YAK CITY EXIT?

Lowetide
April 16 2013 06:48PM

With a new GM on the hot seat, you know this Edmonton Oiler roster will not stay the same. Who goes? Hall? Uh, no. Ebs? Get real. The Nuge? Sure--center's a strong spot on the roster---NOT! Not Hall, not Nuge, not Ebs not Schultz not........YAK CITY?

Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts are a "must read" this week for Oiler fans--there's a lot of things to think about for the fanbase in Friedman's article--and it's likely that some of the verbal laid down is actually being mulled over in Oiler offices where the big chairs sit.

  • Friedman: One stat the organization is very concerned about: Their average shot differential (minus-5.8) is worst in the NHL.

We've talked about this through the winter--especially in regard to that 2nd line led by Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. The LW's on that line have been Nail Yakupov and Magnus Paajarvi, and I think the exit ramp this summer probably involves one of those 4 names.

HANDICAPPING THE FOUR

If we're betting on which of these men are likely to be sent away, I'll suggest the chances are as follows:

  • 40% Sam Gagner. Smaller skill center with tons of talent, Oilers decision to give him a one year deal last year makes him a tough signing this year (they will be buying free agent seasons).
  • 25% Nail Yakupov. I don't see it, trading a #1 overall this early means you have to be absolutely certain he isn't going to turn into a franchise player. I don't think we know yet.
  • 25% Ales Hemsky. A very skilled winger with excellent skill could be the cornerstone for a deal with a team willing to take on a player with an expiring contract. The value will be less due to the contract, though. 
  • 10% Magnus Paajarvi. He's this low because I don't think his value is enough to bring back what Edmonton needs. Besides, he could end up being that very effective forward Edmonton is looking for right now.

WHAT DOES FRIEDMAN SAY?

The headliner from Friedman is this item:

3. Yakupov: This is purely my opinion, but I think Edmonton would listen to a massive offer.
It's nothing against the player, it's more about circumstance. To get quality, you have to give up quality. If MacTavish really wants to make a bold, aggressive move, this is the name on the roster that fits. But the trade would have to be spectacular.

At some level it makes sense--the Oilers were apparently a house divided when it came to choosing Yak City number one, but in another way it's pure scandal. Trading a number one overall pick means MacT is very likely trading the best player in the deal, and that is not a good way to step into a relationship with a rabid fanbase.

  • Friedman on Gagner: My belief is the Oilers would like to sign Gagner, but their past reluctance to do it gives him the leverage. He's a talented centre one year away from unrestricted free agency at age 24. Here is what the Oilers could do, though. He becomes a restricted free agent this summer. Other teams can talk to him. If one can work out a new contract, is there a trade to be made? If not, Edmonton matches and controls him. Gagner's value provides incentive for a willing partner to work out something. What mix of players/picks/prospects would a team be interested in dealing for a signed Gagner?

I am very much a fan of Gagner, but not this contract situation (not signing him long term last summer, clearly a mistake) and they've boxed themselves in a little. It doesn't mean they will trade him, but it's an option that would not be in the mix had the club signed him long term and reasonable.

ALTERNATIVES?

Friedman's points are well taken and I do understand there's a sense of urgency to get better. However, there's also a little concern about a new GM sending out first overall picks, and I think Craig MacTavish framed that issue beautifully in the PC yesterday.

There ARE alternatives. A low risk option like Viktor Stalberg might fit, or perhaps Raffi Torres (who remains an effective player) could come in and help the group. Should the Oilers choose, the might also take a run at Nathan Horton.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I expect that old phrase "it's lonely at the top" is true, and that Craig MacTavish--despite his stated impatience--will find a lot of GMs offering 50 cents on the dollar for his gifted Jacks and Kings. A smart bet would be a secondary signing like Torres, a defenseman like Streit and a solid backup goaltender. It might not look sexy in summer, but smart, smaller additions are the route to take with this roster.

Steve Tambellini didn't get fired because of Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak City or Schultz the younger. He got fired because the role players were so bad they gave back all of the good things done by the kids.

Craig MacTavish found role players with top picks (Dan Cleary), guys picked at the draft after the suits went home (Pisani, Brodziak) and guys who had experienced waivers (Marty Reasoner).

