WE WAIT

Lowetide
September 29 2013 09:24PM

The Edmonton Oilers have a bunch of guys headed for injured reserve, two on waivers and one incoming from the Dallas organization. The result? Sunday night's 22 healthy bodies may get some company tomorrow morning.

The Oilers plucked two enforcers off waivers this week, Steve MacIntyre early and then the unusually named Luke Gazdic on the weekend. GM Craig MacTavish talked all summer about adding a strong, physical element and the two waiver hires would certainly seem to be enough (some might suggest "overkill" with the possibility of Mike Brown and Ben Eager also being on the roster).

The club also waived two players thought to have made the team (Ryan Hamilton and Phil Larsen) and it's certainly an open question whether one or both will be taken from waivers tomorrow. Larsen specifically impressed during the pre-season and many are surprised this evening at his status.

All of this upheaval leaves the Oilers roster situation a little hazy this evening.

With MacIntyre joining the Nuge, Sam Gagner and Corey Potter on the sidelines (and likely heading for the IR), the Oilers have a 22 man list tonight, and that's one below the max:

  • Goal Devan Dubnyk, Jason Labarbera
  • Defense Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov
  • Center Taylor Hall, Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Will Acton
  • Left Wing Ryan Smyth, David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Luke Gazdic, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Mike Brown

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

MacT and Dallas Eakins clearly felt the club needed a physical element and with MacIntyre and Gazdic added to Eager and Brown that seems like enough. Possible areas of improvement include center (most teams carry 5) and defense (where Grebeshkov and Potter don't appear to be ready).

We'll see. The Oilers could enter the season with the 22 men listed above, but there's certainly a need there in the middle and some interesting players available.

Today, Gazdic. Tomorrow? We wait.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Gary Gradonic
September 29 2013, 09:32PM
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I could take that cat down in two rounds

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#2 Rocket
September 29 2013, 09:35PM
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That seems like a lot of players injured before the season starts. Time for the rest of the guys to step up.

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#4 a lg dubl dubl
September 29 2013, 09:37PM
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My guts tell me* RNH might only be out inside 5 games, and Gagner back by Halloween, it doesn't make sense to me to go with Acton and Arcobello for close to 2 months when all the talk this summer was playoffs. Why not go out and trade or get a wavier wire nhl centerman, then when RNH and Gagner come back deal with the "c" depth then.

*could also be because I ate waaay to much at the keg tonght.

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#5 TayLordBalls
September 29 2013, 09:40PM
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Luke Gazdic has his own section of hockey fights on youTube.

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#6 VK63
September 29 2013, 09:44PM
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Luke whatever being claimed and Ryan Hamilton being waived seems a rather large tell on the place Ryan jones holds in the oilers organizations heart.

Or not.

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#7 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 29 2013, 09:53PM
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@Lowetide

"MacT and Dallas Eakins clearly felt the club needed a physical element and with MacIntyre and Gazdic added to Eager and Brown that seems like enough."

Alternatively, you might say, "a team that sees fit to add MacIntyre and Gadzic to Eager and Brown probably has a poor sense of what constitutes 'enough' and will very likely look to add more meat in the coming days."

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#9 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
September 29 2013, 10:11PM
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Mark Arcobello and Mr. Acton hold the Oilers playoff plans on there young unexperienced shoulders. How the hell did this happen?

Signing Jones to a 1.5 million $ contract when Toronto gets a very good Mason Raymond for 1 mill.

Mr. Dubnyk letting in a weak goal (or two) in the exibition season doesn't breed confidence.

The funny thing is we could be on the top of our division or there for an other lottery pick? It will be interesting.

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#10 Tokenhill
September 29 2013, 10:20PM
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does the cat play center? we definitely need some fist fighting felines.

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#11 Oiler Al
September 29 2013, 10:32PM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

Mark Arcobello and Mr. Acton hold the Oilers playoff plans on there young unexperienced shoulders. How the hell did this happen?

