An opportunity for Mark Arcobello?

Jonathan Willis
July 26 2013 09:35AM

It’s funny what a change in management can do. A year ago, Mark Arcobello got a bunch of breaks but wasn’t allowed to take advantage of them – because no matter how poorly Chris Vande Velde or Ryan Smyth played at centre, he wasn’t going to get a real opportunity to show what he could do. He landed a single NHL game despite a decimated depth chart and guys playing out of position.

Under the new regime, he may find himself on the opening night roster.

2013

After the trio of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff, the Oilers employed a variety of players at centre:

  • Eric Belanger: 26 games
  • Ryan Smyth: 18 games
  • Anton Lander: 11 games
  • Chris VandeVelde: 11 games
  • Jerred Smithson: 10 games
  • Mark Arcobello: one game
  • Lennart Petrell: one game

There was a desperate need for centres in Edmonton. Lander got hurt, VandeVelde couldn't get any traction with the coaches in an extended audition, and Smyth was a fish out of water. Arcobello got just one game.

2013-14

The Oilers most likely 2013-14 depth chart at centre looks like this:

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Sam Gagner
  • Boyd Gordon
  • Anton Lander

Arcobello has three plausible routes to a spot on the opening night roster.

A Ryan Nugent-Hopkins injury. Nugent-Hopkins may be ready to go on opening night, but off-season surgery means he may not be. If he isn’t ready to go, than Sam Gagner becomes the team’s top centre by default, and the team faces some choices: a) bump Gordon into the top-six and Lander into the top-nine, b) shift a player like Taylor Hall to centre, c) add someone via waivers or trade or d) plug in a Mark Arcobello or Andrew Miller on the second line. The latter seems the most likely of these options, and as Arcobello has professional experience he presumably has an edge on Miller.

Win the fourth-line job. This is a more difficult route for Arcobello because not only does he need to compete with Anton Lander and Andrew Miller, but also with Will Acton. Acton, who failed to hit the 20-point mark in the AHL, can’t touch Arcobello scoring-wise but he has familiarity with head coach Dallas Eakins and he could well win recall the way VandeVelde did in 2013 – by being a better fit for a specific role. The Oilers’ fourth-line centre will almost certainly be an integral part of the penalty kill, and Arcobello’s resume in that department is pretty thin.

Win a press box job. Given the Oilers’ depth on defence, it seems likely that the team will carry eight rearguards and 13 forwards. Arcobello adds scoring and versatility (he plays both centre and right wing) but he needs to top a group that includes Mike Brown, Ben Eager, Ryan Hamilton, Toni Rajala and all those centres mentioned earlier. It’s a tall order.

What He Is and It Means

I saw plenty of Arcobello during the NHL lockout, and I like a lot of what he does. He’s reasonably fast, shifty, has good hockey sense and a wealth of offensive ability; he has both a good shot and strong playmaking skills. He also plays a greasy game – he isn’t a sparkplug the way Jordin Tootoo is, but he goes to tough areas and he doesn’t back down from bigger players. The trouble is that he’s not only undersized (5’9”, 165 pounds) but he tended (at least when I watched him) to cheat for offence. Playing with people like Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi against AHL’ers, that’s not a terrible; against NHL’ers it’s liable to be costly.

Because the team seems content to stand pat at centre, he is the best in-house candidate for promotion to a top-six role if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins misses time to start the year. The Oilers’ decision to stand pat is one that could land him in premium minutes; minutes that could serve as the springboard to an NHL career.

Recently around the Nation Network

Rather than criticize the five-year extension Dave Nonis just landed in Toronto, Steve Dangle looks at the general manager's record and asks commenters to explain what there has earned Nonis his new deal: 

Matthew Lombardi traded to Phoenix for a pick. I liked this deal. Cleared cap room. Hooray. Tim Connolly and Mike Komisarek assigned to the Marlies. Good. Joffrey Lupul locked up to a 5-year contract extension. He battled a lot of injuries, which is worrisome for such a long deal, but Lupul bounces back every time, and has put up some crazy points in this city. Holzer also locked up for another two. Claimed Frazer McLaren off waivers. I would have preferred if Nonis claimed Zach Boychuk or Jussi Jokinen off of waivers, but I won't nitpick. It's a waiver-wire pickup. Mike Brown and Dave Steckel traded for picks. Fine. Ryan O'Byrne acquired for a pick. Whatever.

