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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#51 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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#52 Rama Lama
January 23 2014, 01:28PM
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Striker wrote:

So you would be willing to "endure" the pain. So you're willing to wait for Nurse, Klefbom et al to develop which may take another 2-3 years and in the meantime endure more seasons of merde like this one? I am not. We need a dman who can play now. That doesn't mean you trade away a blue chip forward for nothing mind you. As for the UFA option you suggest, you might want to have a look at the upcoming UFA dmen and ask yourself whether any of them is a solution. On second thought don't look, it'll only depress you. Trade is the route to go. BTW agree with you on Clarkson, Edm dodged a bullet there.

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.

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#53 China town man
January 23 2014, 01:47PM
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After hearing Dallas speak on the radio!!! I am less angry and more on his side wtf

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#54 A-Mc
January 23 2014, 01:49PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

If Gagner returns more than a 3rd rounder and Draisaitls jock-strap I would be surprised.

I honestly think we, as a fan base, undervalue Gagner. We undervalue him because he's exactly what we DONT need on this team. Our needs are NOT the same as other Team's needs.

Gagner has shown he can put up ~50pts a season. He has shown that he can drop the mitts when he feels taken advantage of. He has shown that he has some decent character to him.

He has also shown that he can be a huge defensive liability.

GM's from other teams will see anyone from edmonton and understand why the defensive game isnt there in the players. If a GM's team is defensive minded and needs scoring, i dont doubt a GM could attempt to pick him up and make a semi reclamation project out of him.

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#55 Ed in Edmotnon
January 23 2014, 01:56PM
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G-Unitmedia wrote:

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.

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?

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#56 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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#57 Lochenzo
January 23 2014, 02:00PM
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Eberle, Perron, Gagner, Yakupov should be available for trade. It'd be a major mistake to bring back anything less than a top-2 defenceman if you were to trade one or package a couple of them together.

That being said, Byfuglien is off my list. He looks like he really enjoys playing forward. A wnger for winger trade won't make this team much better.

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#58 Rick Stroppel
January 23 2014, 02:24PM
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THERE IS NO PLAN

One big mistake many people make is assuming that Lowe and MacTavish have developed, or will develop, any kind of a coherent strategy to "turn this around". At the beginning of the season, about four months ago, MacTavish was saying he was impatient and was going to make bold moves to make the team somewhat competitive now(ie at least compete for a playoff spot this year). So he trades this years' second and (I believe) third round draft picks. Then he tells everyone he is going to trade the first round pick too. I heard MacTavish do a "year end" interview with Stauffer around December 30. He was asked whether trading that first round pick depended on how the team finished, and basically he said no, he would explore trading the pick no matter how high it was.

THREE WEEKS LATER Katz is writing his letter saying we need to be patient, not impatient, we are keeping our draft picks, we are now building through the draft. YOU CALL THIS A PLAN?

MacTavish is the guy who fired a very decent man and a promising coach (Kreuger) based on a "hunch" he probably developed during a 45 minute interview with Eakins. Leaving the skype issue aside, Kreuger never got a fair chance to show what he could do. MacTavish had no "plan" concerning coaching.

Face it: MacTavish and Lowe are nitwits who will continue making huge mistakes until they are fired.

PS: Any talk of quality UFA's coming here is a waste of time. Everybody in the league can see what a cluster-flub this team has become.

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#59 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 02:42PM
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@A-Mc

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.

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#60 Tikkanese
January 23 2014, 03:38PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

The real question you should ask is, can we get Penner for less than a 1st, a 2nd and a prospect?

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

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#61 Bucknuck
January 23 2014, 06:52PM
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Good article JW. This has been obvious to me for a long time, and obvious to you apparently. The question I would like to have answered is whether it is obvious to MacT.

I like MacT and think he is going to get the job done. HOWEVER, if he hasn't acquired a top D by the time next season starts, the man should be fired. I don't care how articulate he is.

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#62 Taylor Gang
January 23 2014, 10:49AM
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One word: trade

It's time to make that bold move. How does management think that this defensive core should suffice? Without defense, we will lose. And lose, and lose, and lose.

