THE WAY I SEE IT: SUCCESS, PLEASE

Robin Brownlee
January 28 2014 06:03PM

The way I see it, the Edmonton Oilers will be far better served in the long run by having as much success as possible in their final 27 games of the season than they will by sucking so badly they get another crack at a first overall pick.

What the Oilers need now is for the core players they've assembled in previous seasons of ineptitude and suffering – Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov – to find out what it feels like to win rather than more filing off the ice game after game carrying yet more failure on their shoulders.

What the Oilers don't need is their fourth first overall draft pick in the last five years, even if the reward for being the worst team in the NHL this season is prized defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Another blue-chipper, no matter how good he is, who'll help the team three years down the road isn’t as important as having the group assembled now – not to mention fans who expected better this season – get a taste of how it feels to win.

The good news is that the Oilers, 17-32-6 for 40 points, can tear it up, relatively speaking, in these final 27 games and still get a crack at a top-three selection next June. They're buried so deep now, even winning 14-15 of their remaining games likely isn't going to move them above 28th place.

No Ekblad there? Too bad.

DOWN THE STRETCH

Not everybody agrees with my approach, of course. With playoffs out of the question for the eighth straight season, there is a segment of fans who'd like to see the Oilers "tank it" and finish last, getting the best possible pick. The hopeless Buffalo Sabres, with 35 points, sit 30th now.

The only team the Oilers have a realistic chance of overtaking is the 28th place Calgary Flames, who have 43 points (and three games in hand). Right now, the Florida Panthers occupy 27th with 49 points and they also have three games in hand. The Oilers won’t catch them even with 14-15 wins.

Playing at or near .500 in terms of available points the rest of the way isn't going to undue the struggles of the first 55 games in the eyes of fans, and that's understandable, but it could do wonders for the aforementioned likes of Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov. Winning is and has to be a part of development and there's been precious little of that around here.

No matter how this team finishes, it goes without saying there's still a helluva lot of work for GM Craig MacTavish to do before the Oilers get anywhere near a playoff spot. This much we know.

That said, I'd rather see Hall and the rest of the kids head into the off-season with something resembling confidence and feeling good about themselves in April after a modest run of success than have June roll around and hear, "With the first overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers select . . ."

WHILE I'M AT IT

. . . As good as Ekblad is, I'm not sure the Oilers could go far wrong if they were to hang on to the third overall pick and get a crack at either Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett, both centres.

. . . Sam Gagner is playing his best hockey of the season after a horrendous start and that's good news. Gagner is, far and away, the likeliest player to be dealt between now and training camp next season – assuming there's nothing big on the table that involves one of the core group – and he will strengthen MacTavish's hand with a solid finish.

. . . I've liked the way Jeff Petry has played over the last stretch a lot more than I liked him at the start of the season. He's been a lightning rod for criticism, some of it earned, mainly because he's been forced into top-pairing minutes by lack of depth. When Petry is playing second-pairing minutes, the Oilers will be a playoff team.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#51 Bushed
January 28 2014, 09:45PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers
Chambers wrote:

"winning is important but let's keep it in context"....your kidding right? Look at the Oiler loss column the last 8 years. Then look at Eberle, RNH, RNH, TH, Schultz, Hemsky, Gagne etc..these high end top guys have never experienced winning in the NHL. DO you think it is in the Oilers best interest to install winning hockey rather than have a 17 year old Eckblad added to the disaster list of ruined young talent. Please give your head a shake!

The article was about winning for the last month or so of the season, not the last 8 years.

We have won games, even this year, so it's not a totally foreign concept. And Hemmer went to game 7 of the SCF, so...

Changes have to happen before the Oilers return to playoff hockey. All I'm saying is that MacT's moves in that direction will matter more than if we win a few more games with 5-6 guys who won't even be here next year.

Finding good players to add to the core will matter more in the long run.

Avatar
#52 Time Travelling Sean
January 28 2014, 09:48PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers
K_Mart wrote:

While I don't see the benefit of tanking this year, I definitely see the benefit of doing so next year. McDavid is a generational talent a la Crosby, lemieux, gretz... We tanked for 7 years, what's 8.

Hall would be a great veteran to bring Mcdavid under his wing.