Click the link above to read more. Otherwise, feel free to read some of my recent pieces:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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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#1 oilers2k10
July 26 2013, 09:39AM
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The only thing that really separates Arcobello from AHL to NHL is his speed. Hopefully he can get there over the summer..

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#2 ubermiguel
July 26 2013, 09:49AM
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He didn't look out of place in his one NHL game so far. I'm rooting for him to get more than a cup of coffee this time around.

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#3 madjam
July 26 2013, 09:51AM
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Arco isn't an NHL caliber defenceman , especially on the first line . Then again , Snowpants hardly qualifies as one and he's on the second line . Too bad MacT didn't pursue my earlier idea of a Sammy for Shea straight up trade , as Nashville could use it to save $ towards the cap .

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#4 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 26 2013, 09:52AM
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@oilers2k10

His size is kind of worrying, he makes our other skilled midgets look like giants. Players that small need to be either fast as hell or very, very shifty.

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#5 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 26 2013, 09:54AM
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@madjam

It's not really funny anymore, faux-madjam. BE BETTER, etc.

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#6 madjam
July 26 2013, 09:57AM
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"Given the Oilers’ depth on defence..."

The Oilers hardly have depth on defence. Belov and Grebeshkov are KHL rejects, Klefbom hasn't even played and NHL game, Larsen and Schultz jr. are both very young and inexperienced, etc etc.. Too say the Oilers are 'deep' on defence is downright deceiving.

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#7 Shredder
July 26 2013, 09:58AM
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madjam wrote:

Arco isn't an NHL caliber defenceman , especially on the first line . Then again , Snowpants hardly qualifies as one and he's on the second line . Too bad MacT didn't pursue my earlier idea of a Sammy for Shea straight up trade , as Nashville could use it to save $ towards the cap .

We've passed on all the Shea Weber trade rumors and any commentary relating to such. Move along.

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#8 OilDieHard
July 26 2013, 10:02AM
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i'd give Arco more than a one game chance to show what he can do....that really pizzed me off that he was never given more of an opportunity last year.

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#9 Ca$h-Money!
July 26 2013, 10:12AM
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@madjam

Belov is a KHL reject? They rejected him? Really? That's weird because I heard he was their best player. I also hear Dmen take a long time to develop so it seems plausible someone could grow to maturity outside the NHL without being noticed.

Is he Shea Weber? Probably not. Could he be Nikitin? Maybe.

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#10 Hayek
July 26 2013, 10:13AM
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Guys like Arcobello need to be given a legitimate chance. Just because he is small, didn't limit him from playing in the AHL, nor should it in the NHL.

I believe the reason more small guys don't play in the NHL is the perception that small guys can't succeed in the NHL, so they aren't given the opportunity.

Arcobello produced at a similar rate to RNH in the AHL.

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#11 oliveoilers
July 26 2013, 10:15AM
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madjam wrote:

Arco isn't an NHL caliber defenceman , especially on the first line . Then again , Snowpants hardly qualifies as one and he's on the second line . Too bad MacT didn't pursue my earlier idea of a Sammy for Shea straight up trade , as Nashville could use it to save $ towards the cap .

You're right. He's a centre.

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#12 Bushed
July 26 2013, 10:19AM
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"The trouble is that he’s not only undersized (5’9”, 165 pounds) but he tended (at least when I watched him) to cheat for offence. Playing with people like Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi against AHL’ers, that’s not a terrible; against NHL’ers it’s liable to be costly."

^^This is the key point.

Nothing against Arco, but if you're that small, your name better be Martin St. Louis or Patrick Kane.

Arco doesn't have that kind of skill, so my guess is that MacT is still working on other options.

I'm curious to see Lander again, with the uptick in his performance at the end of last year, but size and strength are issues there, too.

I don't know what Miller and Acton bring, but it would be a pleasant surprise if either could play with success at an NHL level.

Competition for jobs is great, but if all the applicants fall short of the job description, it's time to fall back on poaching someone from the competitors' ranks (over to you, MacT).

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#13 John Chambers
July 26 2013, 10:23AM
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I hope Arco plays his bag off earning a start in camp while RNH rehabs, then pots some points and looks mean doing it.

We have a one year window we can trade Gagner. If Arco worked out half decently, getting a return for Gags while obtaining a really cost effective 2nd line C would be a godsend.

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#14 LinkfromHyrule
July 26 2013, 10:31AM
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We really need a Madjam filter on this site.

