr for 7 years likely, wouldnt it? Hmm i still think it's worth it!

Now that you mention it, I do remember that. PK is a huge fan favourite there as well so I just can't see them trading him for anything, but it's fun to think about.

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#120 brewstir
December 18 2013, 04:29PM
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there were Keith Yandle rumors at last years draft, wouldn't that be too good to be true?

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#121 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 04:30PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Teams that alwasy keep losing losing trade proven NHL players for prospects and picks, but have no one ready to fill their void.

Moving Smid now made no sense. Had they moved him when Marincin or Nurse was ready to step in then I could see it...Those two aren't ready to step in today, and are only maybes for next season.

While I wouldn't raise this to a universal, I'd be happy to stand beside it as a general rule.

As I said before, the Smid trade (in terms of timing, return and rationale given) doesn't make a lot of sense…

Best case scenario for Smid (if they were set on trading him) would have been to sell high at the deadline for either an NHL player or picks and then sell high on the picks at the draft table.

Whether to trade him at all is another good question that demands a much better answer than the ones the team has given so far in the form of Larsen and co.

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#122 michael
December 18 2013, 04:38PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Teams that alwasy keep losing losing trade proven NHL players for prospects and picks, but have no one ready to fill their void.

Moving Smid now made no sense. Had they moved him when Marincin or Nurse was ready to step in then I could see it...Those two aren't ready to step in today, and are only maybes for next season.

Made sense to me. DD sucked. Labarbera sucked. No cap space due to poor signings of Grebby and Belov. Add Larsen and Potters one way deals and you get a recipe for that leaves MacT little or no room to sign IB. Had DD not answered MacT's question so resoundingly this season he would not have been forced to trade Smid's contract for cap room. Its a mixture of DD and underperforming contracts.

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#123 Bucknuck
December 18 2013, 04:47PM
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You cannot win in this league when you have poor Goaltending. I am not saying that is the only thing wrong, but it's hard for the team to have "spark" and "compete" when the goalie is letting in softies on a regular basis.

If DD had only been average, the Oilers would have a lot more points IMO. Not playoff points, but not the embarrassing fiasco that they have now.

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#124 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 04:49PM
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michael wrote:

Made sense to me. DD sucked. Labarbera sucked. No cap space due to poor signings of Grebby and Belov. Add Larsen and Potters one way deals and you get a recipe for that leaves MacT little or no room to sign IB. Had DD not answered MacT's question so resoundingly this season he would not have been forced to trade Smid's contract for cap room. Its a mixture of DD and underperforming contracts.

The only way to make this rationate make sense is if the Oilers are convinced that the vast majority of available contract bonuses will be hit (which, at the time and now seems very unlikely) and that they are completely unwilling to bump into next year's cap.

http://www.capgeek.com/oilers/

Even in that scenario, however, trading 15 makes a lot more sense.

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#125 sec206
December 18 2013, 04:51PM
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oilbaron wrote:

Anyone else notice how crappy the LA ice was?

ever notice how crappy the ice at Rexall is?

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#126 Doublee
December 18 2013, 05:03PM
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Jason; In view of the overwhelming consensus on the need for more abrasive players, what is the rationale for the baffling trade of Smid? Has anyone pushed Mctavish for a more complete explanation other than cap room. I'm beginning to wonder if the move was prompted by Eakin's biases and preferences.

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#127 Ed in PV
December 18 2013, 05:07PM
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Low wrote:

Jason! Once I want, you reporters come out say, "replace the cancer in this oilers management team (klow) rather than the players." please have the heart or ball to indicate who has been killing our beloved hockey team. You so called media members always duck the major issues knowingly, if you think that May affect your job security. Also, already looking or mentioning for UFA players for the summer seems to be losers mentality!!!

Klow=franchise killer

Amen brother. The media is this town refuse to address the real issue.

