LEARN FROM LANDER

Jason Gregor
April 24 2014 07:50AM

51-Lander-4

Moving forward, Craig MacTavish and the Oilers have to ensure they don't develop players in the same fashion that they did Anton Lander. Lander is a perfect example of being put in the NHL too quickly. I think Lander will still be a solid NHL player, but his growth was rushed and that has delayed his development.

I'm amazed at how many fans and some pundits are writing off Lander. Comments like, "He didn't score in 60 games. He has no offence," flood my inbox every time I bring up Lander. The best is when people compare him to Detroit's younger players and how he doesn't match up.

You are correct in saying he doesn't compare, because their paths to the NHL are vastly different.

Lander played 56 games as a 20-year-old rookie and he averaged 10:36/game. He was essentially a 4th line player averaging 8:53 of ES TOI/game and 1:36/game on the PK. How would anyone expect him to produce offensively playing in that role?

He was eventually sent down to OKC in late February and played 14 regular season and 14 playoff games. Last season, he started in the AHL due to the lockout, played 4 NHL games early in the year, was sent back to OKC and then recalled for the final 7 NHL games before going back down for the playoffs.

He never had a consistent, defined role until this past season in OKC. He was named captain and started the season very well. During two lengthy stints in OKC he produced 18 goals and 52 points in 46 games.

He was recalled to the Oilers and played eleven between December 5th and January 2nd. He played 10 minutes or less 6 times, before being sent back to OKC. He was recalled again and played 15 games between March 14th and April 12th. These 15 games were the first time he was given consistent minutes. He averaged 16:26 over the final 15 games. He only produced one point.

I don't see him as a second line centre, but I do wonder how much further along in his development he'd be if he had spent his first two seasons in the AHL?

DO IT LIKE DETROIT

The Red Wings do a phenomenal job of developing players, especially European born players. They draft them in the later rounds, then let them play a few more years in Europe or in the American League, or both, before bringing them to the NHL.

Pavel Datsyuk turned 20 one month after being drafted in the 6th round. He played three more years in Russia before making his NHL debut at 23. He started on the 3rd line and tallied 35 points as a rookie, 53 his second season and 68 in his third. Then the lockout hit and when he returned to the NHL, at 27 years of age, he became a superstar.

Henrik Zetterberg was drafted in the 7th round in 1999, but he didn't make his NHL debut until 2002 when he was 22. He had 43 and 44 points his first two seasons, and then after the lockout, at the age of 25, he blossomed into a 85-point player.

Johan Franzen was drafted in the 3rd round in 2004 when he was 24 years old. He scored 16 points as a 25 year old rookie in 2005/2006 and he didn't register his first 50-point season until he was 28. He's not a superstar, but he is a solid complementary player.

Niklas Kronwall was the 29th pick in 2000. He spent three more years in Sweden before coming to the AHL. He got injured his first season in North America and played 25 AHL games and 20 NHL games. He spent the following season in the AHL and at the age of 24 became a regular NHL defenceman. He was a 3rd pairing guy his first year, a 2nd pairing guy the next two and is now a very good top pairing defender.

Gustav Nyqvist was a 4th round selection in 2008. He played the next three seasons in NCAA before racking up 58 points in 56 games with Grand Rapids in the AHL in 2011/2012. He did get into 18 NHL games that year, but last season he also split his time between the AHL (60 points in 58 games) and the NHL (6 points in 22 games). He started this season in the AHL, 21 points in 15 games, before the Red Wings found some cap space and recalled him. Nyqvist is 24 and he's played 137 AHL games and 97 NHL games.

Tomas Tatar was a 2nd round pick in 2009. He was a late birthday so he was almost 19 when he was drafted. From 2009/2010 to 2012/2013 he played 265 games in the AHL and scored 196 points. He did play 9 games in the NHL in 2010/2011, but wasn't back in the show until last season. Tatar became a regular NHLer just prior to turning 23.

Darren Helm was a 5th round pick in 2005. He spent the next two seasons in the WHL with Medicine Hat, then spent two years in Grand Rapids in the AHL. He became an NHL regular in 2009/2010 three months shy of his 23rd birthday. In the spring of 2008 Helm played 18 playoff games, won a Stanley Cup, but started the next season in the minors. He wasn't recalled until late in the year, got into some playoff action again and then made the team in training camp. The Wings don't guarantee spots to their young kids. They keep them hungry and make them earn it.