Anyway, someone is going to have to step up in October, that much is for sure. If an internal candidate can do it then great. This situation can represent two things..

1) it's a great opportunity for our depth to get a shot in the big leagues

2) it's a great opportunity for the other teams to kick the crap out of us

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#15 Bushed
July 26 2013, 10:43AM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

We really need a Madjam filter on this site.

Anyway, someone is going to have to step up in October, that much is for sure. If an internal candidate can do it then great. This situation can represent two things..

1) it's a great opportunity for our depth to get a shot in the big leagues

2) it's a great opportunity for the other teams to kick the crap out of us

Props for point #2.

Too funny--I'm still laughing on that one!

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#16 Symbology
July 26 2013, 10:45AM
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madjam wrote:

Arco isn't an NHL caliber defenceman , especially on the first line . Then again , Snowpants hardly qualifies as one and he's on the second line . Too bad MacT didn't pursue my earlier idea of a Sammy for Shea straight up trade , as Nashville could use it to save $ towards the cap .

Perhaps you need to re-read Gregor's post.

http://oilersnation.com/2013/7/24/a-trade-proposers-dream

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#17 Czar
July 26 2013, 10:53AM
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We need a big center like Steckel to create some competion and NHL options in camp. That way if someone like Arco is on the opening night roster they've earned the spot, not because they're our only option.One of these days we're going to wake up to the headline "Oilers sign big centerman" but today is not that day. Now where the hell did I put the Baileys?

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#18 Ducey
July 26 2013, 11:00AM
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At this point MacT likely has some trade irons still in the fire. Coburn for Smid/ N.Schultz or maybe something in the works for the big red dog from LA.

Therefore he has to keep as much cap room open as possible.

If nothing happens then MacT can see how Arcobello, Nuge, and the rest look at training camp. If need be he can add a center off waivers or sort thru whats left on the UFA pile.

No rush.

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#19 westcoastoil
July 26 2013, 11:03AM
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One of the components to winning is having your players believe in the support from coaches and mgmt. Part of that is giving players who are working like hell to get to the show a chance when they have earned it. It would a great story for him and team if he can seize this opportunity and play well.

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#20 Lochenzo
July 26 2013, 11:10AM
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Best thing Mark can do is be a coach's pet. Do everything that Dallas Eakins asks you to do, which would probably be along the lines of winning draws, playing good D, responsible puck management. If Mark realizes that and executes, everyone will be happy.

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#21 They're $hittie
July 26 2013, 11:29AM
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Guys,

GAGNER is not getting traded give it up. He needs to be included in your depth charts going forward.

Arco is a fill in for a second line center he is not a second line center. Trading Gagner and replacing with Arco is a huge hit to any center depth we have.

Belov was not a reject. He was the best and getting a chance playing in the higher tiered league. Guys making the NHL from the AHL are not AHL rejects.

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#22 mr common sense
July 26 2013, 11:38AM
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What would it take to get Brandon Dubinsky? He would be PERFECT.....gritty, fast, experienced, strong, and a bigger man behing Nuge

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#23 Cutterov
July 26 2013, 11:41AM
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If he is in the NHL we are not a playoff calibre team... It's that simple... We have 0 depth and size up the middle and is an area that unless we address, it will be a long wait for playoff hockey, let alone a championship quality team.

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#24 LinkfromHyrule
July 26 2013, 11:54AM
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Bushed wrote:

Props for point #2.

Too funny--I'm still laughing on that one!

lol well, at least we can laugh at our (possible) misfortune! I really hope that October doesn't seal our fate, but who can tell.

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#25 Young Oil
July 26 2013, 12:36PM
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mr common sense wrote:

What would it take to get Brandon Dubinsky? He would be PERFECT.....gritty, fast, experienced, strong, and a bigger man behing Nuge

It would have to be a huge overpay, most teams see just how valuable Dubinski is as a player. He is an ideal second line center. That being said, he is worth the huge overpay. He is a perfect fit for the team, and could be the piece of the puzzle that pushes us into the playoffs.

Kekalainen has gone on record saying he likes small, skilled players with tons of heart, so one would think he'd have interest in Gagner.

I would suggest Gagner and a 1st for Dubinski, and I honestly don't even think that would get it done. Dubinski is a hell of a player.