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#128 The Real Scuba Steve
December 18 2013, 05:11PM
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MacTavish should be instructing his scouts to watch these UFAs closely? No one wants come here we, have to make trades and force players to come here and hopefully they will like the city and organization. Doug Weight was an perfect example of this.

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#129 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 05:31PM
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I'm prepared for a rain down of trashes but I wouldn't mind seeing the Oil try to see if they can get Byfuglien perhaps, he has a modified NTC and for once Edmonton is a step up from Winnipeg city wise so he could go for it. The Jets are also having a pretty crap season and seem like they could use a shakeup or two. They aren't really loaded on offence so they may be up for one of the kids. Byfuglien has size, plays big minutes, isn't too old (28) and has a 5-6 mill a season for the next 2.5 seasons so isn't crazy money.

I am a bit concerned that Belov is gonna be another Hejda and leave for greener pastures and turn into a solid number one or two Dman. He has been a pleasant surprise so far and done alright for himself so far. He can only get better I am thinking.

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#130 JJ
December 18 2013, 05:33PM
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I bet Belov would be better on another team, and it's simply our defensive coaching as the problem that makes everyone look bad..

How appropriate that the Oilers will be the one to kill his hopes for Sochi meanwhile he signed here to try to improve those chances.. Better trade him before it's too late.

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#131 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 05:36PM
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? wrote:

Phaneuf is an Edmonton kid, so maybe he would be open to joining the Oilers if he reaches free agency.

But that's just the thing. He has to reach free agency for the Oilers to get him. I consider the chances of Toronto not resigning him to be minuscule, so I don't expect him to open for the Oilers to negotiate with.

But his actress wife isn't. I don't know how receptive they would both be to a move. I could see him moving, but I think he would be looking at a Cup contender first and somewhere in that Northeast corridor of the states, and if nothing comes of that, then the Leafs. Though, who knows, stranger things have happened.

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#132 bnr
December 18 2013, 05:40PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

I'm prepared for a rain down of trashes but I wouldn't mind seeing the Oil try to see if they can get Byfuglien perhaps, he has a modified NTC and for once Edmonton is a step up from Winnipeg city wise so he could go for it. The Jets are also having a pretty crap season and seem like they could use a shakeup or two. They aren't really loaded on offence so they may be up for one of the kids. Byfuglien has size, plays big minutes, isn't too old (28) and has a 5-6 mill a season for the next 2.5 seasons so isn't crazy money.

I am a bit concerned that Belov is gonna be another Hejda and leave for greener pastures and turn into a solid number one or two Dman. He has been a pleasant surprise so far and done alright for himself so far. He can only get better I am thinking.

"for once Edmonton is a step up from Winnipeg city wise so he could go for it." Bwahahaha you keep telling yourself that.

Buff gets a call to waive his NTC, he says to where, and gets the response "Edmonton". Buff hangs up the phone. As will any other Jet with a NTC/NMC (Little, Wheeler, Ladd, Bogosian, Enstrom).

People like Buff take NTC's to prevent going to places like Edmonton. What's that crime rate again? Honestly under these circumstances, hearing the Albertan superiority complex is quite comical. No one wants to go there.

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#133 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 05:44PM
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Oh I did forget to mention that Belov apparently has a thing for signing one year deals only. His reasoning is that it makes and motivates him to work hard for a new contract and allows him the freedom to move if he wished to. As he is rarely interviewed, I have no idea of his impressions of Edmonton or the Oilers. Perhaps he is the type of person who would consider the Oil taking a chance on him as a nice gesture and would stay. Again one can hope.

When I first read of that, my respect level for him jumped up as it is rare to hear that from a player. Fair play to him.

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#134 Time Travelling Sean
December 18 2013, 05:44PM
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Maybe MacT realized the season was lost and so traded Smid earlier than one usually would have to further depress our record to get a better return on our #1 pick.

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#135 Ed in PV
December 18 2013, 05:52PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Maybe MacT realized the season was lost and so traded Smid earlier than one usually would have to further depress our record to get a better return on our #1 pick.

