KIDS AREN’T GOING TO SOLVE EDMONTON’S DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS

Jonathan Willis
January 23 2014 10:39AM

Going back at least as far as the day the Edmonton Oilers drafted Sam Gagner, fans of the team have been taught to place their reliance in young up-and-comers. 

It is an easy mindset to fall into on defence, where the problems are many and top prospect Aaron Ekblad may join an already strong prospect group at this summer's draft. As tempting as it sounds, general manager Craig MacTavish cannot afford to make the mistake of falling into the trap of thinking the solution is youth.

The primary problem has to do with timelines. 

Edmonton's NHL team has been in rebuild for a long time. Whether one subscribes to the party-approved line that the rebuild started with the drafting of Taylor Hall in 2010 or instead places the date at Chris Pronger's departure for Anaheim, futility has been the order of the day for far too long. The fans are unruly, and the only way to turn it around is with winning.

Another factor is what Lowetide likes to call the heart of the order - players like Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the like - who are now established as NHL players. Hall's being paid to produce like a first-liner, as is right wing Jordan Eberle. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will join them next season. These players are tremendously talented and entering the prime years of their careers but if they aren't supported - and soon - the Oilers run the risk of losing them. Edmonton has already lost the cheapest years for that trio, which poses its own problem (Chicago won the first Stanley Cup for the modern era Blackhawks while Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were still on their entry-level deals).

So with the clock running on its young stars and the fanbase's mood already turned to ugly, the Oilers have to start making considerable progress right now. To do that, they need good defencemen. 

Time & Opportunity 

There may not be a steeper learning curve at any position in hockey than there is on defence and the examples of players really putting things together after two, three or even four seasons of NHL hockey abound. Additionally, an organization can only devote so much space to prospect defencemen if they want to win.

A good example is the Oklahoma City Barons. At the start of the year the team's defence was pegged as a great strength and why not - with some strong second-year pros (Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun, Brad Hunt and Brandon Davidson), a guy the Oilers felt might be NHL-ready (Oscar Klefbom), an actual NHL'er (Philip Larsen) and some extremely talented rookies (Martin Gernat and David Musil) pushing for time the Barons should have been set; they could ice two top pairings, and force the kids to fight with older guys like Hunt and Davidson for ice time

It hasn't worked out that way. Call-ups and injuries and regression (particularly on the part of Davidson) mean that for much of the year the Barons have relied on three rookies - one for each pairing. That's not a problem for the Oilers - these guys need at-bats and the AHL is a developmental league - but it's a big part of the reason who the Barons are four points out of a playoff spot.

The NHL is even more punishing. Oilers fans have seen first hand how a defenceman coming off college and an incredibly dominant AHL run struggled to adapt to second-pair and now first-pair minutes. They saw Ladislav Smid find his way in the majors after being pushed there well before he was ready.

Edmonton doesn't have a top-pairing defenceman right now. Even if Schultz is penciled in for a top-pair role next season on the assumption that he can handle it, the Oilers need a top-pair guy to complement him. Andrew Ference isn't that guy, and it's crazy to think Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom or Martin Marincin or Aaron Ekblad will be either. The first three (and the fourth, if drafted) may evolve into the role but the Oilers need is immediate. 

As it is, phasing in prospects like those listed above (to say nothing of Gernat or Musil or Dillon Simpson) is going to result in growing pains, which means the Oilers will need to lean on experienced guys who can play hard minutes to off-set the talented youth. Jeff Petry and Andrew Ference might be those guys on the lower pairs, but there has to be somebody topside who can cast a long shadow for the other pairs while they figure things out. The Oilers don't have anybody like that, and may not for years.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Fish
January 23 2014, 12:12PM
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We do need at least one veteran minute muncher.

D Roster, Erhoff - Petry Ferrence - Ekblad or JS Jr. Stay at home Vet type - Schultz Jr./Ekblad

For me the trade chip is a Klefbom, Gagner, Hemmer, Schultz Sr. and Smyth.

