MACTAVISH: NO CHANCE HE'S DONE YET

Robin Brownlee
July 09 2013 11:35PM

With the Entry Draft in the rear-view mirror, the best UFAs already picked over and the Edmonton Oilers wrapping up their development camp, GM Craig MacTavish could pack for Kelowna and spend several weeks doing nothing more taxing than kicking back or slapping around a golf ball.

MacTavish won't slip into holiday mode, of course, and that's because he's not anywhere near satisfied with what he's managed to accomplish in the last few weeks, a period in which he envisioned re-shaping his Oilers at the draft and through free agency in his first off-season in the big chair.

That was abundantly clear when MacTavish, who'd rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around – especially in what he foreshadowed as a summer of "bold moves" – spoke with reporters at the conclusion of development camp.

At a time when a lot of GMs will be retreating to the lake or the golf course or wherever they go to recharge their batteries after rolling the dice on teenagers at the draft and throwing big stacks of money at fading free agents, it says here MacTavish isn't nearly done massaging his roster, or at least trying to. No chance. No way. Take that to the bank.

WHAT HE SAID

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,” MacTavish said. "Then it’s just trying to continue to have those discussions, trying to get another piece that can start to excite me in terms of how our team is shaping together.

"The UFA pick-ups (Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and Jason LaBarbera) are going to really help us. I’d like to do one or two other things before we’re happy."

"Another piece," like a bonafide centre, a top-pairing defenseman or the kind of top-six winger the Oilers pursued in David Clarkson? "One or two others things," like getting that one piece in exchange for a package that includes Ales Hemsky? Not an unreasonable conclusion, given that pulling the trigger on Hemsky is MacTavish's likeliest next move.

"I’m a little frustrated," admitted MacTavish, who has worked the phones every day for weeks and did a long, although ultimately fruitless, waltz with Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren in pursuit of Braydon Coburn on the draft floor in New Jersey.

"I had certain objectives in mind and I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to accomplish all the things I wanted to do."

You can listen to MacTavish's session with reporters here.

THE WAY I SEE IT

While none of MacTavish's acquisitions to this point fall under the "bold moves" he talked about, there's no question he's been in the mix. I'd go as far as to suggest ridding the Oilers of Shawn Horcoff's contract is something of a coup in itself.

I like MacTavish's signing of Andrew Ference, the player, even with the deal being for too much term and too much money. I like what the Oilers get in Boyd Gordon, the player, as long as he ends up being the fourth-line centre. I like the acquisition of Jason LaBarbera as a fit behind Devan Dubnyk.

What I like most is that MacTavish recognizes the moves he's made so far don’t address all the needs and holes in his roster and that, even with mid-July approaching, my bet is he'll spend a lot more time pursuing those needs than reading putts or sipping sangria by the lake. Check the transaction timelines of a lot of GMs, including MacTavish's predecessor here, and you'll see that is not always the case.

Is there still time for bold this off-season? Sure, but MacT will need a dance partner because there's nobody who qualifies as such left in the free agent pool, meaning bold will have to come by way of a trade. Hemsky might be a start on that, but it'll take a package of players because the Czech winger alone won't get MacTavish what he seeks. I'd suggest you stay tuned over the "next little while, short little while."

No chance MacT is done yet.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 toprightcorner
July 10 2013, 01:25AM
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Sorry Robin, I don't think at $9 mill for 3 years was spent on Gordon to be anything but a 3rd line centre. If he was a 4th line centre it would be because he failed as a 3C. A guy like Steckel will be the 4C

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#2 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 10 2013, 07:08AM
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Kinda off topic but I can't believe the Ducks signed Stortini...

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
July 10 2013, 01:12PM
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@OilClog

I'd think you'd be one of the first ones celebrating a deal like this. If it does happen, are you going to switch teams in a show of dissatisfaction? Playoffs would be a certainty with a legitimate No. 1 blueliner.

We're not cutting the cheques, so what concern is it of ours.

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#5 Young Oil
July 10 2013, 12:40AM
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RJ wrote:

I don't think it's realistic to expect MacT to add anyone else. All of the players who'd net the highest returns are young and untouchable: Hall, Nuge, Yak, Ebs & Schultz (plus Klefbom & Nurse).

