SIMPLE, YET DIFFICULT...

Jason Gregor
December 09 2013 01:56PM

It is simple to see what Craig Mactavish needs to do, but it will be difficult to achieve; Get Better Players.

We can spend hours breaking down Dallas Eakins' system, goaltending, the powerplay or a plethora of other issues, but it always comes back to the same problem; a lineup lacking in NHL talent.

MacTavish didn't build this roster, but he is the man in charge moving forward and he needs to start adding players, especially defenceman, instead of shipping them out for future prospects. The Oilers can't afford to give away any more proven NHL players for another prospect or draft pick. They have enough young players, they need experience, size and most importantly some more talent on the blueline.

The harsh reality is that opposing forwards don't fear anyone on the Oilers blueline. Andrew Ference is the only one who is hard to play against. None of the remaining D-men will make a forward pay the price in front of the net or in the corner. The Oilers can't expect Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to be that type of D-man next season. If they do, then you can expect their playoff drought to extend to nine seasons.

The onus is on MacTavish to recognize this and do his best to rectify it. Find another trading partner like the St.Louis Blues, a team willing to part with an experienced veteran player for a younger, cheaper talent, and pull the trigger.

Everyone knows the Oilers aren't making the playoffs, but they currently have over $7 million in cap space so they can afford to take on some salary to make a deal work. MacTavish has already stated he'd be willing to move the 2014 first round pick, so we know he understands the need to inject experience rather than youth into his organization.

A team looking to acquire that pick will likely wait until the season is over and they know exactly what draft spot they are getting. If you traded the Oilers a solid player today for that pick, the value of the pick would decrease by June. I don't see that pick being moved until closer to the draft.

If MacTavish wants to improve his roster over the next few months, I see the following pieces as the most likely options to move:

Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov and Ales Hemsky. They could move Jeff Petry, but they don't have much depth on the backend, so he wouldn't be my first choice.

Hemsky is a pending UFA, so he will garner the smallest return, however, he will have value at the deadline and his cap hit will be more manageable around the March 5th deadline.

Gagner needs to play better to increase his value. The Oilers and Gagner supposedly have an unofficial no-movement clause, however, this is a business and if a deal comes along that makes sense, I don't see why MacTavish wouldn't pull the trigger.

Yakupov will garner the most interest, and while there is some risk in moving a former #1 overall pick, there will also be significant interest in him because of his draft status. If you want a good player in return, you need to be willing to give up something.

I don't see Yakupov being a foundation piece of the Oilers; they already have forwards who will be that guy. They need to use him to try and acquire a solid piece to their blueline.

Regardless of who or when MacTavish makes a move, it is apparent this group of players simply isn't good enough to win. 

QUICK HITS....

  • I'm glad James Neal got suspended. His knee on Brad Marchand was incredibly cheap, and he deserved five games. Kneeing a guy in the head is gutless, not to mention idiotic.
     
  • Shawn Thornton has always been an honest player, prior to going after Orpik. What I found crazy about that play, is that we see guys punching one another with gloves on all the time and rarely do they get injured. It doesn't excuse Thornton for what he did, he deserves to be suspended, likely at least ten games, but every NHL player I spoke with regarding the incident was surprised Orpik was injured that bad from that gloved punch.
     
  • It is time Dallas Eakins sends a message to someone in his top-nine. The Oilers had way too many turnovers at the Flames blueline on Saturday, and many of them came from blind pass attempts, rather than putting the puck deep in the zone. The Oilers are entering game 32; the coach can't allow those types of plays to continue without consequences.
     
  • Martin Marincin has been good in his two games. He's averaged over 15 minutes a game, got some PP time and he's been sheltered properly. I'd play him again on Tuesday, but I'd be cautious of keeping him here all season. A small taste of the NHL should motivate him even more when he returns to the AHL, and especally during the off-season where he needs to work on getting stronger.
     
  • Bryzgalov practiced today as did Richard Bachman. Bachman will head to OKC the minute he is cleared to play, and it sounds like Bryzgalov is close to being cleared to play. Both Bryzgalov and Dubnyk are UFAs at the end of the year, and their play in the final 50 games should decide if either, both or none of them will be re-signed.
     
  • With three weeks remaining in the NFL season my Miami Dolphins are in the wild card mix. I'm surprised, considering their horrendous GM, but with games remaining against the Patriots, Bills and Jets, they have a very good chance of making it. 
     
