Expectations... Volume 2!

Jason Strudwick
February 19 2013 08:10AM

Wow! I love the feedback in the comments section of my last post "Step back from the ledge". You guys are fired up. Even my buddy Brownlee was moved so much he posted on my posting! I love it!

I want to clear up where I was coming from. I wasn't talking about last year or ten years ago. I wasn't talking about how this is taking too long or what should have been done is the past. I was simply saying that for this season expectations were set to high. This is not a playoff team.

The younger players need time to grow, to develop and to learn how to play the game. Skill is great to have but other teams are skilled at stopping skilled players. Until they learn the value of soft chips at the blue line instead of turning it over their game to game success will fluctuate. Puck management is a huge part of the game now. You can't just trade chances with every opponent, that is too dangerous and unpredictable.

There are holes in this lineup. Depth on the back end and size in the top nine forwards won't be easy to address but by the end of next season it needs to be. Hard decisions face this management group. The sit and wait, passive style which has helped the team acquire top young talent must now be shifted to a more aggressive mode. Can they do it? Time and success will determine that.

I got a posting from MAC932 on my last entry. This is what he had to say.

So Mr Strudwick- explain to me exactly why the Detroit Red Wings have maintained their standing in this league for so long. How many years has it been now.The Oilers have sucked for years 2006 the exception. Lower my expections ? Give me a break, make the moves to fill the voids this team needs without sacrificing the future, it can be done and you know it. You can’t fill all the voids at once i understand that.
Also, tell me from your heart if you feel Oilers Management have built the team to the point they are at now. No they didnt, we sucked for so bad for so long we acquired 1st round picks, and J. Schultz picked us. Put me a list togeather of moves that have improved us. Ryan Smyth- Nope. Belanger- Sorry- Eager- so-so.
Dont pee in my ear and tell me it’s raining Struds.
Takes time- they have had time. We will lose our stars as usual if this 10 year plan continues. Make a Move, show some balls Again, I know it all cant be done at once, but there has been nothing, Fistric is the only decent move to increase team toughness i have seen.

Good stuff from MAC. He covers a whole bunch of topics. I have a question for the whole Nation. MAC writes about making a move. So let’s hear some examples. What moves would you all make? Make them real though. You can't trade Peckham for Weber. Before you submit ideas ask yourself if you would make the trade if you were both teams.

MAC also says that moves can be made now without sacrificing the future. It is hard to predict how players will mature and improve at a young age. When I look at the players in OKC I would suggest the value of many of them has gone down due to their lack of development. Is that the group that will bring back what this team needs? Do you trade Oscar Klefbom? He has value, do you trade him? Do you move a roster player? Hard to see a big return from the players in the bottom six so then who goes from the top lines? How about future draft picks? Next year's first rounder could probably get you something, is that worth the risk?

If I was the GM of the Oilers I would not be very aggressive this season. Obviously you are always looking for opportunities to improve but I would not sell the farm. After the season when I know what position I am drafting I start making plans to fill the holes. No more waiting.

It is easy for us all to sit around and say the team needs to make moves. Let's see what you guys come up with for options.

The best options will get free hugs from both Gregor and Wanye.

The Mighty Kings cometh!!!

I always liked to play the top teams, especially the defending Stanley Cup champions. It was a great way to figure out how close you were to being a good team. I think the game between the Oilers and Kings will be a good measuring stick for the Oil.

The Kings are not the team they were last year due to a couple injuries on the back end. Both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are out. I know for a fact that without both those players the Kings would not have won the Cup last year. That is a fact. Their back end is not the same without them.

Up front they are still a handful. Big, skilled and determined (most of the time). How will the Oilers match up against Richards, Kopitar, Carter, and Stoll at center? Could the game be won and lost simply by faceoff domination?

The grit on the wings is impressive... Brown, Williams, King and Nolan all are strong down low on the puck? How will the Oilers defence match up? I haven't mentioned Kyle Clifford. This kid has been their best player many nights this year. He is rugged, strong and can score some.

This game will be a very good test for the Oilers. Will the Oilers be able to out skate the Kings? Will they use their speed to get in on the forecheck? Will faceoffs be an issue especially on special teams?

