Why the Edmonton Oilers should *not* offer-sheet Ryan O’Reilly

Jonathan Willis
February 14 2013 12:01PM

Ryan O’Reilly is a very good player locked in a contract dispute with a division rival. Not only that, but his skill-set as a two-way centre who kills penalties, wins faceoffs and drives play in the right direction is a great fit for the Oilers’ organizational needs.

Despite that, they shouldn’t offer the restricted free agent an offer sheet.

The reasons are pretty straight forward:

  • An offer-sheet almost certainly won’t work.
  • The Oilers have a host of restricted free agents in the next few years that are ripe for reprisal/may look enviously at O’Reilly’s big raise.
  • The Oilers have a very, very recent history of having the best pick in the draft.
  • The Oilers don’t own their third-round draft pick

Restricted Free Agents

Over the next three summers, the Oilers have the following impressive list of core players entering restricted free agency:

  • Sam Gagner
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Jeff Petry
  • Justin Schultz
  • Nail Yakupov

Those are five potentially big tickets, and that’s not even getting into guys like Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi.

This summer alone, the Oilers may find themselves in an interesting position with Sam Gagner, should he keep scoring the way he has. They opted to sign him to a one-year deal last summer, but if he keeps scoring at a point-per-game pace (or close to it) over a shortened season he’s going to command a fair-sized raise. That’s a problem because it’s really not clear if the organization sees him as a long-term fit, and it’s a bigger problem because the shortened season increases the chances that as offensive progression is a one-off rather than a true breakthrough.

Compensation

The following is the RFA compensation range plausibly of interest with O’Reilly:

  • Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 - 1st round pick, 3rd
  • Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 - 1st round pick, 2nd, 3rd
  • Over $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 - Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rd

Does a five-year/$25 million contract wrest O’Reilly free from the Avalanche? Does a one-year, $8 million deal? I doubt it very much, but before the conversation can even be considered the Oilers would need to reacquire this year’s third round pick from Dallas.

Even if the offer sheet was successful, at this point could the Oilers be confident that the first round draft pick being sent the other way wouldn’t be used on Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones or Jonathan Drouin? It seems probable that the Oilers will finish well enough to avoid that sort of embarrassment, but it isn’t assured – particularly if something like a Devan Dubnyk or Justin Schultz injury were to occur. On defence and in net the Oilers are painfully susceptible to a single injury to a crucial player.

What About A Trade?

One big issue with a trade is the difficulty of negotiating a fair deal with a current divisional (and likely future conference) rival. Another is properly valuing O’Reilly.

I think Ryan O’Reilly is a superb hockey player, but I also think that because so much of his value doesn’t stem from point production there’s a danger that his numbers drop off. O’Reilly is one season removed from a 26-point campaign. Even last year, during his 55-point effort, he was a fairly middling scorer relative to ice-time, scoring 1.75 points per hour of 5-on-5 play (for the sake of comparison, that would have put him sixth among Oilers forwards last year, just after Sam Gagner’s 1.96 and Ryan Smyth’s 1.93).

O’Reilly makes up for it by playing tough minutes and driving the play in the right direction, but as Shawn Horcoff has ably demonstrated those players don't get stuck by through thick-and-thin when they aren’t scoring (fun fact of minimal value: both Horcoff and O’Reilly were credited with 62 hits in 81 games last season). O'Reilly's younger and better than Horcoff, but like hte Oilers captain many of his most important contributions don't show up on the scoreboard. It would take a brave G.M. to move a high-end roster player and a prospect (the reported asking price, according to Darren Dreger) to a division rival for a guy who may never put up gaudy offensive totals. 

Naturally, the merits of any trade depend greatly on the details, so perhaps it’s possible that the Avalanche and Oilers could work out a mutually beneficial agreement that would see O’Reilly land in Edmonton. It seems highly unlikely, though.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 OilClog
February 14 2013, 12:13PM
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This kid is going to cost too much with the rest of the talent we have to keep together. I think Gagner isn't the player that needs to be replaced, the oilers needs a couple of cost effective nuclear deterrents out there for the skill to finally get some space out on the ice. It's still the same as every year recently, we're being mauled into submission.

I'd take a shot at Penner again and let him roll with Hemsky, it's low risk, won't cost us a valuable piece, or salary.

