GDB 81.0: BUILDING BLOCKS

Jason Gregor
April 10 2014 11:59AM

building-blocks

The Los Angeles Kings are a prime example of how to build a winning team. Rarely does it happen quickly, but solid, diversified drafting can build you the foundation for success.

Many of the King's important players were drafted and developed from within, and if the Oilers ever hope to be a contender again it will come via their home grown players.

A quick look up and down the Kings roster and you'll see drafted players all over the depth chart.

Goaltending:

Jonathan Quick was drafted 72nd (3rd round) in 2005.

Defence:

Drew Doughty was taken 2nd overall in 2008.

Slava Voynov was chosen 32nd (2nd round) also in 2008.

Alec Martinez was selected 95th (4th round) in 2007.

Forwards:

Dustin Brown was the 13th overall pick in 2003.

Anze Kopitar was taken 11th in 2005.

Trevor Lewis was the 17th choice in 2006.

Dwight King was taken 109th (4th round) in 2007.

Kyle Clifford was chosen 35th (2nd round) in 2009.

Tyler Toffoli was taken 47th (2nd round) in 2010.

Tanner Pearson was the 30th pick in 2012.

Their draft picks are playing key roles: starting goalie, top-two D-men, #1 centre and they are also spread out nicely throughout the lineup.

The Oilers will have ten drafted players in the lineup tonight: Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Gagner, Smyth, Pitlick, Lander, Petry, Marincin and Klefbom. Nail Yakupov is injured.

The Oilers have some elite forwards, and if Marincin and Klefbom continue to develop they would have three solid D-men, although none of them are top-pairing guys yet.

The major difference between the Oilers and Kings drafting thus far is the Oilers don't have any big or feisty skilled bodies in their bottom six forwards. Those might arise in Pitlick, Mitch Moroz or Greg Chase, but not for a few years at least.

The Kings have done a good job of drafting elite players, but also guys who can fill other roles.

TRADES HELP....

General Manager Dean Lombardi hasn't been afraid to trade away some of his good draft picks either. He's moved Brayden Schenn (5th overall in 2009) and Wayne Simmonds (2nd round in 2007) for Mike Richards. He also acquired Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene for Lubomir Visnovsky (4th rounder in 2000).

One of Lombardi's first trades was shrewd when he acquired Jack Johnson (3rd overall pick in 2005) and Oleg Tverdovsky from Carolina for Tim Gleason and Eric The Belanger Triangle. Six years later he moved Johnson to Columbus for Jeff Carter.

He's filled out the rest of his roster via free agency or trades. The Kings signed Jake Muzzin to a free agent deal on January 4th, 2010. Muzzin had been drafted by Pittsburgh in the 5th round of the 2007 draft but was never signed. Muzzin is now a solid #4/5 defender.

Lombardi was hired April 21st, 2006, after the Kings had missed the playoff for three consecutive seasons. The Kings did miss the playoffs during his first seasons -- rarely is there a quick fix -- but the Kings are now one of the better teams in the league.

Craig MacTavish was hired April 15th, 2013. He's  inherited some very good players just like Lombardi (Brown, Quick and Kopitar), but now it is up to MacTavish to fill out his roster via astute trades and free agent signings.

As we head into MacTavish's second off-season as GM, I'm very intrigued to see what type of moves he will make.

Is this summer the right time to move some of his younger players for proven NHL talent?

Will he be able to sign some established, veteran D-men to help protect and nurture his young defenders?

Will he be able to add some size and grit into his top-six?

Lombardi has built a solid team, but it took him three years to make them a contender. Will MacTavish be able to do it in two?

LINEUP

Hall-RNh-Eberle
Smyth-Gagner-Perron
Hendricks-Acton-Pinizzotto
Larsen-Lander-Pitlick

Marincin-Petry
Klefbom-Schultz
Fraser-Belov

Fasth

  • Eakins said he plans on playing Larsen more on defence than up front. He will use 11 forwards and said Lander and Acton will see mulitiple wingers tonight. I'd double shift Hall with Lander and Pitlick as much as I could. Let's see what Lander can do playing with an offensive minded winger.

