Will the Oilers sign Bernhard Starkbaum?

Jonathan Willis
May 28 2013 11:05AM

Reports out of Europe suggest that the Oilers could be interested in 27-year old goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum, who spent last season in the Swedish Elite League. Who is he, and would he be a good signing for the Oilers?

The Report

Via Bob Stauffer, here’s the report from the Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet. Using Google Translate, the key points seem to be as follow:

  • Starkbaum has an out-clause in his contract that allows him to pursue NHL opportunities
  • Agent Patrick Pilloni says there are NHL teams interested in Starkbaum for 2013-14
  • The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers are two of the clubs interested

A Unique Résumé

There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL with Starkbaum’s CV. To begin with, he’s both Austrian-born and Austrian-trained – there are currently three Austrians in the NHL (Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and Andreas Nodl) and all of them came over to play hockey in North America before they were drafted. Among goaltenders, in league history only one Austrian – Reinhard Divis, who was briefly lit up in St. Louis around the time of the second Bettman lockout – has ever played NHL hockey.

Like Divis, Starkbaum came up through the Austrian system and then made the jump to Sweden, where he caught the attention of NHL teams. Unlike Divis, however, Starkbaum was immediately an exceptional starter in the Elitserien.

Starkbaum worked his way up the Austrian system and emerged as a quality backup option for Villacher SV in the top Austrian league around the age of 22. At 24, he took over the starting role in that league, recording a 0.923 save percentage in his debut season as starter and a 0.936 save percentage over 48 games at the age of 26. That latter performance earned him a contract with Sweden’s famous MODO, and he was exceptional there, too, posting a 0.933 save percentage (good for third in that league). He had a rough few games in the playoffs, however, and found himself replaced by Sabres draft pick Linus Ullmark between the pipes.

Where He Might Fit

Starkbaum’s regular season performance in the Swedish Elite League is enough to suggest he may be ready for work as an NHL backup, but assuming he’s ready for the role would be a significant risk for the Oilers organization.

A safer play would be to bring Starkbaum in for the third-string role currently held by Yann Danis and see how he adjusts to playing in North America; sometimes good European goaltenders hit the ground running and sometimes they need time to adapt. If Starkbaum’s success in Sweden translates immediately, he’s the kind of player who could force his way on to the NHL roster in relatively short order.

UPDATE. The suggestion that Starkbaum should start in the minors fits with the view of player agent Gunnar Svensson, who saw quite a bit of Starkbaum this season: 

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

As both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are likely looking for a similar player out of the draft (and because the two teams pick back-to-back), Kent Wilson's series on first-round targets is of interest for Oilers fans. From First Round Targets - Elias Lindholm:

Aside from Sean Monahan, Elitersen rookie Elias Lindholm is perhaps the Flames most likely choice at 6th overall this coming June. Like Monahan and Aleksandr Barkov, Lindholm is a center with a offensive capabilities and an advanced two-way game. So, like the two targets we have already profiled, Lindholm ticks a lot of the organization's boxes.

 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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#51 lakedr.pepper
May 28 2013, 02:25PM
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If it's between Edmonton and Philly, I definitely see the Oilers having the edge. Depending on if Bryz gets bought out, he'll be competing with Mason, and Bryz versus Dubnyk, and maybe Roy or Danis if he's still in the system, so basically very slim competition.

Even if Bryzgalov gets bought out, they're likely looking for a more experienced goaltender, even though Starkbaum likely spends time in the AHL.

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#52 Racki
May 28 2013, 03:07PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

These aren't risky moves. They are free moves that cost you nothing if they flop. Only way it's risky is if we trade Dubnyk and put all our eggs in this guys basket.

Yah, I don't really believe it's a risk at all either.. especially considering this guy can probably improve on our AHL goaltending even if he is terrible at the NHL level.

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#53 madjam
May 28 2013, 03:10PM
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Philly will go hard at R.Miller and probably buy out Bryzgalov . Should we draft T.Jarry second round ?

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#54 gongshow
May 28 2013, 03:10PM
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lakedr.pepper wrote:

If it's between Edmonton and Philly, I definitely see the Oilers having the edge. Depending on if Bryz gets bought out, he'll be competing with Mason, and Bryz versus Dubnyk, and maybe Roy or Danis if he's still in the system, so basically very slim competition.

Even if Bryzgalov gets bought out, they're likely looking for a more experienced goaltender, even though Starkbaum likely spends time in the AHL.