I have faith he can find those players again without moving Yak City.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 DSF
April 16 2013, 10:19PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Sportsnet connected right now are joking about Lowe's rings.The Oilers have become the joke of the NHL.

They have been for years.

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#102 Spydyr
April 16 2013, 10:22PM
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DSF wrote:

They have been for years.

That press conference was surreal.It was legendary and will be remembered for years.

Wonder if the MSM would have had the guts to ask the tough questions without blogs like this.Never seen the MSM call Oiler management out like that before.

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#103 The Soup Fascist
April 16 2013, 10:25PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Kid had a tough night though, but so did a lot of Oilers.

Your comment above was correct. The AHL was absolute fodder for the kid. The NHL was where he belonged, but he also needed a suitable mentor and less minutes. The Oil failed in that regard.

Kid will be fine, but there are some ugly plays out there. He will never be a Shea Weber but he will be better than a Mike Green, IMO. Bringing in a legitimate # 1 would serve two purposes. 1) help the on ice product and 2) aid in Schultz Jr.s development.

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#104 Serious Gord
April 16 2013, 10:26PM
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clyde wrote:

Did you say 4-5 Hallnof Famers? Are you drunk?

Dead serious.

Hall Nuge, Yak maybe eberle, maybe Shultz all have the upside POTENTIAL to be HOFers. It is simply to early to say for certain if any or all will ultimately develop to that level. Hemsky and gagner the jury is already in on both of those players in that regard.

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#105 The Soup Fascist
April 16 2013, 10:30PM
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DSF wrote:

They have been for years.

As uproariously funny as being in a league for 43 years with ZERO championships and another window perilously close to shutting?

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#106 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 10:33PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Your comment above was correct. The AHL was absolute fodder for the kid. The NHL was where he belonged, but he also needed a suitable mentor and less minutes. The Oil failed in that regard.

Kid will be fine, but there are some ugly plays out there. He will never be a Shea Weber but he will be better than a Mike Green, IMO. Bringing in a legitimate # 1 would serve two purposes. 1) help the on ice product and 2) aid in Schultz Jr.s development.

Agreed, should have been a priority this summer but so should have a lot of decision that should have been proactive instead of reactive.

I got to believe Mac-T will find a suitable partner to help the young man out this summer.

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#107 Serious Gord
April 16 2013, 10:36PM
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Spydyr wrote:

That press conference was surreal.It was legendary and will be remembered for years.

Wonder if the MSM would have had the guts to ask the tough questions without blogs like this.Never seen the MSM call Oiler management out like that before.

Interesting point. Had they not asked the questions the were on fans (and their) minds they would have been crucified on twitter.

Listening to Calgary and Toronto sports radio it seems apparent that reporters in other cities think that the reporters in Edmonton are soft and give oil management a pass far too often. I think they are largely correct.

The Edmonton sports market is a one team town very incestuous and difficult to move up in if you rock the boat with that team. It's kiss a$$ (or remain mute) or move out.

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#108 clyde
April 16 2013, 10:38PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Dead serious.

Hall Nuge, Yak maybe eberle, maybe Shultz all have the upside POTENTIAL to be HOFers. It is simply to early to say for certain if any or all will ultimately develop to that level. Hemsky and gagner the jury is already in on both of those players in that regard.

Some of these guys you mention are in year 3 of not even leading their team into a playoff position. You would thing 5 potential hall Famers would be able to at least compete in big games by now! in the pas 5 games with a playoff spot on the line nuge, hall, eberle, and Schultz combined for 0 points in 5 games. Time to get a little more realistic. It is greatvto love and support your team but c'mon.

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#109 clyde
April 16 2013, 10:48PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Did you actually ask Serious Gord if he was serious?

Sorry. 1st time on here. Inrespect his opinion and love passionate fans but that one was out there a long way.

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#110 Serious Gord
April 16 2013, 10:50PM
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clyde wrote:

Some of these guys you mention are in year 3 of not even leading their team into a playoff position. You would thing 5 potential hall Famers would be able to at least compete in big games by now! in the pas 5 games with a playoff spot on the line nuge, hall, eberle, and Schultz combined for 0 points in 5 games. Time to get a little more realistic. It is greatvto love and support your team but c'mon.

Guy lafleur was the same age as hall playing on a Stanley cup winning team and had a lower PPG.

Shultz is a d-man and too young to be assessed yet. And yak and Hopkins are less than one year out of junior age.

