OILERS NEED MANY CHANGES TO COMPETE

Jason Gregor
May 09 2013 12:53PM

As usual the first round of the NHL playoffs has been great. The intensity, speed, passion and excitement reaches a new level and it is great to watch. However, it also illustrates how far away the Oilers are from being a serious contender. This team isn't just one or two pieces away.

Craig MacTavish and his staff will be hard-pressed just to make them good enough to stay in the playoff race next season.

When MacTavish took over as GM he didn't mince his words. He knows what has to be done, but will they be able to do accomplish what needs to happen?

The Oilers have to get bigger and stronger. If you believe size is over-rated you might want to watch the playoffs a little closer. Of course you need skill, but the size of the Ducks, Sharks, Kings is a main reason they are leading or winning their series.

And their size doesn't consist of players 23 and under. When MacTavish stated he'd have to make some "Bold" moves, he was right, however, the only bold trades the Oilers could make is moving one of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov or Justin Schultz. I don't see how trading any other player would be considered bold. I sense that Oiler fans would love to see some trades, but none that involve the five aforementioned players.

Is moving Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi, Shawn Horcoff, Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid or Nick Schultz truly bold? I don't think so.

MacTavish's other option for "Bold" move could involved trading the #7 pick. Carolina and Columbus have traded the #8 pick the past two drafts, so I think it is very likely the "Bold" route the Oilers could go.

The Jackets acquired Jeff Carter, while the Hurricanes nabbed Jordan Staal. In both cases they had to surrender another young player in the deal. The Jackets gave up Jakub Voracek, while the Canes moved Brendan Sutter.

The only players who are comparable on the Oilers would be Gagner and Paajarvi. Paajarvi is a completely different type of player than Sutter, but you see the connection.

If the Oilers move Gagner or Paajarvi and the #7 who could they receive in a deal?

Paajarvi and the #7 would be more appealing to a team that wants to get younger, and save some salary. Paajarvi is a pending RFA and he likely won't get more than $1.5 million on a new deal. Gagner is the more established player, but after a solid 38-point campaign he'll get at least $4 million on new deal, and maybe more.

No one saw the Jeff Carter trade coming two years ago, so clearly any trade is possible, so let's look a few scenarios.

WOULD YOU MAKE THIS DEAL?

The Vancouver Canucks are already at the cap for next season with only 15 players signed. Mike Gillis, if he doesn't get fired, will need to shed salary and get younger.

Would he trade Paajarvi and the #7 for Ryan Kesler?

He has to move one of his goalies, and as I said last summer, trading Cory Schneider would be his best move if he wants improve his team. He could move Schneider for a centre and then add Paajarvi and #7. That would give the Canucks some needed speed and youth.

Kesler is exactly the type of 2nd line centre the Oilers need, and his $5 million cap hit isn't an anchor.

Bobby Ryan for Paajarvi and the #7?

The Ducks have $16.8 million tied up in Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf next year. They only have about $4.5 million in cap space. They could stick with Ryan and hope the Cap jumps up in two years when he becomes a UFA, but they might consider two young pieces. Ryan is a winger, and the Oilers need help down the middle, but he's a big, skilled winger and after Hall the Oilers have no size in their top-nine.

Wayne Simmonds for Paajarvi and #7?

The Oilers might want something else as well, but the Flyers need to shed cap space. Simmonds is a $3.9 cap hit for the next six seasons, so the Oilers would have the security of having him for at least six years. Keep in mind Carter had a long contract, while Staal was an RFA and the Canes knew he'd sign long-term to play with his brother.

SOME MORE SPITBALLING....

If the Oilers are looking for a few quick fixes, I'd look at these names.

  • The Penguins will need to shed some salary and I could see them dumping Paul Martin, especially if they want to re-sign Jarome Iginla. He has two years left at $5 million, and he's an experienced puck mover, something the Oilers desperately need.
     
  • Brooks Laich only played nine games due to injury this year, but in his last five seasons he's only missed a total of 4 games. He's 29 and the Caps don't have much cap space. I'd call George McPhee to see if it is possible.
     