Signing Jones to a 1.5 million $ contract when Toronto gets a very good Mason Raymond for 1 mill.

Mr. Dubnyk letting in a weak goal (or two) in the exibition season doesn't breed confidence.

The funny thing is we could be on the top of our division or there for an other lottery pick? It will be interesting.

Jones,deal makes about as much sense as signing Hemsky to a two year $10 million deal.The again maybe Mac T, didn't know that Jones was going to wear his Turtle Shell onto the ice.

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#12 madjam
September 29 2013, 10:39PM
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They might want to add one more NHL center , seeing as we only have one bonafide one now , and one playing out of position .

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
September 29 2013, 10:43PM
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Hopefully something is in the works, perhaps more than just another waiver pick up.

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#14 oilking83
September 29 2013, 11:05PM
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Would a Cormier be a fit in etown?

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#15 TeddyTurnbuckle
September 29 2013, 11:10PM
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I love the new pick ups. Too bad big Mac got hurt. I see a lot of people complaining about having too many face punchers on this team now and I wonder if these same people want to see the Oilers get physically dominated night in and night out like the last 4 years. To me the biggest joke of the season would be if most of our best players got hurt again and we miss the playoffs because other teams keep taking liberties. People don't realize that the Oilers lineup is quite different to most of the other NHL teams. We have lots of young high end talent that needs at least 3 tough guys patrolling at all times. When you have more young guys than most teams, you need more tough guys than most teams. Its called balance.

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#16 Hammers
September 29 2013, 11:11PM
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Guys this must mean RNH is back in 10 days not a month . Plays on the road and the space is there.

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#17 106 and 106
September 29 2013, 11:38PM
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@Lowetide

Funniest thing on the internet right now - hahahaha.

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#18 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
September 29 2013, 11:46PM
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Some of the players they had in camp where dismissed to quickly during the exibition season? It was very encouraging to see some unknown entities show grit and a lot of heart.But now here we are,trying to plug holes from the scrap heap that is the waiver wire.The cap system adds a little spice to the years crop but lets face it!!Any team hoping for a steal on the waiver wires has more holes in it than swiss cheese.

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#19 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
September 29 2013, 11:53PM
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There's a lot of talk about rushing young players to quickly into the NHL and I for one don't believe it for a second.It's all about the individual you put into that situation.Not that persons inability to do the task.When Darnell Nurse was cut from the team I couldn't believe the Oilers didn't give him a stiffer challenge?He is a very motivated,tough as nails hockey player."Handling with kid gloves" is and was the wrong approach.

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#20 Alex Mathis
September 29 2013, 11:55PM
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To be honest, I'm very confused about the latest moves by the Oilers. Four roster spots are now set with players like Gazdic, Macintyre, Brown and Eager. So what's the plan here? For more than a couple of weekes, the position of Center has been undermanned. But the management is doing next to nothing. On the other hand, a player like Macintyre gets hurt and on the other day, the organisation is reacting and claiming Gazdic. Strange and bizarre!

What's more, Larson had, IMO, a good camp. He did the right things, e.g. moving the puck quickly, playing well in the 2nd PP-line. Meanwhile, Grebs had to go to the IR-list and missed more or less the whole camp. Finally, Eakins was saying something about cap issues, but Larson is earnig less than Grebs or other players...

Confusing...or did I miss anything?

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#21 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 29 2013, 11:58PM
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I give MacT a lot of credit. He's done some nice things in a short time. He also raised my suspicions this week with some head scratching moves. He must know something he isn't telling us. I refuse to believe he accepts the depth of our centers as is, and be ok going into the season like this for what could be an entire month. RNH is back early, and they know it. Has to be.

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#22 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
September 30 2013, 12:06AM
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@Alex Mathis

I would have kept Larson and played him on the wing.He is very defensively aware.He also has a great set of hands and offensive vision.I was a little pissed to see him on the waiver wire today?

