GDB -3: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Jason Gregor
September 23 2013 12:29PM

Marc Arcobello and Anton Lander received a wonderful opportunity yesterday morning, when it was announced Sam Gagner is out at least a month with a broken jaw. Had Gagner not been injured, neither one of them would have been playing on the top-three lines, and unless Craig MacTavish picks up a veteran off the waiver wire before next Tuesday, one of Lander or Arcobello will be in the Oilers top-nine on opening night against the Jets.

Boyd Gordon was going to be the 3rd line centre, and it looks like he'll get a chance to play with scoring wingers.

Taylor Hall has played with Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth throughout camp, and they will likely start the season together. So that leaves Jordan Eberle, David Perron, Nail Yakupov and one of Ryan Hamilton, Linus Omark, Tyler Pitlick, Jesse Joensuu and Ryan Jones to play the wings with Boyd Gordon and Arcobello/Lander.

It is not ideal to start the season with your first (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) and second (Gagner) line centres in the pressbox, but that's life in Edmonton.

In a best case scenario Gagner will only be out a month, which means he'd miss ten regular season games, and return on October 24th vs. the Capitals. Nugent-Hopkins is shooting for the final week of October, but the Oilers will not rush him, so he might be able to return on Sunday October 27th vs. the Kings, which means he'd miss 12 games. Again, that is if everything goes well for both, and maybe one of them returns a bit sooner, but that seems unlikely.

Gagner will have surgery tomorrow, and he's going to have a few plates inserted into his jaw. If is mouth needs to be wired shut his recovery will be longer, so we won't know if he'll be out a month or longer until tomorrow or Wednesday.

OPTIONS

What should Craig MacTavish do?

He can go with what he has and hope that Gordon, Arcobello/Lander can fill the void for the short term.

He can look at the waiver wire and grab a serviceable veteran, if one becomes available.

Look at a trade.

Making a trade from an obvious position of weakness isn't ideal. No team is going to trade him a legit top-six centre, unless he's willing to part with one of Eberle, Perron or Yakupov, and I doubt that happens. We rarely see trades in October, mainly because teams want to see what they have.

The waiver wire might be MacTavish's best bet if he is looking for someone with NHL experience.

Some teams have gotten very lucky with waiver wire pickups over the years, and most centres would love the opportunity to come to Edmonton and play with Eberle, Perron, Hemsky or Yakupov.

There is no guarantee someone more proven than Lander or Arcobello becomes available via waivers, so Dallas Eakins will use the next three games to figure out who deserves the best opportunity of their young career, Arcobello or Lander.

It is clear that Arcobello is ranked higher than Lander today after listening to Eakins. he'll have three games to show he's capable of filling the second or third line centre slot for the short time.

It looks like Gordon is going to get an opportunity to play with skilled forwards, and he'll centre Yakupov and Omark tonight.

LINEUP

Omark-Gordon-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Pitlick
Jones-Lander-Hamilton
Eager-Acton-Brown

Ference-Belov
Smid-Larsen
N.Schultz-Fedun

Dubnyk
LaBarbera

RETURN OF THE SMAC....

The Oilers claimed Steve MacIntyre on waivers and he'll be back in Edmonton for the third time. There is no doubt MacIntyre can fight and intimidate, when he's on the ice, but if they only play him four minutes a game I'm not sure how impactful he can be.

I will say this; however, I had four different Oilers walk up to me with a huge smile on their face saying MacIntyre is coming back. There is no doubt the players respect his toughness, but unless the rest of the Oilers players are willing to play team tough, and that doesn't mean just fighting, then MacIntyre will have a hard time policing every player on every team. 

Those who believe having a heavyweight on the bench will stop Zack Kassian from making a dumb play, are just as off-base as those who use Chicago and Detroit as examples of not needing one. The Hawks and Wings are great teams, the Oilers aren't, and until the Oilers start winning they won't get any respect, and teams won't be fearful of their powerplay, because the majority of the game is still played 5-on-5, and the Oilers don't scare anyone at even strength; at least not yet.

The Oilers need more team toughness, not one guy who plays four minutes a night, if they want to properly protect themselves. You can't expect Mike Brown, Ben Eager or Steve MacIntyre to police the opposition, because they don't play regularly enough.

The Oilers need to be more assertive, or MacTavish has to go find some players who have an edge, but also possess the skill to play in the top-nine or top-four. Until that happens, I believe teams will continue to take liberties with the Oilers unless more players decide to show they are willing to stand up for themselves, or have more of a pack mentality. You can't look the other way when one of your teammates is being harassed. It doesn't mean all the Oilers skilled players need to become fighters; they just need to have more players willing to defend one another.

