GDB 42.0: PLAYING FOR PRIDE

Jason Gregor
April 16 2013 12:23PM

The Oilers won't reach their goal of making the playoffs. For them it sucks. They want to win, and missing the playoffs for the 7th consecutive season must feel like a swift kick to the junk. However, the Oilers need to suck it up and compete in their final seven games.

If they don't, then new genernal manager Craig MacTavish will have a much more difficult job trying to re-shape his team. If the Oilers don't have enough competitive players, it doesn't matter how much skill, speed or size they assemble. You can't win if you aren't willing to match the intensity, desperation and desire of the opposition.

"We basically lost to the &*(&*(#@$% Abbotsford Heat last game...We didn't just lose, we got our ass kicked," an Oiler player told me yesterday. He was embarrassed by his team's performance and said the next seven games guys have to show each other they care. He said it off the record, so I can't attribute it to him, but he was fuming which surprised me since I've never seen him that amped up.

We'll see if his teammates feel the same as him when they face the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild are in 6th place, one point up on St. Louis and two up on Detroit and Columbus. A month ago they looked like a lock to make the playoffs, but they are 3-6-1 in their last 10. They aren't playing very well down the stretch and the young Oilers have an opportunity to share their non-playoff disappointment with another Northwest division foe.

LINEUP

The Oilers recalled Teemu Hartikainen and Anton Lander yesterday and both will be in the lineup tonight. I'd have thrown Hartikainen beside RNH and Eberle and put Hall with Gagner and Yakupov, because the top line hasn't scored a goal in five games, so switch it up.

Kreuger will switch up his lines:

Hall/Gagner/Yakupov
Paajarvi/RNH/Eberle
Hartikainen/Lander/Horcoff
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

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

Dubnyk

At this point you might as well look at many different combos. It is odd seeing Horcoff on the wing and Smyth at centre, but for one game why not. It shouldnt' matter what positions the players play, all 18 skaters must simply play hard and smart.  

QUICK HITS

  • Craig MacTavish will be much more decisive and proactive than Steve Tambellini. I'm not sure if he'll be Paul Holmgren-ish, but he's not going to hesitate to makes some moves. That could be good and bad of course, but Oilers fans will have lots to discuss this off-season. I suspect you will see at least 7 new regulars on the roster next year.
     
  • I'm not surprised MacTavish said he'd make bold moves. I wrote this on March 27th, yet many claimed I was clueless. A bold move doesn't mean shipping out 4th liners, it means moving out a good player and getting a good one in return. It won't be a surprise when MacTavish pulls off a deal, but it will be intriguing to see how many deals he makes.
     
  • If I had to rank the most pressing needs of the Oilers, i'd go with these. 1. A strong veteran shut down D-man who can play 20 minutes. 2. Another puck moving defenceman. 3. One, and ideally two, top-six forwards with strength and size. 4. A third line veteran forward who is physical, can kill penalties and play tough minutes. None of those are easy to find, but that is what this team needs. If Oscar Klefbom makes the team next year, he has to start the season in the third pairing. They can't rely on him to be a top-four. If he plays his way up the ranks, great, but he shouldn't be expected to start there.
     
  • The great part about sports is that we will all interpret comments/quotes differently. Kevin Lowe's comments yesterday regarding "two-types of fans" had many fans irate. He never said he cares or listens to season ticket holders more, he said they communicate with them more, which is true. Ideally, he never should have said "two-different type of fans," because automatically those who aren't season seat holders will feel offended.  You can say he chose the wrong words, but Lowe interacts with fans more than his players, so any suggestion that he doesn't care about fans would be misleading. I actually thought his comment about six Stanley Cup rings would rile people up more than his fan comment. Either way, It made for some excellent debates.
     