Of the five eberle is the least likely, but finishers like him need to pair up with the right guy to really flourish sometimes. Phil Esposito was 25 before he teamed up with Orr.

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#111 madjam
April 16 2013, 10:55PM
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Another uninspiring loss - one of many with current squad . We are still not as good as the team we gutted . Failed rebuild - looks like it more and more ? HOW LOWE CAN WE GO !

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#112 clyde
April 16 2013, 10:56PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Christ - I'm not saying they will ALL be HOFers. I'm not even Saying ANY of them will.

But they all have the potential to be that good.

the Oil are very lucky to have a fan like you.

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#113 TDSM31
April 16 2013, 10:56PM
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DSF wrote:

He's already better than Petry AND Smid.

6'5" 215

2G 21A 24P +6

Petry and Smid have 12 points TOGETHER.

No brainer.

You're waaaaayyy off base on this one...Franson has 3G 21A for 24P.

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#114 DSF
April 16 2013, 10:59PM
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TDSM31 wrote:

You're waaaaayyy off base on this one...Franson has 3G 21A for 24P.

Yes. No doubt I am.

Sorry.

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#115 Dub t
April 16 2013, 11:01PM
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Hemsky for a third line grinder/agitator like a Torres and a gagner+paajarvi trade should've been done to get Troy Brouwer while the caps were a joke.

Here's a Big Bang of a trade:

Hemsky, gagner and paajarvi plus whatever prospect (aside from klefbom if possible) for Colin Wilson, Paul gaustad and roman Josi.

We get bigger down the middle and maybe a bit tougher to play against and acquire a solid young dman.

We won't get a bonafide top pairing guy without moving yak hall ebs or nuge. Maybe we get snag a younger one who is trending up.

Draft barkov or Monahan.

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#116 DSF
April 16 2013, 11:07PM
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Dub t wrote:

Hemsky for a third line grinder/agitator like a Torres and a gagner+paajarvi trade should've been done to get Troy Brouwer while the caps were a joke.

Here's a Big Bang of a trade:

Hemsky, gagner and paajarvi plus whatever prospect (aside from klefbom if possible) for Colin Wilson, Paul gaustad and roman Josi.

We get bigger down the middle and maybe a bit tougher to play against and acquire a solid young dman.

We won't get a bonafide top pairing guy without moving yak hall ebs or nuge. Maybe we get snag a younger one who is trending up.

Draft barkov or Monahan.

Exactly why would Nashville want a 20 point injury riddled player on a $5M contract, an unsigned RFA who has scored 2 goals in his last 15 games and a player who should be in the AHL for 3 actual NHL players?

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#117 The Soup Fascist
April 16 2013, 11:09PM
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clyde wrote:

Sorry. 1st time on here. Inrespect his opinion and love passionate fans but that one was out there a long way.

No, your opinion is valid, but I mean his nickname isn't "Non-committal Gord" or "Flippant Gord" or even "Somewhat Flakey Gord "........ It's Serious Gord.

I enjoyed the irony. I just have to find ways to amuse myself in the midst of a six game losing streak.

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#118 Dub t
April 16 2013, 11:14PM
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@DSF

They are worse than us and their leading scorer has 23 points. Paajarvi is on pace for a 20 goal campaign. Say what you want, but paajarvi would be a full time nhler on Nashville.

Aside from paajarvi, Each of the guys I offered has more points than their leading scorer. Trots can work his magic.

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#119 TDSM31
April 16 2013, 11:14PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Dead serious.

Hall Nuge, Yak maybe eberle, maybe Shultz all have the upside POTENTIAL to be HOFers. It is simply to early to say for certain if any or all will ultimately develop to that level. Hemsky and gagner the jury is already in on both of those players in that regard.

Just to clarify for everyone before you get gang-raped here for your comments, you're one of those 'nothing in this world is impossible if you have a dream' types aren't you?

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#120 The Oilers Shot Clock
April 16 2013, 11:15PM
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Yak to either Washington or Montreal. They both have secondary reasons to want him. I think it's pretty certain one of Ederle or yakupov need to go. I'd rather it be ebs, but the offers for yak would be so much bigger.

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#121 Dub t
April 16 2013, 11:23PM
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@DSF

Additionally, wouldn't you say Nashville could use a bit more skill in the lineup? Obviously there current mix isn't working. Perhaps they have a similar issue as the oilers where they have too many of the same type of player? A roster full of 2nd and third line forwards.

