GDB 26.0: ENDING ON A HIGH

Jason Gregor
March 12 2013 02:30PM

The Oilers end their franchise-high nine-game road trip tonight with a date in Denver, and they will look to salvage the trip with a victory. A win would make them 3-4-2 on the trip and keep them within five points of the playoffs.

If the playoffs are the goal, tonight is a must-win when you look at the standings.

A win tonight would give them 25 points in 26 games, meaning they'd need 29 in their final 22 games to make post-season if we agree that 54 points is the magic number to get in.

Outside of the daunting task of needing to go 14-7-1, 13-6-3 or 12-5-5 in their final 22 games, their playoff push could be derailed by too many 3-point games. So far this year the western conference is having a significantly higher amount of 3-point games than in previous seasons.

2012

Western conference played 615 games.

465 ended up as 2-point games.       75.6%
150 ended up being 3-point games. 24.4%
98 of (150) went to a SO.                      15.9% (of total games played)
52 of (150) were decided in OT.            8.5% (of total games played)

Eastern conference played 615 games and oddly enough had the exact same amount of 3-point games.

465 ended up as 2-point games.       75.6%
150 ended up being 3-point games. 24.4%
85 of (150) went to a SO.                      13.8% (of total games played)
65 of (150) were decided in OT.          10.6% (of total games played)

With the same amount of 3-point games each conference ended up with five 100-point teams and the 8th seed in the East had 92 points, while the 8th seed in the west had 95. The 8 playoff teams in the east combined for 68 three-point games and 802 total points,  while the 8 western teams had 83 three-point games and combined for 815 points.

In 2011, the east had 150 games go to OT, while the west was just below at 147. (24.1% of  league games).
In 2010, the east had 156 games go to OT, while the west had 145. (24.5% of league games).

2013

So far this season, however, there has been a significant difference between the two conferences.

The Eastern conference has played 190 games.

152 have ended as 2-point games.   80%
38 ended up being 3-point affairs.     20%
19 of (38) went to a SO.                        10% (of total games played)
19 of (38) were decided in OT.            10% (of total games played)

The Western conference has played fewer games, 185, but they've already seen way more go to OT.

128 have ended as 2-point games.   69.2%
57 ended up being 3-point affairs.     30.8%
33 of (57) went to a SO.                        17.8% (of total games played)
24 of (57) were decided in OT.            13% (of total games played)

Right now the west has 10% more of their games ending in 3-point affairs.

The league as a whole is up a bit as 25.3% of the games played have gone to OT, but the west is significantly ahead. It could just be an anomaly to start the season, or the teams or more even or playing to get to OT. Either way, if the west stays at 30% it will be much harder for the Oilers to climb up the standings.

LINE UP

Hall/Horcoff/Hemsky
Jones/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Paajarvi/Gagner/Yakupov
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
Whitney/J.Schultz
N.Schultz/Potter

Dubnyk

Usually you don't switch anything anything after beating the best team in the league, but Krueger suggested he'd put Jones in for Hartikainen. Krueger also hinted that there was a slight flu bug going around, so maybe Hartikainen is sick. The Oilers need to compete as hard as they did in Chicago and they'll have a chance. If they revert back to losing battles and not making smart plays at the offensive blueline they will lose.

OVERTIME

  • If I'm the OIlers, I'd move Eric Belanger before the deadline. It is obvious by his play on the ice that he isn't happy here, and the Oilers don't need that in their dressing room. I think he'd have some value. He's a veteran who can kill penalties and win faceoffs.
     
  • How much is Ladislav Smid worth? Is he better than Johnny Boychuk in Boston? I see them as similar players, although Boychuk benefits from playing with Chara. Boychuk's cap hit is $3.36 million. Matt Greene is $2.95 mill. Johnny Oduya makes $3.38 mill. On a good team Smid is a very good #4, and the Oilers desperately need him. He'll probably get $3.5 mill in free agency so if the Oilers offer between  $3.1-$3.5 million I think that is fair. You?
     
  • Anton Lander has been assigned to OKC. Smart move. He needs to play more than 9 minutes a night.
     