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#26 WhattaMike
July 26 2013, 12:49PM
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I don't know what the heck madjam is talking about when he ries to explain/says Arcobello is not a high calibre defenceman or that the Oilers do not have depth at defence...so he must be drinking too much or something else...lol.

Anyways, Arco is a definite temp slotted type 2nd to 4th line emergency type basis centre...unless he can do a lot more than was allowed to by the Krueger clan last yr (1 game).

I think there is probable discussion going on today for using that extra buyout choice the Oilers have til later today to use. N. Schultz or other players on the team roster now must be being looked at for this IMO. I also gotta believe that the Oilers are going to look at 3 to 4 centres still available... between now and training camp too... and those are (IMO) Steckel, Peter Mueller, Zack Smith via trade, and also Malholtra. I like that Steckel and Malholtra are great for 3rd to 4th line duties, very good at faceoffs and PK type work too. I very much like that Mueller is big, still 25 and has good to very good offence instincts/talent.

All would be considered cheap and hold strong value if they play to their levels and potential...this coming season. All would make the Oilers much stronger too, especially when this season is a definite play by committee type team and under Eakins new command.

I am happy with the way MacT has been going forward on this so far this summer.

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#27 mr common sense
July 26 2013, 12:49PM
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Young Oil wrote:

It would have to be a huge overpay, most teams see just how valuable Dubinski is as a player. He is an ideal second line center. That being said, he is worth the huge overpay. He is a perfect fit for the team, and could be the piece of the puzzle that pushes us into the playoffs.

Kekalainen has gone on record saying he likes small, skilled players with tons of heart, so one would think he'd have interest in Gagner.

I would suggest Gagner and a 1st for Dubinski, and I honestly don't even think that would get it done. Dubinski is a hell of a player.

id do that deal in 3 seconds. Dubinsky is perfect...he is a bit of a nutter too....i could see him losing his mind and pummeling someone who tried to hit the Nuge...all heart this guy.

weird that kekalainen would say that but heck....lets do the deal quick!

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#28 Rocket
July 26 2013, 12:51PM
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I'll take option c) add someone via waivers or trade.

Wait, are we still talking about Arcobello slotting into the top 6?

*Shudders*

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#29 Young Oil
July 26 2013, 12:55PM
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mr common sense wrote:

id do that deal in 3 seconds. Dubinsky is perfect...he is a bit of a nutter too....i could see him losing his mind and pummeling someone who tried to hit the Nuge...all heart this guy.

weird that kekalainen would say that but heck....lets do the deal quick!

Same here, but the problem is Dubinski might be considered untouchable...or Kekalainen might want something that we consider untouchable as well.

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#30 oilbaron
July 26 2013, 01:06PM
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Its all constructive but at this point are we so focused on the current 'lack' of depth in the Oilers Roster that we are ignoring the potential lack of depth in other teams throughout the league?

How many teams made it into the playoffs last year but fizzled out due to a lack of depth be it at center or D? At least the Oilers have (theoretically) improved the latter

I'd be interested hear opinions.

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#31 WhattaMike
July 26 2013, 01:24PM
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@oilbaron

I agree that there are other teams with lacking depth just as the Oil seem to be at centre.

IMO, the Oilers are in better shape than those who whine or use negative opinions and this is due to the change of defence depth from the #3 to #9 positions on defence.

There is Petry being at #3/#4 if he plays the best he can and the rest follow from 4th to 8th with Ference, Smid, J. Schultz, N. Schultz, Belov, Grebs, Potter, Larsen...then the new kids on the block of Klefbom, Marancin, Fedun.

Centre is a position than can definitely get better with more UFA signings or trades, but it is the defnece and goaltending that keeps the puck out of the net. This is where the Oilers, by Committee under new work systems by Eakins and Acton, will do better this year. if dubnyk can even get down to one more less goal against average per game anbd up his save percentage average by .05 to .10 pts per game...then we got a shot at the 8th playoff seed at least...barring long term injuries or too many at the wrong time.

Can the Oilers improve their player roster? Absolutely. Can they get better and get by this season into the playoffs at 7th or 8thy? Thats likely to surely...but if the new coached team system works and if also they play well all by Committee.

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#32 oilbaron
July 26 2013, 01:26PM
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In that spirit,

Hey Oilersnation Guys, how about a post giving a breakdown on rest of the pacific division teams' top 4 lines and how they'd match up against the Oil?