Yeah, but what's this Starkbaum dude's knowledge level to comment on the universe, Stalin or hunting tigers?

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#55 Will
May 28 2013, 03:21PM
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So, on a complete side note, does anyone think Cheechoo will be up with the Oilers next year?

I mean, a third line with Paajarvi, ? , and Cheechoo could be pretty deadly depending on who that centre is. Plus, as a right wing with decent size 200 lbs. He could be used just like Paajarvi as someone who can jump up a line depending on the situation. I know we still need size in our top six, but in terms of reworking the bottom six, he could be great.

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#56 WhattaMike
May 28 2013, 03:28PM
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Philly has got cap prblems and with Bryzgalov they have a huge buyout to make if this is what they do.

Besides Philly wants that big name goaltender now and the flyers would look at Miller, Smith, Emery, Khudobin, etc, before looking at a guy like Starkbaum. Hell, they would evben look at getting Luongo if they can.

I like that the guy has the initials B.S. anyways...lol.

The Oil should grab this guy for the farm team and while getting either Barkov, Lindholm, or Monahan at #4 to #7, they gotta try for one of the kids (Fucale, Comrie, Jarry, etc, too at #37 or for sure by #58.

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#57 A-Mc
May 28 2013, 04:18PM
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Will wrote:

So, on a complete side note, does anyone think Cheechoo will be up with the Oilers next year?

I mean, a third line with Paajarvi, ? , and Cheechoo could be pretty deadly depending on who that centre is. Plus, as a right wing with decent size 200 lbs. He could be used just like Paajarvi as someone who can jump up a line depending on the situation. I know we still need size in our top six, but in terms of reworking the bottom six, he could be great.

I've heard it explained on the radio that Cheechoo would need to clear waivers to get back onto an NHL team.

So if he returns to the NHL, it's unlikely that he does so with the Oilers based on waiver claim order alone.

BUT! i wonder if that all changes if he's offered an NHL contract over the summer, and is brought in to edmonton for training camp before the season starts. Those radio quotes i heard were addressing bringing him up during the season, not over the summer. You can't waive players when there's no season.

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#58 madjam
May 28 2013, 04:23PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Philly has got cap prblems and with Bryzgalov they have a huge buyout to make if this is what they do.

Besides Philly wants that big name goaltender now and the flyers would look at Miller, Smith, Emery, Khudobin, etc, before looking at a guy like Starkbaum. Hell, they would evben look at getting Luongo if they can.

I like that the guy has the initials B.S. anyways...lol.

The Oil should grab this guy for the farm team and while getting either Barkov, Lindholm, or Monahan at #4 to #7, they gotta try for one of the kids (Fucale, Comrie, Jarry, etc, too at #37 or for sure by #58.

I'd pass on Lindholm with his injury problems and size . Monohan looks to be the Flames pick and Barkov unlikely to be there at Nbr.7 . Ristolainen is most NHL ready and may be equal / better than Jones.

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#59 OilersAreAwesome14
May 28 2013, 04:55PM
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I say we sign him. Just look at how Fasth turned out to be. He can be the backup or the 3rd goalie

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#60 Quicksilver ballet
May 28 2013, 05:04PM
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Gone are the days of just putting a kid in their, see if he can play, sink or swim time so to speak. Not much chance of a Barrasso, Moog or Fuhr coming along with all the layers of BS in todays game.

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#61 mayorblaine
May 28 2013, 05:10PM
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for jebus sakes people it's been 6 hours and no mention of DSF, Omark, amd why Gagne sucks.

i've never been so disappointed. ever.

and sign him. can't hurt, might help.

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#62 Jimmy
May 28 2013, 05:22PM
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SJ--1,2

NM-1,2

JD-3,4

AB- 4,5

VN-3,5,6,7

EL-5,6,7

SM-5,6,7

DN-5,7

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#63 Wax Man Riley
May 28 2013, 05:31PM
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Jimmy wrote:

SJ--1,2

NM-1,2

JD-3,4

AB- 4,5

VN-3,5,6,7

EL-5,6,7

SM-5,6,7

DN-5,7

Jimmy, I'm confused. What do these numbers mean?

Or I can play too:

FG-6,8,9

ED-2,3,4

ME-69

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#64 Jimmy
May 28 2013, 05:33PM
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@Wax Man Riley

They are where I think the players will go in the 2013 draft.

I have a feeling Edmonton will be picking between Lindholm and Nurse.

