Oilers demote two players, recall three

Jonathan Willis
December 04 2013 03:54PM

The Edmonton Oilers have announced via Twitter a number of roster moves. Recalled are defencemen Corey Potter and Martin Marincin, along with centre Anton Lander. Going to Oklahoma are Denis Grebeshkov and Will Acton.

The General Manager

Craig MacTavish took advantage of the Oilers' trip to Dallas this past weekend to take in some games in Oklahoma City, watching the Barons win on Saturday and then lose on Tuesday night. Corey Potter didn't play in those games, but Martin Marincin and Anton Lander both did and were given the opportunity to impress the G.M. in person.

Based on today's moves, it's fair to say they did. 

The Moves

Up front, the swap of Lander for Acton is fully deserved and has been al ong time coming. Lander perhaps isn't as physical as Acton, but he's a more rounded player at this point - both players offer the Oilers a fourth-line defensive specialist, but Lander's offensive game has come along nicely in the AHL this year and he's at the point where he's a true 200-foot player - in other words, a guy who can legitimately help the team at both ends of the ice as opposed to just in the defensive zone.

Or, to put it another way: Will Acton's best  AHL season saw him put up 19 points. Lander has 15 through 18 games this year. They aren't in the same ballpark offensively, and Lander's posted numbers while being dominant as a defensive forward.

On defence, the swap of Potter for Grebeshkov isn't a big shock either. Potter's been the better player when the two have played together in Oklahoma City; he plays a steadier defensive game than Grebeshkov and moves the puck almost as well.

The addition of Marincin is the only move I wonder about, but if the Oilers want another option on the left side he's more ready for NHL work than Oscar Klefbom or Brad Hunt. Marincin has played better of late, though, and particularly on offence. In October he played eight games, with eight shots, one assist and a minus-two rating; since then he's put up five points, 26 shots and a plus-six rating in 12 contests. 

These are reasonable moves. Two of the trades make the Oilers better right now, and the recall of Marincin rewards a guy on the NHL bubble who has made strides in his game of late. 

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 6 ring circus
December 04 2013, 06:23PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

They demoted the right three. and if they sit Gagner a game I will actually have a little faith that they have a clue where some of the problems are.

It's been 8 years since they made the playoffs,believe me they do not have a clue what they are doing or what the problems are.

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#52 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 06:24PM
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^Throwing Gagner in on a trade to bring something of value back in return, before a ntc kicks in, might not be a bad idea. Not to concerned about Gags personal reasons, its a pro sports team (apparently) and the first concern should be the good of the team, within reason.

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#53 Rod from Viking
December 04 2013, 06:27PM
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Naky wrote:

Love seeing all the armchair GMs calling for Gagner to be traded when he has an NTC. Yes, it's not official yet but it's a verbal agreement that the Oilers are going to uphold if they want any sort of respect within the NHLPA for holding to their word. Here's a hint: it was given for personal reasons that the Oilers empathized with and gave him the peace of mind. But since ya'll don't care about his life outside the rink due to the fact that hockey is the only thing that matters most in your lives, I can see that this is a hard thing to grasp.

Willis, can you make an article just about this fact? Make it once a day even? Maybe then it will get drilled into people's heads but I think I still have my doubts even then.

Gagner needs to be moved to the wing and somehow get a bigger centre that has some two way game(Schenn, Couturier)and this would mean trading a Hall or Eberle or a lesser player and their #1 pick and a prospect. Gagner is going nowhere unless he asks for it which could be the case if things don't change, do this and a solid shut down D that will drop the gloves and get Bryz back and this team could go better than .500 the rest of the way.

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#54 Johnnydapunk
December 04 2013, 06:34PM
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camdog wrote:

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

I don't know if it is an issue of Anaheim not having faith in Hiller, it's more to do with Fasth being signed for next year at a relatively cap friendly price (2.9 mill) and Andersen being signed for the next two years at an equally good price for a young backup (1.15 mill ish)

I don't think they expected Anderson or Fasth to be as decent as they have been and as a result have made Hiller expendable.

Hiller still has some good years left in him, but he is making 4.5 mill a year so I don't think he would get anything less than 5 mill on the open market.

