Building

Jonathan Willis
April 07 2014 10:47AM

Kid Line-1

The Edmonton Oilers are a team with many problems, but there are some good things there, too. Number one with a bullet on that list is the line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.

The Kids & the Hall

4-Hall-15

Hall’s a monster with any linemates, and watching him put the rest of his game together is incredible. He’s always been a hard-driving offensive difference-maker, but during the last lockout he added in a gift for playmaking that hadn’t really been part of his NHL skillset; we’re now at the point where he’s a first-rate setup man.

More than that, though, is his defensive game. I’ve always felt Hall got shortchanged reputation-wise because he drives results, but watching him the last month blocking shots and backchecking, it feels like there’s a dimension there that I hadn’t seen before, too. I’m not supporting this with numbers, but by eye it feels like somewhere around midseason he just found another level of defensive commitment.

Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle aren’t on the same level as Hall, but as a trio they’ve done some exceptional things together, both in the past and in this late season. Together, they’re a legitimate No. 1 line in the NHL.

The Rest of the Forwards

57-Perron-9

The Oilers, as they have for so many years, now need to find a way to support that top unit with 10-11 competent forwards behind them. Today, a healthy Oilers team looks something like this in those roles:

  • David Perron – Sam Gagner – Nail Yakupov
  • Matt Hendricks – Boyd Gordon – Ryan Jones
  • Luke Gazdic – Ryan Smyth – Jesse Joensuu
  • Anton Lander – Mark Arcobello – Tyler Pitlick

The second line is both awfully close and a mile off. An optimist sees a keeper on a great contract (Perron), a reliable scorer coming on after a terrible start (Gagner) and a potentially elite goal-scorer (Yakupov). The pessimist sees the same keeper, a black hole up the middle with awfully limited replacement options, and a winger who probably shouldn’t have spent the last two years in the NHL and has awfully high bust potential.

The rest doesn’t look much better than the Steve Tambellini editions of the team, and that (along with the defence) is a job for the general manager to tackle this summer. Gordon’s been very good, Hendricks was a nice addition, Arcobello’s done good things and one imagines they’ll hang on to Gazdic for pugilism.

89-Gagner-8

What represents enough improvement? Would moving Gagner for a third-line wing and adding a couple of free agent veterans do the trick? Is a depth chart that looks like the following good enough behind that top line?

  • David Perron – Mark Arcobello – Nail Yakupov
  • [Viktor Stalberg] – Boyd Gordon – [David Moss]
  • Matt Hendricks – Anton Lander – [Blake Comeau]
  • Two of: Luke Gazdic, Jesse Joensuu, Tyler Pitlick and Ryan Smyth

It’s a scenario that nicely highlights, for me, the difficult choices that need to be made on the second line next year. Yakupov’s a gamble – a gamble worth making, certainly, but a gamble all the same. At centre, the choice is even tougher, because finding an external candidate for the role is going to be very difficult, very expensive, or both, and the internal options are Gagner and Arcobello. It shouldn't be too difficult to fill out the roster but that No. 2 line is going to be tough.

There’s also this summer’s draft, where the Oilers will likely hold the No. 3 overall selection. The idea of Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl starting next year between Perron and Yakupov is a little scary, but long-term might be the best solution. It’s also the kind of move that retaining Arcobello (a pretty good fallback option in the event of struggles) might hint at.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#1 Lowe Expectations
April 07 2014, 10:53AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
48
cheers

There are good pieces moving forward. However, until this team can either develop or acquire that legitimate #1 dman real progress will be difficult.

Avatar
#2 Oilbaron
April 07 2014, 11:03AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers

I agree it looks like Hall really stepped up his defensive game about mid season. In the last bunch of games hes seemed like the hardest back checker on the team. Thankfully that stuff has gotta rub off on the rest of the guys and its nice to see Hall lead the way all around.

If Nuge doesn't have a breakout year this upcoming season Hall will be the captain sooner or later

Avatar
#3 CYCLOPS
April 07 2014, 11:09AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Buffalo has for decent dmen going forward: Myers Erhoff Pysyk McBain?