Obviously we're not getting a 1D from a playoff pushing team for a Hemmer or Smyth. But, if we can parlay those players into a 1st (please have a good Olympics) and 3rd type return (or another good young prospect) we can add those to the trading chip pile of Gagner, Klefbom, (plus those parlayed returns. Hopefully we can turn those into an Erhoff type of LD.

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#152 pkam
January 23 2014, 01:02PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Pretty sure we wouldn't be complaining quite as much right now if we were 5 spots higher in the ranking, compared to fighting for the bottom spot. So we don't get whooped as badly for a few more years, I'd take that over watching them get manslaughtered every time St Louis comes to town. If they end up in the playoffs as they would 4 years (hopefully) what is the difference if they reduce the current pain?

I don't mind less pain, just don't want to pay a big price for a temporary band-aid.

Rather go UFA for band-aid. If we can get a true 1st pair D, then it is another story.

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#153 G-Unit
January 23 2014, 01:09PM
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@Oiler63

Bouwmeester would count as an elite defenseman in my mind. Many other top 2 defense change all the time. Pronger played for 5 teams. Neidermayer 3 or 4. Blake. I have a tougher time finding 4 top ones that haven't moved a couple times. You might have to take a bad contract, but I would rather being paying an extra 1.5 for a d-man than giving away Mike Browne for nothing and then trading your starting goalie for a marginally better version of Mike Browne for an extra 1.2M.(and eating DD's salary) comical.

Its astonishing that a team this bad with this many holes isn't at the bottom of the league in payroll, fighting to stay above the floor.

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#154 Chainsawz
January 23 2014, 01:16PM
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I'm probably preaching to the choir here (mostly) but moving this team forward, even if just to bubble status till we develop 2-3 top end defensemen goes a long way to fan sentiment, ridding the locker room of a losing culture, and possibly keeping Ebs, Hall, and the Nuge past their current contracts.

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#155 Sisyphus
January 23 2014, 01:21PM
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Chainsawz wrote:

I'm probably preaching to the choir here (mostly) but moving this team forward, even if just to bubble status till we develop 2-3 top end defensemen goes a long way to fan sentiment, ridding the locker room of a losing culture, and possibly keeping Ebs, Hall, and the Nuge past their current contracts.

Yes, but here lies the rub. You can't keep all of Hall, Ebs, and RNH and still get the kind of help that will improve things enough to keep the others around. You have to pick--2 of the 3 you can keep, but you are going to have to trade one of them to get anything back in return. Otherwise, don't make any changes at all, because you'd be trading our garbage for someone else's, if they'd even do a deal with us

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#156 WanderingMind81
January 23 2014, 01:28PM
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Wonder if Vegas has any odds for which of the young stars gets moved first--Hall, Eberle, Yak, or RNH....

My guess is it goes in order of most to least likely: Eberle, Yak, RNH, Hall

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#157 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 01:43PM
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Also!

What if the oilers keep their #2 pick but trade a roster player for the #8 in an attempt to get both Ekblad AND Draisaitl?

Does Gagner get you a #8 pick? Does Gagner get you anything in the 1st round at all?

And would you rather have a Draisaitl at 2C or Gagner?

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#158 bluetada
January 23 2014, 01:44PM
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Would Perron + Gagner get Ott + Erhoff ?

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#159 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 01:48PM
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@pkam

Look at the UFA list, there isn't a 1/2 D man on there. The best you have is trading someone, and you WILL over pay simply because this is the Edmonton Oilers and no team is going to give up something to them if they aren't getting one of the top players.

If you think 1/2 D men are just growing on the UFA tree you need to take a step back and look at the facts. HENDRICKS didn't want to sign in Edmonton...if you're going to say a 1/2 D man (if they existed as a UFA) would want to sign here you're certified insane.

