EAKINS: "I WANT TEAMS TO FEAR US"

Jason Gregor
June 11 2013 01:50PM

Dallas Eakins will spend this week in Edmonton talking to Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger to see if they will be part of his coaching staff. He will also sit down with Craig MacTavish and get a sense of the roster, the strengths and weaknesses, and start planning for next season.

Eakins is very intense, he's a fitness freak and when I spoke to him on my radio show yesterday afternoon, it was clear he is a man with a plan. He wants teams to fear the Oilers skill, their speed and their physicality. Of course, the latter hasn't been a strength of the Oilers for years, and Eakins gave us some insight on how he plans to change that as well as they style and system his team will play next season.

Eakins was very direct with his responses, and he gave Ryan Rishaug and I a pretty clear insight into how he plans to make the Oilers competitive.

Jason Gregor: What do you see as the strengths of your new team, just based on the players you have and do you build around them or do you make them play your system?

Dallas Eakins: Well, it’s going to be a two-way street I think. Listen, I’m not going to take away much from these players where we never want to take away, especially with our young players, speed and skill and the way that they see the game.

A lot of these players have massive offensive upside. There will be a little bit more accountability with the puck, and firmly accountability without it. One should never take away from another. I don’t buy into the premise that when you play better defensively that your numbers suffer. You’re on offense when you have the puck and you are on defense when you don’t and those simple rules are going to be in effect.

What we need to do, is that we need to develop these guys a little bit further. We also need to get the right people around them who can not only complement them, but also teach them how to play and how to win in the NHL. So we have a lot going on here, but I’m certainly excited to get it going.

Ryan Rishaug: You talk about accountability, can you maybe just give us a little bit of a window into the type of accountability that you’ve had in the past?

Eakins: I will get to these players, individually and over time I will develop a relationship where I get to know them. This isn’t a sit down, me ask them a bunch of psychological questions, it’s a constant conversation that will probably start in my office, or by the coffee machine, or in the weight room, or on a bike, or wherever it may be. It’s through those conversations I find out what motivates them, inspires them, what their triggers are, how they respond.

I’ve had players where I knew that if I screamed at them quickly they responded right away. I’ve had players where I knew that if I screamed I would lose them in the game, or lose them for a week or two. And that’s not that you’re looking to be soft, or looking to play favourites, you don’t. All of these kids have been brought up differently, they’ve had different experiences, they have different personalities, and if you’re going to treat them all the same, then you’re doing your team a terrible disservice.

We’re going to treat them all the same, when it comes to work ethic and discipline and we’re going to treat them all differently when it comes to motivating and inspiring their personal goals.

MOTIVATION

Gregor: What are your thoughts on motivation? How much of it is on the coach, how much is on the player and how often do you need to initiate it?

Eakins: Well the balance is that you just feel it. It’s not a calculated thing where it’s ‘okay I’ve got to scream at this guy once every two days.’ There’s just a time for it and there is a time not to. I think if you get the right group together as a team, they will motivate each other. That’s the perfect scenario that they’re always holding each other accountable, not wanting to let down your teammates, disappoint a teammate, to show your team that you’re going to do everything or anything you can every night or any given day to get better.

Accountability is huge for a coach and it can’t just be with your bottom two lines.  There has got to be accountability right from your number one player right through the 23rd guy on your roster, and it’s got to be consistent, then the players catch on real quick. You don’t want it to be, ‘oh well he’s allowed to do that but I can’t,’ so that’s something that we have to work through. It’s something that the players have to understand, but I will have the rules in place on how we’re going to deal with it.

Rishaug: What’s your coaching philosophy on the role of the, not necessarily the nuclear heavy weight, but the aggressive player who can play, but also look out for the skill on the ice, and how do you employ those types of players?

Eakins: I still think that hockey is a game of fear, and before we even get to that part, I want other teams to fear our skills, fear our speed, and fear our physicality. Is there going to be fighting in hockey in the future? I believe that there will be. It’s a high contact sport, these guys are in each other’s faces. There’s a lot of testosterone out there and that is just going to lead to a fight.

I think that it’s important, especially with a young group, to have a certain level of toughness that these kids can continue to develop in a place of no fear. So I do have a place for it. I think that it’s an important part of the game, not the most important, but certainly I never ever want our team to be nervous or in fear and that’s something that we’ve got to go through as we add pieces to this.

