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 Anton (still waiting for playoffs)
    March 21 2014, 11:06PM
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    Any good coach available this summer?

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    #2 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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    #3 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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    #4 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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    #5 Bucknuck
    March 22 2014, 10:28AM
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    I was so sure the Oilers would make some noise this year. I had been hopeful in years before (especially 2008-2009), but this year I really believed. I almost feel betrayed so some broken part of me just can't even hope anymore.

    It stopped being fun somewhere along the line. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way.

    Next year better be "the one" or there could be some seriously empty seats at Rexall soon.

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    #6 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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    #7 Spydyr
    March 22 2014, 10:06AM
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    So Lowetide you don't recommend trading anyone but the team will be better next year.

    Wrong, it is time to make that "bold" trade, move one of the kids for a true top defencman.Try to make a package for a big number two center.Revamp the bottom six less Jones and Landers more Hendricks and players like Shaw from Chicago.Make the team difficult to play against.I'm tired of watching an Oiler get manhandled while players such as Shultz and Belov are looking down making sure their skates are tied. If you don't stand up for your teammates you don't belong on my team.No matter what the name on the back of your sweater says.

    Scrivens gets it.

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    #8 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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    #9 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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    #10 FireLowe
    March 22 2014, 10:21AM
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    Nothing good is going to happen until the real problem, Kevnin Lowe and all his croonies are gone.

    These guys could not run a lemon aid stand.

    Until they are all still here, expect the losing to continue.

    Brian Burke was right in saying Kevin Lowe will decimate this team.

    The fans need to speak up about the problem like in other cities that were fed up with their sports mismanagement.

    Until then, we can keep post all of our thoughts, which don't mean anything anyways.

    The only things the fans can do to fix the problem is protest that Kevin Lowe be fired.

    I for one, am going to the game in a Flames jersey tonight as a protest with a sign fire Kevin Lowe (If they let me bring it into the building)!!!

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    #11 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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    #12 The artist formerly known as Harry
    March 22 2014, 10:04AM
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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.

    You are very sadly mistaken if you think our top six has the right mix of size and skill. To many players that have the exact same skill set.

    I know he probably isn't on the trade block but a trade involving Eberle and Simmonds as the main pieces is what I think must happen.

    A second line of Perron and Simmonds flanking anyone whos last name isn't Gagner would be awesome!

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    #13 The artist formerly known as Harry
    March 22 2014, 10:01AM
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    And that is exactly why based on your opinion Lowetide the Oilers will be outside looking in again next year.

    You state that you don't think they should trade Eberle, Shultz, Klef, Marincin, Gagner or Yakupov. Just how do you think this team is going to improve? And were not talking about a minor improvement needed. EDM needs a massive improvement if they want to become competitive in the West.

    Bold moves is going to have to do just that. Grow a pair and trade a major piece to get the right mix out of our top 6.

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    #14 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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    #15 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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    #16 Oilers
    March 22 2014, 10:16AM
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    I really, really, want the Oilers to be a hockey team again.

    However, there are some facts we need to realize and not hold onto old hopes and glories.

    The facts are:

    1) The worst team in the NHL over the past 14 years, coinciding with Kevin Lowe's arrival on the scene.

    2) The majority of what Lowe has done includes Mac T. They are joined at the Hip. They are a team.

    3) As was quoted from a friend of mine who works in the NHL, will not give any more information. "The Oilers are a recycle plant for all the NHL garbage. This is well known in the NHL and there is no respect for the management of that team."

    4) The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball).

    So, here are the facts. There are two things to consider getting free agents to Edmonton. The most obvious, the players. Second, their agents, which are equally important because they want to protect their financial assets.

    The agents, who make their lifelong paycheck from advising and negotiating for players that play an average of 3 to 5 years in the league are well seasoned in the "business".

    So, If the agents look at the Oilers. They want to maximize the economics of the player, but also the future value of their asset. This includes development, and the "winning" factor which will affect future negotiations.

