Identity Theft

Jonathan Willis
May 27 2013 12:18PM

Craig MacTavish has been doing what feels like a media blitz since taking over as general manager, making a point of communicating his message clearly and frequently to the Oilers’ fan base. On Friday he appeared on Oilers Now and said a lot of interesting things, though what stood out to me were his comments on team identity.

Chasing

Success is always in vogue. You look at the New Jersey Devils when they won, you had to play a more conservative, trapping style of hockey, a less aggressive style of hockey. Then it transitioned to the Wings, and then you had to play a more skill-level game, a more puck-possession game. Now, the Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup last year and are threatening again this year with a big, heavy team. I think there are a lot of different ways you can get the job done.

Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, there is a lot of time spent dissecting how they won – by fans, by the media, and doubtless also by NHL management. Sometimes, the story is ‘they just won, how does [Team X] we become more like them?’ To a certain degree, it’s healthy – Stanley Cup winners tend to be very good teams, and there’s generally a lot of value in identifying their strengths and seeing how Team X stacks up against them.

But, as MacTavish points out: there are a lot of different ways to win. He mentions three specific examples, but Chicago and Pittsburgh and Anaheim and Carolina and Boston all won Cups during the last CBA, too, and they all had a slightly different way of getting there. It’s a mistake to always chase after the most recent winner; teams can't always be reinventing themselves or moving the goalposts simply because the most recent winner happens to play the game a certain way

The Future

I think first and foremost you have to know what you are as a team, and that’s the most important thing. From my perspective and our organization’s perspective, we’re a team that’s a highly skill-driven team, a team that is going to play a puck-possession game.

MacTavish sees the Oilers as a skill-driven, puck possession team. And it makes sense. Looking at the Oilers’ key players – the youth brought in via lottery picks, plus Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle – there simply isn’t a base to build a club like San Jose or Los Angeles or St. Louis. Looking at the Kings’ win last year, the smallest of their five most used players was Drew Doughty (6’1”, 208 pounds). Looking at their top nine forwards and top six defencemen, three were under 200 pounds (and one of those guys weighed 199). The Oilers can bulk up all they want, but as long as Eberle and Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are playing big minutes they aren’t going to be the Kings.

So they shouldn’t even try.

That’s not to say they don’t need to get bigger – to an extent, I think they do – but they’re never going to beat teams like Los Angeles and Boston by being a poor man’s Bruins or Kings. They have a high-end core, but it’s a core built for playing a different style of game, the style exemplified in the West in recent years by Detroit and Chicago.

The good news for the Oilers is that Craig MacTavish knows that. The vision he’s outlined for the team this summer – bringing in mobility and puck sense on defence, bringing in bottom-six forwards with size that can also contribute offensively, overhauling spots two and three on the goaltending depth chart – are not changes aimed at turning the Oilers into a team that plays a dump-and-chase, grind-it-out game that the top-six simply isn’t built for. They’re changes aimed at supporting the current talent, and evolving the team into the best possible version of itself, rather than a pale imitation of something they aren’t.

Streakcred

Don't forget that it's not too late to play StreakCred - the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Now it's only $10 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities. Sign up here.

Recently around the Nation Network

Over at Canucks Army, Thomas Drance talks about the news that Manny Malhotra Hopes To Continue His Playing Career

Malhotra intends to hit the unrestricted free agent market on July fifth, and though I'd suggest he'll struggle to secure a one-way contract, he clearly still wants to play and still wants a chance to end his career on his own terms.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#1 David S
May 28 2013, 12:04PM
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Oh. NewAgeSys is burning up the keyboard again? Where the heck is that SHUT UP guy when you need him?

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#2 Wax Man Riley
May 28 2013, 05:38PM
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BTW... Where is the word-count limiter?

@NHS

Please shorten it up. Nobody reads posts that long; you are wasting your time typing that out. Keep paragraphs short with more separation, and get to the point.

Just trying to save you some time, buddy.

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#3 I am the Liquor
May 29 2013, 12:00AM
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@NewAgeSys

I see the fourth horse of the apocalypse has found his way here.......

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#4 Cowbell_Feva
May 29 2013, 08:55AM
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@NewAgeSys

I cannot believe I just read somebody talking about hockey (supposedly) and stating that an NHL head coach should have used a little thing called "Intuitive Dynamic Management". Really?