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#160 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 01:57PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You shouldn't over look both Bennett & DalColle both have better numbers then Draisaitl.

Both I believe are a year younger? I'd have to look that up.

When I say trade down we're talking a spot or two.

Ekblad will be very good D-Man and wouldn't be terrible upset if they took him, it just adds years to the rebuild.

The Oilers have to Get better players, keep better players and develop better players.

They are not doing that well.

They need to trade Gagner, I like Gagner + a prospect for big buff.

I would also trade Peron, he's not on a long contract, he has top value, likely won't resign.

Could sell very high on him.

Re-sign Hemsky & Perons position is filled internally.

Bennet and Dal Colle are 178 and 179 lbs respectively. Yes they are young, but those players will max out at ~200lbs (like Taylor hall). They wont be small, but they wont be bigger either.

This team NEEDS bigger, but not "bigger" in a goon kind of way. We need "Bigger" in the top 6 or Top 3D kind of way.

If my team is passing on Ekblad for a Centerman, Draisaitl's 208lbs is miles ahead of either Bennet or Dal Colle; even if down the road those 2 players end up producing more points.

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#161 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 02:12PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Missed games are missed games, he has played 1 - 48 game season which was the closest to a full season he's played yet. Regardless of injury prone he still makes every other point glaringly clear with his play this year.

I'm not talking when Gregor or Stauffer are talking because they all see Gagner as an asset. I'm talking when they bring in radio hosts from other cities or GMs from other cities or people from TSN or CBC, the people who have an unbiased opinion of the Oilers.

It would be like trying to sell you on Artem Anisimov being traded for a first rounder

a GM will do his Due Diligence when researching a player. I'm sorry but "Missed games are missed games" is a bunch of crap.

If a player has missed 20 games through out the season because of repeat groin injuries, then that is very telling. If that same player is out because some goon billy clubbed him in the face and busted him up, that's MUCH different.

re: Gagners performance
Watch how often hockey players get their head smashed against the boards or have random things clip their jaws. It happens a lot. Gagner has had a failure of a year, but that Jaw injury was a huge contributor to that. When you can't get greasy, you're relegated to "Stick" duty. Players who reach with their sticks get used as pylons.

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#162 bazmagoo
January 23 2014, 02:19PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I'd be more comfortable going into 2014-15 with RNH 1st, Arco/Draisaitl battling for 2nd line, Gordon 3rd, Arco/Draisaitl on the 4th line then I would with Gagner in that #2 spot. Gardiner's history with J Schultz is relevant and could give Edmonton the option of playing Ference with Petry to settle Petry down. Not a legitimate top 4 but an improvement. With Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse, Fedun, Larsen?, Belov?, UFA signings battling for that 3rd pairing spot that could be an improved roster. Think that's about the best we can hope for, except for maybe a sought after UFA deciding he wants to get the biggest pay day possible & signing.

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#163 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 02:23PM
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@A-Mc

Okay, so you have proven that one small part of his game could be attributed to the fact that he has received the short end of the stick in terms of freak in-game accidents.

You're entire "re: Gagners performance" says a lot of words but no real point. What are you trying to say, that he somehow has an "excuse" for poor performance when other players get injured and continue to perform well all the time?

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#164 bazmagoo
January 23 2014, 02:26PM
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Come to think of it, both Gardiner and J Schultz are both RFA's. You could sign them to matching 2 year, 3 million dollar contracts to tie them further together. I doubt Toronto wants to pay Gardiner that much, and Edmonton gives out contracts like magic beans so could be win-win for both teams, ha.

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#165 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 02:33PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Okay, so you have proven that one small part of his game could be attributed to the fact that he has received the short end of the stick in terms of freak in-game accidents.

You're entire "re: Gagners performance" says a lot of words but no real point. What are you trying to say, that he somehow has an "excuse" for poor performance when other players get injured and continue to perform well all the time?