Did Phil Kessel take one punch from John Scott last night? Nope, his teammates came flying in before any serious damage occurred. We all know Scott/Kessel situations are rare, but when all four of his teammates didn't hesitate and come to his rescue, that saved Kessel from a beating, and none of them got injured.

QUICK HITS

  •  Zack Kassian will likely be suspended for at least five games, because the NHL asked, although he didn't go, for an in-person hearing and that usually means a minimum five game suspension. There is no doubt it was a careless play, but I don't buy for a second that he did it because the Oilers don't have a heavyweight. Teams that have heavyweights still suffer injuries. Kassian made a dumb decision in the heat of the moment.

    Hockey is a violent game, and when you have guys skating 30 miles an hour, with blades on their feet, sticks in their hands and body contact is allowed, bad decisions will happen. We need to stop being surprised when a player makes a dumb, split-second decision. We all do it in real life, and often in situations that don't involve competition.

    How many of us have had road rage recently? You freaked, likely over a simple thing, and then started cursing and ofter threatening the person. We all know it is against the law, but that doesn't go through our mind when we are freaking out. We know it is illegal to text and drive, yet most of us still do it.

    Hockey fans and pundits need to stop being shocked or surprised when a player makes a bad or careless decision. Usually they are split-second decisions, and even though the risk of suspension or possible retribution from a tough guy looms overhead, that doesn't go through a player's mind milliseconds before he hits a player.
     
  • The most positive news for Oiler fans coming from the MacIntyre news, and Gagner injury is that Hall is going to play even more minutes according to head coach Dallas Eakins. If Hall is on the ice 21-22 minutes a night, that means the Oilers have a much better shot of winning more games.
     
  • Despite all that I understand why the Oilers got MacIntyre, and I think it was necessary. We all know the Oilers have been pushed around for years, and if having MacIntyre on the bench makes every player even a bit more confident it will be worth it. The key is using him in certain situations to initiate physical play, rather than just respond when the opposition takes liberties on the Oilers. Reacting after the fact isn't going to change anything.
     
  • Anton Belov looked very good in his first game on Saturday. He made some excellent passes out of the zone, and looked solid defensively. It was only one game, but I thought he made a very good first impression.
     
  • Ryan Jones needs to play with more tenacity and competitiveness. Eakins has preached "compete" and Jones, Acton, Lander, Omark and Joensuu all need to show more of it, if they want to be here when the season starts. 

 

 RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR  

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 james_dean
September 23 2013, 12:34PM
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As what kassian said

"great, he cant even skate"

Deterrent? Good grief

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#2 DRUDS
September 23 2013, 12:41PM
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I am a bit depressed by this injury, Arcobello and Lander have been pretty near invisible this camp and Hamilton has been ok but as a third/fourth line centre not second line. I am thinking we need to get someone as we cannot afford to start the season with 10 losses in a row or something like that.

Also I was sad to see the defenceman Hunt get sent down as that guy was awesome for the two games I watched...small but showed a lot of grit and had some offence as well.

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#3 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 12:45PM
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"I had four different Oilers walk up to me with a huge smile on their face saying MacIntyre is coming back."

Enough said , end of argument. Hockey players all appreciate someone having their back.

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#4 CDean
September 23 2013, 12:48PM
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Kassian's comment sums it up nicely, if you can't actually play the game you are a joke

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 12:48PM
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MacIntyre doesn't even need icetime to be effective. Send him over the boards 2 or 3 times a season to send a nucleur type message when required. Let him go Clarkson on a few occasions. Nothing wrong with having that loaded shotgun seated on the bench. 0:00 icetime per evening won't allow teams to take advantage of his Dave Andreychuk type foot speed. Since the NHL is closing the doors on violence, maybe it's time to explore other retaliatory methods. What's the difference. 40 games in the press box, or 40 games suspended during the coming season. Send a message for basically chump change for Katz.

Rather odd he may cost his hunting buddy Ryan Jones his spot on the roster. Jonesy has fallen way short of his commitment to be more physical/intense when extended for another year by MacTavish two months ago.

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#6 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 12:48PM
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james_dean wrote:

As what kassian said

"great, he cant even skate"

Deterrent? Good grief

He sure can punch though. Something I hope Kassian feels next time the teams meet.

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#7 JJ
September 23 2013, 12:54PM
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I wonder who these four different Oilers are. Any guesses?