Really?

I didn't read the rest of your thesis statement, but to try and say the Oilers would have made the playoffs if Krueger just kept the same lines all season long is assinine. When the team plays as bad as they did, including the kid line, why would any coach keep them in tact?

Seriously man, keep the rants down to less than 14 pages and people might actually read them.

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#5 mayorblaine
May 27 2013, 12:21PM
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if we aren't looking at Detroit for ideas, we are doing it wrong.

all wrong.

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#6 Will
May 27 2013, 12:29PM
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Maybe there is a new paradigm shift in how to build a winning team: tons of talent on the wings.

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#7 RexLibris
May 27 2013, 12:32PM
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I want to cry with relief. Finally, somebody gets it. Don't try to get player x or be team y, find the next player x and be the team that everyone tries to emulate.

Is it too late to buy a MacTavish jersey?

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#8 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 12:45PM
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I think you should of thrown the Michael Scott "NO!!!" clip in for good measure.

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#9 vetinari
May 27 2013, 12:47PM
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Can we please have an audio clip of 'Mac the Knife' added somewhere to celebrate his awesomeness?

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#10 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 12:55PM
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vetinari wrote:

Can we please have an audio clip of 'Mac the Knife' added somewhere to celebrate his awesomeness?

The only awesome thing about Mac-T has been his openness with the media. I will hold off on celebrating his awesomeness until, well he does something.

Now that being said lets get the playoffs over with so we can see what he actually has, besides big talk.

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#11 Racki
May 27 2013, 12:59PM
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My Detroit Red Wings fan buddy has always been saying that "the Oilers don't have an identity". Good to hear MacTavish echo this as well. The team up until now was a bit of a clusterf--- of ideas, it seems. I think if we're aiming for a puck possession team, than MacTavish would do a lot of good for this team by swinging for the fences when it comes to acquiring a blue liner that brings it all.

I realize it's a pipe dream on my part, but I've been dreaming about us acquiring Alex Pietrangelo since the 2009 (? I think??) World Junior Championships. He brings a complete game. It would be tricky as hell to get him out of St. Louis, but hey, wouldn't be the first time we got a marquee d-man out of them. There are others we could try for, but I think that's the type of player that would really go a long long way here, and it's worth paying a lot for. Shea Weber of course is another option that I'd love for us to have, or Zach Bogosian to a lesser extent.

At any rate, I would be dangling the #7 pick and our some of our better farm prospects to acquire one of those big names. One player shouldn't make a big difference, but I can't help but think it actually would in a case like that.

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#12 Will
May 27 2013, 01:03PM
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Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

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#13 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 01:04PM
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Will this upcoming season with the new alignment affect how teams will build their teams? Since you now play against only teams in your division during the playoffs, maybe puck possession might be the way to go to counter-attack the teams that are just big which are San Jose and LA. The Oilers definitely need to get bigger but sometimes size doesn't matter just for the sake of being bigger.

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#14 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 01:06PM
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Racki wrote:

My Detroit Red Wings fan buddy has always been saying that "the Oilers don't have an identity". Good to hear MacTavish echo this as well. The team up until now was a bit of a clusterf--- of ideas, it seems. I think if we're aiming for a puck possession team, than MacTavish would do a lot of good for this team by swinging for the fences when it comes to acquiring a blue liner that brings it all.

I realize it's a pipe dream on my part, but I've been dreaming about us acquiring Alex Pietrangelo since the 2009 (? I think??) World Junior Championships. He brings a complete game. It would be tricky as hell to get him out of St. Louis, but hey, wouldn't be the first time we got a marquee d-man out of them. There are others we could try for, but I think that's the type of player that would really go a long long way here, and it's worth paying a lot for. Shea Weber of course is another option that I'd love for us to have, or Zach Bogosian to a lesser extent.

At any rate, I would be dangling the #7 pick and our some of our better farm prospects to acquire one of those big names. One player shouldn't make a big difference, but I can't help but think it actually would in a case like that.

It sure would be nice to get that stud defenceman to anchor the team. Every team has one or wants one. They do get traded once every few years but like you said they are not easy to come by.

Think it would take one of the kids though.

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#15 Racki
May 27 2013, 01:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

It sure would be nice to get that stud defenceman to anchor the team. Every team has one or wants one. They do get traded once every few years but like you said they are not easy to come by.

