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)

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 Sorensenator
January 19 2014, 01:25PM
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Petry is pure garbage

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#2 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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#3 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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#4 a lg dubl dubl
January 19 2014, 11:51AM
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CMG30 wrote:

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?

Depends, if you offer the 1st pick with JShultz, and another prospect for Subban, Montreal just might take it to save on cap space while still getting the "tremendously offensively gifted"* Shultz.

*I think those were the words KLowe said about him in his last interview on 1260.

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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 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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#10 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 08:17AM
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bullcrap

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#11 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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#12 I AM KEVIN L.
January 19 2014, 08:58AM
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HardBoiledOil 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 Jay
January 19 2014, 09:46PM
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So when should the jersey's be thrown on the ice in the Nucks game?? Opening faceoff? End of the eventual loss?? Right after we let up another short handed goal???

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#17 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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#18 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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#19 Josh Oiler
January 19 2014, 09:16PM
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"PLAY BAD FOR EKBLAD"

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#20 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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#21 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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#22 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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#23 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 pkam
January 19 2014, 11:55AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

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

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.

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#28 Cynic
January 19 2014, 12:00PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

Depends, if you offer the 1st pick with JShultz, and another prospect for Subban, Montreal just might take it to save on cap space while still getting the "tremendously offensively gifted"* Shultz.

*I think those were the words KLowe said about him in his last interview on 1260.

"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.

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#29 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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#30 Taylor Gang
January 19 2014, 04:44PM
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Randaman wrote:

GO NINERS!!

Can you beat the Broncos? If so, San Francisco for the win!

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#31 corky
January 19 2014, 12:07PM
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Nice start to flames game last night. Wish Oilers had the balls and grit to do something like that. Im sure Ference would be game.

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#32 HOFFFF
January 19 2014, 12:18PM
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corky wrote:

Nice start to flames game last night. Wish Oilers had the balls and grit to do something like that. Im sure Ference would be game.

Flames had to start a new rivalry since the Oilers have pussied out. A line brawl like that and the entire Oilers line would turtle. No truculence.

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#33 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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#34 Lil Scrivy
January 19 2014, 01:31PM
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I think that some of those d prospects may go into a trade to get an nhl vet dman here.

Its unfortunate, but we were too late to the party to develop dmen. YOu build from the backend out. we built up front and then started working on dmen too late in the game. we should have been drafting dmen in 2007-2010, then picked Hall.

Alas, KLowe has no plan.

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

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#36 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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#37 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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#38 Sketchy
January 19 2014, 08:37AM
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What stage of the rebuild are we in??

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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 finn_fann
January 19 2014, 01:05PM
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This article is a sign of good things happening in my opinion. Marincin is the first player who has been drafted and developed in the OKC system, and he seems to have made the jump better than a LOT of other prospects in the past. The fact that Klefbom, Fedun, Gernat, and Simpson are still knocking at the door of NHL employment and haven't already been washed by injury or poor play is a sign that our current drafting department (ie. since Prendergast got canned) is doing a decent job at identifying value prospects.

The forwards seem to be doing okay as well, with Chase and Yakimov looking like keepers, Pitlick pushing for 4-line duty and Moroz seeming to figure out how to use his stick as well as his body.

It'll be interesting in a year or two to see what Eakins can do with players who have been trained how to actually play a system before jumping straight to the NHL.

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#44 finn_fann
January 19 2014, 01:50PM
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madjam wrote:

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 ?

The focus of OKC has been on prospect development this year, not winning. Hence the team has a big crop of new defencemen with little pro experience, as opposed to a bunch of career AHLers hired to make us look good in the win column.

As the oilers have shown us, filling a team with inexperienced players and asking them to play a level above their ability is not going to win many games. It is, however, a decent way to learn on the job, assuming that a player is allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. This is what the AHL team is for - players aren't under the microscope for every little mistake they make while still learning the broader strokes of the game.

Also, I would say that a player like Marincin would have legitimate appeal to teams outside the oilers. If you want to devalue the few players that seem to be making strides within the system, that is up to you, but I don't think recognizing the odd area where the team is having some success is the same as drinking oilers Kool-aid.

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 Taylor Gang
January 19 2014, 04:46PM
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Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate wrote:

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.

America won't win, though they are a rising power in the world of futbol

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#48 sizzler
January 19 2014, 05:03PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

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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#49 Ari Gold
January 19 2014, 05:53PM
Trash it!
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Cheers
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cheers

This is Kool-Aid. They're terrible, poorly ran and poorly coached. I have no reason to believe any of this will change.

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#50 Tuningout
January 19 2014, 09:35PM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
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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