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#8 VK63
September 23 2013, 01:01PM
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Kessel got punked. Scott wasn't going to rag doll him.. he was toying with him and Kessel and (incredibly) Clarkson fell for it hook, line and sinker.

As for smac. I guess I look forward to a McGratton vs Smac tilt and the 38 seconds of staged anticipation that it will generate.

Smac is locked to the code. he doesn't jump skilled guys, couldn't catch them if he tried and exists solely to square off against the other dancing bear on the ice.

However.

He is a huge beauty in the room. The young lads love him to bits... and watching Louie Debrusk and the other hunting buddies strutting around like peacocks is amusing to be sure.

Welcome back big dog! May Eakins find something in your on ice play that the many others could not.

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#9 TonyT
September 23 2013, 01:03PM
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If Big Mac plays 3 minutes a night, and someone else gets double shifted (i.e. Hall), then I'm fine with that. The last time he played didn't he go right after Clutterbuck (might be wrong), after one of the young guns took a hit. If all he does is lineup against John Scott or George Parros, then we don't need him. But, if he pulls a John Scott and goes after Phil Kessel or Kassian or Clutterbuck regardless of if they oblige him, then that is a "nuclear deterrent" for the opposition.

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#10 Oilers42
September 23 2013, 01:08PM
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Gregor I'm pretty sure the hall line is playing and not actons line tonight because Hemsky did a pre game interview

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#11 Steve
September 23 2013, 01:15PM
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Deterrent players don't need to skate well. They go over the board for maybe 3-5 minutes a game, and it sure as hell isn't score.

As far as Centre goes, I say you keep Gordon on the #3 line like you planned. I know it's a different level of league, but Arcobello had good chemistry with Eberle when they played together in OKC last year. See if they can do it again at the NHL level and adjust as needed from there.

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#12 Craig1981
September 23 2013, 01:20PM
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Gregor, do you think the MacIntyre pickup, will mean the Oilers will be more likely to carry 2 reserve forwards and 1 dman instead of the opposite as people thought before?

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#13 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 01:20PM
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Glad you didn't bury the lede!

The big story today, isn't SMac... but the crippling C depth for the team.

It will be interesting to watch and see if MacT has something up his sleeve. He sounded content to stand pat with his depth. If that's the case, we're in trouble.

There are some options out there. Sub-optimal... but "any port in a storm"

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#14 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 01:24PM
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You know you're in trouble when....

Your head coach says you're in "Dire Straits" down the middle a week before the season starts.

http://youtu.be/kAl5jucOgro

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#15 BURROWSHASCRABS
September 23 2013, 01:26PM
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CDean wrote:

Kassian's comment sums it up nicely, if you can't actually play the game you are a joke

Lets see who the joke is when they(Kassian) are running away from Smac like the little bitch he is.

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#16 Lochenzo
September 23 2013, 01:27PM
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I noticed that Perron took one of the draws on the PP and won. He definitely has the defensive acumen to play centre. Maybe that's bandaid #2 and ask Yak to start the year on the left side. Not ideal because you're asking so many guys to play away from their strength, but might be servicable.

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#17 Craig1981
September 23 2013, 01:28PM
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@Spydyr

I think a lot of the Oilersnation's arguments has extremists trying to argue their extremes (no fighting in hockey OR having a fighter will stop teams from bodychecking your top lines)

IMO its a grey area that is worth the debate. How important is having a player that can only fight, how often should you dress him, do you need a middleweight, should top players drop the gloves, and so on..... those arguments will never end (and are an interesting read when someone puts thought into their opinions)

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#18 Tim in Kelowna
September 23 2013, 01:32PM
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Stauffer reports that Big Mac is coming in much leaner. If that means he's quicker than in the past then he could be valuable on the forecheck (somewhere I think the Oilers have struggled in the past few seasons).

I like this move because Eakins is the head coach. He will demand a lot from Mac, and if he can manage to compete at a satisfactory level and keep his game as simple as possible then this will work out nicely.

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#19 Brian Sutherby Jockstrap
September 23 2013, 01:32PM
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Oilers player need to learn/find ways to defend themselves. Not the point of being Phil Kessel and slashing the other teams, but find ways to bite back. Perron did a good job of this last game when he cheap shot Wiese with a punch to the face.

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#20 Harlie
September 23 2013, 01:32PM
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Good pick-up and I agree on the philosophy of bringing in a deterrent.

Would it have stopped the Kassian play? Who knows, but that's not the point.

