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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#51 michael
January 19 2014, 12:33PM
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Eckblad will be a huge addition to the blueline. Now that the fantasy portion of the post is done.

The Oilers need at least 2 veteran dmen next season. The current situation is not workable. MacT needs to do a better job of spending his dollars.And contracts.

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#52 Dan
January 19 2014, 12:34PM
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The question is not how many will develop, it's whether if they will develop given dysfunctional organization. Too many players pushed up too soon...how they handle this group will speak volumes on future success.

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#53 madjam
January 19 2014, 01:13PM
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We have an AHL club no better than 13th out of 15 , that if two clubs below them win their games would drop us to last in AHL as well . Now tell me how you can be so positive that our AHL club is going to do much good transitioning usefull NHL players to our equally poor NHL team ? Sounds like more Kool-Aid and a pipedream to me . Is this what this organization has been taken/reduced to ? Where's the real optimism , and not the salesman job ?

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#54 Taylor Gang
January 19 2014, 04:17PM
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Well now that the Patriots are out and my least favorite team in the CFL won the Grey Cup, this is officially the worst season for sports in history.

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#55 Taylor Gang
January 19 2014, 04:33PM
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risto siltanen's slapshot wrote:

time to start watching tennis...some good Canadian talent playin down under.

I'll sell my soul to the devil before I watch tennis

Ghana for the World Cup!

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#56 RexHolez
January 19 2014, 10:56PM
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Yeah, we've been getting sold HOPE for a long time now. Whatever happened to Schremp??

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#57 john
January 20 2014, 03:01AM
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Todd Nelson need a call up, the guy is a real coach, he motivates and improve all the young guys.

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#58 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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#60 Cynic
January 19 2014, 06:36PM
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Oiler fan thought Klebomb was going to be in the top pair this year. Oiler fan thinks The Mickey Mouse Club has a realistic opportunity to trade a lottery ticket, an over-rated stick of a no-hit Dman, and an over-rated prospect for the reigning Norris Trophy winner. Full Retard, as has always been the case in this city.

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#61 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 12:41PM
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Cynic wrote:

"Mr. Short..." "Please. Call me John. My dad is Mr. Short." "OK. John. Do you think the Bruins would trade us Ray Bourque for Marc Habscheid? Jim Matheson wrote that Habscheid is the next Wayne Gretzky and Bourque's always hurt so maybe the Bruins are sour on him. I'll hang up and listen to your answer."

Oiler fan. The only difference is instead of AM radio it's the interwebs where the myopians hang out.

So you're saying Ekblad, JShultz, and say Musil/ or Simpson wouldn't get Subban?

FYI Bourque was trade with Andrychuck for Rolston, Sami Phalsson, Grenier and a 1st round pick. Subban is no Bourque

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#62 RexHolez
January 19 2014, 09:43PM
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Tuningout wrote:

I don't think we over value our prospects. I think it's completely realistic that Nurse comes into the NHL next year. I also completely expect him to slap around every princess in that room until they grow some balls and play like men. And bring one or two of his accomplished relatives to do the same to Eakins.

Do you automatically win the Calder if you win the Norris ?

Haha that's alot to expect from a kid that can't make the junior team

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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 Randaman
January 19 2014, 11:40AM
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HardBoiledOil 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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#68 Randaman
January 19 2014, 04:41PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Well now that the Patriots are out and my least favorite team in the CFL won the Grey Cup, this is officially the worst season for sports in history.

GO NINERS!!

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#69 Saul
January 19 2014, 06:11PM
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@randy

Ekblad would have been a 7th or 8th pick in the 2013 draft.

Oiler fans already have him as the greatest D man in the NHL.

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#70 David S
January 19 2014, 09:52PM
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Cynic wrote:

"Mr. Short..." "Please. Call me John. My dad is Mr. Short." "OK. John. Do you think the Bruins would trade us Ray Bourque for Marc Habscheid? Jim Matheson wrote that Habscheid is the next Wayne Gretzky and Bourque's always hurt so maybe the Bruins are sour on him. I'll hang up and listen to your answer."

