WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR (AND THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!)

Lowetide
March 21 2014 10:28PM

EBERLE COMMON

Another spring, same shopping list. A big center, a defenseman with a mean look and hair on his ass and maybe a shot from the point. WHY did they send Sheldon Souray away again? Anyway, Craig MacTavish has a busy summer ahead and he needs to be active. When he goes to market, what will he have in his arsenal for trade?

TOP 10 ITEMS OF VALUE THIS SUMMER

  1. Money: The Oilers might decide to go the free agent route for one of their holes (C, D). Names like David Legwand and Andrei Markov have been mentioned, and of course Edmonton offers free agents special "location" value in the form of extra seasons tacked on to the contract. Think lots times four years.
  2. The 2014 1st round pick: I think you could make a case for trading the pick IF a long term solution to the problem is unavailable. Aaron Ekblad and Leon Draisaitl may well solve stud D and big C respectively, but if the Oilers draft fourth and don't feel Sam Bennett is a perfect fit, we may see the team trade that pick for a more immediate solution (Tyler Myers might be an example).
  3. One or more of the young defensemen: This is an area fans argue over, and it's understandable. Who in their right minds would trade Marincin or Klefbom after waiting this long? Well, the Oilers have a plethora of young defensemen, and may need one of them to acquire a more mature player who can step right in. The Oilers already have a mentor-type in Andrew Ference, but if they go to market and have a chance to get a 20+ minute a night defender it could take several pieces to acquire the player.
  4. The 2015 1st round pick: This selection may have more actual value than this year's pick. An acquiring team might be willing to bet on the Oilers failing again next year (that's a decent bet) and pick up the extra 1st. If it ends up being outside the top 10 next year, it'll have value. Should the Oilers have another year in the cellar, the acquiring team might get Connor McDavid!
  5. Trading Ordanjay Eberleway: Out of respect for this blog's emperor, I've fiddled with the actual name. I'm not a fan of dealing Ordanjay, but if the return is a major deal involving Sean Couturier and Braydon Coburn? Mr. Eberleway might be the valued asset sent away.
  6. Trading Justin Schultz: This idea seems to be gaining some support in certain circles, but as with Ordanjay I don't think it's a good idea. I spent years as an Expos fan, and they were famous for fixating on their good players' shortcomings and then sending them away for mush. If you don't believe me, check out what they got for Gary Carter.
  7. Taking on a valuable player with a crazy contract. Carolina is apparently thinking about dealing Eric Staal, and no wonder with that contract.  I'm not saying Staal should be a target, only that the idea of acquiring a contract overpay for less than full value has appeal. Staal looks good in a quick glance, but that's a lot of loot.
  8. Emerging prospects: The counter to point #3 is that one or more of these prospects might emerge ala Martin Marincin this season. If Lander or Pitlick or Horak find a way to make themselves useful, that's one less problem to fret over during the summer.
  9. The waiver wire. Edmonton hasn't used this much over the years, but would do well to learn from the New York Islanders about the value of players plucked from the scrap heap. MacT picked up Luke Gazdic last fall, maybe they can find a useful player in September.
  10. The current roster taking a step forward. This is the most likely way for this team to improve. I'm absolutely against trading Nail Yakupov (as an example) because the potential for him to bust a move and score 30 goals next year is real. Even a veteran like Sam Gagner (should he stay) is extremely likely to be more productive in 2013-14.

READY, SET, GO!

bourne

MacT needs to be aggressive—Jason Bourne aggressive—this summer. The college free agents are signing, Dillon Simpson's UND team lost tonight and they await an invite to the NCAA hockey dance, there are tumblers clicking all over the hockey world.

The Oilers need to be involved in all of it. Hold on. It's coming.

    C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
    Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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    #1 Saytalk
    March 21 2014, 10:36PM
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    If you forgot to put Gagner on the list... or does he not have enough value to make the top 10?

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    #2 Craig1981
    March 21 2014, 10:41PM
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    They have money to spend now. I actually think their top 6 looks OK this year.

    I wouldn't mind overpaying for Markov on a 1 or 2 year deal (lets not go Clarkson) and get a player like Matt Greene as well.

    I don't think the Oilers problem is what they have (Gagner, Petry, Yak, etc) its what the don't......Solid D with skill and size.

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    #3 Andrew
    March 21 2014, 10:58PM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    They have money to spend now. I actually think their top 6 looks OK this year.

    I wouldn't mind overpaying for Markov on a 1 or 2 year deal (lets not go Clarkson) and get a player like Matt Greene as well.