  • I know some of the advanced stats guys don't like Jack Johnson, which is fair, but he has improved. He isn't great defensively, but he's physical and he can play 25 minutes. He was 5th in the NHL in TOI, and the Blue Jackets need some offence. Scott Howson knows him well, so I'd at least look into it.

QUICK HITS

  • I know Dion Phaneuf made a bad pinch, but David Krejci's game winner went right through James Reimer. Reimer needed to make that save. In OT the Leafs had some great chances but Tukka Rask stoned them, while Reimer let the game winner go right through him. Phaneuf deserves some blame for his ill-advised pinch, but Reimer's job is to make a key save and it wasn't like that was a perfect shot from Krejci.
     
  • I doubt many picked the Islanders to defeat the Penguins, I didn't, but now that the series is close I'm hoping for the upset. I love the major upsets, and this would be one.
     
  • I highly recommend you get your tickets for our King/Queen Karaoke contest next Friday night at On the Rocks. We are about 50% sold. It will be awesome. We have some excellent Karaoke people lined up. On Tuesday at the Oil Kings game Jason Strudwick and Yukon Jack did a sneak peak performance.
     
  • Check out Strudwick's dance moves 2:30 into the video, Epic. Yukon really impressed with his ability to hit the high notes. Excellent work fellas. After you watch Struds there is no way you won't want to see the finale next Friday. There will be a few more beers involved on that night...You can buy your tickets here. They are $25, but you get $50 in GCs from Oodle Noodle and On The Rocks when you show up, so you make money and support The MS Society.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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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#2 Walter Sobchak
May 09 2013, 03:15PM
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Here is the reality of the situation.

Hemsky wont get traded because players who end the season on the I.R don't make good trading assets.

I'm not convinced Hemsky would pass a medical.

You can't trade Gagner unless a center is coming back.

So unless the Oilers move up in the draft and get one of the elite ready to play centers......then don't expect Gagner or the pick to get traded for a top pairing D-man or winger.

As for the rest of the roll players the Oilers need to compete with, who are the Oilers going to move?

The Oilers have limited moves here, very limited.

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#3 geno
May 09 2013, 08:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, every team in the league needs a players who can't hack an 82 game schedule.

Or maybe it was the possibility that the other teams in the league figured him out.

when you're fresh out of college and used to playing 40 games a year, it's acceptable to be worn out playing 82 games in your first NHL/AHL season

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#4 gcw_rocks
May 09 2013, 02:20PM
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The Oilers don't need a "bold" move to get into the playoffs if bold means trading one of the Fab Five. They need smart moves to build around them.

Going and getting Laich or Grabovski or Burmistrov at hopefully discounted prices and then trading Gagner for defensive help would go a long way. Going and getting a Marcel Goc would go a long way. Signing one or two of Stalberg, Bickel, or McArthur would go a long way.

You could be a playoff team with: 1st: Hall - RNH - Eberle 2nd: MPS - Grabovski/Laich - Yakupov 3rd: McArthur - Horcoff - Stalberg 4th: Smyth - Goc - Hartikainen

1st: Gagner return - Petry 2nd: Smid - Hemsky+ return 3rd: Schultz - Schultz

1st: Dubnyk 2nd: Not Khabbi

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#5 Ducey
May 09 2013, 03:20PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You actually believe the #7 this year is guaranteed better than the #8 the past two years. Based on what?

Not sure where you heard that top-four centres will play, but I guarantee you that won't happen...

So MacKinnon, Barkov, Lindholm and Monahan will all play next year? I'll take that bet.

Also, even if Lindholm or Monahan play next year, they will NOT be better than Ryan, and odds are they won't ever be.

The proper question is: Are two years of Ryan going to better than multiple years of MPS AND Monohan?

The correct answer is: No.

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#6 geno
May 09 2013, 08:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Tell that to Erik Karlsson.

the guy that was -30 the first time he played over 60 games?