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#63 Mack Strong
January 23 2014, 11:05AM
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Mitch wrote:

OT:

I'm watching TSN regarding Seahawks Sherman's rant. They go on to say Sherman is the most articulate athlete in sports. I really wonder if TSN would say this about a white player. TSN does not even know how racist that statement was.

What the H E double hockey sticks are you talking about???

How is that racist!!??

Nevermind i don't want to hear anything else come out of your mouth….

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#64 oilerjed
January 23 2014, 11:22AM
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Mitch wrote:

It is racist because you would never describe a white athlete as the most articulate player in sports. You describe a black player in those terms as if your shocked or white guilt. Either way your not treating the black player as an equal.

Why exactly would you not describe a white athelte in those terms? Seems to me that the meaning is exactly the opposite of what you are implying. If you are implying that the qualifcation of "in sports" is the problem then the prejudice may belong to you.

edit: fixed spelling

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#65 Striker
January 23 2014, 12:24PM
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Ehrhoff is exactly the type of player we need. Someone who isn't a name big defenseman and hopefully someone who is undervalued in the market. The guy is making a 4 mill caphit a year, starting from the d-zone, playing the other teams tough lines, and consistently outshooting his opposition. In the prime of his career which is what we need. We can't wait for our prospect dmen to develop while burning the years off the contracts of our skill forwards (Nuge, Hall, Yak, Ebs)

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#66 Striker
January 23 2014, 12:35PM
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@Arius Mumin

Me too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

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#67 Nina Russo
January 23 2014, 01:28PM
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Didn't you hear Eakins on the Stauffer show -- this is year one of a new rebuild. The "re-rebuild" won't end for another five years ...

Ha! So sad.

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#68 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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#69 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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#70 bazmagoo
January 23 2014, 01:52PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Wes, if Edmonton decided to take one of those centers instead of Ekblad do you think trading Gagner to Toronto for Jake Gardiner would be a good fit for Edmonton? Plus or minus draft picks on either side, not sure where each players value is at. In my mind it would be straight up because Gagner's salary reduces his value compared to Gardiner who is at a reasonable salary for his current ability level.

This wouldn't fix Edmonton's blueline, but would add another solid emerging defender who played with Justin Schultz in college I believe.

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#71 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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#72 Will
January 23 2014, 02:54PM
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Would everyone be happy with Arco as our number 2 if he had larger wingers? The guy is small sure but he wins a ton of face offs, plays bigger than he is, and can put up numbers when playing with skill players.

Getting Gagners contract off the books might be the best way to open the door for Arco and allow Edmonton to go whale hunting for Callahan and Moulsen.

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#73 vinotintazo
January 23 2014, 03:18PM
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A bit off topic, but what do you guys think of ryan jones latetly? hes been good at least for a 4rth line guy, he can't score a lot but hes an energy guy that can kill penalties and is a good guy in the room.

Is he on hes way out this year? or would we resign him?

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#74 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 03:53PM
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@Mustangheart

You're forgetting the year he had 63 points, he led the Oilers in points...it was a rough year.

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#75 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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#76 tyler
January 23 2014, 04:58PM
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this seasons a gonner....lets draft conner!

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#77 Oliveoiler
January 23 2014, 05:57PM
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Man, I am SO tired of all this losing and negativity. We all seem to think we know better than anyone else. We have started slamming each other, and everyone in the Oilers' organization including the players. This has to stop, it's bullying and is not acceptable - if our kids were slammed or bullied like this we would be up in arms. Until we are paid the big $$$, until we are NHL caliber players, until we have spent years honing our hockey skills and until we REALLY know what we are talking about, why don't we throw some positivity on all of this and support our team regardless, after all, that's what being a true fan is all about. Trash me all you like - I've had enough of this b*****it.