  • If you have a moment take the time to vote for New Sarepta (my hometown) in this contest. It will give them a great night out, but more importantly some money to upgrade their arena. I'd appreciate it if you voted just once at least. Daily would be even better, and likely give you good karma to win something on my show. Thanks.
     

GAME DAY PREDICTION: After Sunday's entertaining and unexpected affair, we won't see as much offence tonight, but it will be close. Oilers keep slim playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 OT victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Duchene has six points in three games vs. Edmonton this year and he maintains that pace with a goal and an assist. Nugent-Hopkins matches Duchene's production and scores his first goal in 12 games.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PREDICTION: After being on the receiving end of numerous heavy hits from Ryan Wilson in the OHL and NHL, Hall returns the favour when he lays out Wilson with a clean hit behind the net. The hit sets the tone for an exciting third period.

YOU WIN, CHARITY WINS

 

Do you play Hold 'em? How good are you? Now is your chance to find out.

Here is your chance to helps end MS and win your entry ($10,000) to the WSOP main event.

The 2nd annual Gregor Charity Classic goes Saturday, April 13th.

Century Casino, Oilersnation.com, Darci Huhn with Travel Only  and The Jason Gregor Show have teamed up for a fun day of chirping, card playing and fundraising.

WHEN: Saturday April 13th. Registration at 11:30, tourney at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Century Casino, 13103 Fort Road
WHO: 100 Texas Hold Em Players
WHY: To Help End MS and win a seat at the WSOP main event

COST: $185 per person (15% goes to MS Society)

Please be advised of the following stipulations for the tournament:  

·       All participants must be 21 years of age.
·       The grand prize is based on a minimum occupancy of 80 participants, with only 100 spots available. If all spots are not filled, the grand prize will be adjusted to the pre-determined cash prizing.
·       The grand prize awarded is a seat in the World Series of Poker Tournament Main Event, valued at $10,000 USD, in Las Vegas July 7th – 16th, 2013. The last 9 players of the tournament will return to Las Vegas in November 2013 for the final table. All events will be held at the Rio Hotel.
The grand prize includes airfare, courtesy of Darci Huhn with Travel Only and accommodation for one.
·         The grand prize is non-transferable. The 1st place grand prize winner of the tournament  will accept the prize as awarded and be expected to participate and represent Century Casino and The Jason Gregor Show in the World Series of Poker Tournament.

·         The remainder of the cash prizing for the tournament will be broken down as follows, based on full occupancy:

 
1st place- $10,000 entry fee into WSOP main event.
2
nd place - $2,000.00 cash  and $500 donation in name to MS Society.
3rd place - $800.00 cash and $200 donation in name to MS Society
4th place - $640.00 cash and $160 donation in name to MS Society.
5th place - $560.00 cash and $140 donation in name to MS Society.
6th place - $480.00 cash and $120 donation in name to MS Society.
7th place - $400.00 cash and $100 donation in name to MS Society
8th place - $320.00 cash and $80 donation in name to MS Society
9th place - $240.00 cash and $60 donation in name to MS Society.
10th place - $210.00 cash and $62.50 donation in name to MS Society.
 

** 1st place prize is not redeemable for cash. If you can't go then the 2nd place winner can go in your place and you receive their prize.**

To enter call 780.643.4060 right now... Good luck.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 PapaMike
March 12 2013, 02:37PM
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Yup

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#2 MooseMess
March 12 2013, 02:43PM
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The new Trade Machine on Cap Geek is awesome.

How's this for a deal?

EDM

Hemsky/Gagner/Teubert/Roy $9.6mil cap hit

for

Yandle/Vermette/Gormley/Visentin $10.7mil cap hit

Oil get the much coveted Top 4 D, two excellent prospects that fit the rebuild and a much needed two way center.

Phoenix gets much 2 much needed scoring forwards (instant upgrade to their O) and two legitimate prospects. Phoenix stacked with D depth, so structure of deal and outgoing cap expense makes sense for them.

Get it done Tambi lol

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#3 Shredder
March 12 2013, 02:43PM
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This will be a good game, I see the Oilers confidence as particularly fragile though, a loss could do some major damage, a win will add a little to the Chicago win. I like the lineup, adds backcheck to every line, the #1 line can do a lot of damage, it protects Nuge and Gagner's lines, but I don't like Smyth at Center. Not that he can't play there, just that he's not a natural there. I think the Oil will get 3 5on5 goals tonight, and 1 PP. Too bad I have to play soccer instead of being able to watch it.