  • Tyler Pitlick is heading back to OKC. He hasn't played a game since October 26th. Once he gets back in game shape, I wouldn't be surprised to see him recalled in January.
     
  • The OKC Barons have had 41 different players in their lineup, including 7 different goalies, yet the Barons are only one point out of the playoffs. With Bachman and LaBarbera close to being sent down, along with Pitlick's re-assignment today, the Barons should make a push for the playoffs over the next few months.

DAY SEVEN...MONTH OF GIVING...

On Friday we raised another $2,900 for our Derks Menswear package and the Oilers/Flames tickets. Thanks to Dan and Raja for their generous bids.

Today's package... THE VIP Experience...

  • Pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets. Gold seats, lower bowl.
  • A behind the scenes tour during one home game. You'll meet the coaches, players and the cheer team.
  • You and a friend will go on a road trip with the Rush to Calgary for a regular season game. You will travel with the team, stay at the team hotel, go to the game and have dinner with team owner, Bruce Urban. You will be invited to the after party as well.
  • You will get a meet and greet with UFC champion Georges St.Pierre on January 11th in Edmonton.

    You can bid today between 2-6 p.m. by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go towards Santas Anonymous.
     

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 Pouzar99
December 09 2013, 04:15PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers

Jason, you are certainly right, but the trouble is going to be getting fair value in exchange for players like Yak, Gagner or Hemsky, or for our first round pick. We desperately need solid veteran help on defence and size, experience and meanness in the Top 9.

Unfortunately the other GMs are smart. There are no more Mike Miburys or Phil Espositos to fleece. They know MacT and all of OIler management is under tremendous pressure. Surely Katz must be running out of patience with Lowe and company by now.

MacT deserves credit for the Perron trade, obviously, as well as the signings of Ference Gordon and Bryzgalov. Grebeshkov was a relatively cheap experiment that failed, same with Belov, although I am not ready to write him off yet. I will go to my grave trying to figure why we virtually gave Smid to the Flames. So far axing Krueger in favour of Eakins is the biggest question mark. He is obviously no strategic genius, but he may be able to motivate the players more. I think MacT and Eakins deserve another year but giving the lack of development of our D man surely Steve Smith has to go. It is tough to be an Oiler fan these days, although the 6-3-1 run has helped a bit.

Avatar
#52 Ducey
December 09 2013, 04:16PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
54
cheers

Awesome! Trade Yak for a tough vet D man so the Oilers can move up from 25th to 22nd by years end.

That way the Oilers quest for a Cup can be extended by another decade.

...or they could realize it will take the kids a few years to grow up. Yak and Schultz jr don't even have 80 games in the NHL f.f.s.

Avatar
#53 Walter Sobchak
December 09 2013, 04:16PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
52
cheers

Yakupov, almost right after the Colorado game started to run stairs!! Run Stairs!!!

Any given day off the kid is trying to get better.

I tell you this, trading someone who wants to be better and is trying that hard is the definition of stupidity and is exactly what the Oilers management would do!

It still kind of baffles the mind why Smid was traded for nothing, doesn’t it?

The return you could have got at the trade deadline would have been far better then what Calgary gave in return…..pure head scratcher!

Schultz would be the first kid I traded followed closely by Gagner, Now Gagner has been in the organization for 8 years and is still making the same mistakes…..Moving him to the wing won’t change that.

The Oilers don’t have a lot of RW, as Gregor mentions; Hemsky will be gone this year.

The Oilers need to give up picks prospects for players.

Buffalo, Florida, New Jersey, Columbus & Philly are the teams the Oilers should be targeting for defensemen and support players; these are the teams that want picks and prospects now.

I think MacTavish values players differently than the normal fans base, this is what scares me as a fan.

Avatar
#54 Darren
December 09 2013, 04:18PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

One reason that occurred to me why players don't often get injured from a gloved punch is that usually their heads are not pressed up against something solid, like the surface of the ice. The impact of the punches could not be diffused or absorbed by any movement of the head in this situation.

Avatar
#55 Gunnar
December 09 2013, 04:19PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Hey gregor,

totally agree with gagner going. An nhl team that completes can only afford one undersized offensive centre in its top six. Nuge is the better player and has a higher ceiling, gagner's got to go. Believe that a decent d-man could be returned for sam.