Hemsky finished 187th in points last season. His last best season was 2008-2009 (66 points in 72 games). I don't see him netting a top-2 defenceman by himself. Pajaarvi & Gagner are also mentioned as trade bait but neither has signed a new contract yet, so whether their trade value isn't clear yet.

Maybe its possible to trade Hemsky in a cap-clearing move, but I don't see a big net return based on his recent performance.

It doesn't seem realistic to expect any big or bold moves going forward, unless MacT is ready to move one of the young untouchables.

Making a blockbuster trade isn't the only option available to improve the team...there are still many free agents out there that will fill holes in our lineup (Jagr, Grabovski, Palmieri), and signing a person like Grabovski will allow us to trade Gagner to fill another hole in our lineup, as will trading Hemsky. We already have our young core in place, so 'bold' moves aren't necessary, just a few smart ones.

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#6 j
July 10 2013, 08:39AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So far you are wrong robin. MacT has over promised and under delivered thusfar.

Even MacT has admitted as much.

It now gets a lot tougher to deliver as the FA pool has largely dried up and the vast majority of owners and GMs have gone on vacation. And as the timeline compresses as we approach training camp and the regular season it could get tougher still as team executives get busy with other things that are not roster change related once vacations are over.

So far MacT has had the annoying habit of compressing his timelines. And he continues to do so:

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,”

Rather than publically set himself up to disappoint fans he should keep mum and save his press meetings for when he makes a roster change or signs a player.

He may have overstated his intentions but that doesn't equate to under-delivering. He (and others) have said that free agency isn't the preferred medium for building a team. Free agents tend to be overpaid/overtermed. The best way to build a team is through the draft and via trades. The draft was reasonable. The off-loading of Horcoff was well played. Now is time for a trade. I don't think this is unreasonable at all. MacT is becoming acutely aware of how difficult the GM game can be but at least he seems to be a quick study and remains astute. No of us would be pleased with a knee jerk move at this point in time. I think his patience and logical approach is credit worthy. Is a playoff team next year the only 'successful' outcome? I'm not sure. 2 years from now? Definitely.

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#7 oliveoilers
July 10 2013, 08:49AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So far you are wrong robin. MacT has over promised and under delivered thusfar.

Even MacT has admitted as much.

It now gets a lot tougher to deliver as the FA pool has largely dried up and the vast majority of owners and GMs have gone on vacation. And as the timeline compresses as we approach training camp and the regular season it could get tougher still as team executives get busy with other things that are not roster change related once vacations are over.

So far MacT has had the annoying habit of compressing his timelines. And he continues to do so:

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,”

Rather than publically set himself up to disappoint fans he should keep mum and save his press meetings for when he makes a roster change or signs a player.

I understand your concern, and like you, would dearly love to play poker against MacT for vast amounts of money. However, I wonder if this is him just being honest? We had no transparency with Tambi. Turned out we didn't need any, because he didn't do anything. He's new, and he's smart and he'll learn. Sometimes there is no conspiracy. At least let's give him a chance.

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#8 GSP
July 10 2013, 09:17AM
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Maybe I am still in denial and in dreamland...but the date that Shea Weber is aloud to be traded is creeping up on us..I believe it is 2 weeks or so away. I wonder if the addition of Seth Jones makes it more possible that nashville considers trading Weber?

If it were me, I would be willing to trade Eberle, Petry and a Dman prospect (marincin or gernat) and maybe a draft pick..In my mind...that is bold.

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#9 Hall Awaits
July 10 2013, 09:42AM
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Kinda makes me wish we drafted the big Russian for second line LW and then signed Grabovski to play second line centre. I like Gagner, I do, but we need more defensive awareness and I don't know if he has that element. Turn Gagner and something else into Kulemin and one of Franson, Gunnarsson or Gardiner.

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#10 EHH Team
July 10 2013, 12:08PM
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@GSP

"Maybe I am still in denial and in dreamland...but the date that Shea Weber is aloud to be traded is creeping up on us..I believe it is 2 weeks or so away. I wonder if the addition of Seth Jones makes it more possible that nashville considers trading Weber?"