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#65 madjam
May 28 2013, 05:49PM
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Madjams draft order : MacKinnon , Drouin , Nicushkin , Jones , Barkov , Monohan ,Ristolainen .

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#66 Quicksilver ballet
May 28 2013, 05:50PM
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Only 130 shopping days remain until our supposed much improved Oilers open the season.

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#67 GVBlackhawk
May 28 2013, 06:30PM
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Ducey wrote:

Maybe. But thats a big ticket and big blow to the ego of the owner. I would think they would stick with with him for another year and hope he improves.

Anyway, if they do buy him out, they will just bring in another big contract for some other established goalie, blocking Starkbaum.

Given his latest media train wreck, I think it is a given that he will be bought out. Ed Snider is a very rich man (owns cable giant Comcast) and Bryz's buy out is like pocket change to normal folks.

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#68 GVBlackhawk
May 28 2013, 06:35PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Gone are the days of just putting a kid in their, see if he can play, sink or swim time so to speak. Not much chance of a Barrasso, Moog or Fuhr coming along with all the layers of BS in todays game.

Oilers management missed that memo.

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#69 DSF
May 28 2013, 06:46PM
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madjam wrote:

Madjams draft order : MacKinnon , Drouin , Nicushkin , Jones , Barkov , Monohan ,Ristolainen .

Patrick Roy said this afternoon that the AV's are willing to look at offers for the #1 overall pick.

Gentlemen...start your engines.

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#71 DSF
May 28 2013, 06:59PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Michael? George-Michael? Either way, you're in for a surprise with that redhead.

The question I am asked most often is "what?"

Your turn.

Sakic was standing beside him when he said it.

You doubt their veracity?

http://www.sportstalkflorida.com/could-the-colorado-avalanche-trade-the-top-overall-draft-pick/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=could-the-colorado-avalanche-trade-the-top-overall-draft-pick

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#72 a lg dubl dubl
May 28 2013, 07:18PM
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DSF wrote:

Patrick Roy said this afternoon that the AV's are willing to look at offers for the #1 overall pick.

Gentlemen...start your engines.

The 7th, the 2 second rounders, next years 1st and PRV For the #1 pick.

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#73 Wax Man Riley
May 28 2013, 07:19PM
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Jimmy wrote:

They are where I think the players will go in the 2013 draft.

I have a feeling Edmonton will be picking between Lindholm and Nurse.

Of course they are. Thanks for the clarification. I think the Oilers have a stable of D prospects that won't be able to help for 2-3 years, so although Nurse is a good bet (I drafted him in NHL13 and he turned out to be a solid 2-3 for a decade), I see them either trading, or going for the forward.

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#74 Jimmy
May 28 2013, 07:33PM
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@Wax Man Riley

Most likely they will pick Lindholm or trade down. Monahan will be gone

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#75 voom04
May 28 2013, 07:50PM
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Tambo curse lives, oilers end up with 1stoverall and take ?

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#76 horndog77
May 28 2013, 08:16PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

The 7th, the 2 second rounders, next years 1st and PRV For the #1 pick.

Wow that's quite the deal! Pretty sure that's an overpayment. I think this years and next years first overalls as well as both second rounders would be plenty.

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#77 DSF
May 28 2013, 08:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I was actually just seeing if you'd been keeping up with the Bluths, not talking about your point.

Tried to tune in last night but Netflix was overloaded.

Certainly on my to do list.

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#78 DSF
May 28 2013, 08:22PM
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horndog77 wrote:

Wow that's quite the deal! Pretty sure that's an overpayment. I think this years and next years first overalls as well as both second rounders would be plenty.

To pass on McKinnon I think the Av's would need a high end roster player that fits their needs (Yakupov), the 7th and a second round pick.

The Oilers give up a winger but get a bonafide franchise centre.

I would do it.

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#79 madjam
May 28 2013, 08:27PM
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What are the chances they'll (Colorado ) get a huge overpay ? Not much as draft is deep this year . However, if you project Edmonton to remain a cellar dweller for the next couple of seasons they would probably be wise to make a deal with Oilers and switch places this year .

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#80 madjam
May 28 2013, 08:35PM
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I wouldn't pitch our pick as I believe we will get the best player in the draft and also the Calder trophy winner next year . Under the radar somewhat - R. Ristolainen .

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#81 Citizen David
May 28 2013, 08:40PM
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I'm still in the camp of trade down a few spots, pick up an extra piece and draft either Horvat or Lazar.