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#33 David S
July 26 2013, 01:39PM
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oilbaron wrote:

In that spirit,

Hey Oilersnation Guys, how about a post giving a breakdown on rest of the pacific division teams' top 4 lines and how they'd match up against the Oil?

Problem is, you can only say "They'll kick our ass." so many times before people start to get bored with the post.

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#34 David S
July 26 2013, 01:40PM
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Just the possibility of Arcobello in our opening night lineup means MacT won't get any days off in Kelowna this summer.

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#35 oilbaron
July 26 2013, 01:41PM
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@whattamike

I sincerely agree that the new systems under Eakins and Acton will improve the play of this team. I'm even "cautiously optimistic' that it could be the perfect storm and that mixing Eakins systems with the elite talent may result in Edmonton figuring out how to pick other teams apart... eventually (could take a little while). Maybe its unrealistic, but never the less the NHL is evolving and if you don't evolve you die.

I think Dubnyk can improve too... he has the last 3 years, and I think the amount of 'weak' goals he lets in will steadily come down over time. He seems like a professional, but time will tell

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#36 TigerUnderGlass
July 26 2013, 02:10PM
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Am I reading this stuff right? "Gagner and a 1st for Dubinsky"?

"Dubinsky might be untouchable"?

When did this become a prank site? How does a guy who is 8th among CLB forwards at even strength ice time become "untouchable"?

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#37 Joy S. Lee
July 26 2013, 02:13PM
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Hate being a downer, and I know nothing is ever set in stone, but I just don't think Arcobello is good enough for the NHL.

To be honest, I have limited viewings, so I know I could be out to lunch, but...of the couple of viewings that I had, I didn't see NHL tools in his toolbelt, not for a little guy.

Like someone said earlier, Marty St. Louis' skills are pretty evident. Not so much here. I think it's a flight of fancy.

Hope I'm wrong, think I'm right.

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#38 Joy S. Lee
July 26 2013, 02:16PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Am I reading this stuff right? "Gagner and a 1st for Dubinsky"?

"Dubinsky might be untouchable"?

When did this become a prank site? How does a guy who is 8th among CLB forwards at even strength ice time become "untouchable"?

I found this rather shocking, as well, that these people think it would take Gagner PLUS a 1st rounder to obtain this guy. I thought it might be the other way around. Makes me wonder if the world axis has turned.

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#39 DSF
July 26 2013, 02:16PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

@oilbaron

I agree that there are other teams with lacking depth just as the Oil seem to be at centre.

IMO, the Oilers are in better shape than those who whine or use negative opinions and this is due to the change of defence depth from the #3 to #9 positions on defence.

There is Petry being at #3/#4 if he plays the best he can and the rest follow from 4th to 8th with Ference, Smid, J. Schultz, N. Schultz, Belov, Grebs, Potter, Larsen...then the new kids on the block of Klefbom, Marancin, Fedun.

Centre is a position than can definitely get better with more UFA signings or trades, but it is the defnece and goaltending that keeps the puck out of the net. This is where the Oilers, by Committee under new work systems by Eakins and Acton, will do better this year. if dubnyk can even get down to one more less goal against average per game anbd up his save percentage average by .05 to .10 pts per game...then we got a shot at the 8th playoff seed at least...barring long term injuries or too many at the wrong time.

Can the Oilers improve their player roster? Absolutely. Can they get better and get by this season into the playoffs at 7th or 8thy? Thats likely to surely...but if the new coached team system works and if also they play well all by Committee.

Let's be honest here.

You don't know a thing about Eakins "systems" or how they will or will not improve the Oilers.

Remember last season when fans were all atwitter because Ralph was going to motivate the team to be better?

Eakins is an NHL rookie head coach who have never won anything at any level.

There have been just a ton of highly regarded AHL coaches who fell flat on their faces when they moved up to the NHL.

Might be wise to let him get half a season under his belt before pronouncing him the second coming.

As for the defense, it is still lacking TWO top pairing defensemen and a lot of teams have scads of of #3 to #9 D.

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#40 TigerUnderGlass
July 26 2013, 02:17PM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

Hate being a downer, and I know nothing is ever set in stone, but I just don't think Arcobello is good enough for the NHL.

To be honest, I have limited viewings, so I know I could be out to lunch, but...of the couple of viewings that I had, I didn't see NHL tools in his toolbelt, not for a little guy.

Like someone said earlier, Marty St. Louis' skills are pretty evident. Not so much here. I think it's a flight of fancy.