Hemsky is a ufa who has suffered enough losing to last two nhl careers, its time for change. The return is not going to alter the oilers fortunes though. Maybe a third line vet who's won before and plays with sand.

As for Yak, I disagree, at least for his ELC the oilers should keep him. Trading him now they will be lucky to gent 20 cents on the dollar for Yak. Play him top minutes build up his value as high as you can before giving him away next year.

The player the oilers need to move and now is Eberle. He is not and will never be a 6 million dollar player (oiler fans are known for their understanding and patience for players that are not worth their contract... cough...Horcoft...cough sorry just clearing my throat). If teams around the nhl think he is worth the contract then trade him to them.

I have to be upfront here, I've never been a believer of Eberle I feel he is both undersized and slow. You can be one of those and still be an impact player not both. Everyone thinks he is great player, just ask every oiler fan, so there would theoretically be a good return for him that can change the direction of this team. This is the only guy that could get the oilers that top pairing d-man they need so badly.

This would be the kind of bold moves that MacT was talking about

Avatar
#56 RJ
December 09 2013, 04:25PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

I wish the Oilers would stop sucking at some point. Im sick of cheering for nice scores, becuase their meaningless.

PS: Nuge and Larsen need new helmets, I don't like how small their heads look. It makes their preteen heads look like preteen heads

Avatar
#57 S cottV
December 09 2013, 04:27PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I would agree anyone is tradeable if it addresses the problems.

Just some guys would be considered before others which is debatable, but - the reality is that MacT will probably be pressured to part with guys (in his opinion) that he would prefer not to - in order to get at solutions to the problems. My guess is that he will have his "big gulp" moments that will end up shock ing Oilersnation, as he agrees to future trades that will have to be made.

The problems,

Uncertain #1 goaltender

No legit 1st rotation d men

No legit veteran 2C - with leadership you can pin an "A" on, who represents 200 ft team oriented, take no prisoners - winning hockey.

General softness up front and in the back end.

Honestly - I cannot believe how soft this team is. Part of it is lack of leadership because some of our soft guys could be playing a lot less soft. Part - will never go away unless traded. Part you can live with, if in the vast minority.

Avatar
#58 Lowe Expectations
December 09 2013, 04:36PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

When I look at the other teams in the Oilers division, I can't figure out when this team will ever make the playoffs.

Avatar
#59 Walter Sobchak
December 09 2013, 04:36PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

He has four goals this year, and all of them are on the PP.

Watch Yakupov closely, he doesn't think the game great. He shoots the puck hard, but he is not as great a goal scorer as some think. IMO.

He doesn't put himself in great shooting positions often enough.

This I get! his history tells us he can score, what I would like to know, is how he can score last season and put himself in good position, but this year he seems to be all over the map?

I have to believe the kid is bloody confused, there has to be some kind of disconnect between Yakupov and Eakins because he sure wasn’t that awful with Ralph! (Same coaching staff) I agree he was out of position at times last season and wasn’t strong in his own end, but this year he just seemed to regress, I don’t believe it’s a maturity issue ether, I honestly believe he has no clue as to what the coaches expect, so you’re seeing a kid trying everything and anything out there and it just goes from bad to worse?

The kids try is on him, which from everything I read is top notch, the kid on the ice is the coaches, if he’s not thinking the game right and is out of position then coaches have to work with him to get him there.

From what I’m seeing there seems to be no corrective action taken on a lot of Oilers, not just Yakupov.

Avatar
#60 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 09 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
19
cheers

Am I ever glad the Oilers didn't trade Yakupov for Clarkson, as some suggested last season. Nail is blowing Clarkson out of the water as far as points go. 50% more points than ole Clarky boy.

Avatar
#61 BLAKPOO
December 09 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

I was at the game on Saturday too, and the one thing that stood out was the number of forwards hanging out at the o-zone blue line waiting for the puck to penetrate the zone. If the puck isn't carried over the blue line, the forwards are in no hurry ( or in Smyth's case, not for lack of effort, unable to hurry ) to go dig it out. This, of course, results in a loss of possession.

The only Dman that looked to provide any kind of offense from the back end was Larsen... and it seemed that Eakins was rewarding him with ice time. But even if the D are flying and trying to set up zone entry plays, it's hard to do so when all of your forwards have pinched up and are at a dead stop at the blue line. they are easily picked up by the opposing D, and the play dies.