    I don't think the Oilers problem is what they have (Gagner, Petry, Yak, etc) its what the don't......Solid D with skill and size.

    Hopefully the Oiler GM has a better grasp of reality. than some fans. If the Oil are going to ever improve then fans and Oiler's management are going to have to let go of the sacred cows in the line-up.

    Not only are the Oiler's old boys losers but so are many fans who can't see the forest for the trees. Strategic change must come. We have seen 8 consecutive seasons from the other side and I don't like it.

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    #4 Andy
    March 21 2014, 11:04PM
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    Ahhh, the Expos.

    Please don't trade away Eberleway...

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    #5 Anton CP
    March 21 2014, 11:06PM
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    Any good coach available this summer?

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    #6 Eric
    March 21 2014, 11:20PM
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    How about Offering Sheeting an RFA's? (Johansen, B. Schenn or Berglund to name a few.) Obviously that could backfire with Yak set to become an RFA next year.

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    #7 Oilcruzer
    March 21 2014, 11:29PM
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    Trading Justin Schultz: This idea seems to be gaining some support in certain circles, but as with Ordanjay I don't think it's a good idea. I spent years as an Expos fan, and they were famous for fixating on their good players' shortcomings and then sending them away for mush. If you don't believe me, check out what they got for Gary Carter.

    Don't forget they had Randy Big Unit Johnston first too. Then again, Schultz isn't either of those guys.

    All I want for training camp is a top 2 line centre and a 30 m defenseman.

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    #8 Craig1981
    March 21 2014, 11:31PM
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    Andrew wrote:

    Hopefully the Oiler GM has a better grasp of reality. than some fans. If the Oil are going to ever improve then fans and Oiler's management are going to have to let go of the sacred cows in the line-up.

    Not only are the Oiler's old boys losers but so are many fans who can't see the forest for the trees. Strategic change must come. We have seen 8 consecutive seasons from the other side and I don't like it.

    I think it depends a lot on who they get to draft and who they can sign. If they draft any of the 3 top centers maybe RNH becomes available.

    If they sign the top two UFA d-men (just humor me)they might not need to.

    Mac-T's biggest issue right now is knowing what he has. He could trade RNH, Yak, Gagner, Schultz. But if they have a good year the Oil need them ALL......a top center, 2nd scoring winger, 70 point 2nd line center, and a great puck moving dman. A winning team need all these things and I am not trying to say all are, but no one knows who is

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    #9 Oilcruzer
    March 21 2014, 11:32PM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    They have money to spend now. I actually think their top 6 looks OK this year.

    I wouldn't mind overpaying for Markov on a 1 or 2 year deal (lets not go Clarkson) and get a player like Matt Greene as well.

    I don't think the Oilers problem is what they have (Gagner, Petry, Yak, etc) its what the don't......Solid D with skill and size.

    Gagner is terrible. Soft, play dies on his stick. Gets checked and throws a hissy fit.

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    #10 kale
    March 21 2014, 11:43PM
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    Andrew wrote:

    Hopefully the Oiler GM has a better grasp of reality. than some fans. If the Oil are going to ever improve then fans and Oiler's management are going to have to let go of the sacred cows in the line-up.

    Not only are the Oiler's old boys losers but so are many fans who can't see the forest for the trees. Strategic change must come. We have seen 8 consecutive seasons from the other side and I don't like it.

    Because the fans have so much control over what happens with the Oilers, if that were true do you think Eakins would still be coaching and Lowe would still be POHO?

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    #11 TheresAlwaysNextYear
    March 21 2014, 11:52PM
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    I'm gonna say it first.

    There's always next year.

    And the year after that.

    And the year after that.

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    #12 Jack
    March 21 2014, 11:57PM
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    After 8 years I have no faith in the Oilers building a playoff team.

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    #13 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 12:00AM
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    Oilcruzer wrote:

    Gagner is terrible. Soft, play dies on his stick. Gets checked and throws a hissy fit.

    Since the Oilers went on there streak the last 20 games or so he has been just shy of a point a game player. Since he has been draft he has got into a fight every year, but this year, and that is in part due to he can't due to his jaw.

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    #14 Jeffff
    March 22 2014, 12:02AM
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    Really, who wants to come to Edmonton? I will tell you players that have no chance of making an NHL team.

    Business as usual for you snake oil salesmen. You make it sound like there is hope.

    LT maybe you should run for President. Hope and change platform I hear works well.

