DRAFT WEEK: LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Jason Gregor
June 24 2013 11:32AM

It is Stanley Cup week for Oilers fans, and I'm not talking about the Bruins and Hawks. Your excitement and dreams of the Stanley Cup rest on hope, faith and the willingness to believe that the Oilers will draft two or three key pieces for the future this Sunday in New Jersey.

That is the reality when you're a fan of a team with the longest playoff drought in the NHL, however, this week there is a distinct different feeling in Oilersnation than in previous years. The anticipation is higher,  and it isn't focused on who the Oilers will draft, but instead what type of moves Craig MacTavish will make.

For the past three seasons Steve Tambellini held a press conference before heading out to the draft, but those announcements were never met with the heightened rumour-fueled frenzy that we saw this past weekend when the Oilers announced MacTavish would speak on Tuesday.

In an instant social media was a buzz with rumours and speculation on what MacTavish would be discussing. Will he have a major announcement, possibly, but it's likely this is just the usual GM presser before the draft. That doesn't mean fans won't have a plethora of questions.

When will Dallas Eakins announce his coaching staff? Will you have any say in who he hires?

Have other teams expressed interest in Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky?

Are you looking at a long or short term contract with Sam Gagner?

Do you still believe you can make eight changes to your roster?

Any predictions on who you think will be the last visor-less player?

MacTavish has done a masterful job of getting fans and media anxiously awaiting his every move. He declared he would make bold moves and Oilersnation is impatiently waiting to see what those are.

Will he be able to follow through or will he strike out? I believe this week, specifically Friday to Sunday is when we will start to see some of those moves, and they will continue on until July 15th. The next 20 days will go a long ways in determining the future of the Edmonton Oilers.

I applaud MacTavish for admitting his organization needs a significant overhaul, both on an off the ice, but I don't think fans should expect all the moves to lead to instant success. The Oilers need to build a team that becomes a consistent playoff contender, not a one-shot wonder, and that type of foundation can't be built in the next 20 days.

The next three weeks will be the beginning, and likely the most exciting 20 days for Oilers in the past seven seasons.

QUICK HITS

  • MacTavish and the rest of management are very high on Sam Gagner. They love his attitude, and re-signing Gagner is much more likely than trading him at this point. The big question is how much are they willing to pay him? What is fair and wise contract for Gagner?
     
  • If Gagner's camp wants $5 million will the Oilers pay him? If he goes to arbitration, he'd likely get something close to that on a one-year deal.
     
  • Under the new CBA teams are allowed to three retained salaries, meaning they can trade three players and retain part of their cap hit. I find it surprising that the Maple Leafs used two of those in the Bernier/Frattin/Scrivens trade. The Leafs retained $500,000 in salary between Frattin ($437,500) and Scrivens ($62,500). I'm curious to hear Dave Nonis' explanation as to why he'd waste one of his retained salaries on such a small amount.
     
  • If the Oilers can trade Shawn Horcoff expect them to retain some of his cap hit. Here are the stipulations regarding retaining salary:
  1. No more than 50 per cent of the salary/cap hit can be retained.
  2. Salary/cap hit cannot be retained on more than three contracts in one season.
  3. The aggregate cap hits retained cannot exceed 15 per cent of the upper limit.
  4. A contract can be traded only twice where salary/cap hit is retained. 
  • The Oilers have given Horcoff and his agent permission to talk to teams about a possible trade. This is usually a good way to let the player and his agent understand how they are perceived around the league. Even with a $5.5 million cap hit, I'm sure Horcoff and his agent feel there would be lots of interest, but when teams give players permission that usually means the interest has been minimal. 
     
  • David Conte has been in charge or part of the New Jersey Devils draft for 29 years. They've had some very good late first round picks, and Conte discussed his draft philosophies with me.
     
  • Compliance buyouts can become "official" 48 hours after the Stanley Cup finals have wrapped up. If the Hawks win tonight, buyouts will start on Wednesday, if the Bruins win buyouts start Friday and then teams have a two-week window to use their compliance buyouts. Daniel Briere, Tomas Kaberle and Mike Komisarek have already been told they will be bought out, so that leaves 55 potential buyouts (Wade Redden and Scott Gomez were bought out in January). Some teams will act quickly, while some others that I've spoke with will wait to see who they sign when free agency starts on July 5th.
     
  • Expect the Oilers to try and trade Eric Belanger, and if they can't facilitate a deal i'd be very surprised if he wasn't bought out. 

CURTIS LAZAR

Edmonton Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar is slated to be drafted somewhere between #12 -#22depending on the publication, but all the scouts feel strongly that he'll be a consistent NHL player for many years. Lazar talked about the draft, his two-way game and the change he made mid-season to get his game back on track.