Quite a few questions heading into this game. They will be answered during the game and the Oilers will know where they stand.

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Weeseany
February 19 2013, 08:47AM
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MY "plan" from 2 years ago was that this team becomes a playoff team this year. 7th or 8th seed.... and we are by no means way off the mark. Sit tight, don't panic. Make trades if they come along and make sense, but there is no need to make deals for the sake of wanting to take action.

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#2 Wanye
February 19 2013, 12:46PM
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"The best options will get free hugs from both Gregor and Wanye."

I LOVE HUGGING

*runs to put on cologne*

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#3 blue31
February 19 2013, 08:35AM
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Rather than moving out Oilers to bring in potential upgrades, I'd sooner see each player challenged to up their game a notch. (As I'm sure they are.) It should be made clear that failure to do so could result in the end of a career. At least in Edmonton.

The collective bump should equal any new body brought in. It's just as important to weed out those who can't/won't up their game.

I say sit tight for the rest of the year, and let current players work themselves off the team.

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#4 Dan the Man
February 19 2013, 10:17AM
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LET'S TRADE ALL OF OUR FRINGE PLAYERS FOR REALLY GOOD PLAYERS!!!!!!!

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#6 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 19 2013, 10:50AM
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These are very homer offers.

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#7 Ravo
February 19 2013, 11:47AM
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If it was so easy to do the following 1) Add size at forward position 2) Add 1 or 2 top pairing d-men 3) Add a 2nd line center that is defensively sound and dominates the face off dot 4) Trade away all bad contracts while getting useful pieces in return 5) If Horcoff cannot be traded buy him out! I think the Oilers would've done this already. Don't you think 50%-75% of NHL teams would dream of having numbers 1 thru 4 in there roster.

If we would have taken positional need in the last 3 drafts we would be half as good as we are now and be last in the league. I for one am glad we took BPA with our first overall picks its just a shame there wasn't a d-man that was better than Hall, RNH or Yakupov. Look at every team in the NHL they all have deficiencies which they wish they could address but can't! I know I'm glad I'm not a fan of Toronto not enough skill no 1C or Winnipeg no penalty killers and no 1C or Calgary with its bad contracts, no skill and no 1C or Vancouver with all the pieces and they just cant seem to put it all together

This rebuild was what a 4-5 year plan this is year 3!

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#8 Ducey
February 19 2013, 12:23PM
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Is there anyone here that thinks this team will win the Cup this year?

No? Didn't think so.

Would you agree that realistically they could be challenging in 2 years (after next season)?

If so, then its too early to get rid of anyone that could help THAT team. This includes picks in this years draft.

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#9 OilersBrass
February 19 2013, 01:15PM
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Everyone is so impatient. The team went into a total rebuild so they could EVENTUALLY become a team like Detroit, and be a playoff contending team every year. This stuff doesn't happen over night, it takes time. The kids need time to develop properly and find chemistry.

The problem with this team is that they always trade away all their best players when they don't work out right away. How can a team build any chemistry when they have new line mates every year? Do you see teams like Detroit or Pittsburgh trading away key players when they aren't winning consistently?

I know how frustrating it is to see your favourite team lose all the time, but come on guys, the majority of the time they're losing by 1 goal per game. They're so close to being a great team, and they're only going to get better. Don't go and sacrifice future players of the team for a quick fix. Have some patience and wait another couple years and this team will be amazing. I've seen enough ex Oilers have huge success with other teams.

Also anyone who wants to trade away Klefbom doesn't know anything about hockey.

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#10 Robin Brownlee
February 19 2013, 05:43PM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

Boyle, Brian.

You have his name backwards.

(I know, you did it that way on purpose because that's what the MENSA guys do).

And Struddy, veteran move on the give-me-your-trade-ideas hook. Guys smoking the Oiler lettuce (rights to Omark, Paajarvi and Potter for Rocket Richard) can't pass that up. You'll hit 150 comments.

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#11 sizedoesmatter
February 19 2013, 08:24AM
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Based on one quarter of a season gone and with a major injury (Horcoff)The Oilers are close to a playoff spot.I could not be happier

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#12 Cody anderson
February 19 2013, 09:33AM
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I know Arnott failed his physical, but I never heard why, or if it was a long term thing. If he is healthy I would sign him to a 1 yr deal. this would be a huge upgrade over VV.