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#23 **
September 30 2013, 12:32AM
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Larsen was a salary dump and Hamilton a roster space cleared. My best guess is tomorrow the Oil add a centreman.

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#24 mlcsellil
September 30 2013, 12:38AM
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Let me get this straight. We need size and toughness. We don't sign Fistris, Jones loses his job to McIntyre, and McIntyre loses his spot due to an injury (after only a minute on the ice for a million dollar contract), and then we sign a mystery man that has never seen any NHL action. And still nobody solid in the middle. Only in Oilerville. Good luck boys.

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#25 Big Cap
September 30 2013, 12:51AM
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Dale Weise tried to take our Best players head off with an illegal hit.

Do you want Weise to answer the bell with a 5'11 / 200 pound Middleweight or would you rather have him deal with a 6'4 240 pound monster like Gazdic or Big Mac??

Yes Kassian's stick caught Gagner in the face by fluke, but the intent to just whip his stick around so reckless after taking a Run at Gagner along the boards is a Big Issue. Had Gazdic reminded that goof Kassian prior to puck drop that he'll be around and have to deal with him should Kassian get out of hand or tough with smaller players, would Kassian still be so "brave and tough"

We needed more toughness and the ability to respond to these idiots that take runs at our skilled guys.

You pacifists who don’t believe we need a heavyweight or two need to WAKE UP!

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
September 30 2013, 12:52AM
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Could be something to this RNH coming back sooner rather than later.

If he's not on the LTIR to start the season then he's back PDQ. MacTavish would be nuts to waste a nearly four hundred thousand dollar savings by not putting him there as originally planned. LTIR is 10 games minimum, and well within the anticipated Nov 1st return date.

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#27 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 30 2013, 12:56AM
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Larson had a great camp considering what we were hoping to see out of him. Reuse him on forward? That is interesting. Wouldn't mind seeing that tried in OKC first. His size would be a lot more forgivable on the wing and he would have a defensive conscious you would think. I'd feel more comfortable giving him 5 minutes a night on the 4th than a guy like Smac or Brown that's for sure.

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#28 Smokey
September 30 2013, 12:56AM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

I would have kept Larson and played him on the wing.He is very defensively aware.He also has a great set of hands and offensive vision.I was a little pissed to see him on the waiver wire today?

Usually when I read these comments like playing players outta position I shake my head. Kinda like Peckham could be the next Big Buff except he can't skate worth a damn to make up for how fat he is, as does the previously mentioned specimen. Its like those who say well Pjaarvi can play defence cause he played it when he was fourteen and glides across ice like Kurt Browning. I played beerleague and it was darn hard switch from center to defence. Granted being inebriated did not help matters. Switching any position and actually being successful is difficult. There ain't to many Red Kelly's these days, those closest thing we have had was either Ian White or Buff. Larson can darn well skate, but he should stick to defence. Some team with more brains will hopefully pick him up and give him a legitimate shot, he earned it.

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#29 Harry
September 30 2013, 01:24AM
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Lowetide

Who are these interesting players available that you speak of?

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#30 Tayranchula
September 30 2013, 04:43AM
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Big Cap wrote:

Dale Weise tried to take our Best players head off with an illegal hit.

Do you want Weise to answer the bell with a 5'11 / 200 pound Middleweight or would you rather have him deal with a 6'4 240 pound monster like Gazdic or Big Mac??

Yes Kassian's stick caught Gagner in the face by fluke, but the intent to just whip his stick around so reckless after taking a Run at Gagner along the boards is a Big Issue. Had Gazdic reminded that goof Kassian prior to puck drop that he'll be around and have to deal with him should Kassian get out of hand or tough with smaller players, would Kassian still be so "brave and tough"

We needed more toughness and the ability to respond to these idiots that take runs at our skilled guys.

You pacifists who don’t believe we need a heavyweight or two need to WAKE UP!