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#82 horndog77
May 28 2013, 08:45PM
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@Jonathan Willis

What if Nashville scoops up Barkov with the fourth? I like your thinking on Barkov though!

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#84 madjam
May 28 2013, 08:51PM
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Who's the best goalie in Lacrosse that we should maybe take a look at ? Ah , a new untapped source .

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#85 horndog77
May 28 2013, 08:57PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'd bet Nashville takes Drouin if he falls to four. But if they don't, Monahan or Lindholm is fine at seven.

Ok so Barkov falls to Carolina, this years first and next years first from Edmonton to Carolina....Deal! Pretty sure Calgary would be in on that as well though!

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#86 madjam
May 28 2013, 09:03PM
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EXTRA , EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT ! Oilers change Boys On The Bus series to "The Little Rascals " (tongue in cheek) . My stomach turns as ex Oilers doing so well with L.A.again .

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#87 DSF
May 28 2013, 09:15PM
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horndog77 wrote:

Too early to trade yakupov! That could haunt Edmonton for ever!

Not having a centre like McKinnon will haunt them starting next year.

You have to give up quality to get quality.

Throwing a bunch of second round picks and an AHL level player like Paajarvi at them won't get the job done.

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#88 DSF
May 28 2013, 09:17PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Pretty steep price to pay; I don't put enough of a premium on centre to move a guy in Yakupov who might well be a 40-50 goal scorer in his prime. And I like MacKinnon a lot.

In MacTavish's shoes I'd rather hope Tampa Bay takes Nichushkin and pitch Carolina hard on the number five pick for Barkov.

What would you pitch to Tampa Bay?

I can't think of one thing the Oilers have that the Lightning need.

Their biggest priority is goaltending and D.

The Oilers don't have a goalie to spare and only 3 actual NHL defensemen.

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#89 DSF
May 28 2013, 09:18PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'd bet Nashville takes Drouin if he falls to four. But if they don't, Monahan or Lindholm is fine at seven.

Florida will take Drouin at #2.

Book it.

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#90 kale
May 28 2013, 09:26PM
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I wished we still had Martin Gerber in the system. He played very well in the few games he played in Edmonton and of course played extremely well for the Swiss. I know its a band-aid but I just wished we kept him.

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#94 Quicksilver ballet
May 28 2013, 10:01PM
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Man, I can't see the Avs having a shot at their guy and passing up on Jones. Still think he's their guy and won't pass on this opportunity. Hard to believe MacKinnon could fall to 3 if the Panthers are in love with Drouin like DSF mentioned. There were fewer better late pushes than the one Nathan put on these last 10 days.

Sideways move and definitely a no go if they have to give up one of the kids. I would move nearly every Oiler pick to the Lightning if MacKinnon is still available in that 3 spot.

Sell the farm for MacKinnon, he may be good enough to push RNH to that 2nd l/c spot.

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#95 madjam
May 28 2013, 10:05PM
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Any chance Oilers hire one of dem dar Sutter Bros. to help coach our team ? They sure seem to get the most out of their players .

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#96 Citizen David
May 28 2013, 10:12PM
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madjam wrote:

Any chance Oilers hire one of dem dar Sutter Bros. to help coach our team ? They sure seem to get the most out of their players .

I'm a huge Brent Sutter fan. I could see him being interested in the head coaching job here once we have a playoff team.

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#97 Citizen David
May 28 2013, 10:13PM
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My guess is Florida takes MacKinnon. But Colorado should take him #1.

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#98 FSD
May 28 2013, 10:30PM
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2012 - LA Kings 2011 - Boston Bruins 2010 - Chicago Blackhawks 2009 - Pittsburgh Penguins 2008 - Detroit Red Wings

Stanley cup winners.

5 teams left this year competing for the Cup.

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#99 Walter Sobchak
May 28 2013, 10:31PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I don't think MacTavish should wait and find out IF Nashville wants Drouin, MacKinnon or Barkov.

MacTavish should be after Nashville pick.

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#100 FSD
May 28 2013, 10:38PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I don't think MacTavish should wait and find out IF Nashville wants Drouin, MacKinnon or Barkov.

MacTavish should be after Nashville pick.

I'm sure he is, as well as Calgary would like that pick. Nashville would also like Barkov. Likely they would want a core player from the Oilers for that pick. They may want Oiler 7th pick 2013 and 1st round pick in 2014. Not easy.

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