IMPROVING THE "D" IS THE KEY

Jason Gregor
May 02 2013 09:52AM

No one does better Stanley Cup montages than CBC. The energy inside the arena during a playoff game is one of the best sporting experiences a fan/media can have. It is electric, and CBC's opening montage illustrated it perfectly. I defy you to watch that and not yearn to be at a game. The seven-year drought gets older by the second, especially when you watch that video and are reminded how awesome the energy, atmosphere and pass of playoff games are.

If the Oilers are ever going to return to the wonderland known as playoffs, they will need to upgrade their blueline. That must be priority number one for Craig MacTavish this summer.

The Oilers don't have a top-pairing D-man right now.

Justin Schultz might become one, while Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid are #3 and #4 respectively. Finding a top-pairing defender isn't easy, however, many teams have acquired them via trade in recent memory, so it isn't impossible. Chris Pronger, Brian Campbell, Dion Phaneuf, Francois Beauchemin, Kevin Shattenkirk, Dustin Byfuglien, Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson have all been moved in the past five seasons.

 Here's a quick recap of what the Oilers blueline accomplished on the ice this season: 

Player  GP  G  A  P +/-  PIM  PP  SH  GW  S  TOI 
                       
Justin Schultz 48 8 19 27 -17 8 4 0 3 85           1,029:35
Ryan Whitney 34 4 9 13 -7 23 0 0 0 30               628:14
Jeff Petry 48 3 9 12 1 29 0 1 0 66           1,051:38
Nick Schultz 48 1 8 9 -13 24 0 0 0 33               894:21
Mark Fistric 25 0 6 6 6 32 0 0 0 9              383:20
Corey Potter 33 3 1 4 8 6 0 0 0 36               575:59
Ladislav Smid 48 1 3 4 -1 55 0 0 0    30               975:18
Theo Peckham 4 0 0 0 -1 6 0 0 0 2                 70:33
                       
Totals 48 20 55 75 -24 183 4 1 3 291            5,248:58

 J.Schultz was great offensively, but he struggled mightily in his own zone. I expected that, because it is difficult for any rookie to play sound defence, especially when he had a plethora of young forwards on the ice with him.

Petry had three short stretches where he produced offensively. He had five points in the first five games of their season-long eight-game road trip, and then he had two other stretches of three points in three games. The rest of the season he added very little offence. He had only three more points than N. Schultz who is a classic stay-at-home defender.

In the second half of the 2012 season, Petry was very good. He had 18 points in 37 games, was up in the play more often and he delivered some solid body checks to attacking forwards. It looked like he had figured out what style he needed to play to be successful.

However, this year we barely saw any of that. Petry wasn't involved offensively, and rarely delivered any bodychecks. Petry has the tools to be a very good #3, but he needs to use them. The Oilers have to find a way to light a fire under him, and keep it lit all season.

Smid is a solid defensive D-man. He won't bring a lot of offence, and you'd like him to move the puck up to the forwards quicker, however, he is one of the few Oilers who shows a competitive fire every game. The Oilers know what they have in Smid. A solid #4 defender who will kill penalties and play against the top lines.

If N. Schultz is on your third pairing next season, then the Oilers D will be better. He isn't a top-four D-man anymore, but he could be a great mentor beside Oscar Klefbom for one season.

Corey Potter has one year left on his contract, but if N.Schultz is in your bottom pair, I don't see where Potter fits in. You can't have two non-physical, non-offensive defenders as a pair. If the Oilers moved N.Schultz then Potter could replace him in the 3rd pair, but if they are a tandem next season MacTavish will have struck out trying to improve his backend.

Fistric is the only physical/hitting defender they have. He doesn't bring much offence, isn't a great puck mover and sometime puts himself out of the play going for the big hit, but at least he brings a specific role to the team. The Oilers have way too many players who don't score, don't hit, don't fight and don't compete. Fistric at least brings a few of these characteristics. I suspect the Oilers will try to make a few trades first, and if they don't land the D-men they need they will bring Fistric back.