I suggested something similar at the time. MacT babbled something semi-coherent about "dealing from an area of organizational strength". If he thinks the Oil have any organizational strengths he must be smoking something.

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#136 Spoils
December 18 2013, 06:05PM
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@Ducey

Dion for $7M would be an unmitigated disaster.

The absolute sweet spot would be a true top D who is under 25 and will peak with the team.

How do you get Jonas Brodin, Seth Jones, Del Zotto (maybe), Roman Josi (maybe), or Ekman Larsson?

BOLD MOVE

Their choice of Yak or Eberle AND Gagner or Hemsky? Do we have to give more?

I love the idea of our D = Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse, Jones, and Petry at their primes

MacT then continues to make smooth moves like getting Perrons and Gordons, our remaining forwards hit peak age, and we add our final puzzle piece at the last moment - give up our next top draft pick (or two) for a true top goalie.

Bryz or whoever moves to backup and collects his ring for riding the pine.

BOOSH

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#137 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 06:06PM
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bnr wrote:

"for once Edmonton is a step up from Winnipeg city wise so he could go for it." Bwahahaha you keep telling yourself that.

Buff gets a call to waive his NTC, he says to where, and gets the response "Edmonton". Buff hangs up the phone. As will any other Jet with a NTC/NMC (Little, Wheeler, Ladd, Bogosian, Enstrom).

People like Buff take NTC's to prevent going to places like Edmonton. What's that crime rate again? Honestly under these circumstances, hearing the Albertan superiority complex is quite comical. No one wants to go there.

Wow, you shouldn't have done that, you could have pulled out some non objective stat like Winnipeg is prettier or better transport or just a more fun place to live, as then it would be an opinion and we could agree to disagree. But no, you pull out a fact that could be looked up, and thank you as you just made Edmonton look even better....

Crime rate by city

CBC article on Manitoba crime rate

Winnipeg's apparently won the award for 2nd highest rate of violent crime in Canada, Edmonton is 15th, that's just a start...

Anyways I had no intention of really saying anything overtly terrible Winnipeg as it was the place I was born, and I don't think saying that Edmonton is a step up is that wrong or horrible. It's an opinion and that's that.

PS don't look at your cities Wiki page, they are a bit merciless on your crime rate there...

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#138 Spoils
December 18 2013, 06:06PM
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@Ducey

Dion for $7M would be an unmitigated disaster.

The absolute sweet spot would be a true top D who is under 25 and will peak with the team.

How do you get Jonas Brodin, Seth Jones, Del Zotto (maybe), Roman Josi (maybe), or Ekman Larsson?

BOLD MOVE

Their choice of Yak or Eberle AND Gagner or Hemsky? Do we have to give more?

I love the idea of our D = Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse, Jones, and Petry at their primes

MacT then continues to make smooth moves like getting Perrons and Gordons, our remaining forwards hit peak age, and we add our final puzzle piece at the last moment - give up our next top draft pick (or two) for a true top goalie.

Bryz or whoever moves to backup and collects his ring for riding the pine.

BOOSH

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#139 Harlie
December 18 2013, 06:10PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Teams that alwasy keep losing losing trade proven NHL players for prospects and picks, but have no one ready to fill their void.

Moving Smid now made no sense. Had they moved him when Marincin or Nurse was ready to step in then I could see it...Those two aren't ready to step in today, and are only maybes for next season.

Thanks J, so based on your experience and connections what the heck was MacT thinking on the Smid trade? Trouble in the henhouse? He thinks Brossoit is the next Kipper or Pat Roy?

So confusing the way things have shaken out with MacT. On one hand he's been great (Perron) on the other hand abysmal (Garbagekov).

And now he's in full on Tambellini sit on his hands mode.

