WILL NEXT YEAR BE BETTER?

Jason Gregor
April 14 2014 10:50AM

ill-do-better-next-year

The Oilers playoff drought is now eight seasons, tying them for the 2nd longest playoff drought in one city with Boston, 1960-1967, and Washington, 1975-1982. Florida fans hold the record for enduring the longest heartache after watching the Panthers miss for ten consecutive seasons.

Can the Oilers improve by 25 points and be in playoff contention next season?

The Oilers finished 24 points behind 8th place Dallas, so not only do they need to improve by 25 points, they also need to leap frog six teams in the process. It is possible -- Colorado did it this season -- but highly unlikely. General manager Craig MacTavish will need to change a good portion of his lineup, and the players who do return will need to play much smarter and more consistent.

There is no magic fix for the Oilers. It is unrealistic to expect MacTavish to acquire a top pairing D-man, a 2nd line centre, a big, skilled top-six winger and a veteran top-five defender. I'm sure he'll try, but I don't see how he can fill all the holes in one off-season.

INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should be better next season. He should be able to improve his strength and gain some weight over the summer. Last summer, due to shoulder surgery, he wasn't able to work out to the level necessary to compete against top line centres. He was physically worn down at times this season, and I expect a full summer of training will help him improve next year. He has to get stronger if the Oilers plan to play him against the top lines in the Pacific division.

  • Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry need to be more consistent. I understand the argument they aren't top-pairing D-men yet, and might never be, but they need to be more consistent regardless of which pairing they play on. The Oilers don't have any other right-handed D-men who are ready to contribute, unless they draft Aaron Ekblad, but he'd be a rookie. You can't expect the coach to improve the players, they need to improve themselves. One of Schultz or Petry has to take a big step next season.

  • It is fair to expect 80 points from Taylor Hall. He has scored 130 points in his previous 120 games over the past two seasons. Hall was the first Oiler to finish in the top-ten in scoring in consecutive seasons since Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky in 1987-1988. Hall is one of the best point producers in the league, and over the past 25 games he improved his neutral and defensive zone play. I highly doubt you see him with a 44% Corsi next year, mainly because I expect the blueline to be better, and if he continues to develop his two-way game Hall will be able to win 8-10 games himself.

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERSwhowhat

  • Can MacTavish acquire a proven NHL D-man? Who are realistic trade options?

    I don't see the Predators trading Shea Weber, but they need offence. Would they trade Roman Josi? He has an outstanding contract, six more years at $4 million, but if they are going to acquire some scoring they need to move one of Weber, Jones or Josi.

    Would an Eberle or Yakupov for Josi deal happen? Sam Gagner is not enough to get Josi.

  • Some other names that could be available. Dustin Byfuglien. Paul Maurice wants to play him as a winger, but big Buff prefers defence. If Maurice comes back and Byfuglien really wants to play D he would be available.

    Paul Martin is 33. The Pens have Matt Niskanen, Kris Letang and Olli Maatta. Martin has a limited no-trade clause. He shoots left. You can't trade Eberle or Yakupov for a 33-year-old, so I'm not sure I see a deal that works for both sides.

    Washington will likely have a new GM and that team needs a shake up. Mike Green played 70+ games for the 4th time in his career. The right shot D-man will shoot the puck on the PP, but he's not great defensively. Would Gagner for Green work? Green has one year left on his $6,083 mill deal. He does have a NMC, but he's from Alberta and might want a change. Neither player lived up to his contract, this past season, and the Caps need some secondary scoring....

  • The Sabres have a new GM and handful of draft picks. They have Tyler Myers, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov in their stable of D-men. They were the lowest scoring team in the last 15 years (157 goals), and they desperately need some offence. Would they move Tyler Myers for Eberle or Yakupov and something else? Myers could be like Erik Johnson, who finally became a bonafide #1 D-man in his 6th season. It likely would take Eberle for Buffalo to move him. Would MacTavish make that deal? Would you? I wouldn't move Eberle, but if you want to acquire a good young D-man is he likely the player the opposing team wants.