Florida has: Campbell Kulikov Gudbranson Gilbert?

I still think and hope we have a chance at Ekblad at #3. Those teams need offense. Heres hoping.

Avatar
#4 admiralmark
April 07 2014, 11:12AM
Trash it!
23
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I think MacT will have to trade some of the future for the now. Gagner for a quality 3rd line winger(e.g..Winnick) is a good step. Gagner is beyond horrible. What is it 5 years in the league and you don't know to pick up the trailing player? Brutal. Maybe a stop gap measure will be needed until a better option becomes available? Grabovski might of fit the bill as he could of mentored Yak as well? Bennet/Draistl look like great prospects but need another year in Junior likely? Its hard to say what might come available but 2C absolutely needs an upgrade and an experienced player that can help Yak along would be advisable. And yes I know about the D. I put the priority at 1) 1st pairing D. 2) 2nd line Center.

Avatar
#5 OilClog
April 07 2014, 11:15AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
41
cheers

Yakimov will be coming over next season and will get some games under his belt.

Lander is playing his finals days in OilCountry.

The idea of 4/93/14 playing together and killing the opposition is something all fans have known for the last few years. Nice to see the coaching Staff catching on! Whew! Don't forget over the summer please!

Avatar
#6 Sizzay
April 07 2014, 11:17AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
44
cheers

We won't get the value with yak. Keep him and hope he has a better year with a fresh start. I see future chemistry with draisaitl. Draisaitl is excellent at protecting the puck in the corner and dishing it on the tape in the slot. If there is no move for a centre, draft him. 6'2 210lbs that will fill out to 225.

I'd move gagner and a prospect like pitlick/lander for a gritty winger like bickell and a prospect like McNeill.

Avatar
#7 Will
April 07 2014, 11:26AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

This is a great article that highlights that the team, especially in the top six, really doesn't have a lot of moves to try and fix the balance issues.

I do think Mac T should try and move heaven and earth to land any free agent centre that would be an upgrade on Gagner for the number 2 C role. Lagwand comes to mind simply because when healthy, Detroit has their one and two centres locked up, not to mention arguably their third and fourth.

Stasny also looks like a guy without a job at his current club that I think would be an upgrade. Even if these guys end up getting more than our current top line kids, well I can't really see them being mad if it makes the team better.

With that solved, obviously the D needs to be addressed. With Ryan Whitney being so terrible last year and everyone expecting J Schultz to take another step, it looked like the D wasn't in that much trouble last year. Again, we have some great prospects on the way, much like at the centre position, but for now, for next year, Mac T needs to make a spend on the free agent market.

It's not prospects that will make this team better, it's veteran NHL talent.

Avatar
#8 pelhem grenville
April 07 2014, 11:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
Lowe Expectations wrote:

There are good pieces moving forward. However, until this team can either develop or acquire that legitimate #1 dman real progress will be difficult.

...acquire is the operative word [.]

Avatar
#9 zoolander
April 07 2014, 11:28AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
50
cheers

Is it me or are we not better with Ference out of the line up.

Avatar
#10 Tuningout
April 07 2014, 11:36AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

Yakupov is a the key piece in my opinion. If he excels (with Perron) the Oilers have a second line and all problems solved (regardless of the 2C if Perron and Yak score the 2nd line will look good). If Perron scores 23. Yakupov scores 25. And random center scores 10. That should be enough ?

The defence on the other hand. Is waiting for rookies to emerge. How much patience is needed ? I don't know. I'm not sure about Ekblad.

Avatar
#11 Hall Awaits
April 07 2014, 11:38AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

The idea of Stalberg is interesting but I don't know if Mac-T can pan gold twice out of Nashville.

In regards to the third line, I would take a serious run at Nikolai Kulemin and Brian Boyle in free agency with Arcobello acting as a plug and play on that line. With a fourth line of Hendricks, Gordon and any combination of Pitlick, Gazdic, Joensuu or Smyth the depth is immediately improved.

And if it were me, I'd ask Philly for Brayden Schenn straight across for the lottery pick unless of course we win the bloody thing again and get first overall. I'd say Couturier but don't think he's going anywhere...