  • Boyd Gordon's season is over, he won't play the final two games.

  • I'd rather have Belov back next season over Fraser. Belov has all the skill to play in the NHL, and after an up and down first season, I'd much rather give him a chance to improve instead of Fraser. His ceiling is much higher than Fraser's.

  • Klefbom is getting better every game. I'm curious to see how he plays against the big Kings' forwards. He has done a good job of using his strength to break up the cycle, and the more he plays the more I like his game over Marincin. That isn't a knock on Marincin, I like him too, but I feel Klefbom will a better defensive player and that is the biggest weakness on the Oilers. They can't defend.

  • The Oilers have surrendered 55 more goals than the seven west teams currently in the playoffs. Dalls and Phoenix, who are battling for the final spot, have allowed 40 fewer goals. The Oiler's goals against must improve next season, if they have any hope of being a playoff contender.

  • I've noticed many people are guaranteeing Martin Marincin a top-four spot next season. Why -- because he looked good for 40 games? Remember when Gagner scored 28 points in the final 28 games in his rookie season? Marincin should not be guaranteed a spot next year in camp by the Oilers, fans or media. Make it a competition. Bring in some NHL caliber D-men, and have him battle with Oscar Klefbom and see who wins. If Marincin plays well enough in camp to win the job, good on him, but assuming he is a top-four D-man is incredibly premature. The Oilers, their fans and media/bloggers need to realize that guaranteeing players spots, and not having enough competition in camp, leads to being a bottom feeder. That cycle needs to stop. Klefbom and Marincin should not be looked at as locks to make the team, instead they should be considered guys who are capable of competing for a roster spot, and likely on the 3rd pairing to start the season.

TONIGHT....

lakings3

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Kings lost last night in Calgary. I don't see them getting swept out of Alberta. Oilers lose 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Kings have dominated the Oilers this year, winning all three games and outshooting them by an average of 46-23. If the Oilers keep the shot differential within 10 that would be a major improvement.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Matt Greene has scored 12 goals in 351 games since being traded to the Kings. One of them came against the Oilers, the game winner with 4:28 remaining on November 25th, 2009. He continues the ex-Oiler scoring curse and fires a slapper past a screened Fasth in the middle frame.

Recently by Jason Gregor:


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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Time Travelling Sean
April 10 2014, 09:23PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

FACTS ARE STUBBORN

Ryan Smyth: 70 games, average 15:14 toi per game, average 2:31 pp time per game.

Nail Yakupov: 63 games, average 14:19 toi per game, average 2:10 pp time per game.

So, Yakupov HAS received "half the power play time Smyth did".

I do not have a crystal ball, but there is a very good chance that Yakupov will turn out to be an Alexandre Daigle style bust.

Really? Daigle was commented as being a lazyish player. I haven't heard that Yak has that reputation, unless your that duckhead Dreger.

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#102 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:29PM
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Terry Jones ‏@sunterryjones 1m

Sam Gagner is not returning tonight.

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#103 Alsker
April 10 2014, 09:34PM
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@Rick Stroppel

Dont mean to sound rude but honestly Yak is that odd special talent that obviously Eakins has no clue how to handle or what to do with...he doesn't fit the "norm" for any position, therefore, he must be altered....BS, find a way offensively to exploit what he does and help him defensively so he isnt a burden on the Dmen out with him. We've seen it before, guys who don't fit the mold but are actually better than what what you're looking for, but "those who know" are too smart to see it. Just my 2c worth.

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#104 admiralmark
April 10 2014, 09:35PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Gagner tries to hit Martinez and hurts himself.Beyond soft.

He just has to go.