PARTING SHOTS...

face palm

  • The Habs won't let P.K Subban walk. I've seen much speculation about an offer sheet or a trade, but neither will happen. Subban and Therrien have had their battles, but the young, star player will always win out. The Habs won't lose him.

  • MacTavish needs to find some secondary scoring. Ryan Smyth was 7th on the team in goals and 8th in points. You'd hope Tyler Pitlick or Anton Lander could score ten goals next season, but neither of those two have shown any offensive consistency at the NHL level just yet. They also lose Smyth on the PK and he knows how to compete every night.

  • One thing I don't understand is why people want to replace Gagner with Mark Arcobello? I believe Gagner does get moved, but replacing him with an unproven, smaller centre is a massive risk. I'd rather risk Arcobello as a 3rd line centre, but if he is the 2nd line guy to start the season the Oilers are taking a huge gamble.

  • Today it looks unlikely the Oilers can make that big of a jump next season, but MacTavish has six months to revamp his lineup and make them more competitive. It will be another interesting off-season in Edmonton, and one that needs to be more productive than the previous seven have been.

  • MacTavish will speak to the media tomorrow, and the draft lottery goes tomorrow night. The Oilers have a 14.2% of winning. They have won in the #1 and #2 slot and will try to win out the #3 hole.

  • Barry Trotz  is out in Nashville. He won't be out of work long if he decides he wants to be back in the NHL, and I expect we see him to go a team that is close to competing. I doubt he'd want to go to another rebuilding team. I could see the Predators promoting their AHL coach, Dean Evason. He has experience and would have a slightly different approach. 

  • How awesome was Saturday night? It was great to see Smyth and the fans get to say goodbye. That doesn't happen very often, and it was great to see his teammates send him off with a victory. Good luck in retirement Ryan.

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 Yaz
April 14 2014, 10:55AM
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Hire Barry Trotz !!

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#2 Guy Lafleur
April 14 2014, 10:56AM
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Notta a chance would i trade Ebs for Myers , the top line has too stay together . Yak i would do for Myers .

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#3 Guy Lafleur
April 14 2014, 10:57AM
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Yaz wrote:

Hire Barry Trotz !!

Dont you know hes going to Torrannna ..i mean doesnt everyone go to Torranna ??

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#4 ubermiguel
April 14 2014, 11:03AM
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The Pens also have Orpik who might be a nice fit if he's healthly.

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#5 Doctor Smashy
April 14 2014, 11:04AM
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Gregor...you asked the question about us getting 25 more points next season. I know this is going to sound like I am high on Oiler fan Kool-Aid but if one believes we could have had 10 more points (5 wins) this season if we had even Tier 1 Midget-level goaltending at the start of the season and maybe 10 more (another 5 wins) just off the strength of being a year older, having the same coach, and having Marincin/Hendricks all year - doesn't that put us close? I don't think that is terribly unrealistic...do you?

Who knows if MacT makes any bold moves this summer but even some almost-bold moves might get us a couple more wins and at least get Oiler fans to take the paper bags off and keep their jerseys on. Do you think that's reasonable?

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#6 Spydyr
April 14 2014, 11:11AM
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There are many items that need to be addressed on this team. Way more then a team eight years out of the playoffs should have.That is on "the braintrust" 100%

The team regressed last year under Eakins.What has changed to make one think it won't happen again next year?

I really don't trust "the braintrust" to make a "bold" move, They may very well make things worse.

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#7 Brad
April 14 2014, 11:13AM
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I don't understand why fans take a micro view of the Oilers. 8 years of no progress makes you wonder.

Statistics show that roughly 70% of all lottery winners are broke within a few years of receiving their jackpot. Oilers management has no skill in building a team it is in their nature.

Oilers philosophy has been wrong and management has been wrong. They have no clue how to build a team. If they did this team would be progressing.

Their MO has been change a coach change a GM and you get to restart the rebuild. I guess fans fall for this. This team is toxic and Kevin Lowe is a cancer.

Every year next we will be better, who should we trade who should we draft, lets lose a game to get better draft pick. Look at the record it does not lie.