  • The Wild are in a battle for the final three playoff spots. They can't afford to take the Oilers lightly, and I suspect they won't. The Wild didn't skate this morning, but Mikko Koivu made it clear that they expect the Oilers to be hungry and ready to show their new GM they are worthy of being part of the team moving forward. It was an interesting take from an opposing player, and I'm curious to see if he is right.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Wild played last night, so the Oilers should have more energy and a heightened urge to impress their new GM. Oilers squeek out a 2-1 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Someone will try and make the Clutterbuck/Hall hit a story line. Clutterbuck has only fought twice in the last three seasons, but someone will go with the redemption angle. Clutterbuck loves to hit, and if he takes a few healthy runs at the Oilers none of us should be surprised.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Lander has played 60 NHL games thus far, but he's played 13+ minutes only 9 times. He will play 14 minutes tonight, and he will end his 19-game (dating back to last year) goal-scoring drought in the 2nd period.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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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#51 ralph_u
April 16 2013, 01:07PM
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Clutterbuck is RFA this year would like to see him get traded here with Minny up against cap next year.

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#52 Rocket
April 16 2013, 01:14PM
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Gregor wrote:"If I had to rank the most pressing needs of the Oilers, i'd go with these. 1. A strong veteran shut down D-man who can play 20 minutes. 2. Another puck moving defenceman. 3. One, and ideally two, top-six forwards with strength and size. 4. A third line veteran forward who is physical, can kill penalties and play tough minutes. None of those are easy to find, but that is what this team needs. If Oscar Klefbom makes the team next year, he has to start the season in the third pairing. They can't rely on him to be a top-four. If he plays his way up the ranks, great, but he shouldn't be expected to start there."

Agreed on all points.Also, I like that anonymous Oilers quote. Well done.

I think The Oilers lose tonight though & at this point in the season, might as well get a better draft pick right? (sigh)

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#53 Will
April 16 2013, 01:17PM
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I wonder if they see Striet as our puck moving defenseman, and Klefbomb as the shut down defender able to play 20 minutes a night? That's not terrible if Klefbomb can handle it. Hell, anything is better than Whitney.

As for some size in our top 6, that will be interesting to see. I wonder if Ott has talked hi way out of Buffalo yet? I'm sure Jagr will need a new one year contract and a new team to play for. I've heard great things about how he mentors young players. Watching Yak be mentored by one of the greats would be so good for his development.

I think Klefbomb will go all J schutlz and impossibly at least, if not exceed, expectations. But i I could get my wish it would be Yandle on our back end as the new puck moving defenseman, and to pry Cotuier out of Philly for our second line centre.

It is so sad that five games ago we were in. We had 8th. We were playing meaningful games. And then we lost five in a row in truly spectacular fashion. I don't think we should have won every game. But there was little reason we shouldn't have beaten Phoenix and Calgary. Even had we won those two games, we'd still be in the hunt.

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#54 A-Mc
April 16 2013, 01:19PM
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GOD can we all stop talking about loser Lowe.

Everyone says the same thing and its soooo old already.

lets talk more about those bold moves re: Eberle + 1st for Weber as per Team 1260 this morn.

i figure the oilers will manage 4 wins of the remaining 7 games. Tonight is as good as any to get 1 in the win column, so sure: oilers win tonight.

Win or lose, they better compete for the rest of the season.. i'm tired of watching guys mail it in.

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#56 Sloppy Joe
April 16 2013, 01:21PM
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Re Gregor's comments about Lowe ...

I wasn't overly riled up about the 'two tiers of fans'comment.

What got me was that virtually everything that came out of his mouth was either delusional or completely asinine.

I am embarassed as an oiler fan to know that Lowe's comments at the presser were being played on sports channels.

I think that Oilers fans are a pretty insular in some ways, and I don't think that, as a group, we understand the extent to which the rest of the league and their fans view the Oil as totally "Mickey Mouse." We are in a club with the Islanders and the Blue Jackets.

For the most part I though MacT did very well at the presser - but Lowe just plain embarassed himself.

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#57 Rocket
April 16 2013, 01:26PM
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Minister D- wrote:

As the Liverpool kids used to say, "I've got a feeling..." we may be seeing the last of Pajaarvi, Gagner, Schultz the Elder, possibly even Smid, in Oiler silks; add that to the inevitable (one hopes, in one way or another) departures of Jones, Eager, Belanger, Whitney, Hordichuck, the "rights formerly known as Linus Omark" and a slough of underperforming prospects (Pitlick, Hamilton, Teubert, Plante, VDV). I suspect there's going to be some considerable turnover next year. It's due.

I for one hope there is considerable turnover next year. Any underachievers should not really belong this team. The Oilers need players that are tough to play against.#Truculence

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#58 Harlie
April 16 2013, 01:36PM
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So what's the over under on MacT packaging this years first in a trade this summer?