Of course he gets injured now. Probably an ACL and makes him less traceable then he already was. Fans meet your new Hemsky=Gagner. The player fans are begging to be traded but his value is either so low in the league no other GM is offering squat. And whenever a window opens when he may get traded he will be injured. It's a curse. So Welcome Oiler fans to you 2014-2015 season 2nd line Center Saaaaaaaaaaam Gaaaaaaaaaagner!!

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#105 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:36PM
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Alsker wrote:

Dont mean to sound rude but honestly Yak is that odd special talent that obviously Eakins has no clue how to handle or what to do with...he doesn't fit the "norm" for any position, therefore, he must be altered....BS, find a way offensively to exploit what he does and help him defensively so he isnt a burden on the Dmen out with him. We've seen it before, guys who don't fit the mold but are actually better than what what you're looking for, but "those who know" are too smart to see it. Just my 2c worth.

Kind of like Mike Keenan telling Wayne Gretzky to backcheck in his St. Louis Blues system...

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#106 Alsker
April 10 2014, 09:37PM
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@admiralmark

ROFL, was it Serious Gord, Spyder, QSB, someone called this a few games ago...

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#107 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:39PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Kind of like Mike Keenan telling Wayne Gretzky to backcheck in his St. Louis Blues system...

Or Crawford leaving Gretzky on the bench in the shoot-out.

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#108 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:39PM
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Alsker wrote:

ROFL, was it Serious Gord, Spyder, QSB, someone called this a few games ago...

Was not me but am i surprised Snowpants got hurt trying to throw a hit.Um no.

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#109 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:41PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

FACTS ARE STUBBORN

Ryan Smyth: 70 games, average 15:14 toi per game, average 2:31 pp time per game.

Nail Yakupov: 63 games, average 14:19 toi per game, average 2:10 pp time per game.

So, Yakupov HAS received "half the power play time Smyth did".

I do not have a crystal ball, but there is a very good chance that Yakupov will turn out to be an Alexandre Daigle style bust.

Wow, it seems like every powerplay for a month now Smyth has been out there for most of it and Yak was getting none.Guess the first part of the season Yak had more powerplay time.

I stand corrected.

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#110 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:42PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Or Crawford leaving Gretzky on the bench in the shoot-out.

That was just so brilliant.

Lets leave the guy with the most goals in NHL history, the most breakaway goals in NHL history and the most slapshot (remember that famous OT goal on Vernon?) on a breakaway goals on the bench.

Brilliant coaching.

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#111 kale
April 10 2014, 09:43PM
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The most exciting thing about this game will be reading Baggedmilk's game day wrap up

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#112 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:45PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

That was just so brilliant.

Lets leave the guy with the most goals in NHL history, the most breakaway goals in NHL history and the most slapshot (remember that famous OT goal on Vernon?) on a breakaway goals on the bench.

Brilliant coaching.

It was the Eakins school of coaching.Thinking too much and believing you are the smartest person in the rink.

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#113 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:46PM
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Dear god... Ray Ferraro just now on TV "might get worse before it gets better here, and that is hard to say..."

Seriously? What did Oiler fans do to deserve this?

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#114 Ray
April 10 2014, 09:46PM
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If Oilers lose to Vancouver in regulation Oilers will finish 29th

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#115 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:48PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Dear god... Ray Ferraro just now on TV "might get worse before it gets better here, and that is hard to say..."

Seriously? What did Oiler fans do to deserve this?

Honestly IMO if they don't trade one of the kids for a top pairing defencman this team is three years away from making the playoffs.

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#116 Alsker
April 10 2014, 09:48PM
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kale wrote:

The most exciting thing about this game will be reading Baggedmilk's game day wrap up

All hail Baggedmilk!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#117 Anton CP
April 10 2014, 09:49PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Dear god... Ray Ferraro just now on TV "might get worse before it gets better here, and that is hard to say..."

Seriously? What did Oiler fans do to deserve this?

Still paying for overpriced tickets to watch this disaster is the reason for why Oilers fans deserve this.