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#78 Rusty Patenaude
January 23 2014, 06:26PM
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St. Louis Blues 2010-2011 Alex Pieterangelo age 20/21 yr. old: 79 gp 11g 32 a 43 pts +18 Kevin Shattenkirk age 21/22 yr. old: 72 gp. 9 g 34 a 43 pts. -4 Roman Polák age 24 yr. old: 55 gp 3g 9a 12pts -4 Hmmm...they did alright going with kids.

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#79 Jeffff
January 23 2014, 08:47PM
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@Mitch

No one bothers to call Eli Manning smart, because they know it’s not an anomaly that a white quarterback is intelligent. Yet some dreadlocked black cornerback has a slightly above-average intelligence, and every sportswriter bends over backwards to call him a genius and articulate .

To quote George W. Bush: this is “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

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#80 Striker
January 23 2014, 09:30PM
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@Jeffff

Ahhh, it was only a matter of time. I didn't think someone would actually go there but you did.

"not an anomaly that a white quarterback is intelligent"

And the cherry on top, you quote George W. Bush as wise sage that justifies your ridiculous stereotype.

Well played sir...well played.

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#81 pkam
January 23 2014, 11:12AM
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@Willis

I know Ekblad and Nurse won't be our immediate help. But it doesn't look like we are going to get a top pairing D from trade or UFA. So what is our option?

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#82 Mitch
January 23 2014, 11:17AM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

I agree

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#83 etownman
January 23 2014, 11:18AM
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Danger Pay wrote:

Why can't the Oilers develop their own defensemen? It's not like top end Dmen are lining up to play for the Oilers. Which current NHL #1 or #2 D-man would come to Edmonton Via Trade or FA? Stay the course draft D-men, Goalies, Big Forwards and don't rush but Develop them!!!!!!!!!

B/C news flash everyone... The Oilers will miss the Playoffs next year too!

Exactly, except lets hope that we'll at least be contending for that final playoff spot next year if we make some decent trades & maybe a FA signing or two! Stay the course with the young guys though!

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#84 CaptainLander
January 23 2014, 11:42AM
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I think the problem comes to acquisition. I do not see any team in the league that has too many #1 d-men that they can lose one with it leaving a huge a gap in their own lineups. Even in Chicago, if Keith or Seabrook go down to injury they have some depth but if they move a guy like Seabrook and Keith goes down can Hjarlmasson play 30 minutes a nigh and carry that load? Can his d partner? Not likely. That leaves potential free agents. Suter etc. Not a lot of them available and not many will to join a struggling team and franchise. That leaves the only option to me and that is develop your own. Yes by the time the Oiler d has a top parring of Klefbom and Nurse(as an example) the Oiler forward lineup may look completely different. The fact is if they do choose to move any of the fab 4 forwards 2-3 years from now it will be for a pretty good return add the should be the finishing touches to make a cup run. Waiting sucks but options are limited.

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#85 DisappointedFan
January 23 2014, 12:03PM
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@camdog

So Kevin Lowe is the one who has a series of strings on each player on the ice making them play poorly?

I will admit he does a terrible job managing the team and putting the right players on it, but I find it hard to believe he's the one MAKING them under-perform when they do well in the AHL.

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#86 2004Z06
January 23 2014, 12:06PM
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Mitch wrote:

It is racist because you would never describe a white athlete as the most articulate player in sports. You describe a black player in those terms as if your shocked or white guilt. Either way your not treating the black player as an equal.

It was a general statement by TSN. It had no reference to color at all. You are the one making an assumption as to the intent and playing the race card. Many people regardless of color have been described as articulate.

You should really not be allowed near a computer.

It is people like you that proliferate racial stereotypes through this type of nonsense.

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#87 Spydyr
January 23 2014, 12:09PM
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pkam wrote:

I wonder why the Hawks drafted Anton Babchuk ahead of Duncan Keith? And why so many teams passed on him and let him go 54th overall?

Don't forget the team that drafted Seabrook and Keith also drafted Barker 3rd overall.

Sure, every team makes mistakes in the draft. It is hard drafting 18 year old kids. The Oilers are just consistently bad outside the first round.

Prove me wrong.