I feel a bit sorry for Tambo today now that the smoke has cleared. But only a bit..

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#59 Will
April 16 2013, 01:37PM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

I just can't see any team being able to take on Webber's contract. Erat wanting out could also easily have been a team need to dump cap to try and make room for the monster contract Weber has for the next few years. I mean, no one would even take Luongo for their cup run, getting a guy like Weber basically limits any Gm's ability to do anything else. And unlike Nashville, we don't have Rinne, or Trotz. I just don't think getting Weber, for everything the guy brings, would benefit the team going forward.

Having said all that. I'd still probably make this trade.

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#60 Will
April 16 2013, 01:40PM
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Ducey wrote:

Go Wild!*

* I want Barkov

Get Barkov, trade Hemsky for bigger, more veteran, less skilled left wing to play on the second line.

Trade Gagner for big stay at home defender to play 20 min a night, pick up Streit as a UFA.

Could this all happen? And if so, is it enough?

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#61 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 01:47PM
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@Will

It's a significant cap hit. I agree. But, Weber is Cadilac good, dude!

Drop Whitney's 4mil cap hit and you add just under 4mil more. The defence is upgraded markedly. Cap hit for the D will be 20-23mil for next year. I think that's manageable.

Not sure the whole situation with Erat, but the rumours weren't positive. I do get they are only rumours. Sometimes there is truth there and you gotta wonder what else is going on. The team just looks like it's in disarray right now. Could be ripe for the picking.

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#62 Quicksilver ballet
April 16 2013, 01:49PM
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David wrote:

As far as next year . THey need a good back up goalie - Not Habby .

Habby has virtually the identical numbers/sv% to Dubnyk, there's no difference.

Perhaps it would've been appropriate to claim the Oilers need 2 goaltenders if you're unsatisfied with those type of numbers. Neither of these goaltenders are good enough to get you into the playoffs.

Since Weber can't be moved till mid/late summer, it may not have to involve the Oilers first choice in 2013. How about Eberle, Hemsky and the first in 2014? Throw Omark in the trunk on that deal if they want.

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#63 DSF
April 16 2013, 01:52PM
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Sloppy Joe wrote:

Re Gregor's comments about Lowe ...

I wasn't overly riled up about the 'two tiers of fans'comment.

What got me was that virtually everything that came out of his mouth was either delusional or completely asinine.

I am embarassed as an oiler fan to know that Lowe's comments at the presser were being played on sports channels.

I think that Oilers fans are a pretty insular in some ways, and I don't think that, as a group, we understand the extent to which the rest of the league and their fans view the Oil as totally "Mickey Mouse." We are in a club with the Islanders and the Blue Jackets.

For the most part I though MacT did very well at the presser - but Lowe just plain embarassed himself.

Playing the " I won all these cups" card was actually much dumber.

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#64 Will
April 16 2013, 01:56PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

It's a significant cap hit. I agree. But, Weber is Cadilac good, dude!

Drop Whitney's 4mil cap hit and you add just under 4mil more. The defence is upgraded markedly. Cap hit for the D will be 20-23mil for next year. I think that's manageable.

Not sure the whole situation with Erat, but the rumours weren't positive. I do get they are only rumours. Sometimes there is truth there and you gotta wonder what else is going on. The team just looks like it's in disarray right now. Could be ripe for the picking.

Do you know if has like a no move, no trade clause? If so I imagine some of the big name teams with loads of cap space would be his first option above the Oilers.

If it's up to the Predators, however, I don't know. I mean they went through a lot to keep a player that obviously didn't want to play there since he singed the offer sheet to Philly.

I kind of think Nashville knows that if Weber goes, so does their franchise. I think they, like us, are trying to add without subtracting.

Plus as great as Webber is, and I don't disagree with you he's one of the best, trading away high first round picks can be such a double edged sword, as in the case of the Kessel deal.

Let me ask you this, say we win the lottery and have a shot at Jones. Do you still make this deal or do you say F no and pick Jones. Because if that's the case, then you have to keep in mind Weber was drafted like 47th overall. And though he didn't make the show right away, when he did he quickly became one of the best. Maybe we have the next Weber in our system right now.