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#2 Reg Dunlop
February 14 2013, 12:21PM
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I would give up our 1st and a prospect, right now. A player that helps today for a crap shoot years away? Truly a no brainer. Colorado will match any offer sheet, within reason, and will want more than a 1st and a prospect in return so the point is moot.

In a few years we will be in this situation with 1 or more of our young players and we will be calling the shots regarding the return. LOTS of 1st rounders will be dangled in front of MacT, who will be GM by then. In the meantime, why not use this years 1st and next years 1st to improve now?

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#3 tileguy
February 14 2013, 12:24PM
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Ottawa is looking for a defenceman, wonder what we could get for Whitney?

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#4 Taylor Gang
February 14 2013, 12:25PM
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Doesn't O'Reilly coming to edmonton completely contradict the idea of not getting smaller forwards? That we need to bulk up our top 6? I don't know that might just be me... In other words, no. We have the forward core that we want for the next 10 years. I think we should look for a young defensive option to cover Justin Schultz's back when he feels ambitious. (ie: ryan mcdonaugh)

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#5 T__Bone88
February 14 2013, 12:27PM
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With O'Reilly the trade value will not be as some people will want it to be. Look at what Kyle Turris got in return for holding out- Rundblad and a 2nd. In the end that is maybe all Colorado will get maybe a bit more but not much, because lets face it if he is holding out for this long there is more factors than just money and sometimes that will lower a players value. So if the Oilers were to acquire O'Reilly the most I'd do is Klefbom/Musil, this year 2nd and next years 2nd/prospect.

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#6 Toro
February 14 2013, 12:34PM
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I would love too see this guy as an Oiler but I highly doubt Colorado would ship him to a western team, he would be the perfect third liner would look great with Paajarvi and Hartikainen , and pretty much solidify our top 9 , I'm afraid your right that Gagner is gonna be looking for a raise this summer, maybe it's time too ship Gagner while his value is so high. Cause I don't think he's gonna be worth 5+ million which he will be looking for.

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#7 speeds
February 14 2013, 12:36PM
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I'm not sure I'm in favor of an offer sheet, but here are some counter-arguments:

(1) If the offer sheet doesn't work, oh well.

(2) The Oilers are a probable offer sheet target whether they do or don't offer sheet O'Reilly. Teams that are looking to offer sheet Oilers players aren't likely to care that EDM offer sheeted O'Reilly, it will either makes sense to do it on its own merits or it won't.

(3) Getting their 3rd round pick shouldn't be too tough - if they call DAL and offer their 2013 4th and 2014 3rd, does that not get it done?

(4) You are only an offer sheet target if you don't get the players signed before July 1 when they are finished their contract. They got Hall and Eberle signed early, is there reason to believe they can't/won't get the players they want signed to extensions before they are even offer sheet eligible?

(5) Further to (2), EDM is already charged with 3.775 for each of RNH, Schultz, and Yakupov. What could someone offer for those players that EDM wouldn't match? Anything above 7 mil times 6 years would be close to 4 1sts, EDM automatches anything below that I would guess.

I think the best argument against EDM signing the offer sheet is the worry that the pick ends up being top 5, or EDM wins the lottery from 6th-14th, or something like that.

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#8 David S
February 14 2013, 12:38PM
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For the love of god people. "Nuclear deterrants" are pretty much wastes of roster spots unless thay can play. True, we could use some size and grit but let's not settle for an upgraded Hordichuk.

If the guy can't positively contribute to the score sheet he's NOT a fit for this team.

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#9 tileguy
February 14 2013, 12:43PM
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How abour gritty centre Zach Smith from ottawa, 6'2 210 lbs 26pts +4 last year with 98pims. Ottawa needs a defenceman badly, Whitney and a prospect perhaps.

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#10 A-Mc
February 14 2013, 12:47PM
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No trade has Klefbom involved as far as i'm concerned. Not until we see what we have there.

We need more Ben eager types, and they wont take klefbom to get.

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#11 Joel
February 14 2013, 12:47PM
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O'Reilly is potentially a selke trophy winner.

What team that wins the Stanley Cup does not have a two way center in their top 2 lines?

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#12 godot10
February 14 2013, 12:49PM
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Every team that misses the playoffs now has the potential to WIN the lottery and move all the way up to #1.

Do the Oilers want to throw away their lottery ticket on Seth Jones? I think not.

The cluster of talent will attract good UFA's, just like it attracted Justin Schultz.

