Edmonton Oilers acquire Jerred Smithson from Florida

Jonathan Willis
April 03 2013 11:32AM

According to multiple reports, the Edmonton Oilers have acquired centre Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round draft picks.

Smithson is in the final year of a two-season deal with an annual cap hit of $800,000; he will be an unrestricted free agent upon the conclusion of his current contract. The 34-year old veteran has played 578 career regular season games and spent the bulk of his career with the Nashville Predators before joining the Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick near the 2012 trade deadline.

Smithson's virtues as a player are defensive; he's never scored 30 points at any level over a 13-year professional career and never hit 40 points in junior. What he does bring is defensive acumen, size (listed at 6'3", 209 pounds), and a physical game. Despite his willingness to hit one thing he isn't is a fighter; he hasn't had a fighting major since 2009-10.  He has won 54.8% of his faceoffs this season, and (importantly) is a right-handed shot - giving the Oilers a reliable right-handed option for defensive zone draws, something they haven't had this season. He was also a regular penalty-killer with the Panthers.

The timing of the deal is interesting. The Oilers recently recalled Anton Lander, giving them a fourth centre and a player who could fill in for Eric Belanger, who has been injured for much of the year. Oilers analyst Bob Stauffer reports that Edmonton had Smithson on the radar earlier in the year when injuries were mounting; it seems odd that the deal wasn't consumated at that time. A month ago, even a small trade like this would have been a god-send; now it's far less urgent. Regardless, the addition does strengthen Edmonton's depth, and if it (as seems likely) results in the demotion of Lander to Oklahoma it will provide the Oilers' farm team with a valuable piece in their own playoff push.

Also interesting is the fact that the Oilers dealt a draft pick rather than a prospect. By my count, this brings the number of contracts in the Oilers organization to 53, with three of those (Oscar Klefbom, David Musil and Travis Ewanyk) not counting against the 50-man limit this season. A fourth-round pick is not a particularly dear asset, but moving a comparable prospect - perhaps a player like Curtis Hamilton or Tyler Pitlick - or packaging a bad minor-league contract (such as Cameron Abney's) would have given the Oilers more flexibility. 

As for Smithson himself, he isn't likely to have much of an impact. In an average hour of 5-on-5 play this year, the Panthers have been out-shot 28-to-21 with Smithson on the ice, even worse than the 32-to-31 they're typically out-shot with him off the ice. Smithson's teams have been regularly out-shot by large amounts with him on the ice the last few years, but this season was particularly bad because in Nashville Smithson generally started two shifts in his own end for every offensive zone shift he played; this year the split has been almost 50/50. He's probably best used as a reserve forward than as a regular member of the top-12, though Edmonton's centre depth chart likely means he slots in on the fourth line as soon as he joins the team, something likely to happen during their California road trip.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 G Money
April 03 2013, 03:40PM
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vetinari wrote:

So, Columbus first fires Scott Howson, and then races up the standings to a possible playoff position, and then manages to make a series of trades at the deadline to get a veteran sniper, a depth forward, a replacement backup goalie along with a 3rd rounder to replace the 5th and 6th rounders they traded away earlier... anyone want to wake our GM, slide him next to a telephone and hand him a list of NHL players on other teams that we'd like to see in an Oilers uniform and see what happens? Oh wait, too late...

Are you seriously suggesting that Columbus did well on this? If you combine their NYR and Flames and Phi trades, you get this:

- They swapped Brassard (18 pts in 34 games) for the older and more fragile Gaborik (19 pts in 35 games)

- They effectively swapped Dorsett (9 pts in 24 games) for Comeau (7 pts in 33 games)

- They traded Mason, their 1st round pick in 2009 (Moore), and a 6th round pick and a 5th round pick, in return for Leighton and a third round pick

At best, it's a sawoff depending on how Moore turns out. At worst, Columbus got taken to the woodshed.

Don't confuse motion with progress.

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#102 TonyT
April 03 2013, 03:48PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

I see that the oiler apologists have come back out of the woodwork now that the team has won a few, and are now firmly back on the bandwagon.

I don't care if the Oilers go undefeated the rest of the season and win the cup...this management group is incompetent.

