GLAD FOR EKBLAD

Lowetide
January 23 2014 07:11PM

If the Edmonton Oilers don't trade their first round pick in 2014, there's a very good chance they'll select Aaron Ekblad. The Buffalo Sabres are loaded with young defensemen and are likely to take a forward, and Edmonton looks like a good bet to finish 29th or 30th overall. Unless another team wins the lottery, the Oilers are going to have a chance at the big man.

IS IT WISE TO SELECT A DEFENSEMEN EARLY?

No. ON has discussed this many times, Jason Gregor pointed out the facts here. The prevailing wisdom is correct, as pointed out by Jason:

  • In the past 25 years, only five times has the first D-man drafted turned out to be the best in his class:  #3 Scott Niedermayer in 1991, #1 Roman Hamrlik in 1992, #2 Chris Pronger in 1993, #1 Ed Jovanovski 1994 and Johnson in 2006. Since 1994, it has only happened once, so it is clear that it is become harder to project who will become the best defender out of an entire draft class.

I agree 100 times out of 100. If there's a forward available who is better than the top defenseman, it makes that rule easy. Draft Nail, pass on Murray. Adam Larsson looks good? Take Nuge! However, what if there's no clear choice among the remaining forwards, and in fact the #1 overall prospect is a defenseman?

That's where we are headed.

MCKENZIE'S BIBLE 

Bob McKenzie's mid-season rankings are out today, and Aaron Ekblad ranks #1 overall, ahead of a plethora of forwards. The list is here. The tsn link also gives insight into each player, including the defenseman.

  • Craig Button: When you build a team, you need a solid foundation. Aaron is a pillar defenceman who can play 25 minutes or more and do so in all important situations. His on-ice maturity is exceptional.

He's a righty, and could form an insane tandem with Darnell Nurse a few years down the road. Added to the fact Edmonton has so many skill forwards they have little or no room to add another, is Ekblad the choice?

POWER FORWARDS?

There are some interesting options, but Leon Draisaitl is falling down the list and the other OHL kids of note (Ritchie, Perlini, Dal Colle) have not emerged as clear lottery selections. The season still has some track to run, and the Oilers must be hoping for someone to pull out and pass the rest.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I'm no scout, and absolutely subscribe to the idea that teams should take a forward early and save the drafting of blue until later. One problem: no one is emerging.

We wait.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 hallsyoilerforever5
January 23 2014, 07:15PM
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sigh.. draft talk once again. How depressing.

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#2 The Worrier
January 23 2014, 07:18PM
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Should be called: "Sad for Ekblad"

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#3 VK63
January 23 2014, 07:38PM
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One enticing thing about Ekblad is a physical maturity that has him knocking on the door already.

AND

we are talking about the Edmonton freaking Oilers. How hard a roster is that to make at any position?

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#5 Thumby
January 23 2014, 07:46PM
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Screw it, I have given up on seeing a competitive Oilers team before the new barn opens.

Stack the hell outta the defence prospects now so we can enjoy a decade of better teams.

You are never going to get a top 10 or Norris level defence man in Edmonton unless you draft him.

Besides if we suck it another year, we just might be in line for the generational forward we have not found so far.

#depressed

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#6 dougtheslug
January 23 2014, 11:14PM
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....And if that curly headed Katz kid gives the draft pick the Oiler jersey I'll....well I'm gonna.....somebody's gonna get.......I'm gonna get real ..... I mean it, I'm gonna.....probably go up the basement stairs and go mow the lawn

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#7 Red
January 23 2014, 07:31PM
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Seth Jones was suppose to go #1. It is early

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#8 Rob...
January 23 2014, 07:49PM
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This is the best thing that could happen to the team. Just think about it, most of our top 6 D won't even be able to legally drink on those long southern road trips.

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#9 Strange Tamer
January 23 2014, 07:43PM
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@Bucknuck

If Bennett is huge, then RNH is King Kong. Guy is listed at 6'0" ft, 175lbs, so probably closer to 5'10". Oilers fans don't know what a huge center looks like anymore.

Any of those three could fill a hole (defense, second line center) in a couple of years. I'd take Eklbad though, all purpose defenceman with size. Him and Nurse could be our top pairing for a decade.