Katz should just forfeit all 82 Games before the season starts but not tell any of the oilers until the season is over lol. They can win all they want but hold on to that 30th ranking.

McDavid isn't Crosby, the WJ's showed that.

Avatar
#53 DonDon
January 28 2014, 09:59PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Chambers wrote:

Oiler fans are indeed in big trouble! The hundreds and hundreds of losses over the last 8 years has lost your perspective on sports! Be reminded losers sports is about winning it is not about draft day and drafting 1st overall in 4 consecutive years! Can't believe what I have been reading where you again actually think the Oilers should lose to gain optimal draft position. A lot of good that has done!! You currently have high level talent with shattered dreams and a chronic culture of losing! Do you really think a 17 year old like Ekblad is going to help immediately??? Unbelieveable !!

What is unbelievable is the unaccountability of the Oilers top hockey operations people for the years of the teams' utter futility.

There is no question about the Oilers' culture of losing, which starts at the top of any losing organization, with the owner. It is pernicious. ELPH (exciting, last place hockey) has taken an edge off losing for many Oilers fans. What else was there?

For the sake of the players, it is nice to see the Oilers finally win a couple of games; however, the team is still a long way from competing for a playoff spot, and contending is even further.

Choosing Ekblad in the entry draft is one of the few benefits of losing.

Avatar
#54 **
January 28 2014, 10:06PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Chambers wrote:

Actually I have one up on you...I am able to read! And what I read are various posts from Oiler fans promoting losses and draft position rather than winning culture. All that after 4 consecutive years of finishing in the sewer.

Naturally if you were able to read you would understand this.

So you're a natural then.

Avatar
#55 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 28 2014, 10:20PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
45
cheers

I think we can all relax a little because the reality is that we can cheer hard for our Oilers and we'll still be getting Ekblad, because we are far enough back and have a tougher schedule than most of the teams in the bottom 5.

So cheer hard and enjoy it...guilt free.

Avatar
#56 kale
January 28 2014, 10:26PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I think we can all relax a little because the reality is that we can cheer hard for our Oilers and we'll still be getting Ekblad, because we are far enough back and have a tougher schedule than most of the teams in the bottom 5.

So cheer hard and enjoy it...guilt free.

amen brother

Avatar
#57 The Soup Fascist
January 28 2014, 10:36PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
K_Mart wrote:

While I don't see the benefit of tanking this year, I definitely see the benefit of doing so next year. McDavid is a generational talent a la Crosby, lemieux, gretz... We tanked for 7 years, what's 8.

Hall would be a great veteran to bring Mcdavid under his wing.

Katz should just forfeit all 82 Games before the season starts but not tell any of the oilers until the season is over lol. They can win all they want but hold on to that 30th ranking.

Notwithstanding the moral and ethical issues with intentionally losing games ....

Enough already. This team needs to start winning. Being at the Oiler game on Sunday it is clear the fans WANT to root for this team, the fans WANT to support them. Desperately.

But a glimpse of what this team can do followed by games of incomplete effort or seeming ineptitude for long stretches tries everyone's patience. It has to stop.

I understand the logic but can't support the sentiment. It is in everyone's best interests to win and win as often as possible. Adding Connor McDavid (unless by some super long shot lottery pick next year) would be an embarrassment and indication that this is in fact still a terrible organization instead of one on the rise. Anything less than management securing a solid starting goaltender and a couple of good NHL defensemen (not sure how exactly MacT does that just yet) would be a huge disappointment.

Avatar
#58 Taylor Gang
January 28 2014, 10:51PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

Hate to break it to some of you, but the Oilers are not trading for a top 2 defenseman until at least the offseason. No team with a top pairing defenseman is looking to trade him away near the playoffs. Our top pairing stud is coming through the pipelines! (That's not to say they shouldn't improve their defense at the trade deadline)

Avatar
#59 27Ginge
January 28 2014, 10:54PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
27
cheers

I want to see the Oilers play well and win a few games and still win the lottery. Am I asking too much?

Avatar
#60 The Last Big Bear
January 28 2014, 11:28PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

The down side to the Oilers going on a mediocre-streak is that it will help convince the already slightly-dizzy management group that this team has "Turned The Corner".

Who needs bold moves? "This team has proven that they can get the job done, and are really starting to come together as a group."