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    #15 toprightcorner
    March 22 2014, 12:08AM
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    LT, I want to know why it is that you know that Sheldon Souray has hair on his ass?

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    #16 kgo
    March 22 2014, 12:10AM
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    Eric Stall would be so sick, Imagine if he came, and Jordan demanded a trade. How ironic it would be to have Carolina pull us out of the hell they thrust us into.

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    #17 john
    March 22 2014, 12:12AM
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    On Oilers NHL page, Todd Nelson says he is ready for a chance to coach in NHL.

    Well fire Eakins and give him that chance, he's a good coach, he motivates the kids. He had so many players turn over last 3 years and the Barons are still competitive. That's coaching kids, the Big club kept recalling his top players down there and traded away their top scorer (Omark). Yet the Barons are still in the hunt for playoff spot, while the big club sniffing at 2nd over all pick at the draft again.

    I hope we don't lose him to another club, change must come from within.

    Eakins, coaching this Oilers, is like the Leafs both teams allowed a lot of shorthanded goals against this year.

    Time for a change, Oil Change!

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    #18 RexHolez
    March 22 2014, 12:20AM
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    so when theyre at the bottom of the standings again next year after another off season of mixing up the bottom six and over paying another dman, can we start talking about real change? like getting rid of the POHO and god forbid maybe even new assistant coaches? I know... im a dreamer

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    #19 Andrew
    March 22 2014, 12:47AM
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    kale wrote:

    Because the fans have so much control over what happens with the Oilers, if that were true do you think Eakins would still be coaching and Lowe would still be POHO?

    You have a point regarding the ultimate decisions. You only have to listen to well-meaning but rather whimsical comments by Lowetide and other nostalgic types and its not hard to detect the reluctance to let go guys like Horc, Smyth, Dubnyk and Pisani. The apparent hesitation by management suggests the same mentality.

    My greatest frustration has been watching Mac fiddle with the bottom 6 most of whom are AHL'ers. Significant improvement for next year is going to have to involve at least 2 top sixers and possibly Petry or Schultz on defence. For all his offensive talent Justin Schultz lacks a certain hockey IQ and on-ice awareness which causes him to be a defensive nightmare. .

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    #20 toprightcorner
    March 22 2014, 01:07AM
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    If the Oilers sign any FA, it won't be Markov or Legwand. Markov will either stay on Montreal or move to a winner. Legwand will likely stay in Detroit and don't think he is a guy worth overpaying for as it would take $6 mill or more as Detroit will offer at least $5 mill, that would make him highest paid on the Oilers.

    If they sign free agents it will Orpik or second tier guys. Pitts also needs to sign Niskinen and that will cost them $5 mil.

    Other potential free agents

    Top 6 vet with size - Jagr

    3rd liner with more offence - Jussi Jokinen, Seteguchi, Daniel Winnik, Marcel Goc 2nd line winger - Grabovski (last option),

    6/7 dman with size and grit - Matt Green, Mark Stuart, Nikita

    big 4th line center that kills penalties - Brian Boyle

    These are the types of FA I could see the Oilers looking at, Only Jagr and Orpik fit the big need but the others can help improve bottom 6 replacing Jones, Joensu and maybe Smyth.

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    #21 Tuningout
    March 22 2014, 01:18AM
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    Draft Ekblad or Drasaitl. Trade Eakins for a real coach. Sign some free agents. Get some real assistant coaches. Trade the 2015 pick for something.

    I will be happy.

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    #22 THRNHJE
    March 22 2014, 01:25AM
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    john wrote:

    On Oilers NHL page, Todd Nelson says he is ready for a chance to coach in NHL.

    Well fire Eakins and give him that chance, he's a good coach, he motivates the kids. He had so many players turn over last 3 years and the Barons are still competitive. That's coaching kids, the Big club kept recalling his top players down there and traded away their top scorer (Omark). Yet the Barons are still in the hunt for playoff spot, while the big club sniffing at 2nd over all pick at the draft again.

    I hope we don't lose him to another club, change must come from within.

    Eakins, coaching this Oilers, is like the Leafs both teams allowed a lot of shorthanded goals against this year.

    Time for a change, Oil Change!

    I saw that and it made me think one of, possibly both of, Buchy and Smith are gone next year, and they are bringing Nelson up as a smoother transition if Eakins fails early at the start of next season... maybe I am just projecting what I want to happen though. If I am doing that, let's get rid of the Frenchman and steal one of the former Oilers that are killing it as goalie coaches in California (Ranford or Roloson, they both work).