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#122 The Soup Fascist
April 16 2013, 11:23PM
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Why are we in a hurry to move all these guys 22 and under? Granted there are lots of holes to fill but why not trade draft picks, if you know what you have in the big five?

Forwards who are NOT 4 / 14 / 64 / 93 plus a first will get a very good defenceman. Lets not bite off our nose to spite our face.

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#123 bazmagoo
April 16 2013, 11:26PM
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I used to be the first to defend Gags, but I think he's the odd one out. We won't get anything for Hemsky, so it's either keep him or give him away for a 2nd round pick or a project player at the most. Personally I'd ditch Hemsky for anything and replace him with either Clarkson, Bickell, or Stalberg.

Gagner will fetch a young top 4 d-man hopefully, which is what this team desperately needs.

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#124 bazmagoo
April 16 2013, 11:28PM
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Really don't understand why Kreuger hasn't tried RNH playing with Yakupov yet, I personally think there could be a good fit there and the coach is always talking about playing top line players in pairs. Seems like a no-brainer to try it for a game or two.

12 game losing streak to finish the season? This is my last post of the season, thinking about the Oilers is WAY too depressing.

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#125 Space Dad
April 16 2013, 11:35PM
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I really don't think the Oilers brain trust would contemplate dealing Yakupov... He's a first overall pick and we all know how proud Oilers management is about those. And if they weren't sold on Yak heading into the draft, these last 10 games had better be proof enough that he has to be an integral part of this team moving forward.

Just think about what Yakupov has achieved in relation to both his age and the whirlwind introduction he's had to the NHL. Yak is going to be a better player than Eberle, and very soon. Which should be expected of a player with his draft number...

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#126 Citizen David
April 16 2013, 11:42PM
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I'm trying to think of a nicer way to say that trading Yak would be beyond stupid. I can't. He is a real treat to watch, this player's going to be scary good.

I want to make it clear I'm an Eberle fan but our love for him in this city has broken our objectivity. Do we want to be payIng 6million a year for our third best winger who is on the smaller side of average and is one dimensional? (pretty dang good at that dimension though) we have a glaring need for a top pairing defenseman. Eberle is awesome, but he's the one to go. Yak will be better than him two years from now if not next year. He also has a fire burning in him and plays a physical game. There is a reason for Yak being a #1 overall pick and Eberle not even being in the conversation for #1.

I've stuck with Oilers management through this whole process, resisting the callous bitterness that has engulfed fellow fans. But trading Yak is grounds for divorce.

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#127 Citizen David
April 16 2013, 11:44PM
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@Space Dad

"Space Dad" too funny.

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#128 andrewmk20
April 17 2013, 12:44AM
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@Geoff

wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Yak brings physicality and skill and still has room to grow both physically and in terms of skill. I love Ebs and the way he plays but his skill-set is somewhat redundant. He and Gagner look almost like the same player except for the shot (his release is significantly better), but RNH, Gagner, Hall and Yakupov all handle the puck as well as him. If a significant move was made I'd prefer Gagner, Eberle, and Hemsky moved to reshape the team. Hall and Yak's compete level is very high and RNH has the makings of a top line center, all three are very rare finds.

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#129 VK63
April 17 2013, 12:46AM
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KInda sad to see Elliots 30 thoughts begin the terrible slide towards redundancy and filler that is... oh... the puck daddy twitter account.

Somewhere up there^^^ someone referenced Calgary media calling out Etown MSM as a bunch of toothless shills. I laughed heartily at that one.

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#130 Rob
April 17 2013, 02:10AM
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L.T.

Give yourself an A+++ for button pushing. Masterful piece of work.

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#131 Oilers89
April 17 2013, 02:55AM
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Two things:

1. Schultz Jr is going to be very good, just like his AHL stats have shown. We tend to underestimate how many more games are played in the show than in college hockey. I'm guessing he is far too fatigued to be able to compete at this point. Next year should be much better.

2. I have heard that it is possible to retain cap hit if a player is traded. With that in mind would it not make sense to keep (in the case of Hemsky) even half of his cap hit for next year in a trade? He all of a sudden would be a cheap effective option for a contending team. Would this significantly increase his value? I'm guessing something like this would up the return by a fair margin, and with the cap going down next year I'm guessing a contending team would be dying for a deal like this. Thoughts?