Whitney and Peckham will be free agents and moving on.

WHO CAN THEY GET?

Mark Streit is a pending UFA, however he is 35 years old. He could play in their top pair and help on the PP, but the Oilers won't win in the playoffs if Petry, J.Schultz and Streit are all in their top-three. If they sign Streit, then I suspect they would move Petry for a different type of defender. I wouldn't sign him.

Shea Weber is a pipedream for Oiler fans. They can't trade for him until late July, and I doubt the Preds will move him, but the Oilers can't afford to miss out on deals at the draft or via free agency.

The rest of the UFA crop doesn't look great. There are a lot of offensive D-men who used to be good, but now they are at the end of their career: Sergei Gonchar, Roman Hamrlik, Adrian Aucoin, Marek Zidlicky, Tom Poti, Toni Lydman, Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden. I doubt the Oilers add one of them.

One player I'd look at is Ben Lovejoy. The Ducks acquired him from Pittsburgh in February for a 5th round pick, and now Lovejoy is in their top-four. He's not a top-pairing defender, but you could get him for a good price. However, I suspect he'll re-sign with the Ducks after/during the playoffs. If he was available on July 5th (date free agency starts this year), I'd be calling his agent.

The Oilers best bet to upgrade their blueline is likely going to come via trade. I believe the Oilers will move two or three of their skilled forwards who aren't named Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and Yakupov.

RFA

There are many very good RFA D-men, but I don't see the Oilers making an offer sheet to any of them. The Oilers don't have enough depth to surrender two or more 1st round picks at this point. If this team was one or two players away from being a serious contender, then I could see them considering it, but they'd be better off trying to make a trade.

Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Zach Bogosian, Ryan McDonagh, David Rundblad and Carl Gunnarsson are all pending RFAs. Shattenkirk might get into a contract squabble with the Blues. The Blues will offer him a deal similar to the one P.K Subban got, and he likely won't like it. I'm not sure I'd want to pay him $4-$5 million right away, but you know his agent will be looking for a big pay day.

Upgrading the backend has to be priority #1 for MacTavish, however, when you look at the free agent list it won't be that easy.

The Oilers have four decent offensive assets to dangle in a trade: Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and the #7 pick. MacTavish is a huge fan of Gagner's character and how he has developed, but if the right deal was there I wonder if he'd move him.

If the Oilers are serious about upgrading their blueline, and MacTavish said he was prepared to make some "bold moves," trading one of those four assets is the only way to do it.

The Oilers don't need any more 3rd pairing defenders, they need a top-two D-man.

PARTING SHOTS...

Don't forget to play StreakCred - the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany, and many other awesome prizes. It's only $20 and a portion of the proceeds go to charities in Edmonton. Check it out here.

In other news, don't forget that today is your last day to show off your "superstar skills". Are you a King or Queen? If so, read here.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 DoubleJ
May 02 2013, 10:03AM
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Do you think Yandle is available? I think he might be, the coyotes are a perfect fit for a trade. They have four dman on their team that would upgrade the oilers d. Hemsky of gags would help their offense.

Yandle is my hopeful pickup this offseason.

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#2 Ducey
May 02 2013, 11:19AM
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Great. So now we (or at least some of us) have moved on from Weber to Crosby or Malkin.

Very reasonable group we have here.

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#3 Mikey
May 02 2013, 02:50PM
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One thing most people are forgetting is there will be a few buyouts this summer.

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 09:57AM
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Chris Pronger was a pipedream as well.

Some teams dream of success, while other clubs wake and work hard towards it. This quitting before even getting up to the plate is really working for us, isn't it. Really looking forward to 20th- 22nd place next season. Baby steps.

How much more of this ship does Oiler management expect Taylor Hall to put up with.