The Oilers rode a mediocre streak last year all the way to the lofty heights of 23rd place, which had everyone on the bandwgon convinced that they had "finally turned the corner". Again.

A few wins down the stretch might be exactly what the boys on the ice need. And would keep the boys (and girls) in the stands happy. But as a Flames fan I recently saw an incompetent manager use a late-season winning streak to convince himself that the wheels had not in fact fallen off the bus, and that everything was fine, and keeping the team together for maybe another two years or so before making changes was a good idea.

A 7-game winning streak down the stretch might see Bryzgalov locked-in long term, and Smyth get another extension.

Avatar
#61 Reg Dunlop
January 29 2014, 01:18AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

First off, the things that Ekblad does in jr. will not work in the pros. The only 160lb forwards he will be able to bully will be oiler teammates in practice. Where went the conventional wisdom about never drafting a defenceman 1st overall?

Secondly, if the oil had such a chub about Mcdavid they could pull a Sam Pollack and accumulate 1st rounders from other teams like Nashville and Florida in exchange for players like Yak and this year's 1st. This could be done while trying to win as many games as possible next year.

Thirdly and finally, I like coleslaw. It goes beyond a normal craving for the salad. Go oil and go Marincin, my new favorite player. He reminds me of a young Allan Stanley.

Avatar
#62 mlselli
January 29 2014, 01:51AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Robin, great article and once again I agree with you. Just wanted to say, that we have all heard or watched pre and post game interviews from opposing players and their coaches speak of the Oilers. Many times I've heard these guys say that the Oilers have skilled guys and are a fast team. I'm hoping that if the Oilers can go on a good run of winning games, and rack up about 30 or more points, UFA & RAs may look at us differently and consider coming here. Even though our place won't change much in the standings, the very least that would be evident, is the consistency in their play,and the determination to win, which would lend itself to a system that is finally working. Just trying to stay optimistic.

Avatar
#63 tom.MTL
January 29 2014, 04:10AM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Crap the bed 4 Ekblad !

Avatar
#64 Sisyphys
January 29 2014, 05:46AM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
mlselli wrote:

Robin, great article and once again I agree with you. Just wanted to say, that we have all heard or watched pre and post game interviews from opposing players and their coaches speak of the Oilers. Many times I've heard these guys say that the Oilers have skilled guys and are a fast team. I'm hoping that if the Oilers can go on a good run of winning games, and rack up about 30 or more points, UFA & RAs may look at us differently and consider coming here. Even though our place won't change much in the standings, the very least that would be evident, is the consistency in their play,and the determination to win, which would lend itself to a system that is finally working. Just trying to stay optimistic.

I hate to say it, but its going to take more than winning a few games down the stretch this year to convince any UFA's and RA's to give this team a real look. The management is terrible, and the accountability is a joke. If you aren't named Hall, RNH, or Eberle, you will be thrown under the bus for every mistake, while they will be allowed to coast no matter how many mistakes they make. Add to that the crappy climate, the smaller city feel, and the chances of the team even making the playoffs in the next season or two...

I wish I could say there was a way to get FA's interested in the Oilers. However, short of firing Lowe, MacT, and the entire coaching staff, I really can't see how we can get anyone of value to come here willingly. It will have to be via trade, like Hendricks. I mean, come on--if you have a 4th line grinder at the end of his career, who turned down more money from us and took his chances on getting another offer? Why on earth should we think there's any chance we'll be able to get any kind of solid dmen, goalies, or even some better bottom forwards to round things out for us?

Avatar
#65 WanderingMind81
January 29 2014, 05:52AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

It's hard to decide how to feel about this team. On the one hand, I want them to get it together, to play like the team that has 3 #1 picks should be able to play. Then again, I also want them to tank, and hard, so that management sees that you cannot thrust the entire hopes of the team on the shoulders of several fairly young, extremely similar players. There's a reason the best corporate management teams are made up of diverse groups--everyone brings something a little different to the table. If you have everyone bringing the same thing, you'll do great at one thing, and probably pretty terrible at a bunch of others.

I don't want to break up the young studs group, but given how many strongly similar players we have there, I think it would honestly be in the best interest of the team to move at least one of them out, for an equal caliber player who brings a different skill set. Either a big power forward with skill, or a solid dman. Something we need, but don't have.