Oiler fan. The only difference is instead of AM radio it's the interwebs where the myopians hang out.

Oh AM radio is still full of single digit Oiler fan IQ's. Just tune into Stauffer's show some day while at lunch and prepare to laugh your ass off.

Honestly. Sometimes I think Bob must hide a bottle under his studio desk "deep in the bowels of Rexall Place". No wonder he goes on and on and ON about tree planting and exploits at the South Side Athletic Club.

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#71 Romanus
January 20 2014, 01:31AM
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RexHolez wrote:

I vote when the dj plays cotton eyed joe

Dj sucks worse than the team. Same freaking crap every game. It's like they only have 10 songs.

All though they do have the entire Pitbull Album. Sigh.

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#72 john
January 20 2014, 02:58AM
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The only player with positive plus/minus on the team is Ryan Jones. This is a joke, fire this guy Eakins, throw lots of jerseys at the game. Eakins said it's disrepectful to throw jersey onto the ice, well it's disrepectful for the fans to see how badly the Oilers play each night. The fans pay for their salaries, so Oilers need a real coach to get the team play more competitively.

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

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#74 risto siltanen's slapshot
January 19 2014, 04:32PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Well now that the Patriots are out and my least favorite team in the CFL won the Grey Cup, this is officially the worst season for sports in history.

time to start watching tennis...some good Canadian talent playin down under.

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#75 Randaman
January 19 2014, 06:53PM
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Cynic wrote:

Oiler fan thought Klebomb was going to be in the top pair this year. Oiler fan thinks The Mickey Mouse Club has a realistic opportunity to trade a lottery ticket, an over-rated stick of a no-hit Dman, and an over-rated prospect for the reigning Norris Trophy winner. Full Retard, as has always been the case in this city.

Please don't paint us all with the same brush. Some of us are realistic. I bet every city has fans that over value their roster and prospects. No?

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#76 China town man
January 19 2014, 08:39PM
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Don't worry about team lunch or dinner before the next game (oilers) just a bench brawl it is the fastest way of building team chemistry and bonding as a team.

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#77 Tuningout
January 19 2014, 09:35PM
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Randaman wrote:

Please don't paint us all with the same brush. Some of us are realistic. I bet every city has fans that over value their roster and prospects. No?

I don't think we over value our prospects. I think it's completely realistic that Nurse comes into the NHL next year. I also completely expect him to slap around every princess in that room until they grow some balls and play like men. And bring one or two of his accomplished relatives to do the same to Eakins.

Do you automatically win the Calder if you win the Norris ?

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#78 RexHolez
January 19 2014, 10:57PM
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Zarny wrote:

Nicklas Lidstrom didn't throw a lot of hits. You have a somewhat poor understanding of what playing defense means.

Klefbomb certainly isn't going to be a top pair D this year or next. Ultimately only time will tell. For you to say otherwise is foolish.

Kris Letang was drafted in 2005 and didn't top 50 pts until 2010-2011. Duncan Keith didn't play in the NHL until 3 years after he was drafted and only had 21 pts and was -11. He didn't top 40 pts until 6 years after being drafted.

So you're saying this rebuild isn't even close to being quasi competitive??

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#79 Tuningout
January 20 2014, 12:45AM
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RexHolez wrote:

So you're saying this rebuild isn't even close to being quasi competitive??

It is a backward rebuild.

By the time these #1 picks become competitive. All of the best defensive prospects will be rookies.

By the time MacT realizes he needs a winning coach to attract free agents, well... it might be summer 2015.

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#80 I AM KEVIN L.
January 20 2014, 04:18AM
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You people make me laugh!!! Why is this website bent out of shape and can only discuss a "rebuild"? The 29 other NHL teams have sites that talk about hockey success. My advice to you all: keep buying tickets and merchandising. We will soon sell Ekblad & McDavid jerseys. First come first served. Suckers.