Think it would take one of the kids though.

Yah, for sure it would be difficult to do. I can't even really imagine what it would take to pry Pietrangelo away. And in honesty, I'm not really sure I'd be willing to part with any of Nuge, Eberle, Hall or Yakupov for anyone. I would part with guys like Paajarvi, Gagner, and such, but it would take a fairly significant bundle of quality players to do it without involving one of the "kids". So it will likely always just be a pipe dream, unless one of our draftees becomes a stud d-man.

There is also the possibility of an offersheet, but I wouldn't ever give up 4 1st rounders to make it happen, and I'm not so sure there's an offersheet outside of that tier which St. Louis wouldn't match. So it would just end up pissing off another potential trading partner.

Nashville still has a healthy stock of young up and coming d-men though, so maybe they're the best option. (Blum, Rosi, Weber, Ellis)

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#16 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 01:18PM
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Racki wrote:

Yah, for sure it would be difficult to do. I can't even really imagine what it would take to pry Pietrangelo away. And in honesty, I'm not really sure I'd be willing to part with any of Nuge, Eberle, Hall or Yakupov for anyone. I would part with guys like Paajarvi, Gagner, and such, but it would take a fairly significant bundle of quality players to do it without involving one of the "kids". So it will likely always just be a pipe dream, unless one of our draftees becomes a stud d-man.

There is also the possibility of an offersheet, but I wouldn't ever give up 4 1st rounders to make it happen, and I'm not so sure there's an offersheet outside of that tier which St. Louis wouldn't match. So it would just end up pissing off another potential trading partner.

Nashville still has a healthy stock of young up and coming d-men though, so maybe they're the best option. (Blum, Rosi, Weber, Ellis)

Well I'm going to cross my fingers and my toes. The team needs that true number one anchor d-man.

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#17 Rama Lama
May 27 2013, 01:20PM
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I'm just so happy we do not have to listen to Mr. Tamby's mumbo jumbo talking points, say nothing of any relevance, and do even less.

He'll I would be happy to listen Maggie the Monkey talk mo than Tamby!

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#18 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 01:24PM
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I like that MacT is seemingly dtermined to make the Oilers a Team of Identity.

What this team needs now up top is not a trying hard skilled type 2nd liner like Gagner is only....but one who is with size and meanness.

I really like the kids in this years draft to choose from...for skill at centre with MacKinnon, Barkov, Lindholm, Monahan and Horvat, but are these kids with meanness/grit to go with that skill.

Unless the Oilers move up to #3, 4, or 5, Barkov will be gone for sure. MacKinnon is going #2, maybe now even #1 with his memorial cup performance over Seth Jones.

RNH scares other teams with his skill but is he mean?...NO, he is of ultra pure type talent and rightfully so for a 1st line centre.

Look at Messier behind Gretzky with his size, super mean streak plus awesome talent.

Same with the Oilers third line setup. I remember Bucky, Grier, and Marchantas an exciting 3rd line to watch both defensively and having decent offence too, but most of that was meanness, hard work/determination and dedication as well.

Same with the Oilers' defence. Pronger was the balance of meanness and skill as were other Oiler past players (offence/defence) like Fogolin, McSorley, Lowe (yes him too), Jackson, Huddy, Marchment, Manson, Jason Smith,

This Oilers team...on every line and defence pairing...needs to show full meanness, dedication and determination....to go with skill they are building together. Any team can have all the skill each wants but unless they had a balance of everything no one wins the Cups.

Finally this team needs that one big save to win the game and although Dubnyk is getting better he has not shown that Grant Fuhr, Ken Dryden, or Bernie Parent, Billy Smith, etc, type ability as yet.

I believe MacT is looking for the right blend now rather than rebuild for the next three years.

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#19 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:27PM
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Will wrote:

Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

I'll take door #2

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#20 Rob...
May 27 2013, 01:28PM
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My only expectations for next season are seeing a few epic Yakupov celebrations and hearing some funny comments from MacT in interviews.

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#21 Racki
May 27 2013, 01:33PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I'll take door #2

Me too, although it's going to take more than that to get the kind of d-man I think we could really use here.

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#22 gongshow
May 27 2013, 01:35PM
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I like MacT's comments over the last couple of weeks, but we'll see how it plays itself out.

2 concerns that I have on his ability to execute as GM stem from comments that I have heard from insiders during his time as Oilers head coach.