No. You are in denial

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#11 mlcselli
July 09 2013, 11:42PM
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I really have no idea what players will be the right fit and match for the roster and dressing room. All I know is that I trust MacT more than any the rest of the mgt, and I believe he wants to add quality, and not sign just for the sake of signing. But one thing I have in common with the GM besides being a fan, is I'm impatient too and really want to see some brawn with skill

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#12 striatic
July 10 2013, 12:02AM
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"I'd go as far as to suggest ridding the Oilers of Shawn Horcoff's contract is something of a coup in itself."

MacT saved a compliance buyout and got a very minor asset in return.

i think whether it is coup or not depends primarily on what use he gets out of the extra compliance buyout.

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#13 RJ
July 10 2013, 12:26AM
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I don't think it's realistic to expect MacT to add anyone else. All of the players who'd net the highest returns are young and untouchable: Hall, Nuge, Yak, Ebs & Schultz (plus Klefbom & Nurse).

Hemsky finished 187th in points last season. His last best season was 2008-2009 (66 points in 72 games). I don't see him netting a top-2 defenceman by himself. Pajaarvi & Gagner are also mentioned as trade bait but neither has signed a new contract yet, so whether their trade value isn't clear yet.

Maybe its possible to trade Hemsky in a cap-clearing move, but I don't see a big net return based on his recent performance.

It doesn't seem realistic to expect any big or bold moves going forward, unless MacT is ready to move one of the young untouchables.

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#14 D
July 10 2013, 01:17AM
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RB,

How many moves left before this team is a playoff contender? And do you believe MacTavish will be able to make those moves this summer (or at least early enough in the season to give the Oil a shot at the 2014 playoffs)?

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#15 bwar
July 10 2013, 02:13AM
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striatic wrote:

"I'd go as far as to suggest ridding the Oilers of Shawn Horcoff's contract is something of a coup in itself."

MacT saved a compliance buyout and got a very minor asset in return.

i think whether it is coup or not depends primarily on what use he gets out of the extra compliance buyout.

Or what he can use that 5.5 mil on.

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#16 Norm
July 10 2013, 02:43AM
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Tick tock, tick tock. Oct. is not far off.

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#17 Ed in Indonesia
July 10 2013, 04:06AM
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MacT has had a very unique style so far.

His initial press conference promise of "bold moves" certainly put a lot of pressure on himself to deliver something. So far he has done a good job (I think)of not agreeing to some ridiculous trade just to something bold (i.e. Schneider trade).

His announcement that Horcoff and Hemsky won't be back was baffling. What results from this announcement other than weakening his hand in any potential deal.

Having said that I thought getting a roster player for Horcoff was an excellent result. I doubt if he will get the same for Hemsky.

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#18 barry.moore23
July 10 2013, 05:26AM
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@RJ

RJ, Not to single you out - I've certainly seen it on this site time and again, but the term 'untouchables' makes me a little crazy. Would we rather have 5 'untouchables' or 1 solid competetive team ?? I love those guys as much as anyone but I wouldn't think putting the future (and present) of our team based on keeping them together is fair to anyone. Thanks.

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#19 K_Mart
July 10 2013, 06:32AM
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GRA-BO! GRA-BO! GRA-BO! GRA-BO! GRA-BO!

Is there any reason Grabovski can't play 2LW? I know he's a centre, and no bigger than Horc, but he's more ready to play 2LW than Ultra Magnus. He can also compete for the 2C spot with Gags having them both play 2/3 C and go to the wing when necessary. Based on that interview, I'm fearful that MacT expects MPS to deliver on the 2LW. (He said Jones fits as the 3LW). I'd much rather have MPS as the 3LW and Jones as the 4LW. That leaves the 2LW spot open for a FA or someone via trade, or even Hemsky, (although I don't believe he's willing to play there.) So he'll likely be traded. How would Hemmer feel about being our 3RW? He would likely still get #2PP time and more offensive opportunities than his line mates. Dont really see Hemsky accepting that spot, but he'd be much less likely to get injured that's certain.