Jason Gregor: I’m sure that you’ve tried not to think about it, but do you lay awake at night wondering what is going to happen on the 30th?

 Curtis Lazar: Of course. I’m sort of at that point now where I want it to happen and get it over with and move on with my career. This season has had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m ready and I’m going to be quite happy and quite proud when I walk across that stage in New Jersey.

Gregor: In interviewed David Conte from the Devils last week and he said ‘I couldn’t say one bad thing about Curtis’ talking about the interview that you two had. Did you feel that your interview process with every team went the same, or did you feel, ‘I think that that one went better’ for whatever reason?

Lazar: Yeah, I mean for the most part, they went pretty well, but like you said, the Devils were probably one of my best ones. You just get that sense from them that they like  you, and they’re just such great people and they give you such great advice about yourself and it just takes off from there. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen in New Jersey.

Gregor: What kind of advice did they give you?

Lazar: Just to keep on working at it and recognizing all of my skills and my strengths as a hockey player. I’m on the doorstep of becoming a pro hockey player and just don’t stop working, the second that happens you don’t make it. They said if they’re lucky enough to select me then they are going to supply the tools for me to work on my game and just have fun.

Gregor: You led the team in goals this year with 38, however all of the scouts say Curtis Lazar has a very complete overall game and he’s a guy who’s willing to sacrifice individual stats for the team’s success. Have you always been that type of player, did anyone give you that type of instruction, where did you become that team first type of guy?

Lazar: I sort of brought it on myself. Growing up in Salmon Arm I played with the older guys and when it came to hitting hockey I was held back a season where I fit in with my age group. I used that year, an easier year, to work on the little things. That’s what I pride myself on; the detail part of the game. Focus on the D zone because you want to keep pucks out of your net, and defence wins championships and from there it’s just taking over. I got in my slump earlier in this season and the offence wasn’t coming. So I thought why not take that as a positive and work on the defensive part of the game.

Gregor: You overcame a slow start and then got red hot for the second half of the season. How did you remain poised and confident, because it is your draft year and I’m sure there was a lot of pressure to produce?

Lazar: Well that’s the problem, I couldn’t and it got to me. I was always focused on the stat side of my play. I’m a player that I could have some of my best games and not put up a single point, but that’s sort of my X factor about the different things or ways that I could contribute, however, the slow start was because I let the draft control who I was. I’m not proud of that. But come December I said ‘look I’m fortunate enough to be playing on a pretty good team with the Oil Kings, good league, so why not just enjoy it and have fun?’

Gregor: That is very honest of you to say, ‘I’m not proud about it, but I kind of let the draft control me and all of the hype around it.’ How were you able to regain control? Was it a conversation with your coach, or was it a one-on-one with yourself?

Lazar: A bit of everything. Derek Laxdal, he’s a great coach, and a great mentor for me. He always had the door open and if we needed to have a chat here and there he would pull me aside and let me know that he’s still happy with my play regardless of my point totals. And the same with my parents, they support me with all of my decisions I’ve made regarding my life, and they’re never pushing anything on me. So just knowing that they’re backing me, it helps develop that confidence not only in myself but also in who I am as a person.

Gregor: I’ve had a few people who are much closer to your team than I am tell me that you are a glue guy in that locker room and with a lot of the veterans leaving next season, you’re likely, whether you’re wearing the captaincy or not, will be the leader of the team. Talk about emerging as a leader and what do you think makes a good leader at the Western Hockey League?

Lazar: It’s huge and I really wanted to excel in a leadership role this season. I was sort of in that intermediate step this past season where you have a bunch of the older guys, and I had their respect because I was playing out there with them and contributing in that way, but I also I could relate to the younger guys breaking into the league.

I billet with Brett Pollock who’s a 16 year old in the Western Hockey League, and if he needed someone to talk to, I was always that guy that he could pull aside.  It is neat seeing a bunch of our veteran guys move on to the pro levels, but it just puts that much more emphasis on the leadership role for me next year.

It all starts in practice. Practice, the gym, it’s the work habits, leading by example which go a long ways and not being scared to be vocal. You’ve got to be able to step up and say something for the betterment of the team.

Gregor: How are your workouts going, is it easier or harder to stay focused on them at this time of the year?  

Lazar: I started training last week on my own regime and I work out one-on-one with my trainer in Kelowna. I was in the gym this morning with Josh Georges, Luke Schenn and it’s really cool to see those guys around because I can watch them and ask them questions as well. They’re good people and they’re familiar faces that I’m used to seeing around.