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#81 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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#82 CMG30
January 19 2014, 10:32AM
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HardBoiledOil 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 Mack Strong
January 19 2014, 03:40PM
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2014 crop of UFA defensemen do not look very promising. Trade and hopefully development is what we have to work with. If we do pick up Ekblad, he should spend another year in JR and do a stint in OKC. Marincin is still young but he is showing that proper development and patience is paying off. Imagine if we let the development course run with Nurse, and potentially Ekblad…

I would like to hear the nations thoughts on DalColle…If Buffalo picks Ekblad (would look nice beside Ristolanen) we would be left with Reinhart or Draisaiti or DalColle.

Im liking DalColle as I see his game much like a Monahan (Bigger skilled Center with skills) but better skater and would fit in - with time again with any of our top 2 lines.

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#86 Cynic
January 19 2014, 03:48PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

So you're saying Ekblad, JShultz, and say Musil/ or Simpson wouldn't get Subban?

FYI Bourque was trade with Andrychuck for Rolston, Sami Phalsson, Grenier and a 1st round pick. Subban is no Bourque

My parents told me not to pick fights with ret.ards.

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#87 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 19 2014, 04:42PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I'll sell my soul to the devil before I watch tennis

Ghana for the World Cup!

I just hope that Ghana beats the US in the World Cup. That way that tool can call into Jim Rome and whine about always losing to Ghana. That call was pure hilarity.

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#88 sizzler
January 19 2014, 05:03PM
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Oilers are in a good position with defense prospects. I believe defense wins championships. And mentorship is important for player development. So trade one or two of the young forwards for a number 1 or 2 defenseman. Young prospect will be able to learn from veteran. Something oilers couldn't do for the young offensive prospects.

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#89 dave
January 19 2014, 05:05PM
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This is off topic but I found this old article recently.

http://theleafsnation.com/2013/6/9/dallas-eakins-heads-to-edmonton

Not sure whether it should give us hope or Eakins is a legend in his own mind.

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#90 RexHolez
January 19 2014, 09:13PM
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Oliveoiler wrote:

Yup yup - at least we were all tied for a playoff spot

Id rather have a lockout and not watch any hockey than spend money to watch whatever it is they've been calling it around here for the last decade.

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#91 Tuningout
January 19 2014, 10:42PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Haha that's alot to expect from a kid that can't make the junior team

Nah .. I was one of those guys that was sold on HOPE. Paarvi and Omark. In retrospect ...

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#92 The Real Scuba Steve
January 20 2014, 04:44AM
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I AM KEVIN L. wrote:

You people make me laugh!!! Why is this website bent out of shape and can only discuss a "rebuild"? The 29 other NHL teams have sites that talk about hockey success. My advice to you all: keep buying tickets and merchandising. We will soon sell Ekblad & McDavid jerseys. First come first served. Suckers.

Go away.

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#93 Sisyphus
January 20 2014, 07:02AM
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From a Puck Daddy article, regarding Hendricks: "So maybe it comes down to something as simple and indefinable as “leadership.” Maybe he'll yell at Taylor Hall for taking a shift off, or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for not coming off quickly enough on a power play. Get guys to pay attention to “the finer details” or whatever you want to call them. "

Really? That's what we brought him in for? He's barely been a serviceable NHL player this year, and is on a downhill trajectory. Yes, he's willing to fight, but so is Gazdic, whom we already had. Hendy takes a roster spot away for supposed toughness and leadership.

But given how kid-glove-treatment gets given to Hall, RNH, Eberle, etc., no remotely smart player in the room is going to challenge them, or they'll find themselves on the way out of town, a la Smid. Then again, now that I've said it out loud, maybe that's what Hendricks SHOULD do. Get himself out of a city and a team he never wanted to play for in the first place.

Probably no better way than to go around picking fights with the golden boys who are beyond reproach. No one is going to bother yelling at the kids---no point. They've learned how to lose, and everyone knows--they are here to stay. You can yell at them, the coach can yell at them, try to get them to compete, to play better/smarter, but at the end of the day, those kids know they are not going anywhere. They have their contracts. And they will not be traded. Pointless for anyone to try to change them--barring MacT from telling each of the stars that they will be available for trade and/or benching, they have no reason to change anything they're doing. Nice paycheck, little effort, short season.