Avatar
#12 YakSaitl
April 07 2014, 11:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

If they don't have the chance to take Ekblad I would go with Draisaitl. Maybe Reinhart or Bennett are the more skilled players but Draisaitl has the body and his passing skills are amazing. Maybe he will need another year in junior (maybe not?) but then he would fit nicely into the middle of Perron and Yak to be the playmaker in that line.

If Ekblad is still there, take him! Try to trade for a 2C and overpay for a top 2 D-man like Markov .

Avatar
#13 The Soup Fascist
April 07 2014, 11:59AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

The Oilers look better without Ference because when he is dressed he is playing too many minutes (out of necessity) and his game suffers. If they can find an actual 1st pairing guy, knock "el Capitan" back by 4 or 5 minutes per game and give him a little softer matchup - voila - he is a serviceable defenseman again. Same with Petry I suspect.

Also, I am trying to find a way to add what should be a marked down Evander Kane, but I am having a problem making it fit. With he and Hall as left wingers, my Grandma could be the 4th line LW for all it mattered. Despite the immense talent and useful chip on his shoulder, there are issues:

1) He is not a center

2) He is not a good guy - at all - period.

3) Not sure we have the dressing room to straighten him out

4) With Kane and Yak as your 2nd line you need a very good skilled center with a defensive conscience. Gagner makes it the donut line - no center. The Oilers have no one close IMO.

5) Would this years 1st be an overpay for a guy with stupid talent but bad charachter, off the ice?

Avatar
#14 westcoastoil
April 07 2014, 12:04PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

There is very little C help in the UFA market, and unless MacT can pull a significant deal for a legit 2C which is not easy then the team will maybe have to look at a guy who is lower on the offense side, but could handle the d side of 2C which might OK with Yak and Perron.

I wonder if you could pull Craig Smith out of Nash. That would give Smith, Arco, Gordon & Lander for the C depth behind RNH and then they could return whoever they take back to junior (assuming Ekblad is gone). Not ideal, but that may be the way to go and if they can improve the 3rd line wingers that could help carry them until top draft guy 2014 is ready in another year.

Avatar
#15 TigerUnderGlass
April 07 2014, 12:07PM
Trash it!
25
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Subban. That is all.

Avatar
#16 Omar the Olive
April 07 2014, 12:08PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Our lack of reliable goaltending and overwhelmed defensemen(They were not playing their proper minutes) cost us the playoffs early on. The rest of the year was about .500. Im not saying the final result is a pretty one; im just saying that we should look at what we started with and who we end with. On top of that, we should remember that many attempts were made to bolster our defense and forward positions(offseason and during the season) but did not work in our favor. Im proud of this team now. The first half of the season, I could pretty much sum up the game after watching 5 minutes of hockey. It was a "we are done" or "we are going to win" type of thing, with the former being more common. When you see wins against very good teams in the past month, you know things are turning around. Once we address our defense in the offseason, I can predict a playoff push or potential run. Remember, all it took was Pronger to put us in the finals. I believe.

Avatar
#17 TigerUnderGlass
April 07 2014, 12:09PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

@The Soup Fascist

He is not a good guy - at all - period.

Why do people think they know this?

Avatar
#18 A-Mc
April 07 2014, 12:13PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

@The Soup Fascist

Evander Kane. Definitely a name i've been hearing as falling out of favour in winnipeg these days. I am VERY curious what the cost might be to acquire him.

I certainly would not offer the 1st rounder though. It's basically a lock that the 1st rounder will be as good or better than Kane, IMO.

It's good to see some stuff coming together with the team. I hope they can sort some things out this summer. I am not counting on playoffs next year but i would certainly love to be battling with vancouver for a wildcard spot next season (Although i think vancouver is done. It's my opinion that they are going to nose dive in the next couple years).

Avatar
#19 mesa
April 07 2014, 12:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

number 2c and 1D ,got those in the summer and 10 games in the season will have good idea about the team .but my worry is to get those MAC T had to give away a good piece.