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    #23 mesa
    March 22 2014, 01:31AM
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    that Eric stall contract is crazy.we can not afford to make a mistake on his deal. and his not getting traded for 4th round pick to come here.they may want arm and leg for him .especially if it was against his will.

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    #24 mesa
    March 22 2014, 01:40AM
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    THRNHJE wrote:

    I saw that and it made me think one of, possibly both of, Buchy and Smith are gone next year, and they are bringing Nelson up as a smoother transition if Eakins fails early at the start of next season... maybe I am just projecting what I want to happen though. If I am doing that, let's get rid of the Frenchman and steal one of the former Oilers that are killing it as goalie coaches in California (Ranford or Roloson, they both work).

    so if you think todd nelson should get a head coach job cause they are in the hunt for playoff spot.so why we do not hire the coach on the best seed Ahl team then.oilers can not afford another experiment .best thing to do is hiring him as assistant for now and see .

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    #25 toprightcorner
    March 22 2014, 01:51AM
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    Players I could see the Oilers looking at in trades and could realistically be available becausee of their current teams depth in that area.

    2nd line center - Dubinsky, Vermette, Hanzal (Couturier is not likely availabel unles Phi can get a top 3 dman)

    Top 6 with size - Stewart, Brouwer, Pacioretty, Umberger,

    Top 3 dmen - Tuytin, Yandle, Josi, Ehrhoff, Myers, Bogosian, Franson, Methot

    6/7 dman with size grit expirience - Englland, Hannah, Polak, Stoner, Allen

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    #26 TheresAlwaysNextYear
    March 22 2014, 02:56AM
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    @mesa

    haha. whats crazy is giving our kids all 6 million dollar contracts.

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    #27 beloch
    March 22 2014, 03:28AM
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    The current team is built wrong.

    A) A third of the team's salary is invested in three rookies. Yeah, they're good scorers and are gonna get even better, but they lack defensive acumen and regularly get eaten alive by top competition. Successful NHL teams cannot devote a third of their salary to a soft-minutes rookie scoring line.
    B) The bottom six needs to be better at possession. All of them significantly so.
    C) Not nearly enough salary is devoted to the blue-line. Also, the defenders the oilers do have are overpaid, except perhaps Marincin. Ference cannot be your top salaried defender. He just can't be!

    To address A, the team needs a trio of tough-minutes possession forwards to shelter the rookies. Vets will likely be cheaper than young possession studs and they can play a (badly needed) mentoring role too. They don't have to be great scorers, they just have to be able to play top comp without being destroyed. This will require some cap-space.

    To address B, the team needs to make a whole boat-load of super-savvy trades over the summer (unlikely), spend more money than they have, or wait for farm talent to emerge (ETA: 2-3 years at least, luck permitting).

    To address C, a lot of current defenders need to go, similarly to B. Nurse will help and should hopefully be able to take on top comp... in 2-3 years (luck permitting). A lot more money needs to be spent here. Probably at least twice as much (Note: That does not mean upping Nurse to $6M/yr out of training camp). Savvy, smart trades and signings galore. This is unlikely to be accomplished in one summer.

    In a few years the cap will go up and the rookie contracts will not be as much of a handicap as they are now, especially if the kids develop in terms of possession. However, there's a real risk they won't develop as needed without some possession vets to show them the ropes. Due to their one-dimensional games and bad contracts they probably aren't worth as much in trade as one would currently hope. Still, if the goal is to return to the playoffs in less than 2-3 years, the team may simply need some of that cap-space to spend elsewhere.

    Key to the Future: Give players contracts they've earned. Stop trying to outwit agents by locking kids down long-term at price-points you hope they'll one day grow into.

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    #28 Beer League Hero
    March 22 2014, 05:24AM
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    If the oilers are going to go after someone with a bad contract and sub-par numbers to go with it from Carolina, go for Jordan Staal. He's a perfect 2C and his roots aren't as buried in Carolina as Eric's are.

    I am of the opinion that Jultz can't be dealt before Petry is. And you surely can't start decreasing his ice-time now that he's established that he's able to hand 25+ minutes per game. He has to be paired off with someone who can compliment his style of game for him to be able to maximize his potential. A veteran who has experience being paired with offensive dmen. Markov might be one, Orpik might be another. What about Marc Staal or Johnny Boychuk?

    It'd be surprising if K-bom, Marincin, and Nurse all have long careers in Edmonton. Not only that but having Gernat, Simpson, Musil, and Davidson making strides in OKC. Someone is going to have to go eventually. It wouldn't surprise me if it was Klefbom.