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#65 Matt Henderson
April 16 2013, 01:58PM
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Judging by the use of Open Brackets in that swearing quote, I'd say that Nail Yakupov has a pretty good grasp of the AHL for a kid who will never play a game there.

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#66 Will
April 16 2013, 02:02PM
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Minister D- wrote:

There seems to be an unspoken consensus among too many fans that Klefbom will simply come in and be a top six guy right away. In countless posts I've come across that speculate on next year's lineup Klefbom is just slotted right in there, fait accompli.

Now, there's no doubt he's a great player and should have a solid career as an Oiler, but he's also had two major injuries in the past two seasons. This year was probably Klefbom's most important development year, and he lost 3/4's of it due to injury. He's only played 11 games in the SEL this year.

I have a strong suspicion that, even if he performs well in camp, putting him in the lineup next year without adequate support (i.e. very soft minutes with a solid veteran beside him) will condemn him to the same fate as Lander, another guy who performed well enough in last year's camp but was WAY over his head as an NHL player. Klefbom is at least a year away.

All good points. However look how good Galchnyuk is doing this year. And if Klefbomb is asked to come in and be a shut down guy instead of a puck moving offence guy, I think that is an easier role to step into. Especially considering he has played big minutes as a shut down guy on bigger ice. Maybe I'm wrong but it stands to reason a smaller ice surface would make it easier to defend. This is the same reason skilled forwards have a tough time coming down to smaller ice, as they have less room.

As long as he comes in and can be a competent shut down guy, then the other parts of his game, like his point shot, and puck moving, are things he could potentially develop in a bottom six role.

Will any of this happen, no idea as I'm just speculating completely. So far though, our shiny rookies have all at least met very high expectations.

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#67 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 02:03PM
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Will wrote:

Do you know if has like a no move, no trade clause? If so I imagine some of the big name teams with loads of cap space would be his first option above the Oilers.

If it's up to the Predators, however, I don't know. I mean they went through a lot to keep a player that obviously didn't want to play there since he singed the offer sheet to Philly.

I kind of think Nashville knows that if Weber goes, so does their franchise. I think they, like us, are trying to add without subtracting.

Plus as great as Webber is, and I don't disagree with you he's one of the best, trading away high first round picks can be such a double edged sword, as in the case of the Kessel deal.

Let me ask you this, say we win the lottery and have a shot at Jones. Do you still make this deal or do you say F no and pick Jones. Because if that's the case, then you have to keep in mind Weber was drafted like 47th overall. And though he didn't make the show right away, when he did he quickly became one of the best. Maybe we have the next Weber in our system right now.

Nope on the no trade clause. Nash can do what they like.

I think if it's Eberle and this years first Nash's mgmt can sell it to their fan base as a positive.

If the Oilers win the lottery of course I take Seth. Hands down.

I think the lottery is done after the regular season. The Oil will know what their selection is well before they can even make a trade.

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#68 Rocket
April 16 2013, 02:10PM
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Will wrote:

With so few quality defensemen available in the coming free agency this summer, I really can't see Smid going anywhere. Especially because he plays the exact type of gritty shot blocking game Mac T jerks off over. "Oh ya, look at that shot blocking. Ya sacrifice that body."

You're welcome.

Yes thank you for that mental image. Nightmares to follow.

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#69 Fresh Mess
April 16 2013, 02:14PM
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We don't even know if Klefbom will be an NHL player yet. A segment of lunkheads here creamed their jeans over Teubert too, and had him slotted in as the next Scott Stevens.

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#70 mr_nihilism
April 16 2013, 02:27PM
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Sorry if it's already been mentioned somewhere, but in case anybody missed it, it seems the Sun is really on a roll the last two days in calling out Oilers management. First Tambellini, and now Lowe.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/04/15/president-kevin-lowe-fails-to-provide-change-in-leadership-he-says-the-team-needs

Nice to see the media growing a set and speaking up for the fans and the future of the franchise.

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#71 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 16 2013, 02:47PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Coming into the NHL as a shutdown D-man is "easier" ?

I'm speechless.

That was my first thought as well, and I agree the shut down role generally seems harder to attain.