Agreed. In as much as I enjoy watching meaningful Oilers hockey, this run only encourages this management group to keep doing whatever the hell they do...

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#103 westcoastoil
April 03 2013, 04:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Ok, But Smid went on record saying what he would take, had Smid pressed he might have got 4.0 out of the Oilers.

Other than Smid name me two other players the Oilers have not overpaid to get them or retain them.

Myself, I can only think of one besides Smid.

The Point was this happens far too much to just the Oilers, Look at the history of overpaying for players it's pretty staggering.

You are a 27 year old free agent. Do you want to live in California, NY, Bos, Mtl, Van., T.O., Dallas....or spend your winter in Edm.

Love the city, but you'd have to pay me extra too.

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#104 Mr. Sense common
April 03 2013, 04:11PM
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G Money wrote:

Are you seriously suggesting that Columbus did well on this? If you combine their NYR and Flames and Phi trades, you get this:

- They swapped Brassard (18 pts in 34 games) for the older and more fragile Gaborik (19 pts in 35 games)

- They effectively swapped Dorsett (9 pts in 24 games) for Comeau (7 pts in 33 games)

- They traded Mason, their 1st round pick in 2009 (Moore), and a 6th round pick and a 5th round pick, in return for Leighton and a third round pick

At best, it's a sawoff depending on how Moore turns out. At worst, Columbus got taken to the woodshed.

Don't confuse motion with progress.

Agree 100%, Columbus just stabbed themselves in the stomach today, moves make no sense, gabby will disappear into the Columbus moonlight, he isn't the same jaguar that used to wheel in minny and the jackets....strange moves.

The winner today was Anaheim, shrewd move with Lombardi, slick skater and strong 2 way center, ducks will do well in the playoffs, raffi in SJ is a nice pickup too, immediately replace clowe. In all, nothing crazy today...

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#106 Lochenzo
April 03 2013, 04:15PM
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Wonder if the Caps were interested in Hemsky. Filip Forsberg would've been a nice add.

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#107 westcoastoil
April 03 2013, 04:19PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Wonder if the Caps were interested in Hemsky. Filip Forsberg would've been a nice add.

when Ferraro talked about him (for what that's worth) he projects him to be a 6/7 forward. Not a top 1C or 2C

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#108 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 03 2013, 04:35PM
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I wanted to see more trades, maybe somebody moved out, but I'm content with the one and only move.

I think this summed up the day nicely:

“The last thing I wanted to do was, is take away something were they thought maybe they didn't have as good a chance to win then they did the day before.” - Steve Tambellini

I can respect that.

"Win and you're in." This should be this year's motto going forward.

Now kill the F'ing Flames!

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#109 TigerUnderGlass
April 03 2013, 04:47PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What about Smid? Was that an overpay? They seemed to do pretty well where he was concerned.

I'm assuming somebody already responded to this for me but just in case....

Are you talking about the same Smid who signed for the same amount he had just announced in public he would accept?

Those guys sure know how to negotiate!!

Is it not curious to you that the only good moves this team has been able to make besides drafting #1 have been moves where players forced the issue?

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#110 G Money
April 03 2013, 04:51PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That's a hilariously ridiculous framing of the Blue Jacket's moves.

They added a 40-goal scorer (Gaborik) for a 40-point man (Brassard). Dorsett's injured. Mason's the worst regular goalie in the league over the last four years. Moore's a good prospect, but doesn't project to being a top-pairing defenceman.

Plus they added a third round pick while giving up a fifth and a sixth.

Jarmo Kekalainen did extremely well today.

Gaborik does have a high end upside, but trades at the deadline are all about the playoff push, are they not? So the 19 pts in 35 games (not to mention 0 in the last 4) seem a whole lot more relevant then the 40 goals. Unless he suddenly gets hot again, at 7.5M a year, this is not a win for the Jackets this year.

Mmmm, I'll concede on the Dorsett point - I knew he was injured but not as seriously as he is. On the other hand, to suggest Comeau is a meaningful add, or is any way a 'swing' that makes this a good trade? Come on.

