GDB 65.0: ANYONE FEEL A DRAFT?

Lowetide
March 09 2014 10:33AM

yakupov common

The Los Angeles Kings roll into Edmonton tonight, in search of two points and a healthy roster at minute 60. The Oilers? Evaluating the recalls, making sure next year's goalie tandem doesn't spring a leak, and trying to straighten out the ghastly power play.

In February I looked at the lottery section of the  2014 Entry draft

  1. D Aaron Ekblad
  2. C Sam Reinhart
  3. C Sam Bennett
  4. C Leon Draisaitl
  5. L Michael Dal Colle
  6. L Jake Virtanen
  7. C Ivan Barbashev

It's time to add another name, we'll call him #8 on the list: RW David Pastrnak. Each year I look for a name (near springtime) to emerge from the Europeans and for 2014 I believe it's Pastrnak.

  • Craig Button: Pastrnak's ability to challenge defenders with his skating from both straight-ahead and darting positions makes him dangerous. He has very good hands and is always looking to create scoring opportunities.

If the season ended today, Edmonton would be drafting 2nd overall (I believe they'll pass the Islanders and the Panthers). I also believe they'll be happy with any of the top 4 names above, and that there's a slight chance Ekblad is not chosen #1 overall. It's a very interesting top of the draft board currently.

My bet for Oilers pick: Ekblad if they can make a move draft day, Draisaitl any other way.

TRADING SAMWISE

gagner common2

After the trade deadline passed without a second or third-round selection coming to Edmonton, I think there's an increased chance we see Sam Gagner dealt for picks (or a pick and a player). Bruce Garrioch talks about NHL teams holding their high picks more dear at the deadline here. 

If the Oilers deal Gagner for a second and a third at the draft, I'm absolutely certain many Oiler fans will be up in arms. However, the Gagner money ($4.8M) may be better spent on a free-agent defender (possibly Brooks Orpik or Andrei Markov) or in trade for Braydon Coburn or Christian Ehrhoff.

Gagner for Ehrhoff works too, but the Oilers may have to offload the Gagner contract and then pursue a player with the cash in hand.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Fraser-Larsen

Scrivens

WESTCOTT KEL

I've lifted this from the last GDT, the two recalls won't play. Both men are on emergency recall, so we'll see how it rolls. Edmonton is down to three recalls available now (Larsen being the first) so at least three of the guys in OKC we thought we would see won't be here this season.

TONIGHT

scarlett-johansson-gifs-legs

PREDICTION: Scrivens stops 50 and the Oilers win 2-1. Team takes Scrivens out for fries and a Coke after the game.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Los Angeles will dominate entire shifts.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PREDICTION: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins breaks out of his slump with both goals—on the power play!


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 Stack Pad Save
March 09 2014, 10:43AM
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Nuge!!!!!!!

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#2 Spydyr
March 09 2014, 10:43AM
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Another year picking fist.Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Edit: Missed it by that much.

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#3 Fumanshu
March 09 2014, 10:46AM
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This summer is turning up draisaitl!

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#4 Stack Pad Save
March 09 2014, 10:46AM
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Do the Oilers have to play the emergency recalls?????

I really want to see the final games the year put to some actual purpose to evaluate what we actually have in guys like Lander, Klefbom and Pitlick.

I want to know what the Oilers have at the NHL level in Pitlick, he strikes me as the kind of player who excels in better games, i.e. he will be a better player at the NHL level than the AHL level. I have no proof for this, but I liked what I saw before he got hurt in the NHL at the start of the season.

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#5 God
March 09 2014, 10:47AM
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I feel completely embarrassed to be talking about the draft yet again. This game is honestly not even worth watching.

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#6 nuge2nail
March 09 2014, 10:53AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett's the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are "shocked" at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

There's a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team... As an Oilers fan that's devastating.

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#7 nuge2nail
March 09 2014, 11:02AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

An example of the above is Ales Hemsky and Andrew Cogliano.

4 points playing on the top line with the Sens already, can blame Eakins but on our top line he wouldnt have performed.

Good for Hemsky, happy for him, wish him all the best, but crappy for the Oilers.

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#8 Oilers42
March 09 2014, 11:05AM
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I don't see us passing islanders and flames as they have fairly easy schedules for the rest of the year and Luongo will keep Florida winning some games so I think 1.Sabres-Reinhart 2.Oilers-Ekblad 3.Islanders-Bennet 4.Flames-Dal Colle 5.Florida-Drasital

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#9 Total Points
March 09 2014, 11:07AM
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I can not believe that Gagner is still on the first line.