I’ll get some more information once I get drafted and we’ll see if they want to emphasize on me getting bigger or a little quicker. But I’m sure it’s going to be a combination of all of those things.

Gregor: Give me a quick scouting assessment on Seth Jones. I know that you faced him for seven games in Portland, what do you like about his game?

Lazar: First off, it’s his size. I mean his mobility for his size really helps jump into the rush. He’s got great offensive instincts and he’s got a really hard shot there, which I had the joy of standing in front of a few times. His poise as well, he takes control of the situations in his own end and he can make that good, hard, crisp first pass.

Gregor: Do you study any of the other players that you’re going up against in the draft? Do you compare where you’re at compared to the rest of them?

Lazar: Yeah for sure, I like watching hockey because it’s the game that I love to play as well but the Memorial Cup was special because seeing the guys the MacKinnons, the Drouins who happened to my linemates, in the Ivan Hlinka. Max Domi, Bo Horvat, Nikita Zadorov you get familiar with those guys as well. So I mean there are friendships along the way, it’s just really neat how they develop.

Gregor: If you had to compare your game so someone in the NHL, who would it be?

Lazar: What I have been saying is a combination of Mike Richards and Dustin Brown. I’m not an agitator like Richards is, but I like those leadership qualities that Brown has on the LA Kings. Both of them, both Richards and Brown play that 200’ game where they take care of the defence first and then they can push on the offence. 

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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#1 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 24 2013, 12:28PM
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My only prediction at this point is that no matter who we get... The optimists will be happy and the pessimists will be sad.... Book It!

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2013, 12:21PM
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Big 3 weeks coming up now, big three weeks. We should all have this down pat by now.

Here's to hoping they finally get off their duffs, make some of their own luck, come away with more than the absolute minimum due to them this summer.

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#3 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Racki wrote:

I think Curtis Lazar would be a good addition. When I watch him play, he really does seem to play similar to the guys he says he plays like (Mike Richards and Dustin Brown).

That said, I think there will be some great potential at #7 with guys like Monahan, Lindholm, Nichuskin being possible picks in that spot. I don't want us to move that #7 pick unless all 3 of those guys are gone. And well, if NJ liked Lazar so much, maybe he's gone at #9 this year... and then trading down would be a waste of time anyways.

You walk away from elite talent to draft Lazar, just dumb, dumb move.

Unless that 7 is not being used for a number one defensmen or centre, then it's an awful waste.

I'd expect it to be used in conjunction with an trade package.

Better be a damn good player coming back.

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#4 Racki
June 24 2013, 03:12PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You walk away from elite talent to draft Lazar, just dumb, dumb move.

Unless that 7 is not being used for a number one defensmen or centre, then it's an awful waste.

I'd expect it to be used in conjunction with an trade package.

Better be a damn good player coming back.

I think you misunderstood what I said.

What I'm saying is at 7 I would be drafting Monahan, Lindholm, Nichuskin.. one of those guys that's available (one of them, or Nurse will be there at 7 for sure). There is a lot of good talent that will be available at #7 and I wouldn't move the pick at all.

I really like Lazar and think he's a good player, but I'm not drafting him at #7, and I also think if we move the pick (which I said above we should NOT do), we wouldn't likely get Lazar anyways, as I'm thinking New Jersey takes him.

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#5 Smokey
June 24 2013, 03:21PM
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@freeze

Few Points.

Why are we concentrating on Curtis Lazar. We aren't drafting him, and he doesn't fit the needs of the Oilers organization. He will look great in New Jersey on their 3rd line.

Gagner will get 5x5mil. I'd be working for a trade. His point production is negated by his poor defense and face-offs. I rather trade him then play him as a small and slow undersized winger.

Hemsky for Zack Smith is laughable. I'd only concider if there is at least a second. Trading with Bryan Murray usually means your getting the short end of the stick. Rather see him play here for the year, trade him at the deadline for peanuts if the return is a 3rd/4rth liner. A top six forward should still garner a reasonable return.

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#6 TV6
June 24 2013, 05:19PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Here it is less than a week before the draft, and little to no activity. Might be best to hang onto Hemsky (till the deadline) rather than give him away for a Walmart type player. Let arbitration decide what Gagner gets on a one or two yr deal, and try again next summer. Keep Horc for one more yr and ride these guys yet again to another lotto type selection, especially since the GM soiled the market for them.

Edmonton already has their big ticket players, doesn't make sense chasing one of the soon to be vastly overpaid types July 5th. Same passive ship every year for this market/team.