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#8 Kr55
April 14 2014, 11:14AM
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Really hope paying fans finally wake up and the sellout streak dies. I can't imagine how the Oilers can convince people there will be a huge improvement as soon as next year. Time to wake this organization up doing the only thing they actually care about, not buying tickets. Then they can replace Lowe with someone that knows how to manage a team. Not just someone that hires his friends and lets everyone measure themselves by his own standard of terribleness.

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#9 TigerUnderGlass
April 14 2014, 11:20AM
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Caps should already have a boost in secondary scoring next season with Kuznetsov coming in. He looked really good in his short run this season.

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#10 Jackson
April 14 2014, 11:26AM
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Imagine if they didn't have great goaltending lately . This team has no idea how to play hockey. They make so many mistakes. Not 1 200ft player on the team. Sorry but they really are a Junior hockey team. Who cares who they draft, most of us know they will ruin the player by playing Oiler hockey.

You would think young players would get better but not with the Oilers.

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#11 TigerUnderGlass
April 14 2014, 11:28AM
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The Habs do seem to work against Subban every chance they get. I know they shouldn't even think about trading him, but they really seem to dislike him for some reason.

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#12 mayorblaine
April 14 2014, 11:28AM
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this is a pink slip dependant question. today they still suck. after some turfing, maybe better.

players aside, if Katz/MacTavish do nothing to this management structure the they will failed the fans of this city.

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#13 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 14 2014, 11:29AM
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Jason, do you think there's anything to Ferraros "it's going to get worse before it gets better" statement?

Is it at all possible he has knowledge of one or two players wanting to separate themselves from this Edmonton situation?

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#14 Jeffff
April 14 2014, 11:30AM
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Oilers should fire Eakins and hire Trotz. Oh wait we can't we have come so far with Eakins.

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#15 Shifty203
April 14 2014, 11:30AM
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This team can be better next year, but that is entirely dependant on the players, not what managment does.

We've all seen how they are capable of playing, when they actually show up. They've lit up some of the best teams in the league.

Comittment from the players is the #1 issue with this team, and without some consistancy night in and night out, it won't matter who they bring in for next year.

I'm 100% fine if we went into next season with the same line-up, provided Eakins starts crackin' skulls when players make lazy plays.

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#16 Will
April 14 2014, 11:30AM
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Kr55 wrote:

Really hope paying fans finally wake up and the sellout streak dies. I can't imagine how the Oilers can convince people there will be a huge improvement as soon as next year. Time to wake this organization up doing the only thing they actually care about, not buying tickets. Then they can replace Lowe with someone that knows how to manage a team. Not just someone that hires his friends and lets everyone measure themselves by his own standard of terribleness.

The 'sell out' streak died a long ass time ago. It's nothing more than a marketing ploy now. Not one game has gone buy without 50 guys selling tickets in front of the building. Not to mention most of the lower bowl in Rexall is all season tickets.

As for the team: Big skilled top six winger (Heatley, not a popular choice but would come cheap and tick off all those boxes. Could have a nice resurgence on a line with Perron) 2nd line C (with any luck, one of Brad Richards, Legwand, Stasny, or I'm hearing Spezza. But if not there's a bunch of Derek Roy's and Oili Jokiniens out there.)

If you can cover those positions through free agency, then hopefully you have enough chips to trade for that illusive D man. I'd grab Orpik to play on the third line with Marincin, and trade the river to try and get Yandle out of Phoenix to play with Petry. Or barring that, dump a truck of money at Markov's door in hopes he comes on a 2 year stop gap deal while we wait for one of Nurse, Klefbomb, Marincin, or god willing Ekblad to become our number one franchise D.

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#17 ralph_u
April 14 2014, 11:34AM
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How about Gagner for Jordan Staal. He is overpaid and underperforming contract but feel he would be a good combination with Nuge.

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#18 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 14 2014, 11:35AM
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Oilers will win the Draft Lottery tomorrow. Then move Yakupov and Gagner to the Islanders for that 4th selection and Travis Hamonic.

Take Ekblad with the 1st, and Draisaitle with that Islanders pick.

Boom......all of our wildest dreams come true next season. It's just that easy.

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#19 Guy Lafleur
April 14 2014, 11:39AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The Habs do seem to work against Subban every chance they get. I know they shouldn't even think about trading him, but they really seem to dislike him for some reason.