Besides, O'Reilly, although a good players, wants too much money and term to be value for money.

And with a hard cap, value for money matters.

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#13 Clyde Frog
February 14 2013, 12:53PM
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Ryan O'Reilly is looking for 4+ mil a season, which would make him a younger 1 million dollar cheaper Horcoff.

Is that a bad thing? We did make it to the cup finals with Horcoff centering the first line...

But for the other years, it didn't work out so great for us.

At a cost + draft pick scenario, I'm not sure you invest heavily to pull him out of Colorado.

Especially with Dubinsky in Columbus and them just appointing a new GM who may be happier choosing his own personnel.

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#14 eastcoastoil
February 14 2013, 01:09PM
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No to O'Reilly;

The oilers current need is to get line two and three scoring and driving play. As posted before a large two way player next to Hemsky and Gags is whats needed. This allows Yak to move to RW on the third. Shelter and mentorship...

I hope that they are working on Gags contract before they play Chicago again...

This is not a cup run, finishing anywhere between 7th to 11th is huge improvement from 30th

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#15 gcw_rocks
February 14 2013, 01:15PM
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The Oilers have shown they can get a 3rd round pick back if they want it and the price is established as a 2nd round pick, so if they want it, I suspect they can get it.

I think it is a mistake to use Horcoff as a scare tactic against acquiring O'Reilly. O'Reilly is 22 years old. You would be signing him most likely for 5-6 years, which would take him to 28 or 29 years old, which is still well within his prime window. If he were 25 to 27 years old now, that would be a legit argument, but for a 22 year old, I just don't buy it.

I also don't think you make a decision on what rival GMs MIGHT do in the future maybe. If you think you can offer sheet O'Reilly successfully, you should do it. Management would need to be more proactive in signing their pending RFAs.

The good lads at PPP make a compelling argument (http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/2/4/3938826/why-the-maple-leafs-should-offer-sheet-ryan-oreilly) that the Avs are more ripe for an offer sheet than most, and that O'Reilly is worth it.

If you have to go the trade route, you could easily offer up Gagner (as noted, the Oilers don't appear sold on him, may be due for a big raise) or Lander and Belanger (short term and long term replacements) as starting points to get the discussion started.

If the Oilers gave up Lander, Belanger, and their 1st round pick this year, would you do the deal? You would have to think if the conflict with o'reilly is budget driven, an offer not based on big ticket items would be interesting, especially with the buzz around this years' draft.

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#16 eastcoastoil
February 14 2013, 01:16PM
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I am more concerned with what next years roster looks like.

Capgeek has us with 4 signed defencemen, losing Magnus and Harti along with several others.

JW, is there a way to get some of those expiring contracts, particularly the AHL guys and obtain some picks to restock the cupboards.

Depth is needed for the Dynasty years

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#17 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 14 2013, 01:17PM
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Brian Boyle.

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#18 TheBigOneFour
February 14 2013, 01:19PM
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Has anybody actually considered what the future could be like if Gagner continues playing the way he has. Even if he is a 60-65 point guy thats a good 2nd line player in my books. His work ethic is great and he seems to have natural leadership abilities too. Maybe the Oilers should look at aquiring a bigger top 6 winger (Dustin Penner) to play alongside the "undersized" Gagner.

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#19 common sense
February 14 2013, 01:21PM
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Very good arguments as to why not offer for O'Reilly. As far as Gagne, I think it would be great if someone did make him a great offersheet. It's becoming more obvious that this team cannot have both Gagne and Hopkins as their top two centres.

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#20 eastcoastoil
February 14 2013, 01:23PM
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@gcw_rocks

O'Reilly is not signed right?

With our depth would you make that trade for a unsigned player?

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#21 gcw_rocks
February 14 2013, 01:27PM
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eastcoastoil wrote:

O'Reilly is not signed right?

With our depth would you make that trade for a unsigned player?

Yes, I would. Time to go for broke and the Oilers really need that type of player.

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#22 match16
February 14 2013, 01:37PM
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common sense wrote:

Very good arguments as to why not offer for O'Reilly. As far as Gagne, I think it would be great if someone did make him a great offersheet. It's becoming more obvious that this team cannot have both Gagne and Hopkins as their top two centres.

Well thank goodness he plays wing for the Kings then.