I would also look at trading Hemsky plus a prospect or draft pick for a truculent forward with offense. Someone like Clowe, Stewart or Doan.

I would also see if there is the potential to upgrade 1 dman by giving up a package of #6-7 dmen.

Something like Teubert, Peckam, and Whitney for Bogosian. If you need to throw in a draft pick or prospect as well then so be it.

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#13 book¡e
February 19 2013, 09:41AM
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I would trade Peckham for Weber, but I'm just awesome like that.

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#14 Cody anderson
February 19 2013, 09:41AM
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People will ask why I would trade Hemsky. He has talent and is having a good year meaning his trade value will be higher then it has been for a long time.

He wants to be top 6 and be paid like a top 6 player, and does not fit long term in our top 6. He is also harder to play with then anyone else in our top 9. It takes a lot longer to develop chemistry then it does with most of our lineup.

If we could trade him for someone with a little more offensive upside then Hartikainan it would really make us tougher to play against.

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#15 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 19 2013, 10:07AM
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Boyle, Brian.

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#16 vetinari
February 19 2013, 10:11AM
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Rather than pitch trade proposals, I think that I would identify out tradable assets-- at this point, Whitney is likely disposable but at low value; Omark's rights may have some appeal to bring back a depth player or late round pick or be a sweetener; we have too many bottom rung defence men so one of Potter or more likely, Peckham can go; someone may pitch for Hordichuk closer to the deadline; Hemsky and Horcoff (subject to him waiving his NTC) may be marketable but would need to bring back NHL ready players on return; maybe Eager when Jones returns; maybe Paajarvi if management thinks that there is no clear role for him here; maybe Khabibulin nearer to the deadline if a team needs veteran help.

I've left the kids out and Gagner for obvious reasons (in Gagner's case, he's one of our leading scorers, 22, from good hockey bloodlines, and still developing). Also, until we actually become a playoff bound team, our first rounders should be off limits.

Not a lot to work with, is there? I still would like to see this management team try something rather than continually sitting passively by while other teams make trades.

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#17 MarcusBillius
February 19 2013, 10:52AM
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Anyone thinking of trading Gagner should keep his contract status in mind (it's a contract year!), and the fact that he's consistently putting up big points for the first time in his career... in a shortened season. As a GM, you've got to be dreading that negotiation.

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#18 Buke
February 19 2013, 10:53AM
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Oh Struds....you just had to open this can of worms didn't you!

@Mike Modano's Dog - Penner was run out of this town two years ago because the compete and effort level was not there. What has changed? Now he is being run out of LA for the same reason. Penner solves nothing!

Omark and a 5th for McLaren. Toronto can keep that goon. Instead of trying to get more PIMS in your bottom 3 who will play 3-5 minutes a night, I would rather them focus on the top 9. Pass on this thought.

@ Cod Anderson - Trades like Peckam, Tuebert and Whitney for Bogosian only worked in NHL 97...and I am pretty sure even the CPU would say WTF! Then you suggest a trade of a package of 6/7 Dmen for a #1 Dman. Who would do this. Quantity does not land you quality. Would you trade 30,000 bic pens for your car?

@ everyone else - please quit using truculent. Have an original thought of your own. Try words like Hawkish, Cantankerous, Pugnacious, Bellicose or Opprobrious. They all mean the same thing essentially.

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#19 Lummeropenet
February 19 2013, 11:07AM
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I wouldn't be shocked if no trades were made by the Oil and we still made the playoffs. If we just miss the playoffs without making a move all the Oiler management haters will be up in arms even worse then when the rebuild began. They just don't know how silly they look. To me at least. Making a trade for the thrill of making a trade like Burkie did in the Big Smoke is not the answer. It's more about ego.

How about another Brewer for a Pronger type player? I'd say it's not gonna happen.

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#20 DieHard
February 19 2013, 11:26AM
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No major trades at the deadline. Maybe this summer with the new cap something will appear that is right for both teams. Any and all of our UFA's should be available for picks and prospects at the deadline regardless of our position. We need one more year of a top 10 pick. Next year we should have some D-prospects that other teams want/need. Next year or the one after is the time to fill those holes and make a run.