Is it necessary to get a guy who just fights? Well maybe it isn’t. But maybe we can have some guys who are good checkers, who are good players, who can back it up as well. It will all depend on the roster spots, and what’s available and how we see the team makeup going forward.

Gregor: The Edmonton Oilers haven’t been an overly physical team for quite some time. Do you think that you can make players more physical or do you have to go out and find more players who are naturally physical?

Eakins: I think you can have players who maybe it doesn’t come naturally to, to simply compete harder for the puck or finish their check on a regular basis. You are certainly not going to make a guy who doesn’t have it in their DNA, that meanness in their DNA, to go out and hammer on guys. It’s not going to happen.

We’ve had a couple of guys come through the Leaf organization where we tried to turn them into something that they weren’t, and I realised that you just can’t do it. It’s no different than taking a guy who is challenged skill wise, and bring him into your office and say, ‘hey we need 40 goals out of you.’ That’s not going to happen, he doesn’t have it in his DNA and it works the other way too.

So we do want to have a commitment from our players that they will compete hard, that will be nonnegotiable. They will finish their checks, always, but we are certainly going to have to build some nastiness in here around them.

LINE JUGGLING

Rishaug: Do you have a philosophy on continuity within your lines as a head coach?

Eakins: Well in the American League it’s different, you’ve always got guys going up, coming down; there’s always movement. Your lines are constantly changing. With the forward lines, I firmly believe in pairs. You usually find the third guy amongst a couple of guys who feed off of each other. You can insert or take away the third guy in the line and that’s how it usually goes. Hey, if a line is working and it’s working for a long time and it suddenly goes south, then we need to find out why it went south because it’s already been proven that it works.

So we’ll look for those pairs early. If we do find a line that’s clicking, we want to keep it fresh. But if for some reason, it does start to go south, there’s something else going on there because their skill level is the same, their fitness levels are the same, they’re all the same size, nothing has changed other than something isn’t working now. That’s something that’s up to the coaching staff to get in there and find that out.

On defense I like pairs that you really need to be comfortable with your partner and that’s a place where I do need to just get the six guys in there, especially the top-four where they know where each other are all of the time without looking or saying a word.

Gregor: What skillset do you need amongst your top-six defensemen? I know you need a mix, but will your onus be on guys who can move the puck?

Eakins: Well you need both. It’s one of those things where as a defenseman I always ask them, ‘what’s your position?’ and they say, ‘defense’ and I say ‘that’s right, the first job is to defend.’ We need that out of all of our defensemen. However, the way that the game is now with the quickness and the skill level, you’ve got to be able to skate. If you are challenged a little bit with your skating, you’ve got to have a firm handle on your angles and your limitations and you like guys that can handle the puck. Listen, one pass and we’re out, that’s the best way to kill these tenacious forechecks now.

We want guys that can put the puck on the tape. We don’t want to be a team that’s banging the puck out off of the glass all of the time, we want clean breakouts. And then, as always, if there is danger, and the other team has done a good job on a certain forecheck, and we can’t make a pass that we recognize the danger and we just get the puck out of our zone so that the forwards can get skating after it.

Rishaug: Would this opportunity in Edmonton be unique as far as coaching experience goes for you, given the amount of young, very high end, high draft pick talent offensive players that you have. Have you experienced that in any way, shape or form as a head coach before?

Eakins: No not as a head coach. You have your skilled guys, maybe you’ve got three of them at the American Hockey League level. The only place I was up front and close with it was when I was an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was a part of a group that was coaching Mats Sundin and those types of guys.

So it’s certainly going to open a door to try to try some things differently, especially on the power play, odd man situations. The other side of this is if we can get some of the offensive guys, the guys who can see the offensive side very well, and we can get them very, very fit so that they can handle extra minutes. We also want them to learn that checking side of the game, so now they can be an offensive force when killing a penalty as well. There are a lot of things that you can do if you can get these guys playing on both sides of the puck. And that’s where the test is going to lie and it’s going to take some time to get this plan in place. I think that once the guys get comfortable with it, we can be a dangerous team, in all different kinds of ways.