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#132 NewAgeSys
April 17 2013, 03:09AM
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Yak being traded,ha ha ha ha.

Mac-T will be bold by cleaning out the stagnant environment in his locker room, the vets are soon to be wiped out.

Mac-T has a firm idea who has been naughty and who has been nice on this roster.

I believe we will be rolling some OKC bodies before the year is over, I would like to see some big birds before the year is over if possible.

Yakupov looks stronger in every way than Hall did in his rookie year and Nuge is an anomoly he just stepped right in and survived fine as if he had been here for years, he wasnt dominated he never laid anyone out but he held his own ground in every game.

Yakupov will not be traded thats nutty.

Mac-T is simply going to get the room shaped up .But you can be sure he already has his list of plank-walking candidates and that he will have damning evidence in every case.

I would expect Mac-T to look for a very big body for the top 6,he knows as well as I do that we need an Ethan Moreau clone right now desperately. Mac-T will open up a spot for a huge body that can play up in the top 9, he will not make a change unless he has a specific template filled and its not an easy one to fill because big isnt good enough you need to remember Moreau to understand what he will target, mac-T doesnt subscribe to hollow threats and understands the importance of heavy artillery. That is only one move up front. He will target the d-men and look for more involvement by choice, he wont force it he will ask and then move men out if he doesnt like the reaction, at this point there is really no need for discussion with anyone, the men know the score already.

If you are a winger on the 3rd or 4th line you better be tough as nails or get that way or you wont fit in,Mac-T will have one training spot on his roster and it will be the 3rd line, everyone else will be dead serious or gone. Our 4th line will need to get much more aggressive defensively and take pride in that, they need to be motivated and proud of their jobs, not unhappy to be there, big ,fast,aggressive on the puck is what you will see.

Any obvious speed deficiency will be rectified quickly, Mac-T likes the game fast, any repeated communication disconnects will be remedied immediatly he also likes it clear.

As long as you get the job done with some gusto and emotion Mac-T will respect you, if you fail to respect your opportunitys and position in life he will remind you of it ASAP, if you cant handle that due to fragility issues he will promote you away.

Nail Yakupovs value will eclipse everyone but Nuge next year, I peg him for 40 goals or more next year. Next year will be a big one for all the core guys especially in the physicality department, they are slowly maturing and you can see it in them as a group.

Internal competition will be tough next year, guys are evolving and will be demanding icetime and situational dynamics. I think the first big trade we see will come because of player growth nothing else, there is no way we can feed all of these skillsets unless we find a new system to use.

If people hold on they will be blown away by nails growth and evolution between this and next season, I think this kid is going to literally explode next season with the support he has here being more experienced. I think Nail will have the easiest transition of all the core and we will see it in his goal totals, by what I have seen so far with limited chances and shifting lines and linemates, I dont know if its safe to put a ceiling on Nails goal scoring potential unless you say Richard. This guy has the best shot I have ever seen, heavy, hard, fast, accurate, and Ralph will let him play if he can produce goals consistantly which he seems to do, he is a finisher who converts a high % of his chances so if you give him more he will score a correspondingly high number of goals, hence the Gagner matchup, just feed Nail the puck the same way over and over and its lights out.

Put it this way, the places Nail is targeting with his shots and how he gets them there remind me of a cross between Fluery and Brett Hull and thats dam impressive. I think Yakupov can score 5 goals or more in an NHL game with his conversion % and instincts.

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#133 15w40
April 17 2013, 05:55AM
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It looks like there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 9 player roster changes that need to be made.

This rebuild isn't close to the end - its is still at about mile 10 of this god forsaken marathon.

Justin Schultz is beginning to look like Wiley E. Coyote after a couple rounds with the road runner. He is burnt out, probably more mentally than physically.

Eberle and RNH have had what can hopefully be described as "off" years.

Hall and Yak look like they are two guys running the wrong way up an escalator trying to push the majority of the rest of the roster out of their way as they ride it down.

Krueger is tough to call although he doesn't seem to be doing much to stem the losses in games. Call a time out - but maybe he has nothing to say. Although didn't Babcock once call a time out and say absolutely nothing. There was nothing to say - it was obvious, they were bad - get your head out of your a$$e$ and be better. Can't remember if it worked or not.