Jakub Kindl was a the 19th overall pick in 2005. He played two more seasons in the OHL, then three with Grand Rapids in the AHL. In 2010 and 2011 he was with the Red Wings but dressed for 48 and 55 games due to injury and being a healthy scratch. He became an every-game player at 25 years old. He isn't an elite player, he's a #5, but he's a solid contributor.

Jonathan Ericsson was the 291st pick in 2002. He spent four more seasons in Sweden before debuting in the AHL in 2006. He played 2 1/2 seasons in the AHL, before he was recalled late in the 2008/2009 season, dressed for 19 regular season games and 22 more in the playoffs. He was a solid #5 D-men, playing 18:43/game in their run to the Cup. He was a solid #5 D-man for his first three NHL seasons, until last year, at the age of 28, he became a top-pair guy playing 22 minutes a night. Detroit never felt the need to rush him or give him more than 17-18 minutes a night. He matured, gained confidence and is now a solid NHL defender.

Justin Abdelkader was a 2nd round pick in 2005. He spent three more seasons in the NCAA and then 1 1/2 season in the AHL. He played 12:18/game (11th most amongst Det forwards) during his first full NHL season, 2010/2011, and strangely enough played the exact same amount, 12:18/game, in his second year. For the past two seasons he's been a solid 3rd line centre. 

Even Nicklas Lidstrom never debuted in the NHL until he was 21 back in 1991/1992, two years after he was drafted as a 19 year old. Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula and many others are prime examples of how to develop young skill. The Wings don't rush their young players. Whether you are an offensive star, a checker or a D-man the Wings don't hand young players icetime or a spot in the lineup. They let their kids develop their skills, and most importantly their confidence at lower levels, and the entire time they keep those kids yearning for a spot in the NHL.

The Oilers have delayed Lander's development because they rushed him into the league too early, and didn't allow him to develop his offensive confidence. This past year was the first year he did, and he put up very good AHL numbers.

Writing Lander off as someone with no offensive potential is ridiculous. I don't see him as a top-six forward, but he has the potential to be an excellent 4th line centre, and likely a solid 3rd liner. The issue for the Oilers is he'd be best served to play one more year, or at least another half season, in the AHL, but he needs to clear waivers.

He might clear, many teams send "on the cusp" players to the AHL every year, and many aren't claimed because they have a few players similar in their organization, but he could just as easily be grabbed by another team.

The Oilers don't have much centre depth so they likely can't expose him to waivers, but they need to learn from this, and ensure that they don't rush their next group of prospects.

QUICK HITS...

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  • Lander needs to improve his speed. He isn't ready to play 16+ minutes a night, but if he wants to contribute next year as a 4th or 3rd line player he needs to get quicker.

  • I would send Darnell Nurse back to junior next fall. He is too young to go to the AHL, and I don't see any reason to rush him into the NHL. Alex Pietrangelo spent two years in junior after being drafted 4th overall, and he didn't hurt him. The Oilers need to be patient.

  • It is interesting to note the Wings haven't had much success drafting CHL players. Since 1995, the only CHL players to play 100+ games for the Wings are Jiri Fischer (305 games, injury cut short his career), Derek Meech (144 games), Kyle Quincey (375 and counting), and Helm. They prefer Europeans or NCAA players likely because they can play against men in Europe and develop, or come out of college at 21 or 22 and not need to be finished their ELC and be waiver eligible at 21 or 22 like Lander and Tyler Pitlick.

  • Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Mitch Moroz and Jujhar Khaira will all be 20 next season. The first two will either play in Russia for another season or come over to the AHL, while the two WHLers can get their feet wet in the AHL. I'd keep all of them in the AHL for at least two seasons, and the only way they get recalled is on an injury basis. Let them learn the pro game.

  • I'd have no problem if Oscar Klefbom and/or Martin Marincin started in the AHL next year. There is nothing wrong with being patient with young players.

  • Tough loss at home for OKC last night. They led 2-0 midway through the 2nd period, before losing 3-2 in OT. They have to win game two at home to have any hopes of winning the best of five series, because the final three games are on the road.