The point is that Eakins has stated over and over again that he wants more scrums and 5 on 5 gguys going in to defend each other. Yet, the make up of our team is small and skilled. So saying what to do and doing what he says is against reality.

A big team like Boston can play team tough because they have big guys sprinkled throughout the line up. The Oilers simply don't have those guys.

So if a line is undersized and getting run out of the building, well the next shift Jones, Brown and Big Mac comes out to push around the other teams skilled line up or to pound out their heavy weights.

This is a job that you can;t ask Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Perron etc to do and I don;t know why the heck you'd even want them to.

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#21 JJ
September 23 2013, 01:34PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You know you're in trouble when....

Your head coach says you're in "Dire Straits" down the middle a week before the season starts.

http://youtu.be/kAl5jucOgro

Yea, I guess you could say Snowpants and the Nuge got their... money for nothing.

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#22 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 01:37PM
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Maybe one of the stats guys can help me with this one.

Do you think SMac's shooting percentage will ever return to his 2008-2009 numbers (33.3%) or do you think his career average (14.3%) is more indicative of his level of ability? Admittedly, we're talking about a very small sample size (91 NHL games), so maybe we shouldn't be drawing any conclusions.

On a serious note, 74 of those were with the Oilers. This post made me very sad very quickly.

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#23 Time Travelling Sean
September 23 2013, 01:42PM
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james_dean wrote:

As what kassian said

"great, he cant even skate"

Deterrent? Good grief

I didn't know Kassian could skate either.

Gagner can skate though and we don't have him because of some 4th liner.

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#24 madjam
September 23 2013, 01:44PM
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We need more decent help/depth at center even with Gagner back . Hopfully MacT. acquires one or more on waivers . Have to blame our lineup for last game for getting us run so badly . A little better forsight might have prevented some of it . Functional toughness is expensive and not easily obtainable as Mact. sadly found out .

History has taught us our farmboys have done little to get us positive results over the last several years - we need more and better than that if we hope to get results required to be a contender . Maybe they'll show us more this time , but I have yet to see it from any of them so far . I think Smithson was probably better than the ones presently trying to fill in , and he wasn't much either but could handle the physical and defensive side of things . Unfortunate we let Horcoff get away in retrospect .

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#25 dobkos@shaw.ca
September 23 2013, 01:48PM
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Speaking of over-rated Kassian, Before you beak off brother- you are a thriving success wow.. You can't even contribute playing with the Sedin Sisters. Payback is going to hurt at some point , when the Oil are smacking the Nucks and the game is out of hand , SMAC is going to remember and introduce himself to you. Trust me Zac - He is not Ben Eager.

On another note - is the game on TV tonight at all ?

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 01:53PM
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@dobkos@shaw.ca

Yes, "the" game is on.

6:30 on TSN, Broncos by 24.

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#27 French Toast Mafia
September 23 2013, 01:53PM
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I was listening to Stauffer today and I like the idea of having SMac in against some of the bigger teams. It would be nice for guys like Eager or Brown to be able to take runs at everyone on the Canucks just like they do to the Oilers. I hate watching guys like Kassian and Beiska try and kill Hall every shift. I hope to see Eager, Brown, and Joensue doing the exact same thing with SMac as the insurance on the bench. Tom Sestito isn't going to be doing anything against SMac

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#28 Rotten Ron
September 23 2013, 01:59PM
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TonyT wrote:

If Big Mac plays 3 minutes a night, and someone else gets double shifted (i.e. Hall), then I'm fine with that. The last time he played didn't he go right after Clutterbuck (might be wrong), after one of the young guns took a hit. If all he does is lineup against John Scott or George Parros, then we don't need him. But, if he pulls a John Scott and goes after Phil Kessel or Kassian or Clutterbuck regardless of if they oblige him, then that is a "nuclear deterrent" for the opposition.

He wasnt here when the clutterbuck hall incident occurred. Look up Macintyre vs Staubitz when Staubitz ran MPS

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#29 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 02:01PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Yes, "the" game is on.

6:30 on TSN, Broncos by 24.

My Raiders are still bad and the Broncos are good but 24?

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 02:06PM
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Spydyr wrote:

My Raiders are still bad and the Broncos are good but 24?

It's not so much your Raiders are that bad as it is the Broncos are that good.

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#31 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 02:07PM
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"Omark-Gordon-Yakupov

Joensuu-Arcobello-Pitlick

Jones-Lander-Hamilton

Eager-Acton-Brown"

That's one hell of a preseason lineup! This is the "show me!" lineup.