Playoffs next year will take a minor miracle.

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#134 Cutterov
April 17 2013, 06:15AM
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Get real that the Oilers deal Yakupov... In the last 7 games he's been pretty much the only Oiler that's worth a dam... The passion, the heart, the energy and effort this kid displays is a treat to watch and last night is the perfect example... We have many guys who go before Yak. If the oilers move him we are insane!!!!

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#135 Walter Sobchak
April 17 2013, 06:43AM
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I respect the fact people think you need to trade players like Yakupov or Eberle.

Fact is these players are a gross overpayment.

Look at the trade's over time, then look at this trade deadline, look at what left and the return.

Look at the trades for top number 1 defense-man, then look at what went.

You CANNOT trade youth and skill for a whale!

For that you get into the Milbury and Keenan school of thought.....Bad!

Trading youth, talent and skill for big body's and less skill makes little sense, less offense does not move you forward, it moves you backwards.

This is why Keenan's teams had a shelf life, and why Milbury was stuck in a perpetual rebuild.

The Oilers need to draft a big center with size and skill, draft a LW with size and skill.

These players are out there.

A good GM can get you good players, a great GM gets you good players without subtraction.

A panicked GM will trade valued assets.

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#136 Spydyr
April 17 2013, 07:44AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Guy lafleur was the same age as hall playing on a Stanley cup winning team and had a lower PPG.

Shultz is a d-man and too young to be assessed yet. And yak and Hopkins are less than one year out of junior age.

Of the five eberle is the least likely, but finishers like him need to pair up with the right guy to really flourish sometimes. Phil Esposito was 25 before he teamed up with Orr.

Guy Lafleur was the same age as hall playing on a Stanley cup winning team.

Yes and the 2013 Oilers are just as good as the mid 70's Habs 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 Cup champs

Wow just wow.

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#137 LinkfromHyrule
April 17 2013, 08:01AM
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Wow NewAgeSys knows everything!! Klowe should just fire macT and hire him as GM...

also, yak better not be going anywhere. We lose him, we lose one of the only players with passion and physicality on this team. Bad idea, don't think it will happen.

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#138 Sal-Sational
April 17 2013, 08:18AM
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@Geoff

i agree.. $6M/yr is too much for this guy

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#139 Tones
April 17 2013, 08:36AM
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Geoff wrote:

Personal opinion but.

I'd rather move Eberle instead of Yak :(

/2cents

100% agree, nothing against Eberle but I think he has the lowest ceiling out of the 4 top forwards and he can command a very good player coming back.

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#140 Sal-Sational
April 17 2013, 08:41AM
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Like MacT said "Talk is Cheap" we go through these assumptions every year bro and like every year nothing happens... just because he said he's going to make some Bold moves doesnt mean he will actually do something.. do you think he has the balls to move Ryan Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky.. i wouldnt be surprised if the Bald move he was reffering to was to bring Marty Reasoner AKA Joe Sakic back.. If he wants to make the playoffs the first thing he need to do is go out there and get a real Starting Goaltender (Mike Smith) and if he can some how get Shea Weber from NSH those 2 moves alone would get us into the playoffs.

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#141 Cmoney
April 17 2013, 09:10AM
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Eberle & 13 1st rounder for V. Hedman & 13 1st rounder.

Yak will be the oilers best player by his 3rd season.

It's too early to trade talent for goons.

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#142 Shredder
April 17 2013, 09:40AM
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Glad to see so many Yak supporters out there. He was about to be run out of town before the season even began just because he was Russian. Now we're seeing a big step up in his game. He was playing crap minutes on the 3rd line, but he's earned top line minutes with Hall. I really think his physicality out there last night is the type of thing that will keep him in the game.

That being said, I think it's time we see a breakdown of advanced stats of his progression (call it 5 game segments). My guess is he was outchanced heavily for the first 2/3's of the season, and now he's turned that around in a big way. During our losing streak I think he and Hall have been the only 2 good players.

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#143 oilers2k14
April 17 2013, 10:54AM
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of all the soft wingers this team has you wanna trade Yakupov? One of only two wingers that plays with passion, intensity, aggression and can score? Wow... We need to do what pens did..keep the talent, surround them with gritty veterans (like Dupuis, Brouwer, Kunitz, Or Glencross types) and u dont need to trade first ovetal talent to get gritty veterans like that.