THANK YOU

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A big THANK YOU to Page the Cleaner for offering to dry clean all the suits and shirts that were donated to The Gregor Foundation. It was a very generous offer and we appreciate it.

Also, thanks to Matt and the gentlemen from Pi Kappa Alpha, Lambda Epsilon Chapter at the U of A. Those young gents emailed me and wanted to help. They collected 21 suits, 25 dress shirts and 5 pairs of dress shoes. It is great to see young Edmontonians offering to help out. Thanks guys.

And THANK YOU to all of you who donated suits, shirts, ties or shoes. They are still rolling in, which is awesome (you can click link above to see drop off spots) and once I have a final tally I will let you know. It warms my heart to see so many people willing to help those in need.

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 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 08:11AM
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Learn from Gagner also.

He came in too young and has not progressed especially defensively.Some would say he has regressed.

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#2 Wintoon
April 24 2014, 08:15AM
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For several years now Oiler management have preached patience and, for the most part, fans have accepted this mantra. Now, as we approach the key development segment of the re-build, fans are getting very impatient just when patience is needed most.

I want the Oilers to turn the corner and be a successful, winning team as much as anyone. However, my hope is not that they build a team to make the playoffs but rather build a team to contend for the Stanley Cup. This will take continued patience.

Has the re-build gone as we expected? Not really. Is it still on track? Definitely. Do we have the talent to compete for the Cup? Not yet. Is it achievable Yes, most definitely. Will I cheer for the Oilers? Of course. Can MacT deliver a Cup contending team? Yes, I believe he can. He is both intelligent and driven to succeed.

So please, have patience for a little while longer, continue to support the team and realize that not one of the players want to fail. They too are driven and want to get to the playoffs and contend for the Cup. Too often fans start brandishing their verbal knives out of frustration.

With the talent currently in the system and a decent 2014 draft and off-season, we should see strides made in the coming season.

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#3 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 08:18AM
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People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

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#4 John Chambers
April 24 2014, 08:22AM
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Nice write- up, Gregor.

I hope the Oilers are successful in filling in Defense and depth positions on the roster through free agency to keep developing players out of the pro lineup.

Tyler Pitlick is another guy who IMO should spend an entire season down in the A.

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#5 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 24 2014, 08:30AM
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Excellent article.

Just wondering: you seem to presume they qualify Lander. There's been some suggestion (I don't mean by "insiders" here, just idle chatter) that Lander will only accept a 1-way deal and the Oilers will want to qualify him at the minimum:

http://www.capgeek.com/qualifying-offer-calculator/?player_id=2010

(he doesn't have to be offered a 1-way).

Do you have any read on how the situation is going to go?

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#6 John Chambers
April 24 2014, 08:46AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Judging by Arco's contract, it would seem Lander would have to accept a 2-way.

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#8 VK63
April 24 2014, 08:51AM
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Character kid. I hope he figures it out.

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#9 j
April 24 2014, 08:54AM
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I agree in principle but the Wings have also had veteran, hall of fame players on the roster for the past 20 years. And have been a team of choice for free agents. Historically, they have had few roster spots available year to year. You could argue that this is because of their development strategy but the Oilers of the past 20 years have been at a severe disadvantage in terms of opening day rosters - poor drafting, poor free agents, poor decisions. The end result being we need to bring more youth through the system in an accelerated fashion. Hopefully this changes in the next 5 years with a sensible GM but it won't happen over night. There are too many holes to fill.

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#10 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 08:58AM
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I hope they sign Lander also.Right now he is a legit call-up and it is too soon to cut bait.

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#11 ColourMeImpressed
April 24 2014, 09:06AM
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I don't think there's any proof that the Oilers delayed Lander's development.

But there's definitive proof that they chose to develop him in the NHL, while he could have been in Sweden or the AHL learning to play better.

If you really want a freaky parallel for Lander, compare him to Gordon.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=107124

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=50642

The similarities are surreal.

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#13 admiralmark
April 24 2014, 09:09AM
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We hear about this Detroit model and how it should be followed but have we actually ever heard it from Oiler management? Because even if they said it they sure don't actually follow it. I wonder how much Lander playing up his first year had to do with the Oilers a) Once again rushing a prospect i.e. Paajaarvi and b) Wanting Lander to play with his buddy Paajarvi? It was a fragile time after some high level UFA players were persued and failed.

