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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#1 They're $hittie
April 10 2014, 12:08PM
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Fraser is terrible, and useless

That Ice Girl is not!

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#2 Lowe Expectations
April 10 2014, 12:10PM
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I wonder how many fans will be dressed as empty seats tonight?

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#3 Joel
April 10 2014, 12:11PM
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Kings don't need this game, so who knows what type of effort they will bring. If they want to win they will.

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#4 Jeffff
April 10 2014, 12:14PM
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MacT is not in the same class as Lombardi.

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#5 Frank
April 10 2014, 12:17PM
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The culture is losing for the Oilers. MacT won't help however he will sound good. They have not known how to build a average team in the last 8 years and now you want MacT to change that. Have some more Kool-Aid

How that MBA working for you?

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#6 Rick
April 10 2014, 12:21PM
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Jeffff wrote:

MacT is not in the same class as Lombardi.

You mean getting Colton Tuebert was not a good idea?

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#7 Fifth Cartel
April 10 2014, 12:24PM
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"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."]

woah, I am proud to hear this from you Jason.

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#8 Craig1981
April 10 2014, 12:26PM
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Rick wrote:

You mean getting Colton Tuebert was not a good idea?

MacT wasn't GM during the Penner trade. (they also got the Kelbom pick)

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#9 Rick
April 10 2014, 12:28PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

MacT wasn't GM during the Penner trade. (they also got the Kelbom pick)

Really , master of the obvious aren't you.

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#10 Ed in Edmonton
April 10 2014, 12:31PM
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Rick wrote:

Really , master of the obvious aren't you.

So what was your point?

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#11 pelhem grenville
April 10 2014, 12:41PM
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>AND The Edmonton Oilers are NOT a prime example of how to build a winning team...

yummy cheerleaders notwithstanding . . .

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#12 djc
April 10 2014, 12:51PM
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Frank wrote:

The culture is losing for the Oilers. MacT won't help however he will sound good. They have not known how to build a average team in the last 8 years and now you want MacT to change that. Have some more Kool-Aid

How that MBA working for you?

Why does MacT having a MBA bother you?

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#13 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2014, 12:58PM
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Rick wrote:

You mean getting Colton Tuebert was not a good idea?

The next wave of boys on the bus. He used to play with Eberle in Regina.

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#14 rickithebear
April 10 2014, 12:59PM
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Jason:

Oilers D at even strength:2.33 EVGA/60 is league average.

Marincin: 1st line competition with 4th line teamates. 2.13 EVGA/60

Klefbom: 1st/2nd Comp 3rd teamates 3.36 EVGA/60 1.75 EVGA/60 w/ Schultz; Larsen; Petry 5.07 EVGA/60 w/ Fraser; Ference.

J. Schultz: 1st comp 2nd teamates 2.71 EVGA/60 3.23 EVGA/60 w/ Ference; Belov; Fraser 1.12 EVGA/60 w/Klef; Marincin; Larsen

Ference; 1st/2nd comp 2nd teamates 2.79 EVGA/60 3.62 EVGA/60 W/ J. Schultz; Belov; Klef 2.33 EVGA/60 w/ Petry; Larsen

Marincin makes every D he plays with better. Klefbom is 4/5 Dman at worst on this team.

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#15 ThatButthurtOilersFan
April 10 2014, 01:03PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

MacT wasn't GM during the Penner trade. (they also got the Kelbom pick)

Whatever happened to old Colton Teubert?

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#16 Ed in Edmonton
April 10 2014, 01:06PM
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rickithebear wrote:

Jason:

Oilers D at even strength:2.33 EVGA/60 is league average.

Marincin: 1st line competition with 4th line teamates. 2.13 EVGA/60

Klefbom: 1st/2nd Comp 3rd teamates 3.36 EVGA/60 1.75 EVGA/60 w/ Schultz; Larsen; Petry 5.07 EVGA/60 w/ Fraser; Ference.

J. Schultz: 1st comp 2nd teamates 2.71 EVGA/60 3.23 EVGA/60 w/ Ference; Belov; Fraser 1.12 EVGA/60 w/Klef; Marincin; Larsen

Ference; 1st/2nd comp 2nd teamates 2.79 EVGA/60 3.62 EVGA/60 W/ J. Schultz; Belov; Klef 2.33 EVGA/60 w/ Petry; Larsen

Marincin makes every D he plays with better. Klefbom is 4/5 Dman at worst on this team.

I think you have to be a bit cautious about reading too much into a small sample size of stats. This is especially true wrt Klefbom.

However, I don't doubt that Marincin might be the best Oil defenceman inside his own blue line.