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#10 Quik-E
January 23 2014, 09:53PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

I wish the oilers were a joke of a franchise. I miss those days 3-4 years ago when I use to make jokes about how terrible they are. Now it's just too sad and pathetic to even make fun of them.

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#11 Dog Train
January 23 2014, 09:56PM
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It's not an exciting draft and Ekblad is the clear cut top defender today. I say take him and leave him in junior for another season.

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#12 Sketchy
January 23 2014, 10:19PM
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albertabeef wrote:

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

Hahahaha best #2 unit in hockey hahaha thanks for laugh I needed that

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#13 Bucknuck
January 23 2014, 08:07PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

That depends on what is coming back the other way. It would have to be an amazing return to make it worthwhile...

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#14 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 23 2014, 08:38PM
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http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

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#15 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:11PM
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RL wrote:

Does Perron and the first, or maybe less, Gagner/Hemsky and the first get you Letang from the Pens? Watching the game tonight, in intermission, analysists feel the kid Ollie Maata is making Letang irrelevant. It might be a longshot, and a risk on the Pens part,but could be feasible for the Oil.

Letang is too soft and too weak defensively for the oil's needs.

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#16 junior
January 23 2014, 09:19PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

Your argument regarding the Canucks being 4 years away from big problems may very well be correct.

The "trash talk" calling the Oilers franchise a joke is absolutely correct.No playoffs in 8 years, no reasonable optimism for expectation of playoffs next year.

I'm not trolling for a war of words on this, but the truth is, the Oilers ARE a joke, and have been for a long time.

I can't blame fans of any other team for calling a spade a spade, just because I cheer for the Oilers.Pathetic is pathetic, and the Oilers are PATHETIC.

"Trash" or "props" doesn't change the truth,hopefully it won't be this way for too much longer...

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#17 Taylor Gang
January 24 2014, 12:08AM
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Bear in mind that Ekblad was granted exceptional status upon entry into the OHL. You want to talk about great defensive prospects? This guy is the real deal.

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#18 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 07:34PM
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If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

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#19 Saytalk
January 23 2014, 07:44PM
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Just because the top defenceman selected rarely ends up being the top defenceman of his class doesn't mean it's wrong to pick the top defenceman. Pick a better statistic than that to prove your point.

So I guess you think Katz is right, Lowetide? We're on the right track, let's just keeping picking finesse wingers because they're the "best player available".

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#20 Show me da Money
January 23 2014, 08:16PM
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Does anyone really think that the pick will be traded? I don't.

I believe that Eberle will be gone and not the pick.

Wouldn't a team more than likely be trading for something tangible rather than someone who might not pan out? Eberle is a known quantity. He is also the same size as our other munchkin forwards.

The offense has to be getting bigger.

Goodbye #14. Hello Aaron Ekblad.

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#21 Harry
January 23 2014, 08:40PM
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If Edm have the chance to take Ekblad they absolutely have to. Trading one or two of Gags, Hemsky, Ebs, Yak, Perron, Klef, Marincin will get us some defence now.

I just cant see Mac passing on Ekblad

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#22 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 09:20PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Ya, what's your argument against the statement that we're a joke of a franchise?? From where I'm sitting the oilers are a joke

I think the point is it's the guy with the 3.5 inch penis laughing at the guy with the 3.0 inch penis in the change room. It's probably better to just shut up and change with a towel.

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#23 bwar
January 24 2014, 05:07AM
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Ekblad-Nurse Petry-Marincin Schultz-Klefbom...

With the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Connor McDavid.

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#24 Chainsawz
January 23 2014, 10:05PM
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I wonder if Florida would flip picks and ship the Oilers Bjugstad? Then draft Ekblad if he's still there at 4-5 (defensemen can fall) or maybe Draisaitl.

I'd just like the Oilers to have a 6'6" center with silky mits.

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#25 Oiler Al
January 23 2014, 10:13PM
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Colorado taking McKinnon over Jones, was that a coin toss ,or just a real smart move. Remeber they were in need of D men more so than a forward.

They were so sure, that they announced their move before the draft day. Turns out they made the right move, As McK, will be their best forward for years to come.

Not saying Jones is a bad player...the Av's made a play for a now player is all.