Gregor: It might be too early for this, but many have wondered if moving Taylor Hall to centre would be smart. Do you think he can be just as dominant playing the wing as he could in the middle?

Eakins: It’s going to be one of these things, the first thing that I’m going to do, while I’m here this week, is to talk to our management, what they’ve seen, what Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger think. But I think that maybe the most important conversation comes between me and Taylor. I’ll ask him where is he the most comfortable, where does he think that he can be the most productive, and then we start working through it. I can’t tell you right now where he is going to play. But we will find that spot where he is comfortable at, that we’re comfortable at, and more importantly where he will befit his teammates and we will move forward with that plan.

Rishaug: What is your philosophy, and you may have touched on this a little bit, on your skilled players being a part of the penalty kill?

Eakins: Well yeah, if they can get good at it, and if they’re committed to it, I think that they should be out there. Your skilled guys, it’s a number of things going on. They’re usually the smartest guys on your team when it comes to reading plays, they can definitely do damage when they get the puck. Your skilled guys are usually guys who can really skate, so if you can teach them how to kill penalties or if they can get committed to doing some of this dirty work on a penalty kill, and it hurts blocking shots and sacrificing your body, then that can be a way for them to up their minutes.

Usually your skilled guys are making the most money, and if you’re making the most money you had better be playing the most minutes, because you’re earning that money. So that’s where I would like it to go. That being said, if we have other guys on the other lines that are excellent penalty killers and can get the job done, then we’ll stick with them. It’s certainly an opportunity to for a guy with skill to buy in a little bit more defensively to get some more ice time.

Rishaug: Dallas, just to clarify from the press conference today, as far as the rest of the coaching staff goes, are you looking to add an associate coach, and will you also be making the call on the other two assistants. Is that where it’s at right now?

Eakins: Well yeah, that’s where we left it and listen, I just got my feet on the ground here. So I’m going to talk to Kelly and I’m going to talk to Steve and find out where they’re at here as coaches, and how they see this going forward. We are definitely in a market here to add another coach, possibly someone with some NHL experience. It’s easy to say that, it’s a little bit harder to do but I’ve got to get the lay of the land here and see what works best for our team and what I deem best for our team. So there will be a bit of a process to this, but in the end we will make our decision and move forward.

Gregor: What will you look for in those coaches? What types of coaches do you want on your staff?

Eakins: Well number one, they’ve got to be great teachers. I need the assistants to be great teachers, they’ve got to have a real firm knowledge technically, tactically to adjust mid-game right during a shift. As encouraging as I can be, there are going to be times right where I’m going to light a fire under a player, and he may not like it and I’m going to need my assistants to swing back around and put out the fire and be a real positive force.

So there are a number of things going on there, and we’ve got to get the right mix. To be honest with you, I’ve got to find out about Kelly and Steve. They might be the best two assistant coaches in the National Hockey League and I’ve got to go in and see where they’re at, and how they fit. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Eakins reminds me of MacTavish, which is likely a reason why he replaced Krueger. Eakins will be more demanding than Renney and Krueger, and that will likely be a good thing for this group of players. I believe they need to be challenged a bit more.
     
  • I've said this before, and I'll say it again, unless MacTavish gives Eakins some better players, I doubt we will see a massive improvement from the Oilers. You can't keep changing coaches and expect to win. The philosophy and demands of the team need to improve, and time will tell if MacTavish and Eakins are the right guys to make these changes. It is very early, but so far I've been impressed in how direct and decisive MacTavish has been, and I suspect we will see a new approach from Eakins when training camp starts in September.
     
  • Taylor Hall is a left winger. He is most comfortable there, and I predict after Eakins speaks with his leading scorer he will keep him on the wing. It is time to stop talking about moving Hall to the middle. He can dominate games on the wing, and that is where he will play next year.
     
  • Teemu Hartikainen's decision to sign in the KHL and play for his former Finnish coach makes sense for him and the Oilers. Hartikainen needs to mature, and he needs to be more consistent if he ever hopes to play in the NHL. I know many love his size, but size means nothing if you don't use it, and use it often. In order to make the NHL, and remain in the NHL, players need to be self-motivated. No coach can bring that out of you. They can enhance it, but the majority of motivation and drive comes from within, and at this point I haven't seen it often enough in Hartikainen. He has the ability and skill to play in the NHL, but he can't expect his coaches to constantly prod him to get him going. Hopefully for him and the Oilers, he finds that this year in the KHL.
     