Grabs some rings boys, your hockey future is on the line!

"Hall is going to play even more minutes according to head coach Dallas Eakins."

Do you have any sense of whether this "Hall at C" experiment is closer to full-time switch? Or, is it still way too early?

"Anton Belov looked very good"

Agreed. I am very curious to see how he responds to more TOI, responsibility and a vet D partner he doesn't have to worry about.

"Ryan Jones needs to play with more tenacity and competitiveness."

Spector seems to think he might get waived:

" Follow Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec MacIntyre comes on to Oilers NHL roster. We predict Ryan Jones will be off it, sooner than later."

any thoughts?

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#32 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 02:08PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

It's not so much your Raiders are that bad as it is the Broncos are that good.

Maybe Kassian will high stick Manning

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
September 23 2013, 02:12PM
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@Spydyr

Zac should have plenty of time now to go to Denver and tape that Sports Select commercial.

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#34 HOFFFF
September 23 2013, 02:13PM
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I would love to see Big Mac make the same statement to start the season like he did against Calgary a few years ago.

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#35 Pucker
September 23 2013, 02:14PM
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I haven't seen any pre-season but IF Eager can consistently play like he does on his best days and IF Brown does the same and IF we can get good support/puck movement in the D-Zone with Smac on the ice, we may have some surprisingly effective players providing some good entertainment during Oiler games.

I'm not a big supporter of the nuclear enforcer but at least it's a baby step and perhaps it will bring about a more aggressive attitude throughout the line up.

I've just watched the Kassian thing. He should get 20 games.

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#36 tileguy
September 23 2013, 02:36PM
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Of course the players are not afraid of a nuclear deterrent, the all have a degree of mach to play the game. You have to make the COACH afraid of the detterent, and you do that by immediately targeting one of there skill guys. You put the big fella on with a couple of skaters that can force any one of their skill guys in a corner and then he gets his face bloddied. The league knows this, the others teams knows this, everybody knows this, a suspension will follow, maybe 5 guys for our good, Kassian will probably get 5 games, big deal, we lost Gagne for 10-20 games. Going after Kasian is STUPID, going after a skill guy makes them all wary, ie the player the coach and the league.

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#37 Walter Sobchak
September 23 2013, 02:41PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

It's like Hartikianen last year Rom, if he's not going to bring some tenacity, be hard on the puck and actually start hitting guys.....ya, then I think he's replaceable.

While I agree with you on S-Mac the team has to get tougher to play against, Jones looks like he's floating out there.

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#38 lostdog82
September 23 2013, 02:48PM
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MacT should make a bold move and trade Eberle. Only one of the kids I would be fine too see go. Only way you get a quality centre man or a top 6 forward with grit. Have to give up something good to get something good.

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#39 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 02:54PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

It's like Hartikianen last year Rom, if he's not going to bring some tenacity, be hard on the puck and actually start hitting guys.....ya, then I think he's replaceable.

While I agree with you on S-Mac the team has to get tougher to play against, Jones looks like he's floating out there.

Harti is off to the races already this season in the KHL.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/23/hartikainen-and-yakimov-leading-the-way-for-overseas-oiles/

I think he would have been an upgrade on all of Jones, Eager, Brown, SMac, Hamilton, Acton and a draw with Omark and Joensuu.

The problem with Jones is that he isn't good enough to play top 6 minutes, but his style of play was never enough for those looking for meat in the bottom of the line up. He just doesn't play that way.

His job is the same as Omark's. They are there to create offence in the bottom of the lineup and fill in as needed for injury up roster. Right now, both aren't doing that very well.

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#40 Mac962
September 23 2013, 02:56PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Yes, "the" game is on.

6:30 on TSN, Broncos by 24.

You are just Brilliant aren't you.

Lol - Raiders shock Broncs...book it. maybe not.

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#41 brian_d
September 23 2013, 02:59PM
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At this point, are we desperate to make a pitch to Connolly/Malhotra?

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#42 Jay Bird
September 23 2013, 03:07PM
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Selling hope to this market will be a difficult job for the team, 1 actual NHL centre until November 1 (Gordon). Based on previous history of the team, look for another top draft pic. I don't care how much selling the team tries to do on the Hope front, 1 actual NHL centre for the 1st month will be hard to recover from. MacT got caught with his pants down on this one, a centre going down for a long period of time in training camp.

Gordon - Only NHL Centre on the team.

Hall will try his best.

When we start looking at the team, and the first word out of your mouth is "But"? I think we know how the year is gonna go!