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#4 Shredder
March 12 2013, 02:46PM
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MooseMess wrote:

The new Trade Machine on Cap Geek is awesome.

How's this for a deal?

EDM

Hemsky/Gagner/Teubert/Roy $9.6mil cap hit

for

Yandle/Vermette/Gormley/Visentin $10.7mil cap hit

Oil get the much coveted Top 4 D, two excellent prospects that fit the rebuild and a much needed two way center.

Phoenix gets much 2 much needed scoring forwards (instant upgrade to their O) and two legitimate prospects. Phoenix stacked with D depth, so structure of deal and outgoing cap expense makes sense for them.

Get it done Tambi lol

Getting Gormley would be so awesome that I think it kills the deal. Yandle is a good Dman, to the point where not long ago he was being considered for the Norris. I would also say Visentin is considered much stronger than Roy, particularly since he was the starter and Roy was his backup at the same WJC a couple years ago.

Great deal for the Oilers, but likely the Oil need upgrade the prospects going the other way to make it even.

Just my opinion.

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#5 MooseMess
March 12 2013, 02:53PM
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@Shredder

Throw in Musil instead of Teubert? Or would it take Klefbom to get the deal done?

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#6 Chet134
March 12 2013, 02:53PM
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@MooseMess

So basically ur giving up on this season with this trade. It wont happen cuz tambo would be signing his firing papers. Even tho he should be fired anyways Plus I think u would have to give up more assets on edmontons end.

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#7 106 and 106
March 12 2013, 02:55PM
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@MooseMess

Awesome Machine bud, thanks for the info.

NHL GM's are unfortunately a lot more hesitant to make big deals, so while we dream them up, we rarely ever get that much fun (other than "For the 1st overall selection...) -

Even Trade Deadline is usually a bust (Gilbert vs. Schultz was ALL we got after weeks of hype - HYPE!)

Hope the Oil avoid the 3 point drudge tonight and squeak one out in regulation - where is a Yak celly - he's due to be primed for a couple.

JG - applauded on the community work - you got my vote!

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#8 Shredder
March 12 2013, 03:01PM
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MooseMess wrote:

Throw in Musil instead of Teubert? Or would it take Klefbom to get the deal done?

In my opinion Gormley is a higher rated prospect than Klefbom even. Both are good, but Gormley was projected to go as high as 4th, even though he slid further. He's also a year further along in development.

That being said, Gagner & Hemsky are probably worth just slightly more than Yandle & Vermette, so maybe it balances. I don't know their contracts though.

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#9 Jay
March 12 2013, 03:01PM
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@Chet134

Are you saying you haven't given up on the season? Anyone know when the last time the oilers went on a 14-71 Type of pace?

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#10 Hayek
March 12 2013, 03:05PM
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I like Smid, but I think too much stock was put in his season last year. He probably will not live up to that season again in his career, so any long term deal will be a mistake.

He's likely to be passed by other aquisitions, or slight chance of a young prospect (Klefbom) surpassing him on the depth chart. He plays hard, but the talent is just not there for a $3M/year contract. He has poor outlet passes, and no offense, so he just lacks a complete game.

Above average defensive defenceman, with no offence = $2.5M/season max. I wouldn't do more than a 2 year deal.

Just ask GMs how they feel after paying a lot for a defensive defenceman (with no offence). I think of Hal Gill and Willie Mitchell. It's very hard for these guys to live up to big contracts.

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#11 JB
March 12 2013, 03:05PM
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Hope the Oil resign Smid - it's poor practice to spend years developing a guy and then lose him right as he's hitting his prime. If compete and a lack of quality vets is the team's problem, that's not Smid.

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#12 OilClog
March 12 2013, 03:06PM
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Belanger to Montreal for some poutine.. Been saying this since Belanger said in the summer he'd love to be a hab... How is he allowed to be an Oiler anymore after saying that.. Screw him.

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#13 Dustin Terpstra
March 12 2013, 03:07PM
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Bahhh can't through to the casino! I need 2 spots!!!