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#144 NewAgeSys
April 17 2013, 12:13PM
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French Toast Mafia wrote:

You are suggesting he doesn't?

He only shows up and plays every night, takes the puck to the net, never quits, drives the play, forechecks and creates room for everyone else on the team.

What would your definition of grit be?

If you think Hall doesn't bring it and has less grit than any other player in the Oilers top 6 I don't think you have watched them play the last 3 years.

Hall has enough moxy, all our young guys have shown more than adequate toughness, and all are evolving nicely.

Hall is emerging as a very versatile player in terms of how far he can adjust his on-ice execution, he can do almost anything you ask him to out there. He needs extra managment time,or he will lose focus and become a live wire.

We have enough grit, our system has no grit because it isnt being managed in a way that allows the men to commit to checks the way fans want to see them doing it, there are many tactical considerations that come with throwing a hit and they are all critical in terms of maintaining system integrity. Its not as simple as just hitting the opponent considering our system, with some others it is. Positionally our d-men for example must be bang on to support our d-zone exits which are critical to initiating our high speed offense so they cannot take the risks players on other teams can take . Our forwards are focusing on creating offense by executing solid zone transitions and are trying to maintain possesion instead of dumping the puck in, if they simply dumped it in and chased it to slam the d-men then we would see more grit but less puck possesion and goals. People all have their own perspectives on speed and how to use it, if you use it to dump and chase you obviously want to get the puck first because you are faster, not hit the opponent first because he is faster to the puck, if you want to transition the puck you can use a fast break style and the speed must be used to break away from playaction not to engage it, so less grit. If you want to use a controlled transition game you must learn to change gears a lot to force the opponents to transition when they dont want to, your speed must be anerobic or come in bursts consistantly, so the momentum of a high speed rush helping out with a smashing hit isnt likely to happen , besides the playaction wanders to the middle with this tactic, less hitting so seemingly less grit. We are a speed based team and our on-ice tactics will always support that skillset, we can adjust system tactics to encourage more supported hitting, but that is a coaching decision, and to be frank with this much talent and speed you would be insane to try and modify anything to slow the team down. All the coach has to do is work on some system tactics that can incorporate more hitting at specific times to add this component to our game without losing system focus or integrity. I tried to help this disconnected coaching staff long ago by recommending they use the Two-Minute drill, which is a totally physical hitting energy style in the first and last two minutes of every period, there are to many tactical reasons this is a good thing to do to list here. we have lost to many games in these critical time periods and the Oilers refuse to listen and begin to micro-manage those dynamic situations that evolve during that time-span. The NewAge Hockey System incorporates this tactic in a similar form, it is an important managment concern and must be incorporated into system execution to lighten the cerebral barrage on the coaches during games, at critical tactical transition times.

I never did understand the application of the word grit to anything hockey related. it just doesnt fit, and in my opinion grit as defined by current opinion is a detriment to system execution and must be managed tightly. There are to many dynamic tactics that can neutralise "grit" and use it against opponents to incorporate it into your system core values, the NHS uses many of these dynamic tactics, as with everything there is a systemic catalyst to neutralising an opponents physicality. Now dirty nasty play is a different story, we can ask our men to be more nasty without hitting as much, like the Dynasty guys executed. But we will take more penaltys. The NHS also incorporates tactics that neutralise nasty opponents consistantly. Our current system has no capacity to throw figurative combonations at opponents when we hit, with proper management we can design dynamics that allow us to destroy opponents big hitters early in games and neutralise them, like anything else this takes system focus and adjustments but first and foremost the system itslef must be mallable enough to be adjusted adequately. Actually now that i think about it we were useing a double punch tactic on the forecheck last night for a while and it worked perfectly but we changed it for some reason I dont know. we were sending our men in stacked two deep and gapped perfectly , the first man went for the puck and tried to get it back to the support coming in who if the puck wasnt available hammered the opponent in the playaction with a big and unexpected hit, perfect execution, but they stopped so I am not sure if it was catalysed on purpose or was just circumstantially catalysed.