First is that while he was wonderful for sound bites to the media, he was very poor with communication with some of his players, leaving them twisting in the wind, wondering what their role was or what what their future with the team was. Maybe he was using some advanced psychological wizardry, but it raises a red flag for me.

Red flag number 2 is what I have heard of the poor communication between MacT and some of his coaching staff. Perception may have been that he either A) thought that he was the smartest brain in the room and disregarded others input or B) possessed a crystal ball or magic 8 ball that he put more stock in than the opinions of his own coaching staff.

People grow and evolve. Based upon my perception of his previous operating style, I hope that MacT picked up some new listening and communication skills as part of his MBA training.

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#23 DSF
May 27 2013, 01:43PM
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Mac T and this article are both missing the most critical component of the winning equation in the current NHL.

The standard of officiating has devolved very near to the point it was before the last lockout and that has given a big advantage to the "heavy" teams.

Unless steps are taken to reverse that trend, skilled , puck possession teams will have a very difficult time being successful.

Jon uses Chicago as an example of a "skill" team but take a look at some of their roster:

Toews - 6'2" 210

Stalberg - 6'3" 210

Hossa - 6'1" 210

Sharp - 6'1" 205

Bickell - 6'4" 235

Bollig - 6'2" 225

Handzus - 6'5" 215

Saad - 6'1" 205

Carcillo - 6'0" 205

Seabrook - 6'3" 225

Keith - 6'1' 200

Hjamarsson - 6'3" 210

Those are some pretty big boys and, in fact, the Hawks only have 2 players on their regular roster who are under 6 feet...Kane and Shaw.

While they are certainly a pick possession team, they are also capable of playing a banging style of hockey.

The Wings are smaller but they have some pretty large specimens on their roster as well.

Abdelkader - 6'1" 220

Andersson - 6'2" 210

Franzen 6'3" 225

Kindl - 6'3" 220

Ericsson 6'4" 220

Quincey - 6'2" 210

Smith - 6'2" 200

DeKeyser - 6'3" 190

Big men with skill will beat small men with skill every time and that's especially true in the playoffs.

The Oilers biggest forward is Paajarvi and he plays like he's 5'10 180.

They have some size on defense but, other than Peckham (now that Sutton is gone), none of them play with an edge.

Teams like Montreal and Vancouver were built on the "skilled, puck possession" model and, while they can be successful in the regular season, they get obliterated in the playoffs when the referees swallow their whistles.

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#24 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:45PM
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Racki wrote:

Me too, although it's going to take more than that to get the kind of d-man I think we could really use here.

The #7 pick + spare change (perhaps Paajarvi, 2nd rounders, Marincin, etc) puts you in the conversation for a player such as:

Tobias Enstrom, Karl Alzner, Alex Goligoski, Alex Edler, Fedor Tyutin, and maybe even Christian Erhoff or perhaps even Kris Letang if Pittsburgh wants to mini-rebuild after this year.

Whatever happens, it'll be an interesting summer.

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#25 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:48PM
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@DSF

I could list the heights and weights of Mark Fistric, Magnus Paajarvi, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter, Jeff Petry, and Lennert Petrell, but it still wouldn't conclude that size wins you hockey games.

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#26 Cody anderson
May 27 2013, 01:48PM
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@Will

I agree with you. My preferance would be to move up and take Barkov depending on the cost. If we could do our 7th,and Hemsky minus 1/2 of his salary I go this route.

7th and something really depends what you are giving up and who you are getting in return. Certainly don't want to take on an albatross contract.

I would add Nichushkin to your list of players to take with that 7th pick as he may slide due to his KHL tie.

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#27 Will
May 27 2013, 01:57PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I agree with you. My preferance would be to move up and take Barkov depending on the cost. If we could do our 7th,and Hemsky minus 1/2 of his salary I go this route.

7th and something really depends what you are giving up and who you are getting in return. Certainly don't want to take on an albatross contract.

I would add Nichushkin to your list of players to take with that 7th pick as he may slide due to his KHL tie.

I was going to put him in there, and I for one and gunning we get him, but I feel like that conversation has been had recently, and no matter how hard I shout on the message boards, I just really don't see Mac T take another winger with our first pick. I think if Monahan, Lindholm, and Barkiv are gone by the time we pick, Mac T trades down and grabs someone like Gautier or Lazar. What will be really sad is to see him trade down with nothing but some mid round picks coming back.

