Free Agent Centres: Western Conference

Jonathan Willis
June 17 2013 10:50AM

With the likely departures of Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger and Jerred Smithson this summer, the Edmonton Oilers are in a position where they need to rebuild their depth chart at centre. Aside from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who underwent surgery this summer) and Sam Gagner (an unsigned restricted free agent), the Oilers simply don’t have reliable NHL options.

Could some of the answers be found in this summer’s class of unrestricted free agents?

We’ll look at the Eastern Conference options later on; for now let’s look at the West.

The Western Conference Class

This isn’t a strong group, and it gets weaker once seen through the prism of the Oilers’ needs. The names that stand out to me are as follow (in alphabetical order).

Steve Begin. The 35-year old enjoyed a surprisingly effective campaign in Calgary after getting released by Vancouver last year and spending the season before that in the minors. He’s a smallish (6’, 192 pounds) agitator who hits, fights and kills penalties; there is no questioning his effort but there are better players on this list.

Kyle Chipchura. Chipchura really found a home in Phoenix the last couple of seasons after bouncing around the league over the last few years, but despite improved offensive totals he’s in the same range as most of the fourth-line guys on this list; he has yet to crack the 20-point mark in the majors and was never particularly prolific in the minors either. He has decent size (6’2”, 203 pounds) and fights more than most of the guys on this list but he’s not a regular penalty-killer and his on-ice totals aren’t particularly good.

Matt Cullen. He’s definitely a little on the old side (he turns 37 in November) but he’s coming off a very strong season and has been a reliable secondary offensive option for his entire career. Like Filppula, he plays centre and wing, both special teams and wins faceoffs (54.7 percent last year); at 6’1”, 200 pounds he’s also slightly bigger.

Valtteri Filppula. The Finn with the impossible to spell name is coming off a disappointing 2013 campaign, one where he picked up just 17 points over 41 games. On the plus side, he has a history of offensive production (generally in the 35-40 point range, though he recorded 66 in 2011-12), he can play both centre and left wing, he’s a strong faceoff man (winning 55.4 percent of his draws last year) and he just turned 29 in March so he’s in the prime of his career. He’s played on both special teams in Detroit, though primarily on the power play. As far as negatives go, there aren’t many; the most glaring one is that he hopes to cash in this year (reportedly seeking more than $5 million per season). He’s also a little on the small side (listed at 6’, 195 pounds).

Boyd Gordon. Bruce McCurdy wrote a nicely detailed piece on Gordon as an Oilers option a few days back; he’s a defensive specialist and a very good one. Like both Cullen and Filppula he’s a mid-size forward (6’, 200 pounds) and not overly physical; unlike those two he is a dedicated checking centre who has never topped 30 points in an NHL season. Ownership uncertainty in Phoenix means he may very well find himself looking for a new home this summer, but he’s a guy who likely tops out as a third-line centre.

Maxim Lapierre. Every time I say his name I feel the urge to duck; the Canucks agitator is roundly disliked in Edmonton but that doesn’t mean he would be a bad fit for the team. Like Gordon, he’s a defensive specialist who wins faceoffs, kills penalties and sits in the prime of his career; unlike Gordon he is significantly bigger (6’2”, 207 pounds) and extremely physical. Vancouver has been slow to talk to him, so he’s likely heading elsewhere this summer. His offensive numbers also have some possibility of improvement – like Gordon, he’s never cracked the 30 point barrier but he has been a ~20 point scorer in situations where he started almost exclusively in his own end. In a more balanced role, he might deliver more.

Manny Malhotra. One of the best third-line centres in the league between 2005 and 2011, Malhotra’s career is in some jeopardy after suffering a major eye injury near the end of the 2010-11 season. No player in the Behind the Net era has played more defensive minutes; given how close Malhotra came to zero offensive zone usage under Alain Vigneault it’s possible no player in NHL history has started a higher portion of his shifts in the defensive zone. The question is whether the 6’2”, 220 pound centre – who still kills penalties and excels in faceoffs – has lost his game to that eye injury, or whether he’d rebound if given less Sisyphean minutes.

Brad Richardson. Richardson has a Stanley Cup ring, but far more importantly once upon a time he fought Teemu Selanne:

He’s been an effective utility guy with the Kings, but unlike many of the other options here he isn’t a penalty killer and despite playing a chippy game he isn’t all that big. On the other hand, he’s had some pretty good offensive seasons for a fourth-liner – he was a point-per-game guy in the minors and despite poor totals the last few seasons has occasionally challenged the 30 point mark in limited minutes.