Wonder if what Kevin Lowe did to Mike Comrie nearly 10 yrs ago effectively blackballed this team.

There is no way that SamIAm gets to his arbitration meeting.

It would be foolish to do so on the Oilers part.

If he elects to go, he is trade bait city & just bought himself a 1~way ducat out of River City.

He stands to become the youngest UFA in NHL history... So why on earth would you hand him a free ride pass to UFA~Ville..?

That is the polar opposite of proper asset management.

Sam~Wise either signs a long term SPC, or he is sporting another jersey this fall.

x6

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#7 Will
June 24 2013, 11:52AM
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What a meaty article. This was great. I do disagree that a cup winning foundation can be built in the next 20 days. He can shore up the goal tending situation. He can bring in a key defensive piece. And he has the tradable assets to both alter the balance of the top six, and overhaul the bottom six enough that the core team will be in place, with only a few trade deadline acquisitions and some experience standing between us and a cup. Oh, and the gruelling 82 game schedule in which competition seems to get tighter and tighter every single year. But that's all really.

I still think people will look back on the Tambillini era and realize he drafted the defence that took us to another cup. It is just going to take time for those prospects to develop properly. Klefbomb, J Schultz, and one of the other prospects could be the d core that gets us there. Add in a Smid, and a hopefully more developed Petry, plus one solid top 2 guy and that could be the best D in the league, just not in the next 20 days.

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#8 Rama Lama
June 24 2013, 11:59AM
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I have never seen this kid play......but he sure gives a good interview. He seems very mature for his years and gives articulate answers.

He reminds me a lot of Mark Messier in his build and hockey style.........we could use another one of those for sure.

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#9 HugThePost
June 24 2013, 12:02PM
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Watching the SCF has been sad because it only crystallizes the fact that we are so far off from that level of team. I agree, Rome was not built in a day and MacT will not make us reasonable facsimiles of CHI or BOS by July 15. Sure, he has done an amazing job of stoking fan interest up to now, but will it just turn out to be disappointing when he doesn't bring in the entire laundry list of players needed for us to simply not suck again next year?

I think he is on the right track and his head is in the right place, and the want and willingness are there, but I'm not expecting some kind of miracle to happen once this year's Cup champs go partying into the night this week.

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#10 ghostofberanek
June 24 2013, 12:11PM
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That was a great interview, and I'm seeing Lazar in a different light now. If we trade down to get him, I'll only be slightly disappointed now. He might be a good pick after all.

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#11 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 24 2013, 12:11PM
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The countdown to 7 has stalled a bit

1) Belov

2) Eakins

3).???

4) ???

5) ???

How many slots will be filled in on or before Draft Day ??

1? 2 ? 3? More?

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#12 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 24 2013, 12:19PM
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I.REALLY REALLY. Don't want to see us give up the 7th overall to end up with a 3rd line roster player and Curtis Lazar......

It would have to be a deal that brings a top 6 forward or a top 4 Dman otherwise, what's the point?

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#13 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 24 2013, 12:24PM
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At 7 you get a future top 6 forward (maybe top 3)..... Or a future top 4 Dman (maybe top 2)....whether that future is two years from now or 4 years from now depends on the player you get and how lucky you are...

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#14 Ducey
June 24 2013, 12:28PM
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I expect a lot of talk, not much action.

MacT has struck out on a few Euro goalies and Knight. There are still not a lot of players drinking the cool aid.

My guesses would be: 1)Sign Paul Ranger 2)Trade Omark for a 6th 3)Trade Teddy Peckman for a 4th 4)Horcoff and Belanger are bought out 5)Hemsky traded in mid July 6)they sign a vet backup goalie 7)they chase Lapierre, Clarkson, Horton but they sign elsewhere 8)they sign Fistric and trade N. Schultz (or at least they should) 9)they wind up with two Marlies F's - Colborne and Biggs. 10) MacT holds a spot or two open up front until September, which he smartly fills with a waiver wire pickup or two.

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#15 freeze
June 24 2013, 12:29PM
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Wanye is spreading the news: "I know for a fact Gagner recenty turned down a 4 yr offer for $4.5M/yr by the Oil. I can't see how they can pay him much more than that"

That's a damn shame. $5M or higher is way too much for Gags, esp. if they move him to the wing. I wonder if he'd take 4.5M if it was a longer term?

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#16 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 24 2013, 12:39PM
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Ducey wrote:

I expect a lot of talk, not much action.

MacT has struck out on a few Euro goalies and Knight. There are still not a lot of players drinking the cool aid.

