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

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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#6 Reggie
January 23 2014, 10:00PM
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Buffalo will take a forward

Calgary will have the 29th pick and take Ekblad.

Edmonton?

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#7 RL
January 23 2014, 07:51PM
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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.

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#8 wiseguy
January 23 2014, 10:01PM
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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.

We should support the trashing of the oilers on the Canucks boards. It's the only ones Katz reads while living in Vancouver and attending Canuck games. Can someone confirm if I am correct that Katz had never attended an Oiler game at Rexall? I have only seen him on camera at Canucks games in Vancouver. Sad.

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#9 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:17PM
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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.

I LOLed when I saw how much my post had been trashed. Christ on a Kawasaki there are some head-in-the-clouds types in this fanbase.

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#10 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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#11 Return of the Mac
January 23 2014, 09:33PM
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I wouldn't touch Ekblad with a 10-foot pole... he doesn't have the footspeed to play in the NHL.

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#12 shaddup
January 23 2014, 09:42PM
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SlaveLake wrote:

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.

Ohhh...sorry to hear about your penis,Dude...are you good at math? Always a big need for a math whiz...sorry,sorry didn't mean to say "whiz" I meant student.Always a big need for a math student.

Oh my,I've done it again...not a "big need" for a math student,really...more of an "adequate" need for a math student.Always an adequate need for a math student...not too large a need,yet not too weeny a need...oh,rats,here we go again...

Can somebody please pass this gentleman a towel?

No,no, not the big towel...just the adequate towel...

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#13 RexHolez
January 23 2014, 07:53PM
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Draft Bennet and trade for a dman who's a quality NHL player NOW. This team can't wait 5 years on hope that a young guy can potentially become a good dman maybe 1 day. They need someone now

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#14 Fred
January 23 2014, 07:33PM
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My guess Oilers will end up with the third pick. Unless we win the lottery or lose the lottery

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#15 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:17PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

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

It just has to be a reasonable return - we can't expect to pick someone's pocket. If we need more than a pick to get one player then let's bundle it with a prospect or one of our excess forwards and some of our cap room.

The pick has value. This team has little else to offer besides cap room and sacrifice of what we once considered untradeable.

I can only imagine what taylor hall and perhaps the nuge would do if by august MacT and lowe haven't gotten a solid #one goalie and two 1-3 d-men and one or more big 1-2 line wingers. If this team is just going to try and muddle through like it tried to this season, i'm betting that hall demands to be traded.

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

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#17 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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#18 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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#19 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:23PM
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Andrew wrote:

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.

You can trade picks and avoid the FA market altogether until this team gets competitive - and hopefully Lowe has moved on.

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#20 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:10PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

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.

Thus Lowetide's post should be about who we can get trading the pick. Post's that even just talk about keeping the pick provide dangerous encouragement for the clowns who run this team.

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#21 Cynic
January 24 2014, 12:21AM
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Suck Bad for Eckblad

Eegad, not Eckblad

Lack gonad, draft Eckblad

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#22 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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#23 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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#24 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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#25 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 08:18PM
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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.

eberle isn't enough. There are too many holes (see my post above) to fill.

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#26 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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#27 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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#28 Primo
January 23 2014, 07:54PM
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The drafting of young top talent is no longer a sustainable strategy for the Oilers. Go ahed McT and try it again. The kid is 17 and it will be 3-5 years before he even starts too make any kind of noticeable impact. Do you really think you and 6 rings will be around by that time?

Suggest you package this pick for a veteran top level D man!!!

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#29 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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#30 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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#31 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:23AM
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Thumby wrote:

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

so in 5 years when we have 4-5 great defenceman we drafted, haven't made the playoffs yet and Hall and Ebs with 1 year left on contract and Nuge with 2 years left, You really think they will want to stick around.

Too late to keep building through the draft, we need quality players now while our core is entering their prime to give the 7-8 years to compete before it starts all over again

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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 Fresh Mess
January 24 2014, 07:09AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

so in 5 years when we have 4-5 great defenceman we drafted, haven't made the playoffs yet and Hall and Ebs with 1 year left on contract and Nuge with 2 years left, You really think they will want to stick around.

Too late to keep building through the draft, we need quality players now while our core is entering their prime to give the 7-8 years to compete before it starts all over again

That makes too much sense for the 20something fangirl fanatics here. They would rather draft a cute new prospect whose potential they can swoon over. Just like their lover, the uber effective Yaksy.

Who needs results when you can fantasize about potential?

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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 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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#38 Serious Gord
January 23 2014, 11:14PM
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thebiggestmanintheworld wrote:

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...

Letang was very badly exposed in last year's playoffs. If we can get him cheap (a fire sale after the GM is fired this spring for not getting the pens to the promised land perhaps?) then sure. But he's not worth a number one pick.

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#39 BobbyCanuck
January 24 2014, 09:52AM
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I would be very curious to find out that if any top projected draft picks reduce thier output in such a way that they fall out of the top 5. just so they do not wind up on a bottom feeding team?

I know if I was Ekblad, I would start playing bad, but not bad enough to fall out of the first round, but thats just me, follow the path of least resistance to get to attain your goal.

I do not know if the goal of draftees is just to make the NHL, win the cup, or win the lotto (contract)

Any thoughts?

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#40 SlaveLake
January 23 2014, 08:28PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Draft Bennet and trade for a dman who's a quality NHL player NOW. This team can't wait 5 years on hope that a young guy can potentially become a good dman maybe 1 day. They need someone now

I agree they need someone now... but who ?

Shea Weber, not a chance. OEL, not happenning. Giordano, probably not. Letang, god I hope not.

The only guy I could see would be PK out of Montreal and only because there always seems to a fight there with him. And what does that cost ? Nail and this years first ? Better resign Hemsky.

I'm all for trading the pick, trading anyone... I just dont see a lot of options. The Oilers simply don't have the pawns to spare like the good teams do.

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#41 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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#42 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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#43 Manfly
January 23 2014, 09:06PM
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hallsyoilerforever5 wrote:

sigh.. draft talk once again. How depressing.

what's even more depressing is that if Ekblad is ranked #1 by draft time, say bye bye to the Sabres for him and hello to yet another scoring forward....and more of the same. *sigh*

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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 toprightcorner
January 24 2014, 12:32AM
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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.

a soft, high scoring avg defensively player making $7.25 for the next 8 seasons is not the guy to build a d-core around. That is J Schultz in 2 years.

If the Pens had the tiniest thought of trading him they would not hive extended him to a $57 mill deal 6 months ago

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#48 Hall the time
January 24 2014, 08:26AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

So if we do get Ekblad in the draft, and Nurse and Klefbom move up next year, is Steve Smith and Dallas Eakins really the guys we want to trust their development to?

Stop with the first overalls I'm done with these kids. The Oilers don't develop people well, we need strong Vets ASAP.

OH but what about Taylor Hall Luck of the draw, literally.

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#49 Death Metal Nightmare
January 24 2014, 10:43AM
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that woman looks like a boy. better pic better gender defined pics next time so it doesnt scare the Hetero Hockey Bros away.

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#50 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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