My point is that the type of injury he has this year is severely hindering his game. It doesnt cause him to miss guys in the slot (which he does too often) but it does limit his ability to dig along the boards or get in on a check from certain positions.

"players get injured and continue to perform well all the time"
You mean like Burrows on the Canucks? Last i heard, he's praying for any kind of scoring to get him out of the funk he's in from his face injury. (Although he has only been back a few games..)

You're using some fairly wide sweeping arguments that aren't really specific to the player we're discussing.

Again, i'll re-iterate that i dont think Gagner should be on the Oilers because he's not what they need. but I'll also re-iterate that i DO think he's worth more than a 3rd round pick and Draisaitl's jock strap(as was previously suggested).

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#166 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 02:49PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Congratulations, you just used a very poorly constructed circular argument to prove nothing more than my point. Every aspect of his poor play over the years is contributed to this new injury he received from a stick to the face. You think he magically was a better player other years? He had an 8 point game that saved his record from looking abysmal that year.

Teams do not want or need this player, if they did you think they would have been breaking down our door for him every other trade deadline. Now that he is underperforming even more this year you think anyone wants him for more than a late pick. Good luck with that.

Talk about something other than an excuse of injury and maybe I'll see your point as more than laughable.

Maybe this is where we differ..Until this year, I didn't have a problem with Gagner's play.

I was almost always on the boat that he should be moved because he's not the right fit HERE, but in saying that, i was recognizing that he had value and that moving him would bring something decent in return.

If You and I are subject to miscommunication because you think Gagner has always been garbage, and i do not, then i dont think we can really go down this path.

Ultimate conclusion: You think Gagner is worth a 3rd round pick. I think otherwise. Opinions are opinions!

We'll just have to wait and see what happens with Mr Samwise.

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#167 Rick Stroppel
January 23 2014, 03:00PM
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China town man wrote:

After hearing Dallas speak on the radio!!! I am less angry and more on his side wtf

CONCERNS ABOUT EAKINS

I am trying to be fair to Eakins and I try to listen carefully to what he is saying. Two things in his recent comments concern me:

1. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I sense a bit of defeatism. It almost sounds like he is saying "yeah I might get fired...too bad...stuff happens".

2. He seems to be blaming previous coaches for this years' problems. He is hinting that all the previous coaching changes have created a big mess, and he should get at least a couple of years to fix it. That sounds whiney to me. Eakins needs to take ownership of what is happening right now.

In any event it is all academic, I believe Eakins will probably get the rest of this season, and next, to show what he can do. Unless the team is totally out of it by around Christmas 2014.

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#168 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 03:10PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

I'll agree to disagree on Sammy Snowpants.

Regardless coming up with a catchy phrase for doing bad and McDavid....it's a tough one, if you can think of one I'd like to hear it.

Best I have is "lurid for McDavid", doesn't roll off the tongue though.

McDavid is a centerman I'd be happy to draft as "Normal Sized". He's no monster but his skill level is worth it, or appears to be thus far!

Lets be honest, we'll likely be in the dumpster next year also so McDavid is a real possibility!

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#169 Dave
January 23 2014, 03:35PM
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Eakins was on the radio saying that they were trying to install an identity and a system for the long term.

What would that be, I am not sure.

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#170 primeau
January 23 2014, 04:21PM
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Then should a complete rebuild start at drafting the blueline? Would'nt that be considered a plan. Does anyone know what the plan is or was exactly in edmonton? And I mean details, milestones and contingents. Did they think 20 year old kids were going to put this team on their backs and succeed with out proven top minute defense or a goalie. I find it hard to believe no one in the organization seen this coming

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#171 bazmagoo
January 23 2014, 04:33PM
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So much negativity on Oilers Nation today, don't think I've ever seen so many trashes of comments!

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#172 tyler
January 23 2014, 04:51PM
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this seasons a gonner....lets draft conner!