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#20 madjam
July 10 2013, 06:35AM
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Contract dumps almost always is costly to parent club on on ice performance . Most go on elsewhere at a bargain price to whomever picks them up and is an asset to their new team . Shoe on the other foot Example : If we were in market for a 2-4 th line center would we not be thrilled to give up a 7th rounder and a Peckham for a talent like Horcoff despite his contract ? In a nutshell , it would be nice if someone else could give us a deal like that. Such is the nature of the cap but I do not see us taking advantage of it , and possibly getting taken advantage of again with Hemsky .

There's some valuable talent NHL'ers like a LeCavalier and others that would have been nice to add here at bargain prices . We are on one side of that market , but not taking advantage of the other side .

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#21 DonDon
July 10 2013, 07:41AM
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And what is developing on the Gagner negotiation? If it goes to arbitration and results in a $5+ million hit, an overpay, what then?

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#22 wayne
July 10 2013, 08:00AM
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I say package Gagner and Hemsky together along with a D prospect. Gagner's stock is higher than it ever was and he doesn't play a 200 ft game that you need to play center. he is a face-off and defensively liability. this would be a bold move either for 2nd line left wing or center. another would be to go after Brendan Morrow also.

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#23 madjam
July 10 2013, 08:05AM
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DonDon wrote:

And what is developing on the Gagner negotiation? If it goes to arbitration and results in a $5+ million hit, an overpay, what then?

Explore other options I would hazard a guess , which they may be entertaining already .

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#24 Serious Gord
July 10 2013, 08:05AM
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So far you are wrong robin. MacT has over promised and under delivered thusfar.

Even MacT has admitted as much.

It now gets a lot tougher to deliver as the FA pool has largely dried up and the vast majority of owners and GMs have gone on vacation. And as the timeline compresses as we approach training camp and the regular season it could get tougher still as team executives get busy with other things that are not roster change related once vacations are over.

So far MacT has had the annoying habit of compressing his timelines. And he continues to do so:

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,”

Rather than publically set himself up to disappoint fans he should keep mum and save his press meetings for when he makes a roster change or signs a player.

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#25 Dangilitis
July 10 2013, 08:12AM
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Do all arbitrations end in one year deals? I would be curious if the 2 sides could agree on length (e.g. 4-5 years) and then duke it out on price in the 4.5-5.4 million range. Recent signing of Weiss will help our case, hopefully. Otherwise, arbitration would be a colossal mistake.

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#26 LinkfromHyrule
July 10 2013, 08:13AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Kinda off topic but I can't believe the Ducks signed Stortini...

lol wut.

he's definitely having a 30 goal season. Book it

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#27 striatic
July 10 2013, 08:34AM
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bwar wrote:

Or what he can use that 5.5 mil on.

he could have got the 5.5 in cap space by simply buying out Horcoff.

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#28 oliveoilers
July 10 2013, 08:44AM
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striatic wrote:

he could have got the 5.5 in cap space by simply buying out Horcoff.

And an owner simply saying "I had 5.5mill hanging around, now it's gone. Have you seen it, Craig?" So, pay him out with your own money, or trade him for a minor player and let the other team pay him?

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#29 Rick
July 10 2013, 08:55AM
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I reserve judgement on what kind of job MacT is doing until he manages/fails to hone the art of the trade.

Building through free agency and offer sheets has always been a fool quest. He managed some nice complimentary pieces which is a positive but at some point, just like the players, a GM has to show the ability to get things done in multiple ways.

As far as I am concerned one of the best moves he made thus far is walking away from Homer on the rumored Coburn deal. In the end the whole ordeal was described almost as an initiation of the new guy.

What happened was one of the biggest spenders on free agency with the NHL's most trigger itchy owner for changing ended up stuck with no cap space when they could have freed up a couple mil at least.

I would like to think this was a failed deal setting up positive future results.

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#30 TKB2677
July 10 2013, 08:55AM
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Here is a question that I have. What is the offensive expectation of a 3rd line center?