Arco should have taken his place before Christmas and Gagner should have been placed on waivers (nobody would have picked him up on waivers) and then banished to the press box until he figures out how play the game.

It is hard to believe that MacT and 6 rings actually considered him as Captain. Goes to show how out of touch these 2 are.

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#10 Spydyr
March 09 2014, 11:11AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett's the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are "shocked" at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

There's a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team... As an Oilers fan that's devastating.

Well you don't just get to end up out of the playoffs for eight years ,most as a lotto team by having intense up tempo practices. It takes an team effort to be that bad for that long.

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#11 Al Low
March 09 2014, 11:14AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett's the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are "shocked" at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

There's a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team... As an Oilers fan that's devastating.

Great point. Just look at how well Cogliano's playing in Anaheim. It makes me wonder if Gagner will flourish on a new team like many other ex-Oilers have.

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#12 Oiler Al
March 09 2014, 11:14AM
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Any chance that Eakins is history at the end of this season, along with the other two statues behind the bench.?

Its troubling when you hear comments about the lack of intensity in the teams practice habits! More than one source, must be something to it. However, non of the Edmonton scribes dare do a research and write up on this issue.

Heck there were times when Eakins was in the stands during practice... to big to communicate to the players.

Also: Why does he always send out the 4 th line after a [rare] goal is scored. Should send a line that can build on the momentum of the game.

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#13 Randaman
March 09 2014, 11:17AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett's the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are "shocked" at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

There's a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team... As an Oilers fan that's devastating.

I agree with you except in the largest area of need. We are absolutely worse at the centre position considering what we have coming up in terms of defence. If Gagner is dealt for a second & third, I for one would be extatic. He needs to go to another team that needs to reach the cap floor or that needs offence first because we all know what he brings defensively. That leaves a huge hole @ 2C. Are they easier to acquire via trade than a 2D? Possibly. If we could somehow acquire a 2D via the UFA route (Markhov overpay) then we can bring up either Klefbom or Nurse to be mentored by a quality D like Jones with Weber. Yes Jones + - doesn't look good but that is an over rated stat with rookie evaluation in my mind. I really prefer Draisaiti or Bennett as Ekblad will be gone and so will Reinhart.

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#14 Jay Gray
March 09 2014, 11:24AM
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I'm of the belief that if Ekblad does not fall to the Oilers, you trade that pick for experienced help.

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#15 Randaman
March 09 2014, 11:25AM
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Is there at least one reporter in this city that will call out this organization for what it is? It's not like the games are all that great to attend anyway or is it more of a status thing to flash that press pass around?

Homers!!

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#16 Oiltown3000
March 09 2014, 11:28AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett's the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are "shocked" at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

There's a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team... As an Oilers fan that's devastating.

The reasons for bad development:

a) Too many Coach changes

b) No veterans too help the players learn

c) No bodyguard for the players

d) Not a good assistant or goalie coach

e) Rushing the players to the NHL

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#17 Spydyr
March 09 2014, 11:28AM
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Randaman wrote:

Is there at least one reporter in this city that will call out this organization for what it is? It's not like the games are all that great to attend anyway or is it more of a status thing to flash that press pass around?

Homers!!

Eakins already took their donuts away.If any fall out of line the hammer will fall.Just ask the guy handing out stickers at a bar across town from Rexall.

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#18 Twoskidoos
March 09 2014, 11:28AM
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@Total Points

Relax. There's nothing to lose.

Perhaps they're seeing for the last time whether or not Gagner is having an off year, or if they have to offload him.

I believe they offload him and take Bennett (in no particular order). He's exactly what they need - grit, prickishness, scoring ability, faceoff ability, he's 186 lbs and hopefully would fill out to 205ish.

Gagner may fetch a few pics like LT says, or, I'd rather get Ehrhoff.

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#19 Spydyr
March 09 2014, 11:29AM
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Oiltown3000 wrote:

The reasons for bad development:

a) Too many Coach changes

b) No veterans too help the players learn

c) No bodyguard for the players

d) Not a good assistant or goalie coach

e) Rushing the players to the NHL

The reasons for bad development:

a)"The braintrust"

Fixed it for you.