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#23 Archaeologuy
February 14 2013, 01:39PM
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O'Reilly has NO track record of being a point producer. Not even in Juniour. He was just a point per game in the OHL in his best year. Now obviously some guys are late bloomers but you would have to combine his 1st two seasons together to equal the production of his 3rd.

Does this seem like a good bet for sustainability?

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#24 Oiler Al
February 14 2013, 01:57PM
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This verbiage, is fantasy island stuff. As much as I like O Riley, and think he's worth $4 million per, this will never happen with " I am sitting on my hands Tambelini". He would rather wait and hope to get another Lotto pick. Plus would Ave.s really really trade with the Oiler.. Doubt it.

I would have Hemsky in the pkg going the other way.

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#25 bdiddy18
February 14 2013, 02:00PM
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If any General Manager operates with the notion of "fear of poaching" then they should not be a General Manager of any hockey organization.

You decide on your assets before hand, you react accordingly should the issue present itself and at all times you attempt to make the best decision for the direction of the franchise and not stew over variables or hypothesis to which you have absolute no control over.

If that requires signing an RFA offer sheet so be it. If that means repurcussions so be it. However history doesn't even show that to be the case.

Buffalo has done squat after the Thomas Vanek attempt

Anaheim thanked Edmonton for Dustin Penner, and it certainly didnt stop the trades between the two clubs, Ryan Whitney and Andrew Cogliano.

Getting the highly talented player away due to an offer sheet doesn't work. Weber was matched...nobody even tried with Stamkos or Subban.

So if Ryan O'Reilly is a piece that works for Edmonton, try the RFA so what. Again - if they want.

There is on option available though with O'Reilly he is eligible for arbitration after playing this season, which is why Colorado prefers a two-three year deal instead of 1 - or he gets more term less money.

So in fact offering Ryan O'Reilly a 1 year - 3.85 million dollar contract - he'd probably sign it.

most likely sees the exit of Sam Gagner - but I'd bet over their careers its a wash on these two players - with O'Reilly being a better fit at centre in terms of the position and its requirements.

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#26 Phixieus666
February 14 2013, 02:13PM
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@bdiddy18

What about trying to trade Hemsky and Hordi for O'Rielly. Then just move Gags to the wing(where he probably should be). Adds a bigger two way center into the top six. Keep the nordic line going as they are bigger and are starting to play more physical. Theres your three lines that can do some scoring.

Trade Whitney and Eager for a good agitator probably with a pick to round out the bottom a little bit. Or for a better puck moving defenseman.

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#27 Quicksilver ballet
February 14 2013, 02:13PM
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O'Reilly isn't even worthy of an offer sheet. He's not even an elite/potential elite player. If they want him, Oilers should be working on a 3 way deal.

The Oilers tend to treat players differently. Guys like Hall,Hopkins,Eberle have a different skillset than most of their teammates, many of their mistakes are often overlooked. Ben Eager has a much needed skillset on this team as well. If i was Ben Eager i would say screw the coach and run roughshod over the opponent. Initiate the violence at every opportunity. The incompetant referees cant call everything.

Screw Ralph Kruegar Ben, lend him your ear but pay no attention to what that pacifist says. Whenever you have an opponent in a vulnerable position.....CRUSH HIM!.....run around till your hearts content Ben. You'll remain in this league long after Kruegars gone.

Obviously there's the same disconnect between Tambellini and Krueger than there was between Renney and Tambellini. Management brings these Hordichuk and Eager types in only to have the coaching staff punish them for taking a few penalties/doing their jobs....screw that madness.

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#28 bwar
February 14 2013, 02:35PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

O'Reilly isn't even worthy of an offer sheet. He's not even an elite/potential elite player. If they want him, Oilers should be working on a 3 way deal.

The Oilers tend to treat players differently. Guys like Hall,Hopkins,Eberle have a different skillset than most of their teammates, many of their mistakes are often overlooked. Ben Eager has a much needed skillset on this team as well. If i was Ben Eager i would say screw the coach and run roughshod over the opponent. Initiate the violence at every opportunity. The incompetant referees cant call everything.

Screw Ralph Kruegar Ben, lend him your ear but pay no attention to what that pacifist says. Whenever you have an opponent in a vulnerable position.....CRUSH HIM!.....run around till your hearts content Ben. You'll remain in this league long after Kruegars gone.