This comment should be shown to everyone that thinks fighters/goons/face punchers shouldnt be in the game.

I agree enforcers dont stop plays like Kassians stick swinging incident or Weise's chicken arm from happen all the time but it makes players more accountable for their actions. Especially when those type of players are engaged in a game and letting the other team know exactly what their intentions are if things get hay wire.

The Oilers have functioning toughness now with these pick ups and players they have kept on the roster (Eager/Brown). You cant have a team with all scorers and playmakers on all 4 lines and having some of them play 5 mins a night. It just doesnt work!

No offence but what was Hamilton going to bring to the 4th line that Brown or Eager doesnt. He wasnt going to go out and score enough to justify keeping him in there over those guys. Hamilton isnt an energy guy he is an AHL scorer, not a fourth line run you through the end boards/Im gunna go after your star player type guy.

Look at Vancouver in recent years. They get into these heated series against Boston, Chicago and La Kings. All of those teams have functioning toughness (the Thortons, Paille, Marchand, McQaude, Burish, Ladd, Eager, Bollig, Nolan, King, Brown, Clifford) and then they have the stars that score the goals. The Oilers are trending in having a team with 3 potential scoring lines. They need to beef up and get mean as hell players and gritty/aggitating players to round things out.

Iv played alot of hockey in my time and trust me enfourcers make their voices be heard before and during the game. Hockey needs these type of players.

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#31 Tayranchula
September 30 2013, 04:55AM
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And however says keep Larson and put him on the 4th line should just stop watching hockey. What on earth would he have done on the 4th line?

I say we put Big Mac infront of the net on a powerplay. That would make more sense then putting Larson on the 4th line to float around and accomplish absolutely nothing.

I do agree tho Larson had a fairly good camp (AT DEFENSE). I would have kept him over the train wreck that is Grebs. I cannot stand Grebs. Him and Gilbert on the same team was absolute garbage to witness play hockey.

Look up "Charly Huddy Sucks" video on youtube (post Oilers days) and tell me you dont see Grebs in that video.

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#32 prudham's
September 30 2013, 05:01AM
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You know that old Oiler management way of being in denial about the roster, and leaving it as is? Well there are certain things being done that hint slightly at that strange old atrophy in thinking. I hope the "I've-won-5-Stanley-cups-and-I'm-a-believer-in-the-team-I-already-have-old-boys attitude does seep into Mac and Eakins now or ever.

PS I'm with you on the Larsen being good enough, but the truth about Jones is that it was the right call and shows that incumbent players don't get extra rights, which is a good thing. He skated around really fast and had an offensive season once, but the advanced stats don't like him from what I gather (LT?) As bloggers have said, his style of play might make him look better than the contribution he brings. Nice guy and all that though.

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#33 daddynuke
September 30 2013, 05:05AM
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mlcsellil wrote:

Let me get this straight. We need size and toughness. We don't sign Fistris, Jones loses his job to McIntyre, and McIntyre loses his spot due to an injury (after only a minute on the ice for a million dollar contract), and then we sign a mystery man that has never seen any NHL action. And still nobody solid in the middle. Only in Oilerville. Good luck boys.

I dare you to look up Fistric on HockeyFights.com and then come back and use his name in a discussion about ability to protect young talent. Out-of-position big checks are not the same as protection. Follow that by making a case for the very likable Ryan Jones being on this team when his performance this camp made him questionable for the Barons. I wouldn't be too interested in mixing it up after almost going blind either, but this is a business of bringing what is needed to occupy a roster spot. Neither Fistric nor Jones have much of anything this team needs right now, so they were axed. Easy to question some of the decisions to date but not either of those.