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#28 madjam
May 27 2013, 01:58PM
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Willis , you must have cringed or was surprised when MacT mentioned a puck possession Team ? Some of your former blogs referred to this very material in stats form . Let us revisit part of that .

Control in offensive zone vs . loss . Hall -75.1-24.9 ,Hemsky 74.8 -25.2 , Hopkins 71.7 -28.3 ,Horcoff 65.5 , 34.5 , Yakupov 64.5 -35.5 , Eberle 63.00 -37.00 ,barely making it is Gagner at 52.1 -47.9 . The rest of squad ranges from 48.2 (Belanger) 22.2 (Landers) . Only one line is a positive-Hall,Hopkins and Eberle in the offensive zone . The other two zones are just as bad if not worse (neutral and defensive .

Defence is even worse in offensive zone with Petry leading the way at 49.6 , J.Schultz 46.9 , R . Whitney 41.7 - the rest at 25.00-12.5 (Peckham ).

How Mact. will ever make a puck possession out of this team boggles the mind .

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#29 DSF
May 27 2013, 01:59PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I could list the heights and weights of Mark Fistric, Magnus Paajarvi, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter, Jeff Petry, and Lennert Petrell, but it still wouldn't conclude that size wins you hockey games.

You must have missed my reference to big men with "skill".

Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.

Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.

Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.

Corey Potter is an AHL player.

Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.

Pettrell can't play hockey much at all.

None of the players I listed from Chicago or Detroit could be accused of not having skill.

BIG men with SKILL.

Not SMALL men with SKILL.

Or BIG men with no SKILL.

The Oilers have EIGHT forwards who are under 200 pounds and both Horcoff and Paajarvi, while being over, certainly don't play that way.

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#30 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 02:03PM
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I agree with John Chambers against DSF that size alone does not win games. However, the the players DSF named from Chicago and Detroit all have very good to ultra skill as well.

But, as I wrote before, meanness is a huge part of necessity bfor the Oilers. Way too soft were the Oilers these past three bto four years.

Stuffing a glove into another players face isnt mean, we need more Brown toughness, more Glenn Anderson, Messier, McClelland, Lumley etc, type meanness spread out to go with skill.

I see the Oilers need three to four more today's type players like Lucic, Clutterbuck, Iginla, Bickell, Ott, Konokpa, etc. Then add those also such as Stalberg, Horton, Alzner, Streit, Petroangelo, Hamonic, etc.

These guys would add awesomely to Hall (next Captain), RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, J. Schultz, Klefbom, Smid, Petry,etc.

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#31 Lochenzo
May 27 2013, 02:09PM
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Ideally you'd prefer your best forwards to be centers vs wingers. Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc. the Oilers won't have that, barring a major trade. But having 3-4 centers that are effective in all zones and do the little things right, will get this team winning. Think 2006 Oilers. Horc, Stoll, Peca. Good defensively, won draws, some offense from Horc and Stoll.

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#32 David S
May 27 2013, 02:13PM
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Will wrote:

Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

Pick the only one that helps the team NEXT YEAR. All other options are secondary.

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#33 Will
May 27 2013, 02:20PM
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David S wrote:

Pick the only one that helps the team NEXT YEAR. All other options are secondary.

So which one would you pick? My post wasn't as to what the team should do in order or anything. It was asking ON readers which one they would do and and why as these seem to be the most talked about options, other than trade down which I refused to include here out of sheer hope it doesn't happen.

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#34 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 02:40PM
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@Will

My choice is there is one move up pick and 3 picks at #7.

In order.....It's Barkov at #4(if he is not gone by #3). Then it is Monahan, Lindholm and/or Nichushkin at #7.

If all four gone by the #7 pick comes up, then the Oil should trade down for a pick and established young player.

If Philly wants #7 bad enough then the Oil should go for Braden Schenn and their 1st rounder in a deal for the #7 and Anaheim's given 2nd rounder.

The Oil,...while keeping Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yak and J. Schultz.... then have to make a big trade package for that top 2 type defenderand that definitely likely includes the 2014 1st rounder, Gagner, or Hemsky, maybe one to two of Omark, Rajala, Gernat, Musil, etc, as prospects

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#35 revingev
May 27 2013, 02:43PM
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DSF, you mention the following....

(Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.) Really? And tell me how you KNOW this? Have you polled other Coach/s or GM's? Not sure of your thoughts on this but ok. I would say he is a 6-7 defencemen on any given team except maybe 4 or 5.

(Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.) Paajarvi, does not use his body with reckless abandon but put him in the corner to dig for a puck and he losses very few battles. To say he belonged last year in the AHL speaks of your assesment ability. Ask any GM or coach last year upon his last return to the NHL and they will disagree. Magnus spends more time in the offensive zone then in his defensive zone, that speaks volumes.

(Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.) Not even sure how you could use the word RARELY but nonetheless you did. I would say maybe he doesn't use his body size in body checking enough, but would never say it is rare for him to do.

(Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.) Ever? ok , i get it when your making blanket statements, but NEVER? You lost all credibility by that statement. Maybe you don't watch him very often? I will assume you watch occasionally and therefore thought he never uses his body. Ask Debrusk what he thinks, or is he wrong too?

I rather enjoy your opinions even if they are not mine but it appears from your latest comments that you just have more of a hate on for Oilers players then most. Judge away on the players abilities but just like Oiler fans who think their players are wanted stars across the league maybe your being overly critical?

Just a thought...or two

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#36 The Beaker
May 27 2013, 02:45PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

if we aren't looking at Detroit for ideas, we are doing it wrong.

all wrong.

And by that you mean looking to acquire a top 5 D man of all time and have him spend his entire career here? It is an excellent model to be sure.

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#37 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 02:50PM
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It seems like when fans want to build their ideal team they have somewhat on "playoff colored" glasses and that they only look at players currently have a good playoffs as being the ideal player on a cup contending team. That player can play average during the regular season but have a few good games in the playoffs and become therefore a playoff performer that every team should have(ie. most 3rd/4th line players). Perception of a "bigger team is the best" could of totally changed last year if you remember that LA barely snuck into the playoffs. Going forward for the Oilers it would be ideal to bigger bodies in the top nine but don't sacifice a 50 point player for a 30 point player because he is 2 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier.

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#38 Will
May 27 2013, 02:55PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

@Will

My choice is there is one move up pick and 3 picks at #7.

In order.....It's Barkov at #4(if he is not gone by #3). Then it is Monahan, Lindholm and/or Nichushkin at #7.

If all four gone by the #7 pick comes up, then the Oil should trade down for a pick and established young player.

If Philly wants #7 bad enough then the Oil should go for Braden Schenn and their 1st rounder in a deal for the #7 and Anaheim's given 2nd rounder.

The Oil,...while keeping Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yak and J. Schultz.... then have to make a big trade package for that top 2 type defenderand that definitely likely includes the 2014 1st rounder, Gagner, or Hemsky, maybe one to two of Omark, Rajala, Gernat, Musil, etc, as prospects

I like your trade idea to Philly, I myself was thinking about something similar where we get Couturier, but I have been told that is a pipe dream. You did miscount though as if all four of those guys are gone by seven, that means one of Drioun, Jones, or Mckinnon would be available, and that is just too good to pass on any of those guys.

Personally I am hoping Lindholm and Nichushkin get taken before us which would mean Monahan is available at 7. Or that Nichushkin is still for some reason available at 7 and that management can see how valuable that player would be to the Oilers on our second line LW, with Yakupov.

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#39 Mabell
May 27 2013, 02:57PM
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DSF wrote:

Mac T and this article are both missing the most critical component of the winning equation in the current NHL.

The standard of officiating has devolved very near to the point it was before the last lockout and that has given a big advantage to the "heavy" teams.

Unless steps are taken to reverse that trend, skilled , puck possession teams will have a very difficult time being successful.

Jon uses Chicago as an example of a "skill" team but take a look at some of their roster:

Toews - 6'2" 210

Stalberg - 6'3" 210

Hossa - 6'1" 210

Sharp - 6'1" 205

Bickell - 6'4" 235

Bollig - 6'2" 225

Handzus - 6'5" 215

Saad - 6'1" 205

Carcillo - 6'0" 205

Seabrook - 6'3" 225

Keith - 6'1' 200

Hjamarsson - 6'3" 210

Those are some pretty big boys and, in fact, the Hawks only have 2 players on their regular roster who are under 6 feet...Kane and Shaw.