Avatar
#20 Jason
April 07 2014, 12:16PM
Trash it!
28
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

I think we will see what Edmonton has when they play meaningful games. Most teams take them lightly plat their 2nd goalie. Since Edmonton has been so bad most playoff type teams don't take them seriously and as a result they bring a B game.

Example Last night where Anaheim would have liked to win that game, they just couldn't get up for it until late in 3rd. Edmonton got to play against a weak goalie last night.

Avatar
#21 A-Mc
April 07 2014, 12:19PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
32
cheers
Jason wrote:

I think we will see what Edmonton has when they play meaningful games. Most teams take them lightly plat their 2nd goalie. Since Edmonton has been so bad most playoff type teams don't take them seriously and as a result they bring a B game.

Example Last night where Anaheim would have liked to win that game, they just couldn't get up for it until late in 3rd. Edmonton got to play against a weak goalie last night.

Uhh, Jonas Hiller was in net last night.. That's thier "Guy" - he isn't the weak option. Also, if you pvr your games, try playing an oilers game from a few months ago and then play the ANA game from last night. The game last night was fast paced and was good hockey. Normally i would agree with your sentiment, but in this instance i dont.

I think the Oilers scored a legitimate win last night and i haven't the heart to take it away from them.

Avatar
#22 Jason
April 07 2014, 12:23PM
Trash it!
24
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I know Hiller is their starter but he is playing poorly. Anaheim probably would have won if Hiller was playing like he was before the Olympic break.

Watch Anaheim play LA or SJ then you see their A game. Face it teams don't try as hard against Edmonton because they are weak.

Avatar
#23 Omar the Olive
April 07 2014, 12:27PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
30
cheers
Jason wrote:

I know Hiller is their starter but he is playing poorly. Anaheim probably would have won if Hiller was playing like he was before the Olympic break.

Watch Anaheim play LA or SJ then you see their A game. Face it teams don't try as hard against Edmonton because they are weak.

Are you kidding me, Jason?!! Anaheim needed the win last night because theyre 1 point removed from possibly playing LA in the first round. Nobody wants LA in the first round.

Avatar
#24 David S
April 07 2014, 12:27PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

You go with your strengths instead of trying to make players into something they're genetically not capable of doing.

Gagner and Yak showed moments of briliance this year. If the 1-2 lines were charged with bringing the scoring pain instead of worrying about D so much (something neither of Yak, Nuge, Eberle, Hall, and Gagner were drafted for) we might really have something. This all depends on putting a priority on making the bottom six legit defensive compliments who can score a bit (instead of hole fillers and face punchers - sorry Wonger) and adding some solid D pieces.

I don't think we're far off. Bumping a couple of guys down the pecking order in D and bottom six might do a world of good. Maturity and health should do the rest.

Avatar
#25 Starving Student
April 07 2014, 12:29PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Lots of talk of an Umberger buyout from cbj. What are odds of gagner+pick for umberger+nikitin. Lots of ties BTW edm and cbj, cbj is in east with need for offense (good fit for gags) and has an abundance of quality d. We pick up third line winger who can chip in depth scoring and can also play some centre (and help with pk) and a top 4 d in nikitin. 1. Does Columbus make the trade? 2. Does 89 agree to go? Thoughts?

Avatar
#26 Jason
April 07 2014, 12:29PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I know they wanted to win but they did not take Oilers seriously enough last night because they are the Oilers.

Avatar
#27 pelhem grenville
April 07 2014, 12:31PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Subban. That is all.

...Sorry T.U.G. the guy's a hotdog, talented a good skater...can't throw a hip check to save his life...seen him bad

Avatar
#28 Bob Cobb
April 07 2014, 12:31PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Hey Willis, what about the idea of making a deal for O'Reilly out of Colorado for your 2nd line center? What do you think it would take? I'd say a pick, a prospect, and a player. Would Yakimov, Gagner, and this years 1st be too much? They aren't giving McKinnon or Duchene up and O'Reilly wasn't prepared to sign, it's just a thought, plus we could stick it to Calgary if the Oilers managed to trade for him.