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#88 Posti
January 23 2014, 12:11PM
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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 !

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#89 S cottV
January 23 2014, 12:19PM
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The needs are securing a top goaltender, 2 veteran d men for the top two rotations, a veteran 2C, get bigger in the process and bigger in general.

The above saves the near future day, to compliment the maturation of Hall and RNH.

Truth is - it is probably not going to happen with the likes of no trade clauses, UFA's who would prefer to go elsewhere and the fact that we dont have a lot to offer in return for these pieces.

So - development in the back end, may be the only route and unfortunately, Hall and RNH may need to go, at their most marketable point in the process.

Sad but true. The team is built @ss backwards and it has to be flipped around.

MacT obviously will try to pry some of the needed pieces but I think they really need to have a plan if filling the critical holes just cannot be done short term.

I really think they need a Hitchcock like Coach, who can tighten things up systematically, in order to shelter and fast track - as much as is possible, the back end development. You cant keep playing Oilers hockey with bombs going off left and right - expecting young d men and a prospect goalie to develop.

With the right Coach - with the right stuff, the Oilers just might find that they are able to win quite a few 3 to 2 hockey games in the meantime.

Beats the hell out of losing a whole pile of 5 to 4 hockey games, in my mind.

I mean - I like reasonable flow hockey like the next guy, as long as you can support it and win consistently.

With an inadequate back end - the Oilers can't support it - period.

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#90 Striker
January 23 2014, 12:20PM
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@Mitch @Mack Strong @ Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things @bluetada @oilerjed

I think Mitch's idea about the word "articulate" being used is analagous to the "well spoken" adjective being used to describe Colin Powell in this commentary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj050bz-k9o

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#91 Joe Mamma
January 23 2014, 12:20PM
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@JW

Unfortunately JW, I think it's pretty clear that this is EXACTLY what their "plan" is. KLowe's interview on Gregor's show the other day indicated that this is precisely what they are counting on.

It is indicative of the flawed concept that the prospects can come up to the show and propel the team forward, which they have been trying (and failing at) for the past 5+ seasons.

What these nitwits need to get through their thick skulls is that without bonafide NHL veteran leadership, these kids will likely never develop into top-flight NHLers. Datsyuk and Zetterberg got to learn from Yzerman, Lidstrom, Federov and Hull. Crosby had Lemieux (!), Recchi, Leclair, Palffy, and Gonchar. Stamkos had St.louis, Lecavalier, Recchi, and Roberts. On and on. In fact, I would bet you can make a direct correlation between the quality of today's superstars, and the quality of the players they learned from.

The Oilers have never provided any veteran leadership (and no, Smyth, Horcoff and Hemsky don't count. Look at the names I've listed and tell me if they can hold their jocks) and until we get some on this club, it's going to be more of the same. These kids need someone to show them, on the ice, in the games, how it's done. Ference, while I think he is a good addtion, is not that guy. All this group has seen since they were assembled is how to lose. That is the failure of this management group, and in my opinion, until it is rectified we will always be a sub-par NHL squad.

I dunno, maybe it's just me.

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#92 Brad
January 23 2014, 12:21PM
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Dave Lumley was on Oilers Now yesterday and was a pretty solid interview. Basically put Stauffer in his place. He said everything that we fans have been thinking all season.

Why are Hall and Eberle continuing to make the same mistakes?

Gagner, Hemsky, etc have zero trade value.

You can talk about bringing in big, two way dmen or big top 6 centres, or big top 6 winger, but no one wants to trade those right now.

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#93 Striker
January 23 2014, 12:30PM
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@Rama Lama

So you would be willing to "endure" the pain. So you're willing to wait for Nurse, Klefbom et al to develop which may take another 2-3 years and in the meantime endure more seasons of merde like this one? I am not. We need a dman who can play now. That doesn't mean you trade away a blue chip forward for nothing mind you. As for the UFA option you suggest, you might want to have a look at the upcoming UFA dmen and ask yourself whether any of them is a solution. On second thought don't look, it'll only depress you. Trade is the route to go. BTW agree with you on Clarkson, Edm dodged a bullet there.