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#17 vetinari
April 10 2014, 01:18PM
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In the last two games, while I am not expecting to see any wins, I do want to see competition, consistency and effort throughout the entire lineup.

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#18 Pouzar99
April 10 2014, 01:27PM
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Apart from hiring Eakins, a disastrous decision, MacT has had a fairly credible first season. Obviously the trade for Perron was terrific and signing Gordon and Ference were good moves as well and Scrivens and Fasth are looking very good. Hendricks was also a very good pick-up. Garbagekov bombed but that's only Katz's money. Belov was only so-so, but may be worth bringing back for another year. Apart from Eakins, not bad, but man there is lots more work to do.

MacT has to get at least a couple of more years to make this his team. Like it or not we're stuck with Eakins next season but there will be no more excuses. Either the team takes a significant step in the right direction or Eakins takes a significant one out of town.

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#19 Ivan Drago
April 10 2014, 01:28PM
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Over to you Rick. What was your point? Or were you just showing off what an arsehole you are?

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#20 Dave Manson
April 10 2014, 01:28PM
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ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

Whatever happened to old Colton Teubert?

Teubert is tearing it up (1 goal in 40games) playing in the German Elite League with another ex Oiler - Mike York!

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#21 Ivan Drago
April 10 2014, 01:32PM
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MacT deserves a chance to right this ship. Imo the jury is out until Xmas next season. He needs time to undo Tambos mess. One off season in a year the cap went down isn't enough to judge him fairly.

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#22 Mason Storm
April 10 2014, 01:34PM
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ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

Whatever happened to old Colton Teubert?

He drifted off into the land of obscurity to join other failed Oilers prospects Marc-Antoine Pouliot, JF Jacques, Rob Scrhemp, Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante and Linus Omark, etc, etc, etc.

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#23 Craig1981
April 10 2014, 01:41PM
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Mason Storm wrote:

He drifted off into the land of obscurity to join other failed Oilers prospects Marc-Antoine Pouliot, JF Jacques, Rob Scrhemp, Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante and Linus Omark, etc, etc, etc.

Sometimes I think of those layers and think how lucky they were to be drafted by the Oilers. Marc-Antoine Pouliot, wouldn't of got 192 NHL games if draft by anyone else. Most of them wouldn't of seen a single game if drafted by the Red Wings......Stortini!!

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#24 VK63
April 10 2014, 01:42PM
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this one and one more… then this season can be hauled out behind the barn and shot in the head…… mercifully.

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#25 SmythsMullet
April 10 2014, 01:43PM
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Side note - who's winning the masters? I got Rory McIlroy

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#26 Czar
April 10 2014, 01:52PM
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Late to the party, what's up with Gordon?

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#28 #ThereGoesTheOilers
April 10 2014, 02:08PM
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You have to give MacT some credit - Dubnyk and Labarbera ... Scrivens and Fasth.

Where do you think things would sit if it was still up to Tambo to sort out that mess?

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#29 VK63
April 10 2014, 02:18PM
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#ThereGoesTheOilers wrote:

You have to give MacT some credit - Dubnyk and Labarbera ... Scrivens and Fasth.

Where do you think things would sit if it was still up to Tambo to sort out that mess?

Im still waiting for Tambos exit address. Do you think he has that almost prepared yet? close? nearly? still evaluating the rough draft?

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#30 Wings
April 10 2014, 02:24PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Sometimes I think of those layers and think how lucky they were to be drafted by the Oilers. Marc-Antoine Pouliot, wouldn't of got 192 NHL games if draft by anyone else. Most of them wouldn't of seen a single game if drafted by the Red Wings......Stortini!!

Or they would have spent 3 or 4 years in the minors learning how to be pros instead of being rushed into the league too soon.

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#31 Ryan2
April 10 2014, 02:31PM
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@ Jason Gregor re: Marincin vs. Klefbom

The only issue I can see with Klefbom surpassing Marincin defensively is his hockey sense. Marincin sees the game better than Klefbom does. You could see it with Oscar at the WJHC - his skating and size helped cover up mistakes at that level but in the NHL he will not be able to do that. I know MacT has a man crush on him, but he reminds me of Ninimaa a bit - great tools but no blueprints.

That being said, if they both develop into solid 2-4 d-men it will not really who is better as it will be a win for the organization.

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#32 Ontarioil
April 10 2014, 03:10PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I didn't know that a 40 game sample size means he is guaranteed to be just as good next year. Thanks for clearing that up.

No one is saying he's guaranteed anything but he has been arguably the best all around defenseman on the team since arriving, based on what we know so far I think you absolutely should expect to see him on the ice on opening night.