And comparing the value of Mason and Leighton is kind of meaningless - at least Mason has played 13 games this season @ 0.899, which means he's outplayed Kipper. Leighton is 1 game and .808. Mason's the worst goalie, but Leighton is worse than that.

Like I said - depending on how you project Moore, maybe this was a wash for the Jackets.

But "extremely well today"? No.

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#111 Will
April 03 2013, 04:58PM
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I have to second the sentiment that our management might not be capable of getting our team in the same conversation as LA, Pittsburgh, or Chicago.

Columbus, went from last place to nearly the same spot we are in, then decided to go further by making the additions they did today. Not to mention they have something like three first round picks this year?

Furthermore, does anyone else read the additions of Fistric, Brown, and Smithson as directed by MacT? These are prototypical types of Mac T players.

Hopefully MacT replaces Tambi as he'd have the guts to pull the trigger on some moves to help make us a balanced team.

On another note, seeing what Tampa had to give up to get Bishop is terrifying. If back up goalies are that pricey, we better hope one of our prospects picks their socks up.

Also, did anyone find it weird Colorado was strangely quite today?

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#112 Muji
April 03 2013, 05:34PM
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This is all Eric Belanger's fault. Seriously.

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#113 outdoorzguy
April 03 2013, 07:44PM
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Saw the Timid Tambellini interview when I got home. When I saw the grin on his face I thought maybe we got the worlds greatest player. But alas, it was just the usual stupid dumbfounded look Timid Tambellini always has on his face. I think Loser Lowe has a similar look, but it's a bit more of a scowl. Great job today Oilers management team!! Oh wait, its the same job that its been for the last decade. Groundhog Day! Groundhog Day!

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#114 Cheap Shot Charlie
April 03 2013, 07:55PM
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@Will

"Columbus, went from last place to nearly the same spot we are in, then decided to go further by making the additions they did today. Not to mention they have something like three first round picks this year?"

But if you think about it they will likely max out as a playoff bubble team. We expect the Oilers to improve after this year. CBJ will likely not get a whole lot better next year or the year after that. I don't disagree that this rebuild it getting tiring but it'd rather keep slowly improving and be a annual playoff team than be in the playoffs for a couple years and then be out for 5 years.

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#115 Curcro
April 04 2013, 12:07AM
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@Ducey

A 4th Round pick has a 28% chance of playing a full 80 games in the NHL - 1 season.

It drops to 23% chance of playing 160 games in the NHL - 2 seasons.

Finally a 16% chance to be a regular NHLer (400 games +)

So more or less 1 in 4 - 4th Round picks have value. And 1 in 6 or 7 to get a genuine NHL player.

If you can get an NHL player for a 4th Round pick you are ahead. A bird in hand is worth 4 (in this case) in the bush.

I'm not a big fan of this pick up, when they could have got Wade Redden for a conditional 7th (8% chance of being an regular NHLer).

Draft picks are like lottery tickets, buy enough you will win something, but is it worth it?

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#116 Curcro
April 04 2013, 12:14AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Ok, But Smid went on record saying what he would take, had Smid pressed he might have got 4.0 out of the Oilers.

Other than Smid name me two other players the Oilers have not overpaid to get them or retain them.

Myself, I can only think of one besides Smid.

The Point was this happens far too much to just the Oilers, Look at the history of overpaying for players it's pretty staggering.

You do realize that the Oilers 26th out of 30 teams for salary. That means 25 teams are paying their players more than the Oilers.

Next year they are sitting 16th for confirmed salary already allotted.

Hemsky's current contract was fair. He was on $5M in the final year of his last contract. He took $4.5M this year, and $5.5M next year. That's not bad for a player of Hemsky's ilk. I don't think it was an overpay. It was merely a "pay".

Gagner @ $3.2M wasn't bad either.

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#117 Mumbai Max
April 04 2013, 04:07AM
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Curcro wrote:

You do realize that the Oilers 26th out of 30 teams for salary. That means 25 teams are paying their players more than the Oilers.

Next year they are sitting 16th for confirmed salary already allotted.

Hemsky's current contract was fair. He was on $5M in the final year of his last contract. He took $4.5M this year, and $5.5M next year. That's not bad for a player of Hemsky's ilk. I don't think it was an overpay. It was merely a "pay".