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#94 oilerjed
January 23 2014, 12:36PM
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K_Mart wrote:

I agree the team needs a stop-gap, but I don't agree that the right decision is to break up the core and deal one of Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Yak, or J. Schultz.

I subscribe to selling high, don't most people? Do you think those core pieces I just mentioned have value on the market that is at it's peak? Maybe their value stays the same, but it certainly isn't about to drop any time soon.

There is one player on the oilers who is worth more right now than he will ever be worth again... One player who's value is at its Peak: David Perron. He has been better than anyone in oil country could have expected and if ever there is going to be a time to move him, that time is now. If a package involving Perron can bring in one of Hamonic, Roman Josi, Brodin, MacDonald, Mcdonagh, or another d man that is under 30 than great. That basically means we traded MPS for our top d man.

If you're screaming that Perron is way too valuable to move, than you're reinforcing my point of how highly people value him right now. Higher now than he ever will be again.

I might argue Perron can get close to as much as Eberle or more because he brings a nastiness that Eberle doesn't have, his contract is much lower, and he's right behind Eberle offensively. But in the long term, eberle is more valuable to this team than Perron.

Stay the course. It's the right decision, and it's the best course of action. If you're worried that hall's contract will be up by the time we make the playoffs, than there's no hope for you. You can't let the fear of losing Hall dictate how this team is managed. Thinking like that will just get the oilers in more trouble.

Move Hemsky, Perron, and Gagner if you can get fair value.

This may be the best idea on here. I like Perron alot but it doesnt look like he is in the long term plans. What is his actual value I wonder. Most definitely better return then Gags but less then Ebs?

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#95 Oilbaron
January 23 2014, 12:40PM
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camdog wrote:

That's pretty much what Steve Staois said when the organization said they were going to get rid of all the veterans. I remember when people would get mad at guys like Moreau when they gave their exit interviews, seems like many of these players were right about management was doing and the vision of the organization was faulty.

OH it all makes sense now! With the intention of 'rebuilding', Katz traded away all of the real leadership, and now this team is overall too young to know how to win in the nhl. Kinda shot yourself in the foot there bud.

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#96 Curcro
January 23 2014, 12:40PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Sure, every team makes mistakes in the draft. It is hard drafting 18 year old kids. The Oilers are just consistently bad outside the first round.

Prove me wrong.

In the last 5 years, the Oilers sit 15th in the NHL (middle of the pack, so not good not bad in 2nd to 7th Rounds Picks playing games)

It is the 2007 and before drafts that they suck at.

Who is number one? I am glad you asked, Anaheim has gotten the most out of its 2nd to 7th Rounders since the 2008 draft.

Stick Tap to Hockeydb.com

Proven wrong... average isn't bad, just average.

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#97 Oilbaron
January 23 2014, 12:55PM
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I think Mac-T will trade for a veteran top pairing D before next season. The cap is going up and a lot of teams will likely be making moves after this season. Mactavish knows what's up and he's not going to get fleeced by another GM, so I look forward to the day we hear about this trade.

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#98 G-Unit
January 23 2014, 12:58PM
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I have been saying it for years that Chabot must go. We have had a number of promising young goalies that plateau in the past Delauriers, Roy, Duby, Conklin. Maybe not all destined to be stars, but many of them highly thought of as youngsters. Dubnyk was drafted in the first round, and would have been taken by any team by the third round, and hasn't progressed. I could see the hole in his game from a couch and yet the professional goalie coach couldn't teach him to go down without lifting first. His upper body lifts when he goes down exposing the area under his arms. Pretty basic stuff. Even if it isn't Chabot's fault, or Bucky's, or Smith's they have been on such a bad team for so long they need to be changed out regardless.

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#99 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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#100 NsxZero
January 23 2014, 01:06PM
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Bold move.

Edmonton Oilers Announce Purchase of Bakersfield Condors (ECHL)

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=701949&navid=DL|EDM|home

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