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#33 Shredder
April 10 2014, 03:19PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

@ Jason Gregor re: Marincin vs. Klefbom

The only issue I can see with Klefbom surpassing Marincin defensively is his hockey sense. Marincin sees the game better than Klefbom does. You could see it with Oscar at the WJHC - his skating and size helped cover up mistakes at that level but in the NHL he will not be able to do that. I know MacT has a man crush on him, but he reminds me of Ninimaa a bit - great tools but no blueprints.

That being said, if they both develop into solid 2-4 d-men it will not really who is better as it will be a win for the organization.

"great tools but no blueprints" - awesome line. I need to use that.

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#34 bsmart
April 10 2014, 03:20PM
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I agree with Gregor that we need to have these guys compete for jobs. I would bring in some veteran D to compete with. If they win a job great, if not back to the AHL.

I would not mind a Dan Boyle or Andrei Markov for next season for the right term and $. Old or not these guys still have value. No one is giving a top D man in their prime in a trade (Shea Weber/ Subban/ Doughty).

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#35 Rama Lama
April 10 2014, 03:20PM
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It's fairly obvious that Lombardi drafted for requirements over BPA and that strategy is paying off.

Except for last year we always took the BPA which usually meant taking the small, fast, player. It will take some time to get some bigger type bodies into our system.

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#36 Oiler Al
April 10 2014, 03:30PM
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Good article Gregor, however, you conveniently, have the Oiler rebuild starting this year with the arrival of MacT @ G.M.?,thats 3 years beyond the previous rebuild start 2010 @ arrival of Hall. Quite the moving target.

You will also note that Kings have few first rounders and just a few Elite players [ Doughty,Kopitar, and Carter]., most of that roster was developed from 2nd, 3rd, and 4rth rounders.

They also went for size, Lowe miss-read that part big time.Let not forget that fortunes of Kings turned with the arrival of Sutter, give the guy credit.

Ps; Last year Oilers roster had 10 NO.1 picks in the line and that got them to 26th finish.!

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#37 Anton CP
April 10 2014, 03:30PM
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Quick’s case was more of a surprise instead of planned result. At that time Kings were starting with LaBarbera and Erik Ersberg, they called up Quick because their prospect Bernier wasn’t quite ready for NHL. They signed Quick to short extension at first place was really to just have him as bridge goalie until they can call up Bernier. It was Quick determination that evntually fored Kings to stay with him and let Bernier go.

I think that using Kings is kind of a bad example since because they rushed Doughty and Voynov got his minutes after Kings traded Johnson for Carter. To be honest that when Kings had Gange, Richards, and Carter that they were pretty much have the 2010 Stanley Cup finalists Flyers with a better goaltending. How many of GMs were as trigger happy as Holmgren?

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#38 Dog Train
April 10 2014, 03:36PM
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I think the Kings are poised for another deep playoff run again this year. They're an excellent example of how to build a team. Strong in goal, lots of quality D who can move the puck, deep down the middle, big and mean on the wings. Too bad a team like that is wasted on a phony market like Los Angeles. I hope San Jose or Anaheim knocks them off.

The best part about tonight's game is that after it we will be 60 minutes closer to the end of this dreadful season. I might claim to miss Oilers' games in a few months but, after being out of the playoffs basically a month in, it will be a relief to see the season come to an end.

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#39 Shredder
April 10 2014, 03:57PM
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Dog Train wrote:

I think the Kings are poised for another deep playoff run again this year. They're an excellent example of how to build a team. Strong in goal, lots of quality D who can move the puck, deep down the middle, big and mean on the wings. Too bad a team like that is wasted on a phony market like Los Angeles. I hope San Jose or Anaheim knocks them off.

The best part about tonight's game is that after it we will be 60 minutes closer to the end of this dreadful season. I might claim to miss Oilers' games in a few months but, after being out of the playoffs basically a month in, it will be a relief to see the season come to an end.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I like Minnesota. Stud Dman who's used to playing lots of minutes. Good offensive guys but more importantly backcheck as good as anyone, and good ol' Bryz in net. I wouldn't sign Bryz to a long term contract or anything, but for a good run, he can get hot (and we know he looks good behind a strong defense like Min/Phx). St. Louis hasn't impressed me lately, neither have the california teams, or Chi-town...I'm putting my money on the Wild.

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#40 admiralmark
April 10 2014, 04:13PM
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This is why I do not understand all the chatter about trading the 1st round pick if Ekblad isn't there? Solid Building blocks need to be taken out of every draft. So a top 5 pick needs to be retained to keep a steady flow of blue chippers coming. UNLESS the other team is offering a 25-28 stud 2C or 1st pair D in the deal.. they should use it on any of the top 3 Centers.