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#14 ColourMeImpressed
April 24 2014, 09:10AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Oilers have a choice not to force feed Marincin and Klefbom. They could bring in a veteran or two to allow them more seasoning.

The Wings haven't signed major free agents every year since lockout, but their philosophy hasn't changed. They don't rush players and since they never have they always have a steady stream coming in. Oilers need to start that thinking now so in three, four and five years they have 22 and 23 year olds ready to step in.

Oilers are definitely rushing Klefbom a bit, but Marincin has had over a season in the AHL. He could probably stand to use more, but given the limited options in free agency and the unlikeliness of winning a trade from our bad trading position, it's not like we have too much to offer back.

Also, Klefbom looks more physically ready for the game than Marincin, though he's less likely to make the right decisions at this point.

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#15 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2014, 09:12AM
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So, Anton hasn't been the player many hoped as of this day, even though he's done everything asked of him by the coaches. Maybe therein lies the problem. Some players appear underwhelming when shackled to a system. He never struggled with the defensive side of the game to begin with. Just the wrong team in the wrong decade for Lander. He needs a fresh start in a progressive organization.

This management group would've certainly buried Pavel Bure in the minors because he struggled with cycling the puck down low.

It's only 9.00 am Spydyr, but you win the internet this day for your indepth analysis between the Oilers/Red Wings organizations. Well played sir.

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#16 Oilers
April 24 2014, 09:13AM
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Spydyr wrote:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

You are 100% correct. I am surprised, well not, actually to see this comment trashed.

Detroit has the best organization in the league. Edmonton the worst. As long as their are dreamers in this city that think Lowe and Mac T can fix this without voicing to the media like Vancouver did, we are as they say, doomed.

Edmonton under Lowe has done everything wrong. We need a change. The reason Canadian NHL teams are failing is this reliance on old NHLer's to run the team. Take a look at the stats. Last 8 years, all cups won by non ex-NHL Gm's. Consistently, the Non NHL GM's outperform.

Until Lowe leaves, count on the bottom of the league and and status quo.

This post is 100% correct

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#18 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 09:16AM
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Oilers wrote:

You are 100% correct. I am surprised, well not, actually to see this comment trashed.

Detroit has the best organization in the league. Edmonton the worst. As long as their are dreamers in this city that think Lowe and Mac T can fix this without voicing to the media like Vancouver did, we are as they say, doomed.

Edmonton under Lowe has done everything wrong. We need a change. The reason Canadian NHL teams are failing is this reliance on old NHLer's to run the team. Take a look at the stats. Last 8 years, all cups won by non ex-NHL Gm's. Consistently, the Non NHL GM's outperform.

Until Lowe leaves, count on the bottom of the league and and status quo.

This post is 100% correct

Thank you,Edmonton seems to have an issue with hiring experienced people.They just don't.The only explanation I have been able to think of is Lowe not wanting to hire anyone who could pose a threat to him.

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#19 Fresh Mess
April 24 2014, 09:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

Wings don't have ridiculous POHO title. Holland the GM is head of hockey ops as it should be.

They have a single, real president as it should be.

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#20 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2014, 09:18AM
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For the few who are concerned about Sam Bennetts 6'0" 187lbs 17 yr old frame. When the Oil drafted Dillon Simpson at 18, he was 6'0" 192lbs. Today, virtually NHL ready he's 6'2" and 205 lbs.

Sam Bennetts size will never be an issue.

Dawg, meet bone.

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#21 vetinari
April 24 2014, 09:20AM
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There's a lot of life and development between 18 and 22 years of age for a player.

Take Yak for example-- not only was he rushed into the NHL but he had a new city to get used to, new coaches in both of his years here, and a ton of expectations after his rookie season. That doesn't even factor in any cultural or language issues transitioning to a North American lifestyle. Also, and I'm not suggesting that Yak is the main instigator here, but let's not forget the fun and distraction of being a millionaire at such a young age, travelling North America all year long and enjoying the night life.

I think Detroit has figured out that if you don't rush your draft picks to the NHL, they get some life experience, maturity, and hockey knowledge before they arrive and more likely to be successful. Also, they are more likely to be able to handle the money and fame that being a professional hockey player brings.