Looking at the current RFA and UFA listings for 2014, there are a lot of goalies that may potentially be finding new homes next season. Hope the Oil can find at least 2 decent ones willing to come here.

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#55 Bucknuck
December 04 2013, 06:36PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

It's been 8 years since they made the playoffs,believe me they do not have a clue what they are doing or what the problems are.

I'm sure it's all very fashionable right now to blame everything on "them", but who exactly are you speaking about?

The new coach or the new GM? Because that is who I am writing about. The ones who aren't responsible for the past seven years. I consider them the ones who have the opportunity to turn this around and I am watching with interest.

How this team finishes the season matters to me.

We'll see.

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#57 Spoils
December 04 2013, 06:46PM
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It would be great if Nurse made the WJC and Klefbom was getting some NHL time, and Schultz wasn't struggling defensively...

It would be great if our D didn't just take the night off against Phoenix.

How about some trade ideas for BigD:

for example Del Zotto - 23yrs old, Rangers need O... for Gagner and a prospect of their choice do it?

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#58 D-Unit
December 04 2013, 06:52PM
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Naky wrote:

Love seeing all the armchair GMs calling for Gagner to be traded when he has an NTC. Yes, it's not official yet but it's a verbal agreement that the Oilers are going to uphold if they want any sort of respect within the NHLPA for holding to their word. Here's a hint: it was given for personal reasons that the Oilers empathized with and gave him the peace of mind. But since ya'll don't care about his life outside the rink due to the fact that hockey is the only thing that matters most in your lives, I can see that this is a hard thing to grasp.

Willis, can you make an article just about this fact? Make it once a day even? Maybe then it will get drilled into people's heads but I think I still have my doubts even then.

Since you seem to be all knowing about Gagner, with the "hand shake" no trade for season 1, and the actual no trade only valid for the second season, why isn't it in the 3rd year? Why wouldn't he want it then? I am not big on Gagner, and even if he was traded, the Oilers wouldn't get back any value on him. Maybe a throw in on a deal, but not many teams seem to want a smaller 2C with 7 years in the league, that don't know the defensive side of the game. IMO move him to the wing and find a real 2C.

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#59 CMG30
December 04 2013, 06:57PM
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This team has so many individual pieces that it staggers the mind to find them where they are.

Thinking about it, it's obvious that this team still needs to make a lot of little baby steps and at least one big stride forward.

Moving/trading Gagner falls into the category of baby steps; as does tinkering with the system. The only way this team makes a big stride forward is when they finally bring in a top paring defenseman (or two).

Unfortunately, that will almost impossible until trade deadline day and even then difficult.

I've seen MacT bring in Perron and Ferance along with shipping out Horcoff (not that I actually had a problem with Horc. He was just getting paid #1 money when he was a #2). So I still have faith that he can get it done.

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#60 Young Oil
December 04 2013, 06:58PM
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Spoils wrote:

It would be great if Nurse made the WJC and Klefbom was getting some NHL time, and Schultz wasn't struggling defensively...

It would be great if our D didn't just take the night off against Phoenix.

How about some trade ideas for BigD:

for example Del Zotto - 23yrs old, Rangers need O... for Gagner and a prospect of their choice do it?

I'd target Kulikov if Gagner is being dealt for a Dman. He is already being shopped heavily as per TSN:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=438137

Arcobello's incredible play this season has really brought Gagner's shortcomings to the forefront.

Plus, rumors are they would target Draisaitl with the first round pick, which puts Gagner even more on the outside. We should deal him before his no trade clause officially kicks in.

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#61 Loyal Oil
December 04 2013, 07:05PM
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"Captain this ship has been sinking for eight years" McT: "yes, I know, clearly we need to continue to arrange the deck chairs"

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#62 Arius Mumin
December 04 2013, 07:05PM
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Ever since S.Gagner has been put on the roster: the Oilers have sucked.

The proof is in the pudding. He may not be the sum, but definitely the most commom denominator.

You must be out on a picnic if you believe that Gagner still has a future with the Oilers, please give up on the pipedream. The idea to have him moved to a wing is asinine. Would he be taking a spot or be a better option or an upgrade over Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Perron, Hemsky? I doubt it. Is a 3rd line winger? Ninja Please!