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#118 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:49PM
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Ray wrote:

If Oilers lose to Vancouver in regulation Oilers will finish 29th

Play Smyth every second shift in his last game.

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#119 tileguy
April 10 2014, 09:49PM
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Ray wrote:

If Oilers lose to Vancouver in regulation Oilers will finish 29th

Yikes, conundrum.

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#120 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:50PM
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@Spyder

That Crawford thing...

If I was a GM holding his resume during an interview I would just have to ask

"Marc, what the hell were you thinking leaving Gretzky on the bench in a shootout?"

Just for the sheer entertainment value of having him answer that...

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#121 Jed
April 10 2014, 09:51PM
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Ray Ferraro for coach of the Oilers

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#122 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:52PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

@Spyder

That Crawford thing...

If I was a GM holding his resume during an interview I would just have to ask

"Marc, what the hell were you thinking leaving Gretzky on the bench in a shootout?"

Just for the sheer entertainment value of having him answer that...

I heard his reasoning was Gretzky was bad on breakaways.

He was also the most clutch player,ever.

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#123 Alsker
April 10 2014, 09:52PM
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Ray wrote:

If Oilers lose to Vancouver in regulation Oilers will finish 29th

"If"?????

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#124 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Honestly IMO if they don't trade one of the kids for a top pairing defencman this team is three years away from making the playoffs.

Pretty sure you could get Phaneauf if you wanted to experience more agony...

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#125 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 09:54PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Pretty sure you could get Phaneauf if you wanted to experience more agony...

Please no, have we not suffered enough.

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#126 kale
April 10 2014, 09:55PM
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I cant beleive that guy behind the bench took his kid to the game, isnt that child abuse?

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#127 Alsker
April 10 2014, 09:58PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Pretty sure you could get Phaneauf if you wanted to experience more agony...

No, pretty sure MacT will make the bold move and grab Clarkson.....sidenote...honestly can't remember this many gooseeggs at home thru the entire decade of the 80's(granted alcohol and artificial joy may have played a part in my memeory recall)

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#128 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 09:59PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Please no, have we not suffered enough.

I wonder if Darryl misses him yet... lol

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#129 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 10:01PM
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Was that yet another jersey hitting the ice as the game ended?

Is Scrivens around to throw it back?

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#130 Alsker
April 10 2014, 10:03PM
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16 shots, really, one every what 7 shifts, WTF are they doing if not shooting at the oppositions net? Must be some new Eakins system I don"t understand.

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#131 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 10:03PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Was that yet another jersey hitting the ice as the game ended?

Is Scrivens around to throw it back?

Was Lowe in it.....kidding.

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#132 kale
April 10 2014, 10:04PM
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Michaels just said on 630 that the injury to Gagner is going to impact Perron's effectiveness... I am wondering if he meant in a positive way

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#133 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 10:04PM
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Alsker wrote:

"If"?????

Well, the Canucks may be trying to get rid of Torts... so lets see.

Canucks trying to throw the game to get Torts fired vs the Oilers coached by Eakins.

I don't know...

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#134 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 10:05PM
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kale wrote:

Michaels just said on 630 that the injury to Gagner is going to impact Perron's effectiveness... I am wondering if he meant in a positive way

His effectiveness for one game?

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#135 Alsker
April 10 2014, 10:11PM
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kale wrote:

Michaels just said on 630 that the injury to Gagner is going to impact Perron's effectiveness... I am wondering if he meant in a positive way

You admit to listening to Micheals, the quote you gave us is enough reason not to.

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#136 Alsker
April 10 2014, 10:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Was Lowe in it.....kidding.

Epic, wheres that props x 10 button

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#137 Rick Stroppel
April 10 2014, 10:20PM
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THE OILERS LACK CHARACTER

They say a team is never as good as it looks when it is winning, and never as bad as it looks when it is losing. However...

I watched the LA-Calgary game yesterday and the LA-Edmonton game tonight. LA was rested in Calgary and played their number one goalie. Calgary toughed out a win in the shoot out.