Avatar
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers
Jason wrote:

I know they wanted to win but they did not take Oilers seriously enough last night because they are the Oilers.

Who is reading and typing for you?

Avatar
#30 Jason
April 07 2014, 12:34PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Why do you think bad teams like Florida wins a game against Dallas or NYI winning games against playoff teams. Here is a hint it not because they are a good team. They win because other playoff teams don't take them seriously enough. Anaheim plays a B game against the Oilers and lose.

Last post on this subject because if you don't understand this premise you will never get it.

Avatar
#31 mlcselli
April 07 2014, 12:39PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Taylor vs. Tyler ?? Now we know.

Avatar
#32 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 07 2014, 12:41PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Jesus, Willis! There's almost no sandpaper in that lineup behind Golden Trio!

Unlike yesterday, we'll get our lunch money beat out of us again and again.

Avatar
#33 ubermiguel
April 07 2014, 12:47PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
Jason wrote:

Why do you think bad teams like Florida wins a game against Dallas or NYI winning games against playoff teams. Here is a hint it not because they are a good team. They win because other playoff teams don't take them seriously enough. Anaheim plays a B game against the Oilers and lose.

Last post on this subject because if you don't understand this premise you will never get it.

Why? Because at this level there's a fine line between winning and losing. Sometimes a bad team plays well enough to be on the right side of that line. The Oilers challenge has been (and continues to be) putting together all the winning elements 60 minutes a game, 82 games a year.

Avatar
#34 jonny94
April 07 2014, 12:50PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
40
cheers
mlcselli wrote:

Taylor vs. Tyler ?? Now we know.

What exactly do we know? Tyler Seguin has been playing lights out just as much as Hall. They both have lived up to the hype if you ask me... So what we do know is regardless of who we drafted they both panned out.

Avatar
#35 ubermiguel
April 07 2014, 12:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers
mlcselli wrote:

Taylor vs. Tyler ?? Now we know.

Still to close to call. This one that will probably be debated long after they retire.

Avatar
#36 oilerman53
April 07 2014, 12:59PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Gagner seems to have been turning things around lately. His defensive game is what will always be his downfall. He simply does not backcheck hard enough and is often seen standing around during goals against. A guy like Umberger intrigues because hes quick and hes a bugger body who will battle for the puck. I think if youre the Oilers you try go for Umberger and Anisimov for Gagner and the first rounder. Two great players for the second and third lines. Fill the defensive holes via free agency.

Avatar
#37 Rick
April 07 2014, 01:03PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
ubermiguel wrote:

Why? Because at this level there's a fine line between winning and losing. Sometimes a bad team plays well enough to be on the right side of that line. The Oilers challenge has been (and continues to be) putting together all the winning elements 60 minutes a game, 82 games a year.

Ha Ha Ha Oilers Challenge. The worst team in the NHL for the last 8 years.

No, their challenge is to put together 4-5 games in a row and playing 60 minutes.

Avatar
#38 Tuningout
April 07 2014, 01:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How much cap space the oilers have is a huge issue I think ?

I hope they draft either Ekblad or Draisaitl. But I hope whoever they draft spends another year in junior. Maybe play 9 games with the Oilers first.

But do the Oilers have enough cap space to sign 3-4 players to get this team close to the playoffs ? I keep hearing Hainsey, Markov, Winnick .... Etc.

This year (next year) I hope there are no more 3-4 year deals. But I hope 1-2 years. I don't care if it's 10 mill for one year. Do it. But again. Cap space ?

When is the official cap space announcement for next year ?

Avatar
#39 The Soup Fascist
April 07 2014, 01:16PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:
He is not a good guy - at all - period.

Why do people think they know this?

A close relative of mine played with him for 3 (edit: sorry, actually only 2 years) years in Vancouver. The PR guys in Vancouver had their hands full.

By all accounts he has not changed in Winnipeg. I love the guys talent. Not sure if a leopard can change his spots, though.

Please share your stories that refute all that has been reported. Honestly, I would love for him to be a stand up guy.