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#5 Wäx Män Riley
May 02 2013, 10:16AM
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I think there might be a deal out there for Crosby or Malkin. Pitts won't be able to pay them both. It would sure solidify center.

Hey, if you don't try, then they've just given up and settled for mediocrity.

Crosby would look great in blue and orange.

Get'er done MacT or you're admitting failure.

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#6 Wäx Män Riley
May 02 2013, 10:22AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Here we are a couple yrs later and the 5 bullet holes still remain in the bottom of the boat. This years boobie prize may not be ready for a year or two, if ever. So he won't be able to plug one of those holes.

We best just keep purchasing bigger buckets for bailing purposes, i guess. How can one team be so bad for so long? Is there one constant through all of this perhaps?

I've been trying to figure it out too....

A constant eh??

MacT? Ummmm nope he's been gone a while.

Kay-Z? I'm pretty sure they were bad before him. And he was supposed to bring the money.

Could it be Lowe? **RUNS AND HIDES FOR FEAR OF JASMINE**

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#7 djc
May 02 2013, 11:36AM
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jonny94 wrote:

I was just going to say the same thing. How on earth does anyone think we can get those 2?

Pittsburgh would most likely turn down Yakupov, Hall and Nuge for Crosby straight across. Good grief.

Phhhhhht, I bet you could get Crosby AND Malkin for Brodin or Garrison or Grandlund or Kreider or Kyle Wellwood or Kadri or a replica Vancouver Canucks 7th man banner or Dale Tallon's autograph.

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#8 Yep
May 02 2013, 11:45AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Chris Pronger was a pipedream as well.

Some teams dream of success, while other clubs wake and work hard towards it. This quitting before even getting up to the plate is really working for us, isn't it. Really looking forward to 20th- 22nd place next season. Baby steps.

How much more of this ship does Oiler management expect Taylor Hall to put up with.

You dint answer in the last article so I'll ask again: how is not wanting to go after the iota of a chance that the Preds will ever trade Weber akin to 'quitting'???

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#9 Taylor Gang
May 02 2013, 12:58PM
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madjam wrote:

TAKING UP THE ARMCHAIR GM CHALLENGE : Massive change around Hall, Yakupov , Hopkins and J.Schultz . S.Smyth special case and will be retained with limited playing time . Acquisitions include one blockbuster trade , one -2 major star addition .

Blockbuster trade for procuring Bieksa ,Kesler and Luongo -for Petry ,Dubnyk , Musil And future Nbr. 1or 2nd round pick 2014 .

Star trade: 1. Weber for Horcoff , N.Schultz ,Fistric , and this years first round pick . 2. T.Vanek for Eberle And Hartekainen and one conditional second rounder 2015 or 2015 .

Couturier for Paajarvi , Rajala and conditional 3rd round pick 2014 or 2015 (our choice). D.Murray for Gagner and conditional 5th rounder .

Nystom -Jones and Martindale . Reaves for Zharcov , Archebello and Miller . Orr for Smithson and 4th rounder . Del Zotto - Gernat or and Fistric . J.Boll for draft choices or perhaps farm club not expected to make club .

That leaves defence of Bieksa , D.Murray , S.Weber , Del Zotto , Smid , Klefbom and Marincin and Potter . 4th line of Nystrom , Boll , Reaves , Brown, Orr and Smyth . We now have Vanek and Couturier for center along with Hopkins and Kesler . Luongo in goal .

Now that's changing the landscape of the Oilers in a positive way while retaining most of your valued future blue chippers . I'm sure many have others you might prefer to use in each trade , etc..

Weber for Horcoff, Nick Schultz, and Fistric?????? Oh my god -___-

For the last time, Weber will command at least one of the kids, if not two.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 01:51PM
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One thing Jasmine did mention that made sense, is getting rid of all the rif raf throughout the entire league. Every team would have a Gretzky,Bossy,Orr,Coffey,Messier,Fuhr,Crosby,Lemieux,Weber and Potvin clones. On Fan Appreciation night, every fan attending leaves with an autographed 10lb bag of Soylent Green, made from all the players of the losing team.

