SWAY

Lowetide
July 14 2013 12:17PM

The Edmonton Oilers aren't done with roster moves, they have a few holes to fill before September 15th when Craig MacTavish hands off to Dallas Eakins for the fall and winter. A summer full off addition and subtraction leaves the roster with 2 goaltenders, 8 defensemen, 12 forwards and an unsigned Gagner. The roster holes are pronounced and significant, and if we're talking playoffs in 2013-14 they must be addressed.

TOP DRAWER

There are elements of this team that are (in my opinion) top drawer and worthy of the second season. They have a dynamite 1line (Nuge-Hall-Eberle) and an emerging 2line unit (Gagner-Perron-Yakupov) if they can get Gagner signed and Perron's possession stats move with him to Alberta's north country.

I'm also convinced the Oilers 3-7 blueline group will be strong and deep enough to weather the storm. If the 3-4 tandem is Andrew Ference-Justin Schultz and the 5-6 is Nick Schultz-Phil Larsen/Anton Belov/Corey Potter then I think that represents major improvement year over year in that area.

Finally, the goaltending. I think the Oilers can expect the tandem of Dubnyk-LaBarbera to be strong enough to get the club into the playoffs for the first time in a generation (or at least it seems that long) and despite Ryan Miller rumors I expect management is convinced the duo offers enough quality to proceed as is when training camp opens.

MUCH IMPORTANT WORK BEING DONE

Despite many transactions, the top pairing--the most important item--and the 3rd and 4th lines remain in an uncertain state.

The Smid-Petry duo did not have a strong 2012-13 season, much chaos happened on their watch. I think a case can be made that the shortened season, the quick coming together of the roster and systems employed by the new coach probably had something to do with it, but it's also true that given a full season this tandem has played the opposition to a tie in a previous season.

VOLLMAN PLAYER USAGE CHART, 2011-12

This is a Vollman Usage Chart, I call it the Vollman Sledgehammer because it takes my bias and wallops it with a big old Sledgehammer (have you ever seen a man use a Sledgehammer? It's pretty frightening), leaving me with a new view on reality. There is no mercy from the Vollman Sledgehammer, but there is truth. Smid-Petry is in the upper left quadrant and in blue and baby that's a good thing. Can they do it again? I don't know, but it's always wise to bet on someone on the way up as opposed to on the way down. Smid and Petry healthy should certainly have their best days ahead of them.

And if you're going to improve the top pairing, make it a veteran player like Braydon Coburn. I think that's what the Oilers management is thinking--improve this graph (the last full season one) or go with Smid-Petry. Seems wise to me.

THE 3 AND 4 LINES VIA VOLLMAN

This is a graph using last year's numbers applied to this year's 3 and 4 line candidates. Boyd Gordon looks like he's going to earn his money and it is very lonely at the top of this graph. The club also signed Jesse Joensu but his portion of this graph is a mere 7 games and is highly unreliable (I included it as a curio).

What to do with the bottom 6? Improve it.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Craig MacTavish hasn't worked this hard only to lay a Thanksgiving turkey for the fanbase. I think the Oilers can probably get by with the current blue depth chart (doesn't mean they won't improve it, just means if there's nothing out there they can proceed as is) but the bottom 6F needs some help toot sweet. My guess is that Gordon, Smyth, Jones and Brown will be part of the forward group on opening night, with Lander, Joensuu and Eager as possibles for NHL employment.

From here, it looks like the return for Ales Hemsky is extremely likely to be a two-way forward who can join Gordon at the tough end of the Vollman Sledgehammer.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Taylor Gang
July 14 2013, 04:00PM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

Hemsky and Gordon on the third sounds pretty awesome to me. Might be a bit expensive but if we are not going to get anything for Hemsky of significance why don't we just play him and let him walk for free? At the very least wait untill desperation sets in at the trade deadline and teams might overpay. Giving the coaches a legit top 6 option on the third line is a luxury we should look forward to.

As is usually the way with Oiler fans, over paid players get ripped a new a-hole. Probably due to our blue collar roots. My only concern is that Hemmer isn't what we need in our bottom 6. Grit with skill is much more desired in my mind...

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#52 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 04:06PM
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John Chambers wrote:

You're over the cap my friend.

Oiler Domination To Follow

We have 7.7 in cap space now. 10.5 when brown, lander and jj are sent to the minors.

Gagner takes up 5. Grabovski takes up 4, Morrow takes 2.