They dont like Sooby cuz he enjoys playing the game and shows it .You have to be dour and brooding to play in Montreal .I also think they saboutaged him this year to keep his numbers down to try and low ball him again .

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#20 backup bob
April 14 2014, 11:41AM
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Changing 28 players has not helped. Time for management to pay the price.

Oilers will miss the play offs again.

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#21 Guy Lafleur
April 14 2014, 11:43AM
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Doctor Smashy wrote:

Gregor...you asked the question about us getting 25 more points next season. I know this is going to sound like I am high on Oiler fan Kool-Aid but if one believes we could have had 10 more points (5 wins) this season if we had even Tier 1 Midget-level goaltending at the start of the season and maybe 10 more (another 5 wins) just off the strength of being a year older, having the same coach, and having Marincin/Hendricks all year - doesn't that put us close? I don't think that is terribly unrealistic...do you?

Who knows if MacT makes any bold moves this summer but even some almost-bold moves might get us a couple more wins and at least get Oiler fans to take the paper bags off and keep their jerseys on. Do you think that's reasonable?

Doc i agree , how many games in the first 10 did we have sure wins stolen from us with brutal goaltending .I can think of that one game in Toronto we lost like 7-6 we should have won . This team is young and fragile , once the ball started to roll its hard to stop it .Now i am not saying if they had Scrivens and Fasth from day 1 that they are a Cup favorite but i believe they would of been in a fight for a playoff spot at least .

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#22 Oil Can
April 14 2014, 11:45AM
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I think that a trade that might work would be Eberle to the Jets for Kane. Kane is a bit of a head case, but he would bring size,grit and skill to the top line. And people have to remember that in order to get a decent player that you have to give up fair value. I also think that Stewart could be gotten from Buffalo. Those two would bring the size, grit and scoring to the top two lines.

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#23 Lofty
April 14 2014, 11:46AM
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ralph_u wrote:

How about Gagner for Jordan Staal. He is overpaid and underperforming contract but feel he would be a good combination with Nuge.

That contract is way too ugly

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#24 BIGDAWG
April 14 2014, 11:50AM
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If you are going to trade Ebs or Yak you need to know exactly what you are getting in return.. no projects, no ifs, no maybes.. no more "he could be ...". we gotta get the goods if we are trading the goods...

And as for the kids no going to the WC.. im fine with it. REST, TRAIN and get READY.. its go time next season.. prolly the most important season for the franchise.. If a huge step forward isnt taken next season.. this team could be doomed and we could start seeing players wanting out....

Good Luck no presure.. none at all!!

OILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#25 Woogie63
April 14 2014, 11:51AM
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Five Moves get the Oilers in the playoffs next year.

1) Move Lowe to the building and Real Estate development projects (keeps face for him and Katz) bring in Bob Nicholson. This signal to all, a significant change is going to happen in Edmonton .. this needed for FA and current stars.

2) Fire all the assistant coaches and hire new AC, that could be Head Coaches if Dallas fails, that should be clear for all to see. Get a PP coaching specalist in the mix of assistant coaches.... this is needed for FA and current stars.

3) Trade with Buffalo for Myers and Foligno, be prepared to give up Eberle and another. Myers and Marincin can grow into your top pair defense.

4) Draft a center (I like Bennett ...but)

5) More of your fourth line has to play big and be effective at a $925,000 cap hit. This way you can invest more money into players that lay more minutes.

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#26 NJ
April 14 2014, 11:52AM
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"One thing I don't understand is why people want to replace Gagner with Mark Arcobello? I believe Gagner does get moved, but replacing him with an unproven, smaller centre is a massive risk. I'd rather risk Arcobello as a 3rd line centre, but if he is the 2nd line guy to start the season the Oilers are taking a huge gamble."

Who "wants" this? We want a bonafide #2. Arcobello is cheaper, tries harder and promotes less cursing... But we actually want Kesler or any of the 3 centres in this years top 5 (draft) in that slot. Anything BUT Gags.

*gags*

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#27 Fish
April 14 2014, 11:54AM
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Wonder if there was truth to the Tavares wants out of the Island rumour from a few weeks ago. If so, what we he cost?