Will do

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#7 Walter Sobchak
May 09 2013, 01:05PM
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I would not do the Simmons deal.

I would also suggest that the Oilers try and pry Couturier or Schenn out of Philly.

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#8 gcw_rocks
May 09 2013, 02:18PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Old crap?

Simmonds is 24, Bobby Ryan is 26 and Kesler is 28. You think that is old and crap? The Oilers have no one as good in role Kesler fills and don't have big wingers like Simmonds and Ryan. Take off the blinders.

Paul Martin is 32, he'd be the only "old" one, and considering they might have to dump his salary, Oilers wouldn't have to give up that much..

Brooks Laich is 29 and he is old? Good grief.

You don't win with all young kids who aren't strong enough to handle mature NHL players.

Have you been watching the Sens series at all?

Good coaching, strong goaltending, and the right vets in support roles and Ottawa is proving you can win with young players.

That said, I would be all for trading the 1st pick for Simmonds or Ryan. I think you pay less for Simmonds than you do Ryan though. With his injuries, I would not touch Kesler with a 10 foot pole.

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#10 geno
May 09 2013, 08:12PM
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DSF wrote:

League average goaltending won't get you into the playoffs unless you have an above average offensive team.

The Oilers were 18th in G/G and 19th in GA/G.

Should I remind you that you have to be in the top 16 to make the playoffs?

You really need to get a grasp on what is actually happening before you resort to name calling.

that's weird because Backstrom had a .909 and MIN averaged less GF/G than EDM.

Dubey was 12th in SV% for starting goalies on a team with one of the weakest D cores in the league.

Tell me again how Dubey is the problem.

Is it not fair to call you a troll? You don't come here to enjoy the material, you come here to piss people off.

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#11 geno
May 09 2013, 08:20PM
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DSF wrote:

I watched every Oiler game this season.

Is that all you've got?

If you couldn't recall a game that Dubey stole then you obviously didn't.

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#12 Spydyr
May 09 2013, 08:32PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, every team in the league needs a players who can't hack an 82 game schedule.

Or maybe it was the possibility that the other teams in the league figured him out.

I'm pretty sure you "predicted" he would sign in Vancouver and got your panties all wet about it.

Typical DFS to now say he is now ,no good.

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#13 geno
May 09 2013, 08:46PM
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DSF wrote:

7.

my favourite thing about DSF if when we prove his comments invalid, he just insults the oilers in a different way. Thought we were talking about Dubey.. I mean Schultz... I mean EDM's playoff drought.

pathetic

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#14 Johe
May 09 2013, 09:13PM
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Would it be too much to ask for DSF to be banned? Don't get me wrong, his posts provide good comedy, and I for one don't take them seriously, as obviously he doesn't intend them to be taken that way. But the comments section here is constantly deteriorating. Instead of providing good discussion, it always ends up as a totally inane and pointless argument. Can we all just move along? In DSF's case, permanently?

C'mon Wayne, make it happen! Wherever you are! Wait... Are you even alive?

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#15 Time Travelling Sean
May 10 2013, 01:19AM
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DSF can be fun to troll back to, but more and more this blog is becoming less and less entertaining to read after the author's thread.

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#16 Sliderule
May 09 2013, 01:07PM
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So Jason you want MacT to pull a Milbury and trade away all the hard earned first picks for old crap. MacT is too smart for that.With the lower cap there will be lots of UFA and rfa players to fill holes.

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#17 westcoastoil
May 09 2013, 02:38PM
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Can you fit 4-93-14, Ryan, 89-64 and fix the bottom 6 and your D AND stay under the cap? I'm not so sure.

The trouble with trading Paajarvi is that you're moving a "value contract" and those contracts are about to become even more valuable with the cap going down.

The priority for an experienced impact player has to be on D. With the talent up front, getting the right support guys can be done without handing out a gigantic contract...unless you are willing to move 89 in addition to 83 leaving

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#18 Ducey
May 09 2013, 03:15PM
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I don't like any of those trades. They are too short sighted. They are the kind of trades you make to get the final piece to try and win the Cup.