I always thought that a good 3rd line center was good on faceoffs, strong defensively, had a physical element to his game, for sure killed penalties, bring energy and chipped in some goals. Ideally I think the 10-12 goal range is average. Anymore than that and you are getting into the exceptional range. Horcoff had 13 in 2011-12 and 13 in 2009-10 and he got PP time. So if Gordon does all of the above and chips in 10 goals, that means that he's an epic fail as a 3rd line center? Reporters like Brownlee have said for years that "Horcoff is an excellent 3rd line center that just makes too much money. If Horcoff made 3 million, everyone would be happy." SO here we have Gordon who can do everything Horcoff did, makes the 3 million that everyone wants, the only difference is he might score 3 or 4 goals less than Horcoff (remembering that Horcoff was usually on the PP to win draws) and that means that Gordon isn't a 3rd line center.

Am I missing something here because it isn't adding up to me.

Here's another little tid bit to keep in mind. The Oilers second line center - Gagner - has a career high of 18 goals. There isn't a single person in Edmonton that doesn't think Gagner isn't a second line center, the only problem is we all wish he was 3-4 inches taller and 15 lbs heavier. So given that everyone expects your second line center to score WAY more than your 3rd line center, again how is it much of a stretch to say that Gordon isn't a 3rd line center? The last full season 2011-12, Gagner scored 18 goals, Gordon scored 8. In this upcoming season if Gagner scores 20 and Gordon scores 10, isn't that about right?

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#31 Rob
July 10 2013, 09:13AM
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@oliveoilers

I understand your concern, and like you, would dearly love to play poker against MacT for vast amounts of money. However, I wonder if this is him just being honest? We had no transparency with Tambi. Turned out we didn't need any, because he didn't do anything...

That inactivity by Tambi is why he is now a 'stay-at-home' GM. Apparently walking hehind his dog picking uo poop is more in keeping with Tamby's abilities. MacT needs to walk that fine line between over promising and outright failure to get it done. Apparently an MBA isn't the entre into the GM's club he may have thought it was. Some of MacT's rash promises have left him somewhat exposed.

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#32 Benny Botts
July 10 2013, 09:20AM
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GSP wrote:

Maybe I am still in denial and in dreamland...but the date that Shea Weber is aloud to be traded is creeping up on us..I believe it is 2 weeks or so away. I wonder if the addition of Seth Jones makes it more possible that nashville considers trading Weber?

If it were me, I would be willing to trade Eberle, Petry and a Dman prospect (marincin or gernat) and maybe a draft pick..In my mind...that is bold.

Barry Trotz and mgmt with the preds already stated publicly that Seth Jones will playing and being mentored by Weber for years to come. No way, no how Weber is moved.

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#33 oliveoilers
July 10 2013, 09:23AM
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@Rob

Please use entire quote for context. Anything else is just trying to spin what I'm trying to say to suit your point. I believe I finished by saying "At least let's give him a chance."? When we're 30th place in January, by all means let him have it with both barrels.

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#34 DieHard
July 10 2013, 09:40AM
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Dangilitis wrote:

Do all arbitrations end in one year deals? I would be curious if the 2 sides could agree on length (e.g. 4-5 years) and then duke it out on price in the 4.5-5.4 million range. Recent signing of Weiss will help our case, hopefully. Otherwise, arbitration would be a colossal mistake.

I think the real issue is the no-trade clause.

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#35 719
July 10 2013, 09:51AM
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Is there any reason we haven't signed Steckel? I am sure he would take a one year deal at this point. He is good for around 15-20 points, is big, and wins faceoffs. Seems to be the perfect solution to our 4th line centre problem. Unless of course they already penciled in Lander for that role.

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#36 Bushed
July 10 2013, 10:02AM
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Rick wrote:

I reserve judgement on what kind of job MacT is doing until he manages/fails to hone the art of the trade.

Building through free agency and offer sheets has always been a fool quest. He managed some nice complimentary pieces which is a positive but at some point, just like the players, a GM has to show the ability to get things done in multiple ways.

As far as I am concerned one of the best moves he made thus far is walking away from Homer on the rumored Coburn deal. In the end the whole ordeal was described almost as an initiation of the new guy.

What happened was one of the biggest spenders on free agency with the NHL's most trigger itchy owner for changing ended up stuck with no cap space when they could have freed up a couple mil at least.

I would like to think this was a failed deal setting up positive future results.

