TRAVELLING MEN

Lowetide
January 17 2014 10:40PM

Tyler Pitlick played for the Oklahoma City tonight, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the Barons game against Rochester. He's 2-2-4 in his last five games, and should be close to ready for callup.

EXITING THE SYSTEM?

  • R Ales Hemsky (48, 7-17-24). Veteran winger has injury concerns (good lord) but if healthy (and if Edmonton chooses to trade him) 83 should bring good value.
  • L Ryan Smyth (40, 6-10-16). The elder statesman of the team is having a solid year, and teams may come calling. If the Oilers have no plans to bring him back, this might be his last chance at Stanley. I wonder if LA would acquire him for the run, or perhaps San Jose.
  • D Anton Belov (42, 1-5-6). Big man lacks NHL experience but he's a big body and might be able to help a contender, especially in the eastern conference where they slow play the game.
  • R Ryan Jones (31, 2-3-5). I didn't have him on the list one week ago, but he keeps fighting people. I wonder if Jones fighting comes from an effort to get noticed by another NHL team. Far fetched? Maybe. Jones can score goals from the 4line, and that has value.
  • D Corey Potter (12, 0-3-3). Potter has had injury problems this season, but as a depth defender he might fit and wouldn't cost a lot.
  • D Nick Schultz (48, 0-3-3). Guys like Schultz ALWAYS have value at the deadline, although Schultz has struggled badly of late.
  • G Ilya Bryzgalov (14, 3.27 .902). I'm not certain he's done enough to earn another team's trust, but the pricetag shouldn't be too dear.

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • D Taylor Fedun (30, 5-15-20). College man has had his first NHL cup of coffee and with Marincin's success those OKC boys appear to be able to play defense!
  • R Tyler Pitlick (21, 3-7-10). When he was called up earlier in the year, Pitlick looked very comfortable in the NHL, and coach Dallas Eakins was impressed. Now that he's healthy, a trade or injury could inspire a callup.
  • F Roman Horak (24, 7-9-16). He didn't impress in his first callup, but Horak has significant NHL experience and may get an opportunity in the second half.
  • C Anton Lander (23, 11-11-22). He can play center, help on the PK and given some actual linemates might be able to score a goal or two in his next NHL recall.
  • G Richard Bachman (20, 2.96 .910). The hero of one incredible night of Oiler goaltending early this season has been playing well in OKC. He may get the call if Bryzgalov is sent away.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

A team in the Oilers position must comply—there's no sense keeping a pending UFA if you have no plans to sign them, and the Oilers have a rather long list of possibles. The Barons have already sent Mark Arcobello and Martin Marincin north already this season, there may be room for one or two more after the deadline.

Strong candidates: Pitlick and Fedun.

(Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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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 TSN 1260.
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#51 S4H1
January 18 2014, 01:01AM
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Following the deadline we should only bring up the hard players. I do not adhere to the philosophy that promotes young players with potential to fill air time on a losing hockey team.

Fringe guys like Pinizzotto should fill those emptied roster spots to close the year out.

Tough guys like Pitlick are good too.

Fedun would probably be necessary just to have a third RH Defenseman.

Send Yak down for the rest of the year (If that is still contractually possible). He won't like it, but he could dominate people again and get back some of that boyish enthusiasm.

No Klefbom or ... Jaysus, do we have any skilled prospects?

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#52 MKE
January 18 2014, 01:54AM
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@RexHolez

Just because a body has cancer in it does not mean you throw out the whole body. This team is not in this position because of the assistant coaches.

Lets not over generalize and rationalize like 16 year old girls here.

Or worse yet like flames fans.

What was the last team you led to a cup final?

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#53 RexHolez
January 18 2014, 01:55AM
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MKE wrote:

I don't give a flying crap about Kevin Lowe. I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about CRAIG MACTAVISH. MacT did not create the mess. I'm not giving anything to Lowe. Fire his ass.

I say 8ish years because they drafted in the top 10 several times between 2000 and 2008.

And no, you should actually read what I said. I said this is year 4. No where did I say give Klowe 10 more years. No where did i say wait 8-9 years.

I'm saying if people want to use the chicago model, then we are only halfway through the rebuild. We shouldn't expect to do in 4 years what Chicago did in 8.

Firing everyone is not going to make this change any faster.

but you did say oilers are in year 4 of the rebuild but went on to say it took Chicago 8-9 years because they drafted top 10 for 8 years. so the gagner draft was a top 6 selection so that should add a year to our rebuild then right?

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#54 In the Grease
January 18 2014, 02:42AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I don't know. The Oilers should be much better than they are, and currently the worry is over the top 2lines and the blue (along with goaltending, but I like the new hire).

Terrible answer, I'm not sure. But it fits.