My guesses would be: 1)Sign Paul Ranger 2)Trade Omark for a 6th 3)Trade Teddy Peckman for a 4th 4)Horcoff and Belanger are bought out 5)Hemsky traded in mid July 6)they sign a vet backup goalie 7)they chase Lapierre, Clarkson, Horton but they sign elsewhere 8)they sign Fistric and trade N. Schultz (or at least they should) 9)they wind up with two Marlies F's - Colborne and Biggs. 10) MacT holds a spot or two open up front until September, which he smartly fills with a waiver wire pickup or two.

So your list of 7 looks like;

1) Belov

2) Eakins

3) Ranger

4) Mike Smith. From Ottowa

5) Ray Emery

6) Ian White

7) Colborne

8) Biggs

9) Waiver Wire Pickup

10) Waiver Wire Pickup

I'll mark you down as being in the pessimist camp.

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#17 Taylor Gang
June 24 2013, 12:43PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I.REALLY REALLY. Don't want to see us give up the 7th overall to end up with a 3rd line roster player and Curtis Lazar......

It would have to be a deal that brings a top 6 forward or a top 4 Dman otherwise, what's the point?

Maybe because our bottom 6 forwards are atrocious?

I'll take a great bottom 6 forward in a heartbeat.

Ales Hemsky for Zack Smith would be awesome. Find a way to get Cal Clutterbuck. Suddenly our third line doesn't look too bad.

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#18 Mark-LW
June 24 2013, 12:45PM
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"The Oilers need to build a team that becomes a consistent playoff contender, not a one-shot wonder, and that type of foundation can't be built in the next 20 days."

The Oilers aren't looking to build a foundation in the next twenty days, that's what the last three years were. They're trying to acquire supporting players. That's a big difference IMO and that difference should be recognized. Rebuilding the bottom of a roster is nothing like trying to build a core of young talented players.

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#19 dawgtoy
June 24 2013, 12:53PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

I agree completely. LOL

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#20 HEGS
June 24 2013, 12:56PM
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Hey Gregor, you have interviewed a few prospects now, what is your opinion on the player you would like to see the oilers get at 7? the more I think about it I would love to see the oil get Elias Lindholm at 7 (i think more upside than monahan) or trade up for barkov or trade down for horvat or lazar......just my thoughts

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#21 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:00PM
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The biggest concern of mine is this.

MacTavish spends the next two weeks trying to drum up business with little intrest from the rest of the GM's.

Then, because he's made such public declarations he up and makes a panic trade.

9 spots to fill is a tall order, and I have equal amount of scepticism in his ability to judge what's more important, keeping the draft pick, signing Gagner and fixing the defense.

Over paying Gagner is a real worry now.

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#22 Racki
June 24 2013, 01:02PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I.REALLY REALLY. Don't want to see us give up the 7th overall to end up with a 3rd line roster player and Curtis Lazar......

It would have to be a deal that brings a top 6 forward or a top 4 Dman otherwise, what's the point?

I think Curtis Lazar would be a good addition. When I watch him play, he really does seem to play similar to the guys he says he plays like (Mike Richards and Dustin Brown).

That said, I think there will be some great potential at #7 with guys like Monahan, Lindholm, Nichuskin being possible picks in that spot. I don't want us to move that #7 pick unless all 3 of those guys are gone. And well, if NJ liked Lazar so much, maybe he's gone at #9 this year... and then trading down would be a waste of time anyways.

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#23 Racki
June 24 2013, 01:04PM
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On the note of Gagner, I'd say they try and sign him to under $5M. If they can't, wait until free agency day and take a crack at Stephen Weiss for around that price. He brings more in his game (less offense though, I think, but a much more rounded overall game). Failing that, MacT might have to give in a bit. I don't think its a good idea to dump both Gagner and Horcoff, especially when Nuge is probably going to miss some of the beginning of the season. I think Gagner will be good value in the long run, but I'd only pay him $5M or more right now if other, better options are gone.

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#24 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:04PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Maybe because our bottom 6 forwards are atrocious?

I'll take a great bottom 6 forward in a heartbeat.

Ales Hemsky for Zack Smith would be awesome. Find a way to get Cal Clutterbuck. Suddenly our third line doesn't look too bad.

I watched Lazar all year, not going to be on the Oilers for at least two years, then he will be a bottom six player.

You never give up BPA, this is why the Oilers had such an awful drafting record for 15 years, that's just bad business all round.

As for Zack Smith and Clutterbuck, I would love those players!

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#25 Taylor Gang
June 24 2013, 01:04PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The biggest concern of mine is this.

MacTavish spends the next two weeks trying to drum up business with little intrest from the rest of the GM's.