What this team needs to work on is breakouts and zone entries. They need to move up as a unit and if no one's going to chase the puck down, carry it in to the zone.

Avatar
#62 Toro
December 09 2013, 04:50PM
Trash it!
38
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

I've been saying for awhile we need to get Shea Weber , and I honestly think Yakupov and next years 1st can get it done , possibly throw in another prospect but I think this is the type of trade we have to make, Weber is a game changer single hand and could win games for us by himself, I honestly think his addition would make us a contender with a couple extra moves.

Avatar
#63 bazmagoo
December 09 2013, 04:57PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Personally I think MacT just needs to do whatever it takes to get a #1 d-man on the roster. I think it will likely take either Yakupov or Eberle, I think RNH and Hall are likely off limits due to their position. Eberle and Yakupov both play the same position, so it's probably a matter of how we get a #1 d-man for either of them.

I think the #1 pick will definitely be in play next draft or before, because it'll be high and a tradeable asset.

I'm thinking it's likely nothing happens until the end of the season, except for the inevitable sell off of assets at the trade deadline.

Avatar
#64 OilClog
December 09 2013, 05:01PM
Trash it!
15
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

Why does Hemsky have to leave town? Sign the damn man, give him some damn respect for once. He's been an Oiler his entire career, loves it in Edmonton colours, is an actual Hockey Player, and deserves to be here when this team gets it turned around. He will never get us the value that he brings to the Oilers in a trade, he's a heck of a lot better of a player then Sam Gagner.

For once, can we not have a Career long Oiler. Or is that asking for too much? We don't lose games because of Hemsky, for years the only reason we were typically in games was due to his brilliance on the ice. Let's show a little loyalty ourselves for once and keep the man a damn Oiler, screw looking for magic beans.

Avatar
#65 2004Z06
December 09 2013, 05:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
They're $hittie wrote:

Mac T killed it when they asked for Eberle. He wants to be bold but he will not trade 4, 14, 89, 93, or 64.

Dont see how anything else will be bold.

4 and 93 are untouchable. If you have anyone else on an untouchable list ask your self this; we havent won with this core, do you trade your best and most dominant player? do you trade a number one center you have been looking for for years?

Or do you trade the players who have value and are not the best at anything on the team. 14, 89, 83, 64, 26? That is how you maximize assets and mix it up.

Couldn't agree more however I would add 27 and 57 to your list of untouchables. They both bring what this team desperately needs.

Avatar
#66 boxman
December 09 2013, 05:07PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Jason Gregor

Jason I so want to explain to you why your wrong but damn...... congratulations. You're going to be an outstanding dad.

Avatar
#67 nunyour
December 09 2013, 05:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

If you were a G.M. what would you give Edmonton for Gags,and Hemsky and their 5 mil.cap hits,i'm guessing not much.

Avatar
#68 John
December 09 2013, 05:07PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Yes the Oilers and Gagne may have a unofficial agreement on a No Trade this year BUT Gagne has not lived up to side of the bargain his play has been abysmal .If I was Mac T I would not feel obligated to hold up my side of the deal based on Gagne's lack of effort and general poor play this year. He is taking advantage the organization.

Avatar
#69 bazmagoo
December 09 2013, 05:08PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

@OilClog

Agreed Oilclog, I think if we end up trading Yakupov or Eberle we should keep Hemsky. But we need more grit so one of them needs to go imo.

If we could get Hemsky for 2-3 seasons at $3 - $3.5 million I think that would be reasonable for a 2nd line winger. I've actually been impressed with Hemmer's hustle on the back check this season.

Avatar
#70 2004Z06
December 09 2013, 05:09PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers

On another note....Anyone else think the trading of Smid was fishy? We didn't need the cap space to sign Bryzgalov as very few of the Oilers will hit their bonuses this year. He was one of only 2 of our so called "physical defensemen". Did Smid piss someone off? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop as in a follow up deal but......crickets. Just seems odd to me.

Avatar
#71 Oiler Al
December 09 2013, 05:12PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Walter Sobchak wrote:

This I get! his history tells us he can score, what I would like to know, is how he can score last season and put himself in good position, but this year he seems to be all over the map?