Hemsky for Umberger we save .5 million in cap space.

We are not over the cap.

To make it less confusing we can trade Hemsky for a cheaper 3rd line checking rw but the lineup is still valid.

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#53 Romulus' Apotheosis
July 14 2013, 04:06PM
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That bottom six needs a lot of work. Nothing keeping or trading Hemsky and signing Steckel can't solve though.

Those two moves would be like a magic face-lift for the bottom 6... If MacT doesn't stop there... we could really be going somewhere.

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As far as sportsnet goes... i don't have a problem with their calling of the game. Quinn has a good voice, knows the players and calls it well IMO... but I find Quinn and Co. are hopeless homers. I wish they'd be a lot more objective.

The real problem with sportsnet is the same as all the other stations (but even moreso)... the pre-mid-post game analysis tables are choc full of crap. I'd start my overhaul there.

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#54 Taylor Gang
July 14 2013, 04:09PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

That bottom six needs a lot of work. Nothing keeping or trading Hemsky and signing Steckel can't solve though.

Those two moves would be like a magic face-lift for the bottom 6... If MacT doesn't stop there... we could really be going somewhere.

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As far as sportsnet goes... i don't have a problem with their calling of the game. Quinn has a good voice, knows the players and calls it well IMO... but I find Quinn and Co. are hopeless homers. I wish they'd be a lot more objective.

The real problem with sportsnet is the same as all the other stations (but even moreso)... the pre-mid-post game analysis tables are choc full of crap. I'd start my overhaul there.

At least they're not Jack Edwards...

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#55 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 04:15PM
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K_Mart wrote:

Read grabo's interview after being bought out, then tell me he'd be willing to play third line centre

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think Grabovksi would get a chance to prove himself as a good fit with Hall and Yakupov or Perron and Yakupov, if he fits than Gagner could be dealt for an asset when Hopkins returns.

Can never have too much depth, talent and trade assets. Worst case scenario we package one of them up for a two way center like Dubinsky.

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#56 Taylor Gang
July 14 2013, 04:21PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think Grabovksi would get a chance to prove himself as a good fit with Hall and Yakupov or Perron and Yakupov, if he fits than Gagner could be dealt for an asset when Hopkins returns.

Can never have too much depth, talent and trade assets. Worst case scenario we package one of them up for a two way center like Dubinsky.

Gagner is good but he thinks hes way better than he is...

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#57 MKE
July 14 2013, 04:28PM
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@Taylor Gang

heaven forbid we have anyone trying to strive to be better..

success starts in your mind. no one ever ended up being better then they thought they could be.

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#58 Taylor Gang
July 14 2013, 04:32PM
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MKE wrote:

heaven forbid we have anyone trying to strive to be better..

success starts in your mind. no one ever ended up being better then they thought they could be.

That's fair enough, but his pride is his downfall.

Eventually when we sign Gagner to a contract with a cap hit upwards of 5.25 million, it will be an overpay. 5.25 million for a small centre who isn't fast, can't win draws, can't play defense and always misses the net. Who knows his contract could be a bargain, it could cripple us, that's just my two bits.

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#59 The Heist
July 14 2013, 04:35PM
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Nuge2Nail: "Elite goaltenders Make average Defenceman look great"

Now imagine if we had say, elite defencemen, how great Dubnyk would look. Like someone else said, he is certainly on an upward curve, getting better and more experienced. Now if we could only increase the skill/experience of our D, like our top pairing like everyone suggests, that would lead hand in hand to success.

Also, try listening to a Philly-Pens game with the Pens feed and you'll appreciate our Debrusk and Quinn a little more. They can at least talk about more than just one player.. cough Sidney cough.

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#60 MKE
July 14 2013, 04:36PM
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@Taylor Gang

I feel even 4.5 would be an over pay for him. You need to get him at a reasonable cap hit. I agree.

ALWAYS misses the net? That would mean he NEVER scores. I get what you mean though. He is what he is

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#61 MKE
July 14 2013, 04:44PM
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You might not be able to get a #1 dman here this year, but I think there is another move to be made before the year starts for a dman that will improve us right now.

I do however think 3 years from now the Oilers will have an exceptional blue line.