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#21 Reg Dunlop
February 19 2013, 11:29AM
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I would like to see a trade that addresses our need for a centre and also sheds $$$ to keep the core together in the future. I think it's realistic so here goes. Eberle and Yak for Tavares and the Isles 1st this year. Suddenly centre becomes our strength and we have top 6 wing openings for larger, meaner free agent acquisitions.

Anyone glad I am not the GM?

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#22 Hair bag
February 19 2013, 11:43AM
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guptee wrote:

The problem isnt that we need to be patient with the kids. They are the ones leading the charge on this team. The problem is that the GM hasnt provided them with adequate backup. Its the veterans like Whitney who are pulling us down. The management should have addressed the defensive weakness on our backend and agressive pursued better defensemen during the free agency.

Asking us to be patient would have been a justifiable plea if it were the kids who were the problem.

Funny in one part of your comment you say how crappy our old guys are and that they should be replaced - my question to you is - if they are crappy 1)who is going to want them and 2) why would another team trade you a better player for your crap or multiple players that are your dead weight. People on here make it sound like you can just pick up the phone any day and suddenly make things better - sorry it just doesn't work that way! The best poker players are patient and play the odds. Our best odds are with being patient and enjoying the better hockey that we have been witness to this year - which is going to come with its fair share of mistakes and downs as well. In two years if things still seem as bleak as many of you are making out then I will be on board with you for heads to roll.

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#23 Will
February 19 2013, 12:16PM
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@Phixieus666

But do you think the problem is that we need a better second line centre or that we need more size in our top six? Because if it's the latter, and you think Gagner is doing a fine job as our second line centre, then this might be a more viable option to balance out our lines.

Depending on the LW you get back, he might even be able to play top line minutes, and shift Hall down to the second line, which kind of negates our need for more size on that line if Hall always has the puck. Plus he's really gotten better on his passing this year and could be able to be that play maker that dishes to Yak. I really don't know why this line hasn't been tried out yet as I really think Hall and Yak would compliment each other so, so well. The problem with that line would be defensive responsibility, as Yak already has to try and cheat back to cover up for Hemsky and Gags.

I just don't see Hemsky netting a big skilled centre, I don't think it's enough, but that's not to say he couldn't get a big skilled LW (maybe we can take the cap hit, or he's not quite as skilled or a hundred different options to get that guy).

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#24 lolhockey
February 19 2013, 12:52PM
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Hemsky for Dustin Brown. One of the teams throw in a sparepart/pick.

We have skill but need more grit. Kings have grit but need more skill (I think?).

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#25 Lochenzo
February 19 2013, 01:21PM
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All that they should be contemplating is a small depth move. A centre would be nice.

This year should be about evaluating the roster and seeing how far these kids can go. You can make your adds in the off season.

Buying players at the trade deadline is very expensive. 2006, we gave away a 2nd round pick for Samsonov and had a wonderful run to Game 7, SCF. But the price for Samsonov turned out to be Milan Lucic. Expensive price to pay, and it's only worth it if you make a deep playoff run.

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#26 Ducey
February 19 2013, 01:49PM
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OilClog wrote:

Yes, this years draft picks to best help this team next year... would be used in a trade to upgrade our current talent as.. Winning now has becoming the standard instead of waiting for tomorrow.

This years 2nd round picks will help us in 3years.. If ever?

Winning now?

The team was 29th last year. They are essentially the same team with the addition of of two rookies, Hartikanen and MPS.

They are in the development stage. "Winning now" is just going to stunt the rebuild and make sure this team never wins a Cup.

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#27 David S
February 19 2013, 03:51PM
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You seem like a good guy Struddy, but for the love of god can you not open up a fantasy trade thread while the actual season is going on? We just had, what, 8 months of those stoopid things clogging up the comment threads.

An article on the relative value of Sam Gagner as a long-term Oiler would get you as many comments and be more fun than the ad-nauseum "Smid and a first for Crosby" trade suggestions people are throwing out.

Besides, any sane person knows it'll take Smid, Potter and a second to snag Crosby.