Obviously there's the same disconnect between Tambellini and Krueger than there was between Renney and Tambellini. Management brings these Hordichuk and Eager types in only to have the coaching staff punish them for taking a few penalties/doing their jobs....screw that madness.

We should probably just bench Eager and get Robbie Schremp back in the line up.

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#29 T__Bone88
February 14 2013, 02:37PM
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The offer sheet system in the NHL is such a flawed system. The way it is set up it makes the team making the offer sheet to over pay in order for the other team to say no and take the picks. Otherwise if you make an offer sheet at O'Reilly at market value then Colorado quickly accepts and basically you just did the work for Colorado's GM. I remember when Edmonton offered Penner and Vanek offer sheets and how other people were saying that they ruined how players get paid but you have to be proactive and other GM's should not have a vindictive attitude to another trying to make there team better. It's like saying that Anaheim will never deal with Edm because of Schultz although Edm didn't do a thing that the other 28 teams weren't doing as well.

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#30 Sox and Oil
February 14 2013, 02:48PM
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No thanks on Mr O'Reilly, especially as a offer sheet and as a trade option where we would no doubt have to overpay.

Instead hopefully Samwise continues his excellent season and draws a (high number) offer sheet from a desperate team.

Then spend on either Getzlaf or find a top 4 defenseman (either FA or trade)

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#31 jefff
February 14 2013, 02:54PM
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Edmonton will never win a cup with RNH as #1 and Sam Gagner as the #2 Center.

Won't happen

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#32 Archaeologuy
February 14 2013, 03:03PM
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jefff wrote:

Edmonton will never win a cup with RNH as #1 and Sam Gagner as the #2 Center.

Won't happen

It's true. You need big guys like Crosby, Giroux, or Datsyuk

*Sigh*

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#33 Oilfred
February 14 2013, 03:05PM
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Not this year, not in this prospect pool. Things can go South too easily in a short season.

Zona had real good piece on how much will play this season.

Not a good year for a bet for so many reasons.

We wait.

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#34 jefff
February 14 2013, 03:06PM
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@Archaeologuy

Crosby and Datsyuk are 2 of the best 2way hockey players in the world.

Show me a team that wins the Cup without a 2 way center on the top 2 lines.

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#35 Phixieus666
February 14 2013, 03:16PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

It's true. You need big guys like Crosby, Giroux, or Datsyuk

*Sigh*

Need to look at the other top 6 centers on those teams. Geno, Couturier their pretty big.

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#36 vetinari
February 14 2013, 03:16PM
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Given our recent draft lotto history, I certainly wouldn't be offering anyone my first round pick.

I would be interested in O'Reilly but the only way that a trade happens is to move a RFA or two back to Colorado with the expectation that you would unlikely be able to meet the salary demands of all of them in the next 3 to 5 years (being Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, Gagner, Mini-Schultz, Paajarvi, Hartikanien, et. al.). I would likely dangle Paajarvi and one of our extra defencemen (Peckham?) and see if they bite.

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#37 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 14 2013, 03:24PM
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jefff wrote:

Edmonton will never win a cup with RNH as #1 and Sam Gagner as the #2 Center.

Won't happen

No they won't. They might win with Gagner as #1 and RNH as #2 center though.

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#38 Blue31
February 14 2013, 04:45PM
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Gagner. Gagner. GAGNER!!!!

I hereby support arming the Spelling Police with small calibre handguns.

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#39 Dog Train
February 14 2013, 04:47PM
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O'Reilly is a good player and the type of player that we need. Still, it seems like he is being overvalued right now and with how much he would cost in terms of both assets and money. I would pass.

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#40 Cody anderson
February 14 2013, 05:37PM
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I am fine with Gags as our second line center. I would prefer he was bigger, meaner, harder to push off the puck, without giving up any of his offensive potential, but really what Oiler would not be better with those attributes?

I hated the one yr deal as if he didn't perform he is most likely done with the team and if he performs well he can hold a gun to our heads knowing how thin we are at centre and could ask to be paid like an elite centre. If he wants more then 5 per then i would be shopping him closer to the deadline. If we can sign him in around the 4-4.5 million range i would sign him for 3-5 years.

If we decide to go bigger his points will make him valuable trade bait to acquire whatever pieces we need.

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#41 Cody anderson
February 14 2013, 05:41PM
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I would not offer sheet O'Reilly, but I would inquire about talking to him about his interest in playing with the Oilers and how much he is looking for.