    Because of the Oilers recent 14 year record. The agents look at the Oilers as the "team of last resort" in their recommendations to their players. If two teams are bidding for a player with equal money. Do you go to a winning team or the Oilers if you are an agent? That is easy.

    The only way to correct the problem is a culture and leadership change within the Oilers organization so a "fresh slate" can be developed with the players and agents.

    This will not be accomplished with Lowe, Mac T, Smith, Buchburger et al.

    We need a complete change, otherwise the NHL recycle team for NHL garbage will continue to be very good at what it has been for 14 years. Losing.

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    #17 Spydyr
    March 22 2014, 10:13AM
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    One more thing if they trade next years first round pick (2015) this summer "The braintrust" is more lost then we give them credit for.How could you possibly trade an asset that could very well be yet another lotto pick in one of the deepest drafts in years without knowing the true value of the pick.It could be anywhere from 1-10.

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    #18 Spydyr
    March 22 2014, 11:17AM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    As someone that has broken several bones, thought typically they are cast for 6 weeks, they are only about 80-90% after that. It then takes several months after that to get to 100%

    Excuse number 1001 for Gagner.

    He is just not a good 200 foot player.Get over it.

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    #19 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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    #20 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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    #21 The Real Scuba Steve
    March 22 2014, 07:32AM
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    After 9 seasons talk is cheap.

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    #22 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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    #23 IIlya Biakin
    March 22 2014, 10:55AM
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    @Lowwtide Its always wait until next year with Sam Gagner well we waited long enough time for him to go.

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    #24 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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    #25 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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    #26 Oil Can
    March 22 2014, 11:06AM
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    @toprightcorner

    I would be curious to know how many of those teams also make the coaching changes, a year before they made the jump to the playoffs. I still think that a clean sweep of the coaching staff, could make a big difference on this team. As well as a couple of big trades.

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    #27 Spydyr
    March 22 2014, 11:51AM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    I didn't say he was a great defensive forward. I said a broken jaw has effected his season. Crosby averaged half a point less when he came back last year. If you think its appropriate to judge a player on a season he had a MAJOR injury you are just looking for a reason to hate.

    I'm looking at his entire NHL career and not making any excuses.

    He is a one dimensional player,poor defensively ,small in stature,weak on the puck,intimidates no one, slower then average skater, soft shot and has a bad contract.

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    #28 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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    #29 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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    #30 Andy
    March 21 2014, 11:04PM
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    Ahhh, the Expos.

    Please don't trade away Eberleway...

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    #31 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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    #32 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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    #33 Rama Lama
    March 22 2014, 10:29AM
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    Tonight's game will be a very real litmus test for the Oilers. The Flames are playing their second game in a row and the Oilers are fresh after being embarrassed by Buffalo.

    The Flames are playing most of their junior roster and has a coach that has everyone playing to the very top of their capabilities.

    I predict a hell of a game!

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    #34 The artist formerly known as Harry
    March 22 2014, 10:38AM
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    Rdubb wrote:

    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

    7 goals at the trade deadline for 5 million is ridiculous. I cant stand Ales Hemsky the guy is a terrible hockey player and hes lazy.

    When he commented on the young guys needing to take over it made me want to puke. The dainty little puke throws them under the bus, just sickening. What did Hemsky do the last 4 years to help this team out? Was he on the first line scoring 25-30 goals and 70+ points, NO. Was he in the bottom six throwing his weight around and shutting down other teams top lines, NO.

    Hes is beyond useless and other than 2 good (good not great) years he was a liability, glad hes some other teams problem.

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    #35 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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    #36 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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    #37 The artist formerly known as Harry
    March 22 2014, 10:10AM
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    @john

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

    NOT!! That's exactly what got us into this mess. If the coach is changed we need a veteran NHL coach from outside the organization.

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    #38 The artist formerly known as Harry
    March 22 2014, 10:21AM
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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.