I have to believe the kid is bloody confused, there has to be some kind of disconnect between Yakupov and Eakins because he sure wasn’t that awful with Ralph! (Same coaching staff) I agree he was out of position at times last season and wasn’t strong in his own end, but this year he just seemed to regress, I don’t believe it’s a maturity issue ether, I honestly believe he has no clue as to what the coaches expect, so you’re seeing a kid trying everything and anything out there and it just goes from bad to worse?

The kids try is on him, which from everything I read is top notch, the kid on the ice is the coaches, if he’s not thinking the game right and is out of position then coaches have to work with him to get him there.

From what I’m seeing there seems to be no corrective action taken on a lot of Oilers, not just Yakupov.

How about a disconnect with our illustrious assistant coaches ... Smith and Buchberger.

They do a lot of the on ice coaching...not a lot of success with this team since they been chewing gum behind the bench. Not a lot of destiny for anyone , with these two clowns on board.

Avatar
#72 jamang
December 09 2013, 05:19PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

taylor hall talking on nhl network about how they don't have a guy that brings everyone back down to earth, a gy that settles things down.

he talked about how they are forced to learn as they go because they don't know what it takes to make it to the playoffs and its a real process.

he mentions ference saying he is a good addition but they don't have that one guy in the locker room. especially not on forward.

FERENCE is the captain and he doesn't do his job. I am really surprised that you can have this kind of situation in your locker room and not make a huge move for phaneuf or weber.

an overpayment is definite.

but a deal of yakupov, hemsky, ganger, petry, 1st can fetch you quite the package. especially with as many draft picks added as you want essentially.

Avatar
#73 Fresh Mess
December 09 2013, 05:20PM
Trash it!
26
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

The same delusional fans who for years have defended Hemsky and Gagner are now defending their new lover Fail.

Yakupov is inferior to Eberle yet has just as much trade value. Trade him and let his "big personality" be another teams' headache. Otherwise send him to the AHL and teach him to play pro hockey. I was in favour of the Oilers trading that first overall rather than drafting Weird Al Yakupov. The Oilers won't win a Stanley Cup with Fail.

I agree that Hemsky has no value now until closer to the deadline due to his ridiculous contract. I also agree Gagner should go but likely has very little value right now.

If all three of those players go on to great things with other teams, good for them but it isn't going to happen in Edmonton.

Excellent entry Gregor. Good to see.

Avatar
#74 Taylor Gang
December 09 2013, 05:28PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
27
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Please explain why you would move Eberle ahead of Yakupov, other than he has more value.

What does Yakupov do better than Eberle, that would help the Oilers win in the future. I don't see one area of Yakupov's game that is better.

Just because Eberle is better doesn't mean he should be the one to keep.

First of all, you gotta give some to get some. Eberle is the most logical "give some" piece considering he is the highest paid player on the team and probably the second most valuable. Eberle doesn't show a high level of compete and the team seems to be preaching compete throughout the whole roster. Yakupov is one of the hardest working players on the team, he just needs to learn how to play NHL hockey.

Secondly, you're comparing a guy in his fourth season to a guy who hasn't even played a full season yet. In Yak's fourth season he will be skating loops around old Ebs.

Avatar
#75 Loweblows
December 09 2013, 05:34PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers
2004Z06 wrote:

On another note....Anyone else think the trading of Smid was fishy? We didn't need the cap space to sign Bryzgalov as very few of the Oilers will hit their bonuses this year. He was one of only 2 of our so called "physical defensemen". Did Smid piss someone off? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop as in a follow up deal but......crickets. Just seems odd to me.

Actually right before he was traded he commented that things may get worse or something to that effect. Just like Souray, criticising management earns you a quick ticket out of town. Players must be made aware that Kevin Lowe has a kingdom to protect. Off with his head.

Avatar
#76 Rama Lama
December 09 2013, 05:44PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

We need a professional scout that understands and whose speciality is drafting defenceman..........since no one is going to give us what we want why on earth would we trade our 2014 pick.......it could be Ekblad??

The last time I checked he was exactly what we are looking for........big, talented, and mean!

I do not trust the Oilers Brass to make a proper trade and get what we really need with this pick........this is the same group that found the giant Ference........the exact opposite of what we really need!