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#62 TeddyTurnbuckle
July 14 2013, 04:52PM
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Lowetide I like the changes so far but I agree that a few more moves would put us in playoff contention. I'm ok with our defence if we can't get Coburn. There is room for young defencemen to step up and make an impact. I'd like the Oilers to sign a 4th line center for insurance (Steckle ex...) just in case someone gets injured like last year (ie Horcoff) I'd also like the Oilers to add more toughness. I'd even prefer for them to go overboard on this detail. I'd rather sacrifice skill for toughness even if it means we have 4 goons in the bottom 6. I'm sick and tired of being the softest team in the league and I think the top two lines need a LOT!!!! of back up.

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#63 Jimmer
July 14 2013, 05:04PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

If Teemu Selanne retires I could also see Hemmer going to the Ducks. If we have to eat some of Hemsky's salary/cap hit I don't think it's going to be for a bad contract in return. Make no mistake about it, Stafford's contract is a bad one.

Hemmer (Oilers retaining $1 million of his cap hit/salary) to the Ducks for Daniel Winnick would be a huge score for the Oilers. Great 3rd line right winger, decent size, grit and ability.

Just my opinion.

Like that one too. Either one will work.

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#64 TayLordBalls
July 14 2013, 05:15PM
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great comments.

I'll take another turn at Sportsnet coverage and try to enjoy it. But if not I'll try the PVR idea, thanks.

Don Wittman___ hahahahaha. He was great at calling curling, but not as good at hockey.

Nobody calls a hockey fight like Jack Michaels!

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#65 onlyoil
July 14 2013, 05:22PM
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I like Gene, he keeps the mood light and most nights, kind of needed that when it comes to Oilers hockey. Debrusk is to big of homer for me and I'm a homer, Quinn is good in my opinion, 10x better than Lee on CBC, can't stand the late broadcast. PJ.Stock is a tool and need to go somewhere else like PL. Healy could go with Stock.

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#66 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 05:24PM
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The Heist wrote:

Nuge2Nail: "Elite goaltenders Make average Defenceman look great"

Now imagine if we had say, elite defencemen, how great Dubnyk would look. Like someone else said, he is certainly on an upward curve, getting better and more experienced. Now if we could only increase the skill/experience of our D, like our top pairing like everyone suggests, that would lead hand in hand to success.

Also, try listening to a Philly-Pens game with the Pens feed and you'll appreciate our Debrusk and Quinn a little more. They can at least talk about more than just one player.. cough Sidney cough.

Oiler Domination To Follow

Saying Dubnyk would be elite if he had a true #1 dman, is like sayin Hemsky would be an 80 point player with a true #1 sniper.

Not sure it's true.

Elite goaltenders don't need elite Defenceman to be elite, they just are.

The teams with elite goalies don't have elite Defenceman, except for Nashville.

Luongo, Lundqvist, Kippersoff, Miller, Brodeur, etc over the years have had solid defences with a group of Six 3/4 guys.

I'm not sayin Dubnyk won't take the next step, become an elite goalie for this franchise, I just haven't seen it yet.

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#67 MKE
July 14 2013, 05:32PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Saying Dubnyk would be elite if he had a true #1 dman, is like sayin Hemsky would be an 80 point player with a true #1 sniper.

Not sure it's true.

Elite goaltenders don't need elite Defenceman to be elite, they just are.

The teams with elite goalies don't have elite Defenceman, except for Nashville.

Luongo, Lundqvist, Kippersoff, Miller, Brodeur, etc over the years have had solid defences with a group of Six 3/4 guys.

I'm not sayin Dubnyk won't take the next step, become an elite goalie for this franchise, I just haven't seen it yet.

Umm Boston? They have an elite goalie and an elite dman

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#68 MKE
July 14 2013, 05:33PM
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And so do the kings...

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#69 jonny94
July 14 2013, 05:35PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Perron - Hopkins - Eberle

Hall - Gagner - Yakupov

Morrow - Grabovski - Umberger

Smyth - Gordan - Jones

Ference - J Shultz

Smid - Petry

N Shultz - Belov

Klefbom - Potter

Dubnyk

This is a playoff lineup. Only if Dubnyk plays to an elite level an keeps developing. He plays average like he has the last couple years and our defence is going to struggle, due to lack of confidence. Without elite goaltending we will be exposed for all the holes the lineup has.

I don't know about you but Andrew Ference can be on my team all day long over Potter. Just sayin'

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#70 jonny94
July 14 2013, 05:36PM
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jonny94 wrote:

I don't know about you but Andrew Ference can be on my team all day long over Potter. Just sayin'

Edit: nvm he's on the team, misread it. Doh.