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#20 Twoskidoos
March 09 2014, 11:30AM
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@Oiltown3000

Horcoff was here when most of the kids came into town. Who did Tavares have? Doug Weight? That's about it.

There was also Hemsky, there's Gordo, etc.

Doubt it's a lack of vet's.

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#21 Randaman
March 09 2014, 11:40AM
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Watching the Red Wings & Rangers. If you want to see a real coach in action check out Babcock. He is in constant communication with his assistants and players. Eakins is in way over his head. Fire his a$$ along with Puqueberger & Smith. This is the number one issue but MacT will have to swallow his pride and get Batmans permission when it comes to the pathetic assistants.

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#22 Rusty Patenaude
March 09 2014, 11:55AM
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I agree that Ekblad is#1 and Draisaitl #2. I expect the Oilers to finish 28th or 29th. If they get lucky and win the lottery or if Buffalo decides to draft a forward, they get Ekblad. If not Draisaitl is a talented center and a perfect fit with his size.

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#23 mlcselli
March 09 2014, 12:22PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Any chance that Eakins is history at the end of this season, along with the other two statues behind the bench.?

Its troubling when you hear comments about the lack of intensity in the teams practice habits! More than one source, must be something to it. However, non of the Edmonton scribes dare do a research and write up on this issue.

Heck there were times when Eakins was in the stands during practice... to big to communicate to the players.

Also: Why does he always send out the 4 th line after a [rare] goal is scored. Should send a line that can build on the momentum of the game.

I remember a radio interview Lowe gave when Renney was not renewed. He said the onus is on the GM when it comes to the future of the head coach, but the exit interviews from the players, regarding the coach, weighs heavily into the decision. For the benefit of the team and the fans, hopefully the players give a scathing review (Ference won't because he is an ass kisser), and MacT realizes he bet on the wrong horse. If an experienced guy like Laviolette os Sutter…coached the Oilers, we would have a system that everyone can learn in a timely manner. This season is over 60 games old, and the boys still don't have a clue. Coaching is the problem without a doubt.

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#24 THE PUZ
March 09 2014, 12:22PM
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The "strategy" of management seems to be letting proven NHL players, including first rounders like Hemsky & Gagner, leave for late round draft choices to "restock our shelves". These prospects statistically will never step foot in the NHL, especially with our bush-league scouting staff. The same trend of losing will continue as long as the vision of Lowe & MacT remain. We have needed tough top 6 NHL forwards , a starting goalie (not multiple backups) and legitimate NHL defencemen for years. Oiler's fans are sick and tired of hearing excuses from management on the 7th highest grossing team in the NHL.

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#25 Dave
March 09 2014, 12:24PM
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Yes, I agree that the assistants will be fired (Bucky will get some sort of job in the organization). They are just scapegoats to give Eakins another year.

Still ... if the Oilers have a crappy start next year Eakins will be let go.

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#26 Naky
March 09 2014, 12:27PM
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If Sam Gagner is traded just for a 2nd and a 3rd draft round pick, it would be time to start throwing molotovs at that Oilers office downtown. No matter how negatively he's looked at here, he's a perennial 40-50 point player on the perennial worst team in the league. He's worth more than a prospect that might make our team on the fourth line in four years like Lander and a prospect that probably never will in a third.

A 3-4 d-man who has either been overshadowed by some younger prospects and has that dreaded extra year of term/extra million on the contract that the team is happy to offload for. You know, almost all the same reasons why some want to get rid of Gagner. We need bodies back, not draft picks in a weak drafting year.

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#27 Wyatt
March 09 2014, 12:27PM
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I would be extremely disappointed if the oil took Reinhart. We already have nuge. Can someone explain to me the difference between these two players? They're the exact same. Draisaitl or trade pick IMO. Ekblad would be nice but our pipeline is full of D-men on the rise. Also, we all know how risky picking a D in the top 5 can be.

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#28 dave
March 09 2014, 12:27PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Eakins already took their donuts away.If any fall out of line the hammer will fall.Just ask the guy handing out stickers at a bar across town from Rexall.

So what does Sticker man have to say ? Don't be a tease.

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#29 Danger Pay
March 09 2014, 12:29PM
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I started looking at prospects back in November. It was pretty amazing how the Oilers managed to have their Mid-Dec/Jan slump all season.

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#30 Spydyr
March 09 2014, 12:41PM
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dave wrote:

So what does Sticker man have to say ? Don't be a tease.