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#26 Sketchy
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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kale wrote:

Are you all looking forward to Steve Smith mentoring Ekblad. MacT wont trade this pick. He has stated Ekblad and Nurse would be great bookends. Wonder where that leaves J. Shultz?

Hopefully leaves JSchultz on another team

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#27 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 09:10PM
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clyde wrote:

Eberle will not even come close to getting Jones.

That's a good point. Last 5 games Jones has 1 assist and is -8. By trading Jones the Preds will give up their dream of somehow winning games by never scoring goals, ever. Just saying.

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#28 thebiggestmanintheworld
January 23 2014, 08:49PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Letang is too soft and too weak defensively for the oil's needs.

It's hard to get anywhere, when a Norris trophy finalist is too soft and weak defensively to play for our team....

...and we wonder why we can't have nice things...

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#29 dougtheslug
January 23 2014, 11:02PM
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Reggie wrote:

Buffalo will take a forward

Calgary will have the 29th pick and take Ekblad.

Edmonton?

???? Oilers aren't catching Calgary (Calgary 5 points up with a game in hand, playing better and getting injured players back after Olympic break even though they will be selling off at the trade deadline)

Buffalo trails Oilers by 3 with 3 games in hand in the weaker Eastern Conference. Of course they can't score and will be selling off hard at the deadline, but my prediction is....

"The Edmonton Oilers are proud (even though we should be ashamed, humiliated and embarrassed) to select, for the fourth time in five years, first overall in the 2014 draft....Aaron Ekblad"

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#30 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:19AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Reinhart, Ekblad, and Bennett are all great picks. Bennett is a big (huge) centre, Reinhart is RNH 2.0, and Ekblad could be a no. 1 Dman.

I will be curious, but not worried, no matter where the Oil pick in the top 3.

Bennet is 6'0" and 178 lbs thats only huge if he is playing in China

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#31 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 08:34PM
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Show me da Money wrote:

Does anyone really think that the pick will be traded? I don't.

I believe that Eberle will be gone and not the pick.

Wouldn't a team more than likely be trading for something tangible rather than someone who might not pan out? Eberle is a known quantity. He is also the same size as our other munchkin forwards.

The offense has to be getting bigger.

Goodbye #14. Hello Aaron Ekblad.

Nashville needs offense.

Send Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Draft Ekblad.

That would be fun. Run with Schultz, Jones, Nurse, Ekblad, Marincin, and Klefbom. lol

I know it has been said before. But could that really be worse that what we have now !

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#32 Josh Rose
January 23 2014, 08:39PM
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The key is, if you draft Ekblad, don't rush him to the NHL thats why top 10 defenseman dont work out as often as they should, they get rushed to the NHL and defense is the hardest position to play in the NHL it often takes guys until they are 23,24,25 to adjust and figure it out, not saying you have to wait that long, but develope Ekblad properly if you want te best out of him down the road.

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#33 The Real Scuba Steve
January 23 2014, 07:40PM
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Why not do some trading instead.

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#34 Bucknuck
January 23 2014, 07:31PM
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Reinhart, Ekblad, and Bennett are all great picks. Bennett is a big (huge) centre, Reinhart is RNH 2.0, and Ekblad could be a no. 1 Dman.

I will be curious, but not worried, no matter where the Oil pick in the top 3.

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#35 Fresh Mess
January 23 2014, 07:50PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If MacT doesn't trade the pick he should be fired. This team needs solutions now - not three or more years from now.

Agreed, assuming he can get huge value for the pick. They also should have traded the pick instead of drafting Fail. Just think what they may have gotten. They'll never get that for him now.

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#36 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 09:13PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/1/21/canucks-army-gdt-51-canucks-oilers

Lots of Oiler trash talk going on over at Canucks army. The writer calls our team a "joke of a franchise" I wouldn't be counting my chickens if I was a Canucks fan these days. They are the flames 4 years ago.

Ya, what's your argument against the statement that we're a joke of a franchise?? From where I'm sitting the oilers are a joke

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#37 CMG30
January 23 2014, 08:36PM
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This team needs defense now. This team needs an established player now.

That said, if fair value cannot be had for the 1st overall then for the good of the team down the line maybe we have to make the pick?