Gagner @ $3.2M wasn't bad either.

Value Contracts (not including ELC)

Petry Gagner Hall

Market value

Hemsky Smid Eberle Whitney (not counting unknowable injury) Jones Petrell Dubnyk Fistric Potter Peckham Eberle (benefit of the doubt)

Over pay Contracts

Horcoff Belanger Smyth Khabby

Overall I would say that this is as good or better than most NHL clubs. Find an NHL team that does not have 4 bad contracts. The trick is not to pay too much for the expiring ELC's. IF we give RNH and Yak 6 each that will be fine. Hartskie 1.0, Paajarvi 1.5, Lander .8 . If Gagner takes 5 on a new contract that will also be a value contract.

I would trade Hemmer+ during the summer for a top 2 D (Myers?) but that is another story.

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#118 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 08:36AM
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vetinari wrote:

So, Columbus first fires Scott Howson, and then races up the standings to a possible playoff position, and then manages to make a series of trades at the deadline to get a veteran sniper, a depth forward, a replacement backup goalie along with a 3rd rounder to replace the 5th and 6th rounders they traded away earlier... anyone want to wake our GM, slide him next to a telephone and hand him a list of NHL players on other teams that we'd like to see in an Oilers uniform and see what happens? Oh wait, too late...

On an unrealated mater, I tok my dog to the vetinari clinik yestirday....was that you?!?

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#119 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 08:44AM
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westcoastoil wrote:

You are a 27 year old free agent. Do you want to live in California, NY, Bos, Mtl, Van., T.O., Dallas....or spend your winter in Edm.

Love the city, but you'd have to pay me extra too.

I never understood how people in Edmonton got so riled up when Heatley refused a trade to Edmonton.

The guy was in his mid-to-late 20's, single, and a millionaire.....he had a no trade (or limited no trade) contract.

AND, the Oilers had a crap team.

Of course he's going to pick sunny LA over Edmonton.....

You trying to tell me YOU wouldn't do the same?!?

In the words of Doug MacLean, "Are you SERIOUS ?!?"

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#120 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:00AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

I see that the oiler apologists have come back out of the woodwork now that the team has won a few, and are now firmly back on the bandwagon.

I don't care if the Oilers go undefeated the rest of the season and win the cup...this management group is incompetent.

I get what you're saying in paragraph one....but....

I firmly believe in RESULTS based assessment/evaluation.....If they make the playoffs, I'll give them FULL credit for a job well done.

My general sense is that pretty much any management team in the NHL is miles ahead of the hockey knowledge and intellegence of ANYONE posting on this or any other blog site.

That doesn't mean we can't critique what they do. Afterall that's why we're here... But when push comes to shove anyone who applies reason would have to know that they are miles ahead of the average joe just by way of where they are and how they got there.

If they make the playoffs ( X 10 if they win the conference, X 100 if they win the cup) I for one, will be HAPPY to admitt that I was wrong about many of my opinions and ideas of how to manage a rebuild.

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#121 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:12AM
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Will wrote:

I have to second the sentiment that our management might not be capable of getting our team in the same conversation as LA, Pittsburgh, or Chicago.

Columbus, went from last place to nearly the same spot we are in, then decided to go further by making the additions they did today. Not to mention they have something like three first round picks this year?

Furthermore, does anyone else read the additions of Fistric, Brown, and Smithson as directed by MacT? These are prototypical types of Mac T players.

Hopefully MacT replaces Tambi as he'd have the guts to pull the trigger on some moves to help make us a balanced team.

On another note, seeing what Tampa had to give up to get Bishop is terrifying. If back up goalies are that pricey, we better hope one of our prospects picks their socks up.

Also, did anyone find it weird Colorado was strangely quite today?

Agree, the Bishop deal seems one sided to me.

Disagree with everything else.

Would you trade the Oilers Roster for the Blue Jackets roster (including the picks). I would not.

MacT IS part of the Management TEAM.

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#122 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:18AM
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Curcro wrote:

@Ducey

A 4th Round pick has a 28% chance of playing a full 80 games in the NHL - 1 season.