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#41 Will
April 10 2014, 04:14PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

It's fairly obvious that Lombardi drafted for requirements over BPA and that strategy is paying off.

Except for last year we always took the BPA which usually meant taking the small, fast, player. It will take some time to get some bigger type bodies into our system.

Bahahaha. What? The Oilers have used high and low draft picks year after year after year on coke machines. There is a well of flushed prospects simply because the Oilers mission was to find "the next Lucic". All they did was draft for size.

Fortunately, Stu pulled everyone's collective head out of their ass and at least drafted some skill to go along with the size. Now some of his bigger bodied prospects are looking like they might pay off. It's great we got the high end talent, but it would be even better if we were just getting it now since a lot of these depth players throughout the line up, ala the Kings, are about to start maturing.

Yakimov, Kahria, Chase, Moroz, Marincin, Nurse, and Klefbomb , are the type of drafts that could play throughout the line up that successful rebuild teams need. This article could very easily be about the Hawks or the Pens as both those teams did the exact same thing. They all used picks throughout the draft to establish a team throughout the line up. The difference between the Kings, Hawks, Pens and the Oilers, is that the high end talent came in the same time that the other players were maturing. In Edmonton's case, we are waiting for our Keith and Seebrook to develop still. We are waiting on our Dwight Kings, and our Bickles, etc.

Thus our rebuild has been delayed.

Here's hoping A, Mac T can change the balance of the team with some stop gap vets to help mentor all the talent on the way. And B, that finally, it's not just the 1st overall picks that turn out to help the team.

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#42 Spydyr
April 10 2014, 04:16PM
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Since Lowe has been here the team has always been picked before training camp.Make what you will of that.

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#43 Will
April 10 2014, 04:20PM
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Dog Train wrote:

I think the Kings are poised for another deep playoff run again this year. They're an excellent example of how to build a team. Strong in goal, lots of quality D who can move the puck, deep down the middle, big and mean on the wings. Too bad a team like that is wasted on a phony market like Los Angeles. I hope San Jose or Anaheim knocks them off.

The best part about tonight's game is that after it we will be 60 minutes closer to the end of this dreadful season. I might claim to miss Oilers' games in a few months but, after being out of the playoffs basically a month in, it will be a relief to see the season come to an end.

I'll say Detroit is going to win the East. They are too experienced, come from the West, and are going to play their wear down, make the other team make mistakes style. And in a conference with a lot of young teams, that is going to stun a lot of em.

As for the west. Right now it looks like either San Jose or Anaheim will play the Kings in the first round. Whichever team doesn't play the Kings in the first round, will meet Detroit in the cup finals. The Kings and Team X are going to beat the piss out of each other, leaving them bloodied for a not so beat up Team Y.

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#44 SmythforMayor
April 10 2014, 04:34PM
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I hear everyone talking about Stastny or Legwand for ufa signings to replace Gagner once he's packaged up for a defenceman. I think the chances of either of those guys signing with a canadian team pretty slim. We would have to over pay considerably(David Clarkson) to have to get either of those guys. I've even heard the name Dave Bolland. I think he re-signs with Tor. Obviously those 3 would be the tier 1 choices. I think if the answer to second line center is in free agency their is another tier of answers that are better than Gagner and another tier of options that are at par. Santorelli, Jokinen, and Grabovski are all without contracts for next year. Santorelli is a bit of a gamble but he looked really good for the 49 games he played this year. Jokinen is a pretty good veteran that has been pretty under- appreciated in Winnipeg. Grabovski is getting a paycheck from the leafs until 2021. He might be worth a look on a 1 or 2 year deal. If all else fails (tier 3), Cammaleri used to play center and Derek Roy is pretty much the same player as Gagner(slightly more offensive). Am I crazy or does it seem like there is a lot of options in free agency, or do you think most of these guys get re-signed and the rest get over-payed by other teams? sorry for the long winded post

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#45 GCW
April 10 2014, 04:42PM
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I am not sure why anyone thinks this team is set in goal. Neither of these guys had proven they can carry the load over a full season.

It's just as likely the team will have league average goaltending or below next year, and unless the defence dramatically improves league average or worse won't cut it.

