Question Period

RexLibris
February 11 2013 08:07AM

It seems the Oilers are entering a tipping point of sorts.

Scanning the intertubes I’ve noticed that fans are beginning to schism into two familiar, yet divergent camps.

There are the ones who are hoping for a strong playoff push. They see the Oilers as ready to lift themselves up off the NHL mat and throw a few punches back at the league that has beaten them down (and rewarded them handsomely for it) these past few years. These fans want the playoffs this year, or a whisker away from it at the very least.

On the other side are those who look at this team and, bourgeoning stars aside, see some areas of concern they would like addressed, preferably through the draft. These fans are comfortable with a finish between 13th and 15th in the West and will wait another year before putting their foot down on a playoff appearance.

Both groups of fans want nothing more than a parade with a big shiny silver chalice going down Jasper Avenue. So the disagreement at this point is more or less academic.

WHATS THE MOVE?

But it does raise some interesting questions. Are the Oilers best served by getting into a playoff race this year, pushing for a spot, and perhaps falling short by a few points but showing that they will be ready for prime time when the 2013-2014 season starts?

Or perhaps the Oilers would be best having their roster holes made apparent and facing the struggles this brings?

From where I sit this boils down to two perspectives: the first focuses on the development of the players while the second questions the development and decision-making of management.

If the Oilers look ready for a playoff jump this year might management move some assets to try and bolster a roster for a post-season push? It could certainly happen.

And if they fall out of the playoff picture by the beginning of March would management focus instead on addressing long-term needs by making decisions on expiring UFAs Ryan Whitney and Ryan Jones?

Will they be buyers or sellers? If buyers, how many chips do they cash in and to what effect? We all remember the Avalanche making the playoffs the year after they drafted Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly. The next year they were back in the basement and it appeared that management got the impression the team was better, or at least more advanced than they actually were. Could the Oilers make the same mistake if they got into the playoffs this year?

Were the Oilers to finish well outside of the playoff race, but still north of where they’ve sat these past three seasons (because south of, and adjacent to, dead last isn’t an option) they would be assured of a pretty decent draft order. And drafting good players is something fans can get addicted to.

I’ll admit that I tend to fall into the latter group here. I see holes in both the roster and development group. I hesitate to make any move that comes at the cost of the draft, but there are trades I would like to see worked out as well. Unless the Oilers make a decision to address organizational shortcomings by subtracting from their respectable stockpile of young and prospect-level players, I won’t hold my breath.

So which group do you tend to fall into?

Are you looking for a great season with some post-season promise in the hopes that it will help educate the young core on how to win in the playoffs? Do you want to see some moves made that would cash in some prospect chips for those veteran players that good teams always seem to have? Do you want the team to just keep on keeping on and draft a second line centre with size?

Is it too early to talk draft? I’m never likely to say no to that, but others might feel differently.

HOW ABOUT A TRADE

The Oilers are clearly entering the crucial window wherein a team that has rebuilt either starts filling the holes or loses young talent to attrition and continues to spin their wheels. I like to call that territory “the Long Island Mile”, a stretch of proverbial highway (to use Lowetide’s favourite metaphor) that sees a team either take the off-ramp to improvement or just keep rolling along on cruise-control.

So, to start things off, how about I propose a trade idea that might qualify as a “wow” sort of move. Keep in mind, this suggestion is just to signify the kind of move that I think the Oilers need to make. This would address two areas in which I feel the Oilers are struggling or are going to struggle in the near future but I hope also recognizes that it comes at a cost.

My target in this hypothetical is Phoenix because of the NHL ownership angle and due to their system needing an influx of prospects. The Coyotes cannot afford the luxury even of an abbreviated rebuilding phase due to severe financial concerns and the desperate need to grow the brand within their market.

In exchange for Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kyle Chipchura and Henrik Samuelsson the Oilers would send back Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Whitney (minus half the dollar amount on his contract through the Retained Salary mechanism in the CBA), Tyler Pitlick, Toni Rajala, David Musil and a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft.

The Oilers have a wealth of prospects at many positions, but need to acquire two key positions for their future, that of a defensive partner for Justin Schultz and a potential future 2nd or 3rd line centre. This addresses both those needs.

The assets Phoenix acquires aren’t insignificant and diversify their prospect pool immediately. The financial aspect of the deal would see the Oilers on the hook for Ekman-Larsson’s next contract (he is an RFA at the end of the year), as well as retaining half of the remaining money of Ryan Whitney’s contract. Chipchura coming the Oilers’ way is solely to balance the contracts on the reserve list for both teams, the Coyotes currently sit at 49 contracts and GMs are very hesitant to remain at the 50-contract max for long.