It drops to 23% chance of playing 160 games in the NHL - 2 seasons.

Finally a 16% chance to be a regular NHLer (400 games +)

So more or less 1 in 4 - 4th Round picks have value. And 1 in 6 or 7 to get a genuine NHL player.

If you can get an NHL player for a 4th Round pick you are ahead. A bird in hand is worth 4 (in this case) in the bush.

I'm not a big fan of this pick up, when they could have got Wade Redden for a conditional 7th (8% chance of being an regular NHLer).

Draft picks are like lottery tickets, buy enough you will win something, but is it worth it?

I think your stats are correct...so I agree with you....going forward...Wade Redden has an 8% chance of being a regular NHLer....

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#123 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:26AM
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Curcro wrote:

You do realize that the Oilers 26th out of 30 teams for salary. That means 25 teams are paying their players more than the Oilers.

Next year they are sitting 16th for confirmed salary already allotted.

Hemsky's current contract was fair. He was on $5M in the final year of his last contract. He took $4.5M this year, and $5.5M next year. That's not bad for a player of Hemsky's ilk. I don't think it was an overpay. It was merely a "pay".

Gagner @ $3.2M wasn't bad either.

It just seems too easy to refute WW Sobchak.

I'd add Dubnyk at 3.5 ...looks good.

Petry at a buck 75 looks outstanding.

Heck, even that Hall kid at 6 per for 6 years could work out.....ya think?

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#124 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:33AM
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To be fair to Wes, the Oilers do have a history of overpaying.....but that was in the days when it was very difficult to get players to sign here.....you had to pay a premium or play Billy ball (Billy Bean).

Recent signings, J. Schultz, Gags, Smid, etc would suggest the tide has turned. The best part about it is, Edmonton isn't a destination of choice because of the scenery....it has become a destination of choice for players who want their name on Lord Stanley's Cup! and that's Exactly the kind of player you want to attract.

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#125 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:52AM
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G Money wrote:

Are you seriously suggesting that Columbus did well on this? If you combine their NYR and Flames and Phi trades, you get this:

- They swapped Brassard (18 pts in 34 games) for the older and more fragile Gaborik (19 pts in 35 games)

- They effectively swapped Dorsett (9 pts in 24 games) for Comeau (7 pts in 33 games)

- They traded Mason, their 1st round pick in 2009 (Moore), and a 6th round pick and a 5th round pick, in return for Leighton and a third round pick

At best, it's a sawoff depending on how Moore turns out. At worst, Columbus got taken to the woodshed.

Don't confuse motion with progress.

I agree with JW and also JG who says "Basically, the deals between the Rangers and Blue Jackets look like this...Nash, Brassard, Dorsett, Moore and a 6th for Gaborik, Dubinsky, Erixon, Anisimov and a 1st rounder. I'd still say the Blue Jackets did well."

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#126 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 04 2013, 09:58AM
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Will wrote:

I have to second the sentiment that our management might not be capable of getting our team in the same conversation as LA, Pittsburgh, or Chicago.

Columbus, went from last place to nearly the same spot we are in, then decided to go further by making the additions they did today. Not to mention they have something like three first round picks this year?

Furthermore, does anyone else read the additions of Fistric, Brown, and Smithson as directed by MacT? These are prototypical types of Mac T players.

Hopefully MacT replaces Tambi as he'd have the guts to pull the trigger on some moves to help make us a balanced team.

On another note, seeing what Tampa had to give up to get Bishop is terrifying. If back up goalies are that pricey, we better hope one of our prospects picks their socks up.

Also, did anyone find it weird Colorado was strangely quite today?

As Gregor points out..."The Oilers are 2nd in combined special teams at 108.3. They are 3rd in PP effeciency at 23.8% and 7th on the PK at 84.5%."

I remember hockey LEGEND Scotty Bowman coaching the Stanley Cup Champion Red Wings saying that one of his top priorities in creating a winning team was a combined special teams ratio of 105 or higher. So maybe the Oil are well on there way to being in on the same conversation as LA, Pittsburgh and Chicago.

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#127 TVx6
April 04 2013, 03:45PM
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People do realize that Adam Hall is a RW right..?

Right..?

X6

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