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#28 Shredder
February 19 2013, 03:57PM
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Oh god. Not trade suggestions...please, no trade suggestions. I can't stand how diametrically opposed people can be on a player, their value, and what so-and-so can get in return. If Joe Blow says ___ is worth ___ tell me what does that get you by reading that? The fact that there are blog sites devoted to this makes me sick jsut thinking of it. No offense to any bloggers out there, but seriously, is your opinion worth anything here? No. And really, just because you might of come up with the idea that Gagner, a 1st and Paajarvi is worth Malkin, doesn't mean there is ever going to be a chance in hell that any deal like that gets done.

And where is the GDB??? The game is only a few hours away, how am I going to procrastinate at work unless I have this? Seriously, it's all I'm thinking about right now.

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#29 Skidplate
February 19 2013, 05:44PM
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@Wanye

What are you thoughts on spooning?

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#30 thefullnelson
February 20 2013, 10:55AM
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Totally disagree with Mac! Using the last five years and the next five years as context, I am more than happy with spending this season in classic Tambellini mode - ignoring/underadressing roster holes (because WE HAVE TO TRADE SOMETHING TO GET SOMETHING). "Deal Gagner" you say... great. Now you need a #2 center. "Deal him for Getzlaf" you retort. Awesome. Gags + this year's 1st + 2 of our better D prospects besides Klefbom, at a minimum! "Deal Paajarvi" you say. Why??? The 3rd line is important and we won't win any Cups without skill at all levels of our roster! Just because he doesn't score 30 goals - yet - doesn't mean he's not part of the plan! "Deal the #1 pick" you say. I facepalm, Picard-style.

Life isn't NHL 13! You have to consider more than the last and next 5 minutes when looking at a roster! No team will give us a good player for our misfits and spare parts.

If we hold to the plan and get halfway competent GMing WHEN THE TIME TO MAKE TRADES COMES we can expect to be one of the best 5 teams in the league for 10 years. If we blow our load now we can hope to be in the top 8 for 3 years.

The season ticket holders were asked their permission to undertake the rebuild. They said they were OK with it... "provided the Oilers took the time to do it right!" The Oil have a mandate to do what they are, directly from the fans who have been the most supporting (ie: spending the most) while also being the most knowledgeable (ie: they get to watch all the F*ing games, the lucky sods!).

Every year there is new excitement over this team, and all the "fans" who couldn't handle watching the team take it on the chin over the last 5 years suddenly want a bandwagon to hop on to. You'll get your damn bandwagon... in two more years. But you DON'T get to drive it!

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#31 OilClog
February 19 2013, 08:25AM
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Haven't we already beat the kings and their size? Didnt our team of little mighty warriors come back against a bigger meaner team on Saturday night?

With one or two correct moves, this is a playoff team now.

No more free passes, it's time for the Oilers management to reward us our just due for sticking with this debacle the last 20 years.

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#32 MarcusBillius
February 19 2013, 08:43AM
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Jason, you've played a long time in the league and have the necessary, recent first-hand experience to comment on this:

With our current top 6, if you're trying for a playoff spot but not expecting it, do you need size? Kings size? Ducks size? Sharks size?

Or does the skill make up for that?

Now, in 2 years, when a playoff *run* will be the expectation, do you need size, or will skill make up for that?

b/c I'm sick and tired of Dinosaur Don Cherry saying we need to be big over and over and over and over...

PS according to the Lowebellini 5-year plan, this is the year we make the playoffs.

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#33 Freewheeling
February 19 2013, 08:50AM
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Jason would you say the Oilers the next three games will make or break their playoff hopes?Time to string a winning streak together.The 9 game jaunt could be what the doctor ordered.Iwould say at the very least we must be 500 on the trip.What would it take to get Barret Jackman out of St. Louis.Tough d man hard to play against exactly what we need on the back end.Up front time to lure a big name ufa here

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#34 Zed
February 19 2013, 08:54AM
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I think of the Oilers as a product.

How can you not be happy with a product that comes back from a 3 goal deficit from the first period in one game and scores in the last ten seconds to tie it up in another.

But there are the matinee games (yawn).

Oh yeah and getting spanked in their home opener.

Wasn't there a lockout this season?

Ok, so I'm still on the fence but at least 4 games in the playoffs would make my decision a little bit easier.