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#173 mayorblaine
January 23 2014, 04:58PM
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i don't want to trade anyone anymore. keep everyone. i want them to just keep developing and drafting. i want to let this line of thinking run its course. see if they'll come around.

this would be fun. and funny.

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#174 Walter Sobchak
January 23 2014, 05:19PM
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bored wrote:

The years of wanting multiple first round picks are over. We need players that are capable of playing in the NHL today and if we have to give up some future prospects to get them, than we do so. Drooling over junior hockey players is a step backwards.

We should try to trade the pick for proven talent, but if nothing fair or useful comes to fruition, than draft the best player who fulfill the biggest need.

Who said anything about drooling over a Jr?

Drafting for need is what got the Oilers terrible prospects for 15 to 20 years.

You draft BPA unless a centre is so damn close, then you draft the centre.

This trade Yakupov or trade Eberle has got to be the worst idea in a long list of ideas.

What makes more sense? Trading Perron who's under contract for only 3 more years & has value or Yakupov who we still have no idea what he may do & has little value.

Does it make sense the Oilers trade Eberle for a centre when we can draft a centre or trade that pick for one?

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#175 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 23 2014, 07:20PM
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pkam wrote:

How much will Gagner get? Nobody really knows.

4 years ago, Garbagekov got us a 2nd rounder. An aged and slow overpaid Staios got us a 3rd rounder and Aaron Johnson. And Penner got us a 1st, a 2nd and a prospect.

2011, Cogliano got us a 2nd rounder.

Last season, we got Mike Brown for a 4th rounder.

Earlier this year, Mike Brown got us a 4th rounder.

At trade deadline last season, the Sharks got 2 2nd rounders for Doug Murray.

I don't how much the other teams are willing to pay, but I am not trading him away for just a 3rd rounder.

I don't think there's any way that the Oilers are trading Gagner for picks. I can see them trading Hemsky for picks maybe (only because they seem eager to move him)....but Gagner has got to return established talent or they keep him for another year....that's my sense of the situation. Seems likely that it would be Gagner plus a good prospect for one player coming back.

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#176 Walter Sobchak
January 23 2014, 09:13PM
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michael wrote:

Bennett and Rheinhart are right there for the taking. Gagner at the draft gets you a solid NHL player. The Oilers will shed 9-11 contracts this summer.

Ryan Smyth,Jones,Scrivens,IB,N.Shultz,Joensuu,Grebby,Potter,Eager,Smack and so forth.

MacT will have cap room to spare.Contract space to sign guys like Dillon Simpson and Yakimov.Slepyshev.Chase.

MacT needs 5o ride out this sh#$storm.He has to be like LT Dan from Forrest Gump. scream and yell and ride out the storm.

look at my earlier post #40. I just feel that the win right now and damn the cost to the franchise long term pundits are beating their collective chests loudly. I hope that MacT takes a calm reflective approach and makes further changes based on his assessment based not on the voices of the mob. But on what he knows is right for this franchise long term.

Well said,

In no way am I giving this management group a pass here, I will say if MacTavish can resist the urge to make a huge stupid trade then I think the Oilers can at least start to show a huge improvement.

I don't trade any of the kids and it had better be a massive overpayment to pry that draft pick away.

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#177 Striker
January 23 2014, 10:18PM
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@Jeffff

I see you're not going to answer my question about whether I interpreted your comments correctly in post #217.

It's a good tactic to deflect the question and ask me to define racism or to quote the academic credentials of Bush.

That's fine, you don't have to answer obviously, it's the internet after all. I'll just let the conversation sit where it is and people can judge for themselves.

PS Sorry to everyone for going off on a sidebar that wasn't really about the article. Just though I had to address that comment. Some days I let comments like those pass by. Just didn't feel like letting it pass by today.