No one (smart) trades away futures after finishing 24th just to try and get into the playoffs.

In three years (right when you are trying to be a Cup contender) you look like an idiot (see Brain Burke and Kessel, Phil).

Besides, Kesler is constantly injured and would not come here anyway. He is not shy about exercising his rights as you may recall he offer sheeted the Canucks way back when.

Philly is not going to trade Simmonds. He is exactly who they will build their team around. Bobby Ryan will get ANA more than the #7 and MPS.

The Oilers need a big C. They have have one big winger and you are trading him. Draft Monohan and in a year you can trade Gagner.

The term BOLD should be considered in a relative sense. Compared to Tambo, trading Omark would be bold.

Teams will start dealing with their salary cap problems will their least desirable players, not their best ones.

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#19 D
May 09 2013, 03:21PM
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The Islanders have never lost to the Penguins in the playoffs. I hope the streak stays intact.

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#20 Walter Sobchak
May 09 2013, 04:20PM
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@Finally

Welcome!

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#21 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 09 2013, 04:30PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Do people really believe the extra 1 inch and 3 pounds the kings are bigger on average is a "main reason" for their success against the Blues?

that extra inch can make all the difference sometimes*

* that's what she said

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#22 Rama Lama
May 09 2013, 06:09PM
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@GVBlackhawk

Too big a number for me to comprehend .

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#23 geno
May 09 2013, 08:05PM
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DSF wrote:

Dubnyk was right around average.

Did he steal any games for the team?

Not that I can recall.

Unless you're an above average offensive team (the Oilers are below average), that doesn't cut it.

Dubey reaally sucked in that Columbus game where EDM got outshot 40-15 and won 3-1. Maybe you don't recall because you don't watch oiler games.

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#24 Todd
May 09 2013, 08:11PM
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@DSF

You need a hug... You must be so sad seeing your beloved Canucks embarrassed and Wild quickly following them out the door. HUGS

PS maybe the Canucks can hire Dale Talon??

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#25 geno
May 09 2013, 08:16PM
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DSF wrote:

What?

Dubnyk ain't much.

Deal with it.

The league average is .912. Dubey had a .920 and you say he's around average. By that logic, if .912 is around .920, then that must make Dubey's .920 around Schneider's .927

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#26 Cheap Shot Charlie
May 09 2013, 08:16PM
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DSF wrote:

I watched every Oiler game this season.

Is that all you've got?

Haha! Good point!!! Who would watch their favorite team...NO ONE!!! Great retort, DSF! Next give 'em the old "blah blah blah, book it line". That's a classic!

I love you, man! *HUG*

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#27 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 10 2013, 06:58AM
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Dubnyk is not a stiff.

Ragging on players to piss other people off has to be a dysfunction.

There are so many, many legitimate things horrible about the Oilers. Discuss those.

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#28 Spydyr
May 10 2013, 06:59AM
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madjam wrote:

Major changes for next year around new core of Hall . Eberle , Hopkins , Yakupov ,Paajarvi , J.Schultz , Smid and Dubnyk .

Likely additions defence : Alzner , Bogozian , Pysyk , Morris , Letang and T.Daley , Totalling $13.57 M .

Likely additions forwards and special teams : Wheeler , Couture , Franzen , Brouwer , Sobotka , B.Sutter ,Nystrom , J.Boll . Totalling approx.$ 20.50M .

Total cost for this makeover about $34M .

Go to bed you are drunk.

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#29 morgie99
May 10 2013, 07:41AM
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Jasmine wrote:

DSF most likely doesn't watch any games and lies that he does.

I suspect your exactly the same LOL

I'm surprised you actually said something new, rather than your repeat your mantra of nonsense

about oiler fans running players out of town, lowes a goat, he received death threats, it's slats fault, on and on

Good Job Jasmine, keep up the creativity it's refreshing LOL

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#30 PrimeBane
May 09 2013, 12:59PM
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Kesler is a dink, but if he's healthy I'd take him on the Oil anyday. :)

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#31 Jonathan Willis
May 09 2013, 12:59PM
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Paul Martin is an interesting name and would definitely help the left side defence; question is what the cost would be.