The Oilers could also flip Daniil Zharkov for Alex Bolduc to appease Don Maloney in this regard, but the Coyotes could just as easily trade an expiring UFA for a draft pick at the deadline and solve their own problems more to their liking.

So, what do you think? Which camp do you find yourself in, anxious to see some progress or patient for this year? Do you have any faith in the management group or are your concerns primarily with on-ice issues? How about the proposed trade idea? Go on, tear me a new one in the comments section, or propose your own trades or player-types that you’d like to target. I’ll set the over-under at the number of comments before someone proposes a Sam Gagner trade at 1.5.

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#1 non descript
February 11 2013, 08:11AM
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i am hesitant to dignify your trade proposal with a response, but yes, it would be nice to acquire oel for next to nothing.

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#2 Archaeologuy
February 11 2013, 09:47AM
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You might be able to get Yandle, but not OEL. That guy isnt going anywhere unless there is a contraction draft or he becomes a UFA. Whichever comes first.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
February 11 2013, 08:12AM
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Let's call Musil and Samuelsson a saw-off, even though I think Samuelsson's the better prospect. We'll also ignore Chipchura, even though he's a decent 'tweener type.

That leaves Ekman-Larsson for a year of Whitney at $2.75MM, Paajarvi, a 2nd, and a pair of lousy prospects. Pitlick can't score in the AHL, and already has significant injury problems, Rajala's 4-foot-nothing and started the year in the ECHL.

I just can't imagine a team like Phoenix dealing a player like Ekman-Larsson for such a poor package when there's no pressing reason; not unless Don Maloney's doing a wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal that he gets to take over in Edmonton as soon as his deal with the Coyotes ends.

If there were to be a trade, It would probably be something like Gagner, Paajarvi, Klefbom, a year of Whitney at 1/2 price and Omark for Ekman-Larsson, Chipchura and Samuelsson. And even then it's one of those situations where I just don't see a reason why the Coyotes would want to dump Ekman-Larsson.

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#4 bwar
February 11 2013, 09:03AM
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Oh yeah almost forget OEL for a bag of pucks would be a great deal, get to work Tambi.

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#5 misfit
February 11 2013, 10:06AM
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The mere mention of OEL's name would result in an instant dial tone from Maloney.

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#6 @Oilanderp
February 11 2013, 11:43AM
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We aren't out of the woods yet. The only way to get someone of OEL's calibre is to either draft him yourself or overpay.

Stay the course but make small, deliberate moves if you must.

The moves you make (or dont make) now will pay off in a few years time. Don't ruin it all by trying to force it to come early.

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#7 Archaeologuy
February 11 2013, 01:59PM
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tileguy wrote:

A: I haven't been smokin anything.

I think we all agree we have to do something about our small top 6. My suggestion is we deal the guy with the bad shoulder, RNH. He is at maximum value right now, has a boys body and i don't think he will ever grow big and strong.

You deserve a Time-Out for this. Go to the corner until we can decide on your punishment.

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#8 Oilfred
February 11 2013, 09:54AM
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Clarko wrote:

As bad as the Oilers have played, they are tied for 7th in the Conference. A pretty good record considering they have had some significant injuries to guys like Horcoff, Belanger, and Jones. This team might not be capable of finishing 13th-15th in the Conference.

I'm definitely in the camp of they should start cashing in some prospects and/or picks to start filling those holes. If you draft between 7-10, there is no gaurantee that prospect will be able to contribute in a significant way immediately...such a prospect could be 4-5 seasons from what the Oilers need him to be.

Two first round picks plus the wealth of prospects the Oilers have should be able to fill some of the holes this team has. Tambellini needs to start earning his paycheck and make some moves other than simply drafting 1st overall every year.

Trading picks in this years draft is crazy. Like Brian Burke nuke the Leafs forever stupid.

Its a crazy deep pool. The top 8 look insane. It looks like the '03 draft. Go back and look at that draft class and tell me how many rd 1 and rd 2 picks you want to flush to maybe make the playoffs in what is crap shoot year.

Zona had a great article on NHL Numbers about how mush luck and chance will play a factor this year.

Give your head a shake. Repeat.

Again.

Patience grasshopper.

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#9 Phixieus666
February 11 2013, 09:56AM
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@Phixieus666

What about an Eager, Arcobello/Reider/smaller skilled forward prospect and a pick or two for someone like Dubinsky? Would that kind of trade be possible?