*plush life visualized is like a coke rush: vivid enough to make living it a must.*

The whole of Oilers organization, top to bottom, lacks testicular fortitude. The management to pull off a bold move and the players to show any fight. The coach lacks a lot more things that there is no need to get into.

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#63 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 07:07PM
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D-Unit wrote:

Since you seem to be all knowing about Gagner, with the "hand shake" no trade for season 1, and the actual no trade only valid for the second season, why isn't it in the 3rd year? Why wouldn't he want it then? I am not big on Gagner, and even if he was traded, the Oilers wouldn't get back any value on him. Maybe a throw in on a deal, but not many teams seem to want a smaller 2C with 7 years in the league, that don't know the defensive side of the game. IMO move him to the wing and find a real 2C.

Sounds reasonable, have a bad feeling about that ntc though, its got a sort of Horcoff like feel to it.

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#64 Freewheeling Freddie
December 04 2013, 07:22PM
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Why does Corey Potter wear #44?He should wear 00that would be more like it. Is'nt Sam marrying a local girl? Now Sam about that 4.8million dollars a year. could you possibly maybe score a goal or two.

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#65 Ed in Edmonton
December 04 2013, 07:23PM
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We can only dream about a Gagner trade, but at $4.8 million a year, he is untradeable. Sitting him tomorrow night would send a strong message.

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#66 Greg the Hammer Valentine
December 04 2013, 07:29PM
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@Arius Mumin

Like him or not, Gagner is not the main problem of this team. He is way down the list of things we need to change. Front office, coaching staff, goaltending, the first pair of defense all need a major overhaul.

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#67 D-Unit
December 04 2013, 07:31PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Sounds reasonable, have a bad feeling about that ntc though, its got a sort of Horcoff like feel to it.

Unless it's a legitimate Superstar, I never have a good feeling about NTC or NMC. Gagner did nothing to deserve one and didn't take a discount to get it. Again, Just my opinion.

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#68 6 ring circus
December 04 2013, 07:32PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I'm sure it's all very fashionable right now to blame everything on "them", but who exactly are you speaking about?

The new coach or the new GM? Because that is who I am writing about. The ones who aren't responsible for the past seven years. I consider them the ones who have the opportunity to turn this around and I am watching with interest.

How this team finishes the season matters to me.

We'll see.

I blame Katz for doing absolutely nothing,Lowe for hiring Tambellini then Tambellini hiring and Firing Quinn,Renney,Kruger ,Tambellini also fired the previous trainers because he thought they were the problem. I also blame Lowe for hiring Mactavish and Howson for a second time around after no one else in the NHL wanted either one of them or offered them a job. I blame Mactavish for firing Kruger, when he said that Kruger was not the problem ,then he decides to hire Eakins a rookie coach who had zero NHL experience and he came in here like he won the Jack Adams trophy the past 5 years in a row,how did that remodel of the Oilers dressing room work out for Eakins anyways? I blame the Professional scouting staff for doing a brutal job in finding us any hidden talent and I also blame the amateur scouting staff outside of picking the first overall picks what else has Macgregor and his scouts drafted after the first round that will turn into a legit NHL player? That's who I blame,whoever was responsible for putting this so called team together and lets not preach patience because I see other teams turn there rebuilds around in 2 years not 8 years plus,the Oilers will finish the season just liked they started it,nobody's going to wave a magic wand (or his six rings) and make things better, the organization is a gong show!!!!

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#69 Freewheeling Freddie
December 04 2013, 07:39PM
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Hey Daryl you are getting 700 million thanks to Patrick Laforge. If the hockey side was like the business side the Oilers would be a dynasty .Hey Daryl could you throw in a cool 100 million to cover the shortfall of the new Rogers palace?Please

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#70 Arius Mumin
December 04 2013, 07:50PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Like him or not, Gagner is not the main problem of this team. He is way down the list of things we need to change. Front office, coaching staff, goaltending, the first pair of defense all need a major overhaul.

I did not say the main problem. There is no "down the list", these #@$%ers have to go!

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#71 The Last Big Bear
December 04 2013, 07:56PM
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Lander is one of those guys that I'd see on the ice, and say "Holy Harvey Hound, that kid is good", and then I'd look at his box scores and be shocked. He just LOOKS like an excellent player, and I will be the least surprised person in the world if he becomes a contributor in the NHL.