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#35 j
February 19 2013, 08:56AM
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I agree with Struds re: the Oilers being a year or two away. I am as frustrated as anyone that it has taken so long but feel we are at a watershed moment with this club. A few good moves (and non-trades) and this team should be contending for a long time. How did Detroit do it? Let's not forget that they were terrible for a very long time. What changed? How about drafting two of the best players to have ever laced them up in Stevie Y and Lindstrom. Throw in a few Fedorov's and Shanahan's and add Bowman. Voila. That was easy. Would the Oilers be in contention if they had 2006 Pronger on the back end? Definitely. But they don't. And may never find him again. So we need to keep looking for a group that works and I don't see it in the current roster.

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#36 Phixieus666
February 19 2013, 09:06AM
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MarcusBillius wrote:

Jason, you've played a long time in the league and have the necessary, recent first-hand experience to comment on this:

With our current top 6, if you're trying for a playoff spot but not expecting it, do you need size? Kings size? Ducks size? Sharks size?

Or does the skill make up for that?

Now, in 2 years, when a playoff *run* will be the expectation, do you need size, or will skill make up for that?

b/c I'm sick and tired of Dinosaur Don Cherry saying we need to be big over and over and over and over...

PS according to the Lowebellini 5-year plan, this is the year we make the playoffs.

The grind of the playoffs and the way the refing of the games changes in the playoffs favors bigger physical teams.

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#37 Mike Modano's Dog
February 19 2013, 09:12AM
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Trade examples (likely to get flogged...) - I am obviously looking for more size and a little more nastiness.

Smyth and Potter for the fallen out of favour Dustin Penner...which gives us a little more size. I know he isn't overly physical but can play that way on occasion, when needed...(I know I'm going to get raked over the coals for this) but he has done so in the past - here.

Omark and a 5th for the for the young former Sharks behemoth the Leafs just picked up...Frazer McLaren? (Leafs get scoring, already have an abundance of size and the Oilers have one less small skilled fw and finally a fighter who can play a little. I hope.)

An up and coming d-man like Klefbom and change to the Flyers for Scott Hartnell (might have to wait for the offseason to do this).

Same deal roughly to the Ducks for Ryan Getzlaf, or Bobby Ryan. Another possibility could be Hemsky and some combination of Musil, Marincin and a mid-round pick.

Just some food for thought, and addresses size and nastiness. Although the first two deals don't really deplete our roster the last ones would be thought of as also adding leadership, and someone who can play with our front lines and provide some toughness.

* Would also love to pick up Ryan Clowe...instead of one of more of these deals.*

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#38 Rama Lama
February 19 2013, 09:22AM
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I would fill the OKC Barons with young drafted talent who deserve to be there. Not Green, Arcabello, Hamilton........guys brought in to fill roles. At some time you have to ask the question, is it better to draft soley based on skill ( BPA) or what your organization is projecting what it's needs will be in the short term and long term?

I for one think the BPA is vastly over-rated. Maybe if you are drafitng first it becomes a good strategy but past the top 5 players available ( in most drafts) it's a crap shoot. At this point I say you select the best player available based on needs. If the best player available based on needs is sitting a couple of spaces down from where you are selecting........maybe you choose him instead. This is where the GM has to show his creativity and wheel and deal. Would it have made more sense for the Oilers to forgo the first choice in place of perhaps two lower choices........we may have been able to get power forwards like Henerik Samuelsson that way?

For me having draft choices is more important in developing a team and using the Detroit model of developing players in the AHL, makes good sense. THis strategy also keeps the team from having to go after UFA's .........NYR has been employing this strategy for years is no better for it. In fact it's become the grave yard for over priced talent looking to get away from it all.

If I were running the team, I would be trading away Hemsky, and getting a top pick while his value is high. We have enough wingers and need to concentrate on selecting centerman and defenseman........this years draft is looking promising. CBJ has an advantage this year, and there is no reason we can't acquire another top pick.

No trades, at this time given the GM we have in place. He is not capable of pulling off a good trade anyways.

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#39 Phixieus666
February 19 2013, 09:25AM
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@Mike Modano's Dog

I'd say your on crack. Under no circumstances would LA take Smyth and Potter for Penner. You'd have a better chance of just offering Potter for Penner.