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#10 Rama Lama
February 11 2013, 09:56AM
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Very interesting trade proposition.........if you are trading to someone who is one brick short of a full load.

I like the idea of trading however, exactly who from the Oilers management has the kahonies to pull off something like this? Certainly not Tamby........I'm not sure he dresses himself in the morning, without getting premission from someone.

Based on your trade assessment you feel strongly that we need another puck moving defenseman along with a power forward and a legitimate centreman who can play either the second line or third line position.

In my humble opinion, you have to draft players like this because no one in their right mind is going to give you players like this without getting the same back. I think we should be making a move right now to get another first round draft pick, to take advantage of a strong draft. We can acquire additional pieces by targeting UFA's ...........although I hate this.

Trade Hemsky now while he has trade value and get another first round draft pick.

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#11 Oilfred
February 11 2013, 10:46AM
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Clarko wrote:

It isn't necessarily about making the playoffs this year. It is about taking step towards the playoffs. This team isn't going to finish 30th, 30th, 29th, 1st...just not going to happen. Unfortunately patience is wearing thin on Tambo sitting on his hands and doing absolutely nothing to improve this team. Other than signing Schultz, what has Tambellini done outside of making the 1st overall selection every year to significantly improve this team.

I don't like Brain Burke as much as the next guy, and while nobody agrees with the Kessel trade, I'm not sure that team is any better now with Seguin in the lineup. They would still be bottom-feeders and would have been a lottery team with or without that trade.

It is time to start bringing in some veterans who are actually in their prime (not guys like Smyth who are approaching retirement), but guys who are proven in the NHL and are between 23-28 years old.

The point is they would have a great nucleus to build from.

It has to be a long term vision. Making the right moves is tough, and doing nothing, often is the right move.

Its not sexy but to move pieces now that will be useful in in two years when this is a contending team seems foolish.

We're not a great team, but we could be soon if we can just stay calm and let it happen.

Hall and Ebs are men. Wait till Nail and Nuge get there too.

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#12 michael
February 11 2013, 10:59AM
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Trade? OEL? Offer sheet more likely to succeed. Does the NHL match a 5 million dollar a year offer? I wonder if Maloney would have the go ahead to sign OEL to any amount of money? I'd say not. I'd think that the NHL if there still stuck with this dog on July 1st will be looking not pour more money into player contracts barring "New Ownership" on the horizon/wishful thinking. The dynamic of ownership may be a major factor in OEL deciding to pack his bags and head for brighter pastures.

I agree that Yandle is the more likely trade scenario. His 5 million per year sticks out like a sore thumb. The NHL might be looking to dump that contract sooner than later in a shortened season where the prospects of the Yotes making the playoffs look slimmer and slimmer.I'd say the OEL gets Yandles money and Yandle winds up in Philly.

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#13 Shane
February 11 2013, 12:22PM
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27Ginge wrote:

I would target the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are getting pretty old and terrible. I would send a package of Ryan Smyth, Linus Omark, Tobias Rieder, Ryan Whitney, Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and a conditional fourth rounder for Kris Letang, Joe Morrow and James Neal.

Or that Ekman-Larsson deal, either one.

Anyone going to take this one or should I?

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#14 A-Mc
February 11 2013, 12:30PM
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The way i see it, the Oilers are on the fence. Evidenced by this year, the small change in either direction will mean Sink or Swim for this team. With out trading any future options (like Paajarvi), you can see below that the Oilers will see some change in the next year or so.

The Oilers have a lot of names that need to either be Re-signed, moved or let go after this year. Next year, the same is true. If we assume the Oilers will re-sign all RFA's, here is the list of UFA's that will need to be dealt with this year or next:

Hemsky, Smyth, Belanger, Jones, Eager, Petrell, Whitney, N. Schultz, Smid, Sutton, Fistric, Potter, Khabi, Dubnyk.

There are some definite Keepers in there, but there are some pieces that will be let go.

IF even 2 regular players are replaced with slightly better options, we could see a lot more winning out of the Oilers. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

I'm of the opinion that whether you want to make a trade or not, First the Oilers need to deal with expiring contracts to really know where they are at.

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#15 27Ginge
February 11 2013, 01:23PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I fall into the draft/trade and I'll tell you why.

First the Oilers don't neded OEL, he's not what the Oilers need, we have Schultz.

I've already mentioned this but here it goes.

The Oilers wait till the draft, they draft Barkov or Monahan.

The Oilers trade- Petry- Hemsky--Tuebert a 1st and 2nd round pick in 2015 for Shea Weber.

The Predators don't have the funds to keep him, they get the players they want.