Avatar
#77 oilerman53
December 09 2013, 05:49PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

The Oilers will most definitely be sellers at the deadline this year. Gagner, Hemsky and maybe even Smyth can be playoff rentals and all the talk about Hemsky no garnering much of a return is all Eastern bias. There will be teams looking for a secondary scoring punch will be willing to part ways with a decent prospect or maybe even a first rounder at the eleventh hour. With talk of the salary cap going up to at least $70-72 million for next season. Hemskys contract, Smyths money and potentially Gagner off the books. The only substantial pay raise being the Nuge and maybe Petry if hes here. I see the Oilers trying to make a major splash during free agency.

Avatar
#78 onlyoil
December 09 2013, 05:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Lowe Expectations wrote:

When I look at the other teams in the Oilers division, I can't figure out when this team will ever make the playoffs.

I think 3 years if either thing goes good. They are along way from making the playoffs, 3-4 players. 6-7 to be a good competitive playoff team. The top players are way to soft and young to compete anytime soon, they have no idea how hard they have to play game in and game out just to compete.

Avatar
#79 westcoastoil
December 09 2013, 06:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
jamang wrote:

taylor hall talking on nhl network about how they don't have a guy that brings everyone back down to earth, a gy that settles things down.

he talked about how they are forced to learn as they go because they don't know what it takes to make it to the playoffs and its a real process.

he mentions ference saying he is a good addition but they don't have that one guy in the locker room. especially not on forward.

FERENCE is the captain and he doesn't do his job. I am really surprised that you can have this kind of situation in your locker room and not make a huge move for phaneuf or weber.

an overpayment is definite.

but a deal of yakupov, hemsky, ganger, petry, 1st can fetch you quite the package. especially with as many draft picks added as you want essentially.

It takes more than one guy on D. I thought Gordon would have been able to bring some of that settling effect, but to me that still that seems like an excuse. Hall, Eberle & Gagner have played in the league long enough that need to take it upon themselves to step up and put their big boy pants on. Toews and Kane, Sid Geno, Jordan Stall - all young guys who took it to the next level.

Avatar
#80 BAWS
December 09 2013, 06:10PM
Trash it!
24
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Gagner plus Yak plus 2014 #1 = Shea Weber.

Avatar
#81 bulldog12
December 09 2013, 06:11PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

MacT knows and has been trying to get that #1 dman since he got the job. There's not many out there and there hard to acquire. The biggest problem with the Oilers is all there dmen are playing higher in the lineup than there capable of. Happened to Gilbert and now it's happening to Petry. Trade Yak Gagner Hemsky and the 1st round pick. What happens if you trade someone else keep Yak and he decides to go back to Russia because him and his agent decide he's not on the 1st line 1st power play unit or that hitting and back checking aren't part of his game. Let him go be someone else's problem.

Avatar
#82 nina russo
December 09 2013, 06:15PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I for one am glad you are a pundit and not employed by the OIL. The franchise you seek exists elsewhere in this league -- Philadelphia.

I for one do not wish that type of club.

This team needs to use and develop the assets it has not sell them for a bunch of magic beans and hope the return is able to play here more than the year after they are traded here.

Develop what we have and stock what we don't. and watch this team grow. This squad should be better than Colorado this year, all things being equal. And two years from now should be better than Vancouver, Anaheim and San Jose; three years from now, better than LA, and competing with Chicago and Pittsburgh.

That's reality -- when forwards reach 25-27 they hit their prime, when defenders hit 29-31 they hit their prime and goaltenders when they are 31-33 (some earlier).

Why you want to sell these players for over agers is beyond me, though they may get you into the play-offs as a no.7/8 seed, they won't win you squat.

You need true depth, and that requires sustained growth over time, not a quick fix.

This team needs a coach that can "develop" players not "manage" them. What is lacking here is what hasn't been taught. If Colorado can do it with their squad, ANY team can do it.

The key is to do it consistently every year so that when these players hit their prime they are maximizing their potential ... otherwise you might as well just be Philly and try to buy your way to the final every year --- sell the gold to someone else and let them reap the rewards.

Avatar
#83 NJ
December 09 2013, 06:29PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Yakupov vs Eberle being moved.. this is easy.

Eberle: You know exactly what you have and what you're giving. Right now, I would suggest his value is more than anyone on the team except for Hall and RNH. He is the definition of what we have enough of on this team. He's also buddy buddy with Hall and shipping him out of town might send the (proper) message that if you play like butter AND don't play defense, hit the road. Also, the kid-line REALLY needs a good kick in the nuts to get em going.