The Oilers have some solid prospects on defence, but for the most part they are very young. I think calling up Marincin is mostly just trying to get an early look. Season's over anyways, may as well start looking to the future.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Klefblom up by the end of the season too. Although if I were an Oilers fan I'd prefer to wait and bring him up when the team is doing a bit better, so his cup of coffee tastes like winning instead of the bitter dregs of 30th place.

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#72 Kypreos
December 04 2013, 08:05PM
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You what really ticks me off is that Calgary is likely ahead of our rebuild.....

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#73 Bloodsweatandoil
December 04 2013, 08:12PM
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Naky..get bent!

There are a lot of people like me on this site who have invested a tonne of money and interest in this team. Side agreement or not, his performance for which he gets paid for is non existent.

Injured or not, he and 4 other players currently on this roster do not make the team better, only worse. Gagner would be a bottom 6 roster player on every other NHL team in the league.

He has no trade value that will make the team better, he only has value to the Edmonton Oiler Fans like yourself that over value players like him.

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#74 onlyoil
December 04 2013, 08:35PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

could we be running four rookies next year on d?

Hello Connor McDavid

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#75 Alsker
December 04 2013, 08:35PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

We can only dream about a Gagner trade, but at $4.8 million a year, he is untradeable. Sitting him tomorrow night would send a strong message.

A strong message? Really, Quinn putting him on the 4th line helped until injuries moved him up the order and no other coach since has had the balls to do it. Handshake agreement for this year and then a NMC, what message can you send an untouchable?

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#76 Alsker
December 04 2013, 08:37PM
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Kypreos wrote:

You what really ticks me off is that Calgary is likely ahead of our rebuild.....

That's because we're still in the destruct and observe mode, rebuild doesn't start til management gets rebuilt.

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#77 Greg
December 04 2013, 08:39PM
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at this point i'm starting to feel bad for even the players on this team. year over year this organization tries to push players into roles that their not cut out for. sure the oilers have seen their share of crappy hockey players, but... who brought them here? we've all run perfectly good hockey players out of town because we've slotted them one pairing higer, one line higher... after Pronger left town we have seriously lacked that star power that takes the load off secondary players. instead we took a guy like tom gilbert and tried to force him to become a top defence man. and we're doing the same with Petry right now. the guy is absolutely falling apart right now. i feel if you want players to develop you need to have someone they can develop under. right now they don't have that. Ryan Smyth. No. Ales Hemsky. No. i'm sorry, but from what i've seen, the are horrible leaders. i feel bad for andrew ferrence. he's a solid d-man. just not one that leads the charge. and because he's not cut out to do so, he's getting carved up over it. get some blue chip talent in here to start running this team.

the sad fact is i believe, that players that know the league, and are good, don't want anything to do with teams like the oilers. seriously they're a joke right now, and have been for 8 yrs. when you make winning your mandate why would you come to a team that has found every possible way to loose.

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#78 Shooter
December 04 2013, 08:44PM
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A forever Oiler fan here and I couldn't be more disgusted with the state of this organization. The downward spiral started 13 years ago when Lowe became GM. He was a horrible GM so what did they do? They promoted him to President where he has continued to shape this team into what it is today… the laughing stock of the NHL. He had 13 years to prove himself and he did. He proved he doesn't know what he's doing.

New Rule: I'm not spending another dime on this team until Lowe is gone.

You guys can talk about this player and that player all you want but a move here and a move there doesn't even get them close to being out of the hole they are in. They are at the limit of the salary cap with this line up? Unreal. It could be years before they make the playoffs and as long as Lowe is in charge I don't know that they ever will.

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#79 Quicksilver ballet
December 04 2013, 08:50PM
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They can continue to move the deck chairs around all they like. Till they have two top pairing blue liners, and a second line center, the less than acceptable results will continue to be the same.

Management sits by and does nothing as the players in the dressing room take the fall for the blatant holes on the roster on this hockey club.

Feel bad for these kids, having to come into this laughing stock organization. One thing is certain, the players are outperforming the coaching and management of this hockey club. The acceptable intended underachievement starts at the top.

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#80 **
December 04 2013, 09:02PM
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I would like to see Gagner, Petry and joenssu scratched. I'm glad Acton and Grebeshkov are gone. I hope they stay gone and Lander is finally ready for the big stage. I'm a fan on Marincin and what he can do with his speed and size.