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#140 aceglfr
December 18 2013, 06:20PM
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i keep hearing whisperings about trading Darnell Nurse to get something now. This is exactly the foolish path that the Oilers have made far too many times in the past and i hope they refrain that impulse. Darnell is exactly the kind of player we need and hopefuly he is playing here next season and could end up #1 defence man in the future. Trades Oilers have lost on: Ray Whitney, Glencross, Stoll, Brodziak, Matt Greene, Cleary, and on and on. I don't understand why we keep duds all the time and yet when we aquire something that we need he gets traded like Glencross, Stoll, all of the above and more. Gagner has had too many chances to up his game and yet he keeps making the same defensive mistakes costing us goals and we keep playing him, this guy should have been gone 3 years ago he is a liabity and does not deserve the minutes he is getting. Arco is far better and dependable player. I am hoping we have seen the last of Dubnyk another guy we stuck with for eight losing years. Bryz should defintely be signed long term. TO ALL OILER FANS STOP ASKING TO TRADE NURSE, HALL, NUGE, BRYZ, YAKS, or EBERLE. How come other teams have big behmoth noname defense men and we have our soft powder puff ones that we pay millions too?

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#141 Bucknuck
December 18 2013, 06:22PM
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Harlie wrote:

Thanks J, so based on your experience and connections what the heck was MacT thinking on the Smid trade? Trouble in the henhouse? He thinks Brossoit is the next Kipper or Pat Roy?

So confusing the way things have shaken out with MacT. On one hand he's been great (Perron) on the other hand abysmal (Garbagekov).

And now he's in full on Tambellini sit on his hands mode.

Grebby was a flyer - one year contract, see if it works. Same as Belov, same as Bryz. Low risk.

The high risk moves (Perron, Ference, Gordon) are turning out. I like to think that is by design.

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#142 Taylor Gang
December 18 2013, 06:37PM
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Yandle? Top pairing defenseman, paid 5.3 million, can move the puck well, uses the body, winning culture? Just a thought.

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#143 Taylor Gang
December 18 2013, 06:38PM
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aceglfr wrote:

i keep hearing whisperings about trading Darnell Nurse to get something now. This is exactly the foolish path that the Oilers have made far too many times in the past and i hope they refrain that impulse. Darnell is exactly the kind of player we need and hopefuly he is playing here next season and could end up #1 defence man in the future. Trades Oilers have lost on: Ray Whitney, Glencross, Stoll, Brodziak, Matt Greene, Cleary, and on and on. I don't understand why we keep duds all the time and yet when we aquire something that we need he gets traded like Glencross, Stoll, all of the above and more. Gagner has had too many chances to up his game and yet he keeps making the same defensive mistakes costing us goals and we keep playing him, this guy should have been gone 3 years ago he is a liabity and does not deserve the minutes he is getting. Arco is far better and dependable player. I am hoping we have seen the last of Dubnyk another guy we stuck with for eight losing years. Bryz should defintely be signed long term. TO ALL OILER FANS STOP ASKING TO TRADE NURSE, HALL, NUGE, BRYZ, YAKS, or EBERLE. How come other teams have big behmoth noname defense men and we have our soft powder puff ones that we pay millions too?

Send me a link and a reference that validates that Nurse is on the move

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#144 Rama Lama
December 18 2013, 07:01PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Teams that alwasy keep losing losing trade proven NHL players for prospects and picks, but have no one ready to fill their void.

Moving Smid now made no sense. Had they moved him when Marincin or Nurse was ready to step in then I could see it...Those two aren't ready to step in today, and are only maybes for next season.

Moving Smid made total sense...........if you have totally overvalued the defensemen and new coaching staff that you have brought in.

He was also the odd man out with the Oilers. We do not like large , tough, stay at home defensemen.........we want small puck-moving offensive defensemen that never take a chance on offence.

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#145 bnr
December 18 2013, 07:12PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Wow, you shouldn't have done that, you could have pulled out some non objective stat like Winnipeg is prettier or better transport or just a more fun place to live, as then it would be an opinion and we could agree to disagree. But no, you pull out a fact that could be looked up, and thank you as you just made Edmonton look even better....