LT, I know you just wrote about this, so isn't coaching now also a major concern for you? I wish that we had a proven NHL vet coach in place - someone with a solid track record - so we could at least get a general sense that it's probably not the coach. I would like to see some stability in that position as much as Gregor, but damn if dude (Eakins) doesn't have a huge vote of NO CONFIDENCE from fans and media alike. I really wanted to believe in him (this coach was apparently a hot commodity) at the start of the season - but rookie GMs make mistakes... like hiring rookie head coaches who turn out not to be the right fit for the team.

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#55 Thumby
January 18 2014, 08:09AM
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Sisyphus wrote:

What's happening? Let's see. To start, I think there is no sense of "Team" on the Oilers. There are a few small cliques, but because there is SO MUCH turnover beyond Hall, Ebs, RNH, there is never even enough consistency in player decisions to allow a sense of team to develope. So you've got a bunch of guys playing like mercenaries, free agents out there. No one knows each other all that well, and they don't particularly seem to like each other.

Add to that as LT explains, that the top guys don't have to play for contracts for MANY years, and that you've tried to rebuild exclusively through the draft, and no wonder things are terrible.

Unfortunately, there aren't any good or easy ways to fix this. You have got to make all of your big trades ASAP. Set a roster, then STICK WITH IT. Allow it to actually gel. What that also means, is you are going to have to pay (overpay to get them to EMD if we're honest) for quality players. No more searching for "value players", because clearly we stink at that. Pay for the good ones, then keep them. And stop this "hall and RNH are untouchable" BS. I'm not saying trade them, but I am saying let them know--they are not immune to being traded away if they can't get it together in EDM. No one should be immune--you can't hold contracts over their heads bc you already signed them LT, but you can at least hold the fact you can send them to Buffalo over their heads.

I wonder if I'd rather be in Buffalo? At least there is a hope of improvement...

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#56 Woogie63
January 18 2014, 08:22AM
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The eastern play-off race is an interesting opportunity for the Oilers' to find a trading partner. Teams 5-12 all are in a very tight battle for a play-off spot.

To my eye Washington and the BlueJacket have enough depth on defence to give up a top dman to get true goal scoring foward.

Our peaking forwards are 4, 57, 14, 93.

I think the conditions are right to trade 14 or 57 to get that dman we NEED.

If we miss Ekblad at this years draft, who knows when you will get another shot at a 1/2 dman.

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#57 Rama Lama
January 18 2014, 10:30AM
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I say keep the call-ups down........everytime they come up they are never put in a position to succeed, usually played out of position, and expected to walk on water.

Leave them down on the farm where we seem to have a great coach, doing great things. Up here they will have to Chop Water and Drink Wood, hardly a recipe for success.

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#58 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 18 2014, 10:36AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I think the Oilers decided to rebuild and basically set about using the draft as their only building block. They didn't acquire any free agents to help, or if they did they were quickly sent away. The club didn't sign a lot of useful college free agents, Tambellini was a disaster in the trade market and we are here.

The catching up is happening now, and I think they are probably fewer pieces away than we think, but then again a top defenseman, a quality center and a two-way winger who can score 15 goals a season (along with goaltending) is still a pretty long list.

Still gonna hang it on tambellini even after Lowe confirmed that he never actually gave up proper GM responsibilities to him?

Not calling Tambellini great or anything like that but to put it on him when it was mostly 6rings making the call seems unfair.

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#59 Gary D
January 18 2014, 02:27PM
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@Walter Sobchak

There's only one person that needs to be fired. Oilers have a talented team. They DON'T have a coach that can bring them together! GET RID OF THE COACH!

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#60 onlyoil
January 18 2014, 06:55AM
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MKE wrote:

Also on Justin Schultz. Dmen take time to develop. So why the hell are we running a guy out of town who has played less then 100 games in the NHL?

The Oilers have sucked for a long time. I get that. But we are in year 4 of the rebuild.

Everyone wants to use Chicago as the model.

Keith took time to develop. Seabrook and Sharp and others took time. These pieces were in place before they ever got Kane or Toews.

Chicago's rebuild took 8-9 years.

If you want to use the Chicago model fine. But compare apples to apples. Edmonton tried to be compete for a few years after 2006.

Should they have tried to rebuild right after Pronger left? Sure. But they didn't.

Again this is year 4 of the rebuild.

Lets not confuse 8 years of sucking with an 8 year rebuild.

I think their 4-5 year rebuild is going to turn into another 4-5 years so 8-10 years, if the fans can stand this gong show that long.

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#61 Steve Tambellini's
January 18 2014, 07:43AM
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OilFanInVan wrote:

If only the Exiting the System list included:

Kevin Lowe Craig MacTavish Scott Howson Rick Olcyk RICK CARRIERE MIKE SILLINGER BILLY MOORES Dallas Eakins Keith Acton Steve Smith Kelly Buchberger FREDERIC CHABOT SYLVAIN RODRIGUE MYLES FEE STEVE SERDACHNY entire pro scouting staff

list courtesy (http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=33068)

and there was an incoming list that included

PHOP who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler GM who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler VPHOP who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler AsstGM who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler Coach who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler Asst Coach who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler Pro Scouts who knows something about hockey and is not a former oiler

just maybe the amazing players we have could blossom into the players that they could be instead of the players they're turning out to be....