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#81 Ed in Edmonton
December 04 2013, 09:05PM
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Alsker wrote:

A strong message? Really, Quinn putting him on the 4th line helped until injuries moved him up the order and no other coach since has had the balls to do it. Handshake agreement for this year and then a NMC, what message can you send an untouchable?

The message might be that one of the anointed "stars" on this team can be held accountable for their performance. With guaranteed contracts not much else a coach can do.

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#82 Serious Gord
December 04 2013, 09:08PM
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If that's what qualifies as a "Shake up", this team (and the media that follows it) truly has lost its way.

Talk about underwhelming.

At least one nepotistic adventure has been abandoned...

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#83 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 09:24PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

They can continue to move the deck chairs around all they like. Till they have two top pairing blue liners, and a second line center, the less than acceptable results will continue to be the same.

Management sits by and does nothing as the players in the dressing room take the fall for the blatant holes on the roster on this hockey club.

Feel bad for these kids, having to come into this laughing stock organization. One thing is certain, the players are outperforming the coaching and management of this hockey club. The acceptable intended underachievement starts at the top.

^ This all the way.

Bold moves my ass.

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#84 Dog Train
December 04 2013, 09:30PM
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Lander has certainly earned this call-up and I'm hoping that he kicks the door down and shows he deserves a spot in the show. I am looking forward to seeing Marincin even if it is likely only for a cup of coffee at this point in time. Corey Potter is meh but at least he's better than Garbagekov.

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#85 Oiler Al
December 04 2013, 09:58PM
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This rebuild is pretty much a train wreck!Why, because the operation broke the cardinal rule: "build your team from the backend out and at the center position, fill in the rest.

If anyone thinks this rhetorical or a bunch of hooey,,, well look at the goals against on this team.. the worst in the NHL.

After a 3-4 year rebuild... still don't have a NHL goalie, still don't have a 1-2 NHL D men., still don't have a genuine season center man,

And you know what, none of these deficiencies are in sight, at least not in the immediate future.

Even the young all-stars are leaving question marks all over the ice.... with their press clippings and big contracts, starting to take on a smell.

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#86 dougtheslug
December 04 2013, 10:18PM
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How Kevin Lowe, MacT, and the pro scouting staff could not see that Grebber is NOT an NHL dman is an indictment of them all.

Watching Calgary dismantle the same Phoenix team that blew us off the ice makes me sick to my stomach.

What an embarrassment this whole organization is. Why don't the fans declare a general strike and refuse to watch this crap.

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#87 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 04 2013, 10:45PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

WOnt hurt this year at all. it will however put a huge dent in the development of Nurse Kefblom and marincin. I don't think Fedun will be all that much.

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#88 justthestatsman
December 04 2013, 11:10PM
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@dougtheslug

Phoenix obviously had an excuse. They were exhausted from taking so many wide open shots right in front of the net last night...

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#89 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 01:44AM
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I think Eakins' presser earlier spoke volumes. Change is gonna have to come from within, the players are gonna have to be be all in soon and we might see Eberle get into another scrum! the dig, the heavylifting, muck...this is stuff that can be learned through sheer will and commitment. IT IS THE ONLY WAY, this group must/will grasp this. even skill guys can fight for the puck sometimes...

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#90 jeremywilhelm
December 05 2013, 03:42AM
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@ValleyviewSports

These are oddly, the exact same comments Brent Sutter used to make about the Flames team while he was head coach. It did not turn out well....

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#91 ???
December 05 2013, 10:20AM
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So, basically, the Oil sent one true competitor (Acton) and one piece of Garbagekov to the AHL, and brought up three Dafodils!WOW!!!!!!!!! Maincin and Potter are big but both avoid contact or confrontation at any cost! Lander is as big as an elementary student - a giant compared to Arcobello - I get it- more SIZE at center. All are very soft perimeter players so they should fit i perfectly!

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#92 2004Z06
December 05 2013, 02:28PM
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Please explain how you can sit Gagner? Boyd Gordon is injured I believe. Who is your 4th center if Acton has been sent down?

As much as I think Gagner needs to sit/be moved to the wing/be traded, he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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