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#178 THRNHJE
January 23 2014, 11:29PM
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For all of you looking for the tank slogan for McDavid, the team will suck D for Mac-D

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#179 BobbyCanuck
January 24 2014, 10:06AM
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Jeffff wrote:

Bush does have a MBA from Harvard and graduated from Yale. How about you?

Yes, Bush has an MBA from Harverd, I beleive there is also a library on campus named after his father, read into it what you will.

I read daddy got me into Harvard

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#180 Zarny
January 24 2014, 10:48AM
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pkam wrote:

I am not against getting some veteran D help, I just want to confirm that you are not suggesting that it will speed up the rebuild.

In fact, I support the idea. I am so tired of reading the negative comments and hearing the calls for the head of Lowe, MacT, Eakins, and some players here. I am sure this will help the situation.

Just don't mortgage our future for short term #2/3. I absolutely don't want to go back to pre-2010 era.

Absolutely some veteran D will speed up the rebuild.

And I'm not talking about mortgaging the future.

There is no future where Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Ekblad and all the young prospects are the Oilers blueline.

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#181 Johe
January 23 2014, 12:18PM
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I don't think Ehrhoff is the answer. The contract is just too long. I would take aim at Giordano, although that's probably a pipe dream. I would even offer Gagner, Klefbom. Then in the offseason, sign either Girardi(preferred) or Orpik. Draft Ekblad. Then your depth chart looks like this:

Giordano Girardi

Ference Petry

Marincin Schultz

Belov

Send Nurse and Ekblad back to junior. Gernat, Musil, and Fedun continue to develop in AHL.

But alas, this is in a world where good things happen to the Oilers. AKA, not this world. But while we're daydreaming, how 'bout we sign Bolland, Winnik, Moulson, Ott, and Hiller.

Depth chart:

Hall Bolland Eberle

Moulson Nugent-Hopkins Perron

Winnik Ott Yakupov

Hendricks Gordon Arco

Gazdic Joensuu Pitlick

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#182 billythebullet
January 23 2014, 12:43PM
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There r stopgap options out there. I belive we wont see any of them on the oilers till draft week and free agency. Anyone coming from trades imo at the deadline will be good dmen with worse contracts like b.campbell or c.erhoff.

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#183 Sisyphus
January 23 2014, 01:19PM
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Here is the main problem. I agree with the article whole-heartedly. We cannot wait for these kids to hopefully, miraculously blossom into top NHL dmen, in a very short period of time.

However, we aren't going to be able to trade for any help soon either. We have VERY few truly tradeable pieces--almost our entire d is gone after this season (no ones giving you anything for a decent rental, much less these crappy rentals). Our bottom 6 is laughable--its AHL quality. And even our stars are only middle-of-road players on decent teams.

If you're an opposing GM, and MacT calls about a solid dman, top forward with size and skill, etc. what do you ask for in return? If its me, I refuse to even entertain the conversation unless Hall or Eberle are on the table. Which they will not be--MacT wont touch them. And no GM in the league wants anything else from us. If players are struggling on one of the worst teams in the league, why on earth would anyone expect them to do better on a quality team? If anything, it would just highlight how bad they actually are

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#184 G-Unitmedia
January 23 2014, 01:20PM
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In a rebuild it would seem important to maintain enough quality veterans to guide the young players around the league. Management has done nothing to address these problems in the past and it doesn't look to be getting better.

You need a veteran player taking the media questions after tough losses, showing the work and dedication required to win in short being Shawn Horcoff. I know that many Oiler fans, myself included, were tired of watching his overpaid butt on the ice, but it was almost always the overpaid part that bugs us. Instead we keep a habitually out of shape Ryan Smyth. He has never been in shape, takes the stupidest penalties, has an average peewee shot and hasn't won a battle outside of the crease area since '94. He has had heart and guts for years, but beyond that he doesn't bring anything to the table.

The fact that Eakins has him on the penalty kill is an insult to every other player in that dressing room.