My fantasy trade of the summer would be

Tavares for Gagner + Yak + Klefbom + Lander

Gotta be pretty close in terms of value. 4 for 1 doesn't happen often.

The real question is would they do it? And would he come here? There is some kind of a NMC but details are conflicting.

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#28 David S
April 14 2014, 12:00PM
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Will wrote:

The 'sell out' streak died a long ass time ago. It's nothing more than a marketing ploy now. Not one game has gone buy without 50 guys selling tickets in front of the building. Not to mention most of the lower bowl in Rexall is all season tickets.

As for the team: Big skilled top six winger (Heatley, not a popular choice but would come cheap and tick off all those boxes. Could have a nice resurgence on a line with Perron) 2nd line C (with any luck, one of Brad Richards, Legwand, Stasny, or I'm hearing Spezza. But if not there's a bunch of Derek Roy's and Oili Jokiniens out there.)

If you can cover those positions through free agency, then hopefully you have enough chips to trade for that illusive D man. I'd grab Orpik to play on the third line with Marincin, and trade the river to try and get Yandle out of Phoenix to play with Petry. Or barring that, dump a truck of money at Markov's door in hopes he comes on a 2 year stop gap deal while we wait for one of Nurse, Klefbomb, Marincin, or god willing Ekblad to become our number one franchise D.

You know those "50 guys selling tickets in front of the building" already BOUGHT those tickets' right? And at last count the waiting list for season's tickets was something like 2,000.

Like it or not the Oilers are the only big ticket game in town. Unless we get an NBA team they will be sold out in a hot economy like ours.

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#29 TigerUnderGlass
April 14 2014, 12:03PM
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Guy Lafleur wrote:

They dont like Sooby cuz he enjoys playing the game and shows it .You have to be dour and brooding to play in Montreal .I also think they saboutaged him this year to keep his numbers down to try and low ball him again .

I agree completely. I just don't think he's as unobtainable as has been suggested, despite the fact that they definitely should not be thinking of trading him.

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#30 mesa
April 14 2014, 12:04PM
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Fish wrote:

Wonder if there was truth to the Tavares wants out of the Island rumour from a few weeks ago. If so, what we he cost?

My fantasy trade of the summer would be

Tavares for Gagner + Yak + Klefbom + Lander

Gotta be pretty close in terms of value. 4 for 1 doesn't happen often.

The real question is would they do it? And would he come here? There is some kind of a NMC but details are conflicting.

holy crab.

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#31 michael
April 14 2014, 12:17PM
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28+ million in Cap Space for next year according to Cap Geek. RFA's that need more money Petry and JS will probably take up 6 -7 million of that cap but 21 million left over makes us sit real pretty.

2 compliance buyouts available. Jesse Joensuu should be one of those.Did nothing and I expect him to continue to do nothing.

The Oilers have room to sign someone decent.4-5 million dollar dman is in order.

A 3rdline guy like Stafford or Foligno.

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#32 Will
April 14 2014, 12:20PM
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David S wrote:

You know those "50 guys selling tickets in front of the building" already BOUGHT those tickets' right? And at last count the waiting list for season's tickets was something like 2,000.

Like it or not the Oilers are the only big ticket game in town. Unless we get an NBA team they will be sold out in a hot economy like ours.

Yes, I understand they have bought the tickets already. But a sell out crowd to me is not when all the tickets have ben sold. It's when all the seats are taken. If the Oilers want to define their sell out streak in technical terms, well good for them. But everyone who's been to a game this year knows the barn is not packed.

Moreover, anyone who goes to a game now and then is baffled as to why they continue to parade the charade of a sell out streak. It's just sad. I mean, it's actually a bit insulting. It's like saying welcome to another over priced and terrible two hours of your wasted life, thanks again for selling out this crappy building while we continue to ice an inferior product.

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#33 Oiler Al
April 14 2014, 12:24PM
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I would chase UFA's [ cap allowing ] before you dump some of the young core.