However, you have to consider the players skillset coming in. If you are J Shultz than that shut down role will take years to build, if you are David Musil I think the step to effective puck moving would be more difficult (see Ladi Smid).

I think either way the transition to the NHL is generally longer for D-men, and regradless we can't automatically assume Klefbom will step right in.

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#72 27Ginge
April 16 2013, 02:51PM
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A left handed dman that can play 22 minutes a night besides Schultz without embarassing himself should be the biggest worry, period. All else is secondary. Marc Staal, Brayden Coburn, Karl Alzner. These are the type of guys I would love to see.

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#73 Jackson
April 16 2013, 03:18PM
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WOW trade for me would be .

Jordan Eberle for Adam Larsson.

Makes some sense to both sides.

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#74 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 03:28PM
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Jackson wrote:

WOW trade for me would be .

Jordan Eberle for Adam Larsson.

Makes some sense to both sides.

Larsson should be a good D-man. "Should" being the appropriate word here. He's not proven to this point. He's young and that's good, but there will still be a learning curve.

I think there's something here, but I'm not sure the Oil would benefit with a young D-man, which is why I got on the "rose coloured glasses on" for Weber.

If they did do a trade like this, however, I wouldn't be pulling my hair out, but I would want something else thrown in. Eberle is a good player.

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#75 Fred
April 16 2013, 03:38PM
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Robert Tychkowski – Edmonton Sun:

Steve Tambellini has been fired for his inability to clean up the mess left behind by Lowe, Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson, a task so daunting that owner Daryl Katz decided it can only be tackled by Lowe, MacTavish and Howson.

That about says it all.

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#76 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 03:40PM
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Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 49m College UFA F Antoine Laganiere of Yale has agreed to terms with ANA.

SOB!

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#77 dave
April 16 2013, 03:44PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Sorry Quicksilver, but the sample size is too small to make that kind of a bold declaration about Khabibulin. However if you look at the last three years, you will see that Khabibulin isn't at the same level as Dubnyk.

When you consider that in Goalies that have played more than 1200 minutes this year (20 games), Dubnyk is NINTH in save percentage. Meaning that there are only eight goaltenders with a better save percentage. Since 16 teams make it to the playoffs, your statement doesn't have a lot of basis in fact.

When you consider that Edmonton's Defence is fairly porous, that makes an excellent stat look even better. Dubnyk is "good enough" by most accounts.

At some point the Oilers will have to move from a better than average goalie to a game stealing cup contender goalie.

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#78 Bucknuck
April 16 2013, 03:53PM
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Fred wrote:

Robert Tychkowski – Edmonton Sun:

Steve Tambellini has been fired for his inability to clean up the mess left behind by Lowe, Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson, a task so daunting that owner Daryl Katz decided it can only be tackled by Lowe, MacTavish and Howson.

That about says it all.

It says that Robert Tychkowski is talking out of his a$$ crack.

If you can't turn a team around in five years then you aren't doing your job. The "mess" being referred to was a team that had a winning record and barely missed the playoffs.

Since then the team has finished 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, and this year they will be lucky to come out in the top 25.

Basically Tambellini traded away everyone except Horcoff, Gagner, Hemsky, Smid and Dubnyk (the 2008 team didn't have Smyth) and brought in his own players including "MVP" Khabibulin.

Tambellini had enough time to make this team better, he just didn't get it done.

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#79 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 04:01PM
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You trade Eberle you might as well trade Hall too. If Eberle goes Hall will be right behind him.

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#80 clyde
April 16 2013, 04:15PM
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Surprised that Hall doesn't have the Minny flu like last game.

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#81 jason
April 16 2013, 04:20PM
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Will wrote:

Do you know if has like a no move, no trade clause? If so I imagine some of the big name teams with loads of cap space would be his first option above the Oilers.

If it's up to the Predators, however, I don't know. I mean they went through a lot to keep a player that obviously didn't want to play there since he singed the offer sheet to Philly.

I kind of think Nashville knows that if Weber goes, so does their franchise. I think they, like us, are trying to add without subtracting.

Plus as great as Webber is, and I don't disagree with you he's one of the best, trading away high first round picks can be such a double edged sword, as in the case of the Kessel deal.

