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 TSN 1260.
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    #1 Randaman
    March 22 2014, 09:49AM
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    I want BOLD! Yak for Boone Jenner. This kid has size, skill and grit! At least explore it and see where it goes.

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    #2 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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    #3 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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    #4 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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    #5 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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    #6 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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    #7 Harry2
    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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    #8 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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    #9 Andy
    March 21 2014, 11:04PM
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    Ahhh, the Expos.

    Please don't trade away Eberleway...

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    #10 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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    #11 Anton CP
    March 21 2014, 11:06PM
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    Any good coach available this summer?

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    #12 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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    #13 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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    #14 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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    #15 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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    #16 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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    #17 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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    #18 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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    #19 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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    #20 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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    #21 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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    #22 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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    #23 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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    #24 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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    #25 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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    #26 Cccsberg
    March 22 2014, 11:35AM
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    Todd wrote:

    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.

    Denial's the first stage of depression. After all these years of failure I'd have thought you'd be past that by now... Not sure your appraisal of Elite Talent has any value either. I'll guess we'll see in a few years, and that's part of what makes it fun and interesting as fans. Let's see what happens the rest of the season, draft and this summer.

    More to the point, tonight's game? Oilers going to roll over and play dead again to ensure their precious top draft pick?

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    #27 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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    #28 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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    #29 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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    #30 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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    #31 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 12:08PM
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    Spydyr wrote:

    "I also believe their top 6 all can be in a top six on a cup contending team"

    Go to bed you must have been up drinking all night and are drunk.

    Since Gagner is who you love to hate, you don't think if he replaced Nick Bonino the Ducks would not be contending? If the Hawks replaced Brandon Saad with Yak next year they would be out of contention. That Perron would look out of place replacing Lee Stempniak?

    My point stands

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    #32 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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    #33 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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    #34 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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    #35 Harry2
    March 22 2014, 10:28AM
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    Artie wrote:

    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.

    Eakins deserves competent assistants. The fact that those two are still behind the bench is a complete joke. I mean how do bucky and smith look at themselves in the mirror every morning? The time for them to man up and resign has long since passed.

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    #36 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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    #37 Jeffff
    March 22 2014, 11:45AM
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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.

    No use telling the truth to Oilers fans they will trash your comments.

    Reality has jumped the shark for Oiler fans.

    Oiler fans you are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts

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    #38 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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    #39 Harry2
    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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    #40 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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    #41 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 11:37AM
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    Harry2 wrote:

    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!

    Maybe I should of clarified. IMO though their top 6 could use some size and are not elite they are close to the top third to top half of the NHL.

    I also believe their top 6 all can be in a top six on a cup contending team. Maybe not all together solo they could all make it. And even if you don't believe that, you must believe they could all be on a Stanley cup team. And thats what I am saying, the Oil don't have a player they need to trade.....that the reason Oilers aren't make the playoffs isn't due to someone they have on their roster, it is due to people we don't.

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    #42 Craig1981
    March 22 2014, 12:29PM
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    @Harry2

    Ok, we can agree to disagree on that one. But even if you are right (not saying you aren't) untill we have a #2 center there is no sense trading him. And even if they did get one, having Gagner either as a winger or a lower centerman that can fill in the top 2 if injuries hit would make this team better than if we didn't have him?

    I actually think it is possible the Oil draft one of the 3 centermen and depending how the rookie does (as well as how Gagner's season is going) the rookie might move up and THEN gagner (or maybe even RNH) gets moved.

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    #43 oil
    March 22 2014, 07:18PM
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    Ryan Smyth NEEDS to hang up the skates. Its embarrassing to watch him. he cant skate, he can hardly shoot the puck. the oilers will not compete in this league until he is gone. Its beginning to be comical.

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    #44 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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    #45 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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    #46 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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    #47 Harry2
    March 22 2014, 01:16PM
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    Craig1981 wrote:

    Ok, we can agree to disagree on that one. But even if you are right (not saying you aren't) untill we have a #2 center there is no sense trading him. And even if they did get one, having Gagner either as a winger or a lower centerman that can fill in the top 2 if injuries hit would make this team better than if we didn't have him?