Later that day the Oilers sign UFA Ryan Clowe and Ryan Getzlaf.

The Oilers got a top pairing defensmen with more PP options.

The Oilers got significantly tougher

The Oilers have depth through the line up.

The Oilers don't need players like OEL, the Oilers need Weber.

Salary Cap?

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#16 Phixieus666
February 11 2013, 01:31PM
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@Phixieus666

Also Gernat, Marincin and Musil could be absolute beasts on the back end. In another year or two watch out.

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#17 Phixieus666
February 11 2013, 01:45PM
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tileguy wrote:

A: I haven't been smokin anything.

I think we all agree we have to do something about our small top 6. My suggestion is we deal the guy with the bad shoulder, RNH. He is at maximum value right now, has a boys body and i don't think he will ever grow big and strong.

Would you rather have Datsyuk or Franzen? Datsyuk is the same size as RNH.

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#18 Archaeologuy
February 11 2013, 01:57PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You lost me at......." If a first rounder an fetch us a playoff spot then do it"

This is what got the Oilers here in the first place, "just good enough" is south down the QE2 280 km.

No thanks pass.

^^^THIS^^^

The Oilers are patched together at C, icing Barbaro every other game, and they have nobody over 25 willing to score goals except Hemsky.

The Oilers could go either way here. They could get better as Eberle and Nuge heat up, or they could drop if Gagner and Hemsky really cool down.

This draft has been touted as a deep one for a long time. With the Oilers not being a dominant team and possibly put back into the lottery (all it takes is missing the playoffs) there is NO REASON at all to trade a 1st unless the return is so over the top that you'd push your Grandma down the stairs to make it happen.

The Oilers have enough other pieces to facilitate a trade.

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#19 dougtheslug
February 11 2013, 02:01PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Rex,

Great topic for a discussion. Obviously a lot of healthy debate to be had.

THE CHAMBERS PLAN :) With Dubnyk, Petry, Nuge, and the younger Schultz up for big raises after '13-'14, the Oilers can't waste years where their young core is affordable and able to make a run. The Oilers should be willing to trade picks in the 2nd round (we have two!) and beyond, along with middling prospects to fill out the roster NOW and leg out the competition for the playoffs. The kids will benefit immensely from the experience.

Ultimately we'll have to trade someone like Hemsky for a young, affordable Dman like Sekara or Nikitin, get rid of Whitney, buy out Horcoff in the offseason, and fill ou the roster with solid 2-way players (like Belanger, Fiddler, Winnik, Moen, etc) on good contracts.

The fans have waited long enough. The players are eager to show the league what they're made of - the time is now for management to compliment the core ... of course without dealing any of our BEST prospects (Musil & Klefbom) or 1st round picks.

Nuge and Schulz will get at most 2 and a quarter mill raises per year(they are already at the ELC max of 3.775 mill and the Oiler ceiling has been established at 6 mill by the Hall - Eberle contracts. With Horc's billions coming off the books in two years that covers the raises to Schulz and Nuge. The Oilers are actually in pretty good shape when it comes to the cap[.

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#20 Bonvie
February 11 2013, 02:20PM
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@The Other Ron Burgundy

I think MPS is turning the corner I think he and Hart have proved they are NHLers, and are a part of the plan.

Right now our needs boil down to another top 4 d preferably a top pair shutdown D. We have yet to have an injury in the top 4 D, but when we do I don't think Potter or Whitney are going to be able to fill in for Smid, Petrey, or Schultz.

Size to play on the top 6. Which may be developing on our current roster already.

Surplus is small skilled forwards on the team but mostly in the system, but Eberle, Nuge, and most likely Yak should be on the untouchable list.

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#21 john
February 11 2013, 02:44PM
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So everytime I hear these ideas, they are pipe dreams. That weber and Getzlaf comment made me chuckle. The idea of Myers ever leaving buffalo(they would trade miller first!!) And so on. There are 3 or 4 holes that need to be filled. But I daresay putting RNH line up agaisnt joe thhorton and Marlean has worked incredibly well. Let's put them out against Perry and Getslaf. I'd love to see how they look against Kopitar and Brown. The young oilers were great last year because there was line matching. They didn't play the hulks. They played 2nd and 3rds for the most part. Krueger is notmacthing lines at all. Let's look at the point differences from this and last. Enough said.