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#34 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 30 2013, 05:43AM
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I'm not advocating Larson at forward really. I'm just using him as an example of a better option than Smac, Brown and probably Gazdic but he gets a pass untill we can see him more. That's how bad Smac and Brown are. Having either on the team means your willing to trade goals against for punched faces. OKC will have no less than 12 forwards that are better players than Macintyre. How Pitlick didnt get a shot before these guys is amazing. Pick a roster player out of a hat in the entire AHL, at any position, and I would prefer him on the 4th because he would have more skill. When MacIntyre plays there are literally fans in attendance who are better players. We might have dodged a bullet with his injury, if this Gazdic can atleast keep up with the play but I'm guessing that wasn't a prerequisite for the job so I'm not holding my breath.

MacIntyre on the power play? Not even in the movies.

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#35 Fresh Mess
September 30 2013, 05:50AM
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Word is, Fistric priced himself out with his salary demand. He signed in California for half of what he was asking here.

Fistric was a number 7 on the NHL's worst defense depth chart. If anything, he needed to take a pay cut from his 1.4 million salary. His demand for a sizable raise is a pretty good indicator that he didn't really want to play for the Oilers.

He signed in Anaheim for 900 grand.

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#36 madjam
September 30 2013, 06:32AM
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Not much on waiver wire other tham a couple of big defenceman like Pardy and Jeff Schultz. Might be tougher and upgrade over a Larsen or Grebs,etc.. Colorado loaded with 7 centers - a deal here perhaps ?

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#37 The Beaker
September 30 2013, 07:04AM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

I'm not advocating Larson at forward really. I'm just using him as an example of a better option than Smac, Brown and probably Gazdic but he gets a pass untill we can see him more. That's how bad Smac and Brown are. Having either on the team means your willing to trade goals against for punched faces. OKC will have no less than 12 forwards that are better players than Macintyre. How Pitlick didnt get a shot before these guys is amazing. Pick a roster player out of a hat in the entire AHL, at any position, and I would prefer him on the 4th because he would have more skill. When MacIntyre plays there are literally fans in attendance who are better players. We might have dodged a bullet with his injury, if this Gazdic can atleast keep up with the play but I'm guessing that wasn't a prerequisite for the job so I'm not holding my breath.

MacIntyre on the power play? Not even in the movies.

Im going to start this by saying I personally dont like MacIntyre in this lineup either.

But to be fair one guy like him in the lineup means guys like Hall actually play more minutes. Add that to the fact that mac alone probably cant do much worse than petrell 5v5 and in being on the ice less anyways that means over the long haul more goals for (increased hall) and the same or less goals against...

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#38 Woogie63
September 30 2013, 07:19AM
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As a group our starting 4 centres and starting 4 left wingers are really quite weak.

Waiver wires will likely provide a player very similar to these names.

Is it too early to panic?

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#39 madjam
September 30 2013, 07:24AM
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Beware McIntyre - video shows (incognito ) A.Semin getting ready to slap you silly .

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#40 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 30 2013, 07:57AM
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@Tayranchula

And however says keep Larson and put him on the 4th line should just stop watching hockey.

I say we put Big Mac infront of the net on a powerplay.

...

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#41 Spydyr
September 30 2013, 08:16AM
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I am all for protecting the kids but what this team really needs is some grit and toughness in the top six a skilled player who also brings some nasty.That and a center or two.Getting the player mentioned above who happens to be a center would be perfect.

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#42 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 30 2013, 08:22AM
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@Spydyr

And rare.

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#43 The Last Big Bear
September 30 2013, 08:43AM
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You know who would have been a quick and cheap fill-in at centre, in addition to probably becoming the Oilers' top centre prospect?

6' 5", 23 year old 1st rounder, Joe Colborne.

Do you know what Calgary had to pay to get him? A 4th round pick.

Edmonton should have been on that kind of deal like a trucker on a donut.

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#44 Spydyr
September 30 2013, 08:46AM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

And rare.

Very rare indeed. It will cost that is for sure.