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    #29 pelhem grenville
    March 22 2014, 06:54AM
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    LT

    ... doesn't this team / organization have enough Dmen in their system? decent larger Dmen that can be better than some of the duds that have come and gone ?

    is there one good reason why this MacT shouldn't be honed in on a CENTREMAN that can help both top lines? ...liking RNH is getting harder and harder for me...he's an awesome talent but he isn't going to help get this squad get into the playoffs and carry them deep ALL BY HIMSELF!!!

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    #30 Oilcruzer
    March 22 2014, 07:26AM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    Since the Oilers went on there streak the last 20 games or so he has been just shy of a point a game player. Since he has been draft he has got into a fight every year, but this year, and that is in part due to he can't due to his jaw.

    No one said he wasn't streaky. Good at second assists too.

    He plays like he is thinking "what did dad teach me to do growing up in this situation?" And "What does coach say to do in this situation?"

    He plays like he has talent, had the right teachers, but wasn't born with any hockey sense.

    Automatically acting, never mind reacting, is not something we see from 89. Let me put it another way.

    Can you imagine how good he would be if he played like,

    "There is the puck, I am going to get it." And "I've got the puck, the opposition can't have it." And "they have the puck, I can't get over there but I'll be damned if the guy I cover is going to get it."

    No one said he has to fight. But he should be able to bump and take bumps.

    Btw. The jaw fully healed within 3 months, stronger than before.

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    #31 The Real Scuba Steve
    March 22 2014, 07:32AM
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    After 9 seasons talk is cheap.

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    #32 wintoon
    March 22 2014, 07:35AM
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    Agree with earlier poster. Oilers and fans must dump their fixation on drafting a D man with their first round pick. We have good, solid, high potential prospects developing.

    The problem is that everyone (fans, mgmt, MSM) all call the Oilers an offensive team. While they do have some offensive talent and potential, they are a poor offensive team.

    The old axiom is that ' good offence is the best defence' comes to mind. Accordingly, the Oilers should be focussing on the 3 top centres in the draft and obtaining one of them. Reinhart, Draisaitl or Bennett would have a major impact on the Oilers and much sooner than Ekblad.

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    #33 Oilcruzer
    March 22 2014, 07:35AM
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    mesa wrote:

    that Eric stall contract is crazy.we can not afford to make a mistake on his deal. and his not getting traded for 4th round pick to come here.they may want arm and leg for him .especially if it was against his will.

    Yikes, just looked at both Staal brothers contracts. Wth Carolina? Those numbers and terms are insane.

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    #34 -30-
    March 22 2014, 07:41AM
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    Maybe Staal's contract is crazy but what if Carolina did what the Oilers did on previous trades? Make up some of the difference?

    I hope Gagner goes on a streak these last few games. I think that's the plan playing on the top line. That increases his trade value and poof! He's gone.

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    #35 Artie
    March 22 2014, 07:51AM
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    Tuningout wrote:

    Draft Ekblad or Drasaitl. Trade Eakins for a real coach. Sign some free agents. Get some real assistant coaches. Trade the 2015 pick for something.

    I will be happy.

    It really is that simple. I totally agree with you. People that say giving Eakins another chance are kidding themselves, he has blown this year completely apart. The assistant coaches have had their opportunity as well the past few years and have only proven they can't do it. Watch any other coach in the league while he's on the bench and you'll see someone involved, passionate, and emotional. Watching Eakins is like seeing a spaced out drug addict on a street corner. Get a few veteran UFA's that are really passionate about the game and understand team spirit, take the 2014 pick and trade the 2015.. There's talent on this team, but the leader (coach) can't pull a system of play or team work together. A few highly spirited experienced vets and a coach and this team will be competitive.

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    #36 majin_oil
    March 22 2014, 08:13AM
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    Tuningout wrote:

    Draft Ekblad or Drasaitl. Trade Eakins for a real coach. Sign some free agents. Get some real assistant coaches. Trade the 2015 pick for something.

    I will be happy.

    Agree with everything except trading the 2015. Based off this organizations track record, would you really be willing to risk a shot at McDavid? Unless Weber is coming back(and we all know that isn't happening) no chance you move the 2015.

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    #37 15w40
    March 22 2014, 08:21AM
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    @majin_oil

    If the Oilers are in contention for McDavid next year I wouldn't be surprised to see Lindros 2.0. Why would McDavid want any part of this franchise after the past few years of futility.