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#185 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 01:33PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I in my heart-of-hearts want a decent trade to happen.........the problem I have is that no "real", player will consider Edmonton as an option.

With this in mind our only real option is to develop our own talent.

It's well know that in player circles ( I know a few players) that Edmonton is not player friendly......we have 6 rings to thank for that. Players know that management in Edmonton is poison.

Eventually Katz will figure that out.

So the players you know specifically say that K.Lowe is bad for players?

If so, can you elaborate with specifics?

After the Souray/Tambo ordeal, i could see a bad wrap coming from that. But Tambo is gone and now players deal with a GM that was a coach and a player with a great career. The player experience might be different starting the minute MacT was hired

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#186 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 01:40PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I feel like there are only 2 options for the Oilers at this year's draft: Ekblad or Draisaitl. Ekblad is clearly a decent pickup, all you need to do is watch him play. Draisaitl on the other hand, isn't as obvious and IMO is only up in the top 10 because of his size + Position.

If there is a way the Oilers can draft Draisaitl at a lower number and somehow get something for trading their #1/2 position, then that could be an option.

BUT!

Let's say in this fantasy scenario that Draisaitl will go 8th and the Oilers trade #2 for #8. What, in return, can a team realistically expect in trading the #2 spot for a #8 spot?

Is the return + a 2nd rnder? + a player? + prospect? both picks are top 10 so really... What is the expected return on doing something like this and is it worth the gamble of missing out on your guy at 8th (What if calgary takes him at #3!!!?!?!!?)

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#187 pkam
January 23 2014, 02:06PM
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@DisappointedFan

I didn't know I said to sign 1/2D UFA.

Let me repeat again what I said.

I don't mind to pay a high price to trade for a true 1/2D if he has a long contract or willing to sign a long contract.

I don't want to pay a high price for a 1/2/3D for a couple of years only. I'll rather sign a UFA 2/3D to a 2 year beefy contract.

If none is available, then I'll take the pain.

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#188 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 02:08PM
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@A-Mc

Missed games are missed games, he has played 1 - 48 game season which was the closest to a full season he's played yet. Regardless of injury prone he still makes every other point glaringly clear with his play this year.

I'm not talking when Gregor or Stauffer are talking because they all see Gagner as an asset. I'm talking when they bring in radio hosts from other cities or GMs from other cities or people from TSN or CBC, the people who have an unbiased opinion of the Oilers.

It would be like trying to sell you on Artem Anisimov being traded for a first rounder

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#189 G-Unit
January 23 2014, 02:09PM
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Ed in Edmotnon wrote:

So you are saying that they should be insulted that an aging 38 year old has been is still better at PK than most others on the team?

Aged - not aging.

If a lazy 38 year old is your top penalty killer then the pk coach should be fired immediately.

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#190 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 02:16PM
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@pkam

Wording is everything on those things.

Well you can't bank on any player staying around anywhere for more than a couple years, especially a 30th/29th place team. Because there is a chance anything can happen, but at the end of the day if you get 2-3 years out of them I'd consider that a big win since we should have Nurse and the gang up and hopefully ready to play by then.

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#191 Lochenzo
January 23 2014, 02:17PM
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I guess the other point we should make is that this Dman we receive should ideally have at least 5 years of high performance left on the odometer. That's the window for bringing along guys like Nurse, and maybe Ekblad. They can mentor and shelter their minutes if and when required.

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#192 Ed in Edmonton
January 23 2014, 02:19PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Right, and Gagner is a problem for the Oilers but could be perceived as having real value to another team. IE: it doesn't have to be a problem for problem situation.

Was Klein a problem for NSH? It seems to me NSH traded real value for someone they PERCEIVE as having something they value more.

Our "problem" can still garner real value back from another team that needs scoring from the top 9.

I agree that someone else's problem might be a fit with the Oil, but might just a easily be a problem here as well. The point is some people are dreaming in Technicolor about Gagner's trade value.