Then, because he's made such public declarations he up and makes a panic trade.

9 spots to fill is a tall order, and I have equal amount of scepticism in his ability to judge what's more important, keeping the draft pick, signing Gagner and fixing the defense.

Over paying Gagner is a real worry now.

This.

It seems he has been trying to make bold moves but it is pretty difficult when there is no interest...

I'm not entirely convinced that trading Gagner is the right move, but if he asks for too much (^4.5 million) then they may not have a choice. Hopefully his bold moves weren't banking on UFA's or he may be in for a shock

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#26 Taylor Gang
June 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I watched Lazar all year, not going to be on the Oilers for at least two years, then he will be a bottom six player.

You never give up BPA, this is why the Oilers had such an awful drafting record for 15 years, that's just bad business all round.

As for Zack Smith and Clutterbuck, I would love those players!

The thing is, if they trade down for Lazar, they probably will be getting BPA. If they got a 3rd line player plus Lazar, their bottom 6 will be looking good for the next 5 or 10 years...

Add in the fact our top 6 is set for the next 10-15 years and that's not too shabby

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#27 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:08PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

This.

It seems he has been trying to make bold moves but it is pretty difficult when there is no interest...

I'm not entirely convinced that trading Gagner is the right move, but if he asks for too much (^4.5 million) then they may not have a choice. Hopefully his bold moves weren't banking on UFA's or he may be in for a shock

Good points, totally agree with this as well.

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#28 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:11PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

The thing is, if they trade down for Lazar, they probably will be getting BPA. If they got a 3rd line player plus Lazar, their bottom 6 will be looking good for the next 5 or 10 years...

Add in the fact our top 6 is set for the next 10-15 years and that's not too shabby

Yes true, but they will be leaving BPA on the table.

So like I said, @Racki if its used in a package for immediate good help then no problem, if there move back to get two additional picks I will be mad.

Suspect they keep the pick or move it as a package.IMO

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#29 WhattaMike
June 24 2013, 01:20PM
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I have a feeling that Lazar is a better type centre player than a lot of people credit him for...despite his young age/playing for the Oil Kings...and but... i think the problem is that right now he is not a type "sexy name" enough to draft for the Oilers.

If the Oilers did trade downwards from #7, I would hope for both a strong top 6 to 9 forward (such as a Neiderreiter - NYI,or a Tyler Biggs - Tor) or top 3-4 type big defender (Hamonic - NYI) and then maybe the Oil could possibly draft Lazar....if Horvat (my likes) is gonzo by then.

Being that the Oil needs team toughness on defence more so in the 5th to 6th position, then the Oil should maybe re-sign Fistric to go with Ranger (if he signs).

Having no traded for top 2/3 defender this summer...the Oil also have now Klefbom (probable) to go with Petry, Smid, Belov, J. Schultz and then ...Ranger (maybe) and Fistric (if he is re-signed) that then should make N. Schultz a trade asset along with Potter and Peckham.

The Oil have Marancin and Fedun both on the cusp as to moving to the Oilers being both strong puck moving kids as well.

With all that in mind, I am agreeing with many the Oilers should then look at least pushing for the 6th to 8th playoff spot this coming year and....immediately push for/decide more now so on the bottom six (with two added good centres especially), a top type big LW, a 1A to very good backup goalie.

I believe Dunbnyk will get his big final type chance this year to prove himself, not only being based on the final yr of his contract coming up but that the Oilers are probably content just to fill in the back up spot for this seasononly as well.

I also very much like that in the press conference, Eakins kept on repeating/stating he wants a lot of physicality consistently from his players so I do figure those type tough and very gritty players are very high on MacT's list this summer with the top 6 LW.

No matter what is done these next 20 to 30 days upcoming, I will be seeing just what MacT believes this team can and should now look like as opposed to the terrible non-aggressive GM style of Tambellini

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#30 Walter Sobchak
June 24 2013, 01:28PM
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@WhattaMike

Lazar is not a true centre.

Lazar played primarily RW and is listed as a RW/C in most scouting reports now.

He will not be a centre in the NHL.

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#31 justDOit
June 24 2013, 01:42PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Lazar is not a true centre.

Lazar played primarily RW and is listed as a RW/C in most scouting reports now.

He will not be a centre in the NHL.

From Wikipedia:

Initially a left winger (he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1982–83 on left wing), Messier switched to centre in the 1984 playoffs, and the results were spectacular...

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#32 WhattaMike
June 24 2013, 01:42PM
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@ Walter "Wes" Sobchak

I was unaware that Lazar was more R. Winger than centre. If this is the case, then the LOilers must at least end up with one of Lindholm, Monahan or Horvat in the first round for sure.