Tonight LA was playing back-to-back on the road (Stauffer says this is crucial) and playing their back-up goalie (as usual). The Oilers rolled over and played dead. Outshot 23-3 in the third period.

The Oilers are a team that folds up like a three dollar lawn chair at the first sign of adversity. Fans and sports writers seem to think there is some magic fairy dust that someone can sprinkle on this team to make it compete.

This is the elephant in the room, no one wants to talk about this. Comparing the Oilers to LA (or any other competitive team in the NHL) is a joke. To get there, the Oilers need 12-15 heart transplants (or 12-15 new motivated players).

I am not saying this because I want it to be like this, I am saying it because this is the way it

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#138 madjam
April 10 2014, 10:27PM
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No rush to make our club competitive till new building is opened . Till then , all season ticket holders will renew their seasons tickets or risk losing their place in new building . Sellouts assured till then pretty much . Should be little to no push for next season to get any better than this , as a consequence .

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#139 Harry
April 10 2014, 10:28PM
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Nice job of coaching Eakins. You are the star.

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#140 Oilergasm
April 10 2014, 10:29PM
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@Alsker

Yakupov is the EXACT opposite of what Eakins was, seeing as how a hockey team dressing room mentality is that of eternal high school I wonder if there is any resentment?

I don't imagine that could possibly be the case but there have been times that I truly wonder.

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#141 slats
April 10 2014, 10:31PM
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What's really sad about a game like this is when you have a player like Smytty retiring and you are playing a team who has no incentive but not to get hurt -'could you not just amp up the effort for 60 minutes just once! Really?

I mean after the first goal 30 seconds into the game where Nuge completely missed his assignment standing next to Kopitar .... I actually switched channels to the Masters so that I did not have to the sadness in Smytty's face.

On behalf of the Edmonton Oiler Franchise I apologize to you Ryan Smyth. We are deeply sorry.

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#142 Andy7190
April 10 2014, 10:34PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I heard his reasoning was Gretzky was bad on breakaways.

He was also the most clutch player,ever.

He has the MOST breakaway goals! Like 92 or something! Gawd Crawford, for all we know, cost us a gold medal appearance with that move...

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#143 BobbyCanuck
April 11 2014, 12:18PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

@Spyder

That Crawford thing...

If I was a GM holding his resume during an interview I would just have to ask

"Marc, what the hell were you thinking leaving Gretzky on the bench in a shootout?"

Just for the sheer entertainment value of having him answer that...

He would say: 'Bobby Clark made me, he said I would never coach in the NHL if I did not do what he wants"

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#144 Thumby
April 11 2014, 05:55PM
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Ray wrote:

If Oilers lose to Vancouver in regulation Oilers will finish 29th

I truly hope we lose...I know, shoot me.

I love the Oilers, always have. But am I wrong looking at Ekblad's 6'4" 225+ frame as an 18 yr old and thinking we need this guy badly? If we drop to 3rd or 4th depending on the lottery, we'd miss out on him...

Ekblad Nurse Klefbom Marincin Schultz

There's your D core in 2-3 years...could be one of the better ones...

Just sayin...

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#145 Thumby
April 11 2014, 06:04PM
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madjam wrote:

No rush to make our club competitive till new building is opened . Till then , all season ticket holders will renew their seasons tickets or risk losing their place in new building . Sellouts assured till then pretty much . Should be little to no push for next season to get any better than this , as a consequence .

Madjam - been thinking the same thing myself.

Kblow & Katz have decided to do the biggest tank job of all time and stock 7+ top 10 picks into the system starting with Hall and ending with whoever comes the year after McKinnon...

By then, we get a little taste of goodness the last year in the old rink, maybe one round in the playoffs. Then they get the new rink and roll out the glory days...and sell another 3,000+ seasons tickets to fill it too.

Not a bad plan from a business perspective if you can stand all the vitriol from the tier 2 fanbase during the process...

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