  • The Stars signed Sergei Gonchar for two years at $5 million a year. Gonchar is 39 years old. I wonder how that will impact the market for Mark Streit? Streit turns 36 in December, but he's averaged 0.67 points-per-game the past five seasons, and he's an elite puck mover. Despite his defensive deficiencies, I expect he'll get at least a 3-year deal and likely longer. Will the Oilers give him $15 million over 3 years? They might have to if they want to sign him.
     
  • The Blackhawks have been the best team all season, so I'll stick with them and take them to win in 7 games.  

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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#51 Bucknuck
June 11 2013, 05:04PM
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@Benny Botts

I might just be biased because I took him in 2006 in my hockey player draft and he missed most of the year. I stand corrected.

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#52 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 05:12PM
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Tyler Myers anyone? He hasn't been playing great as of late so it brings his value down, but we have seen his talent showcased.

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#53 MKE
June 11 2013, 05:18PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Tyler Myers anyone? He hasn't been playing great as of late so it brings his value down, but we have seen his talent showcased.

I think you are better off to target a team who is in cap trouble.

If Buffalo unloads like has been suggested..they would have a ton of cap room.

A more desperate team would have a lower asking price.

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#54 mlcselli
June 11 2013, 05:21PM
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Jason and Ryan, great interview. The more I hear Eakins speak and read his interviews, the more excited I'm getting for the season to begin.

What a great acquisition MacT made in getting him to coach the Oilers. I imagine the roster players are getting a little nervous with the changes and challenges that lie ahead.

I don't know if it's typical for a general manager and head coach to brainstorm on acquiring new players, but I think with these two men, they'd be looking for very similar types.

Jason, I agree with you that a head coach should hire his own staff, and not feel like he has to take the leftovers of the previous coach. Eakins said he'd speak with Smith and Buchbuger, and I hope it's more of a protocol and respect perspective. My thinking is that, if the Oil are going to start 2013-2014 with a new GM and HC, then everyone behind the bench should be new. This way all new habits and practices get put in place and nobody can take anything for granted.

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#55 Botts89
June 11 2013, 05:22PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I might just be biased because I took him in 2006 in my hockey player draft and he missed most of the year. I stand corrected.

Touché, he did miss most of that season.

Ahh the fantasy pick that misses the whole season...

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#56 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 05:25PM
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MKE wrote:

I think you are better off to target a team who is in cap trouble.

If Buffalo unloads like has been suggested..they would have a ton of cap room.

A more desperate team would have a lower asking price.

Myers value won't be much lower than it is right now.

You could attempt to fleece a team in cap trouble, but odds are other teams will be giving good offers because they're desperate to get those players on their team.

I'd be willing to bet that you could get Myers for cheaper than you'd get Edler or Hamhuis.

Mind you, Philadelphia would be a team I would be interested in making a trade for, but if Briere and Bryz are bought out, they're out of hot water.

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#57 MKE
June 11 2013, 05:29PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Myers value won't be much lower than it is right now.

You could attempt to fleece a team in cap trouble, but odds are other teams will be giving good offers because they're desperate to get those players on their team.

I'd be willing to bet that you could get Myers for cheaper than you'd get Edler or Hamhuis.

Mind you, Philadelphia would be a team I would be interested in making a trade for, but if Briere and Bryz are bought out, they're out of hot water.

I like Myers. Don't get me wrong. It depends what the price is.

I think Philly is looking to add a couple dmen though.

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#58 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 05:41PM
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MKE wrote:

I like Myers. Don't get me wrong. It depends what the price is.

I think Philly is looking to add a couple dmen though.

I wonder who is more willing to give up value. Edmonton has more assets in the form of prospects than Philly, and it seems doubtful that Holmgren is looking to trade roster players considering their kiddie pool depth. I think they will be in the market for UFA's.

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#59 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 11 2013, 05:48PM
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MKE wrote:

Sportsnet reporting Tortorella being interviewed by Gills. If that isn't a train wreck waiting to happen I don't know what is.

Match made in heaven if you aren't a Canucks fan. Those two are made for each other.