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#22 Smythyyy
February 11 2013, 06:24PM
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Oops, I guess my arithmetic is wrong... that's 64.5 million just for starting roster... we're screwed!!! :)

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#23 Citizen David
February 11 2013, 07:05PM
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I'm very unsure of what I think the oilers should do, mostly cause there are problems with every path. In the salary cap era you cannot over pay. This rules out trading for weber or signing Getzlaf. Please don't go for Getzlaf. People who consider the big 5 un-touchable, what else do we really have to trade? Petry? Puts a big whole in our d for the next three years. Gagner? Who would be our number 2 center who's leading our team in points? Hemsky? Maybe, it would definately hurt us this year. You can't trade small skill for big just as good skill. If we trade Gagner or Hemsky it will be for not as good players. And for the people who consider trading Yak, why would you trade yak before Eberle? He will be better than Eberle in 2 years, and at the moment Eberle might fetch more in return?

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#24 Walter Sobchak
February 12 2013, 01:11AM
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Never mind that last comment Rex, I thought it was a great article and got us all thinking about what we have in organizational depth and what might be.

A positive article regardless of what happens before the trade deadline or this summer.

Cheers.

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#25 admiralmark
February 11 2013, 08:27AM
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I'm in the lets exercise patience camp. Main reason is I just feel there are too many holes to fill right now. However, if the trade is simply right then you gotta make a deal to improve the club. A trade along the lines of what you suggested i would personally pull in a heartbeat. I don't think Phoenix would however. But you were also savvy enough not to offer a trade including Hall, RNH, Yak, Eberle, or Schultz. Outside of those top 5 players as GM i would entertain all offers.

But again I felt at the beginning of this season that we were likely looking at a 10th place finish in the West.. And i would be just fine with that. Trading future assets to squeak into that last playoff spot i would not go for. However, I should say that sometime so called "future assets" might be assessed by the team as being valued higher out there by GM's then their actual worth.. So if thats the situation then by all means make the move.

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#26 T__Bone88
February 11 2013, 08:35AM
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I don't think you could get an Ekman-Larsson without sending back an established top 6 player. With that package of players it might acquire Tyler Myers out of Buffalo along with Marcus Foligno and maybe Luke Adam. This team does need to start acquiring pieces that will make it better like a bigger top 6 player that hits.

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#27 j
February 11 2013, 08:39AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Let's call Musil and Samuelsson a saw-off, even though I think Samuelsson's the better prospect. We'll also ignore Chipchura, even though he's a decent 'tweener type.

That leaves Ekman-Larsson for a year of Whitney at $2.75MM, Paajarvi, a 2nd, and a pair of lousy prospects. Pitlick can't score in the AHL, and already has significant injury problems, Rajala's 4-foot-nothing and started the year in the ECHL.

I just can't imagine a team like Phoenix dealing a player like Ekman-Larsson for such a poor package when there's no pressing reason; not unless Don Maloney's doing a wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal that he gets to take over in Edmonton as soon as his deal with the Coyotes ends.

If there were to be a trade, It would probably be something like Gagner, Paajarvi, Klefbom, a year of Whitney at 1/2 price and Omark for Ekman-Larsson, Chipchura and Samuelsson. And even then it's one of those situations where I just don't see a reason why the Coyotes would want to dump Ekman-Larsson.

Agreed. The chances of pulling wool over a Western Conference GM are pretty slim. Target the East - the Rangers are soon to be cap heavy, Washington are losing, the Islanders love to place these types of bets (and seldom win), even Phili are sputtering. As far as the overall theme - the Oilers need to start making the playoffs. That is what professional hockey organizations are supposed to deliver. We (fans) have been led to believe that losing has its rewards (i.e. top drafts) but I would much rather have a winning team with a nucleus of great talent and spare parts(Detroit anyone?). I could care less if the Oilers pick in the top 15 for the next decade. That is not the game we should be focused on.

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#28 vetinari
February 11 2013, 08:50AM
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I think that Tambi needs to be flexible and approach a trade from one of two ways: Option 1- if you are looking at a long term solution to obtain a quality young player (such as Ekman-Larson) who can also grow with your core, grit hard and package up some of your 2nd tier youth players (Musil, Plante, Paajarvi, etc.) in a 3 for 1 trade; Option 2- if you are looking at a short term solution with a veteran or a pending UFA, then see what you can get with your "spare parts" bin (Hordichuk, Peckham, Omark's rights, etc.). Otherwise, stay the course and wait till the cap heavy teams need to move talent either at the trade deadline or between the draft and July 1st.

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#29 bwar
February 11 2013, 09:00AM
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My main question is what is going to make this team a Stanley cup contender? From this perspective I would look at our blatant deficiencies: Face-offs, 5v5 scoring and defensive depth.