While they are certainly a pick possession team, they are also capable of playing a banging style of hockey.

The Wings are smaller but they have some pretty large specimens on their roster as well.

Abdelkader - 6'1" 220

Andersson - 6'2" 210

Franzen 6'3" 225

Kindl - 6'3" 220

Ericsson 6'4" 220

Quincey - 6'2" 210

Smith - 6'2" 200

DeKeyser - 6'3" 190

Big men with skill will beat small men with skill every time and that's especially true in the playoffs.

The Oilers biggest forward is Paajarvi and he plays like he's 5'10 180.

They have some size on defense but, other than Peckham (now that Sutton is gone), none of them play with an edge.

Teams like Montreal and Vancouver were built on the "skilled, puck possession" model and, while they can be successful in the regular season, they get obliterated in the playoffs when the referees swallow their whistles.

I understand what your saying but I think you need to have a closer look at what the Oil have on the team and in the system:

Taylor Hall 6'1 194 RNH 6'1 175 Nail Yakapov 5'11 175 Teemu Hartikainen 6'1 211 Magnus Paajarvi 6'2 204 Shawn Horcoff 6'1 208 Ryan Jones 6'1 201 Daniil Zharkov 6'4 208 Juhar Khaira 6'3 198 Curtis Hamilton 6'2 206 Mitchell Moroz 6'2 208 Tyler Pitlick 6'2 195 Ryan Martindale 6'3 207 Travis Ewanyk 6'2 192 Ladi Smid 6'3 210 Justin Schultz 6'1 163 Jeff Petry 6'3 196 Oscar Klefbom 6'3" 204 Martin Marincin 6'5" 196 Martin Gernat 6'5" 187 David Musil 6'3" 196 Dillon Simpson 6'1" 192 Alex Plante 6'4" 215 Kyle Bigos 6'5 230 Brandon Davidson 6'1 202 Colten Teubert 6'4 198 Taylor Feduin 6'0 190 Erik Gustafsson 6"0 176

Not a bunch of smerfs...

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#40 The Beaker
May 27 2013, 03:01PM
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I'd like to go one record saying that I am more concerned with getting players who play big more than I am in getting players who are big.

The whole "big guys with skill will always beat small guys with skill" is inane. Id rather have a team of guys with the same skill as Dustin Penner but who play really hard every game and grind the other team as much as possible than another team full of guys the same skill level but 4 level bigger who are lazy.

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#41 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
May 27 2013, 03:05PM
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David S wrote:

Pick the only one that helps the team NEXT YEAR. All other options are secondary.

I think the best way to bring in value is by drafting and developing.

MacT needs to find a way to improve the team in parallel to drafting quality players.

With that said; stay the course and draft Monahan or Lindholm, assuming they're still there. If not, take Nurse or Zadorov.

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#42 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 03:10PM
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@Will

I like your trade idea to Philly, I myself was thinking about something similar where we get Couturier, but I have been told that is a pipe dream. You did miscount though as if all four of those guys are gone by seven, that means one of Drioun, Jones, or Mckinnon would be available, and that is just too good to pass on any of those guys.

Personally I am hoping Lindholm and Nichushkin get taken before us which would mean Monahan is available at 7. Or that Nichushkin is still for some reason available at 7 and that management can see how valuable that player would be to the Oilers on our second line LW, with Yakupov

My belief is that Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin will be gone first as the top three with either Barkov or Drouin changing slots at #3 and #4.

I would be very happy with Monahan, Lindholm or Nichushkin at #7, if the Oil does not get Barkov.

Im my mind I think Lindholm is the next Datsyk type player though he is more stated to be relatable to Forsberg. That is high praise either way.

I would like to see the Oil obtain Petroangelo from St. Louis in a trade but would be happy with getting Alzner/Streit as ufa's and Shattenkirk or Hamonic in a trade, unless Hamilton is available from Boston somehow.

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#43 CJ
May 27 2013, 03:10PM
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DSF wrote:

You must have missed my reference to big men with "skill".

Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.

Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.

Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.

Corey Potter is an AHL player.

Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.

Pettrell can't play hockey much at all.

None of the players I listed from Chicago or Detroit could be accused of not having skill.

BIG men with SKILL.

Not SMALL men with SKILL.

Or BIG men with no SKILL.