Avatar
#66 Spydyr
January 29 2014, 06:37AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Harry wrote:

I cant imagine that you played sports at all in your life. Tanking is 100% cowardly loser talk

So you are calling the Oilers cowards the last seven years?

Avatar
#67 Jacques Strap
January 29 2014, 07:38AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

The down side to the Oilers going on a mediocre-streak is that it will help convince the already slightly-dizzy management group that this team has "Turned The Corner".

Who needs bold moves? "This team has proven that they can get the job done, and are really starting to come together as a group."

The Oilers rode a mediocre streak last year all the way to the lofty heights of 23rd place, which had everyone on the bandwgon convinced that they had "finally turned the corner". Again.

A few wins down the stretch might be exactly what the boys on the ice need. And would keep the boys (and girls) in the stands happy. But as a Flames fan I recently saw an incompetent manager use a late-season winning streak to convince himself that the wheels had not in fact fallen off the bus, and that everything was fine, and keeping the team together for maybe another two years or so before making changes was a good idea.

A 7-game winning streak down the stretch might see Bryzgalov locked-in long term, and Smyth get another extension.

I don't entirely disagree but I had to trash you for being a Flames fan.

Avatar
#68 K_Mart
January 29 2014, 07:42AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Time Travelling Sean wrote:

McDavid isn't Crosby, the WJ's showed that.

I agree.

However he did produce more than Crosby did in the WJC at the same age. And he's looking far and away better than Hall, Yak, Nuge, Ebs, Kane, and Stamkos did at 15 and 16.

Finishing with the first overall pick next year would be beyond embarrassing, but McDavid is the best 15-16 year old I've seen since Tavares and Crosby. He isn't the goal scorer that Tavares,Stamkos,and Yak were, but he's a much superior skater and playmaker.

Embarrassment of riches

Should Mcdavid's numbers take a dip next year the way Tavares' did at the same age I won't be so concerned about getting him. Should they track the way most 17 year old Jr players' nbrs do and he cracks 140pts in 55-60 gp.... Then I'll be upset we finished 20th.

From the wjc, the U17, and the few OHL games I've seen I won't be one bit surprised if he ends up with 150+ pts next season, and 80+ pts as a rookie in the NHL. Not Crosby good, but the best since.

Avatar
#69 wergy
January 29 2014, 08:05AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
** wrote:

So you're a natural then.

Why does he say "So you're a natural then"? I don't get that at all...

Avatar
#70 The Last Big Bear
January 29 2014, 08:17AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
Jacques Strap wrote:

I don't entirely disagree but I had to trash you for being a Flames fan.

I wouldn't want it any other way.

We can and should be civil (most of the time), but its important to remember to hate your rivals. It's part of what makes sports so great.

Avatar
#71 Ed in Edmonton
January 29 2014, 08:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Reg Dunlop wrote:

First off, the things that Ekblad does in jr. will not work in the pros. The only 160lb forwards he will be able to bully will be oiler teammates in practice. Where went the conventional wisdom about never drafting a defenceman 1st overall?

Secondly, if the oil had such a chub about Mcdavid they could pull a Sam Pollack and accumulate 1st rounders from other teams like Nashville and Florida in exchange for players like Yak and this year's 1st. This could be done while trying to win as many games as possible next year.

Thirdly and finally, I like coleslaw. It goes beyond a normal craving for the salad. Go oil and go Marincin, my new favorite player. He reminds me of a young Allan Stanley.

A young Allan Stanley???

How old are you?

Avatar
#72 gravis_82
January 29 2014, 08:51AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

The way I see it is this. 3 years from now Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Perron, Yak will all be in their prime. We may have guys like Moroz or Chase or Pitlick up by then playing supporting roles. Marincin looks like he is here to stay. Maybe one of Klefbom/Gernat/Musil/Simpson, and then Nurse and then Ekblad if we get him. Move forward three years from that and we still have everyone in their prime.

Its difficult because of all the terrible years we have been through to get here, but we may just have to wait longer. Keep looking forward and not back. We have our top 6 players, now we just have to wait for the rest of the team to come around. If I was to pick a year when the oilers are in the finals again, I would say 2019-2020. They just have to not draft horribly and not send out their core players in terrible deals. Rolls of the dice on supporting cast and players we know are not fitting in (i.e. Dubnyk for Hendricks) are fine with me.