I hope for the best of course, but have seen this movie before....

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#43 Micbilly99
September 23 2013, 03:12PM
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While I understand that the Oilers need to be "tougher" and I also understand that the current group of players will not become 'tougher' overnight. Hemsky is not going to become this great body checker or fierce 'stickman', nor are any of the Oilers. Current management has not addressed the ‘toughness’ issue with this team and now the only choice they have is to bring in a player like MacIntyre to ‘police’ the opposition. This acquisition is a mere band aid to greater problem. As for Gagne’s injury, well the Oilers were crossing their fingers he didn’t get hurt and that little bit of voodoo didn’t help. So now they don’t have one single legit NHL center in their lineup. Eakins must be pissed. No centers for his 1st year of coaching in the NHL! Now the next guys up had better step up and take advantage of the situation or the Oilers will have a very long year starting with opening night.

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#44 Will
September 23 2013, 03:16PM
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Is too much to ask for guys like Macentyre that in the off season they work tirelessly on things like skating and forechecking. I know these guys know their roles and perform them well, but does that limit their ambition to improve other aspects of their game so they can at least become functional in some capacity.

Laroc for example. He was brutal, but he could chip and chase, win the puck back along the boards, then either freeze it their and maintain possession, or cycle it out. Not great but knowing you could send a guy out their to grind the game pace and the opposition down for a shift here and there was a nice weapon for Mac T.

There should be no reason why a guy like Macentyre can't learn to skate faster / more technical, and get in on a simple forecheck to exert some physical pressure on the other team.

As for the nuclear deterrent, I have yet to see a team not take every liberty possible with the kids. Why do think Gagner has to fight every once and a while, cause the opposition has never been worried about running our skill. What I would love to see is if instead of Smac coming in to fight someone after the fact, he went out and ran their skill players. That has to be where players like Brown and Eagre push back. Hall gets run then so will your guys.

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#45 Geoff
September 23 2013, 03:30PM
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I think the debate between having and not having a pure enforcer shouldn't be argued by whether or not nhl teams need it like detroit or chicago but whether or not OUR team needs it. And since our team is rather soft/well intentioned/pure skill type guys if Smac can play I'm all for it.

Would rather a top 6 player that was an enforcer but that's a trade one of the wonder kiddies scenario. Smac is a cheap pickup and if he goes south /shrug but if he works out smiley faces for everyone =D.

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#46 Rama Lama
September 23 2013, 03:36PM
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If I were the Oilers coach...........I would make it a mandate to not bother running Kasahying sian, Alberts, or Sistito and instead run the Sedins.

You fight fire with fire. Steve Smackintyre can be the deterrent when we are playing against teams that have a true heavyweight. You either hit or get hit.......it's that simple.

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#47 Rama Lama
September 23 2013, 03:37PM
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I meant Kassian.........big thumbs!

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#48 Smokey
September 23 2013, 04:04PM
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I'm not sure what signing SMAC does other then it gives the media types a great interview and someone to entertain the kiddies in the dressing room. Love the guy, he's funny, but honestly, why?

Kassian still makes the cheep hit if SMAC is keeping the bench warm. Zach's got bricks in his head and even if SMAC manages to get on the ice at the same time as Kassian in one of his three 40 second skate abouts, Kassian is strong enough to tie him up.

The Oilers need functional toughness. A Prust, a Neil, a Kenopka who you know can play a regular shift and not get destroyed.

The only way SMAC is useful is if you negotiate to pay him 800000, and you you tell him he's going to loose 200000 to suspensions for jumping the boards.

Who is going he going to fight. Paros? If his presence did not work the first two times why is this different. Pointless move, waste of a roster spot.

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#49 Pajamah
September 23 2013, 04:06PM
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@Jason Gregor

"Those who believe having a heavyweight on the bench will stop Zack Kassian from making a dumb play, are just as off-base as those who use Chicago and Detroit as examples of not needing one."

Please reiterate this to Spec on his way out the door!

Woodguy and him had a discussion on this, and I am firmly in the "good teams don't need them" camp. If, and its a big IF, you can make teams pay for doing stupid things by getting the 2 points, then MacIntyre is useless.

No one is scared of Weise or Kassian, but those guys injured, or atleast attempted to in Weise's case, 2 of our star players. Hemsky or Perron can do what they did (swing a stick and throw a forearm shiver)

The problem with the Oilers is that they don't. Will Acton and Ben Eager only need to get their elbows up next game against the Sedins, and all will be right in the world.

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