Here would be my UFA chase:

Center.. Stasny

Right .. Vrbata

Left .. Winnik

Defense .. Niskanin and Andre Benoit

Number one line would be Hall, Stansy, and Verbata

Second line.. Perron, NUge, Eberle/Yak

Third line.. Winnik,Gordon/Hendricks.

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#34 RexHolez
April 14 2014, 12:27PM
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An entire article about how to improve the team and you completely ignore the biggest issue. Can we please make enough noise so Katz has no choice but to fire Lowe? Why does he get so many free passes?

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#35 Kr55
April 14 2014, 12:31PM
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Will wrote:

Yes, I understand they have bought the tickets already. But a sell out crowd to me is not when all the tickets have ben sold. It's when all the seats are taken. If the Oilers want to define their sell out streak in technical terms, well good for them. But everyone who's been to a game this year knows the barn is not packed.

Moreover, anyone who goes to a game now and then is baffled as to why they continue to parade the charade of a sell out streak. It's just sad. I mean, it's actually a bit insulting. It's like saying welcome to another over priced and terrible two hours of your wasted life, thanks again for selling out this crappy building while we continue to ice an inferior product.

The Oilers only care about the tickets being sold in the first place. They only care if they are resold for more than the face value after that if they aren't getting a cut.

I was just talking about how the only way to get the Oilers attention is to actually have tickets left that they never got any money for. They will start to care when the revenue number starts to fall and we can finally see some real changes in the organization.

I agree 100% that the actual attendance has been bad for a long time now, and we've even seen people trying to resell tickets for under 10 bucks this year. Personally, you would actually have to pay me to take tickets. It would be payment for my inconvenience of going to and from the game and to deal with the uncomfortable seats.

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#36 Will
April 14 2014, 12:40PM
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Kr55 wrote:

The Oilers only care about the tickets being sold in the first place. They only care if they are resold for more than the face value after that if they aren't getting a cut.

I was just talking about how the only way to get the Oilers attention is to actually have tickets left that they never got any money for. They will start to care when the revenue number starts to fall and we can finally see some real changes in the organization.

I agree 100% that the actual attendance has been bad for a long time now, and we've even seen people trying to resell tickets for under 10 bucks this year. Personally, you would actually have to pay me to take tickets. It would be payment for my inconvenience of going to and from the game and to deal with the uncomfortable seats.

Ha, we were only able to get 40 bucks for a pair of lower bowl seats. I managed a hundred for a pair of second bowl seats with some buds. It was a fun night, but not because of the Oilers. I think it was actually the fifth time I watched the Oilers get shut out. I worked out that I paid around 1200 bucks for 4 games, 2 of which were shut outs, all of which were losses.

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#37 Ed in Edmonton
April 14 2014, 12:40PM
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What went wrong.

1.Dubnyk had to prove he is a legit No. 1. He didn’t

2.A defenceman had to establish himself as a legit top paring dman. That didn’t happen

3. RNH had to progress into a No 1 center. He still has a long way to go.

None of these happened and without at least a couple, the Oil had no hope of a playoff spot. In addition Gagner has a disaster of a season, Ferrance didn’t strengthen the D that much. The question must be asked if Eakins contributed to this general lack of performance.

This all adds up to a disaster of a season. It is fair to say that MAcT actively and openly tried to address point 1, although he did not make any progress until into this season.

I would suggest the following issues need to be addressed over the summer: 1. Actively entertain offers for the 1st round draft. If they can package the 1st rounder to get a top pair Dman or legit center they should do this. Keeping the draft choice to obtain s player who might contribute is 3 to 4 years in the 2nd choice.

2. Actively shop Petry. Swapping him out for a more physical player, say either a winger or a d man makes sense.

3. I think they are between a rock and a hard place wrt Gagner. He has little value in a trade between his contract and his performance and he is not eligible for a compulsory buy out. Other than swapping a problem contract for someone else’s problem I don’t see them being able to do anything constructive with him. If they do find a upgraded center maybe he could fill a role as bottom 6 forward with limited ice time (and therefore limit exposure to his defensive weakness) with pp time and occasional time on the top 6 when a goal is critical. This is the role Mike Comrie played for Ottawa when they made the cup final.