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#14 A-Mc
March 12 2013, 03:17PM
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I think Colorado is the better team right now, especially since their guys are coming back off IR or from europe.

Colorado wins 5-3 with the empty netter.

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#15 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 03:18PM
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Shredder wrote:

Getting Gormley would be so awesome that I think it kills the deal. Yandle is a good Dman, to the point where not long ago he was being considered for the Norris. I would also say Visentin is considered much stronger than Roy, particularly since he was the starter and Roy was his backup at the same WJC a couple years ago.

Great deal for the Oilers, but likely the Oil need upgrade the prospects going the other way to make it even.

Just my opinion.

Might just need to add a pick or two to make it happen. I like the trade for what it brings but maybe not the exact players, I don't think it would be mailing it in. What if this was kind of a three way trade that sent Vermette to TOR for Bozak? Vermette has a couple years at a reasonable cap hit, TOR thinks Bozie will want more in his next contract and the Oilers could offer Bozie the money and position he wants.

That would be an awesome trade.

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#16 Rick
March 12 2013, 03:22PM
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I like the Matt Greene comparable for Smid.

What would it say about the organization if the next step in this re-build is to start shipping out the key pieces of the last, unfinished, re-build?

Smid is one of the 10 or so guys on this roster that can still be slotted into the finshed product, even if he's not in his current role. Assuming they ever become a finished product of course.

The Belanger signing was one of the few Tambellini moves that I was optimistic about because he actually appeared to be addressing team needs. My one hisitation was that he had been through 6 other organizations before coming to the Oilers.

Surely the Oilers did their due dilligence in trying to find out why this guy was such a suitcase, right?

Or not...

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2 questions.

Is Eager in the same boat as Belanger? I like what Eager can bring, but he doesn't strike me as a guy that would last too long as a #13 being a healthy scratch.

Petrell, why hasn't he been tried at center? He played there during the summer. Given our lack of a natural #4 center that can win draws and the fact that Smyth is barely better than Gagner/RNH at draws, why wouldn't you give Petrell a shot? I don't see too much room moving forward for a guy like Petrell, but if he could show as a not bad center option, he'd have some value.

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#18 PapaMike
March 12 2013, 03:34PM
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@OilClog

mmmmmm poutine.....

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#19 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 03:35PM
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@Rick

His track record with the other teams was good though. What he's done in Edm has been completely unexpected.

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#20 EHH Team
March 12 2013, 03:37PM
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Jason, I like your NSOP, and I would elevate it to OGDP status. Karma!

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#21 MooseMess
March 12 2013, 03:38PM
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@Phixieus666

Probably a more realistic chance of pulling something like this off with a 3 way deal.

Realistically, I don't think the Yotes ever go for the trade I pitched cos Gags and Hemsky are both poor defensively and that doesn't really fit with Tippet's model.

I hope Tambi is targeting teams like FLA, NYR, and PHO that have a lot of D depth as potential trade partners though.

Smid/Belanger to NYR for Boyle/Gilroy?

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#22 Dustin Terpstra
March 12 2013, 03:39PM
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@Rick

You can't read a lot into the 6 teams as he signed as a free agent with Minnesota Pheonix and Edmonton (not traded) Minn traded him on deadline day because Washington was looking for help for a playoff run and Belanger was set to become a free agent. Drafted by LA so that's 5/6 teams right there.

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#23 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 03:43PM
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MooseMess wrote:

Probably a more realistic chance of pulling something like this off with a 3 way deal.

Realistically, I don't think the Yotes ever go for the trade I pitched cos Gags and Hemsky are both poor defensively and that doesn't really fit with Tippet's model.

I hope Tambi is targeting teams like FLA, NYR, and PHO that have a lot of D depth as potential trade partners though.

Smid/Belanger to NYR for Boyle/Gilroy?

I think Hemsky is a little underrated defensively. Staples today was saying to some team will likely offer Gags 5+mill so his value seems good right now. I think that the yotes would need to sacrifice some of the defense to gain some offense. You never know.

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#24 Rick
March 12 2013, 03:44PM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

His track record with the other teams was good though. What he's done in Edm has been completely unexpected.

Explain what you mean by good?

I assume you are talking stats where as I am talking attitude.