    When you consider the amount of talent the Oilers have been able to draft and the end results - he may say thanks but no thanks.

    Now it really worked out good for the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise considering what type of return they got but it isn't a slam dunk that it would pan out for Edmonton.

    Pretty hard to build a winner when every June you are looking at turning over close to a 3rd to half of your roster just get into the top 20 teams in the league.

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    #38 Serious Gord
    March 22 2014, 08:27AM
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    How many teams have finished 29th one year and then made the playoffs the next?

    Any?

    I think the chances are very remote that the oil will make the playoffs next year. That would make it nine years missed.

    Looking at the holes yet to be filled; recognizing that this season has been a very light one for injuries; accepting that the coach and upper management and scouting will remain unchanged with the possible exception of some assistants, next year will very likely be another lost season.

    I wonder whether the starlets on this team see it that way? I bet their agents do.

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    #39 Rdubb
    March 22 2014, 08:32AM
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    Lowetide You've always a love on for Hemsky & for Gagner, but why? Yes, we saw Hemmer make a nice move the other night and score a goal, but we have seen the exact same thing a whole lot in Edmonton over these past several years, and it was always nice to see Hemmer make those moves and score, but the unfortunate thing is that they always came far and few between, and between those games where he'd make those moves, there were games where you'd actually ask yourself "did hemsky even play that game, I didn't even see him on the ice tonight", or he'd turn the puck over @ the opposing blue line trying to dipsy doodle, or he'd make a stupid drop pass and then, in both cases, the opposition would take the puck down the ice and have a grade A scoring chance, and we saw those types of things far more often than we saw of those nice moves leading to goals... As per your article, sure Gagner's offensive stats should improve, but really, what freaking good is that if you happen to be on the ice for so many goals against. It's been 7 years now, and it seems that Sam hasn't learned to play one iota piece of defense, why? Is he that freaking stubborn? Does, he not think that its important, or maybe, and this is my guess, he just doesn't get it! He is either to stubborn or stupid (and he isn't stupid) to know that he ISN'T a 2nd line C in the NHL, but he MAY be a 2nd line winger, if he'd give it a decent shot, more than 2 games. He shouldn't be wearing a letter on his chest if he isn't willing to move to the wing, which is the best thing for this team. But he won't. I think all he did was sulk when he was moved over earlier this year. Now that is something this team doesn't need, it may be a cancer in the room, and I cannot say because I am not in the room, but I'd sure like to know... Yes Sam works hard, trains hard, but unless he is willing to do what is best for the Edmonton Oilers, the team who is paying him millions upon millions of dollars by the way, then, that A should be stripped off, and he should put his butt up in the press box for a while. All one has to do is look at Hall, he tried to play C even though he didn't want to, but he tried, he tried to do what was best for the team at the time. I haven't seen ANY progress in Sam's defensive play this year or from last season. Heck, I've seen more improvement out of young Nail than that of a veteran on this team. As a vet and as a person wearing a letter, he is supposed to show all the young guys to do what ever it takes. In my opinion, that is a huge reason why this team is still losing. Not enough guys willing to do what the team needs to win. We need a few Hendricks type guys. Guys with CHARACTER, guys willing to what ever the TEAM needs to win. I see some of that from Scrivens too, and both of these guys are new. It is funny how this team started winning once MacT added CHARACTER players isn't it. Ference is one of those guys, but he just didn't have enough help to turn this team around, now he has help. Maybe Fasth has some of this too, I just haven't seen enough of him yet. Petry looks like he is starting to step up a wee bit. Even MM has more leadership that those mentioned above a bit. Sam should, and could take a lesson from Ference, Hendricks and the Professor...it's time to grow up, you are earning large amounts of money, now do what is best for the team, go to the wing...it'll end up being the best decision of his career in the long run. Just my thoughts Peck

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    #40 God
    March 22 2014, 08:37AM
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    No free agents want to play in Edmonton. Besides the obvious, free agents want to go to a winning team or at least a team that's trending upward. The general perception around the league is that the Oilers are perineal losers.

    There's no incentive to go to a small market, microscope media that loses. The only thing management can do is pay. Kruger did a great job at attracting Schultz but now that he's been let go, no free agent will put any good faith into this team.

    I still can't cheer for another team.

    That's what's sad.

    These days I just don't watch anymore. It's not worth the negativity.

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    #41 Fresh Mess
    March 22 2014, 08:41AM
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    john wrote:

    On Oilers NHL page, Todd Nelson says he is ready for a chance to coach in NHL.