Now that! would be worth watching next season. To see it all come crashing down in Vancouver. Don't know many other options they have, they've tried the nice guy thing with Vinault. Maybe it is time for a dictatorship kind of leader to push those guys to their limits.

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#60 Jofa
June 11 2013, 05:52PM
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Didn't Buffalo give Tyler Myers a $10 million signing bonus in his contract last year? Great player with tons of upside, but I don't see them giving him up after investing so much into him...

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#61 MKE
June 11 2013, 05:55PM
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@Taylor Gang

I totally agree on philly. Ufa makes far more sense for them. I know you have to give up value to get value. But i dont want to part with ebs, hall, rnh, yak or schultz. If you could do a deal without including one of them im all for it. Im just not sure its possible.

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#62 MKE
June 11 2013, 05:57PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

You could very well be right. But Tortorella doesnt relate well at all and if you can only play "dictator" its usually only effective for a short time. If at all

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#63 Bucknuck
June 11 2013, 06:01PM
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Botts89 wrote:

Touché, he did miss most of that season.

Ahh the fantasy pick that misses the whole season...

But you're right - one season does not make a trend. You just remember those crappy picks because it grinds at you all year... I hate that. It's like the year I picked Straka and he got nine whole points because of a busted leg. I had to look at that "9" in my number two slot all year long. Or the year I picked Hemsky and he busted his shoulders up.

Argh.

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#64 vetinari
June 11 2013, 06:02PM
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Hear that NHL? Fear the Oilers!!!! You could get traded to us!

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#65 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 06:10PM
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MKE wrote:

I totally agree on philly. Ufa makes far more sense for them. I know you have to give up value to get value. But i dont want to part with ebs, hall, rnh, yak or schultz. If you could do a deal without including one of them im all for it. Im just not sure its possible.

I believe Myers is not worth as much as the kids mentioned, with the exception of maybe Schultz. Obviously he's not going anywhere though.

If there is any year to go for the big time players it's this year. As I said before, Myers had an offseason this year; heck he was a healthy scratch in a number of games. I think some package around the 7th overall could get it done. Gags and the 7th would be an overpay if you ask me.

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#66 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 06:15PM
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Jofa wrote:

Didn't Buffalo give Tyler Myers a $10 million signing bonus in his contract last year? Great player with tons of upside, but I don't see them giving him up after investing so much into him...

If a deal presented itself where they could get what they believed would be solid value for Myers, they would be a fool not to listen.

I have been an enourmous Taylor Hall fan since day 1, but if Pietrangelo was offered for him, it would be hard to say no. It isn't good for an organization to have loyalty to a player over what's best for the organization. Ask Ottawa about Daigle versus Yashin in the 90's.

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#67 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 11 2013, 06:15PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Okay okay I saee the argument that Doughty is not a #2 type guy with LA...yet.

Would I love to have Lindstrom, pronger, Suter or Weber on the Oil....Duh...yeah...bit quit trying to whine about getting what almost no one will ever get... Its a team not one player dudes...

However, my good point is ... that teams do not need to over spend on just one defenceman like Weber or Suter to get the cup and that it can take tough to griity players of #3 to #4 calbibre to do it together.

Who cares if I chose the Oilers 1990 roster. That type 1990 defence roster...in its prime as of today.... would get any team into the playoffs and last into later rounds more so..if with the right forards.

Its like when Dallas...with Sydor and Hatcher leading the way....were hard to win against and those two guys alone were not #1 or #2 type guys based on skills and skating alone.

All I am saying is that MacT can put together a team of #3 and #4 guys (four) to move upward in the league.

Gotta hand it to WhattaMike.......he ain't got no quit in him....

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#68 DSF
June 11 2013, 06:27PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

When the Penguins won the cup Letang wasn't as good as he is now. Also let's name the Cup finalists, like NJD? or the Canucks? Who were their top D-men? Hamhuis and Salvador?

You can win with a defense-by-committee. You don't need an 8M D-man to win the cup, they help a lot, but you don't NEED one.

You just mentioned two teams that LOST in the cup finals.

I can guarantee you the Canucks would have won if they had Chara.

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#69 Bucknuck
June 11 2013, 06:29PM
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I think MacT is aware that the Oil need a legit top pairing defenseman. Klefbom, Schultz, and Petry MIGHT be that one day, but until that day happens, someone has to be playing those minutes.