Yakupov: Is a mystery. He hasn't played 82 games yet. But we know he tries hard. He will hit, and he'll push back. Put 15 lbs of muscle on him and bring him along with some level of forgiveness and who knows what he could be? Probably not Stamkos, but maybe a Neal? Write it down. Yak WILL surpass Eberle in every way. First seasons are almost always a write-off, and sometimes 2nd seasons. It'll be interesting to see how Yakupov plays in the last half of the season.

This year is shot... why rush out to get rid of anyone or anything. The right deal will come and we have probably 12 months to make it.

Next. Weber is not going anywhere. Eberle, J. Shultz and our first might not get Weber and if it did, it would be too much. Eberle for Jones (Seth). Maybe you do that deal. You DEFINITELY do a J. Shultz for Seth Jones deal though... and maybe Nashville goes for it based on their lack of offense AND on the fact that Shultz might learn to play defense playing with Weber.

Gagner could be a #2 centre IF he played defense better. Maybe he just needs to give his head a shake... but he also needs a BIG winger if he is our #2. If MacT can find that somewhere, great. If not, you might as well ship Gagner before his NTC kicks in.

Finally: Hemsky's value is maybe a 3rd round draft pick or prospect. If the summer didn't teach you that, you'll never learn. Nobody wants his cap hit unless they run into serious injury trouble and are pushing for a playoff spot come deadline.

Sorry for the wall of text.

/rant

Avatar
#84 nick
December 09 2013, 06:32PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
2004Z06 wrote:

On another note....Anyone else think the trading of Smid was fishy? We didn't need the cap space to sign Bryzgalov as very few of the Oilers will hit their bonuses this year. He was one of only 2 of our so called "physical defensemen". Did Smid piss someone off? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop as in a follow up deal but......crickets. Just seems odd to me.

Ask MacIdiot why he traded Smid. If he was honest, which he isn't. he would say because I don't like him. It was strictly personal with MacT and that is so sad. He gave away one of the true Oilers because he didn't like him. MacTavish is without a doubt the worst GM in the league. There is a very strong rumor within the NHL that there is a group of 12 to 15 GM's that will not deal with MacTavish and Lowe. Kind of makes sense seeing that trades cannot be made. As for the trading of Smid, shame on you MacTavish, making the team you are responsible for worse because of a personal issue.

Avatar
#85 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 09 2013, 06:36PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

This is clearly Horcoff's fault. We could use that bastard right now. He was a good captain and the kids actually looked up to him. You suck Horcoff!

Avatar
#86 **
December 09 2013, 06:37PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

I used to be a boxer. I think Orpik got injured because when you're down (you can see how the ref protects a boxer when he goes down because of this) you can't absorb the blow. Usually when you take a punch you try to go with it, loosen up so you kill part of the momentum. When you're down you're basically taking the brunt of the punch and the only thing that absorbs it is you neck whip lashing back and forth.

It was very stupid of Thornton to hit Orpik in that position. Having said that, if Orpik is going to run around crushing guys, he better be ready to drop the gloves.

Avatar
#87 BLAKPOO
December 09 2013, 06:54PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
nick wrote:

Ask MacIdiot why he traded Smid. If he was honest, which he isn't. he would say because I don't like him. It was strictly personal with MacT and that is so sad. He gave away one of the true Oilers because he didn't like him. MacTavish is without a doubt the worst GM in the league. There is a very strong rumor within the NHL that there is a group of 12 to 15 GM's that will not deal with MacTavish and Lowe. Kind of makes sense seeing that trades cannot be made. As for the trading of Smid, shame on you MacTavish, making the team you are responsible for worse because of a personal issue.

You seem pretty confident here, but it sure sounds like "make-believe". Sit in on a lot of MacT/Smid arguments did you?

Strong rumors are just as pretend as weak rumors. Hence the 'rumors' part. There isn't one GM in the league that wouldn't do business with another GM if it improved his team. If Burke and the Flames can do business with Lowe and the Oilers, I don't think anyone else will have an issue.

Trades aren't happening because MacT wants a key defensive piece. Those are usually overvalued by their teams, and not easily parted with this time of year.

Smid was traded because of his contract, his diminishing ice-time, and our 3rd line blue depth.

Also, Brossoit.