    Well fire Eakins and give him that chance, he's a good coach, he motivates the kids. He had so many players turn over last 3 years and the Barons are still competitive. That's coaching kids, the Big club kept recalling his top players down there and traded away their top scorer (Omark). Yet the Barons are still in the hunt for playoff spot, while the big club sniffing at 2nd over all pick at the draft again.

    I hope we don't lose him to another club, change must come from within.

    Eakins, coaching this Oilers, is like the Leafs both teams allowed a lot of shorthanded goals against this year.

    Time for a change, Oil Change!

    ...and then when the Oilers stink again next year, you can admonish management for hiring an AHL-level coach and call for Nelson to be fired.

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    #42 majin_oil
    March 22 2014, 08:46AM
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    15w40 wrote:

    If the Oilers are in contention for McDavid next year I wouldn't be surprised to see Lindros 2.0. Why would McDavid want any part of this franchise after the past few years of futility.

    When you consider the amount of talent the Oilers have been able to draft and the end results - he may say thanks but no thanks.

    Now it really worked out good for the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise considering what type of return they got but it isn't a slam dunk that it would pan out for Edmonton.

    Pretty hard to build a winner when every June you are looking at turning over close to a 3rd to half of your roster just get into the top 20 teams in the league.

    Lindros 2.0? That's quite an assumption don't ya think?

    How would it not turn out good for Edmonton? Having a potential Crosby land in your lap? Yeah that sounds just awful.. Who btw, you could literally trade for almost ANY other player in the entire NHL if you decided not to keep him.

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    #43 hemi
    March 22 2014, 08:46AM
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    Once again we have settled for "wait till next year". After playing this game for years and years, the idea of it has become very unappealing. Yet, here we are. Have we become lemmings? Like most, I have my ticket to the next year gala as well. Perhaps we should give it a new name for it seems to happen yearly in Edmonton. If I may borrow from Seinfeld, "Festivus".

    The management has certainly proven to one and all, that they have been inept at turning this ship around. The last thing I wanted to succumb to the latest reason why we suck, "the Coaching Staff". With so many head coaches over the last while, it has more of a carnival than anything else. However, I find that the present group (all coaches included) are far from the ideal group and are in my very humble opinion, part of the woes.

    With inevitable changes to the player personnel during off-season, will the same be said for the coaching staff?

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    #44 John Chambers
    March 22 2014, 08:49AM
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    @God

    Nice suit!

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    #45 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 22 2014, 08:55AM
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    15w40 wrote:

    If the Oilers are in contention for McDavid next year I wouldn't be surprised to see Lindros 2.0. Why would McDavid want any part of this franchise after the past few years of futility.

    When you consider the amount of talent the Oilers have been able to draft and the end results - he may say thanks but no thanks.

    Now it really worked out good for the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise considering what type of return they got but it isn't a slam dunk that it would pan out for Edmonton.

    Pretty hard to build a winner when every June you are looking at turning over close to a 3rd to half of your roster just get into the top 20 teams in the league.

    If we are in the McDavid sweepstakes, I would hope that he sees how big of a hole he'd fill at 2C and most likely (a couple years down the road), 1C.

    Maybe I'm just delusional over the thought of potentially having McDavid/Nuge as our 1/2 down the middle.

    On the coach Nelson issue, I think they should bring him up to be an assistant. MacT should can Smith and Bucky, then go out and find an assistant with some experience. Give Eakins a couple months or so, if the team is still the sh*ts, send him packing and let Nelson take the reigns for the rest of the year.

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    #46 Todd
    March 22 2014, 09:11AM
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    beloch wrote:

    The current team is built wrong.

    A) A third of the team's salary is invested in three rookies. Yeah, they're good scorers and are gonna get even better, but they lack defensive acumen and regularly get eaten alive by top competition. Successful NHL teams cannot devote a third of their salary to a soft-minutes rookie scoring line.
    B) The bottom six needs to be better at possession. All of them significantly so.
    C) Not nearly enough salary is devoted to the blue-line. Also, the defenders the oilers do have are overpaid, except perhaps Marincin. Ference cannot be your top salaried defender. He just can't be!

    To address A, the team needs a trio of tough-minutes possession forwards to shelter the rookies. Vets will likely be cheaper than young possession studs and they can play a (badly needed) mentoring role too. They don't have to be great scorers, they just have to be able to play top comp without being destroyed. This will require some cap-space.