As it stands now, I would keep the #7 pick regardless of who got drafted ahead of the Oil by then as it is seemingly clear enough there is still a very strong top type listed 7th to 8th draft player available then...with the rest then listed as more long term type prospects than surefire future kids.

Also, I would like very much to hear soon too that MacT has at least signed Khudobin as to be the other 1A goalie this season. Not sure it will occur but I have had my fingers crossed for this player since the Oilers season ended.

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#33 Alex Mathis, Switzerland
June 24 2013, 01:45PM
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Jason, I've got the following question: When the regular season ends and the playoffs begin, at what time are non-playoff teams allowed to make trades? Is there a timeline?

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#34 Taylor Gang
June 24 2013, 01:46PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Yes true, but they will be leaving BPA on the table.

So like I said, @Racki if its used in a package for immediate good help then no problem, if there move back to get two additional picks I will be mad.

Suspect they keep the pick or move it as a package.IMO

Completely agreed on the move down for two picks. What ever happened to quality before quantity? Also, this team doesn't need any more prospects, it's time to acquire veteran roster players

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#35 Rick
June 24 2013, 01:53PM
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I have a lot of faith in MacT's ability to craft the right vision for this team to turn the proper corner. I think is is a very smart hockey guy.

That said, the number of opportunities to really inflict meaningful change to a roster during the course of a year seems to lie at about 3. With the draft being one them.

If MacT wants to retain credibility in what he's been promising then the clock has started and he has to come out of the draft with more than using his pick.

The last guy proved that came in with the same amount GM experience as MacT and quickly proved it made it makes a difference.

The Oiler's can't repeat history here.

As for rumors, I am liking the Hemsky for Zach Smith suggestion, however legit, sometimes taking a lesser player can still be the right move if the fit is there.

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#36 Royboy
June 24 2013, 02:21PM
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I don't recall reading this anywhere yet, but I have the distinct feeling that the moves that are made this summer by the Oilers could easily go one of two ways:

- launch the Oilers into perennial playoff contention (and legitimacy) - have long term repercussions that could severely hamper the Oilers chances of building an eventual cup contender

I'm excited for the next three weeks, but also quite nervous.

MacT is human, and so are the few other Oilers managers/pro scouts involved with engineering the forthcoming trades and FA signings, and with such an aggressive attitude toward affecting change on this team this off season, we'd better hope that they know what they're doing and that some luck is our side!

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#37 GVBlackhawk
June 24 2013, 02:58PM
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justDOit wrote:

From Wikipedia:

Initially a left winger (he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1982–83 on left wing), Messier switched to centre in the 1984 playoffs, and the results were spectacular...

Lazar to Messier is a bit of a stretch maybe.

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#38 Smokey
June 24 2013, 03:22PM
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Freeze, did not mean to direct that at you

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#39 RomZ
June 24 2013, 03:50PM
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Having watched Lazar play, I think he will be a useful nhler one day. But I'm still of the belief if we can't move the pick for help now we should take the BPA. Our drafting over the last decade overall has been horrible. Nightmares of Marc Antoine Pouliot will forever haunt us, especially if this draft is being touted as deep as the 2003 draft.

One of the top prospects may drop at the draft just like filip foresberg did last year, sean coutourier the year before. 7th should get us another good piece, but if we can trade the pick for immediate help depending on who we get it may be too hard to pass up on.

MacT sure has his work cut out for him.

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#40 Racki
June 24 2013, 04:21PM
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Smokey wrote:

Few Points.

Why are we concentrating on Curtis Lazar. We aren't drafting him, and he doesn't fit the needs of the Oilers organization. He will look great in New Jersey on their 3rd line.

Gagner will get 5x5mil. I'd be working for a trade. His point production is negated by his poor defense and face-offs. I rather trade him then play him as a small and slow undersized winger.

Hemsky for Zack Smith is laughable. I'd only concider if there is at least a second. Trading with Bryan Murray usually means your getting the short end of the stick. Rather see him play here for the year, trade him at the deadline for peanuts if the return is a 3rd/4rth liner. A top six forward should still garner a reasonable return.

Re: Gagner, I was saying above that if it will take $5M to get him signed, I'd stall for free agency, and offer $5M to Stephen Weiss and see if he goes for it. He's much more of a complete player than Gagner, although his offensive potential is lower. But I'd take the other facets of his game at that price over Gagner with the D and faceoff flaws.

But if it's under $5M, or Weiss won't come here for near that price tag, I'd sign Gagner, as long as it can be done around $5M. We can't afford to lose both him, and Horcoff (especially with Nuge probably out for a bit).