I like Keith Yandle or Kevin Bieksa. Not sure if either are available, but I like 'em. And maybe thye can pry someone like Hedman out of Tampa Bay but it would really COST.

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#70 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 11 2013, 06:30PM
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DSF wrote:

You just mentioned two teams that LOST in the cup finals.

I can guarantee you the Canucks would have won if they had Chara.

What is it with you and the "guarantees" ???

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#71 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 06:31PM
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DSF wrote:

You just mentioned two teams that LOST in the cup finals.

I can guarantee you the Canucks would have won if they had Chara.

They were within one win away from winning the cup, that game could have gone either way.

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#72 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 11 2013, 06:36PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

They were within one win away from winning the cup, that game could have gone either way.

Can you guarantee that HfP??

cause the guy your conversing with guarantees his sh-t!

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#73 Bucknuck
June 11 2013, 06:37PM
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DSF wrote:

You just mentioned two teams that LOST in the cup finals.

I can guarantee you the Canucks would have won if they had Chara.

WHAT!?

You mean in game seven of the stanley cup finals, if you took the best player off of one team and gave that player to the other team it might have tipped the scales!?

Say it ain't so!!

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#74 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 06:37PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Can you guarantee that HfP??

cause the guy your conversing with guarantees his sh-t!

I guarantee that if Granlund was on the team they would have swept the Bruins.

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#75 DSF
June 11 2013, 06:38PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

They were within one win away from winning the cup, that game could have gone either way.

Did you watch that game?

The final score was 4-0 Bruins.

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#76 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 11 2013, 06:39PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I guarantee that if Granlund was on the team they would have swept the Bruins.

lol

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#77 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 06:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Did you watch that game?

The final score was 4-0 Bruins.

You are so stupid it's ridiculous.

It doesn't matter what the score was, in any hockey game, there is a 50/50 chance of winning. If you can't wrap your head around that concept I don't know what to say to you...

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#78 Jofa
June 11 2013, 06:49PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

If a deal presented itself where they could get what they believed would be solid value for Myers, they would be a fool not to listen.

I have been an enourmous Taylor Hall fan since day 1, but if Pietrangelo was offered for him, it would be hard to say no. It isn't good for an organization to have loyalty to a player over what's best for the organization. Ask Ottawa about Daigle versus Yashin in the 90's.

Anything is possible and I would be thrilled to see Myers here, but Buffalo would be nuts to trade him after one subpar season. Defencemen of his size and skill are extremely rare commodities, and at 23, seems like the kind of guy a rebuilding team would hold onto and build around.

Lets give it more than one poor year to drag out Daigle comparisons. I don't think anyone would accuse the Sabres of being loyal to a fault by expecting Myers to return to form.

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#79 Ryan2
June 11 2013, 07:27PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

They were within one win away from winning the cup, that game could have gone either way.

No, that series was done a few minutes into Game 6. Everyone knew it, including the Canucks.

FWIW, I had the Bruins in 5 that year and got into an argument with a very drunk Globe & Mail writer at a conference reception in Vancouver a couple of days before the series started. I told him Boston had more depth, better D, and better goaltending and that if Luongo did not steal a game or two the Bruins would have it done in 5. He spent the next 10 minutes telling me what an idiot I was and that the Nucks were going to take it fast. We all saw how that worked out. Good thing he is a business writer and does not have to write about hockey for a living.

My only regret from that reception is that I let my kids decide if we would flip the autographed Linden Nucks jersey I got on eBay during the Cup Finals or not. They said no, and that was probably the peak for Nucks fans' enthusiasm for a decade or so.

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#80 Ryan2
June 11 2013, 07:42PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

To DSF and also those who thought I cant see a very good defence without a #1 or #2.

One type Case in Point...The Oilers won their 1990 cup without a true or even close type #1 and/or a #2 in the lineup.

The past defence rosterfor that 1990 cup...was of #3 to #7's such as....Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Jeff Beukeboom, Randy Gregg, CVharlie huddy, Geoff Smith,Craig Muni and Reijo Ruotsalainen.