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#22 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 24 2014, 09:20AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Thanks for typo. I'd be very surprised if they didn't qualify him. They have little depth at centre in the organization and he is only 22. Nelson loves him and Scott saw him most of year in OKC. Of course the player wants the best contract, but he's not in the best situation to negotiate.

Scott knows him very well, and he will be heavily involved in the negotiations. I think we will see a one-year deal, and I see it being a one-way deal around similar money to Arcobello ($600,000). Or if it is a two-way deal then make his minor league money around $250,000.

I do wonder if the Oilers would look at two-year deal that pays him one-way in 2nd year and $1million. Show faith that they believe he will develop, plus Lander gets a 2nd year guaranteed.

agreed. Lander's got no leverage.

I know he was scouted in OKC around the deadline. But, there's no way someone offer sheets him and I could only see an unsigned Lander thrown in as a sweeter for a much bigger trade.

I think the concern is more that he bolts for Europe, like Rajala and Hartikainen.

I sure hope he stays.

It's a really good point about Scott too. First thing I thought of after he got hired was: this is good for Lander.

I like the diversity of options you offer for contracts. I hope they get something done.

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#23 They're $hittie
April 24 2014, 09:21AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Learn from Gagner also.

He came in too young and has not progressed especially defensively.Some would say he has regressed.

Gagner may not have progressed but I am not sure if that is because what was expected of him and how bad the team was or if he was rushed.

He achieved what he needed to achieve in the CHL and was fine in his first two years. Gagners lack of progress is because the team has been terrible and management has not supplied a winning culture (yes I hate that saying) and or nhl players for the like of Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, etc.

The team was competitive in his rookie year and he did his part. What was asked of him and hemksy (a further to cogliano and nilsson) by management is what hurt him. also with 5 coaches in 7 years doesnt help.

Wait until he gets traded to the east where they dont play defense and the average size is much smaller, he will put up the points and learn to be more effective defensively.

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#24 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 09:22AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

So, Anton hasn't been the player many hoped as of this day, even though he's done everything asked of him by the coaches. Maybe therein lies the problem. Some players appear underwhelming when shackled to a system. He never struggled with the defensive side of the game to begin with. Just the wrong team in the wrong decade for Lander. He needs a fresh start in a progressive organization.

This management group would've certainly buried Pavel Bure in the minors because he struggled with cycling the puck down low.

It's only 9.00 am Spydyr, but you win the internet this day for your indepth analysis between the Oilers/Red Wings organizations. Well played sir.

Thanks man, Have you or anyone else here heard the Sather is going to retire after the playoffs and Gretzky to NY as the new GM rumor.

I think it might be crap brought up because he is selling his California home but it is intriguing.Gretzky belongs back in hockey.

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#25 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 09:24AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Gagner may not have progressed but I am not sure if that is because what was expected of him and how bad the team was or if he was rushed.

He achieved what he needed to achieve in the CHL and was fine in his first two years. Gagners lack of progress is because the team has been terrible and management has not supplied a winning culture (yes I hate that saying) and or nhl players for the like of Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, etc.

The team was competitive in his rookie year and he did his part. What was asked of him and hemksy (a further to cogliano and nilsson) by management is what hurt him. also with 5 coaches in 7 years doesnt help.

Wait until he gets traded to the east where they dont play defense and the average size is much smaller, he will put up the points and learn to be more effective defensively.

Personally I can't wait till he gets traded.

He is not the right fit for this team.His skill set is covered by better players.

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#26 MattL
April 24 2014, 09:26AM
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Spydyr wrote:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

I'm a little tired of hearing about the Detroit model. They are still in the hangover period from being able to spend more money than anyone else. Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen and Lidstrom before he retired were all products of the golden age of spending, and their "development strategy" has come from the luxury of years of stacked teams and a "winning culture" being attractive to free agents. Not to mention the ability to lure and keep a coach like Mike Babcock.

In the cap era, you would expect these advantages to slowly start disappearing, and the Wings to fall back into the pack, which is exactly what's happening. If their system is so superior, why are they suddenly average? In 5 years they'll have exactly the same problems as the other 29 teams in the league.