4. Will Yakupov expect a RNH type extension this summer? His performance is very similar to RNH’s 1st two years, a promising rookie season followed by a less impressive year 2.

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#38 Will
April 14 2014, 12:46PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

I would chase UFA's [ cap allowing ] before you dump some of the young core.

Here would be my UFA chase:

Center.. Stasny

Right .. Vrbata

Left .. Winnik

Defense .. Niskanin and Andre Benoit

Number one line would be Hall, Stansy, and Verbata

Second line.. Perron, NUge, Eberle/Yak

Third line.. Winnik,Gordon/Hendricks.

I can actually see Mac T being able to grab one of these guys. I do think Stasny will resign with Colorado, simply because they have a ton of cap room and only really need to resign Stasny and Oreily. Even though they would have Stasny, O'reily, Mckinnon, and Duchene, I just don't see Stasny going anywhere else now that the team is a contender. Which is unfortunate.

I like Verbatta and Winnik a lot. I would also look at Wingles. And finally, a name that everyone tells me to shut up about, is Heatly. At this point I bet he comes cheap. He's a big body, can play with skill, and could move up and down the line up depending on injuries. I know grabbing Minnesotas free agent junk has not worked out in the past ala Cam Barker, but I could see a really low risk deal for Heatly who could either turn it around, or just be buried in the minors which is where he was heading anyway.

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#39 Chainsawz
April 14 2014, 12:59PM
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MacTavish will be lobbed soft balls by the Edmonton media tomorrow.

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#40 Chris
April 14 2014, 01:18PM
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I bet Mactavish regrets ever saying his "bold move" line now that every trade that happens we ask "was this bold?" or wonder when he will finally make a "bold" move.

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#41 rickithebear
April 14 2014, 01:18PM
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Top Pairing D yet?

That is the kind of Trite stuff you get from a 5 year old.

D:

1. face a certain level of Competition at Even. Petry; Marincin; ference; Klefbom have shared 1st and 2nd's

2. you hope they can a chiev priority #1 Prevent EVGA. Since the Arrival of Marincin and Klefbom, Petry's and Schultz's EVGA has drastically dropped.

3. You hope your D can transition the puck at Even and make a diffence at Even. Schultz 10 EVG 11EVA 21 EVP Ference 3EVG 13 EVA 16 EVP Petry 6EVG 9EVA 15 EVP Klef was on pace for 5 EVG 10EVA 15 EVP Marincin was on pace for 11 EVA The first 4 in the top 90 for EVP A marked drop for Ference; Schultz; Petry under Eakins.

4. You hope the defence can have a marked influence on PP. Achieving a Goals for better than 6.13 PPGF/60. Otherwise you are paying a Dman for a whole collection of points that are worse than average.

5. You hope the defence can Reduce THE GA on the PK. Achieving A PKGA less than the 6.13 GA/60

So what Top Pairing.

I suspect you mean 2 Dmen who can face 1st line competion. the question is what kind of forward teamates is this done with.

There are really only 7 D men who are better than league average 2.33 EVGA/60 whie facing 1st line comp and not needing 1st or 2nd line Teamates.

We watched young Marincin get the 5th best EVGA/60 in that grou with 4th line teamates.

Young MR. Klefbom was thrown to the wolves facing 1st and 2nd Comp with 2nd/3rd support with the worst zone start of any 1st/2nd comp dman in the game. Playing with Fraser and Ference was in the 5.18 evga/60.

With schultz he was 3.40 EVGA/60.

I wonder when Ference got the pec injury. cause he went from around 2.30EVGA/60 to 2.75 EVGA/60 from Mid january on.

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#42 Walter Sobchak
April 14 2014, 01:27PM
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Good read Gregor.

Except, everywhere you had Eberle as a possible trading asset, you can go ahead and replace with Peron.

Trading Eberle before signing Peron is insane.

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#43 rickithebear
April 14 2014, 01:47PM
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Jason:

Explain to me how Calgary can claim to be in a Rebuild.

A standard career of a top 3 Forward is drafted Age 17 play to age 36.

So 1st 1/3 of Caeer is age 18 to 23

The mid 1/3 of Career is 24 to 30

the last 1/3 31 to 36.