Let me ask you this, say we win the lottery and have a shot at Jones. Do you still make this deal or do you say F no and pick Jones. Because if that's the case, then you have to keep in mind Weber was drafted like 47th overall. And though he didn't make the show right away, when he did he quickly became one of the best. Maybe we have the next Weber in our system right now.

weber is a big contract on a small market team who's self imposed cap is close to the floor, nashville having missed the playoffs may decide it's time to dump his contract and reload. as for seth jones as good as this kid looks it's extraordinarily rare for any pick to be a force in their first year, especially a dman, he'll take several years of seasoning to perform at the level we think he will. now givin that by the time jones is ready the window on the kids we have may be closing. so assuming we win the lottery, then hell yes trade him for weber..

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#82 Let's Rebuild
April 16 2013, 04:24PM
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Not to interupt the innane trade chat but I wonder if Lander is being tried out as the Horcoff replacement, and if he looks compitent, they may use the buy out on Horcoff. The irony of MacT buying out Horcoff only 3 years after he said he might be a dark horse for the olympics would be epic.

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#83 sloppy joe
April 16 2013, 04:24PM
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DSF wrote:

Playing the " I won all these cups" card was actually much dumber.

I don't disagree...

My point was mainly that EVERYTHING he said was stupid - it's hard to pull out one thing and say it was the dumbest.

There's a lot that you post that I disagree with, but the management of this team is truly embarassing. I am beyond the point of being upset - I just find it comical at this point.

All in all, I think that MacT will be much better than Tambellini was. And if the organization had truly cleared house (as many of us would have liked), my bet is they would have hired Burke (who I wouldn't consider to be much of an upgrade).

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#84 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 04:28PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Although Weber is good, I am still unsure about taking that contract on because it limits what can be done on offense.

Nashville is in need of offense and could be a good trade partner. My inclination would be to target someone like Roman Josi. He's a fantastic 23 year old Dman, who has good offensive numbers, can skate, eats a ton of minutes, and has been taking on the tough competition all season (playing with Weber).

His contract would be much more favorable, too. He would likely cost in the Gagner - Eberle range, but it would be well worth the price, imo.

This is why actually think Weber deal might be there, there is no way Nashville gives up Josi.

I think the Predators know that youth and rebuilding parts will be easier then paying Weber.

Oilers have the parts Nashville will want.

I also think a draft pick in 2014 is not as valued as 2013.

with the deletion of Hemsky - Gagner - Horcoff and Whitneys contract, Weber contract wont be that big of a hindrance.

IMO I think there is a deal here.

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#85 Todd
April 16 2013, 04:33PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This is why actually think Weber deal might be there, there is no way Nashville gives up Josi.

I think the Predators know that youth and rebuilding parts will be easier then paying Weber.

Oilers have the parts Nashville will want.

I also think a draft pick in 2014 is not as valued as 2013.

with the deletion of Hemsky - Gagner - Horcoff and Whitneys contract, Weber contract wont be that big of a hindrance.

IMO I think there is a deal here.

The problem is he isn't available for trade until the end of July.... Sort of limits the options and would be extremely risky for the Oilers to hang next season on something like that. By then any potential draft & UFA moves would be done. So if they bank on that and then it doesn't pan out we'll have the same team as this year.

Unless they make some sort of secret agreement in principal ahead of time but not sure how realistic that is.

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#86 Will
April 16 2013, 04:36PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Coming into the NHL as a shutdown D-man is "easier" ?

I'm speechless.

So you don't agree it's easier to defend a smaller ice surface than a larger one? I think in the case of a shut down defender transitioning from European ice to North American, the change in ice size works to this particular positions advantage, whereas a skilled forward the smaller ice would work as a disadvantage as there's less space to work with.

I am definitely not saying that a shut down defender is the easier role in the NHL, just that the smaller ice surface would favour a guy with a defensive skill set over a guy with an offensive skill set.

Am I way out to lunch here or?

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#87 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 04:43PM
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Todd wrote:

The problem is he isn't available for trade until the end of July.... Sort of limits the options and would be extremely risky for the Oilers to hang next season on something like that. By then any potential draft & UFA moves would be done. So if they bank on that and then it doesn't pan out we'll have the same team as this year.

Unless they make some sort of secret agreement in principal ahead of time but not sure how realistic that is.