^ Great comment, Rick.

Great GMs also show patience, vision, and an understanding of the game that goes beyond that of the average (impatient) fan.

Wirtz the Younger in Chicago made an outstanding business decision when he took over his father's Blackhawks; he recognized that in a cap world the team that best manages assets will have the best chance to win (i.e. get the best possible total value out of your team--avoid overpays on $ or term). To do this, you need the best possible GM and scouting staff, and you have to be a "hands off" owner. He hired Scotty Bowman, perhaps the best and most experienced hockey mind out there. The rest is history.

If Katz and/or MacT decide to start spending a lot more on scouting (there's no cap on that, is there?) could it be a source of possible advantage? Hmmm...

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#37 15w40
July 10 2013, 10:03AM
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MacTavish went whale hunting and even had the most bait out there but was turned down for less dough.

I for one am happy because that Clarkson deal could easily blow up big time.

Seems a little weird that Gagner isn't signed yet and that there has been nothing from either camp coming out other than MacT saying "we have made a very fair offer". Makes me wonder if there is a difference of opinion on player worth.

Gagner has the hammer in this case because he can walk for nothing after this year. This contract will be a big deal for MacTavish's resume.

If Gagner is playing hardball, I expect he will be getting shipped out for sure.

If that's the case, expect Grabovski to get signed.

I won't say "book it" though.

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#38 Benny Botts
July 10 2013, 10:07AM
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719 wrote:

Is there any reason we haven't signed Steckel? I am sure he would take a one year deal at this point. He is good for around 15-20 points, is big, and wins faceoffs. Seems to be the perfect solution to our 4th line centre problem. Unless of course they already penciled in Lander for that role.

I like that idea, I also wouldn't mind taking a 1 year flyer on Brad Boyes to see what he can do on your left side moving in and out of the 2nd and 3rd line. I dont think Boyes brings the physical game MacT is looking for though.

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#39 Benny Botts
July 10 2013, 10:13AM
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Robin,

I don't know how much you have seen him play. But what's your take on Drew Stafford? We have all heard the rumblings of him coming here in a swap for Hemsky or something else. People say Stafford needs a change of scenery to get going again, but to be honest I haven't really seen him play that much. Would he be a fit for this young oiler team?

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#40 EHH Team
July 10 2013, 11:02AM
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j wrote:

He may have overstated his intentions but that doesn't equate to under-delivering. He (and others) have said that free agency isn't the preferred medium for building a team. Free agents tend to be overpaid/overtermed. The best way to build a team is through the draft and via trades. The draft was reasonable. The off-loading of Horcoff was well played. Now is time for a trade. I don't think this is unreasonable at all. MacT is becoming acutely aware of how difficult the GM game can be but at least he seems to be a quick study and remains astute. No of us would be pleased with a knee jerk move at this point in time. I think his patience and logical approach is credit worthy. Is a playoff team next year the only 'successful' outcome? I'm not sure. 2 years from now? Definitely.

I agree. Too many posters want everything immediately. I would rather try to address roster needs over a two to three year period. Let's see what we have with players like Klefbom, Belov, and even Paajarvi before dealing them off.

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#41 Rama Lama
July 10 2013, 11:08AM
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Robin you mention that the UFA pool has dried up..........I beg to differ. There are still options there. How would Brad Boyes not help us?

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#42 Craig1981
July 10 2013, 11:09AM
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GSP wrote:

Maybe I am still in denial and in dreamland...but the date that Shea Weber is aloud to be traded is creeping up on us..I believe it is 2 weeks or so away. I wonder if the addition of Seth Jones makes it more possible that nashville considers trading Weber?

If it were me, I would be willing to trade Eberle, Petry and a Dman prospect (marincin or gernat) and maybe a draft pick..In my mind...that is bold.

They paid Weber almost 14million for the 48 game season last year AND turned down 4 1rst round picks not to sign him. So any trade would be worth more than 14 million dollars and 4 first rounders. Gretzky was traded for 15 million and THREE first rounds (plus 2 other players) ........you my friend are in dreamland.