That's original, we have to give her that one.

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 03:26PM
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Not sure if this has been brought up before, apologies in advance if it has.

MacTavish could put a package together, give David Poile a call, and see if he could pry Shea Weber from their grasp. They'd still have Josi and all those other 4 thru 7 types. That would solve a lot of problems here on the Oilers backend.

Git'er done MacT!

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#12 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 03:40PM
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Spydyr wrote:

That is why I said

Go to bed your drunk.

Now now Spydyr.

You know how proper spelling, punctuation and grammer is very dear to our hearts here on Oilersnation. I'm not going to pick on anything that you've done but....

You's,your,you're, you'did'dat, who'dat. 3 are correct, and two haven't been invented yet. Please choose wisely fellow hockey brethren. You don't happen to know Shea Weber personally at all, do you Spydyr?

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#13 Gaz
May 02 2013, 10:03PM
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Omark and Rajala replacements for Yakupov?

Oh dear. No.

Gagner + Petry would get you Myers...IF Buffalo wants to turn the page. Scratching a player doesn't mean he's expendable.

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#14 Space Dad
May 02 2013, 10:56AM
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DoubleJ wrote:

Do you think Yandle is available? I think he might be, the coyotes are a perfect fit for a trade. They have four dman on their team that would upgrade the oilers d. Hemsky of gags would help their offense.

Yandle is my hopeful pickup this offseason.

Anyone remember last playoffs when Yandle pouted about the refs and made crap excuses for why the Kings steam-rolled the Coyotes? Personally, I see Yandle as having an attitude similar to Ryan Whitney, one that (as we have seen in Oil Country) can easily turn caustic.

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#15 Randaman
May 02 2013, 11:05AM
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@15w40

I really don't understand this love affair with Larrson. Too timid for my liking. We already have Petry & N. Schultz in that catagory. Shattenkirk or Hedman would be an improvement. Why has nobody thought of going after Jack Johnson. We could swap picks with Columbus and offer Hemsky to sweeten the deal. Then Lazar would be available at 14 I believe. Then we throw whatever it takes at Pittsburgh for Malkin. Center problem solved.

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#16 theoil
May 02 2013, 11:23AM
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This website has some of the worst armchair GM's on the web... Malkin, Crosby, Jack Johnson???? C'mon guys, give your collective heads a shake

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#17 jonny94
May 02 2013, 11:23AM
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Ducey wrote:

Great. So now we (or at least some of us) have moved on from Weber to Crosby or Malkin.

Very reasonable group we have here.

I was just going to say the same thing. How on earth does anyone think we can get those 2?

Pittsburgh would most likely turn down Yakupov, Hall and Nuge for Crosby straight across. Good grief.

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#18 Rama Lama
May 02 2013, 11:53AM
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There are no shortcuts available to what we require, on defense. Drafting is our only option, unless we want to over pay massively!

By upgrading our defense with a guy like Mark Streit or trading for a Yandle, we might be able to get by for a couple of years, until our draft picks mature. It is important to remember every great defenseman that we covet was drafted at some point in time.

I'm not for over paying to get top four unless it 's Seth Jones.

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#19 mayorblaine
May 02 2013, 12:09PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

go on....look at what you've done.

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#20 book¡e
May 02 2013, 01:14PM
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Just to join in on the trend.

I would trade Petrell for Crosby. This would not only give us way more depth and scoring power at centre, it would provide for some much needed leadership.

I would also trade Whitney (before his contract ends in July) for Suter. Again, at 28, he is in the prime of his career and could really fill the role of a top D-Man for the team.

GMing is super easy - Get'r done MacT!

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#21 The Beaker
May 02 2013, 01:47PM
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@godot10

The thing i dont get is why resort to an offer sheet? Why not go to TO and say hey look, we're interested in Gunnarsson and are willing to offer him 3m a season, would you accept a 2nd rounder for him? We'll throw in a 7th in 2015 or something as a good will gesture.