Avatar
#73 Gordie Wayne
January 29 2014, 09:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Bang on Brownlee, great article!

We need this team to start winning now!!!!

It just helps change the mood and culture of the team and maybe we can start the change from a losing mentality over to a winning mentality.

If we finish in the bottom 4 or 5 we are still going to get a blue chip prospect, Bennett and Reinhart both look great, and who knows, Ekblad could still be there at 3 or 4 anyway, defensemen always seem to fall down the charts on draft day.

GO OILERS!!!

Avatar
#74 Rdubb
January 29 2014, 09:38AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

What has been the turn around in Petry's game this past 10-15 games? MM! Plain & simple... MM is and should be a top pairing for this team heading forward Peck

Avatar
#75 Harry
January 29 2014, 10:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

So you are calling the Oilers cowards the last seven years?

Theres a huge difference between rebuilding personnel and losing on purpose. If the latter is your opinion then yes the Oilers have been cowards the last 7 seasons

Avatar
#76 The Soup Fascist
January 29 2014, 10:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Ed in Edmonton wrote:

A young Allan Stanley???

How old are you?

Geez. Reg Dunlop is - well, would have been - 88. What kind of hockey fan are you, Ed?

It says that right here in his obituary.

http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/hockey-mourns-the-passing-of-reggie-dunlap/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

I assume there must be a very good data plan in the "big hockey rink in the sky" - what with Reg being a regular here at ON, and all.

Avatar
#77 Neal
January 29 2014, 10:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Yeah - we have to go for it. All out. A culture of losing has to be exorcised and that can never be too slow. If Lowe and Tambellini were pulling the strings there would be a danger in what Last Big Bear wrote (good post by the way), but I think MacTavish has shown he's not those two.

Guys, a Culture of Winning has to start sometime, and I for one say say it can't be soon enough.

Avatar
#78 pkam
January 29 2014, 10:41AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

I probably will get a lot of thumb down because I disagree with most of the poster here.

1st, I don't believe the coaches and players tank for higher picks. The team may lose for many reasons. The team does not have enough talent, the team does not have enough experience, the team does not have the right mix, etc. But I don't believe the coaches and players purposely lose to get a high draft pick.

2nd, the Pens lost 5 seasons in a row. They have a 5th overall in Whitney, a 1st overall in MAF, the best 2nd overall in the last 10 years in Malkin, the best 1st overall in the last 20 years in Crosby, and they finished 29th overall. And all of a sudden they made the playoff the following year and made the conference final the year after that. So all this 'we have to start to win now or we will not make the playoff next year' is just BS.

3rd, even if we finish last, I'll rather have a big skill center than Ekblad. Why? In 2006, Erik Johnson was drafted 1st overall, followed by 4 forwards in Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom, Phil Kessel. I don't know about you, I'll rather have any of the 4 forwards. 2008 was just the exact opposite, Stamkos was drafted 1st overall, followed by 4 defense in Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo, and L. Schenn. Now after 5 years, will anyone of you rather have one of those defense over Stamkos? Another reason I'll pass on Ekblad is too many examples that the defense drafted 1st turned out to be not the best defense in that drafted year. in 2002, Bouwmeester went 3rd overall, Pitkanen 4th, and Whitney 5th. But the best d that year was Keith at 54th overall. More recent in 2007, Thomas Hickey was drafted 4th overall and Karl Alzner 5th, however, PK Subban was drafted 43th overall. Do you know who PK Subban is? How about Thomas Hickey?

4th, trade deadline is the best time to get more return for sellers. So if we are not making the playoff, should we try to get more by selling at trade deadline? The problem of being a seller at trade deadline is the return will be draft picks and prospects instead of reliable NHL player. So if we are going to be a seller at trade deadline, the team is going to be less competitive. Do you think the team is going to win more games after replacing Gagner, Hemsky, Jones, Smyth with some of our young prospects in OKC?

I'll rather the management focus on getting more return from trades at the deadline to build our depth. I couldn't care how many games of the remaining 27 we win and where we finish this year.