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#46 GCW
April 10 2014, 04:49PM
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SmythforMayor wrote:

I hear everyone talking about Stastny or Legwand for ufa signings to replace Gagner once he's packaged up for a defenceman. I think the chances of either of those guys signing with a canadian team pretty slim. We would have to over pay considerably(David Clarkson) to have to get either of those guys. I've even heard the name Dave Bolland. I think he re-signs with Tor. Obviously those 3 would be the tier 1 choices. I think if the answer to second line center is in free agency their is another tier of answers that are better than Gagner and another tier of options that are at par. Santorelli, Jokinen, and Grabovski are all without contracts for next year. Santorelli is a bit of a gamble but he looked really good for the 49 games he played this year. Jokinen is a pretty good veteran that has been pretty under- appreciated in Winnipeg. Grabovski is getting a paycheck from the leafs until 2021. He might be worth a look on a 1 or 2 year deal. If all else fails (tier 3), Cammaleri used to play center and Derek Roy is pretty much the same player as Gagner(slightly more offensive). Am I crazy or does it seem like there is a lot of options in free agency, or do you think most of these guys get re-signed and the rest get over-payed by other teams? sorry for the long winded post

Grabovski would be as very good fit for the Oilers. Projecting his stats this season over a full 82 games and he is about 50 points. He can also play tough minutes. I think he will be looking for the years on his next deal and the Oilers should step up. 3 x $4.0 to $4.5M with a limited ntc if needed to close the deal.

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#47 Will
April 10 2014, 05:01PM
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SmythforMayor wrote:

I hear everyone talking about Stastny or Legwand for ufa signings to replace Gagner once he's packaged up for a defenceman. I think the chances of either of those guys signing with a canadian team pretty slim. We would have to over pay considerably(David Clarkson) to have to get either of those guys. I've even heard the name Dave Bolland. I think he re-signs with Tor. Obviously those 3 would be the tier 1 choices. I think if the answer to second line center is in free agency their is another tier of answers that are better than Gagner and another tier of options that are at par. Santorelli, Jokinen, and Grabovski are all without contracts for next year. Santorelli is a bit of a gamble but he looked really good for the 49 games he played this year. Jokinen is a pretty good veteran that has been pretty under- appreciated in Winnipeg. Grabovski is getting a paycheck from the leafs until 2021. He might be worth a look on a 1 or 2 year deal. If all else fails (tier 3), Cammaleri used to play center and Derek Roy is pretty much the same player as Gagner(slightly more offensive). Am I crazy or does it seem like there is a lot of options in free agency, or do you think most of these guys get re-signed and the rest get over-payed by other teams? sorry for the long winded post

I think Stasny will actually just re-up with Colorado. They have nothing but cap room and really only have Stasny and O'Reiley to resign for big money.

Legwand will not resign in Detroit as they are already too deep down the middle and I can't see them paying 6 mill for a fourth line centre.

Of all the teams, I think Legwand ends up in Anaheim and replaces Koivu as the vet on the second line C. They don't have a ton of cap, but don't have any significant names to resign, and likely both Koivu and Selanee retire, especially if they win the cup this year.

I like your list of 'other' options. Jokinen is an interesting name. I just don't really see him helping the team or being a better replacement than Gagner. Cammaleri is an interesting choice. He would bring some vet leadership. But he definitely doesn't solve the size issue. Plus he is getting older. Though he could make a decent stop gap if we do indeed draft a centre this year.

One name that no one has mentioned who I think will be bought out is Brad Richards. Again, not big, but I think he would bring enough two way play and intangibles that it would be worth it. THough I doubt he comes cheap.

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#48 SmythforMayor
April 10 2014, 05:10PM
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@Will

I agree about Stastny and Legwand, although I think there's a chance Legwand takes a home-town discount and they deal one of their other centers. Anaheim sounds like a pretty likely place for him as well. As for Richards, I'm pretty sure he would sign for a reasonable contract considering he would still be getting paid from the rangers .... IF he gets bought out. If he does he would def be a tier 1 option. What do you think of Bolland? If the Leafs were going to sign him they would have by now, right?

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#49 mesa
April 10 2014, 05:24PM
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SmythforMayor wrote:

I agree about Stastny and Legwand, although I think there's a chance Legwand takes a home-town discount and they deal one of their other centers. Anaheim sounds like a pretty likely place for him as well. As for Richards, I'm pretty sure he would sign for a reasonable contract considering he would still be getting paid from the rangers .... IF he gets bought out. If he does he would def be a tier 1 option. What do you think of Bolland? If the Leafs were going to sign him they would have by now, right?

BOLLAND wants like 8 years /5m per. ha ha .

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#50 SmythforMayor
April 10 2014, 05:32PM
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mesa wrote:

BOLLAND wants like 8 years /5m per. ha ha .

Sather will pay that. He has money to burn

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