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#71 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 05:37PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Gagner is good but he thinks hes way better than he is...

Oiler Domination To Follow

Tambellini could have signed Gagner for a long term contract for reasonable money.

Now MacT is left cleaning that mess amongst other things.

Problem with Gagner is he's streaky, and inconsistent. Hope he settled for 24/5yrs.

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#72 DN
July 14 2013, 05:47PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

We have 7.7 in cap space now. 10.5 when brown, lander and jj are sent to the minors.

Gagner takes up 5. Grabovski takes up 4, Morrow takes 2.

Hemsky for Umberger we save .5 million in cap space.

We are not over the cap.

To make it less confusing we can trade Hemsky for a cheaper 3rd line checking rw but the lineup is still valid.

Your math is off: FORWARDS Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m) David Perron ($3.813m) / Sam Gagner ($5.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m) Brenden Morrow ($2.000m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($4.000m) / R.J. Umberger ($4.600m) Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m) DEFENSEMEN Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m) Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Jeff Petry ($1.750m) Nick Schultz ($3.500m) / Anton Belov ($1.525m) Oscar Klefbom ($1.244m) / Corey Potter ($0.775m) GOALTENDERS Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m) Jason Labarbera ($1.000m) OTHER Buried: Ben Eager ($0.175m) Buried: Jesse Joensuu ($0.025m) Buried: Philip Larsen ($0.100m) ------ SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $69,831,667; BONUSES: $9,500,000 CAP SPACE (22-man roster):- $709,167

Your reasoning is also off too. First, why would the Oilers go with only 12 forwards? Second, Grabovski probably wouldn't come here is he was only going to play third line minutes. Third, new GMs tend to have more loyalty to the guys that they bring in as opposed to the aging, fringe vetrans already on the team. Thus, despite the salary differences, Larsen and Joensuu are more likely to stay than say Potter and Brown. Fourth, Edmonton is not a choice destination for most players and to get Morrow it would likely require an overpay and more than $2m. Finally, trading Hemsky, who has an expiring contract, straight across for an effective forward such as Umberger, who is signed until 2016 with a lower cap hit, is pure fantasy.

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#73 Todd
July 14 2013, 05:49PM
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Crispy wrote:

My only issue with sportsnet is their over use of the word "carem".

I can live with it once Louis Debrusk gets it dialed in.

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#74 madjam
July 14 2013, 05:54PM
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Any chance Hemsky might pull a Kovalchuk if he's forced to come back here ? In a nutshell trade me or i'm going back home for bigger bucks .

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#75 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 06:06PM
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DN wrote:

Your math is off: FORWARDS Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m) David Perron ($3.813m) / Sam Gagner ($5.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m) Brenden Morrow ($2.000m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($4.000m) / R.J. Umberger ($4.600m) Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m) DEFENSEMEN Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m) Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Jeff Petry ($1.750m) Nick Schultz ($3.500m) / Anton Belov ($1.525m) Oscar Klefbom ($1.244m) / Corey Potter ($0.775m) GOALTENDERS Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m) Jason Labarbera ($1.000m) OTHER Buried: Ben Eager ($0.175m) Buried: Jesse Joensuu ($0.025m) Buried: Philip Larsen ($0.100m) ------ SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $69,831,667; BONUSES: $9,500,000 CAP SPACE (22-man roster):- $709,167

Your reasoning is also off too. First, why would the Oilers go with only 12 forwards? Second, Grabovski probably wouldn't come here is he was only going to play third line minutes. Third, new GMs tend to have more loyalty to the guys that they bring in as opposed to the aging, fringe vetrans already on the team. Thus, despite the salary differences, Larsen and Joensuu are more likely to stay than say Potter and Brown. Fourth, Edmonton is not a choice destination for most players and to get Morrow it would likely require an overpay and more than $2m. Finally, trading Hemsky, who has an expiring contract, straight across for an effective forward such as Umberger, who is signed until 2016 with a lower cap hit, is pure fantasy.

Oiler Domination To Follow

How much above the cap are we on my playoff oilers roster?

I'm confused about the cap, capgeek has us with 7.7 in cap space.

The confusing part of that is elc bonuses no longer count against the cap.

If we have 7.7 and we bring in some bodies and move some out- we should be able to bring in Grabovski. We could sign him and ship out Gagner as soon as Hopkins is back.

Larson and JJ should be sent to the AHL.

Morrow is not that good, just a suggestion or the third line.