Avatar
#88 Hockey Problems
December 09 2013, 08:05PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

Yakupov has played more physical in the last couple games than Eberle has his whole career. Eberle won't engage in either the offensive or defensive zone. We need players that are more physical. Eberle will never be that guy, move him now while his value is high.

Avatar
#89 S cottV
December 09 2013, 08:07PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

This is clearly Horcoff's fault. We could use that bastard right now. He was a good captain and the kids actually looked up to him. You suck Horcoff!

Yep - Horcoff, Smyth and Hemsky on the 3rd line would soon be the second line - maybe the first. They would do it on combined smarts, grit, character and some vintage skill. Also - to prove to the young guns that they have a lot of growing up to do. Oilers turned this team over too soon, to the young guys.

Avatar
#90 Batfink
December 09 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Who is all the NHL talent that you speak of on the blueline?

The Oilers have the weakest and softest blueline in the NHL. Name one team's group of 7/8 that has less proven NHL talent and experience on the backend.

Buzzzz! What is Florida? Queue Jeopardy music...

Avatar
#91 nick
December 09 2013, 08:42PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Batfink wrote:

Buzzzz! What is Florida? Queue Jeopardy music...

oh wow, Sorry your answer is wrong, Alex |Trebek just buzzed you out. Florida's blue line is head and shoulders better than the Oilers. They actually have a number one defenceman along with Gudbranson, Kulikov, Gilbert. Oilers have, well the Oilers have NOBODY. For god sakes they are playing a 5/6 guy in Ference as a number 2 Ha ha that in itself is a joke

Avatar
#92 china town man
December 09 2013, 08:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

As an oilers fan it is frustrating To watch our oilers play ! Don't know Which team is going to show up and play.

Avatar
#93 BleedOil4Life
December 09 2013, 09:37PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@Toro

For the last time...they are not trading SHEA WEBER

Avatar
#97 AdamfromOilfans
December 09 2013, 11:10PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Gregor, you have a blind spot with Yakupov, and seemingly always have. You keep comparing him with Eberle, forgetting that Eberle wasn't even in the NHL at the age Yakupov is.

I'm more concerned with the flaws in Eberle's game at 23 than I am with Yakupov's at 19. Both have some great offensive weapons, but the skill set on Yakupov is a little deeper. Yes, he looks confused out there, but he's clearly afraid to make a mistake this year, as the second he does, he's riding the pine. Guy has no confidence at all right now (something that the Oilers have to be in big part responsible for, having allowed a lot of rumours to run rampant for a time, making him a high-profile scratch early in the season when he was getting lots of shots, throwing him to the media wolves after the Larionov affair...There's definitely been poor player management there.

Eberle probably gets you more in a trade than Yakupov, and moving someone like him serves as a wake-up call to the inner circle on this team. There's a clique there that seems to believe they're infallible (in part because management keeps saying "we don't have the right mix", letting the team off the hook for poor performance). It's fine for media to talk about what the team needs, but management should work behind the scenes to improve the team, while encouraging the team to get it done with what they have at the moment, not with some vague promise that at some point we might have a better supporting cast and a number one defenceman. And if that inner circle believes that it's the defence's fault or the goalie's fault or the third and fourth lines fault, then they definitely need to be shaken up. It's not enough for them to score goals. They have to take responsibility for the losses too or they're never going to lead the team anywhere. Right now, I don't think that's the case.

Examples? Eberle to Jack Michaels when asked "Why is the penalty kill doing better recently?" - "Well, it sure helps when your goalies are making the saves back there."

Hall to Bob Stauffer on Yakupov and Larionov-Gate - "We sure didn't expect him to come out and say what he did and he really brought the spotlight on himself there. It really became the sole focus of that whole practice and even in to the next game. I don't want to say that's the reason we lost, but..."

These guys are pointing fingers at their teammates right now, which is not leadership. There's a sense around this team that there's a group of cool kids who can do no wrong in the eyes of management, coaching and themselves, and there's a group on the outside who bear the brunt of the criticism from coaches, media and even in some cases their cool kid teammates. It's unhealthy and something has to give.

Avatar
#100 Release the Hounds
December 09 2013, 11:46PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Jason, since J Schultz seems to be always cheating for offense and getting into trouble defensively, would it make any sense to try him at RW just for the hall of it? Perhaps he might be a more effective player. Bring up Fedun to take the spot on D?

Signed, Desperate in the Shuswap

Comments are closed for this article.