I would think that if his previous teams felt that he brought needed value they would have tried a little harder to keep him.

If they did try to keep him but he was never happy with his team, then that's got to be a red flag as well.

Either way I would like to think the Oilers are connected enough to the league to know what they were signing.

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#25 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 03:51PM
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Rick wrote:

Explain what you mean by good?

I assume you are talking stats where as I am talking attitude.

I would think that if his previous teams felt that he brought needed value they would have tried a little harder to keep him.

If they did try to keep him but he was never happy with his team, then that's got to be a red flag as well.

Either way I would like to think the Oilers are connected enough to the league to know what they were signing.

He was a mark of consistency stats wise. I think the moving to teams has a lot to do with him not being a top player. He is the type of guy who gets traded for play off runs and such. Similar to Spacek. Good plug and play type player but also easy to replace in the off season.

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#26 westcoastoil
March 12 2013, 04:11PM
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I've had too many ulcers from drinking Kool-aid. 4-1 Avs with an empty netter....but if the Oilers win can we get at least moratorium from ON posters from dumping on Horcoff until the season is through. With a win:

Pre injury: 4-3-2 During injury: 3-8-3 Post: 2-0

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#27 Oilcruzer
March 12 2013, 04:15PM
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Interesting fact. Edmonton record better than both Washington and Tampa Bay.

Interesting fact. Edmonton made the playoffs their first year, with a kid lineup, on the final day of the season, when 80% of teams would qualify for the playoffs.

Interesting fact. There are ~ 50% more teams than in 1979/80.

Interesting fact. It took Five Years for the best assembly of talent ever seen to win the Stanley Cup, again in a smaller league.

Interesting fact. The sky is not falling (unless you are a Canucks fan)

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#28 PapaMike
March 12 2013, 04:21PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Interesting fact. Edmonton record better than both Washington and Tampa Bay.

Interesting fact. Edmonton made the playoffs their first year, with a kid lineup, on the final day of the season, when 80% of teams would qualify for the playoffs.

Interesting fact. There are ~ 50% more teams than in 1979/80.

Interesting fact. It took Five Years for the best assembly of talent ever seen to win the Stanley Cup, again in a smaller league.

Interesting fact. The sky is not falling (unless you are a Canucks fan)

Interesting fact. I broke my toe and my nail is falling off.

Interesting fact. Oilers fan are so passionate about winning, they can't see the forest because the trees are in the way.

Interesting fact. I just want to watch exciting hockey, don't really care if they ever win the cup again.

Interesting fact. Your interesting facts are awesome!

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#29 hatrock
March 12 2013, 04:32PM
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Sign Smid. Sign Paajarvi. Keep Gagner. Trade Hemsky, Whitney, Teubert, and a 4th round draft pick for any big and fast two-way centre and a veteran top 4 d-man. Trade Eager and Belanger.

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#30 Minister D-
March 12 2013, 04:33PM
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Hate, hate, hate the loser point. Nix the shootout gimmick (the NHL's version of Hollywood 3-D), and bring back the tie!

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#31 Marcus
March 12 2013, 04:36PM
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Ahhh....New Sarepta. I'm dating myself here but I remember playing in that town's rink 30 years ago. Not only was the coldest rink I've played in, for some reason it was always far, far colder inside that rink than it was outside. Not sure if things have changed since, but you've got my vote.

At end of roadtrip, Oilers sick and tired of hotels and each other. 3-1 Avs.

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#32 Light, Sweet, Crude
March 12 2013, 05:02PM
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Apparently, per Mackenzie, Howson is scouting the Pens game on behalf of the Oilers tonight.

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#33 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 05:15PM
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Light, Sweet, Crude wrote:

Apparently, per Mackenzie, Howson is scouting the Pens game on behalf of the Oilers tonight.

Ya he couldn't identify good talent with Columbus what the hell is Edm getting him to do it for. The utter stupidity of the management is just overwhelming.

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#34 RexLibris
March 12 2013, 05:17PM
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Hearing that the Oilers hired Howson as a pro scout.

If you'll excuse me I'm going to go watch the junior team in town that is run better than their professional parent team. And try to forget that fact for a few entertaining hours.