Jerred Smithson. Oilers fans have had an opportunity to see Smithson firsthand, and he isn’t especially exciting. What he might be is useful as the team’s fifth centre – the guy who sits in the press-box much of the time and fills in as needed. He kills penalties, wins faceoffs, makes safe simple plays and adds a bit of size (6’3”, 209 pounds) and a willingness to hit. If he comes cheaply enough, the Oilers could do worse in a reserve role.

David Steckel. The Oilers could do a lot worse than David Steckel in a fourth-line role. The 31-year old stands 6’6”, kills penalties, wins faceoffs (he’s one of the best in the league in that role) and has an above average physical game. He’s also a guy who does a consistently good job of limiting shots and chances against in a highly defensive role – over the last four years he’s generally been on the ice for three defensive zone draws for every two in the attacking zone. He doesn’t add a lot offensively – he’s in the 15-20 point range most years – but given role and minutes played that’s not bad.

Recently around the Nation Network

It's very possible that we could be witnessing the final days of the Phoenix Coyotes - after years of staving off relocation, it appears the club is in serious jeopardy of moving to Seattle:

Quoting a statement by Seattle's mayor, Mike McGinn, Hansen introduced a pair of potential investors to Seattle city council. McGinn said to KING TV, "As recent news reports indicate, it appears the NHL is taking the new ownership proposal seriously."

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 madjam
June 17 2013, 01:57PM
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DSF wrote:

ANA - None

CAL - None

CHI - Montador?

COL - None

CLB - None (may want to trade Wiz or J. Johnson)

DAL - None

DET - Samuelsson?

LAK - None

MIN - Heatley (if not still injured)

NSH - None

SEA - None

SJS - Havlat

STL - None

VCR - Ballard

WPG - None

Pretty slim pickings.

May appear slim now , but wait until after draft and July 5th when most determine they can't trade those contracts . I expect a flood of them especially out East .

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#52 DSF
June 17 2013, 02:02PM
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madjam wrote:

May appear slim now , but wait until after draft and July 5th when most determine they can't trade those contracts . I expect a flood of them especially out East .

None of those I listed have any cap issues other than VCR, CHI, MIN or SJS.

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#53 Spydyr
June 17 2013, 02:04PM
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From the looks of that FA list. It seems a trade is the way to go. Perhaps a few more players will pop up with the compliance buy outs.

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#54 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 17 2013, 02:04PM
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Brad Richardson is the sharpest tool in that old, abandoned shed.

And even still, how effective would he be going from "drag a dead body across the ice" type of game the Kings play, compared to what the Oilers are trying to do?

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#55 Supernova
June 17 2013, 02:10PM
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Jon, DSF,

whats your take on Brooks Laich?

I think he might be trade bait as Washington sounds like they want to resign Ribeiro, Alzner and Johannsen.

He would add alot to the complexion of the Oilers.

I have a hard time judjing him as I played minor hockey against him and have alot of respect for him.

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#56 DSF
June 17 2013, 02:21PM
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madjam wrote:

May appear slim now , but wait until after draft and July 5th when most determine they can't trade those contracts . I expect a flood of them especially out East .

BOS - None

BUF - Leino, Ehrhoff?

CAR - Ruutu

FLA - Jovanovski?

MTL - Kaberle

NJD - None

NYI - DiPietro (I think they'll try and trade this contract)

NYR - Richards

OTT - None

PHA - Briere, Bryzgalov

PIT - None

TBL - Lecavalier? (huge dollars), Ohlund (on LTIR)

TOR - Komisarek (will likely trade Grabovski)

WSH - None

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#57 DSF
June 17 2013, 02:25PM
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Supernova wrote:

Jon, DSF,

whats your take on Brooks Laich?

I think he might be trade bait as Washington sounds like they want to resign Ribeiro, Alzner and Johannsen.

He would add alot to the complexion of the Oilers.

I have a hard time judjing him as I played minor hockey against him and have alot of respect for him.

He would be an excellent trade target.

Likely depends on how much Ribiero wants to get paid.

He does have a NTC though.

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#58 Tikkanese
June 17 2013, 02:36PM
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If prime of career means taking bad penalties including many misconducts, being extremely verbally abusive and for that matter visually abusive in the case of Lapierre, then no thanks. Not to mention a cancer and possibly less offense than Belanger offers. He may be a "pest" but he hurts your team in many ways more than he helps. PASS.