The 2012 LA Kings have a #2 only in Doughty (like Coffey back in the 80's...but all else are #3 to #6, the

Did you watch those teams? The Oilers' D might not have been the high scorers (although Smith had some good years and Reijo was purely an offensive blueliner), but based on what else was in the league at the time I would argue that Smith was a solid #2. If you don't believe me, check out his stats on hockeydb.

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#81 Walter Sobchak
June 11 2013, 07:48PM
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" I Want Teams To Fear Us "

Well, does this mean more players like Petry, Gagner, Jones, Schultz Sr are also expendable?

I'm mean what the hell is MacTavish actually going to do here?

We could be honestly the worst team next year again.

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#82 DSF
June 11 2013, 07:58PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

You are so stupid it's ridiculous.

It doesn't matter what the score was, in any hockey game, there is a 50/50 chance of winning. If you can't wrap your head around that concept I don't know what to say to you...

So, what you're saying is good teams shouldn't be expected to beat bad teams more than 50 percent of the time.

Well then, to hell with all this drafting, developing, GMing and coaching.

Just throw out a bunch of stiffs and they'll win 50 percent of the time and make the playoffs.

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#83 Harlie
June 11 2013, 08:00PM
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http://www.cambriausa.com/style/featured-profiles/building-the-dream/

Sather and his pimp shack in Banff and some neat Oilers backstory.

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#84 Spydyr
June 11 2013, 08:05PM
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Boston wins.

They are too big, too strong and too mean.The best 4th line in hockey.In case you have not noticed not many penalties are called in the post season.

They are everything the Oilers are not.

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#85 MKE
June 11 2013, 08:18PM
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@DSF

Is there anyone on the planet as smart as you? Man i wish i knew everthing too! *rolls eyes*.

Carolina won without a number one. I know you dont like that. But its a fact. You are a coward and you cant ignor a fact that you dont like.

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#86 MKE
June 11 2013, 08:24PM
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@DSF

If you had any guts you wouldnt have to change the facts to support your point and you wouldnt run when your predictions dont pan out.

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#87 DSF
June 11 2013, 08:25PM
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MKE wrote:

Is there anyone on the planet as smart as you? Man i wish i knew everthing too! *rolls eyes*.

Carolina won without a number one. I know you dont like that. But its a fact. You are a coward and you cant ignor a fact that you dont like.

I I ' ' ' e '

Start there.

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#88 MKE
June 11 2013, 08:30PM
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@DSF

Thats the best you have? Really?

Like I said. Coward.

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#89 MKE
June 11 2013, 08:34PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I believe Myers is not worth as much as the kids mentioned, with the exception of maybe Schultz. Obviously he's not going anywhere though.

If there is any year to go for the big time players it's this year. As I said before, Myers had an offseason this year; heck he was a healthy scratch in a number of games. I think some package around the 7th overall could get it done. Gags and the 7th would be an overpay if you ask me.

I totally agree. This is the year to go after top end defencemen via trade.

If there was ever the perfect storm this would seem to be it.

It depends how you value Gags. On the right team he could be a great piece. Buffalo has made it known they want to build down the middle.

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#90 WhattaMike
June 11 2013, 08:38PM
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To Ryan2....

You tell me then since you and others are set seemingly on that the Oil need a #1 or a #2.. (which if they could get one without sacrificing the kids..I would love it)...what six named defencemen and one named extra would ya truly pick for your team so as to get into the playoffs and/or go far into the playoffs with???

I would be very curious and interested to see if ya go can go with four type players of top #3's and #4's and two top #5's calibre...

If ya want...Drew Doughty can be included for being one of your choices if ya want but not those such as Pronger, Lidstrom, Scott Stevens, Weber or Suter etc.

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#91 madjam
June 11 2013, 09:06PM
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You want nasty ,speedy , big , high hockey sense , skilled at both ends of rink ,transitionally sound and a complete sound game then we merely draft R.Ristolainen . We haven't taken one this well rounded/gifted since K.Lowe . Showed well at Combines and only thing Nurse beat him at was wingspan by paltry 2 inches . Nice thing he is still growing as well , yet has already played two seasons in mens league at a high rate . The kids the complete package projected top 4 defenceman or better , and I believe he will be top 2 in short order . That should help with mean and tough as well seeing as that's required . Cost minimal for 3 years as entry level .What an opportunity we have if we draft him to shore up one major hole and potential All Star . Prediction : He'll be strong candidate for Calder next year , that's how advanced his game is - move over Klefbom .