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#41 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2013, 04:29PM
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Here it is less than a week before the draft, and little to no activity. Might be best to hang onto Hemsky (till the deadline) rather than give him away for a Walmart type player. Let arbitration decide what Gagner gets on a one or two yr deal, and try again next summer. Keep Horc for one more yr and ride these guys yet again to another lotto type selection, especially since the GM soiled the market for them.

Edmonton already has their big ticket players, doesn't make sense chasing one of the soon to be vastly overpaid types July 5th. Same passive ship every year for this market/team.

Wonder if what Kevin Lowe did to Mike Comrie nearly 10 yrs ago effectively blackballed this team.

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#42 madjam
June 24 2013, 04:29PM
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Lazar now rated NBR.6 by Hockey News -Kennedy . M. Stajan not mentioned as yet and could be a target . Jeff Schultz and oiugh guy Edmontonian John Scott . Maybe Reaves , E.nystrom , J.Boll, C.Neil , Brandon Sutter . Some of the lesser names that could be of value . Bigger names might be Luongo , J.Stall , Samuelson , Coutourier , LeCavalier .

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#43 Eddie Shore
June 24 2013, 05:19PM
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Serious question... How many games have you guys have seen Stephen Weiss play?

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#44 TayLordBalls
June 24 2013, 05:35PM
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that 7th pick is being packaged as a trade for veterans

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#45 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 24 2013, 05:52PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Here it is less than a week before the draft, and little to no activity. Might be best to hang onto Hemsky (till the deadline) rather than give him away for a Walmart type player. Let arbitration decide what Gagner gets on a one or two yr deal, and try again next summer. Keep Horc for one more yr and ride these guys yet again to another lotto type selection, especially since the GM soiled the market for them.

Edmonton already has their big ticket players, doesn't make sense chasing one of the soon to be vastly overpaid types July 5th. Same passive ship every year for this market/team.

Wonder if what Kevin Lowe did to Mike Comrie nearly 10 yrs ago effectively blackballed this team.

i think being the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked over the last 7 or so years had been more of a blackball.

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
June 24 2013, 06:10PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Well played, sir.

Do you see any value in moving up to get Barkov?

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#47 JimW
June 24 2013, 06:53PM
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madjam wrote:

Lazar now rated NBR.6 by Hockey News -Kennedy . M. Stajan not mentioned as yet and could be a target . Jeff Schultz and oiugh guy Edmontonian John Scott . Maybe Reaves , E.nystrom , J.Boll, C.Neil , Brandon Sutter . Some of the lesser names that could be of value . Bigger names might be Luongo , J.Stall , Samuelson , Coutourier , LeCavalier .

Are you kidding me? M. Stajan? Have you seen him play?

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#48 madjam
June 24 2013, 08:03PM
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JimW wrote:

Are you kidding me? M. Stajan? Have you seen him play?

I thought that might get a response . Still he's better than ones like Lander, Belanger and Smithson .

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#49 Shau_co
June 25 2013, 03:50AM
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Oilers

Pajaarvi, 7th For Yandle, rights to Boyd Gordon

Hemsky, Smid For Zach Smith, Cowen

Petry, 2nd, prospect For Couturier

Prospect, pick For Clutterbuck

Ufa - Ranger Ufa - Mike Smith

Hall-Nuge-Eberle Gagner-Couturier-Yakupov Clutterbuck-Smith-Jones Brown-Gordon-Smyth Petrell

Yandle-Cowen Schultz-Schultz Belov-Ranger Fistric

Smith / Dubnyk

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#50 Manfly
June 25 2013, 10:29AM
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Mark-LW wrote:

"The Oilers need to build a team that becomes a consistent playoff contender, not a one-shot wonder, and that type of foundation can't be built in the next 20 days."

The Oilers aren't looking to build a foundation in the next twenty days, that's what the last three years were. They're trying to acquire supporting players. That's a big difference IMO and that difference should be recognized. Rebuilding the bottom of a roster is nothing like trying to build a core of young talented players.

^i think some forget that the Oilers are trying to acquire support players and not necessarily top 6, unless a big, talented body like Nichuskin magically falls to #7. and they have my blessing to take potentially very good support players like Bo Horvat, Curtis Lazar, Kerby Rychel or Ryan Hartman if they trade down while trying to add another piece at the same time. i like the Buffalo scenario of tradng #7 for d-man Sekera and #16. then we could draft a good support player and shore up the "D" in one swoop. would allow us to maybe make a move on Nick Schultz as well.

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