    Im pretty sure Hall is earning every penny of his 6mil cap hit. Also even though Edm has these guys a 6mil each for the foreseeable future they still have 30 + mil in cap space.

    So how are they a handicap? You also refer to them as rookies. Hall and eberle are now in their 4th years in the league.

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    #39 toprightcorner
    March 22 2014, 10:35AM
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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.

    Wow, you really don't do any research before bellowing out such a statement.

    If we ignore what COL is doing this year (29th - top 5 when nobody predicted they come close to the playoffs), there are actually more circumstances that you would think in the last 25 years. Some straight from bottom to playoffs, some from bottom, minimal progression and then playoffs.

    PHI 30th - 11th * PIT 29th - 10th * TB 29th - 25th - 8th * LA 29th - 26th - 9th * WSH 30th - 27th - 12th * CAR 23rd - 4th * Prior to Expansion VAN 26th (2nd last) - 20 - 15th (30 teams) * BOS 26th (2nd last) - 9th * QUE 21st (last) - 21st - 21st - 21st - 4th *

    In all cases except CAR, these teams stayed in the playoffs for quite a while after getting

    I am not saying the Oilers will make the playoffs next year but I think if MacT makes some solid moves, they will have a shot. Just don't say that teams cannot make massive improvements year over year or even over 2 years. Many of these teams were at the bottom for a couple years got a few good draft picks then made a couple solid trades and shot up the standings. The Oilers have the picks now just need a couple good trade aquisitions and they could very well jump up in a hurry.

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    #40 toprightcorner
    March 22 2014, 11:42AM
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    Oilers wrote:

    I really, really, want the Oilers to be a hockey team again.

    However, there are some facts we need to realize and not hold onto old hopes and glories.

    The facts are:

    1) The worst team in the NHL over the past 14 years, coinciding with Kevin Lowe's arrival on the scene.

    2) The majority of what Lowe has done includes Mac T. They are joined at the Hip. They are a team.

    3) As was quoted from a friend of mine who works in the NHL, will not give any more information. "The Oilers are a recycle plant for all the NHL garbage. This is well known in the NHL and there is no respect for the management of that team."

    4) The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball).

    So, here are the facts. There are two things to consider getting free agents to Edmonton. The most obvious, the players. Second, their agents, which are equally important because they want to protect their financial assets.

    The agents, who make their lifelong paycheck from advising and negotiating for players that play an average of 3 to 5 years in the league are well seasoned in the "business".

    So, If the agents look at the Oilers. They want to maximize the economics of the player, but also the future value of their asset. This includes development, and the "winning" factor which will affect future negotiations.

    Because of the Oilers recent 14 year record. The agents look at the Oilers as the "team of last resort" in their recommendations to their players. If two teams are bidding for a player with equal money. Do you go to a winning team or the Oilers if you are an agent? That is easy.

    The only way to correct the problem is a culture and leadership change within the Oilers organization so a "fresh slate" can be developed with the players and agents.

    This will not be accomplished with Lowe, Mac T, Smith, Buchburger et al.

    We need a complete change, otherwise the NHL recycle team for NHL garbage will continue to be very good at what it has been for 14 years. Losing.

    I question all of your points to their accuracy. Some are made up, some are twisted to make your point and some are all together not accurate.

    #1 - Worst team in last 14 years? Depends on the stats you use. In 2011 SB Nation did ranking using a point system for team standings, making playoffs, cup finals and winning the cup to rank the last 10 years. If you take those same measurments and put in the last 2 years and previous 2 years, FLA, ATL/WPG, NYI and CBJ are by far the worst 4 teams in last 14 years, Edmonton ranked 22nd.

    If you look at the last 6 years, then you are correct as the Oilers have the worst winning % in that span.