....Eberle, Petry, Marincin are not worth CLOSE to 4 1rst rounders and 14 Million dollars.(even more so when you realize how tight the Preds are for cassh)

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#45 2004Z06
July 10 2013, 11:22AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So far you are wrong robin. MacT has over promised and under delivered thusfar.

Even MacT has admitted as much.

It now gets a lot tougher to deliver as the FA pool has largely dried up and the vast majority of owners and GMs have gone on vacation. And as the timeline compresses as we approach training camp and the regular season it could get tougher still as team executives get busy with other things that are not roster change related once vacations are over.

So far MacT has had the annoying habit of compressing his timelines. And he continues to do so:

"I’m still hopeful that we can get one other thing done here in the next little while, short little while,”

Rather than publically set himself up to disappoint fans he should keep mum and save his press meetings for when he makes a roster change or signs a player.

Anyone in the business world knows that you have to give yourself and others deadlines or else nothing ever gets done. Perhaps Mac T is using the comments as internal motivation?

The fact that he has stated this publically drives accountability. Something this organization has lacked for a long time.

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#46 Rama Lama
July 10 2013, 11:23AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

No need to beg. It's unbecoming . . .

So, list all the Grade A or even Grade B free agents remaining. Now, how many teams could still use help? Are you suggesting the market is flush with options?

Maybe not flush with options, but there are still players available for those teams that are willing to take a chance.

It appears to me that trades have become very hard to do lately or teams unwilling to generally do trades a compared to days gone by.........blame it on the new CBA?

We may have very few options on the trade front that is unless we start talking about one of the young signed players.

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#47 fig pucker
July 10 2013, 11:24AM
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gentleman, ask yourselves this, since 2006 what's our batting aveage when trying to get legitimate top 6 talent or top two defencemen via trade or free ageny? iremember lot's of attempts (heatly, hossa) but i can't recall any successes. corect we if i'm wrong but our success rate on this front seems to be 0%. yet we'll knock offer sheets which got us penner, who despite his lack of work ethic and commitment to fitness at the time was a legitimate 2 line winger. it's had a far greater success rate for the oilers 2006 to present. it also bugs me how people are so worried about over paying via offer sheet or free agency, we've been 7 years out of the playoffs, no top six forward or top two defence man is comming without being over payed. bottom line is we'll have to overpay for a couple of key players to get in the playoffs. once there we can sign players for market value as more of them will look at edmonton as a desirable location.

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#48 nunyour
July 10 2013, 11:51AM
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RJ wrote:

I don't think it's realistic to expect MacT to add anyone else. All of the players who'd net the highest returns are young and untouchable: Hall, Nuge, Yak, Ebs & Schultz (plus Klefbom & Nurse).

Hemsky finished 187th in points last season. His last best season was 2008-2009 (66 points in 72 games). I don't see him netting a top-2 defenceman by himself. Pajaarvi & Gagner are also mentioned as trade bait but neither has signed a new contract yet, so whether their trade value isn't clear yet.

Maybe its possible to trade Hemsky in a cap-clearing move, but I don't see a big net return based on his recent performance.

It doesn't seem realistic to expect any big or bold moves going forward, unless MacT is ready to move one of the young untouchables.

I agree with you,Hemsky is not going to get you much,and the oilers are going to eat some of his contract to even trade him.There many be a deal with a team over the cap,to come yet,some teams have to dump some big dollars.They also have to find some help for Brown,that is too tough a job to do alone.

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#49 Rob...
July 10 2013, 12:06PM
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If Iginla is willing to take a bonus laden contract, I wonder if Dustin Penner would as well. It's a win for MacT if he can 'punish' Penner for underperforming, and a win for Penner if he could shove it up the backside of his critics. He's still a big body and in his last season with the Oilers I did see him stick up for his smaller teammates when he thought they were being roughed up.

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
July 10 2013, 12:34PM
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This could just be the calm before the storm. Craig MacTavish puts his mark on this club with that WOW deal we've all heard so much about on July 24th.

Assets continue to be held in waiting till this deal goes down. Only thing that makes sense to me, with the optics of this so called inactivity.

Should be interesting to see if one of the fab 5 are suddenly dropped from the Oilers marketing/promotions soon.

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