None of those names excite me. I would take a flyer on Malhotra at league minimum, or at least invite him to camp and see. Doesn't hurt to invite unsigned guys to camp and hope at least one surprises. I think we could do better in trades than this list. Filppula as 3rd center would be nice but he will be too expensive. There will be cheaper and possibly better options via trades I would think.

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#59 vetinari
June 17 2013, 02:41PM
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If I had to target players off of this list alone, my preferences would run:

Lapierre - he's the player that you hate to play against so bring him aboard

Steckl - size and experience

Gordon - generally decent all round utility centre

Malholtra - if not for the injury, would be in my top 2

Filppula - good two way player who can add offence which supports icing two to three real scoring lines

I only put Malholtra and Filppula lower on the list because I suspect that they would want the most money and we are going to need cap room/flexibility in a year or two.

If Gagner goes via trade, then I would move Filppula up the list to #1. However, I assume that he's gotten used to winning and to take a flyer on Edmonton won't happen unless he gets seriously overpaid.

I also suspect that at least one Baron will get a promotion to the NHL next season (Lander?) and we will see at least two new faces via a combination of trades or signings.

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#60 Tikkanese
June 17 2013, 02:43PM
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@JW

You have a unique skillset for Smithson "He kills faceoffs, wins penalties". haha :)

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#61 Vincheese
June 17 2013, 03:14PM
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Steckel would really excite me as an Oiler. He's mean, can score, and could potentially move up and down the line-up when injuries occur. Size aside, Steckel plays big too--as he should with that frame. Big softies need not apply to this organization anymore.

Chipchura is an unknnown to me. If he turned out to be a late-bloomer and showed some offensive prowess, he might be a great fit as an energy guy, and on the PK instead of Samwise.

Filppula is simply over-rated. I wouldn't want him at $3MM, let alone $5MM. He's not a point-producer, and won't drive the play as advertised. It's not so much about what Filppula can do for the team, but moreso what the Oiler's--or other potential suitors'--expecations would be for him.

Fillpula goes way early in my drafts year-after-year. He was supposed to be the cornerstone of the Wings offence when Zetterburg and Datsyuk are done--FAT CHANCE.....

It's caveat emptor with respect to Filppula.

Thanks for the list, Willis.

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#62 Ducey
June 17 2013, 03:28PM
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No Streit. He just signed with Philly (4 yrs x ?) and AV is going to coach NYR

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#63 LinkfromHyrule
June 17 2013, 03:55PM
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@Ducey

I don't understand Paul Holmgren's thinking.. they were already in dire cap trouble before this were they not?

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#64 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 17 2013, 04:06PM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

I don't understand Paul Holmgren's thinking.. they were already in dire cap trouble before this were they not?

The Flyers seem to have deep pockets. Almost guaranteed they use the amnesty buy-out on Briere.

Pronger "may" be bought out as well. That guy is on the books for like 5 more years at $5M per year cap hit.

But they do have plenty of players signed. After the buyout(s), they won't be doing much in terms of signing players.

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#65 madjam
June 17 2013, 04:23PM
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@DSF

Odd that the players we lost in 2006 we never filled adequately their departures and thus fell out of playoff contention . Now we are trying the draft route for almost 4 seasons and still have more holes to fill than back in 2006 . Different approach , but results even worse so far .

Last time we had a mover and shaker was Lowe in 2006 , since then we have not faired very well in that regard . Long list of excuses but little in the way of actual decent signings . I'm not sure MacT. can change that in short order .

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#66 OilersBrass
June 17 2013, 04:29PM
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madjam wrote:

Odd that the players we lost in 2006 we never filled adequately their departures and thus fell out of playoff contention . Now we are trying the draft route for almost 4 seasons and still have more holes to fill than back in 2006 . Different approach , but results even worse so far .

Last time we had a mover and shaker was Lowe in 2006 , since then we have not faired very well in that regard . Long list of excuses but little in the way of actual decent signings . I'm not sure MacT. can change that in short order .

They've drafted a lot of missing holes. The only problem with rebuilding through drafting is that you have to wait forever for the players to develop.

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#67 madjam
June 17 2013, 04:43PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

They've drafted a lot of missing holes. The only problem with rebuilding through drafting is that you have to wait forever for the players to develop.