"Grit" huh, I never really understood the application of the word, nasty I understand because it has a specific value but grit somehow sounds stupid and likely to take a bad penalty to me, how do you properly focus and measure "grit" to support system execution as an individual? i dont think you can , the system has to be set up to incorporate it or you will need to break system integrity to make big hits and we will be punished on the scoreboard. I understand telling a player to get his elbows up or to get his stick in an opponents wheelhouse to be nasty and send a message, this can be managed by a coaching staff, but jesus you cant have your entire roster looking to step out of system responsibilitys to make hits for the fans, unless you have a system designed for that you will get your ass kicked and the fans will be more miserable than ever.

Our current system is designed to support speed and skill and nastiness, we just forgot how to teach the nasty part properly, and old school nasty doesnt work today, you need to be current in your presentation. A system is supposed to be looking for these nasty traits in the players we recruit as natural tendancies, you cant implant aggression in players, that is one area you need to leave alone or you might screw up their passion for the game.The NHS provides for this aspect of player development as a core value continuity issue,our current system probably doesnt have a program at all to maintain this continuity of system philosophy throughout the organisation at every level.

If players arent born aggressive you need to adjust the system to work around that reality, not try to jam a round peg into a square hole. It shouldnt be that difficult if you have a flexible dynamiclly managed and catalysed system. Remember the NHS was built around the players , the players dont have to change at all to fit perfectly into its philosophys and tactics, the NHS even considers the average size of our players and provides tactics to support them. The Oilers arent so lucky, they have to import specific assets to fit a gritty template and either pay huge or make small sacrifices in other areas like speed and skill,they are forced to make decisions to support their rigid system dictum.

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#145 michael
April 17 2013, 02:05PM
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Bobby Ryan? Cam Fowler? The Ducks are ripe for a trade. They'll have way to much money tied up in Perry and Getzlaf. You think they are giving Ryan 6 plus? That would put them in the 22-24 million dollar range for 3 players. Target Ryan. Or Fowler. Or if your the Oilers target Ryan Murray. Maybe JD likes this years 7th better than Murray. Bold is the new catch word for ON.

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#146 Oiler Al
April 17 2013, 02:55PM
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Sal-Sational wrote:

i agree.. $6M/yr is too much for this guy

You must be talking about Horcoff?

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#147 Oiler Al
April 17 2013, 03:13PM
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You suck the bottom of that barrel for 4 years so that you earn the right to draft high,which was the plan... build via the draft, and three years later you want to trade these guys out of town. .. dumb, lame, and taking the easy way out only because you miss-managed your team over the last 4 years, with a dumb assed GM , who hired 4 lame coaches and beyond the lotto draft did nothing to rebuild the team.

Its these same high drafts that attract higher quality players to join the team.This team thinks that unless its Weber , or Malkin, there can't be a rebuild. Thats the lazy , easy way out.

First thing MacT needs to do is: 1. Get a real coaching staff 2. Rebuild your defense...[ They could have just as easily got Rosival, and Oduya [Hawks did],who are big part of their D., no it has to be Weber. Get real. 3. Get another goalie with to play with Dubnyk. 4. Get rid of the rift raft from the 3 and 4 lines. 5. The only players to be consider for trade from the top 6 are. Hemsky, Gagner.

To give up this early on assets that you sucked so badly for in front of the fans over the past 4 years is a mistake.

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#148 SteelStewart
April 17 2013, 04:23PM
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I'd rather trade Ebs than Yak. Yak has speed, hands and he can hit. Ebs scores those nice highlight reel goals but can't be as physical and Yaks can. But who knows. We've only seen Yak play 40 games. And ebs looks o be having an off year (broken hand?).

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#149 Dave
April 17 2013, 08:38PM
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SteelStewart wrote:

I'd rather trade Ebs than Yak. Yak has speed, hands and he can hit. Ebs scores those nice highlight reel goals but can't be as physical and Yaks can. But who knows. We've only seen Yak play 40 games. And ebs looks o be having an off year (broken hand?).

No they should keep both - there are others to release or not resign.

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#150 Space Dad
April 17 2013, 10:03PM
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Here's a thought - Yak is currently two points behind Huberdeau. What happens if he continues on his current pt/g pace, and beats Huberdeau by 3 or 4 points? Is Huberdeau so much the MSM darling that he wins no matter what? I think so.

It's sad, but I don't see Yak having any chance at the Calder, even with an all-world final 15 games. Eastern bias > Yak's unfathomable power

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