BTW Dreger did consider Klein a "problem" for Nashville, although it might have been more contract than performance.

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#193 Dallylamma
January 23 2014, 02:29PM
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Posti wrote:

It so weird because Edmonton used to be the feeder system for the league. We'd trade a great veteran for two or three prospects, turn them into solid NHLers then repeat.

What the hell happened? Now we can't turn our own bona fide superstars into just regular stars. A stud D man will definitely help but don't hold your horses cause he ain't coming. If you were a rival GM what would you take off the Oilers to give up your best defensman?

If the Oilers want to change the culture they need better coaching because for all intents and purposes THIS IS THE TEAM WE HAVE, make due with what you have !

"What happened?"

Mike Milbury isn't a NHL GM anymore, that's what happened.

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#194 neilswheels
January 23 2014, 02:59PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The Oilers will draft Ekblad because they are in such a mess. ( they should be looking hard at DalColle Draisaitl or Reinheart ) .

My take.

Draft a centre because when it comes down to the top 5 players being extremely close in projection & skill you alway should draft the centre.

This is despite what the Oilers need, the hardest position to fill are skilled centre's and they rarely get traded.

These players tend fit into the line up quicker then a defensmen.

This free's up Gagner to be used as trade, this way the Oilers are not taking from Peter to pay Paul as someone mentioned earlier.

The Oilers can trade there pick move back & still acquire & skilled centre.

What I Think the Oilers actually do.

Draft Ekblad

Slam Nurse into a hole in the line up.

Trade Gagner.

Try to fill a new hole at centre with ether Hall or Arcobelo

The Oilers will go whale hunting this summer come up with like type players with the ones that left creating the same team again.

thats a good argument, although because of immediate size requirements maybe the big german is best here. then trade gagner and maybe yak together (although his upside is dangerously not known yet) for a GOOD STRONG D man who, as you say, can mentor the new kids. But then this argument requires patience for Draistle to develop and development time is not on the oilers side with 4 first round forwards learning the game, along with marincin, nurse, and Petry.

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#195 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 03:02PM
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@A-Mc

I'll agree to disagree on Sammy Snowpants.

Regardless coming up with a catchy phrase for doing bad and McDavid....it's a tough one, if you can think of one I'd like to hear it.

Best I have is "lurid for McDavid", doesn't roll off the tongue though.

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#196 Woogie63
January 23 2014, 03:08PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

I see Chicago giving MacT a call because Gagner and Kane did so well in junior. Besides that, what team wants an undersized overpaid 2nd line centermen who can't win draws, has not tallied more than 49 points, is consistently injured, and plays a poor defensive zone game. That isn't my opinion, that is the opinion of other teams around the league who talk to our talk show hosts.

I would say if anything we overvalue him because he's not a quality 2nd Line NHL player.

I see Edmonton and Chicago has trading partner because we can give them the depth needed for a Cup run, with no term in 2014/15, little cap in 2013.

Here is how,

Going to Chicago 80, 83, 15 Going to Edmonton, Raanta and McNeil.

Chicago get better in goal Chicago get veterns that can add depth and help the PP and PK for a cup run this year.

Edmonton get the younger goalie for their run at the cup in 3 years Edmonton get a big young centre that is scoring in the AHL

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#197 vinotintazo
January 23 2014, 03:45PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Yea another soft winger is exactly what the Oilers need...

better than johensuu

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#198 Jesse
January 23 2014, 04:12PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Yea because it would guarantee picking first overall for another 5 years.

No this is how you build a team. Obviously these trades won't happen. But will bet you within 2 years you could only wish to have these players.

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#199 michael
January 23 2014, 04:26PM
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Hemsky and 1/2 salary to Chicago for Mark McNiel.Or to Philly fpr Scott Laughton

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#200 tyler
January 23 2014, 04:58PM
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this seasons a gonner....lets draft conner!

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