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#95 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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#96 pelhem grenville
January 19 2014, 12:58PM
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...all but two players are listed on CapGeek as UFA or RFA next season...Ference&Marincin...wtf

when will our Pronger come again LT?

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#97 Johnnydapunk
January 19 2014, 02:38PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...all but two players are listed on CapGeek as UFA or RFA next season...Ference&Marincin...wtf

when will our Pronger come again LT?

The RFA Issue is not that bad for the Oil actually. First they can make a qualifying offer that is a minimum of 110 percent of their salary if they made less than $660 000 per season or 105 percent if they made above that. If another teams makes these players an offer, the Oil have the first right of refusal to match it. So they can match the offer and the player stays here. If they choose to not match it they can recieve these options

The numbers refer to offers and were the numbers for the 2013-14 season so I'm not completely sure if they exactly apply for 2014-15 season but I'm sure they are quite close and you get the gist of it.

If they make less than $1 024 845 per season (unsure if that includes bonuses or not) the Oil recieve nothing

If they make between $1 024 845 and $1 552 794 per season the Oil recieve a 3rd round pick

If they make between $ 1 552 794 and $ 3 105 684 per season the Oil recieve a 2nd round pick

If they make between $ 3 105 684 and $ 4 658 386 per season the Oil recieve a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick

If they make between $ 4 658 386 and $ 6 211 182 per season the Oil recieve a 1st 2nd and 3rd round pick

If they make between $ 6 211 182 and $ 7 763 978 per season the Oil recieve a 2x 1st (for next 2 seasons) 2nd and 3rd round pick

$7 763 978 and above where you get 4 first round picks

So all of this means that Petry would be worth a minimum 2nd round pick, Larsen a 3rd round pick, Schultz would be worth a 1st and 3rd (if bonuses included) if the Oilers chose not to match whatever offer they recieve.

I actually think the Oil are in a position of strength with these players and depending on what is available on the RFA market, they may be able to get a player or two. Though the risk is that if they make a silly money RFA offer to someone, they better make sure they will not end up at the bottom next season as that would mean they essentially traded a player for MacKinnon

Thinking that MacT has a lot of weird calculations he will have to make with potential RFA hunting.

Apologies if this is novel ish, just thought this information would help things.

Made an error in the Schultz salary and corrected it.

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#98 Serious Gord
January 19 2014, 03:09PM
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pkam wrote:

To be fair, other than drafting BPA with their 1st overall, the Oilers management had been drafting big forwards and defenseman with their mid-range picks.

2010: Pitlick (big forward) 31st overall, Marincin (big defenseman) 46th overall, Hamilton (big forward) 48th overall, Martindale (big forward) 61st overall.

2011: Klefbom (big defenseman) 19th overall, David Musil (big defenseman) 31st overall.

2012: Mitchell Moroz (big forward) 32nd overall, Jujhar Khaira (big forward) 62nd overall, Zharkov (big forward) 92nd overall.

Management know the problem and they are working on it. But these prospects need 4-5 years of development before they can be NHL ready, then another 2-3 years of NHL conditioning to be reliable. And only about 10% of these prospects will make it to the NHL.

It is a long process with a low rate of success. If we can develop Pitlick and Marincin to play in NHL in the coming year or 2, the management has done a pretty job in the last 3-4 years.

And by then the first rounders will be ufas and some will have to be traded.

That's why we need to trade many of them before next September.

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#99 randy
January 19 2014, 03:51PM
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Craig Button has compared Ekblad to Chris Phillips.

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#100 finn_fann
January 19 2014, 05:55PM
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@dave

"His first year was far from successful, setting all-time team lows in Wins, Goals, Goal Differential, and Powerplay Percentage [...] The next year brought a slightly better team to work with, and better results, still missing the playoffs but attaining his first winning record, and taking a -68 goal differential to a +9."

Not saying I have any confidence in Eakins' ability to do this at the NHL level, but here's hoping that he can repeat this trend. He's definitely got the first part down!

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