Avatar
#79 Rama Lama
January 29 2014, 10:42AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I have to agree with RB.......but man do I want Eakblad on this team. It's rare that a kid with hiw size, talent, and ability is available.......and fills the need we will never be able to get through other means.

A bold move would be for Mac T to wait and see and trade with the team most likely to land Ekblad!

Go Oil.

Avatar
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

So if my math is correct, we would need to win 30 out of the last 27 games to make playoffs. Let's do this Oilers.

Avatar
#81 A-Mc
January 29 2014, 10:58AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

I wouldn't want it any other way.

We can and should be civil (most of the time), but its important to remember to hate your rivals. It's part of what makes sports so great.

trashed for being a flames fan..

Avatar
#82 A-Mc
January 29 2014, 11:10AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

All this banter about tanking or not... Just think of it this way:

If it were Shea Weber in Ekblad's spot, would you still hope for wins? Players like this dont come around very often. The Oilers have been losing for a very long time, are we really saying that tanking a handful of games is going to be far too detrimental to the team?

Once the Oilers start winning a few, they will forget the years of losing. I'm not so quick to think the players are that fragile. Get Ekblad at the draft, damn the statistics of the past, and be happy you just landed a big mofo defenseman that has skill!

Avatar
#83 Lochenzo
January 29 2014, 11:11AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm sure Buffalo would be happy to leverage the 1st overall pick, of course, assuming they win it. What do you think it would take for the Oilers to move from 3rd overall to 1st? Mind you, one of those centres does look very tempting for us, and Buffalo should be thinking the same way. I think Calgary would scoop up Ekblad if they had the chance to pick him.

Avatar
#84 Tikkanese
January 29 2014, 11:12AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Rdubb wrote:

What has been the turn around in Petry's game this past 10-15 games? MM! Plain & simple... MM is and should be a top pairing for this team heading forward Peck

Petry's turn around? Am I missing something? He is still making a lot of terrible plays.

Avatar
#85 Tikkanese
January 29 2014, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Rdubb wrote:

What has been the turn around in Petry's game this past 10-15 games? MM! Plain & simple... MM is and should be a top pairing for this team heading forward Peck

And let's not get too excited about Marincin just yet. Potter looked fantastic his first 10-15 games here as well. Marincin at least has some pedigree and shouldn't regress, but let's not plan the parade just yet.

Avatar
#86 Wigswag
January 29 2014, 11:31AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If the flames can beat chicago we should be able to beat anyone. Let's keep it going.

Use the trade deadline to get assets and use them in the summer. (that bold move)

I'm glad if it's Ekblad.

Avatar
#87 Ivan Drago
January 29 2014, 11:38AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

So you are calling the Oilers cowards the last seven years?

Your an idiot. The oilers didn't tank, they just suck. I'd like to do a two for one trade. You and serious Gord for DSF. At least he made intelligent points and comments.

Avatar
#88 Tikkanese
January 29 2014, 11:47AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Why you heff to be mad? We get Ekblad!

Avatar
#89 jr_christ
January 29 2014, 11:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Can we get an article on how crappy Cory Potter is?

That guy is a huge disaster in his own zone.

Avatar
#90 Dan
January 29 2014, 11:56AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

The down side to the Oilers going on a mediocre-streak is that it will help convince the already slightly-dizzy management group that this team has "Turned The Corner".

Who needs bold moves? "This team has proven that they can get the job done, and are really starting to come together as a group."

The Oilers rode a mediocre streak last year all the way to the lofty heights of 23rd place, which had everyone on the bandwgon convinced that they had "finally turned the corner". Again.

A few wins down the stretch might be exactly what the boys on the ice need. And would keep the boys (and girls) in the stands happy. But as a Flames fan I recently saw an incompetent manager use a late-season winning streak to convince himself that the wheels had not in fact fallen off the bus, and that everything was fine, and keeping the team together for maybe another two years or so before making changes was a good idea.

A 7-game winning streak down the stretch might see Bryzgalov locked-in long term, and Smyth get another extension.

Completely agree. The last thing we need is any reason for Mac T and Lowe to help convince themselves that they are on track.

Avatar
#91 Rob...
January 29 2014, 12:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

@Ivan Drago

Oh the irony...

Avatar
#92 number99
January 29 2014, 12:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Rob... wrote:

Oh the irony...