Something about if you diss Lowe expect the long arm of the Oilers to reach you half way across town.So much for free speech.

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#31 Max
March 09 2014, 12:42PM
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We can only hope that the coaching staff held a more intense practice today - oops sorry, I forgot it was only an OPTIONAL skate. Given our position in the standings, I would have thought practices should be mandatory AND intense. Still, what do I know, I'm only a fan and an armchair coach.

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#32 Yaz
March 09 2014, 12:42PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Any chance that Eakins is history at the end of this season, along with the other two statues behind the bench.?

Its troubling when you hear comments about the lack of intensity in the teams practice habits! More than one source, must be something to it. However, non of the Edmonton scribes dare do a research and write up on this issue.

Heck there were times when Eakins was in the stands during practice... to big to communicate to the players.

Also: Why does he always send out the 4 th line after a [rare] goal is scored. Should send a line that can build on the momentum of the game.

Exactly, too much ego and not enough coaching. I suspect we'll keep Eakins into October 2014 when he is canned after a 1-10 start. Everybody sees it coming except 6 rings and Mac.T who is saving his own ego and hoping to hell Eakins can pull a rabbit out of his ass.

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#33 Jed
March 09 2014, 12:52PM
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Leon Draisaitl has been as high as top 3 and as low as 11.

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#34 @Oilanderp
March 09 2014, 12:52PM
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@Rusty Patenaude

Draisaitl will NOT be picked in the top 3.

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#35 The Real Scuba Steve
March 09 2014, 12:54PM
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Another year and lottery draft. I guess the draft is the Oiler equivalent of playoffs. We are the champs at slipping in at the big pick. If they gave first draft pick rings, Kevin Lowe wouldn't have enough fingers to accomindate all these rings.

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#36 Jeffff
March 09 2014, 12:56PM
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You can't have good environment after being the worst team in the NHL for the last 8 years.

Oilers do ruin players. I can't see much changing . Every year has been wait until next year. Well here we are again. With the amount of #1 picks and high picks in the last 8 years and Edmonton is sitting in 29th place. How is that hope and change working?

Edmonton we have a problem

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#37 Jed
March 09 2014, 12:59PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Draisaitl will NOT be picked in the top 3.

I don't know but Redline's Kyle Woodlief has him in the top 3.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2014/03/02/nhl-draft-red-line-report-defensemen/5952761/

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#38 Jed
March 09 2014, 01:00PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Draisaitl will NOT be picked in the top 3.

I don't know where he will be picked but Kyle Woodlief of Redline report has him in the top 3

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2014/03/02/nhl-draft-red-line-report-defensemen/5952761/

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#39 @Oilanderp
March 09 2014, 01:10PM
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Naky wrote:

If Sam Gagner is traded just for a 2nd and a 3rd draft round pick, it would be time to start throwing molotovs at that Oilers office downtown. No matter how negatively he's looked at here, he's a perennial 40-50 point player on the perennial worst team in the league. He's worth more than a prospect that might make our team on the fourth line in four years like Lander and a prospect that probably never will in a third.

A 3-4 d-man who has either been overshadowed by some younger prospects and has that dreaded extra year of term/extra million on the contract that the team is happy to offload for. You know, almost all the same reasons why some want to get rid of Gagner. We need bodies back, not draft picks in a weak drafting year.

Let me buy you a steak and beverage sir.

Trading Gags during a time when his shooting percentage is half of what it has been his entire career isn't getting good value.

If people really wanted him gone they should've done so last year when Sam finished tied for 17th in the LEAGUE for points by a center.

A 2nd and a 3rd round pick!?!?!? Gord help us all.

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#40 @Oilanderp
March 09 2014, 01:15PM
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Jed wrote:

I don't know where he will be picked but Kyle Woodlief of Redline report has him in the top 3

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2014/03/02/nhl-draft-red-line-report-defensemen/5952761/

Fair enough. Still, like I said, he's not going in the top 3. I mean, he could, but i'm betting he doesn't.

We'll have more info as the day approaches, but it's my understanding that Ek, Rein, and Bennett are the top 3.

If the Oil like Darisatil enough to take him in the top 2, I sure hope they trade down and take him later.

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#41 Chainsawz
March 09 2014, 01:17PM
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LT,

Where do you see Nick Ritchie going? I've seen him #5 on some lists and a 6'2, 230 lbs winger has to be attractive to the Oilers.

