BLUE ON BLUE

Lowetide
January 19 2014 07:25AM

The Edmonton Oilers have Jeff Petry just past 200 NHL games, Justin Schultz in the 90s and Martin Marincin just past a baker's dozen. The club also has Darnell Nurse ripping up junior, and a large number of prospects posting improving arrows in the AHL. How many of these kids can they develop in the next two seasons?

BUBBLING UNDER!

Corey Pronman's Top 50 Prospects (paywall)

  • 8. Darnell Nurse, D, Edmonton Oilers: He wasn’t chosen to be on Canada’s team for the WJC, but I don’t think that is indicative of where Nurse is as an NHL prospect — he brings a ton to the table. He’s big, mean, a great skater and is pretty effective in both ends of the rink. His decisions aren’t always perfect and his shot could be a little better, but he’s a top-end prospect.

  • Willis: Klefbom has had struggles this year, but it does seem like he’s turned a corner. No other player on the blue line, or even on the team for that matter, has a wider gap between where he was at the start of the year and how he’s played the last few games. Taylor Fedun has been excellent throughout, Martin Marincin has made progress and Martin Gernat and David Musil have both evolved, but only with Klefbom have the strides been so large.

 

  • Dallas Eakins on Martin Marincin: " he’s a young kid trying to get his feet wet, he has played excellent for us, he’s had a great number of games in a row where on some nights he’s maybe been our most consistent and solid D."

  • Todd Nelson on Martin Gernat: “We're starting to see the offensive side to him. With these young guys it's always a work in progress. They have to learn all the things about going through their first pro season and try to develop some consistency.”

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

These are good young prospects, but they won't all turn out, and even the ones who do won't end up playing the heart of their careers as Oilers. Some 40+ years ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs had an enormous number of young and talented defensemen who all arrived at basically the same time.

1970-71 Toronto Maple Leafs

That's an insane group of young players, six of those guys were considered to be good to outstanding prospects at the time. The Leafs should have employed most of these men through the 1970s, but the WHA came along and raided most of them. By 1973-74 though, Toronto had recovered.

1973-74 Toronto Maple Leafs

I think there's a lesson here, even without the Godless WHA raids. Defensemen, like objects in your rear view mirror, may be closer than they appear (Marincin being an example) and may also be a mirage.

The odds of Edmonton ever employing a top 7D of Ekblad, Nurse, Petry, Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom and Gernat are zero. Some will flush out because of injury and some will be sent away for other needs.This extreme cluster development in a short time also clouds Dillon Simpson's future—the Oilers have an outstanding NCAA prospect who may get blocked in the pro organization. Or he may, as I'm suggesting is possible, be one of the young men who ends up staying while others depart the scene.

It is an impressive group, and this season has some very good arrows.

(All 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 Team 1260.
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#1 papler
January 19 2014, 07:31AM
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Now THAT is some nice stickhandling!

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#2 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
January 19 2014, 07:38AM
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And with the first overall pick the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts.

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#3 Oneeye
January 19 2014, 07:40AM
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We'll it would be nice to see a lot of these young guys on the team, the reality is we need help in 2014/15 season. We will run out of years with our supposed high end talent or they will want out. Let's sell high for a change rather than wait for the "Gagner" to occur.

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#4 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 07:40AM
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I know he's not really classified as a prospect because of his age, but why no Fedun in that list? Id gladly take him over Petry right now.

If you could LT, who on that list would you put in a package for a top 2 dman? Excluding Ekblad obviously.

Myself it'd be Gernat, Shultz and Petry

EDIT: Not all in one trade, those 3 would just be my choices to offer up.

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#5 -30-
January 19 2014, 07:45AM
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A ray of hope in an otherwise horrible organization.

Let's not POISON these kids by sending them up into the boiling cauldron of dysfunction that is the Edmonton Oilers.

This team still needs a couple of solid and dependable defencemen who can mentor these kids and keep them in line when they lose their way.

-30-

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#7 Serious Gord
January 19 2014, 07:51AM
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Trade the pick and some of the prospects for experienced 1/2 line defense and forwards. The team cannot afford to wait for these wet behind the ears Defensemen to develop and there isn't enough value in the expendable oil players to get back what the team needs.

That is a horrific - Sophie's choice type of predicament to be in and someone should be held accountable for it, but like Sophie, not choosing means far worse consequences.

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#8 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 08:11AM
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Morning, suckers. You all figured that this team would have somehow developed in the past few seasons, right? Wrong. You see this "hockey" franchise is simply a money maker for Darryl & I. We put together a business plan to suck money out of Edmontonians and figured hockey would work. Rest assured: I will fire Eakins when I feel some pressure but Bucky and Smith will stay on forever. If attendance drops, we are moving to Seattle.