Agree to some extent , but that still is not an excuse for not obtaining other viable talents to surround them to shorten that process . Others have done it and rookies are developing nicely . Seems like our rookies are but rest of team isn't .

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#68 OilersBrass
June 17 2013, 05:20PM
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madjam wrote:

Agree to some extent , but that still is not an excuse for not obtaining other viable talents to surround them to shorten that process . Others have done it and rookies are developing nicely . Seems like our rookies are but rest of team isn't .

That's true, but sometimes it's difficult to acquire the other talents without giving up a lot of your own talent. That's why they've done such a crappy job with that part, they don't want to give up the players that they want on the team for a long time to come.

I do agree with you on other things though. Pro scouts could have done a much better job searching for players in free agency and what not. I don't think the coaching staff has done a great job with developing players either.

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#69 MKE
June 17 2013, 05:30PM
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Give MacT a shot. I believe he and Howson have an eye for the type of supporting cast they need. The Oilers now have the high end talent they have lacked for a long time.

People crap on Howsen and then say we need a team that looks and plays alot like Columbus did last year...

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#70 MKE
June 17 2013, 05:33PM
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not to mention that Howson brought in a number of those players via trade....and most would say he won those trades hands down.

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#71 Rama Lama
June 17 2013, 05:38PM
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If Mac T intends on moving up in the draft ( taking Barkov......the only guy apparently ready to play on the NHL, then we may only need one UFA centerman.

I like Max Lapierre , hard hitter and plays a fairly safe game........plus much better offensive upside than our current third and fourth line options.

We gotta get Barkov........I hope Mac T is burning the phonelines.

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#72 MKE
June 17 2013, 05:44PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

If Mac T intends on moving up in the draft ( taking Barkov......the only guy apparently ready to play on the NHL, then we may only need one UFA centerman.

I like Max Lapierre , hard hitter and plays a fairly safe game........plus much better offensive upside than our current third and fourth line options.

We gotta get Barkov........I hope Mac T is burning the phonelines.

I dont think Barkov is the ONLY guy ready to play in the NHL next year..

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#73 Arlen
June 17 2013, 05:53PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

That's a lot of bodies available at less than what Hemsky and Horcoff will demand. In addition to that, there's all the compliance buyout players up for grabs as well. With all this human trafficking this summer. Could be 70/30, that 10 and 83 are back here in the fall again.

Mentioning you want to clean house, and then actually getting this accomplished, can be difficult. Good luck Craig.

I just cant see MacT publicly saying horc and hemsky probably wont be back and then not moving em somehow. I'd say theres a 70% chance theyre both gone and a 95% chance at least one of them is gone

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#74 Arlen
June 17 2013, 06:02PM
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madjam wrote:

Agree to some extent , but that still is not an excuse for not obtaining other viable talents to surround them to shorten that process . Others have done it and rookies are developing nicely . Seems like our rookies are but rest of team isn't .

Thats cause Tamby is an awful GM!!

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#75 MKE
June 17 2013, 06:04PM
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Arlen wrote:

Thats cause Tamby is an awful GM!!

Yes he was. But we can thank him for being a horrrible gm, that led to our high end talent and move on.

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#76 Shawn Cronin
June 17 2013, 06:10PM
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I see the Paul Ranger bandwagon is in full swing today. Anyway, let's see, from that list of free agents and the trade bait he has to work with.........if MacT pulls this off, he should change his name to Jesus

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#77 OilersBrass
June 17 2013, 06:11PM
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If he had a beard, he could pass as Jesus.

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#78 DSF
June 17 2013, 06:19PM
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MKE wrote:

Yes he was. But we can thank him for being a horrrible gm, that led to our high end talent and move on.

Let's be honest here kids.

Kevin Lowe has been the pilot of the Good Ship Lollipop for well over a decade.

He steered the ship into an iceberg.

HE hired Steve Tambellini who had been passed over in Vancouver THREE times.

He signed off on hiring Ralph Krueger.

He then signed off on hiring MacT as GM without doing a proper search for the best candidate available (see Nill, Jim for reference).

The guy he hired then publicly supported Krueger mere days before firing him and hiring another coach with no NHL track record when other much more qualified candidates were on the market.

When you want to know why the Oilers are a dreadful hockey team, put Yakkity Sax on the turntable and stare at pictures of Kevin Lowe.

Could MacT be better than Tambellini... maybe.

Will Eakins be better than Krueger...maybe.