Good points Todd, However, I don't think that's a pressing issue,( UFA's) not a lot out there right now.

I have thought about some compliance buyouts, but I don't think there will be much in the way of what the Oiler's actually need or want.

I think the trade front is where the Oiler's need to be focused on.

unless they find a will trading partner for a number one defensmen I don't see one out there that's young, has size, is tough and can be match with a player like Schultz.

Concentrate on the top six and bottom six until Weber is free to be dealt then go aggressively after him.

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#88 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 04:43PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Although Weber is good, I am still unsure about taking that contract on because it limits what can be done on offense.

Nashville is in need of offense and could be a good trade partner. My inclination would be to target someone like Roman Josi. He's a fantastic 23 year old Dman, who has good offensive numbers, can skate, eats a ton of minutes, and has been taking on the tough competition all season (playing with Weber).

His contract would be much more favorable, too. He would likely cost in the Gagner - Eberle range, but it would be well worth the price, imo.

All valid points.

My main argument: Weber has a mean streak. An element that is truly needed on the backend.

Needed up front too, but I digress.

As for the Cap hit. If Pitts can have two guys at 8.7mil I would assume that two or three Oilers at 6mil and one D-man at 7.9mil (basically) should be doable.

His shot would change the PP, you're right, but throw him on the 2nd unit. Get two crazy cats to screen the goalie. Win! lol

I don't think he would change the dynamics offensively 5x5. He would definitely make the team harder to play against. JMO, though.

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#89 Will
April 16 2013, 04:46PM
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French Toast Mafia wrote:

Why would you want to bring him in and play bottom six minutes in a shutdown roll as a rookie?

Why not send him to the AHL for a year where he can play 20-26 minutes a night and actually develop.

Not just throw him to the wolves and see if he will develop.... Lander, MPS, Tuebert anyone??

Just don't think it's right to just give guys spots on an NHL team because that NHL team is terrible.

Let them develop... see Keith and Seabrook. Rather than bring them in to the good old culture of losing that every good young player has moved into since this rebuild started

I think proper development is very player dependant. I think if Klefbomb can be defensively responsible on a bottom pairing with a veteran guy that can help him out, then playing against NHL competition as opposed to AHL competition could be the way to go. That way, the Oilers can watch and see if he begins exceeding expectations and can handle a bigger role, thus improving out team right now.

If however, he needs some time to adjust to the NHL and north american game, then absolutely put him down in OKC.

I agree that out of necessity many of our players's developments have been poorly handled. But as smarter NHl people than I are fond of saying, a player's development is not a straight line. I think there is a real benefit for Klefbomb, like Ebs and Nuge last year, to get a sheltered taste of NHL level competition and let him try and move up from there. I would say some players are probably even hurt development wise by being sent down to play with people who are not of their skill level.

Have you ever done a sport where you were so much worse then your friends, and as a result got better fast. But then eventually became the one that was better then your other friends and noticed your improvement slowed? Sometimes that sink or swim can really spur rapid development.

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#90 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 04:49PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

All valid points.

My main argument: Weber has a mean streak. An element that is truly needed on the backend.

Needed up front too, but I digress.

As for the Cap hit. If Pitts can have two guys at 8.7mil I would assume that two or three Oilers at 6mil and one D-man at 7.9mil (basically) should be doable.

His shot would change the PP, you're right, but throw him on the 2nd unit. Get two crazy cats to screen the goalie. Win! lol

I don't think he would change the dynamics offensively 5x5. He would definitely make the team harder to play against. JMO, though.

Not to jump in your guys conversation but I have to agree with this statement.

Weber has that meanness the Oiler's desperately need.

Not to mention his slap-shot on the PP will open so many holes, those boys will feed on other teams.

This is the type of player the Oiler's IMO need.

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#91 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:12PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Not to jump in your guys conversation but I have to agree with this statement.

Weber has that meanness the Oiler's desperately need.

Not to mention his slap-shot on the PP will open so many holes, those boys will feed on other teams.

This is the type of player the Oiler's IMO need.

Jump in, dude! It's all good.

I'm not sure the Oil can get this cat, but it would be the ideal pickup. From my perspective, anyhoo.