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#45 rickithebear
September 30 2013, 08:47AM
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BS-IT: Goalies cannot score goals. Gf 50% of wins. Goalies cannot prevent shots on net. 60% of GA the other half of wins. Goalies stop shots. Save% 40 % of GA 20% of wins. .914 is the league average for Goalies. Can you name the goalies who were not below average the last three years? There Save% during that time. 1. Schnieder VCR .929, .937, .927 (.931 avg) 2. lundquist NYR .923, .930, .926 (.926) 3. Rask BOS .918, .929, .929 ( .925) 4. Vokoun FLD, WSH,PIT .922, .917, .919 (.920) 5. Niemi SJS .920, .915, 924 (.919) 6. Dubnyk EDM .916, .914, .920 (.917) 6. Lehtonen DAL .914, .922, .916 (.917) 8. Miller BUF .916, .916, .915 (.916)

all the rest of the starters were below average one year.

My guess is the goalie that faced the 2nd most shots per game in that 3 yr period stands a chance of improving his save % with better defence and reduced shot count.

BS-IT:

I prefer facts not views based on BS IT

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#46 bdiddy18
September 30 2013, 08:58AM
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Tim Connolly - reduced role and better than Acton when the bodies come back from IR

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#47 rickithebear
September 30 2013, 09:03AM
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Fresh Mess: Fistric-potter were the best GA d pair in the Game last year. When we replace that 3rd comp D pair , how do you improve on the best. there was areason we offered over 1M and term to Fistric

I would be much happier with Smid-Petry ( 3rd best ga 1st comp pair last year) Ference-belov (replaces the worst 2nd comp D in the game (N. schultz-J. schultz, -Whitney) Fistric-J. Schultz

Our preseason shot count was reduced by 5 shots/gm versus the last three preseasons. that would be a reduction of.40goals against. I would gladly take less than the league average in shots 28.9 with a better than league average save % goalie. A 3.3 reduction in shots.

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#48 FastOil
September 30 2013, 09:03AM
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madjam wrote:

Not much on waiver wire other tham a couple of big defenceman like Pardy and Jeff Schultz. Might be tougher and upgrade over a Larsen or Grebs,etc.. Colorado loaded with 7 centers - a deal here perhaps ?

Eberle for MacKinnon works for me.

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#49 Ducey
September 30 2013, 09:06AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

You know who would have been a quick and cheap fill-in at centre, in addition to probably becoming the Oilers' top centre prospect?

6' 5", 23 year old 1st rounder, Joe Colborne.

Do you know what Calgary had to pay to get him? A 4th round pick.

Edmonton should have been on that kind of deal like a trucker on a donut.

Colborne is not a good fit for Edmonton. He needs to play top 6 minutes. But in that role he has not produced as well as Arcobello.

He is big but plays on the perimeter (ie soft). He doesn't PK and isn't noted for defense.

His eventual role (once Nuge and Gagner come back) would be as a 4th line C and he doesn't do that well. Thats why TOR got rid of him.

You can bet Eakins didn't go to bat for him either.

He is a better fit for Calgary as they don't really have a 2nd line center (assuming Monohan will be the first line C).

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#50 Batfink
September 30 2013, 09:16AM
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Ducey wrote:

Colborne is not a good fit for Edmonton. He needs to play top 6 minutes. But in that role he has not produced as well as Arcobello.

He is big but plays on the perimeter (ie soft). He doesn't PK and isn't noted for defense.

His eventual role (once Nuge and Gagner come back) would be as a 4th line C and he doesn't do that well. Thats why TOR got rid of him.

You can bet Eakins didn't go to bat for him either.

He is a better fit for Calgary as they don't really have a 2nd line center (assuming Monohan will be the first line C).

Lol, yeah, the same Calgary who's GM said they wouldn't rebuild and wouldn't, how did he put it, "wander the desert." They are screwed. They let aging stars go for nothing, and now every GM in the NHL knows they only have a few assets to move. They WILL be rebuilding via draft, whether they like it or not!

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