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I think I'd do all 3 of those deals. Although Kesler's injuries are scaring me.

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#33 OilFanInYYC
May 09 2013, 01:05PM
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The option to move a player can only be used on a D-man. The additions to the top 9/6 will come through free agency and not a trade.

Paajarvi is not the piece to move no matter what you think. He is big and drives the play. Moving him will cost the Oilers' dearly and will not win that trade.

If you are looking to add top a top D-man sure packaged Paajarvi or Eberle with assets but moving a player for something that is already available on the open market makes 0 sense. Top paring D-men are not available as UFAs this summer whereas skilled large forwards are.

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I do have to wonder what PHI does on the back end., 5 guys making 3.5mil or more. Coburn or Meszaros available?

How about WSH defense? 7 guys already under contract, but have Kundratek and Orlov knocking on the door. Granted Schultz is probably moved our bought out and they are down to 6, but I think they still look at moving something there.

Do we bring Brodziak back? Who else from Minny do we look at as they will be close to the cap.

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#35 Vaclav
May 09 2013, 01:28PM
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@Jason Gregor

A healthy and productive Ryan Kesler would be great in Edmonton. But the Canucks and Oilers don't trade with each other (unless you consider Peter Sarno for Tyler Moss a significant trade). And Kesler has a NTC. Would he waive it to go to a rebuilding organization? I'm not so sure.

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#36 Sliderule
May 09 2013, 01:30PM
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Jason most forwards if your name is not Iggy have a big drop off after they hit 28 so yes old. Simmonds for our second rounder and MPS might make sense but 7th pick. Forget it.

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#37 Eddie Shore
May 09 2013, 01:31PM
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Why would Philly trade Simmonds?

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#38 DLite
May 09 2013, 01:36PM
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Montreal was considered many deals away from the playoffs last season...and yet with relatively few moves (a handful) they completely changed their fortunes. It can be done. There is more reason for optimism than you propose.

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#39 Will
May 09 2013, 01:40PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I would not do the Simmons deal.

I would also suggest that the Oilers try and pry Couturier or Schenn out of Philly.

Said it before, and I'll say it again, trade 1st round picks with Philly and we send Gagner, and they send Couturier. Boom, size in your top six and a competent second line centre is solved. Though I would also make the trade for Kessler and cross my fingers he's healthy as that also helps with our lack of veterans. Not to mention, he is one of the few Nucks that actually showed up to the post season. The guy can straight up take over a game.

On defence, see what it takes to get Edler from Van. Or pay someone some money. Does the Suter deal really look like an overpay now?

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#40 Benny Botts
May 09 2013, 02:04PM
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@ Jason Gregor Do you think keith Yandel is an option for the oilers? If so, is the price that 7th pick plus paajarvi? I think if you could land, a dman like him and somehow aquire a big winger like Bobby Ryan, thats two huge pieces for this teams taking a big step forward.

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#41 Tyler
May 09 2013, 02:06PM
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I like the thought of getting S Couturier out of PHI, but Gagner AND the 7th is a massive overpay. This guy went in the range of 7th, and you're giving away Gagner for a guy who had half as many points. If we want to improve for next year that is a bad trade. The 7th, and another prospect is my pitch. And I would be hesitant moving PRV. He's going to be a guy who is on a value contract (1.5 for 3yrs) and will out preform those dollars as I feel like he just figured out how to play in this league. Look at how trading Voracek played out? How about Hodgson, or Turris? Moving players that young who have potential is a MASSIVE risk. Movng Gagner is about the same. Look at the Sedins. They didn't start producing until age 23 or so. I say move 7th, (IF) you can move up in the draft to 3/4th. If it costs you the 7th, both 2nds or maybe next years 1st, do you do that? We want to get better now, teams look at our history and might be betting against us. 7th this year, and then... beans for next year. If i'm NSH I take 7th and next years. Hopefully its in the 18th range.