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#27 ColourMeImpressed
April 24 2014, 09:30AM
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@Jason Gregor

Jason,

I agree that Marincin tailed off and again, agree with you about him getting some size throughout the summer. That said, I still think he's a better option than a Nick Schultz-type of plug that we'll get in free agency. Then we'd likely be stuck with that plug a year or two longer than we'd like, either because we overpaid (this is unrestricted free agency, after all) or because coach-loves-vets syndrome.

Other than Markov and maybe Niskanen, there are no top-pairing defencemen available in free agency. We don't need any more 4/5/6/7 d-men either, so signing another Ference wouldn't really help. I don't see Markov leaving Montreal, certainly not for Edmonton (climate, travel, western conference, loser team). Niskanen might be tempted but there will also be 25 other teams seriously bidding for his services.

So if the choice is really Marincin and Klefbom over the next Nick Schultz and Mark Fistric, I'll take Marincin and Klefbom. Neither is going to get ruined by playing in the NHL, just tired and worn down and learn by exposure what it takes to compete every single night.

Also, the Oilers have to send Justin Schultz down to the third pairing and feature him on the power play. Kid can't play a lick of defence.

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#28 Racki
April 24 2014, 09:31AM
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I think Tambellini' mantra was "why sign a guy when we can sink or swim one of our young prospects in that role?". MacTavish has shown a big commitment to the trade market and trying to sign guys to fit a need. He's had his duds, for sure, but I think he's got an obvious plan of attack here. Go grab some guy to try and fit need.. If it doesn't work.. Dump him and try someone else.

Hopefully the Oilers fill holes now with less underage guys and let those players develop while they sign or trade for a guy to temporarily fill the void. The blueline saw some young players in big roles at the end but I think that was more towards the end when it was maybe more of a preview for guys like Marincin and Klefbom... And past the deadline.

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#29 Zamboni Driver
April 24 2014, 09:33AM
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The comments here are so hilarious, also to be filed under "here we go again".

Everyone loves everyone on the Oilers.

Last. Last. Second Last. Fourth Last. Third last.

Please. For the love of god, start using your brains.

you hope ANTON LANDER pans out. Because of his huge upside as a fourth liner?

Unreal.

The wisest post above by far was the Oilers/Red Wings comparison. and if you were one of the 15 deep thinkers that trashed it, you go ahead and put on your "I love Sam Gagner" underoos, and prepare to watch other teams play in April/May/June forever.

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#30 ColourMeImpressed
April 24 2014, 09:34AM
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@Zamboni Driver

Do yourself a favor and compare Lander's career stats vs Gordon's.

Then ask yourself how nice it would be to have a player the caliber of Boyd Gordon, for a lot less money.

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#31 He Who Knows
April 24 2014, 09:36AM
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Spydyr wrote:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

I agree 100% brother. The very odd thing is that you have quite a few trashes.....hmmmm paid shills sent out by the Soviet Oilers yet again. Stay classy Oilers.

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#32 BleedingOil
April 24 2014, 09:42AM
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Spydyr wrote:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL Edmonton does not.

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL Edmonton does not.

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL Edmonton does not.

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL Edmonton does not.

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL Edmonton does not.

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL Edmonton does.

Other than that the organizations are spitting images of each other.

Some people are just gonna bash. Yes, follow Detroit. If we have been for the past 10 years then your post would read:

People that say follow the Detroit model have to realize:

1)Detroit has one of the best owners in the NHL just like Edmonton

2)Detroit has one of the best POHO in the NHL just like Edmonton

3)Detroit has one of the best GM's in the NHL just like Edmonton

4)Detroit has one of the best coaches in the NHL just like Edmonton

5)Detroit has some of the best assistant coaches in the NHL just like Edmonton

6)Detroit has some of the best scouts both pro and amateur in the NHL just like Edmonton

7)Detroit does not rush players to the NHL just like Edmonton

the organizations are spitting images of each other.

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#33 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2014, 09:44AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Thanks man, Have you or anyone else here heard the Sather is going to retire after the playoffs and Gretzky to NY as the new GM rumor.

I think it might be crap brought up because he is selling his California home but it is intriguing.Gretzky belongs back in hockey.

Now that Wayne is square with the house (money issue cleared up with the league)again, I hope he re-enters the game again. Been keeping and eye/ear open for any update in regard to this matter, but seen nothing other than that one post a couple days ago mentioning this. Glen has been battling prostate cancer for over a year now, but cancer is far from the death sentence it was 25 yrs ago.