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#42 toprightcorner
March 09 2014, 01:24PM
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Oiltown3000 wrote:

The reasons for bad development:

a) Too many Coach changes

b) No veterans too help the players learn

c) No bodyguard for the players

d) Not a good assistant or goalie coach

e) Rushing the players to the NHL

100% agree

I think some of that bad culture we supposedly had 3-6 years ago greatly affected Gagne and also hurt Hall and Ebbs in their first year. It could take a couple years to break those learned habits.

Much of this is easily fixable this summer but could take a season or two to reverse the damage.

- Add 2 veteran dmen, preferably #1 and #3 over the age of 27 and have character and leadership to be role models for defense A guy like Orpik who knows how to winit the type we need.

- Add a veteran 2C with good 2-way play and good work ethic and competes hard. A guy like Dubinsky or Vermette comes to mind.

- With Gadzic, Hendricks and Fraser we finally of bodyguard types. A big winger like Stewart or Brower would be awesome in the top 6.

- replace Bucky and Smith, overpay for quality replacements. Move Acton to assistant or let him go and bring in associate with NHL experience

- Replace Chabot as goalie coach. Overpay to get a Burke or Radford type with NHL experience

- Leave Nurse in junior one more year to develop more, use the Pietrangelo method of 2 years in junior.

- I would like to see whoever they draft 1st spend 1 more year in Junior. Drouin, Huberdeau, Murray, Reinhart, Schenn and Reilly are all top 5 picks that spent at least 1 more year in junior.

The change in team dynamics needs to happen this summer as it will take at least a year to reap the rewards of that change.

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#43 Serious Gord
March 09 2014, 01:33PM
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Lowetide:

"If the season ended today, Edmonton would be drafting 2nd overall (I believe they'll pass the Islanders and the Panthers). "

1- isn't it a lottery for the top five? If so then there is no guarantee that finishing second last gets you the #2 pick.

2. Almost impossible for the oil to catch either of those two teams - the oil have a far tougher schedule.

As for the gagner trade discussion - no way anyone gives up a second and a third unless the oil are allowed to buy up a huge percentage of his contract (and keep that chunk of cap room. And the oil doesn't need more picks - it needs real nhl ready players. Thus the best route would be to trade the underperforming, negative value gagner for another underperforming negative value player who has a skill set that better addresses the oils needs.

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#44 Jackson
March 09 2014, 01:36PM
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I have never been a fan of Gagner wanted to trade hi years ago when most people wanted to sign him. However I do think the broken Jaw has hurt him this year, look at Burrows. I think it takes time to heal mentally. They should try and trade him next trade deadline.

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#45 TeddyTurnbuckle
March 09 2014, 01:38PM
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Personally I feel the hole at 2nd centre is bigger than the one at D with Klefbom and Nurse coming up. We only have three choices to improve at that position because bringing Gagner back as a 2nd line centre is not an option. If they do then the pitch forks need to come out in Edmonton. They either move Hall back to centre, draft a centre this year or sign a guy like Paul Stastny. The problem with drafting a centre this year is that he may not be ready to play for a few years so if we went that route we would probably have to sign a free agent. I hope we don't regret not trading Gagner for Clifford and he becomes unmovable down the road with his big contract.

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#46 Serious Gord
March 09 2014, 01:38PM
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As for the game tonight - a loss to the oil would be the low point of LAs season. Goal-scoring has been a perennial issue for the kings - additions at the deadline were supposed to help correct that.

If the oil can keep it close they have a punchers chance of winning. 3-2 oil.

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#47 Stack Pad Save
March 09 2014, 01:42PM
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Yah! Draft prognostication begins before the season is over again.............I want Ekblad first, and trade Sam Gagner for Bennet somehow.

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#48 719
March 09 2014, 01:43PM
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An interesting RUMOR (rumor emphasized) was Gagner for Stewart.

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#49 TeddyTurnbuckle
March 09 2014, 01:43PM
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@@Oilanderp

No way Oilers take Draisaitl if they are picking top three. Bennet and Reinhart are way too good. Who cares about size when they are easily the best forwards in the draft. Either one of these guys would set the Oilers up at center for 15 years.

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#50 Serious Gord
March 09 2014, 01:51PM
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@TeddyTurnbuckle

If the best player available when it is the oils turn is not a good match to the oils needs, the smart thing to Do is trade down.

Not sure if MacT is that smart.

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