Hope I'm wrong, think I'm right.

St. Louis was so obviously great that he failed to score more than 40 points until he was 27.

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#41 Taylor Gang
July 26 2013, 02:39PM
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Any post talking about Arcobello getting big opportunities in the NHL suddenly makes me pessimistic, I sure hope that's not just me. It reminds me of Tambellini banking on best-case-scenarios again. We should really focus on the event of a crash and burn, as demonstrated last year. Our paper thin depth down the middle was showcased last year, and it doesn't seem like it has improved for this year either. You might not think that's a big deal but faceoffs get you possession of the puck. Odds are, the team with the puck more often wins the game. Again, please tell me I'm not the only one who is thinking this...

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#42 Taylor Gang
July 26 2013, 02:42PM
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DSF wrote:

Let's be honest here.

You don't know a thing about Eakins "systems" or how they will or will not improve the Oilers.

Remember last season when fans were all atwitter because Ralph was going to motivate the team to be better?

Eakins is an NHL rookie head coach who have never won anything at any level.

There have been just a ton of highly regarded AHL coaches who fell flat on their faces when they moved up to the NHL.

Might be wise to let him get half a season under his belt before pronouncing him the second coming.

As for the defense, it is still lacking TWO top pairing defensemen and a lot of teams have scads of of #3 to #9 D.

Lol who was excited about Kruger's hiring? Because I sure wasn't. I don't remember anyone suggesting Kruger was the front runner for the job

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#43 Taylor Gang
July 26 2013, 02:43PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

St. Louis was so obviously great that he failed to score more than 40 points until he was 27.

Don't say that. When you say that, you're implying that Arcobello could be a new St. Louis.

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#44 Taylor Gang
July 26 2013, 02:48PM
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Young Oil wrote:

It would have to be a huge overpay, most teams see just how valuable Dubinski is as a player. He is an ideal second line center. That being said, he is worth the huge overpay. He is a perfect fit for the team, and could be the piece of the puzzle that pushes us into the playoffs.

Kekalainen has gone on record saying he likes small, skilled players with tons of heart, so one would think he'd have interest in Gagner.

I would suggest Gagner and a 1st for Dubinski, and I honestly don't even think that would get it done. Dubinski is a hell of a player.

Why? Why the F@€K do you want to trade Gagner? My god it's people like you who give Edmonton fans a bad name. We just signed him to a fresh deal, he had a great season and you still want to send him packing? What more does he need to do? Why don't we focus on something that actually needs retooling like our bottom 6 or mess of a defensive core?

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#45 TigerUnderGlass
July 26 2013, 03:05PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Don't say that. When you say that, you're implying that Arcobello could be a new St. Louis.

I'm implying nothing other than that anyone who says they knew St. Louis was a great player at 24 is lying.

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#46 oilbaron
July 26 2013, 03:33PM
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@ Unflappable Coach

If faceoffs are so important look at this:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132EDMSASALL&sort=faceOffWinPctg&viewName=summary

Horcoff was a 49% faceoff man this year, while Gordon was 57.3%. Horcoff probably had it tougher, but you still can't deny that it appears to be an upgrade.

Also I have faith that the (still) young Gagner (43.9) and Lander (49.1) will only tick upwards, particularly with Actons help (apparently he was one of the best when he played). Conversely, the aging centers around the league will inevitably get worse in the dot over time.

Also check it out.. Mike brown was 71.4%! I guess that means he won 5 of 7 faceoffs... maybe they should try him out on more puck drops for the 4th line (just talking faceoffs, I know he plays wing)

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#47 oilbaron
July 26 2013, 03:35PM
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And hopefully nuge's faceoffs will come around as he gets stronger...

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#48 Zipdot
July 26 2013, 04:19PM
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Fine, if no one else will say it, I'll be MacTavish here and do the bold thing.

ARCOBELLO = THE NEXT ST LOUIS

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#49 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 26 2013, 04:29PM
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I just wanna see a patented Nuge seeing eye pass through the slot to Hallsy, it's been way too long.

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#50 Pouzar99
July 26 2013, 05:27PM
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JW - If RNH isn't ready to on opening night wouldn't it be better to have Arcobello between Hall and Eberle, rather than Yak and Perron? He has already played extensively with Hall and Ebs in OKC and fit in very well.Who knows if he will find the same instant chemistry with Perron and Yak?

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