Dolan has to be right up there with Mike Ilitch when it comes to strong/quality ownership people enjoy working for. So, I can see this becoming more fact than fiction.

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#34 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 24 2014, 09:46AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I like Klefbom more than Marincin. I felt in his last 15 games Marincin struggled, which is understandable, while Klefbom got better. Both could be good, but I think Klefbom has higher ceiling.

Limited options in free agency, are still better than rushing a kid, IMO. Marincin has to get stronger this summer. He needs to be dedicated to working out and putting on some muscle and if he does that then he'd be much more prepared for a full NHL season. If he doesn't, I think he will struggle as the season goes along.

I wonder about this.

I think Marincin has a higher ceiling, but also more of a boom/bust potential.

Marincin has shown more offensive potential than Klefbom IMO and looks like if he makes it (so far tracking well, but you'll need at least 200 NHL games on both to know), he'll make it with more tools and weapons than Klefbom.

That said, Klefbom certainly looks like he has a better shot (injuries permitting) to be a regular NHLer.

Both, actually look really damn good so far. Very impressive debuts.

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#35 Zamboni Driver
April 24 2014, 09:47AM
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@ColourMeImpressed

And comparing "Anton Lander" and "Boyd Gordon" really exemplifies the garbage that we are forced to follow in this town.

Trust me.

Zero people in the NHL know or care who either of those two people are.

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#36 S cottV
April 24 2014, 09:51AM
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With all the latest and greatest techiques for increasing Landers quickness, you might get him 5% quicker.

Problem is - he needs to be 10 to 15% quicker.

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#38 bwar
April 24 2014, 10:02AM
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I have a hard time believing that Marincin or Klefbom will start in the AHL next year. I think Marincin proved he was NHL ready and Klefbom seemed to possibly have an even better start in the NHL than Marincin did.

For Darnell Nurse I think his fate will be determined by what the Oilers do in the offseason. If we miss out on Ekblad and whiff big time in free agency, Nurse might be our best option to start the season with. Right now we have: Ference, Petry, Schultz, Marincin and Kelfbom. Leaving one starter on defense wide open.

There are two guys you mentioned that I am very interested in seeing what happens to next year are Mitchell Moroz and Bogdan Yakimov. I hope the Oilers find a way to bring Yakimov over to play in the AHL because I would love to see this pair play together for the Oilers at some point in the future. I'm also interested to see how far off Moroz is from competing for a third/fourth line role on the team.

Development wise this is a very important year for the Oilers as it looks like we finally have some non-first overall prospects that could be key pieces in the franchises future.

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#39 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 10:02AM
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He Who Knows wrote:

I agree 100% brother. The very odd thing is that you have quite a few trashes.....hmmmm paid shills sent out by the Soviet Oilers yet again. Stay classy Oilers.

Some people can't handle the truth.

Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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#40 ColourMeImpressed
April 24 2014, 10:03AM
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@Zamboni Driver

I really have nothing to say to that, except to say you're very, very wrong about Boyd Gordon.

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#41 Racki
April 24 2014, 10:05AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Check out NHL teams in the playoffs. Do you think Dallas has all skilled players, or do they have some Gordons/Landers on their team.

You build a winning team with many different parts. Not just skilled players.

You say Gordon is garbage. I guess teams don't want a guy who can win draws, kill penalties and is solid defensively. Yep, those guys are awful.

Vern Fiddler did nothing to help Dallas win last night, NOTHING.

I hate when a guy like Boyd Gordon goes unappreciated here. He is Eakins' slave. He gets terrible minutes.. Bad zone starts, major defensive use bias. He does what he was hired to do and does that well. If the Oilers could address more of the holes on the team, the work of guys like Gordon would stand out more noticeably. And perhaps it would allow him to do more than dig pucks out for the lazy players on this team who want the puck handed to them on a silver platter all game.

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#42 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 24 2014, 10:06AM
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I would send Darnell Nurse back to junior next fall. He is too young to go to the AHL, and I don't see any reason to rush him into the NHL. Alex Pietrangelo spent two years in junior after being drafted 4th overall, and he didn't hurt him. The Oilers need to be patient.

JG, not sure what you're basing your decision on.