Why piss a team off when you can build up a relationship with them. Especially if its not over top tier talent or they aren't in your division.

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#22 The Beaker
May 02 2013, 01:48PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Horc,Omark and Peckham in exchange for 87, keep the change there Mr. Shero.

Your drunk too.

I was thinking/hoping his comment was sarcasm. I'm going to believe so until shown otherwise.

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#23 Wäx Män Riley
May 02 2013, 03:28PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Not sure if this has been brought up before, apologies in advance if it has.

MacTavish could put a package together, give David Poile a call, and see if he could pry Shea Weber from their grasp. They'd still have Josi and all those other 4 thru 7 types. That would solve a lot of problems here on the Oilers backend.

Git'er done MacT!

lol

I had to props that

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#25 Oiltimer
May 02 2013, 05:06PM
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No doubt some armchair GM out there will/might guess the correct trade/signing/acquisitions. But it may not be anything like we've seen or thought of so far, probably won't. If it was as easy as all that to GM, these fellows wouldn't be worth what they have to pay them...and that's leaving the dealing with criticism that they must do aside.

My small observation is: I don't see the team playing good solid team D. Most of the hot teams kill the concept of team D ... the Oilers do not. That is, in part, a coaching problem and that relates directly to maintaining the same system over a longer period of time so the players, especially veterns, can be comfortable within the system. 5 coaches in 5 or whatever years just does NOT cut it. In my mind this is why often a good player in one system is not so productive in another. I think Lupil is an example of that although he's not D the fact is he didn't fit here. The square peg round hole syndrom.

If a player's job is to bang bodies that's the same in whichever system, but to contribute beyond that takes adjustment to the system. THis requires a special talent or a player used to adjusting. My contention is that often a poor GM will not add this to the equasion or undervalue it. I think with lower skill level players the adjustment may take longer or not take place at all. This is why a Belanger/ Eager/Fistric may not pan out and also why you keep a marginal player who knows the system ... even a guy like Peckham. I think that once the get all these fine horses going in the same direction we will be sucessful. IMHO

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#26 gr8one
May 02 2013, 06:14PM
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My dream offseason.

Lecavalier gets bought out by the TBL. Signs a value contract with the Oilers.

Get lucky and Monahan be available at pick #7.

Sign UFA's Ryan Clowe, Viktor Stalberg, Anton Khudobin and Mark Streit.

Somehow, someway acquire Alex Pietrangelo whether it be trade or offer sheet, due to the above moves Gagner and Hemsky become expendable so perhaps something like Gagner/Gernat/another prospect and our 2015 first round pick nets us Pietrangelo??

Hall/Nuge/Eberle, Clowe/Lecavalier/Yakupov, PRV/Monahan/Stalberg, Smyth/Horcoff/Hartikainen,

Streit/Pieterangelo, Smid/J.Schultz, Klefbom/Petry, Potter/Schultz

Hemsky and others not listed either traded for future assets(picks/prospects) or just let go(Khabi, Whitney, etc)

A lineup like that would give us size, compete level and experience mixed with our youth and versatility with players that can move up and down the lineup depending on injury/effectiveness.

As far fetched and extreme as all of that sounds...MacT did say that there could be as manyy or more as 8 new Oilers Next season. That scenario would be 7 new Oilers.

#onecandream

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#27 Rocknrolla
May 02 2013, 09:33PM
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Hey Gregor,

I know last off season we were discussing mark methot.

He looked pretty good tonight playing with Karlsson, and I can't help but think how he would have looked this year with Justin.

We need 2 NHL defenseman, and this team will improve a boatload. It would push everyone down a notch and let some of the youth develop next year in OKC.

I can't wait to see this team with Dubnyk playing as well as he is and with a real Defence. Could be pretty scary.