Leafs aren't trading any of their big guys. They are trying to establish the identity of be a tough team to play against, just wont happen and nobody wants Omark.

Klefbom for Hartnell, and where do you put him. We already have a lot of top 9 guys and he won't be a 4th liner. If your going to pull in a top 9 player you need to move one out. I'd rather try and trade Smid than Klefbom.

Now on the Smid front, and a lot of people wont like it. I'm sure most have heard the rumors that the Oilers are likely to move Smid at the deadline. At first I thought this was crazy and it caused me to watch Smid more closely in games to try and figure out why in the hell they would do it. And then Kruger commented on Dallas. The game is changing to the point where you need your top 4 defense to be able to pass the puck. Smid can't pass worth a crap and considering he will likely be demanding 4 mill a season in his next contract, it just doesn't make sense to have a high priced top 4 that can't make a pass. Fistric is just as physical and blocks shots just like Smid but gets paid a lot less and hopefully Peckham will be the same. Just an observation.

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#40 Lummeropenet
February 19 2013, 09:33AM
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I like the idea of getting 100% out of the current line-up before we consider a trade. I do play the stock market so selling low is not a good idea. (Whitney is not playing well, TRADE HIM!) Play Whitney and let him get some game back and see what happens. I'd take a Ryan Whitney any day over what you'd get for him in a trade when he's struggling, DUH.

If you're desperate you're going to lose a trade. Oh, and there are 29 other teams in the NHL all franticly scrambling to the top in a 48 game season. Stakes are high and when the bidding starts for players like O'Reilly you're gonna pay!

Kopitar looks like a Zombie.

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#41 Phixieus666
February 19 2013, 09:41AM
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@Lummeropenet

I thought Whitney probably played his best game on Sat. Need to keep him paired with Petry. I honestly wouldn't mind keeping Whitney if he gets his game back and is willing to sign at a discount. Also I've really liked Hemsky's game and I wouldn't mind keeping him the only question is in a new contract is he willing to come under the 5 mill cap mark because that will need to happen to keep all the young guys here and hemsky. If not use him to get some size and nasty. Although I am looking forward to seeing Anti Tervianin or however you spell it. Apparently he is a nasty MF'er

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#42 Ducey
February 19 2013, 09:44AM
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Struds, you are correct. This isn't and wasn't a playoff team.

The team is relying on a guy in his second year as their #1 C, has two rookies (Schultz Jr and Yak) in key roles, is relying up on DD to play everyday for the first time in years, and is one of the youngest in the league.

All the wanna be GM's out there want to trade players like MPS, Hartikanen, Klefbom and the like for the next Colby Armstrong or (insert name of Canadian born truculant checking winger/ Coke Machine).

You do that when you are making your run at the Cup. Only idiots (Hi, Mr Burke) sent away young players when your team is just getting competitive.

Right now they are on a one game winning streak and have played two good games in a row. It might be a bit early to plan the parade (or send out any young players or picks).

In fact, I think Tambo needs to look at getting even younger. Trade some of Bulin, Whitney, Jones, Eager and Belanger at the deadline to teams that think they can make a run. Let guys like MPS, Hartikanen, and some other young players you get back have some key icetime down the stretch. Then hit the FA market hard in the offseason.

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#43 Will
February 19 2013, 09:48AM
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We called into Stauffer recently and asked this very same question, how do you go about addressing the holes knowing it's hard to pull the trigger on a big trade. Stuaffer thought, as I do, that our D core will be solid if even one of our big name defensive prospects pans out, or even does better than expected. If two of those prospects pan out as billed then our defence is laughing. As for more size in our top 6, especially at centre, his answer was this year's draft. I forget the specific name he used, but he seems to think our big two way centre is in this year's draft. But that obviously means we still have a ways to go before we are the team all the fans are waiting for.

As for a trade, I think Gagner and Hemsky have trade value. I like both of them right now, and Gagner does produce enough points to earn his role on the second line, but these are the players that could net us back something to fill the holes.

So if you trade Gags, you have to be getting back a player LIKE Ryan O'Rilley, a two way centre that can play with skill. Every team needs these players so finding one to pluck means that every other team is probably looking to pluck them as well.