All I hope is that there's a solid and continuous decision making process when it comes to keeping junior players with the big club.

If the player is judged accordingly and there's still no clear evidence to send him back to junior or keep him in the NHL, only then apply the "better to be safe than sorry" approach.

If Nurse has a good training camp and exhibition, give him a chance in the regular season. Let him show you if he's ready or not. If he plays well enough in the 9 regular season games, so be it - follow the process.

Don't make predetermined decision.

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#43 Mike Krushelnyski
April 24 2014, 10:07AM
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I'd love to see a scenario where it's an option to have Marincin and Klefbom start the year in OKC, but honestly is there any possibility that we bring in that many NHL defencemen? Klefbom and Marincin are essentially our 4-5 d-men right now. That means we need to bring in 3 better players and hope everyone stays healthy.

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#44 Will
April 24 2014, 10:12AM
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Everyone talks about how Detroit develops its talent. And everyone mentions how they were an awful team, then became a perennial playoff and cup contender. But no one say show the heck they did that. By my eye they had great scouts that managed to pluck guys out of Russia, which built an incredible core other players wanted to be apart of. From there they've been coasting on free agent signings and having the luxury of developing players.

But the NHL os a lot different now than it was 22 years ago when they became a playoff team. Not to mention, Detroit is always in the running for big name free agents, or on a short list of places players will go to if they have a no trade clause.

Edmonton is not, and they never will be unless they start overpaying for some big name free agents of their own, trade some high profile assets ala Columbus for a more balanced line up, and become a competitive team that other players want to be apart of.

A big reason Detroit has been so successful is the scouting and management. Everyone wants to play for Babcock. Who the hell wants to play for Eakins and Lowe?

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#45 Ed in Edmonton
April 24 2014, 10:14AM
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Wayne Gretzky is as qualified to be the GM of the Rangers as K. Lowe is to be POHO of the Oilers.

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#46 Spurzey
April 24 2014, 10:17AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

And comparing "Anton Lander" and "Boyd Gordon" really exemplifies the garbage that we are forced to follow in this town.

Trust me.

Zero people in the NHL know or care who either of those two people are.

Why would anyone trust you?

Zero people on this site know or care who you are.

Boyd Gordon is a typical western Canadian kid who made the show on guts and determination while not having natural talent like a lot of others he played against. Lander could develop into the same type of player.

Go back to washing ice.

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#47 djc
April 24 2014, 10:20AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Some people can't handle the truth.

Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Some people are overly obsessed about how many trashes and likes their comments receive. I hope you have more going for you in life than worrying about how your comments on a blog are received.

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#48 Rama Lama
April 24 2014, 10:21AM
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Great overview on how patience and development works.

Trading Lander now would be totally stupid, he needs more development time playing for a coach that understands development and put players in situations that they can properly develop in.

I would love to see all our prospects being developed using the Detroit model. Nelson has proven to be a great developer of talent. It's too bad that Yaks could not have been developed by Nelson.

Great article ...........hard to argue with anything written here.

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#49 Spydyr
April 24 2014, 10:29AM
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djc wrote:

Some people are overly obsessed about how many trashes and likes their comments receive. I hope you have more going for you in life than worrying about how your comments on a blog are received.

It was in response to He Who Knows .He was wondering why the post received so many trashes.

This site is a time passer for me.Some people play games such as candy crush or angry birds I prefer intelligent discussion about something I have followed my entire life,hockey.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

This is entertainment not life.

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#50 David S
April 24 2014, 10:36AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Gagner may not have progressed but I am not sure if that is because what was expected of him and how bad the team was or if he was rushed.

He achieved what he needed to achieve in the CHL and was fine in his first two years. Gagners lack of progress is because the team has been terrible and management has not supplied a winning culture (yes I hate that saying) and or nhl players for the like of Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, etc.

The team was competitive in his rookie year and he did his part. What was asked of him and hemksy (a further to cogliano and nilsson) by management is what hurt him. also with 5 coaches in 7 years doesnt help.

Wait until he gets traded to the east where they dont play defense and the average size is much smaller, he will put up the points and learn to be more effective defensively.

Gagner and Penner were great together. The perfect compliments to each other's strengths. Then the team decided they needed magic beans more than a big power forward who could score 30. I mean who needs those guys, right?

Greatest Tank Battles indeed.

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