Crime rate by city

CBC article on Manitoba crime rate

Winnipeg's apparently won the award for 2nd highest rate of violent crime in Canada, Edmonton is 15th, that's just a start...

Anyways I had no intention of really saying anything overtly terrible Winnipeg as it was the place I was born, and I don't think saying that Edmonton is a step up is that wrong or horrible. It's an opinion and that's that.

PS don't look at your cities Wiki page, they are a bit merciless on your crime rate there...

Well Edmonton is certainly the murder capital of Canada, even the Edmonton Sun says as much, and the stats prove that.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/01/01/edmonton-murder-capital-of-canada

So to claim a city is a step-up over another city is frankly, your worthless opinion.

I've lived in both cities and I preferred Winnipeg by far. Not only that, players will prefer the management of the Jets over the Oilers... Unless they like losing.

This isn't the 80's any more, NHL players aren't going to prefer Edmonton over Winnipeg, in fact the opposite is probably true due to Edmonton's recent history. The only dynasty Edmonton currently has is it's ability to draft first overall. Not gonna attract talent that way.

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#146 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 07:13PM
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Harlie wrote:

Thanks J, so based on your experience and connections what the heck was MacT thinking on the Smid trade? Trouble in the henhouse? He thinks Brossoit is the next Kipper or Pat Roy?

So confusing the way things have shaken out with MacT. On one hand he's been great (Perron) on the other hand abysmal (Garbagekov).

And now he's in full on Tambellini sit on his hands mode.

I'm not completely sure about this or not, but it has been mentioned on TSN a couple of times that there is some kind of either official or unofficial "trade break" that the NHL has in place where there are no trades over the Christmas and new year period. I tried to look it up, but there is no mention of it.

If that is the case, it could be why MacT has been "sitting on his hands"

In the Smid trade, I can only guess that it was the length of Smid's deal that made MacT give him up, would be nice though if someone would just say something so it can make sense. Doubt that will happen mind you.

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#148 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 18 2013, 07:30PM
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@Guy Lafleur

Boris Fistric is Mark Fistric's dad. He was a very tough guy.

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#149 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 18 2013, 07:33PM
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WhiskyBoy wrote:

What this team really needs is a GM with brass cojones to make the tough trades.

Also, having a REAL NHL coach might help.

Try a shot of Tequila Whiskeyboy!

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#150 Johnnydapunk
December 18 2013, 07:47PM
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bnr wrote:

Well Edmonton is certainly the murder capital of Canada, even the Edmonton Sun says as much, and the stats prove that.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/01/01/edmonton-murder-capital-of-canada

So to claim a city is a step-up over another city is frankly, your worthless opinion.

I've lived in both cities and I preferred Winnipeg by far. Not only that, players will prefer the management of the Jets over the Oilers... Unless they like losing.

This isn't the 80's any more, NHL players aren't going to prefer Edmonton over Winnipeg, in fact the opposite is probably true due to Edmonton's recent history. The only dynasty Edmonton currently has is it's ability to draft first overall. Not gonna attract talent that way.

Stop man, your arguments are becoming comedy, and the stats you pull out are making your case even worse. Edmonton has been named "Murder Capital" of Canada twice since 1981, Winnipeg has been named 16 times!!!! The city closest to Winnipeg is Ottawa and that is at 8.

Anyways, if you think that Winnipeg is the place to be, fair enough. I don't consider your opinion worthless in any way, I'm kind of indifferent about it but I am amused by your heated response to an opinion I have of Winnipeg. It was a pretty minor statement in the grand scheme of things as I am expressing an opinion on an Oilers website about a player I think the Oil should try to trade for.

By the way, if you have a hate on for Edmonton and the Oil, why are you here? Surely there must be numerous riveting articles about the Jets to keep you amused without having to wander onto other sites of teams and cities you apparently hate.

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