Please note that the assistant coaches and pro scouting staffs who assisted in the Drive to the Ditch ® are still gainfully employed by the worst franchise in the National Hockey League.

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#79 MKE
June 17 2013, 06:20PM
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Go back and look at what Howson gave up in the deals he did. Especially for guys like Nikitin, Letestu, Bobrovsky...i believe this management team will surprise a few people.

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#80 MKE
June 17 2013, 06:29PM
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DSF wrote:

Let's be honest here kids.

Kevin Lowe has been the pilot of the Good Ship Lollipop for well over a decade.

He steered the ship into an iceberg.

HE hired Steve Tambellini who had been passed over in Vancouver THREE times.

He signed off on hiring Ralph Krueger.

He then signed off on hiring MacT as GM without doing a proper search for the best candidate available (see Nill, Jim for reference).

The guy he hired then publicly supported Krueger mere days before firing him and hiring another coach with no NHL track record when other much more qualified candidates were on the market.

When you want to know why the Oilers are a dreadful hockey team, put Yakkity Sax on the turntable and stare at pictures of Kevin Lowe.

Could MacT be better than Tambellini... maybe.

Will Eakins be better than Krueger...maybe.

Please note that the assistant coaches and pro scouting staffs who assisted in the Drive to the Ditch ® are still gainfully employed by the worst franchise in the National Hockey League.

I didnt say change wasn't needed. I believe MacT is the right guy for this team right now. And i would have taken him over Jim Nill.

I get that you don't like it. Im not sure why we have to hear that 25 times a day from you.

And on Dubinsky and his 5 on 5 numbers. If someone else would have thrown out those stats from last year to support their point, you would have had a fit because it was based off his highest ever ppg average in a season where it was shortened AND he was hurt part of the year.

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#81 MKE
June 17 2013, 06:31PM
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And again...you seemed to have no problems with Eakins when he was possibly going to Vancouver.

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#82 horndog77
June 17 2013, 07:17PM
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Trades are our only hope! As much as I'd like the high draft pick with hopes of Edmonton trading up for Sasha or Nic#@!$#& how ever you spell his name. The fact remains that Edmonton needs a NHL center now and not two to three years from now! I hope they can hammer out a deal with Philly for Sean or Schenn, hell Boston for Seguin. One top four defenseman, one backup goalie and solid center. Those are the three top priorities if you ask me. Those third and fourth lines can be found through free agency.

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#83 DSF
June 17 2013, 07:36PM
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MKE wrote:

I didnt say change wasn't needed. I believe MacT is the right guy for this team right now. And i would have taken him over Jim Nill.

I get that you don't like it. Im not sure why we have to hear that 25 times a day from you.

And on Dubinsky and his 5 on 5 numbers. If someone else would have thrown out those stats from last year to support their point, you would have had a fit because it was based off his highest ever ppg average in a season where it was shortened AND he was hurt part of the year.

1) why, exactly, do you think so?

2) Nonsense.

3)

Dunbinsky:

12/13 ON +- +.64

11/12 ON +- +.61

10/11 ON +- -.38

Gagner:

12?13 ON +- -.53 11/12 ON +- +.50 10/11 ON +- -1.02

Gagner has ONE decent season but has been dreadful defensively for two of the last 3 seasons.

Dubinsky has been getting better every season.

Gagner scores slightly more but gives up far more than he scores.

Dubinsky is paid $4.2M while Gagner is reportedly seeking $5M.

No brainer.

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#84 DSF
June 17 2013, 07:38PM
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MKE wrote:

And again...you seemed to have no problems with Eakins when he was possibly going to Vancouver.

Vancouver had already fired AV.

Edmonton already had a coach they hired a year ago.

In any event, I've always thought Dave Tippet would be the ideal coach for Vancouver.

Could happen.

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#85 MKE
June 17 2013, 07:48PM
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DSF wrote:

Vancouver had already fired AV.

Edmonton already had a coach they hired a year ago.

In any event, I've always thought Dave Tippet would be the ideal coach for Vancouver.

Could happen.

So any position you have filled you should never look to upgrade at that position? That's insanity. MacT felt he could upgrade and he did what he felt he needed to do.

And I never said Dubinsky wasn't a good player. Im saying you cant win with a whole team of Brandon Dubinsky's and I dont feel Dubinsky will have this much value again.