If he would be interested in 3-4 million I would look at trading whitney and a prospect or mid draft pick to get him. I would not even consider a 1st round right now.

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#42 DonDon
February 14 2013, 05:55PM
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"I'd take a shot at Penner again and let him roll with Hemsky, it's low risk, won't cost us a valuable piece, or salary." -- says Oilclog.

Couldn't agree more.

As for O'Reilly looking great with Paajarvi and Hartikainen, I don't expect to see any of them with the Oil next season. O'Reilly because of cost (acquisition and salary). And even if he did arrive, would you place him with Paajarvi and Hartikainen? Don't think so, O'Reilly is at least a second line centre on this team, they are fourth line players (and can't score).

As for getting something for Whitney in a trade, what is the scuttlebutt out in the NHL universe as to value? And as for Eager, is he tradeable?

Interesting to see what Tambellini does with Gagner.

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#43 Walter Sobchak
February 14 2013, 06:22PM
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What I would do if a trade could be made for O'Reilly would be to ship Hemsky and Hartikainen.

I would move Gagner over to the wing for the remainder of the year, if the experiment with O'Reilly doesn’t work out you can slide Gagner back over. And drop O'Reilly down.

If it does work you now have Gagner to replace Horcoff.

This should save the Oilers in cap dollars and gives you offensive option as a third line center.

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#44 Walter Sobchak
February 14 2013, 06:36PM
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If you’re going to offer sheet anyone….Offer sheet Alex Pietrangelo or Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

I can’t think of one good reason why the Oilers would offer sheet O’Reilly?

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#45 Time Travelling Sean
February 14 2013, 11:00PM
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Everyone is trade Hemsky, trade Hemsky, trade Hemsky when he's struggling, then he puts in work and gets better now its trade Hemsky: his value will never be higher. -.- Why can't Hemmer play here forever? We should give Phoenix a 2014 1st and Whitney for OEL then 6 months later fire Tambellini and hire Maloney as our new GM.

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#46 FastOil
February 15 2013, 09:34AM
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The issue for the Oilers at centre isn't size, it's that RNH and Gagnere ;) are similar in style.

We have one current play driving player in the Gunz - Hall. The river flows back, sometimes pretty hard on anyone not playing with him.

I don't know if we need a two way or play driving second C, but the third at least has to be able to put some points up (not too many or he'll become unaffordable) and play tough comp, basically hold his own and score a bit - young Horcoff, Messier lite.

That allows either Ganger or RNH to play easier comp and destroy them. If that third centre (Lander is looking like he can't score enough) doesn't show up both Ganer and RNH against good teams will play a pretty good opponent.

That will limit their output, especially in the playoffs when you don't see players having a night off much.

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#47 Lochenzo
February 15 2013, 09:40AM
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There will come a time when the Oilers will be making deals to add a signficant roster player in exchange for picks and prospects. But I don't think that time is now.

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#48 Rama Lama
February 15 2013, 10:54AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

O'Reilly isn't even worthy of an offer sheet. He's not even an elite/potential elite player. If they want him, Oilers should be working on a 3 way deal.

The Oilers tend to treat players differently. Guys like Hall,Hopkins,Eberle have a different skillset than most of their teammates, many of their mistakes are often overlooked. Ben Eager has a much needed skillset on this team as well. If i was Ben Eager i would say screw the coach and run roughshod over the opponent. Initiate the violence at every opportunity. The incompetant referees cant call everything.

Screw Ralph Kruegar Ben, lend him your ear but pay no attention to what that pacifist says. Whenever you have an opponent in a vulnerable position.....CRUSH HIM!.....run around till your hearts content Ben. You'll remain in this league long after Kruegars gone.

Obviously there's the same disconnect between Tambellini and Krueger than there was between Renney and Tambellini. Management brings these Hordichuk and Eager types in only to have the coaching staff punish them for taking a few penalties/doing their jobs....screw that madness.

You bring up some interesting points. I too am not sold on O'Rilley and think what ever games he is playing in Colorado may affect our team negatively, if he is brought here.

There are better options than ORilley out there and a offer sheet giving up three or four assets is crazy talk.

Ben Eager will be given ice time under Krueger and I suspect with proper coaching he will be moulded into a Chris Neil type of hockey player. Play with a physical edge but be smart about it.........more of a policeman type.

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