    To address B, the team needs to make a whole boat-load of super-savvy trades over the summer (unlikely), spend more money than they have, or wait for farm talent to emerge (ETA: 2-3 years at least, luck permitting).

    To address C, a lot of current defenders need to go, similarly to B. Nurse will help and should hopefully be able to take on top comp... in 2-3 years (luck permitting). A lot more money needs to be spent here. Probably at least twice as much (Note: That does not mean upping Nurse to $6M/yr out of training camp). Savvy, smart trades and signings galore. This is unlikely to be accomplished in one summer.

    In a few years the cap will go up and the rookie contracts will not be as much of a handicap as they are now, especially if the kids develop in terms of possession. However, there's a real risk they won't develop as needed without some possession vets to show them the ropes. Due to their one-dimensional games and bad contracts they probably aren't worth as much in trade as one would currently hope. Still, if the goal is to return to the playoffs in less than 2-3 years, the team may simply need some of that cap-space to spend elsewhere.

    Key to the Future: Give players contracts they've earned. Stop trying to outwit agents by locking kids down long-term at price-points you hope they'll one day grow into.

    OK Flames fan.... We get it, you guys like to say we suck. But really? Hall is overpaid? There are 29 GMs in the league who would take him in 1 second flat. Eberle & Nuge same thing. It's just dumb to blame the whole thing on them and their contracts.

    Flames fans I know just love rubbing it in our faces. They use us as an example of why they will 'do it different' and be out of the rebuild in 1 year and be awesome for generations to come. Good luck with that.

    Regardless of what we have screwed up the fact is you have zero elite talent. Monahan might be a good 2nd line C one day. Sven (Swedish Elite League) Baertschi IS a total cream puff. The rest of your hopes are on an elf hobbit 5'6" kid who would get tossed around by my 12 year old nephew. The next Nathan Gerbe/Corey Conacher.

    We get that you guys are insanely jealous of our elite talent. You would do it different, and maket hem earn it with their lunch pails and hard work and Burke's truculance and all that BS that will help your beloved Flamers get back to the 8th place bubble with zero hope of winning anything for the next 20 years.

    Leave us to our misery, we are well aware of the shortcomings of mgmt and the team they've put together.

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    #47 Rick Stroppel
    March 22 2014, 09:17AM
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    Serious Gord wrote:

    How many teams have finished 29th one year and then made the playoffs the next?

    Any?

    I think the chances are very remote that the oil will make the playoffs next year. That would make it nine years missed.

    Looking at the holes yet to be filled; recognizing that this season has been a very light one for injuries; accepting that the coach and upper management and scouting will remain unchanged with the possible exception of some assistants, next year will very likely be another lost season.

    I wonder whether the starlets on this team see it that way? I bet their agents do.

    IT CAN BE DONE

    Colorado finished 29th last year and they will easily make the playoffs this year. They clearly have the potential to pull off an upset in the playoffs and succeed in future seasons.

    This shows what can be accomplished WHEN THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

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    #48 PimKing
    March 22 2014, 09:24AM
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    Trade Shultz for a real NHL defenseman. At best this guy could maybe be a mike green type, and I wouldn't want that guy on my team either. For all the offence they produce on the pp the lack of ability to play 5 on 5 makes them a liability. If Shultz would maybe try skating hard with the puck and stop being such a complete and utter pussy all the damn time, he could maybe change some minds. But its not happening. Trade while value is still there.

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    #49 Serious Gord
    March 22 2014, 09:37AM
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    Rick Stroppel wrote:

    IT CAN BE DONE

    Colorado finished 29th last year and they will easily make the playoffs this year. They clearly have the potential to pull off an upset in the playoffs and succeed in future seasons.

    This shows what can be accomplished WHEN THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    Thanks for that - I had completely over looked THIS season. So what is the likelyhood of it happening two years in a row? And of course the old cliche - the exception that proves the rule.

    (And has anyone done it without changing their management?)

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    #50 Thumby
    March 22 2014, 09:46AM
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    Serious Gord wrote:

    How many teams have finished 29th one year and then made the playoffs the next?

    Any?

    I think the chances are very remote that the oil will make the playoffs next year. That would make it nine years missed.

    Looking at the holes yet to be filled; recognizing that this season has been a very light one for injuries; accepting that the coach and upper management and scouting will remain unchanged with the possible exception of some assistants, next year will very likely be another lost season.

    I wonder whether the starlets on this team see it that way? I bet their agents do.

    Colorado...but it's rare. Note that they took the center man and not the top dman last year. A lesson for all of us re this years draft?

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