The Oilers have EIGHT forwards who are under 200 pounds and both Horcoff and Paajarvi, while being over, certainly don't play that way.

I like this game.

Abdelkader,6' 1"219 Yakupov 5' 11"184 Andersson 6' 2"206 Hall "A" 6'1"195 Brunner 5' 11”184 Belanger 5' 11"185 Cleary 6' 0"208 Eberle "A" 5' 11"184 Datsyuk "A" 5' 11"198 Gagner 5' 11"199 Eaves 6' 0"187 Jones 6' 1"201 Emmerton 6' 0"191 Smithson 6' 3"209 Filppula 6' 0"195 Hemsky 6' 0"184 Franzen 6' 3"223 Smyth 6' 2"192 Helm 5' 11"192 Nugent-Hopkins 6' 1"185 Nyquist 5' 11"185 Petrell 6' 3"215 Samuelsson 6' 2"218 Paajarvi 6' 3"208 Tootoo 5' 9"199 Brown 5' 11"205 Zetterberg "C" 5' 11"197 Horcoff "C" 6' 1"208 Defensemen Colaiacovo 6' 1"200 Potter 6' 3"206 Ericsson 6' 4"221 Fistric 6' 2"233 Kindl 6' 3"216 Whitney 6' 4"209 Kronwall "A" 6' 0"190 Schultz "A" 6' 2"203 Quincey 6' 2"207 Smid 6' 3"207 Smith 6' 2"198 Petry 6' 3"200 White 5' 10"191 Schultz 6' 2"185

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#44 Racki
May 27 2013, 03:11PM
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DSF wrote:

You must have missed my reference to big men with "skill".

Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.

Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.

Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.

Corey Potter is an AHL player.

Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.

Pettrell can't play hockey much at all.

None of the players I listed from Chicago or Detroit could be accused of not having skill.

BIG men with SKILL.

Not SMALL men with SKILL.

Or BIG men with no SKILL.

The Oilers have EIGHT forwards who are under 200 pounds and both Horcoff and Paajarvi, while being over, certainly don't play that way.

I get most of your point, but I'd disagree on Smid and Petry not using their size. They might not be out there Kronwalling everyone, but they use their size when the time warrants it. I think they are exceptions to what I'd say is a valid problem you've pointed out here. Some of the names on your list aren't any more physical than these two guys either.. so when you critique John Chambers for point out our skill guys with size that don't use their size, perhaps you should critique your own list as well.

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#45 mayorblaine
May 27 2013, 03:15PM
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The Beaker wrote:

And by that you mean looking to acquire a top 5 D man of all time and have him spend his entire career here? It is an excellent model to be sure.

of course that's what i meant. not those other plugs on that team.

you read my mind*

*you can figure out this, cause your psychic.

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#46 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
May 27 2013, 03:16PM
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@Mabell

Talking to DSF is like talking to stubborn, know-it-all teenager, who has never been wrong. Actually, I'm sure that's, in fact, the case.

He uses "skill" sarcastically in the first comment. Then he uses it as a factual precursor.

http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

Just another piece soiled on by DSF.

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#47 rubbertrout
May 27 2013, 03:21PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The only awesome thing about Mac-T has been his openness with the media. I will hold off on celebrating his awesomeness until, well he does something.

Now that being said lets get the playoffs over with so we can see what he actually has, besides big talk.

Just articulating a plan that makes sense is something. He can't go after UFAs/RFAs/ or make a trade at the moment so there isn't much he can do other than formulating a plan.

At least he has some clearly defined goals unlike Mr. Mumbles.

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#48 Kosmo Kramer
May 27 2013, 03:22PM
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DSF

Sorry dude you are wrong. Since you are picking on details let me tell you Fistric is an Oiler right up until June 30, 2013.

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#49 DieHard
May 27 2013, 03:28PM
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Philly seems the logical trade partner. Relatively good draft position to replace with ours plus their issues with the cap. Also, what about trading our 7th for Hedman straight up. TB look to have cap issues as well.

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#50 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 03:33PM
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DieHard wrote:

Philly seems the logical trade partner. Relatively good draft position to replace with ours plus their issues with the cap. Also, what about trading our 7th for Hedman straight up. TB look to have cap issues as well.

I could possibly see that happening if Jones falls to 3rd overall and they drafted Valeri Nichushkin at 7th. It would involve more than just straight up 7th but a likely trade.

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