So how can we solve these three problems? I'm not well versed enough with all of our prospects but I doubt we have a top six center developing in the minors. So that means this hole needs to be filled through trade or draft. I think you could make the prediction that either RNH or Gagner will be able to make significant improvements in the faceoff circle but you would have a tough time convincing me that both will.

The second area is 5v5 scoring. I think this is an area that should improve as our young core develops but could be bolstered with the addition by a skilled player with size. I would like to believe that a player like Paajarvi could develop into this role but he still isn't there yet and would still have to jump over top of one of the top six forwards we already have established. This area could also be addressed at the same time as getting a top six center.

The third area is defensive depth. Whitney and Potter have not impressed this year. So that means we need at least one more D-man before we can really start making that push for the playoffs and Stanley Cup contention. the answer to this question may lie in one of our developing players. We have some solid CHL prospects as well as Klefbom overseas. I would like to think that at least one of these guys will have the talent to crack the roster in the next few years (hopefully next year).

I really do feel this roster is improving but it seems like that improvement is happening at a slower pace than most of us expected. At some point we are going to start to have some salary cap issues when all of the young guns require big time contracts. We do have a window for success but may need some help from management in order to pull the trigger before that window closes.

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#30 Phixieus666
February 11 2013, 09:06AM
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I'm not so worried about the Defense right now, not enough to make a bad trade. Not to mention the Oilers don't need another player like OEL. They have Schultz. What they do need is a top pairing defensive defense man. N Schultz is a good player but he shouldn't be on the top pairing, hes a bottom 4 guy. So really they need a big heavy hitter that plays the defensive side really well and allows Schultz to do his thing.

I think Gags has been great this year and the amount of commitment the guy has to this team, I would never trade him. I Actually like a lot of the guys we have right now, just need the Vets to play better and add a little size. MPS is starting to throw hits, fistric is a nice addition. Eager still doesnt seem like the right fit for this team but maybe thats just me. I also think Harti should get some shifts in the top 6, he doesn't really need to provide offense he just needs to bring the possession up to par and play physical.

When Jones and Horcoff are back I'd consider sitting Smyth for a game or two.

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#31 Clarko
February 11 2013, 09:17AM
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As bad as the Oilers have played, they are tied for 7th in the Conference. A pretty good record considering they have had some significant injuries to guys like Horcoff, Belanger, and Jones. This team might not be capable of finishing 13th-15th in the Conference.

I'm definitely in the camp of they should start cashing in some prospects and/or picks to start filling those holes. If you draft between 7-10, there is no gaurantee that prospect will be able to contribute in a significant way immediately...such a prospect could be 4-5 seasons from what the Oilers need him to be.

Two first round picks plus the wealth of prospects the Oilers have should be able to fill some of the holes this team has. Tambellini needs to start earning his paycheck and make some moves other than simply drafting 1st overall every year.

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#32 Oilfan69
February 11 2013, 09:45AM
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btw we have 2 second round picks not 2 first round picks, but I think spending picks for next year and beyond is a good idea. grab a few more players in this "deep" draft and let them mature in the minors for a few years so they are ready to plan when we need them.

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#33 Dave
February 11 2013, 09:52AM
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I love OEM's game too, but he's their Justin Schultz (albeit a slightly different player). The kid isn't going anywhere for any price. Besides - Paajarvii's trade value is low right now and I really have liked his game recently. Now is a horrible time to deal MPS.

The fact is that it's almost impossible to acquire young, good defenceman. They are rarer than super forwards like Eberle and Hall. If you've got OEM, J Schultz, or Pietrangelo you hold on to those assets - period. It may be a decade before you draft another one even if you burn your high first round picks on D-men every time.

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#34 Phixieus666
February 11 2013, 10:05AM
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@Rama Lama

I'm not so sure about trading Hemsky yet. But if you can package something up with Whitney to get another 1st and 2nd, I don't see any reason not to even if you need to include Hemsky. With a draft like this it would be nice to have 5 picks in the first two rounds. The reason I say 5 is because according to Stu they are going to be looking to take a goalie somewhere in the first two rounds. With the remaining 4 I would target two centers, a winger, and a defense-man. This team needs more centers and higher potential ones at that. Hell the way this team is setup right now if the best options were all centers I would just keep taking centers. You can always move them to the wing if needed.

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#35 Antony Ta
February 11 2013, 10:06AM
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At least trying to make a playoff push will be important for attracting free agents.