Umberger had a horrible year, ridding clb of that contract would be a massive favour by Edm and not my fantasy by any means.

2014 first rounder + Hemsky and Smid for Couturier and Coburn is my fantasy...

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#76 TeddyTurnbuckle
July 14 2013, 06:08PM
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LT would you trade Ganger for the Canuck Zack Kassian?

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#77 DN
July 14 2013, 06:13PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

How much above the cap are we on my playoff oilers roster?

I'm confused about the cap, capgeek has us with 7.7 in cap space.

The confusing part of that is elc bonuses no longer count against the cap.

If we have 7.7 and we bring in some bodies and move some out- we should be able to bring in Grabovski. We could sign him and ship out Gagner as soon as Hopkins is back.

Larson and JJ should be sent to the AHL.

Morrow is not that good, just a suggestion or the third line.

Umberger had a horrible year, ridding clb of that contract would be a massive favour by Edm and not my fantasy by any means.

2014 first rounder + Hemsky and Smid for Couturier and Coburn is my fantasy...

That is your playoff Oilers roster.

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#78 Dangilitis
July 14 2013, 06:13PM
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LT, then why sign Jonesuu to a 2 year contract (and it is one way, I believe) if you plan on having him duke it out for 13F position? What kind of message does that send to the 3rd/4th line wingers? Nobody in that bottom 6 should be assured employment except for Gordon and Hemsky if for some reason he stays.

Important question about Smyth, and its an honest one - where would he be on Vollmann sledgehammer if you isolate the time he played winger last year? I don't think its fair to expect he is going to stay in the red as much when he is employed on the wing. I also know he has lost a step, but I strongly believe he is better at handling the toughs than Jones. If the 3rd line next year happened to be Smyth Gordon and Hemsky, I would be pissed off because it means MacT did nothing to address 3rd line, but it would be a better employment of talent than Jones, Gordon, Jonesuu and in my opinion those two lines aren't even close. Agree or disagree?

I hear NJD are honing in on Brunner. He is an expensive 3rd line option if he is truly seeking 3-4 million per season, but he would be an upgrade on Hemsky (IN THE 3rd line W role) and still be at a reduced cost. Would you trade Hemsky for a 4th line center like Zack Smith + 2nd rd draft pick just to get Hemsky's 5 mil off the books... IF you knew you had all but signed Brunner to take his spot at 3.5 mil per season? Then you suddenly have Smyth-Gordon-Brunner Jones-Smith-Jonesuu/Brown

Then sign one of Morrow, Cleary, or Prospal to a 1 year deal as stop gap.

Morrow/Cleary/Prospal-Gordon-Brunner Smyth-Smith-Jonesuu

Is that bottom 6 good enough? It depends a bit too much on Oilers ability to sign a veteran, I'll admit, but I would be satisfied.

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#79 OILERSORDREATH
July 14 2013, 06:20PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

LT would you trade Ganger for the Canuck Zack Kassian?

Hell Goddamn no!

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#80 Oiler Al
July 14 2013, 06:25PM
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Jprime wrote:

Perhaps you should have not have used "us fans" before asking for other fans perspectives.

I have no problems with Kevin Quinn and Gene Principe. Gene does a bang up job interviewing the players; nothing wrong or upsetting about his puns at the introduction of the game. Quinn's overtime calls on Cogliano's consecutive goals were legendary.

That being said, he is no Bob Cole, but then again, there will never be another Bon Cole. I'd rather listen to Kevin Quinn than to the other completely biased CBC play by play.

You want to kick dirt? The embarassing CBC panel thats consists of: Healey, Weekes and PJ Stock is the worst hockey related panel in the industry. Hell, they make Pierre tolerable.

So, no - I don't have a problem with what SportsNet has to offer considering the options on other competeing networks.

Totally agree with JPrime, CBC has the worst inbetween period shows in all of hockey... including some of the awful stuff that happens in the States.

First off Coaches Corner is the biggest joke,Cherry has totally lost the plot, reading from cue cards with 3 inch graphics. Mumbles and bumbles about irrelevant stuff. And you are right with the Studio 42 crew. PJ Stock , along with Healy should be kicked out on the street.

Kelly Hrudy as a color man, is NHL's idea of watching paint dry... the guy is out of his realm.

Sports Net guys are all homers, but Quinn and DeBrusk are OK, and better than the guys in Calgary and Vancouver. John Garett is the worst. I think the guy makes up stuff, thats not even on the ice.