Scary good....

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#28 Cody anderson
May 02 2013, 09:54PM
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I would like to see them trade Hmsky and our 1st to get into the 4th spot and draft Barkov.

Then trade Gagner to the Leafs for Gardner.

Gardner and J Schultz played together in College and both have the potential to be top pairing Dmen.

Barkov could be the big centreman we have wanted for our top 6

A D-corps consisting of

Gardner - J Schultz

Smid - Petry

Klefbom - N Schultz

with Fistric as your 7th is not as big and mean as I would like, but sure looks like it could develop nicely.

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#29 TigerUnderGlass
May 02 2013, 10:14AM
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No one does better Stanley Cup montages than CBC.

That's only because NMA isn't really into hockey.

The STL defense situation is interesting because they of their regulars from this season they only have Bouwmeester, Jackman, and Polak signed for next year.

They have a ton of cap space right now but given their depth at forward I wonder how much of that space they want tied up in their defense.

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#30 Chainsawz
May 02 2013, 10:19AM
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If the Oilers are to be a playoff team, I agree with most of what Jason said. The depth chart of a playoff team made of Oilers blueliners looks like this to me for next season:

1. not filled 2. not filled 3. J Schultz 4. not filled 5. Smid 6. N Schultz/Petry 7. Fistric 8. Potter

That doesn't look good. Forwards, it doesn't get better in my opinion either:

Hall-not filled-Yakupov not filled-Nuge-Eberle Paajarvi-Horcoff-not filled Hartikainen-not filled-not filled 13th: Lander

I'm looking for 8 new faces, 4 of which are of the top end variety. Too tall of an order for a rookie GM in a thin FA market and limited valuable (and moveable) assests to trade.

All I'm saying is that I don't have much hope for a top 4 finish in the new division next season.

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#31 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 10:19AM
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Here we are a couple yrs later and the 5 bullet holes still remain in the bottom of the boat. This years boobie prize may not be ready for a year or two, if ever. So he won't be able to plug one of those holes.

We best just keep purchasing bigger buckets for bailing purposes, i guess. How can one team be so bad for so long? Is there one constant through all of this perhaps?

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#32 Space Dad
May 02 2013, 10:46AM
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Well, you know what Gregor?! I defy you! Forever! Even though it probably isn't an attainable defiance!

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#33 15w40
May 02 2013, 10:48AM
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Definitely need to target one of Shattenkirk, Bogosian, Hedman, or Larrson.

In addition to that, potentially looking at getting a Travis Hamonic or a Dylan McIlrath (if his skating has improved)

Oilers need a defenseman that will punish people and right now they don't at all.

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#34 DSF
May 02 2013, 10:55AM
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"Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and the #7 pick."

Given that the Oilers need TWO top pairing defensemen, how on earth do you think they would be able to parlay that conglomeration into even ONE top pairing D?

Hemsky is coming off another injury riddled 20 point season and has another year left at $5M. That's not a very attractive package.

Gagner needs a new contract and will likely be looking for close to $5M which, with the cap dropping, is not going to be easy to swallow for any GM.

Paajarvi is an almost competent 3rd line player on most teams and no one is giving up a top pairing defenseman for a player you can pick up for free in the offseason.

One of the kids will have to be moved at some point if MacT is going to successful in his "bold" moves.

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#35 Lexi
May 02 2013, 10:58AM
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I hope MacT looks at how we are developing our Dmen. With Klefbom, Musil, Marancin, Gernat, Simpson, Fedun, and Davisdon in the system, I've got to think we have at least two top 4 Dmen and another top 6 coming in the next few years. I am concerned that the team is still not doing a very good job of giving these guys a development plan, because they would solve a ton of D problems if they could do it internally.

I think this team should still remain focused on contending in 2014-15 and not go too crazy trading youth for short term help. I would be okay with them just getting one top 4 guy for next year. Nikitin seems to be a guy they could get for minimal assets.