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#35 DV. Asteroid
March 12 2013, 05:36PM
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Got to see number one pick line

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#37 michael
March 12 2013, 05:48PM
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|Belanger to washington for volpati.should have had that guy already.could compliment mike brwon on the 4th line. eager needs to be waived. okc or elsewhere. TH needs to be in OKC. As much as i think Smyth is a heart and soul Oiler i think that a trade to chicago at the deadline for mark mcneil(dreaming) or a 3rd pick.

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#38 The Soup Fascist
March 12 2013, 05:52PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Hearing that the Oilers hired Howson as a pro scout.

If you'll excuse me I'm going to go watch the junior team in town that is run better than their professional parent team. And try to forget that fact for a few entertaining hours.

Well at least they are bringing in someone with a storied history of working with successful NHL teams. Howson should be able to change the losing culture around here!

I need to go see Rick DiPietro for some counselling to cheer me up.

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#39 Rama Lama
March 12 2013, 06:05PM
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I for one am going to miss Belenger skating around really fast, accomplishing nothing.

If any GM gives up more than a fifth round draft pick,.......it's because he is an idiot!

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#40 westcoastoil
March 12 2013, 06:25PM
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"If I'm the OIlers, I'd move Eric Belanger before the deadline. It is obvious by his play on the ice that he isn't happy here, and the Oilers don't need that in their dressing room. I think he'd have some value. He's a veteran who can kill penalties and win faceoffs."

Weird how hat has played out with Belanger. His numbers prior to coming here suggested he would be an excellent 4th line centre, maybe some 3rd who could chip in with 10+ goals a year. Watching Oil Change he took a little less $ to sign for 3 years. What's your take on why it hasn't worked Jason? Speed of the game + age = frustration?

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#41 Walter Sobchak
March 12 2013, 06:26PM
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I really don't see a lot happening on the Oiler front as far as "big" trades go.

I still think management wants to get the lowest possible pick and maybe a few more seconds or even a a late first.

Belanger and Hemsky, possible Smid and Smyth.

I can see Belanger & Smyth for picks.

Hemsky & Smid for roster need's next year.

On another note.

Really, how bad are the Oiler's if they are playing Jones and giving him second line minutes, doesn't that just sum it up right there.

Jesus, this Oiler's line up is bad.

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#42 Neil
March 12 2013, 06:37PM
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I could see teams like Penguins or Ducks being interested in a player like Shawn Horcoff.

Horcoff is still a very good penalty killer.

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#43 RSD
March 12 2013, 07:57PM
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Marcus wrote:

Ahhh....New Sarepta. I'm dating myself here but I remember playing in that town's rink 30 years ago. Not only was the coldest rink I've played in, for some reason it was always far, far colder inside that rink than it was outside. Not sure if things have changed since, but you've got my vote.

At end of roadtrip, Oilers sick and tired of hotels and each other. 3-1 Avs.

NS rink has been renovated and is still colder inside than outside.

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#44 Reach Advantage
March 12 2013, 08:06PM
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What if you could trade Smid for a 1st round pick from a team fighting for a playoff spot, like Philadelphia or NYIslanders? Would you do it?

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#45 Reach Advantage
March 12 2013, 08:08PM
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"On a good team Smid is a very good #4" It depends what kind of D you like. He wouldn't be in Vancouver's top 4 because he doesn't get shots on net and he doesn't skate well enough.

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#46 nofool6110
March 12 2013, 08:09PM
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Yeah. Trade that Gagner character. Doesn't matter he scores, hits, PKs, PPs, does everything... He's too small. Or something.

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#47 StHenriOilBomb
March 12 2013, 08:11PM
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nice pass by Yak, nice shot by Whitney, and good battle by Gags. Solid second goal.

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#48 Ilovewhitney
March 12 2013, 08:16PM
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please management.. don't trade whitney.. he's finally getting back into form and producing points every game!

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#49 Oilersfan4
March 12 2013, 08:20PM
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I was one of the people that said we should get rid of Horcoff or buy him out at seasons end, but the truth is the Oilers play better when Horcoff in the line up.Just check the stats. Aaaaah Only if he was making 3mill instead.

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#50 Whitney#1fan
March 12 2013, 08:24PM
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Whitney = candidate for norris trophy

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