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#38 The Worrier
January 23 2014, 07:14PM
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FIST! No idea what that means.

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#39 Jesse
January 23 2014, 07:44PM
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VK63 wrote:

One enticing thing about Ekblad is a physical maturity that has him knocking on the door already.

AND

we are talking about the Edmonton freaking Oilers. How hard a roster is that to make at any position?

Don't you know Oilers ruin players there is no Shea Weber teaching the young D men.

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#40 Randaman
January 23 2014, 08:59PM
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If they want to keep the pick and I think MacT is leaning in that direction, they better try and improve quickly and keep Hall happy because Ekblad has the same agent. You don't think they talk? Think again. Trade whatever you have to to get a solid mentor for the young defence men going forward. Trade Eberle and Hall will not be happy with management. Players have a lot more power & influence than they used to. Who does that leave? Your guess is as good as mine but attracting UFA's will be near impossible with the reputation Lowe has around the league. Sad truth I'm afraid

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#41 Lowe Expectations
January 23 2014, 09:08PM
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An article discussing the top lottery pick for the Oilers. Just me, or does this feel like the movie "Groundhog Day".

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#42 albertabeef
January 23 2014, 10:17PM
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Sketchy wrote:

Hopefully leaves JSchultz on another team

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

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#43 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:15AM
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albertabeef wrote:

it leaves Schultz with Klefbom as the best #2 unit in hockey.

You make me laugh!

J Shultz and Klefbom would be lucky to be bottom pairing in Chicago, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Vancouver or Columbus, now those teams have solid top 4 guys!

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#44 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 23 2014, 08:11PM
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Remeber when we all thought the Oilers had a great young group with Hall ,MPS,Eberle and Nuge. Since then they have added Justin Shultz, Nurse, Yakupov and either Eckblad, Rienhart or Bennet. Insane young core.

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#45 Andrew
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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L..T. That's fine in theory. I assume your rule applies to a well managed and motivated organization. The Oilers are not one of those. I don't how much Koolaid one has consumed but this organization as well as the construct of the on-ice team are a dreadful mess. IMO the Oil are just not at that point yet. I would take Ekblad in a New York minute.

If the Oil only needed minor tweeks to the line-up I agree your theories may apply. They don't just need 1 or 2 D they need a wholesale re-do on the D. With the Oils un-attractiveness to F.A.'s they have to build through the draft. We've seen Mac's results of trading for top 2 D.

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#46 Sid
January 23 2014, 07:42PM
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Michael Dal Colle and Sam Bennett are the youngest in the top 5.

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#47 Freewheeling Freddie
January 23 2014, 10:01PM
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Randaman wrote:

If they want to keep the pick and I think MacT is leaning in that direction, they better try and improve quickly and keep Hall happy because Ekblad has the same agent. You don't think they talk? Think again. Trade whatever you have to to get a solid mentor for the young defence men going forward. Trade Eberle and Hall will not be happy with management. Players have a lot more power & influence than they used to. Who does that leave? Your guess is as good as mine but attracting UFA's will be near impossible with the reputation Lowe has around the league. Sad truth I'm afraid

Hall and Ebs are roommates, they trade Eberle that could cause the Oilers major grief. Hall will not want to see his buddy go . I suggest the oilers do whatever it takes to keep Hall happy. It would be devastating if he left. MacT has a lot on his plate, I hope he can fix this sinking ship. Lowe and Tambo royally F&$#%d^.

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#48 Loweblows
January 24 2014, 07:02AM
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On February 2 the Super Bowl is played. The next day Edmonton and Buffalo play in the Toilet Bowl. Mark it on the calendar folks. That could be the day we secure 30th spot.

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#49 clyde
January 23 2014, 08:58PM
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SlaveLake wrote:

Nashville needs offense.

Send Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones.

Draft Ekblad.

That would be fun. Run with Schultz, Jones, Nurse, Ekblad, Marincin, and Klefbom. lol

I know it has been said before. But could that really be worse that what we have now !

Eberle will not even come close to getting Jones.

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#50 kale
January 23 2014, 09:28PM
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Are you all looking forward to Steve Smith mentoring Ekblad. MacT wont trade this pick. He has stated Ekblad and Nurse would be great bookends. Wonder where that leaves J. Shultz?

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