As for Hemsky, I think you trade him for a bigger, possibly less skilled left winger. If you have to throw in something else to make this trade then do it. Even that one trade means our top line has a larger presence on the wing, and our second line now has Hall, Gagner, and Yak, matching up against softer competition.

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#44 Phixieus666
February 19 2013, 09:53AM
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@Will

Yup that centers name would be French Canadian

Frederik Gauthier Ht/Wt: 6' 5"/210 lbs he should be available somewhere in the 15-30 slots as of right now.

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#45 guptee
February 19 2013, 09:54AM
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The problem isnt that we need to be patient with the kids. They are the ones leading the charge on this team. The problem is that the GM hasnt provided them with adequate backup. Its the veterans like Whitney who are pulling us down. The management should have addressed the defensive weakness on our backend and agressive pursued better defensemen during the free agency.

Asking us to be patient would have been a justifiable plea if it were the kids who were the problem.

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#46 OILERSORDEATH
February 19 2013, 09:55AM
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I wonder what it would take to pry Clifford from LA uh? He's a effin beast this year!

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#47 Wendy01
February 19 2013, 09:57AM
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I agree with you Jason. The Oilers brass have some tough decisions to make. Should they be pulling the trigger on a trade now or should they just wait? The tough part is that in order to get something good, you have to give up something good and that means moving someone from your top six. They need another tough stay at home defenceman and at least one big winger or center in their top six to make the jump to a playoff contending team. I'm not going to make stupid trade suggestions (like Peckham for Weber) but I'm thinking it looks like Hemsky and/or Gagner may be what gets moved to get what they need. Too bad as they are both playing so well, but ...... And the other question is does Tambellini have the stones to make the moves? All in all though, I have to say that although they are a train wreck in their own end, they've been highly entertaining when they get rolling this year. I've got the patience to wait for another year to make the playoffs. Sadly, this team isn't ready yet (but moving in the right direction).

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#48 Ducey
February 19 2013, 09:58AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I know Arnott failed his physical, but I never heard why, or if it was a long term thing. If he is healthy I would sign him to a 1 yr deal. this would be a huge upgrade over VV.

I would also look at trading Hemsky plus a prospect or draft pick for a truculent forward with offense. Someone like Clowe, Stewart or Doan.

I would also see if there is the potential to upgrade 1 dman by giving up a package of #6-7 dmen.

Something like Teubert, Peckam, and Whitney for Bogosian. If you need to throw in a draft pick or prospect as well then so be it.

Come on man,

You would trade Hemsky for Anthony Stewart, who was traded with two picks for Kevin Westgarth and then placed on waivers??

How do think San Jose is going to respond when you ask for Clowe who had 57, 62 and 45 pts the last three seasons for player who had 28, 26 and 18?

In what world would Teubert, Peckham and Whitney get you Bogosian? Why would the Jets trade him at all? Why would PHX trade Doan?

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#49 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 19 2013, 10:11AM
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Yakupov to the Glen Sathers for delZotto and Boyle. Include filler picks on either side to balance the scale if need be. Boom playoffs.

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#50 Unhealthy scratch
February 19 2013, 10:19AM
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So if even the first round of the draft is a crap-shoot, that means whoever you pick might be a bust. If you want to avoid a bust, how does it improve your odds to NOT pick the BPA? That doesn't make sense to me.

The Oilers have Hemsky for one more season after this. Personally I love watching #83 and figure he has four or five good years left. But as a highly entertaining and talented player on a reasonable contract for what he produces, he should be worth a top pairing D-man with a comparable value contract and term. I think his value is about the same as Tom Gilbert, not that either team would make THAT trade.

Most of us have supernatural powers of hockey insight...trade this guy, fire the coach, etc etc etc. Watching Cogliano and Fraser contributing out on the west coast reminds me that we aren't necessarily that smart.

RK has my vote as the most important change this team has made in 2 years. We won't see his full impact until winter comes again.

Sure, if someone will give up a physical puck moving first pairing RD for a broken VCR plus Linus Omark, let's get that done. Otherwise, stay the course. Let the people we have learn what they are supposed to learn, and let RK see whether it works and adjust.

Wouldn't you rather work on problems you know with people you know, than problems you don't know with people you don't know?

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