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#9 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 08:17AM
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bullcrap

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#10 Sketchy
January 19 2014, 08:37AM
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What stage of the rebuild are we in??

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#11 Manfly
January 19 2014, 08:44AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Trade the pick and some of the prospects for experienced 1/2 line defense and forwards. The team cannot afford to wait for these wet behind the ears Defensemen to develop and there isn't enough value in the expendable oil players to get back what the team needs.

That is a horrific - Sophie's choice type of predicament to be in and someone should be held accountable for it, but like Sophie, not choosing means far worse consequences.

i wouldn't be trading the pick now because A) it's going to be too damn high and B) we've already traded our 2nd and 3rd rounders. keep and make the pick and use a few of our roster players as trade bait for what we need. my 2 cents.

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#12 Manfly
January 19 2014, 08:45AM
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Sketchy wrote:

What stage of the rebuild are we in??

apparently, this is the 4th year.

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#13 Loweblows
January 19 2014, 08:45AM
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Is it just me or does it appear that the Oilers are getting worse with every game? Eakins must go now before more damage is done! I see no point keeping Eakins as he is doing more damage than good for this team. Sick of edmonton media supporting this clown. Brownlee and all should stick to writing fluff stories.

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#14 Sammy27
January 19 2014, 08:51AM
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@BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

And with great humility and embarrassment,yet again, with the first overall pick the Edmonton Oilers…..

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#15 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 08:56AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I didn't include Fedun because of age. I do think he's going to get a callup and could have a career, though.

As for who I would package? My keeper list goes Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, so it would be Gernat, Simpson, Musil, Fedun, Belov etc.

Oh, and I saw your post. I would consider trading Justin Schultz for a more complete defenseman.

Thanks for the response! Im still hoping Musil can keep working on his foot speed, he sounds like a sloid stay at home dman with a nasty edge to his game.

Has Simpson been signed yet? if not wont he go back into the draft this summer?

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#16 K_Mart
January 19 2014, 08:56AM
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Well, there's quite a few bullets in the chamber: Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom, Fedun, Musil, Gernat, Simpson, maybe Ekblad....... We really need 2 of these young men to become #1-2 d men in the NHL for the Oilers.

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#17 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 08:58AM
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Manfly wrote:

apparently, this is the 4th year.

Darryl & I never use the term "rebuild". Rebuilds are not necessary when our tier one fans keep our coffers full. As an example, if a so called rebuild was required we would have picked one of six excellent defencemen available in the first round in 2012.

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#18 tileguy
January 19 2014, 09:00AM
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NHL rule:

A player who has lost or broken his stick may only receive a stick at his own players’ bench or be handed one from a teammate on the ice. A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to teammate on the ice. A player may not participate in the play using a goalkeeper’s stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.

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#19 dougtheslug
January 19 2014, 09:05AM
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I wonder if the NHL brass are getting a little sick of the top picks in the NHL draft, their future stars, end up in Edmonton where they wither and die in the hopelessly incompetent loser environment here.

Or do they even care?

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#20 dougtheslug
January 19 2014, 09:10AM
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By the way, Lowetide, I don't know what the example of the !970-71 Leafs is supposed to mean to us long suffering Oiler fans, but it is 44 years later and the Leafs still haven't been back to the Stanley Cup Final.

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#21 Lofty
January 19 2014, 09:10AM
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Sketchy wrote:

What stage of the rebuild are we in??

Acceptance... we still suck

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#22 Spydyr
January 19 2014, 09:15AM
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So one day years down the road if most of the prospects pan out the team might have a defence.

Talk about selling hope. I' m sick of Kool-aid.Trade one of the kids and some prospects and get a legit number one defencmen.

You draft the BPA and move pieces to fill holes as needed.The time has come to fill the cavern on defence.If not at the deadline then this summer.

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#23 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 19 2014, 09:18AM
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tileguy wrote:

NHL rule:

A player who has lost or broken his stick may only receive a stick at his own players’ bench or be handed one from a teammate on the ice. A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to teammate on the ice. A player may not participate in the play using a goalkeeper’s stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.

Look again Tile Guy

That game is European

Still, A great move tho.

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#24 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 19 2014, 09:20AM
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Lofty wrote:

Acceptance... we still suck

Denial....We cant finish last overall AGAIN can we?

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#25 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 09:23AM
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Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate wrote:

Denial....We cant finish last overall AGAIN can we?

Doesn't matter where the Oilers finish in the standings. What matter are the revenues to Darryl & I. If the revenues decrease we will move the team so... the fans are our hostages.