    I actually think it is possible the Oil draft one of the 3 centermen and depending how the rookie does (as well as how Gagner's season is going) the rookie might move up and THEN gagner (or maybe even RNH) gets moved.

    Moving Gagner without having a better option available at 2C would be poor management. Im hoping it comes from a trade because an 18 year old isnt going to be better than Gagner.

    Again ive got to go to Philly for our answer. One of Schenn or Cotourier should be available but it will probably cost either Klef or Marincin + Gagner. Heres a hypothetical blockbuster for ya.

    To EDM: Simmonds, B. Schenn/Cotourier, 2nd

    To PHI: Eberle, Gagner, Klefbom

    Over pay for Markov for 3 years. Draft Ekblad. Sign another vet #3,4 dman.

    Hall, RNH, Simmonds Perron, Schenn, Yak Hendricks, Gordon, Lander Gazdic, free agent, Pitlick

    marincin, Markov Shultz, free agent Petry, Ference

    why am I not running this team??

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    #48 Jackson
    March 22 2014, 02:11PM
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    Harry2 wrote:

    Moving Gagner without having a better option available at 2C would be poor management. Im hoping it comes from a trade because an 18 year old isnt going to be better than Gagner.

    Again ive got to go to Philly for our answer. One of Schenn or Cotourier should be available but it will probably cost either Klef or Marincin + Gagner. Heres a hypothetical blockbuster for ya.

    To EDM: Simmonds, B. Schenn/Cotourier, 2nd

    To PHI: Eberle, Gagner, Klefbom

    Over pay for Markov for 3 years. Draft Ekblad. Sign another vet #3,4 dman.

    Hall, RNH, Simmonds Perron, Schenn, Yak Hendricks, Gordon, Lander Gazdic, free agent, Pitlick

    marincin, Markov Shultz, free agent Petry, Ference

    why am I not running this team??

    Mainly because you are an idiot.

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    #49 beloch
    March 22 2014, 02:12PM
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    @Todd

    First, I was born in Edmonton and also cheer for the Oilers when they're not playing the Flames.

    Second, Hall is overpaid. His 5ov5 corsi on is a miserable -11.4 and his corsi rel (relative to a very bad possession team) is a measly 1.8. He cannot face top competition. Hall is a soft-minutes scorer who needs to be sheltered. A lot of teams need that, but $6M/yr is more than most would pay for it. A soft scorer would have been an elite player when MacT was collecting his rings but, in today's NHL, possession and defensive play matter.

    Third, the rookie trio I refered to is Eberle, Nuge, and Hall. Yes, the Nuge's $6M/yr kicks in next season. Yes, it's generous to call Hall and Eberle rookies because it suggests they might take a big step forward and fix their defensive games (Nuge's 5on5 Corsi On is -11.55 and Eberle's is -8.85). None of these players should be playing against top competition. They're collectively -42 so far this season and are being paid twice as much as the Oilers entire blue-line. This is a properly built team?

    Is the Flames fan in me jealous of Hall, etc.? Frankly, I'd take four Backlunds (Cap hit: $1.5M), over one Hall any day of the week. Hall is a stunning offensive player, but he doesn't provide acceptable value because of his inadequacies outside of the offensive zone. Cup contenders need every salary dollar to count.

    Listen, I know the Flames aren't great right now either and can only hope their rebuild goes quicker than Edmonton's is. What I want most is to see Alberta become the league's dreaded "Death Valley" again and meaningful playoff battles of Alberta once more!

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    #50 Air on Egg blood
    March 22 2014, 02:40PM
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    We shouldn't expect too much from this particular management for next year. If we expect them to turn this team into a contender, the most likely outcome is disapointment and heartbrake. But if we expect absolutely nothing, two outcomes are possible: 1- we are confirmed in our believes that they are bumbling idiots; 2- We are pleasently surprised. And it's always fun to be pleasently surprised.

    Comments are closed for this article.