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#81 Rod from Viking
July 14 2013, 06:51PM
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@Dangilitis

I think Cleary resigned with the Wings

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#82 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 06:58PM
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MKE wrote:

Umm Boston? They have an elite goalie and an elite dman

Oiler Domination To Follow

I was just listing goalies who have been elite for half a decade or more.

I don't consider Rask in that class yet, he's more in the Price, Bobrovksy class.

I don't consider Doughty elite, since he had such an offseason and hasn't been the same since he signed his big contract. Plus I think he played #3 minutes during the playoffs this year.

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#83 nuge2nail
July 14 2013, 07:06PM
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DN wrote:

That is your playoff Oilers roster.

Oiler Domination To Follow

We have depth on wings, center, a decent defense and goaltending duo.

You got any better ideas?

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#84 MKE
July 14 2013, 07:54PM
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@nuge2nail

Ill give you Doughty. Rask played at an elite level this last year and for 2009/2010. Guys at an elite level are elite. Sometimes that lasts for 2-3 seasons. Sometimes longer. But Rask is an elite goalie at this point

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#85 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
July 14 2013, 08:04PM
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At least the SN boys dont use the term "bounce pass"(GOD I HATE MARK LEE). When did a Basketball term get involved with our great game? I HATE IT and the next time Lee uses it, he should be FIRED.

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#86 Pouzar99
July 14 2013, 08:21PM
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The Sportsnet crew are like my wacky cousins from Buttkisser Bluff. Lame, but hey, you can choose your friends but never your relatives or local team broadcast team. My pet peeve is Glenn Healy. What a mouthy, Edmonton -hating turd.

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#87 The Heist
July 14 2013, 08:32PM
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@nuge2nail

Nowhere in my comment did I say a #1 defenceman would make dubnyk elite. I purely just meant imagine if we had elite defence in general terms. Guys who cleared the net better, forced perimeter shots and closed up the slot, that kind of thing.I'm referencing bad spells like Schultz jrs second half, learning curve of smid/Petry tandem etc.

Now back to reality, our defence is still young, assuming Schultz senior leaves, our oldest is smid at 27 or ference at 29? Not sure just guessing, guess belov is around there too. My point is, they're gonna get there, and with some of the guys in our pipeline, we should be by all accounts "elite" in two seasons. I hope.

I'm as hopeful as iv ever been. Lets go oil

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#88 madjam
July 14 2013, 08:43PM
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Worst comment of several announcers is " so and so team comes out in numbers , they got the numbers" ! Right , they forgot the other team and their names , often even our own . Flames announcers so bad , and slanted bias, it takes long minutes before one can decipher which team they are playing against or any opposition player mentioned , and almost never with a name . One thing they are good for , is taking the excitement out of the game .

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#89 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 14 2013, 08:46PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

The Sportsnet crew are like my wacky cousins from Buttkisser Bluff. Lame, but hey, you can choose your friends but never your relatives or local team broadcast team. My pet peeve is Glenn Healy. What a mouthy, Edmonton -hating turd.

30th, 30th, 29th and 24th place finishes, should lead us to believe his criticisms were accurate, no?. Hope only sells for so long. It's good to have a realist like Glenn Healy to call a spade a spade. Is it not warranted after what we've been forced to watch here these last 7 yrs? Makes me sick that management has passed this off as their best effort.

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#90 Joel
July 14 2013, 09:17PM
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If you guys are gonna talk about bad announcers/broadcasting people can I throw in my vote for the worst as mark Spector? I hate that guy. He is so anti-oilers, how he ever got a job that has to do with the oilers in any way is beyond me. Half the time he ends up talking about the wrong player or the wrong plays. He is terrible

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#91 Taylor Gang
July 14 2013, 09:47PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Tambellini could have signed Gagner for a long term contract for reasonable money.

Now MacT is left cleaning that mess amongst other things.

Problem with Gagner is he's streaky, and inconsistent. Hope he settled for 24/5yrs.

Moves like that proved Tambellini wasn't a championship calibre GM

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#92 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
July 14 2013, 10:07PM
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@Joel

What is it with that subtle sarcastic laugh Spector adds after he makes a statement? Seems to appear after the oddest of statements.

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#93 EHH Team
July 14 2013, 10:19PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Tambellini could have signed Gagner for a long term contract for reasonable money.