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#26 Lofty
January 19 2014, 09:32AM
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Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate wrote:

Denial....We cant finish last overall AGAIN can we?

with the number of games buffalo has in hand, its a very really possibility.

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#27 D
January 19 2014, 09:39AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I wonder if the NHL brass are getting a little sick of the top picks in the NHL draft, their future stars, end up in Edmonton where they wither and die in the hopelessly incompetent loser environment here.

Or do they even care?

They probably do care. The league as a whole would be better off with Taylor Hall playing in Chicago, LA, NY or Boston than being buried with a loser organization in Edmonton. The NHL is a content-sales business, and their bottom line is helped with stars being in markets that create national and international buzz.

If the Oilers were firing on all cylinders like they were in the 80s, it would be a different scenario. Then the league could create a story around all the winning in a smaller media market. But losing in a small media market? The NHL should consider putting Edmonton's draft lottery ball in the freezer to ensure it doesn't get selected first.

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#28 Oil Vice
January 19 2014, 09:47AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I know he's not really classified as a prospect because of his age, but why no Fedun in that list? Id gladly take him over Petry right now.

If you could LT, who on that list would you put in a package for a top 2 dman? Excluding Ekblad obviously.

Myself it'd be Gernat, Shultz and Petry

EDIT: Not all in one trade, those 3 would just be my choices to offer up.

Given Fedun's leg injury they decided to give him lots of ice time in an important role to get him back to where he was prior.

Its also a bit of a numbers game. If the Oil attempt to trade any of their dmen prospects they'll get better return on the players who were drafted or have played in the NHL. Fedun is undrafted and has a couple (really solid) NHL games on his resume. These facts don't garner much return in the trade market. I think management realizes they're better off keeping him and growing the other assets in the short term.

Fedun is ready...they should make room for him. A guy his age to make it to the NHL undrafted and have a horrific injury as he did and make it all the way back again?!? ...We all know the story...

We NEED that kind of pure WILL, WORK ETHIC and FOCUS on our team!!

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#29 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 10:00AM
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Eakins in an interview for the Journal earlier: "When I started the interview process with the Oilers and other teams, it was you’re a rookie NHL head coach, would you consider bringing on somebody of NHL calibre?" See? I told you we have no need for a NHL class coach. The cash is coming in non-stop, and alot of it. A monkey could coach this franchise and the sucker fans would pour in every home game to a sell-out.

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#30 Sketchy
January 19 2014, 10:01AM
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To me it looks like we're in the stage of the rebuild where you're just accepting that your team sucks and that a rebuild is needed. I'm gonna start calling next season year 1 of the rebuild

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#31 PimKing
January 19 2014, 10:03AM
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@BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

o wait, right, darryl makes a last minute change and we draft another small forward yaaaayyyyyy!!

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#32 Littleconer
January 19 2014, 10:10AM
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I'm going out on a limb here and calling out Steve Smith for the crappy defensive "system" (or lack thereof) we've witnessed this year. To me, the red flag went up when Eakins theorized the team didn't understand zonal defence. Of course, it could be that Eakins was talking through his hat.

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#35 CMG30
January 19 2014, 10:32AM
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Manfly wrote:

i wouldn't be trading the pick now because A) it's going to be too damn high and B) we've already traded our 2nd and 3rd rounders. keep and make the pick and use a few of our roster players as trade bait for what we need. my 2 cents.

I have to agree, As much as the Oil need to make a trade for defense, their number 1 this year could very well turn out to be the first overall... again. What GM in the league will be willing to give the Oilers full value for that?

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#36 Fossil
January 19 2014, 10:36AM
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The reason Fedun is not being called up, and why he was sent down, is due to his minor league contract. Unfortunately ability has nothing to do with it when the GM believes other players are better and signs them to NHL deals. Yesterday, Petry was again exposed as a very soft dman. I would not trade him now as his value is too low, however, if never learns that play in the defensive zone requires physical contact he will have to go. Another comment on yesterdays game; Taylor Hall, on 2 shifts in the 1st period Winnipeg hit him at every opportunity. I was watching his response and the elbow to Wheeler was great, too bad he didn't get him in the nose, it actually showed some emotion. Unfortunately, that was it from Taylor as he either felt bad for the hit or he is getting intimidated. Winnipeg obviously saw something and it took him out of the game.

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#37 40 Double D
January 19 2014, 10:46AM
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Suck bad for Ekblad. Suck bad for McDavid. Suck bad for 2015. Suck bad for 2016.