A million props if I could

Avatar
#93 james_dean
January 29 2014, 12:16PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Ed in Edmonton wrote:

A young Allan Stanley???

How old are you?

What dentist do you go to?

Royal tyrell museum?

Avatar
#94 CaptainLander
January 29 2014, 12:49PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
jr_christ wrote:

Can we get an article on how crappy Cory Potter is?

That guy is a huge disaster in his own zone.

Agreed, based on Potter's play can we see Klefbom on a call up until Ference is back. Can he really be any worse?

Avatar
#95 BobbyCanuck
January 29 2014, 02:12PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

" You can lose your job, but you can find another one, you can lose your friends, but you can make new ones, you can lose your woman, but you can find another. But brother, if you lose your dignity, you have lost everything" Dany Laferrière (writer)

This is why the Oilers need to play the rest of the season like thier collective lives depend on it.

I suspect due to the body language on the bench, some Oilers already feel like they have lost thier dignity

Avatar
#96 Zarny
January 29 2014, 03:42PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Chambers wrote:

Oiler fans are indeed in big trouble! The hundreds and hundreds of losses over the last 8 years has lost your perspective on sports! Be reminded losers sports is about winning it is not about draft day and drafting 1st overall in 4 consecutive years! Can't believe what I have been reading where you again actually think the Oilers should lose to gain optimal draft position. A lot of good that has done!! You currently have high level talent with shattered dreams and a chronic culture of losing! Do you really think a 17 year old like Ekblad is going to help immediately??? Unbelieveable !!

Congrats for proving you're too stupid to live. Not to mention your reading comprehension is sh*t.

The article is about the remaining 27 games. Not the last 8 years. The reality is if you don't make the playoffs the further down the standings you finish the better.

And spare everyone your drivel about shattered dreams and a chronic culture of losing. No athlete thinks that way. At least not ones good enough to make the NHL.

Sakic endured years of losing before making the playoffs and winning a Cup. Kopitar and Brown in LA...same thing.

The Blackhawks had drafted Keith in 2002, Seabrook in 2003, traded for Sharp and promptly finished near the bottom of the league to be able to draft Toews and Kane. Didn't dull their competitiveness one bit.

What your statement does is indicate how you think. You are clearly the type of weak-minded person who would be effected.

You have seem to have missed the memo where the young kids haven't actually endured 8 losing seasons. What happened before the kids arrived doesn't effect them. It really doesn't. Hall, Nuge and Yak don't care what happened in 2008. They weren't here.

Your stupidity is highlighted with your last line about an 18 y/o (since that is how old Ekblad would be if he actually played in the NHL next year)providing immediate help.

From the article..."Another blue-chipper, no matter how good he is, who'll help the team three years down the road isn’t as important as having the group assembled now".

Literally no one has said Ekblad would provide immediate help.

Avatar
#97 Zarny
January 29 2014, 03:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Rama Lama wrote:

I have to agree with RB.......but man do I want Eakblad on this team. It's rare that a kid with hiw size, talent, and ability is available.......and fills the need we will never be able to get through other means.

A bold move would be for Mac T to wait and see and trade with the team most likely to land Ekblad!

Go Oil.

Interesting you say that considering the scouting report is that Ekblad is more Brent Seabrook than Duncan Keith.

He certainly isn't talked about like Drew Doughty. He isn't a generational prospect.

I like Ekblad and if he's available the Oilers should draft him; but they shouldn't give up assets to move from 3rd to 1st to get him. The scouting report indicates he's simply not that good.

As much as the Oilers need top pairing D they also need a bona fide 2C. If Ekblad is off the board Bennett or Reinhart would more than suffice.

Avatar
#98 mk
January 29 2014, 05:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Another way to look at this: Is the upgrade of a #1/2 overall pick over a 4/5 pick significant enough that you can justify using up a whole year of contracts and playing time for EVERY OTHER young player on the team?

Each year tanking brings the Oilers 1 year closer to career declines for Hall/RNH/Eberle/etc. and/or some of them moving on to other teams via free agency or trades. Even the dynasty teams in the league don't retain every one of their top players forever.

Is a slightly better player worth losing a year of everyone else (plus as fans, its sucks to watch a losing team)?

Comments are closed for this article.