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#36 15w40
February 11 2013, 10:06AM
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If you can fit Hanzal into the conversation somewhere then sure - what kind of package to get him out of phoenix

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#37 nunyour
February 11 2013, 10:09AM
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I think we are still fact finding right now,is Dubnyk a no. 1 ?looks like we have 4 keepers on d,smid,petry,and the shultz's,i agree that we need a big solid,tough ,defensive d-man ,and up front,the young guys need to mature some and put on some beef,some games it's still boys against men.i think next year is the year.the young guys will get better,and the dead weight will be gone freeing up some money ,to start filling holes.show some improvement .get a good draft pick,and spend Whitney's,habby's.and horcoff's money wisly.

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#38 Manfly
February 11 2013, 10:09AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Let's call Musil and Samuelsson a saw-off, even though I think Samuelsson's the better prospect. We'll also ignore Chipchura, even though he's a decent 'tweener type.

That leaves Ekman-Larsson for a year of Whitney at $2.75MM, Paajarvi, a 2nd, and a pair of lousy prospects. Pitlick can't score in the AHL, and already has significant injury problems, Rajala's 4-foot-nothing and started the year in the ECHL.

I just can't imagine a team like Phoenix dealing a player like Ekman-Larsson for such a poor package when there's no pressing reason; not unless Don Maloney's doing a wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal that he gets to take over in Edmonton as soon as his deal with the Coyotes ends.

If there were to be a trade, It would probably be something like Gagner, Paajarvi, Klefbom, a year of Whitney at 1/2 price and Omark for Ekman-Larsson, Chipchura and Samuelsson. And even then it's one of those situations where I just don't see a reason why the Coyotes would want to dump Ekman-Larsson.

^ya, unfortunately i see this online all the time in trade proposals...for Ekman-Larson, the Coyotes would want the moon and stars, starting with Oscar Klefbom...add in Samuelsson, and the conversation starts with a 1st rounder, then switch to two or more of Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Musil, MPS, Harti...the Oil simply would not get away with an under payment for these two, no matter how desperate the 'Yotes may appear!

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#39 bwar
February 11 2013, 10:23AM
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If we are talking about acquiring someone for the top six, one of our current top six will need to be moved. So I think that shopping Gagner and Hemsky (assuming the other four are untouchable) is something that has to happen. Gagner's stock has to be pretty high right now but is anyone willing to trade away the type of player we want in return? Doubtful. Guess that means we will just have to pray for something via the draft.

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#40 Clarko
February 11 2013, 10:24AM
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Oilfred wrote:

Trading picks in this years draft is crazy. Like Brian Burke nuke the Leafs forever stupid.

Its a crazy deep pool. The top 8 look insane. It looks like the '03 draft. Go back and look at that draft class and tell me how many rd 1 and rd 2 picks you want to flush to maybe make the playoffs in what is crap shoot year.

Zona had a great article on NHL Numbers about how mush luck and chance will play a factor this year.

Give your head a shake. Repeat.

Again.

Patience grasshopper.

It isn't necessarily about making the playoffs this year. It is about taking step towards the playoffs. This team isn't going to finish 30th, 30th, 29th, 1st...just not going to happen. Unfortunately patience is wearing thin on Tambo sitting on his hands and doing absolutely nothing to improve this team. Other than signing Schultz, what has Tambellini done outside of making the 1st overall selection every year to significantly improve this team.

I don't like Brain Burke as much as the next guy, and while nobody agrees with the Kessel trade, I'm not sure that team is any better now with Seguin in the lineup. They would still be bottom-feeders and would have been a lottery team with or without that trade.

It is time to start bringing in some veterans who are actually in their prime (not guys like Smyth who are approaching retirement), but guys who are proven in the NHL and are between 23-28 years old.

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#41 Spydyr
February 11 2013, 10:27AM
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My question is:

If no play-off push this year. When is the time to start , you know, actually trying to win games?

Fill in some holes and get on with it.

Seven years outside the playoffs is too long. Even in this market.

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#42 James
February 11 2013, 10:35AM
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Stauffer just tweeted that Hordichuk is on waivers and they will probably recall VDV

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#43 VK63
February 11 2013, 10:46AM
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James wrote:

Stauffer just tweeted that Hordichuk is on waivers and they will probably recall VDV

How will the Oilers survive without him?

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#44 Smokey
February 11 2013, 10:49AM
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I think with the untouchables being Yakupov, Eberle, Hall, RNH, Schultz, I think the only name in play to make a blockbuster trade for OEL starts with the likes Klefbaum, a B level prospect, and a 3rd pick. I don't think Klefbaum projects to be a OEL, and even if I am wrong, hes two full years of development behind. I'd do Klefbaum and spare parts for 2 years of development, because you never know what the window is going to be. Everything could come together in a year or two if Tambo can augment this line-up with producing veterens.