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#92 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 16 2013, 05:14PM
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French Toast Mafia wrote:

Why would you want to bring him in and play bottom six minutes in a shutdown roll as a rookie?

Why not send him to the AHL for a year where he can play 20-26 minutes a night and actually develop.

Not just throw him to the wolves and see if he will develop.... Lander, MPS, Tuebert anyone??

Just don't think it's right to just give guys spots on an NHL team because that NHL team is terrible.

Let them develop... see Keith and Seabrook. Rather than bring them in to the good old culture of losing that every good young player has moved into since this rebuild started

Nothing wrong with some time in the AHL....but keep in mind that Klefbom has now played 2 seasons in the Swedish Elite league....so while he could certainly use some north amercian style AHL type development time, it probably won't take much as he's being playing with men for some time now....well.....swedish men.....(that counts...right??)

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#93 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:16PM
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106 and 106 wrote:

The ON nation keeps saying "Weber, Weber, Weber."

This isn't NHL 2008.

A top D-man doesn't show up for "Omark, 3rd rounder and Smyth, Belanger, Eager, Petrell, Hordichuk, Souray's contract, signed Ethan Moreau jersey"

Edit: Nashville: Okay, you want him. Your 1st, 2nd, Hemsky, Hall. Deal.

I agree with Walter, this is an overpayment.

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#94 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:21PM
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Hall is a non starter in any trade scenario. IMO.

I'm sure there are 55 teams that would want Hall.

Nash has needed offensive players since its inception. Eberle would provide that for them. Plus a first this year and maybe a middling prospect and it could work.

Nash would have two low draft picks this draft, plus Eberle. A quick retool.

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#95 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:23PM
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DoubleJ wrote:

Yandle is the guy IMO. Big minute dman 5 mil/ per. LD. He's perfect. And it wouldn't cost us Ederle.

Coyotes have too much money tied up in D. And no skill. It's a perfect fit.

I'd take 3 or 4 of the d off of the coyotes really. But OEL isn't going anywhere. And Yandle is the next best thing.

On forwards you could pick up Bickel and trade for hartnell. That would be a great start.

I still think you're gonna have to include Eberle. JMO.

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#96 DoubleJ
April 16 2013, 05:32PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

I still think you're gonna have to include Eberle. JMO.

I doubt it. They not going to give him away. But probably picks and a player gets him. Plus I doubt they want a 6 million dollar guy. This would a salary dump a little.

A signed Gagner and a pick. IMO.

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#97 jason
April 16 2013, 05:36PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Hall is a non starter in any trade scenario. IMO.

I'm sure there are 55 teams that would want Hall.

Nash has needed offensive players since its inception. Eberle would provide that for them. Plus a first this year and maybe a middling prospect and it could work.

Nash would have two low draft picks this draft, plus Eberle. A quick retool.

look we don't need to incude eberle, rnh, hall or yaks, how about this year and next years first round picks and gagner and omark. eventualy the future has to become the present, and unlike burke who made a similar trade for kessel our team is ready to mortgage some of the future to fill a big hole.

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#98 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:38PM
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DoubleJ wrote:

What would have Nashville got if they didn't qualify the offer? Idon't that's why I'm asking.

That's what they will want at least in return for weber.

There's good to great dman available. You don't need to get weber.

Like "Yandle".

Philly's 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th I believe.

I think it's safe to assume that Philly would have finished a lot better this year with Weber in the lineup. That's why Nash didn't take it, I imagine.

Things in Nash look, I'm guessing here, like they are in a little turmoil. Maybe Weber wants out. Who knows.

Would Yandle be a good pickup for the D-core? Almost anyone would be a good pickup if you consider the state of the Oil's D right now.

Dream big! Settle low.

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#99 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 05:40PM
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DoubleJ wrote:

I doubt it. They not going to give him away. But probably picks and a player gets him. Plus I doubt they want a 6 million dollar guy. This would a salary dump a little.

A signed Gagner and a pick. IMO.

If it were that easy it would already be done.

I do agree this years first will hold some weight.

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#100 Quicksilver ballet
April 16 2013, 05:42PM
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Another kid the Oilers may want to have a look at, is Erik Gudbranson. Shea Weber jr? Taken 3rd overall 3 yrs ago. Might be able to get him without involving one of the kids. Gagner and the first in 2014.

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