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#86 loglady
June 17 2013, 07:51PM
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Sign Lapierre

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#87 MKE
June 17 2013, 07:51PM
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DSF wrote:

Vancouver had already fired AV.

Edmonton already had a coach they hired a year ago.

In any event, I've always thought Dave Tippet would be the ideal coach for Vancouver.

Could happen.

I also highly doubt Tippet would join that train wreck thats abput to happen in Vancouver. Gillis is about to be exposed.

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#88 DSF
June 17 2013, 07:58PM
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MKE wrote:

I also highly doubt Tippet would join that train wreck thats abput to happen in Vancouver. Gillis is about to be exposed.

Nonsense.

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#89 DSF
June 17 2013, 07:58PM
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Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 2m The #Oilers will not be getting Corban Knight

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#90 DSF
June 17 2013, 07:59PM
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MKE wrote:

So any position you have filled you should never look to upgrade at that position? That's insanity. MacT felt he could upgrade and he did what he felt he needed to do.

And I never said Dubinsky wasn't a good player. Im saying you cant win with a whole team of Brandon Dubinsky's and I dont feel Dubinsky will have this much value again.

Dubinsky is a better player than Gagner...by any metric.

Did MacT upgrade?

Explain why you think so.

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#91 Eddie Shore
June 17 2013, 08:05PM
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@DSF

Back to your old tricks again eh. You must get sick of always being right.

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#92 DSF
June 17 2013, 08:09PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Back to your old tricks again eh. You must get sick of always being right.

Reality is a bitch.

Is there another team in the NHL that would have hired MacT to be GM?

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#93 madjam
June 17 2013, 08:20PM
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Deletions : Horcoff , Hemsky , Whitney , Smyth ? Gagner ? entire bottom six ? Additions : Belov . 13 days to draft day , and this is not looking good so far . Can't seem to unload , and conversely , can't seem to add . No reason to drink the Kool-Aid at this stage . The walk is becoming more like the crawl with each passing day . Must be Tams incognito .

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#94 Racki
June 17 2013, 08:32PM
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madjam wrote:

Deletions : Horcoff , Hemsky , Whitney , Smyth ? Gagner ? entire bottom six ? Additions : Belov . 13 days to draft day , and this is not looking good so far . Can't seem to unload , and conversely , can't seem to add . No reason to drink the Kool-Aid at this stage . The walk is becoming more like the crawl with each passing day . Must be Tams incognito .

Of your list, the only player that is going anywhere with for sure no return is Ryan Whitney.

Also, Smyth is staying (almost guaranteed)... and Gagner probably is too. But even if Gagner is traded.. er.. dur.. they will get something back.

Horcoff and Hemsky probably won't fetch too much each, however.

As for the bottom six, I'm a firm believer that the majority of our bottom six is replaceable with any sludge floating around in the free agency pool. Not much to be upset about losing there.

Anyways, while I get your point, you've got 1 guy on your list who is for sure staying (Smyth) and 3 of the other 4 will get a return of some sort.

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#95 Eddie Shore
June 17 2013, 08:33PM
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DSF wrote:

Reality is a bitch.

Is there another team in the NHL that would have hired MacT to be GM?

You tell me. You seem to have all the answers.

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#96 DSF
June 17 2013, 08:36PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

You tell me. You seem to have all the answers.

No.

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#97 Racki
June 17 2013, 08:41PM
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DSF wrote:

Dubinsky is a better player than Gagner...by any metric.

Did MacT upgrade?

Explain why you think so.

I guess goals, assists and points aren't any of those metrics that really matter.

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#98 OutDoorRink
June 17 2013, 08:43PM
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No need to start hyperventilating just because old dsf is babbling on.

I'm sure that Eakins has already spoken to the team or at least some of them. He's getting a feel for what he has. MacT is working the phone coming up to the draft. We have parts to move and cap space to spare.

There's plenty of areas for improvement and that is why MacT was hired and that is why he jumped at the chance of grabbing Eakins when he did.

Keep the faith. We took a small step back last year in the over-all advancement of the team and there's no better time to rectify that than right now.

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#99 Gaz
June 17 2013, 08:48PM
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@DSF

Can you prove that statement? I'm not looking for inference, I'm looking for proof.

Let me save you the effort.

Nope.

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#100 DSF
June 17 2013, 08:50PM
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Racki wrote:

I guess goals, assists and points aren't any of those metrics that really matter.

Sure.

If you score more than you give up.

Gagner is a mess defensively.

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