You forgot the training staff.

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#62 pelhem grenville
January 18 2014, 08:35AM
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LT...the new movie "Her" features, just the voice of a woman talking the to lead in the movie through a computer and they ... fall in love ... the voice of the woman is ...wait for it ... your Scarlett Johansson...!!!!!!!!!!!!thank me for the heads up later you complex soulful man you!

p.s. loved the piece...Pitlick should be here, er. there. for the rest of the season...but I think you may be on a bit of a stretch that we are only a few pieces away from being a playoff contender...still need a goalie for Scrivens to back up & all hail Seven of Nine

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#63 Oiler Al
January 18 2014, 11:09AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

ORG...is it at all like a problem with the owner himself? I liken D Katz to Charles Wang in NY ... crazy jock sniffers and stupid with money...Wang hires a goalie to do the mixing and matching of players until Tavares and Katz hires a Dman to hire buddy after buddy until Hall...

I have stated right along, that Katz, has his fingers in this mud pie in a big way.

We are all armchair managers, but Katz decided he can be more than an armchair guy, heck I'll buy the team and become the Jerry Jones of the NHL, although I will do it more discreetly . I ll hire a couple of gophers , put a leash on their necks and have some fun running an NHL team.And make a bunch of money doing it.

We all have seen what the gophers have done to this team.

If Katz honestly wanted to have the state of the art NHL / dream team, he would have had competent people in place a long time ago.Let the gophers play in the sandbox.

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#64 Zarny
January 18 2014, 12:54PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I say keep the call-ups down........everytime they come up they are never put in a position to succeed, usually played out of position, and expected to walk on water.

Leave them down on the farm where we seem to have a great coach, doing great things. Up here they will have to Chop Water and Drink Wood, hardly a recipe for success.

You do realize that literally every NHL and Junior team etc uses slogans and mottos right? Get a grip.

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#65 Zarny
January 18 2014, 01:21PM
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Don't see any of the players listed exiting being part of the solution so MacT should get what he can. They won't be bold moves but picks and prospects for the pipeline are never bad. Maybe even an upgrade for the 3rd or 4th line.

It's paramount some of the prospects graduate to the big team. They don't have to play big minutes but LA, Chi, Pit etc all have players like Muzzin, Clifford, Shaw, Saad, etc who are part of solution and not drafted in the top 10 overall.

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#66 Max
January 18 2014, 03:30PM
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At one time, I cried when we lost - my tears dried up. So now I cry when we win - of course, you may have guessed that I don't cry an awful lot any more..............................

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#67 DrunkGuyTy
January 18 2014, 03:10AM
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Seriously though.... Lets say everyone got there wish and Lowe resigns / gets axed, who is out there that would be a potential replacement? Any ideas?

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#68 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 18 2014, 10:50AM
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I have trouble with the Fire Lowe but keep macT. They are of the same mind. Peas in a pod if you will. This organization is sick and needs the management side cut out completely along with all the coaches. Neither lowe nor mact are very good at evaluating talent as they have both proven. Mact as a coach said Glencross was dime a dozen type player, not quite true he is actually quite effective. He said Brodziak was not NHL level talent yet we could sure use him and Chimera another guy he ran out of town.

No one makes perfect calls all the time but consider that Belov was personally scouted by Mact then he ttold us this guy had a shot at an Olympic spot with the russians. IMO Belov has never looked like an elite or near elite. he is just an average looking player at best.

If you are not very good at judging talent then Hockey operations is a place you should not be

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#69 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 18 2014, 10:53AM
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wintoon wrote:

Love to hear all the talk about what this player is worth or that player is worth.

Please bear in mind however that all these players you are talking about play for the -worst- team in the league. They have no cachet as, for example, a Hawk or a Bruin.They have the odor of having played for the Oilers.

This is where knowledgeable hockey guys come from when they say the Oilers over value their players. We do. We've seen them good. Everyone else looks at our record and knows we are blowing smoke.

Trades scenarios look tough. UFA's look tough. No talent in the system. Better draft wisely and often.

If Ference had come from say the panthers or blue jackets I believe you could take a million a year off his contract at least. But when you play for a winner you get certain perks, as it should be.

It is not just drafting wisely, the development is crucial as well. Another thing this team has not done well in a long time

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#70 Oilerz4life
January 18 2014, 01:47PM
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shaddup wrote:

Knob...

:'(

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#71 DrunkGuyTy
January 18 2014, 08:46PM
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@brad

OK - I don't disagree, but you're not gonna leave MacT in charge of the entire hockey commodity. Just askin' all the gurus who they'd bring in? Who's out there you'd want? I would think it would be a simple question seeing as there 5000 people here that are so good at being GM's.

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