    #2 - How has the majority of what Lowe has done been with MacT? He is a first year GM and he was a coach for a bunch of years but the coach has nothing to do with mgmt. For the first 8 years of Lowe being GM and MacT coaching Lowe was actually considered a good GM with many great trades and made the playoffs in 5 of the 8 years he was GM and MacT has a .537 winning% over the same time. If you want to blame Lowe for where the Oilers sit now, fine, but do not say it is becasue of the tandem of him and MacT as this is untrue

    #3 - If nobody has respect for the management team (which must mean Lowe since MacT is new to mgmt) why does Lowe always get invited to be a part of the management group for Team Canada?

    Not saying Lowe is great or anything but not only does your comment not make sense but I do not see an NHL employee stating such a thing to a joe blow like you.

    BTW, just cause your buddy sells beer at the games, it doesn't mean he works in the NHL

    #4 - " The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball). Why would you not name the magazine? Is it becasue it doesn't exist? ESPN voted Toronto Maple Leafs the worst run sports franchise from 2007 - 2012. Others I looked up at Fox Sports, Bleacher Report and even Forbes and the lists were mostly made up of NFL, NBA and MLB teams with only 1 NHL team ranked in the bottom 10 on only 1 list I looked at, Phoenix, when they did not have an owner. No such article exists on Sports Illustrated.

    I am not going to say that I agree or disagree with the point you are trying to make because you never used any facts to make your point, just a bunch of made up stuff and guesses or twisting the truths.

    Your comments would be much more credible if you used actual facts to back up your points. Anyone can B.S. to make their point which you have just proven to all of us.

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    #41 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 11:46AM
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    Spydyr wrote:

    Excuse number 1001 for Gagner.

    He is just not a good 200 foot player.Get over it.

    I didn't say he was a great defensive forward. I said a broken jaw has effected his season. Crosby averaged half a point less when he came back last year. If you think its appropriate to judge a player on a season he had a MAJOR injury you are just looking for a reason to hate.

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    #42 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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    #43 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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    #44 Spydyr
    March 22 2014, 10:26AM
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    Oilers wrote:

    I really, really, want the Oilers to be a hockey team again.

    However, there are some facts we need to realize and not hold onto old hopes and glories.

    The facts are:

    1) The worst team in the NHL over the past 14 years, coinciding with Kevin Lowe's arrival on the scene.

    2) The majority of what Lowe has done includes Mac T. They are joined at the Hip. They are a team.

    3) As was quoted from a friend of mine who works in the NHL, will not give any more information. "The Oilers are a recycle plant for all the NHL garbage. This is well known in the NHL and there is no respect for the management of that team."

    4) The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball).

    So, here are the facts. There are two things to consider getting free agents to Edmonton. The most obvious, the players. Second, their agents, which are equally important because they want to protect their financial assets.

    The agents, who make their lifelong paycheck from advising and negotiating for players that play an average of 3 to 5 years in the league are well seasoned in the "business".

    So, If the agents look at the Oilers. They want to maximize the economics of the player, but also the future value of their asset. This includes development, and the "winning" factor which will affect future negotiations.

    Because of the Oilers recent 14 year record. The agents look at the Oilers as the "team of last resort" in their recommendations to their players. If two teams are bidding for a player with equal money. Do you go to a winning team or the Oilers if you are an agent? That is easy.

    The only way to correct the problem is a culture and leadership change within the Oilers organization so a "fresh slate" can be developed with the players and agents.

    This will not be accomplished with Lowe, Mac T, Smith, Buchburger et al.

    We need a complete change, otherwise the NHL recycle team for NHL garbage will continue to be very good at what it has been for 14 years. Losing.

    Very well said and IMO most of us here agree with you.The thing is with Katz as the owner the chances of what you said happening are very Lowe(pun intended).

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    #45 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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    #46 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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    #47 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 02:32PM
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    @Spydyr

    I'm not passionate about Gagner....I do like him. I see a guy that would of scored 65 points in a full season last year. And a guy that has 20 points in the last 28 games and 5th in his team in scoring even though he suffered a major injury. A guy that tries to come back early from a injury to be team guy. I am not calling him all-star, but the team is better with him.

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    #48 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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    #49 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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    #50 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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