I don't really see why Pheonix deals a cornerstone. We'd look cross at someone if they wanted to trade for Hall for a high pick and a second and prospect.

I'd like to see if we could trade Gagner straight up for Ryan Johansen. Before the Gagner lovers get me, I like the guy. I just see his value being high and I think long term if you can upgrade your team you do it I still don't think CBJ does it, but I can only dream.

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#45 VK63
February 11 2013, 11:03AM
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Not sure I understand the speculation involved in this hypothetical trade.

Why not just tank it and get seth jones. Costs the oilers nothing more than the continued shame of being brutal and thats a mind set the fan base is totally familiar with. Further to that... the supposed waiting list to watch a team capable of fourteen shots in three periods versus Columbus, while simultaneously being "loaded" with "skilled" forwards is significant.

Katz bought the best drug their is.... delusional faith. and in Edmonton its like a pipeline to aladdin's lamp.

Seth Jones is the answer!

I do like Henrik Samuelsson's game.... plus he takes tons of dumb penalties.. and those guys are always awesome for fan base polarization! Always love that!

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#46 gcw_rocks
February 11 2013, 11:07AM
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Substitute Yandle for OEL and you probably have a deal, through I would drop the 2nd rounder to a 3rd rounder and a 7th rounder.

So, Yandle, Chipchura, Samuelson for Whitney, MPS, Musil, Pitlick, Rajala and a 3rd and a 7th.

Again, if you use Willis' logic, its Musil for Samuelsson and Yandle for MPS, Pitlick, Rajala. Toss in the picks where you feel the need to balance.

Yandle is a much less complete player than OEL, but the Oilers would get a very strong puck mover and a catalyst on the PP which should help jumpstart an anemic offense.

Samuelsson would immediately become the team's top centre prospect. With the d-men coming through the system, Musil wouldn't be missed much.

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#47 Smokey
February 11 2013, 11:09AM
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michael wrote:

Trade? OEL? Offer sheet more likely to succeed. Does the NHL match a 5 million dollar a year offer? I wonder if Maloney would have the go ahead to sign OEL to any amount of money? I'd say not. I'd think that the NHL if there still stuck with this dog on July 1st will be looking not pour more money into player contracts barring "New Ownership" on the horizon/wishful thinking. The dynamic of ownership may be a major factor in OEL deciding to pack his bags and head for brighter pastures.

I agree that Yandle is the more likely trade scenario. His 5 million per year sticks out like a sore thumb. The NHL might be looking to dump that contract sooner than later in a shortened season where the prospects of the Yotes making the playoffs look slimmer and slimmer.I'd say the OEL gets Yandles money and Yandle winds up in Philly.

Does OEL get more then Del Zotto or Pk Subban. This year seems to be his breakout year, I don't know if hes going to get more then 3-4 mil. I also don't see any one with the gonads to offer sheet the NHL other then Holmgren, and Bettman would probably kick his ars.

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#48 bdiddy18
February 11 2013, 11:13AM
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Gags was offered in post #2 - dammmn you nailed that over/under spread.

new nhl...and now new cba - prospects will be held onto for dear life, end of story. to pry a prospect or even RFA you are going to have to pay fair market value.

OEL would cost you a Justin Shultz.. your not going to do that.

the only way to target an player like that is via an RFA offer sheet, where it is set in stone what you need to pay.

If the Oilers want to be bold - then make a Ryan O'Reilly offer sheet.. give him the 5 years 5 mil he wants...he is damn worth it.. if horcoff was worth it...

if you had NUGE - O'Reilly - Gagner - Lander as your future 4 centres... that's not a start of something, that's putting the finishing touch on it...well until we flip gag's that is.

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#49 eastcoastoil
February 11 2013, 11:14AM
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I am definitely in the camp of staying the course. If you want a trade then...

I do not see a need to address the second line center. Gagner is more than effective in that role but needs some defensive help on that line.

The hole is on LW, who's behind hall. Yak has scored from the right side not the left.

Move one of the RW(Hemsky/Yak) for a lefty. Someone who is large two player with experiance or size. Max Pacioretty, Scott Hartnell, Patrick Marleau or even pipe dream Milan Lucic.

Size in the top six solved...

let the roast begin

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#50 James
February 11 2013, 11:30AM
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VK63 wrote:

How will the Oilers survive without him?

I'm pretty sure they'll deal with the extra minute and 10 seconds of playing time without him just fine.

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