December 22 2013 10:12AM
We're almost 40 games in to this season, and the Edmonton Oilers are in a world of hurt. Nothing rhymes, the shooters aren't shooting, the defenders aren't defending, the goalies aren't stopping anything, and the fans are increasingly indifferent. WHAT can Craig MacTavish do? Aside from rescinding the Smid trade, there are a few things he can do.
- Too many kids! This one is obvious. If we name all of the Oilers with less than 200 games NHL experience (Nuge, Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Petry, Arcobello, Belov, Larsen, Potter, Joensuu, Gazdic) it's almost half the roster.
- Too many kids in feature roles! Hell, Taylor Hall just passed 200 NHL games for crying out loud—and maybe that's the best way to frame this issue—there are too many kids in important roles. The entire 1line lacks experience, the top pairing many nights is Belov-Petry and the veterans (Ference and Nick Schultz) are overwhelmed.
The smart move for Craig MacTavish should be 'stay the course' and wait for a trade that makes sense. However, fan rage is giving way to indifference, and that's a very dangerous neighborhood for a sports franchise. I think the odds of Edmonton making a significant trade went way up last night, and the chances of seeing one of the gifted youngsters heading out of town rose with it.
Bold can be beautiful, but you better be right.
The 2014 1st rd pick, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and any combination of that group. I don't think they club moves Hall, Nuge or Eberle, and until last night would have included Yakupov on that list.
No longer. The die is cast.
WHO'S COMING IN?
Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfgluien, a veteran defenseman who can play big minutes in all three disciplines.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
From the 2010 draft through MacT's arrival as GM, the Oilers were basically running in place, gathering talent. This next move—the bold one—is going to send away a significant piece of tomorrow for some sunshine today.
And Craig MacTavish has to make that deal with 29 jackals. Next stop, Pottersville.