Now MacT is left cleaning that mess amongst other things.

Problem with Gagner is he's streaky, and inconsistent. Hope he settled for 24/5yrs.

How do you know that Gagner would have signed for a reasonable price?

Maybe he was looking for $5M+ per year on a multi-year deal.

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#94 Hair bag
July 14 2013, 10:28PM
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bumboclate(In MacT we trust!) wrote:

i think we should make a move for phaneuf. I listen to oilers now and the toronto media was pretty harsh. could we trade nick shultz straight across? just 1 yr at 6.5mil doesnt seem that bad

What about Fransen out of TO? He had a pretty good season....thoughts?

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#95 MKE
July 14 2013, 10:46PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

30th, 30th, 29th and 24th place finishes, should lead us to believe his criticisms were accurate, no?. Hope only sells for so long. It's good to have a realist like Glenn Healy to call a spade a spade. Is it not warranted after what we've been forced to watch here these last 7 yrs? Makes me sick that management has passed this off as their best effort.

Or part of a plan. They have the high end talent they need to win. And people will tell you that's the hardest thing to get.

So now they need the pieces around those players to win. I have full faith in MacT and it will have been worth the wait.

It didn't happen over night in chicago either

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#96 MKE
July 14 2013, 10:49PM
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There is a reason people don't want phaneuf. The guy is a cancer in the room.

He is not the guy you have around if you want a winning culture. Toronto made it to the playoffs one year.

He's been part of a few teams that have had winning seasons. But he's never been part of a winning culture in the NHL

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#97 RJ
July 15 2013, 02:18AM
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Maybe I've missed it somewhere in all of the free agent hoopla, but is there a write-up anywhere about any of the OKC kids making the jump to the NHL next year?

You've got a coach who made his bones in player development. Seems only logical to me that you give some of the young big centers in OKC a chance to play in Edmonton next year.

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#98 Horseradish
July 15 2013, 04:56AM
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Something kind of just dawned on me.

Why not have 3 lines that can play tough minutes and produce? Dilute the talent, so to speak?

Hall RNH Yakupov Joensuu Gagner Eberle Perron Gordon Hemsky Smyth Lander Jones

Moreover, it makes a lot more sense this way of 3 two-way lines (or more realistically, Line1 two-way, Line2 offensive, Line3 two-way) in terms of picking up free agent talent than it does with the conventional 2 scoring lines and "checking" line.

With the conventional model, there aren't many options left for checking line forwards on the UFA market. It would necessitate a Hemsky swap for 3rd line help, it seems.

And then they basically spend one of the major bullets they have to help get them top-4 d help, plus they would still be missing a 4th line C.

If they play to their roster strengths and, say, sign Penner or Grabovski for 2nd/3rd line W, they'd still have Hemsky to play a two-way role on the 3rd line, OR use him along with N. Schultz and/or picks to pick up another top-4 d-man. -----

For me though? I'd rather see them try to improve this bunch as much as possible through signings. There is still too much of a talent hole to only improve the team through trades. Trading usually helps solid teams that have a luxury at one position and a hole at another. The Oilers aren't at that place yet.

My choice picks for improving the holes that remain on the team would be thus:

-Top-4 d-man: sign Tom Gilbert. -Top-9 winger: sign Dustin Penner or Mikhail Grabovski. -4 line C: David Steckel. (of course, sign Gagner.)

And then call it a day and see how the Oilers go to start the season.

Hall RNH Eberle Perron Gagner Yakupov Penner Gordon Hemsky Smyth Steckel Jones Limbo: Brown, Joensuu, Eager, Lander, Omark

Smid-Gilbert Ference-J. Schultz N. Schultz-Petry Limbo: Belov, Klefbom, Larsen, Potter

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#99 DN
July 15 2013, 08:36AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

We have depth on wings, center, a decent defense and goaltending duo.

You got any better ideas?

No one is knocking the roster in those terms. The problem with it is that it's over the cap and thus unworkable. In theory, your additions are all fine, just too expensive.

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#100 nuge2nail
July 15 2013, 08:39AM
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EHH Team wrote:

How do you know that Gagner would have signed for a reasonable price?

Maybe he was looking for $5M+ per year on a multi-year deal.

Oiler Domination To Follow

This year would be considered a break out type year for Gagner.

Hence why he will want and rightfully deserves more money on a new contract.

Anyone with any common sense would realize that Gagner would have been much cheaper to sign last year instead of now.

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