I would love to see them try the RFA route for the right guy though.

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#36 DSF
May 02 2013, 11:06AM
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Lexi wrote:

I hope MacT looks at how we are developing our Dmen. With Klefbom, Musil, Marancin, Gernat, Simpson, Fedun, and Davisdon in the system, I've got to think we have at least two top 4 Dmen and another top 6 coming in the next few years. I am concerned that the team is still not doing a very good job of giving these guys a development plan, because they would solve a ton of D problems if they could do it internally.

I think this team should still remain focused on contending in 2014-15 and not go too crazy trading youth for short term help. I would be okay with them just getting one top 4 guy for next year. Nikitin seems to be a guy they could get for minimal assets.

I would love to see them try the RFA route for the right guy though.

Why would Columbus trade Nikitin for "minimal assets"?

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#37 Botts182
May 02 2013, 11:33AM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

I think there might be a deal out there for Crosby or Malkin. Pitts won't be able to pay them both. It would sure solidify center.

Hey, if you don't try, then they've just given up and settled for mediocrity.

Crosby would look great in blue and orange.

Get'er done MacT or you're admitting failure.

I hope this was meant as a joke....

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#38 Chainsawz
May 02 2013, 11:34AM
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Very wishful thinking ahead...

If the Oilers were to sign Streit and trade for Yandle by moving Hemsky and 2-3 futures, that would go a long way to helping out the blueline. MacTavish would just need to find a right shooting defenseman to play on the 2nd unit. That leaves Smid and Petry as our 5/6 and that should be a legit blueline.

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#39 Randaman
May 02 2013, 11:40AM
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@jonny94

Ok, I am not saying Crosby at all but Malkin has one more year on his current contract. Let's all think like Tambi and not even explore the possibility? Malkin/Hall/Yak on the first line? Scaaaaarrrryyy!!

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#40 oil99
May 02 2013, 11:45AM
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oilers could get Roman Josi out of Nashville cuz they need offensive players.

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#41 jonny94
May 02 2013, 11:47AM
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Randaman wrote:

Ok, I am not saying Crosby at all but Malkin has one more year on his current contract. Let's all think like Tambi and not even explore the possibility? Malkin/Hall/Yak on the first line? Scaaaaarrrryyy!!

You're still giving up an arm and a leg for Malkin. There would be a lot of explaining to the fans of the Penguins as to why the Penguins traded Malkin to the Oilers.

Trade Lowe for Shero best case scenario.

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#42 Will
May 02 2013, 12:05PM
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Jason,

If you could draft Dougie Hamilton in the 7 th spot in this draft would you take him? or would you still pick a forward?

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#43 madjam
May 02 2013, 12:12PM
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TAKING UP THE ARMCHAIR GM CHALLENGE : Massive change around Hall, Yakupov , Hopkins and J.Schultz . S.Smyth special case and will be retained with limited playing time . Acquisitions include one blockbuster trade , one -2 major star addition .

Blockbuster trade for procuring Bieksa ,Kesler and Luongo -for Petry ,Dubnyk , Musil And future Nbr. 1or 2nd round pick 2014 .

Star trade: 1. Weber for Horcoff , N.Schultz ,Fistric , and this years first round pick . 2. T.Vanek for Eberle And Hartekainen and one conditional second rounder 2015 or 2015 .

Couturier for Paajarvi , Rajala and conditional 3rd round pick 2014 or 2015 (our choice). D.Murray for Gagner and conditional 5th rounder .

Nystom -Jones and Martindale . Reaves for Zharcov , Archebello and Miller . Orr for Smithson and 4th rounder . Del Zotto - Gernat or and Fistric . J.Boll for draft choices or perhaps farm club not expected to make club .

That leaves defence of Bieksa , D.Murray , S.Weber , Del Zotto , Smid , Klefbom and Marincin and Potter . 4th line of Nystrom , Boll , Reaves , Brown, Orr and Smyth . We now have Vanek and Couturier for center along with Hopkins and Kesler . Luongo in goal .