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#92 oilerman53
June 11 2013, 09:12PM
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Hopefully he doesnt try and make the Oilers into a trapping team like MacT was trying to. I like that he wants to emphasize on fitness and competition. How many nights did we see these guys just turn it off? He needs a bit more bigger bodies in the top six and nastiness throughout his lineup. Our Detroit west theory isnt working for us at all. Get bigger and get nastier in the trenches, skill is good but all great teams need the will downlow. DSF, what are any of the points you're trying to make? Go cheer for a Southeast team or something.

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#93 FSD
June 11 2013, 09:46PM
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R.Ristolainen

The problem for me is that, while it's a good sign that he's playing in a tough league at such a young age, projecting him statistically when no one else takes that career path is a bit of a mystery. With Ristolainen playing so little against other draft-eligible players, scouts have a similar problem. When the year began, Red Line Report had Ristolainen fourth on their list, saying that "Ristolainen has a higher upside than Ryan Murray". By November, he'd fallen to seventh, and by December it was eighth, but mostly because a couple players behind him were having impressive seasons in leagues where an impressive season is a lot easier to recognize. Corey Pronman started him in eighth, and though there's been some shuffling of players both in front and behind, that's where he has him today. Craig Button liked him less than those two at the start of the season, placing him 19th, and he still likes him less now, placing him 25th.

It seems to me that people are mostly moving around Ristolainen on these lists, and that he's basically being treated as a constant. His play in Finland is impressive enough to beat most of the second tier prospects for most people but not so obviously impressive that he's going to beat out anyone in the top tier.

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/6/11/4408168/rasmus-ristolainen-draft-comparables

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#94 FSD
June 11 2013, 09:53PM
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Madjam you read Corey Pronman and base your opinion on a player you have never seen. Almost a religious belief

Your invested too much into your opinion based on something you read give it a rest.

You have no idea what Ristolainen will turn into.

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#95 Big Cap
June 11 2013, 10:24PM
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RE: Posts #85, #86, #88

@MKE

Lay off man, we don't need you taking personal shots @DSF who is a fellow Oiler poster on this site.

If @DSF's opinions and posts don't match your thoughts or believes, then move on and DON'T read any further posts from him.

Your an "Internet Tough Guy". We all know your the Big Man, and not to mess with you. We get it, now move along...

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#96 madjam
June 11 2013, 10:29PM
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FSD wrote:

Madjam you read Corey Pronman and base your opinion on a player you have never seen. Almost a religious belief

Your invested too much into your opinion based on something you read give it a rest.

You have no idea what Ristolainen will turn into.

Your entitled to your opinion and I mine . So we disagree , big deal . I stand by my preference and what he will turn into , and it goes beyond just Pronman's assessment . Just who are you hyping up anyways ?

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#97 Devolution
June 11 2013, 10:35PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

You are so stupid it's ridiculous.

It doesn't matter what the score was, in any hockey game, there is a 50/50 chance of winning. If you can't wrap your head around that concept I don't know what to say to you...

What are you talking about? How can there be a 50/50 probability for each game? It's not a coin toss.

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#98 FSD
June 11 2013, 10:43PM
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@madjam

It is not an opinion you have invested emotionally into it. Your blood rises when you read different opinions.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2013/06/11/nhl-draft-red-line-report-defensemen/2412515/

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#99 Taylor Gang
June 11 2013, 10:52PM
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MKE wrote:

I totally agree. This is the year to go after top end defencemen via trade.

If there was ever the perfect storm this would seem to be it.

It depends how you value Gags. On the right team he could be a great piece. Buffalo has made it known they want to build down the middle.

I don't think it's too out of the question. The Sabres don't exactly have an embarrasment of riches up front. Maybe Myers and Stafford for Gagner, the 7th overall pick and Musil could do it?

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#100 Jason
June 11 2013, 11:14PM
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As the draft gets closer today i think these are the players Oilers are looking at .

Barkov Monahan Nurse Horvat.

Lindholm and Nichushkin are not on Oilers list but would use them for bait to trade down, if the price is right.

My best guess today.

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