The Calgary flames top 9 scoring Forwards. Age next year

1.Hudler 17G 54P 30 yr

2. Cammalleri 26G 45P 32 yr (ufa)

3. Backlund 18G 39P 25yr

4. Monohan 22G 34P 20yr

5. Stajan 14G 33P 31yr

6. Colburne 10G 28P 24yr

7. Glencross 12G 24P 32yr likely 25G 45P

8. Byron 7G 21P 25 yr

9. D. jones 9G 17P 30 yr

Top 4 Dmen

Giordano 14G 47P 31yr

Brodie 4G 31P 24yr

Russell 7G 29P 26yr

Smid 2G 8P 28yr

There is 3 player under 25 2fwd 1 D.

The oilers: Hall 23; Eberle 24; Perron 26;RNH 21; Gagner 25; Yak 21;

Petry 27; Marincin 23; Klefbom 21;Schultz 24

There are minimum 7 players U25 4 fwd and 3 D. Calgary is just a real bad veteran team!

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#44 Dog Train
April 14 2014, 01:48PM
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It would be pretty hard to be worse next season. Our core is at an age where they should still be improving. We won't have to adjust to a new coach at the start of the season. We should have better goaltending. I still don't see us as a playoff team.

We have 4 top six guys in Hall, RNH, Eberle and Perron. Our second and third lines need to be re-made. The top part of our defensive depth chart needs to be upgraded. Lots of work to do, not enough time, not enough assets that we can afford to part with.

I agree that we are in trouble if Arcobello is our #2 centre next season. Arcobello is versatile and that's what will make him valuable but he should not be counted on in an offensive role all season. I'm also opposed to having our #1 pick play in the NHL next season regardless of who it is. That's why Lander's lack of production during his trial run this season was so disappointing, we are low on internal candidates for top 9 forward roles.

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#45 @kahmad92
April 14 2014, 01:54PM
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Will wrote:

I can actually see Mac T being able to grab one of these guys. I do think Stasny will resign with Colorado, simply because they have a ton of cap room and only really need to resign Stasny and Oreily. Even though they would have Stasny, O'reily, Mckinnon, and Duchene, I just don't see Stasny going anywhere else now that the team is a contender. Which is unfortunate.

I like Verbatta and Winnik a lot. I would also look at Wingles. And finally, a name that everyone tells me to shut up about, is Heatly. At this point I bet he comes cheap. He's a big body, can play with skill, and could move up and down the line up depending on injuries. I know grabbing Minnesotas free agent junk has not worked out in the past ala Cam Barker, but I could see a really low risk deal for Heatly who could either turn it around, or just be buried in the minors which is where he was heading anyway.

You lost me at Heatly!

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#46 Scrivy
April 14 2014, 01:54PM
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Eberle for Meyers? Huge overpay.

Here are some good deals that make sense:

Gagner for Erhhoff Gagner for Gardiner Gagner for Edler Gagner for Meyers Gagner for Bailey

Those trades make sense, trading a scorer from a team needing more goals is dumb dumb.

Kind of like trading Yakupov for Clarkson. Dumb.

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#47 Jacques Strap
April 14 2014, 01:57PM
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Playoffs would be great, but right now I'd settle for never getting blown out by the Flaming flamers from Flametown ever again.

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#49 Soccer Steve
April 14 2014, 02:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'm not sure how it can get worse. I expect the Oilers to improve next year, how much is the million dollar question.

None of their best players want out. If some mid tier guy does, then I'd ship him out quickly. None of their mid-tier guys are good enough to have to pander to them. IMO.

Jason, if there is ONE thing the Oilers have seemed to excel at this decade it is lowering the bar and getting worse. You're not sure how it can get worse? Honestly? Because I can think of a handful of ways right off the hop.

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#50 Kosmo Kraemer
April 14 2014, 02:48PM
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How can it get worse? easy, 9 years out of the playoffs. Oilers have lots of holes to fill and who out there, except for extreme optimists, actually think the Oilers will make the playoffs in 2014-15. MacT will have to pull more then a few rabbits out of his hat to come close to the playoffs. 10 to 11 in the Western Conference at the best.

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