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#38 Loweblows
January 19 2014, 10:59AM
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Loweblows wrote:

Is it just me or does it appear that the Oilers are getting worse with every game? Eakins must go now before more damage is done! I see no point keeping Eakins as he is doing more damage than good for this team. Sick of edmonton media supporting this clown. Brownlee and all should stick to writing fluff stories.

I see from the number of trashes there are still some posters that haven't figured it out yet. Edmonton media continues to support this gong show. Some posters here are more worried about whether or not these hacks like them and will respond to their insight. What a bunch of bootlickers.

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#39 DAVE
January 19 2014, 11:15AM
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It just occured to me that the oilers built this defence to tell the prospects, look! You can take somebody's job if you want, you won't have it any easier than here.

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#40 Rama Lama
January 19 2014, 11:21AM
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It seems that we have so many up and coming players........the reality should be that none of these players goes directly to the bigs without some time in the AHL.

Only cream of that pile should get a chance at making the big club period. Our learning on the fly has to come to logical end sometime.

On another topic, the next time we play Calgary or Vancouver should we be calling up Pinnizato? There may be a very useful role player there?

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#41 fasteddy
January 19 2014, 11:23AM
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Is it just me, or is Eakins a hard guy to like no matter how loyal a fan you are? I found myself telling a buddy that I don't care if the guy wins a cup, he will never be a guy I side with. Never mind that his coaching has been questionable, he just doesn't feel like an Oilers guy, whatever that is...!

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#42 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 19 2014, 11:23AM
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Lowetide wrote:

No, he hasn't been signed. It is a concern imo. He'd be a free agent ala Justin Schultz.

If i were Simpson and see how this team develops its young players there would be no way in Hell would sign here if I had other offers

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#43 pkam
January 19 2014, 11:24AM
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Loweblows wrote:

I see from the number of trashes there are still some posters that haven't figured it out yet. Edmonton media continues to support this gong show. Some posters here are more worried about whether or not these hacks like them and will respond to their insight. What a bunch of bootlickers.

I just trust the opinion of a veteran coach Paul Maurice more than yours.

Eakins had been the assistant to Paul Maurice. Paul Maurice has only good thing to say about Eakins.

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#44 Spydyr
January 19 2014, 11:24AM
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Loweblows wrote:

I see from the number of trashes there are still some posters that haven't figured it out yet. Edmonton media continues to support this gong show. Some posters here are more worried about whether or not these hacks like them and will respond to their insight. What a bunch of bootlickers.

Perhaps some people are just tired of you saying the same thing day after day.

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#45 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 19 2014, 11:25AM
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40 Double D wrote:

Suck bad for Ekblad. Suck bad for McDavid. Suck bad for 2015. Suck bad for 2016.

WAIT....that didn't rhyme.

A little Sunday Jocularity

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#46 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 19 2014, 11:30AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Perhaps some people are just tired of you saying the same thing day after day.

And some people are just like to shoot the messenger.

Thats life I guess

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#47 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 11:33AM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

In defense of the Oiler management, IMO they are just starting to break away from "draft forwards only" approach, last couple years with Simpson, Klefbom, and Nurse in the fold, management is getting the d prospects they should have had to go with Eberle, PRV, and Gagner

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#48 Randaman
January 19 2014, 11:40AM
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Manfly wrote:

i wouldn't be trading the pick now because A) it's going to be too damn high and B) we've already traded our 2nd and 3rd rounders. keep and make the pick and use a few of our roster players as trade bait for what we need. my 2 cents.

I have an idea, why not offer Eberle, Yakupov, Klefbom and another prospect to Buffalo for their first rounder. That way we could potentially draft Draisaiti & Ekblad. I think Buffalo looks at that with interest. At least that would be close and open discussion?

If not, I draft Draisaiti instead of Ekblad unless you like the idea of keeping Snow Pants as our #2 centre? I thought not. Go Niners!!

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#49 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 11:47AM
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Lowetide wrote:

No, he hasn't been signed. It is a concern imo. He'd be a free agent ala Justin Schultz.

I hope they do sign him, if he's as good as whats on paper, it shouldn't be long before he can crack the bottom pairing at least.

Either way, looking at capgeek, MacT has some juggling to do with the prospects, never mind the top 6 dmen on the Oilers roster, that are FAs within the next 2-4 years.

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#50 Yaz
January 19 2014, 11:48AM
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So I gather Eakins and the coaches cleared the airport without getting fired ..too bad I had a bit of hope there, I don't want these coaches getting their fingerprints on any more new players either from OKC or trade/draft. They will suck the talent and spirit out of them and we'll be on this forumn looking to run the players out of town, the players aren't innocent but the level of coaching is pond hockey at best( and I don't want to demean a lot of damn good pond coaches either)..Admit the blunder Mac T and dump these coaches asap.

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