Now that's changing the landscape of the Oilers in a positive way while retaining most of your valued future blue chippers . I'm sure many have others you might prefer to use in each trade , etc..

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#44 mayorblaine
May 02 2013, 12:15PM
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although i do believe D is very important to this group, i can't help but think that power forward is moreso.

the kids are your ticket. protect and mentor the kids with the proper top 6 size and skill (sorry Hemsky) and they will roll consistently. they, more than the D, need the help.

fix the front and the back will follow.

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#45 headmetal
May 02 2013, 12:29PM
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madjam wrote:

TAKING UP THE ARMCHAIR GM CHALLENGE : Massive change around Hall, Yakupov , Hopkins and J.Schultz . S.Smyth special case and will be retained with limited playing time . Acquisitions include one blockbuster trade , one -2 major star addition .

Blockbuster trade for procuring Bieksa ,Kesler and Luongo -for Petry ,Dubnyk , Musil And future Nbr. 1or 2nd round pick 2014 .

Star trade: 1. Weber for Horcoff , N.Schultz ,Fistric , and this years first round pick . 2. T.Vanek for Eberle And Hartekainen and one conditional second rounder 2015 or 2015 .

Couturier for Paajarvi , Rajala and conditional 3rd round pick 2014 or 2015 (our choice). D.Murray for Gagner and conditional 5th rounder .

Nystom -Jones and Martindale . Reaves for Zharcov , Archebello and Miller . Orr for Smithson and 4th rounder . Del Zotto - Gernat or and Fistric . J.Boll for draft choices or perhaps farm club not expected to make club .

That leaves defence of Bieksa , D.Murray , S.Weber , Del Zotto , Smid , Klefbom and Marincin and Potter . 4th line of Nystrom , Boll , Reaves , Brown, Orr and Smyth . We now have Vanek and Couturier for center along with Hopkins and Kesler . Luongo in goal .

Now that's changing the landscape of the Oilers in a positive way while retaining most of your valued future blue chippers . I'm sure many have others you might prefer to use in each trade , etc..

pop that into cap geek and then figure what else you want to take out. Those are decent changes...but prob wouldn't get half of those to even work in the NHL 2013 game

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#46 Jimmy
May 02 2013, 12:39PM
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Draft 2013

Col - Jones

FL - MacKinnon

TB- Drouin/Barkov

Nash- Drouin/Barkov

Car- Nichushkin/Nurse

Cal- Monahan/Nichushkin/Lindholm

Edm- Monahan/Nichushkin/Nurse

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#47 madjam
May 02 2013, 12:45PM
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What of those decent changes might you feel worthy ,Etc.?

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 12:53PM
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Yep wrote:

You dint answer in the last article so I'll ask again: how is not wanting to go after the iota of a chance that the Preds will ever trade Weber akin to 'quitting'???

I'm sorry, English is my first language, could you please ask your question again?

My mind is so filled with rage these days, struggling with the whole comprehension thing just now. Thank you in advance.

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#49 BingBong
May 02 2013, 01:05PM
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We realistically have 3 2nd pair d-men: J. Schultz, Smid and Petry. One of those guys will have to play 1st pair, and so it becomes a matter of finding another top pair d-man somehow, probably through trade. The 3rd pair is adequate with N. Schultz/Potter/Fistric, although I'd like to see an upgrade over Potter/Fistric to complement Schultz. So in my mind we NEED a #1/2, and could use a #5/6.

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#50 madjam
May 02 2013, 01:15PM
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Weber will not command as much as you think . They are trying to dump that contract remember . Taking over that contract will scare most everyone away - so you don't also have to give equal value back onn top of taking on that contract . I may have even given up to much . Word of note : I mentioned Fistric in two trades - my mistake . Two usable defence and a center of NHL caliber should be plenty .

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