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#42 Chainsawz
May 09 2013, 02:07PM
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I think out of all the wonder kids, it is Eberle who gets traded. Just because of how many jersey's they will sell from those who would have to replace their jersey if he is dealt.

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#43 Aspin
May 09 2013, 02:08PM
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Jason,

Why do you include Paarajvi in every trade? He is one of the only big forwards that drives to the net we have. Why trade one big winger for another? We need more bigger winger's/centres....trade some of the skilled guys (Gagner/Hemsky).

Secondly, you don't think trading Gagner or Hemsky is a bold move but you think trading the #7 is a bold move? That puzzles me. There are many top 10 draft picks that don't turn out but Gagner and Hemsky are two that turned out quite nice. Gagner was chosen 4th overall and was in the top 20? in scoring this year. It baffles me that you think trading an unknown crapshoot of a pick is bold but two proven skilled guys is not a bold move by the GM.

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#44 Tyler
May 09 2013, 02:09PM
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I say move 7th, (IF) you can move up in the draft to 3/4th. If it costs you the 7th, and both 2nds OR maybe next years 1st instead, do you do that? We want to get better now, teams look at our history and might be betting against us. 7th this year, and then... beans for next year. If i'm NSH, I take 7th and next years 1st for the 4th. Hopefully it ends up in the 18th range.

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#45 gcw_rocks
May 09 2013, 02:22PM
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Tyler wrote:

I like the thought of getting S Couturier out of PHI, but Gagner AND the 7th is a massive overpay. This guy went in the range of 7th, and you're giving away Gagner for a guy who had half as many points. If we want to improve for next year that is a bad trade. The 7th, and another prospect is my pitch. And I would be hesitant moving PRV. He's going to be a guy who is on a value contract (1.5 for 3yrs) and will out preform those dollars as I feel like he just figured out how to play in this league. Look at how trading Voracek played out? How about Hodgson, or Turris? Moving players that young who have potential is a MASSIVE risk. Movng Gagner is about the same. Look at the Sedins. They didn't start producing until age 23 or so. I say move 7th, (IF) you can move up in the draft to 3/4th. If it costs you the 7th, both 2nds or maybe next years 1st, do you do that? We want to get better now, teams look at our history and might be betting against us. 7th this year, and then... beans for next year. If i'm NSH I take 7th and next years. Hopefully its in the 18th range.

Musil. Musil is having a strong playoff but the Oilers have lots of defensive prospects and can afford to lose Musil in a trade for a player that can help over the next few seasons.

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#46 Oilfred
May 09 2013, 02:26PM
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Bobby Ryan is the only one of the those that are even worth considering. I Also think that given the depth in this draft you are off in the picks evaluation if you think is worth the same as the number 8 in the past two drafts.

There is every reason to believe that this pick is worth more and could even produce a useful hockey player at center for next year. From what I've heard the top 4 C's in this draft will all play NHL next year.

This could very well be a "Milbury".

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#47 Aspin
May 09 2013, 02:27PM
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@gcw_rocks

None of those defence prospects are a pure stay at home and shutdown guy like Musil.

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#48 Oilfred
May 09 2013, 02:37PM
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Aspin wrote:

None of those defence prospects are a pure stay at home and shutdown guy like Musil.

Kyle Bigos 6'4" 230 just leaving college tough and mean. Foot speed issues but makes up for it with smart positional play. Sounds like a similar item.

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#49 Will
May 09 2013, 02:43PM
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Spend big money on fixing defence, then make big trade to get bigger in top six (Gagner, 2nd line LW). Smyth, Horcoff, and Magnus all stay. Keep Brown, get two new guys for bottom six role.

By my count that's 4 forwards and 2 defence we need. I would be happy if one of those defence is Klefbomb at number 6.

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#50 jeanshorts
May 09 2013, 02:52PM
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"He isn't great defensively"

THAT'S EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PLAYER THE OILERS NEED ON THE BACK END!!!!

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