Avatar
#40 Sevenseven
April 07 2014, 01:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

One of the places the Oilers orginization has improved at, IMO, is the development of players. Look at OKC. Really stellar coach down there. Injuries, callups and major roster overhaul and still in the playoffs. Mac T has his scouts hitting the college circuit hard. Really trying to lure the top free agents. I kinda like the theory, throw lots at the wall, see what sticks. Come a long way from 5 years ago when the oil had no ahl team. Buying an the Condors was a good move too. Whatever the results, you cant accuse the Oilers of not trying to fix their development chain problems.

Avatar
#41 Scrivy
April 07 2014, 01:30PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Curious why the beatdown on Yak? According to the numbers I researched, Nail had a better corsi than Jumbo Joe. I'm no numbers guru, but perhaps you would care to back up your assumption with raw data?

The eyeball can fail you.

Avatar
#42 Fuhr4Life
April 07 2014, 01:33PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@admiralmark

Totally agree. 1LD - Trade for Sekera, Volchenkov, or Free Agent Stuart, Hainsey 2C - Trade for either Anisomov, Couterier, Dubinsky or Stastny Also need a Powerforward Winger who can hit, score and pay both ends (Iginla, Stalberg, Simmonds, C.Stewart) And another top 4 RD ( cause we'll have traded Petry). My ideal line up would be:

Hall-Nuge-Ebs Perron-Anisomov-Yakcity Stalberg-Gordon-Iginla/Simmonds Smitty-Lander-Gadzic/Joensuu

Sekera/Volchenkov-Shultz Ference-Boychuck? Marincin/Klefbom-Ekblad/Belov

So obviously very active in trading and would be willing to move Gags, Petry, Fedun, Khaira, Roy, 2014&2015 1st Rounder, Gernat, Arcobello, Horak and Marincin

Avatar
#43 The Soup Fascist
April 07 2014, 01:35PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Subban. That is all.

I like Subban as well. It is the "That is all" part that is the issue.

What do you think MacT needs to give up to obtain the aforementioned, PK ?

Avatar
#44 Will
April 07 2014, 01:37PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

A few other good things to note are that Eberle could again crack the 70 point plateau. Hopefully that would silence all the people saying he would never get to that level again due to an unsustainable shooting percentage.

Mac T seems committed to making this team better. At times you had to wonder with Tambi, but Mac T really wants this team to win.

Yak's numbers this year were actually kind of impressive. There is a great article that breaks down the positives and negatives of Yak's play. All said, he looks more like a legit player than a bust.

Our defensive prospect pool just seems to get deeper. This team is going to have an endless line of good D prospects for a lot of years.

Avatar
#45 Lochenzo
April 07 2014, 01:39PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Whenever I think of moving Sam Gagner, I keep coming up with Nashville. Nashville has bled skill for years. Radulov, the Kostitsyns, Erat. I think Sam Gagner would be perfect for them.

You're not getting one of their top 3 D though, so forget about it. Colin Wilson may be of interest, but before you Gagner-haters hit the Good Riddance button, Colin Wilson has 10 goals this year, the same number that Sam Gagner has in a very bad year. Wilson does bring some intangibles that we want though. Similar age, similar draft position if that means anything.

Avatar
#46 Oiler Al
April 07 2014, 01:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

If one made a deletion list for this roster, the number of players would out number the possibilty of replacing these, due things like cap sapce, limited UFA's with quality , NTC's, not wanting to play for a non contender etc.

But my DELETE list would look like this:

Jones, Joensus, Fraser, Lander,Belov, Pitlick, Gagner, Smyth .

Pitlick, and Lander probably need another year in the AHL, but I doubt at the end that will help.

Question mark on Belov.. probably needs another year to see if he has the goods.

Gadzic terrible hockey player, but if you must have a face puncher he's the guy.

Guys like Arco, and Larsen [fwd], could be good utility guys, better than guys like Jones, Joensus, or Lander.[Time for Symth to hang em up, with all respect in the world ]

Avatar
#47 Jack
April 07 2014, 01:57PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I have poor social skills.

Avatar
#48 The Last Big Bear
April 07 2014, 02:10PM
Trash it!
17
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

1) Either you have been watching a different Taylor Hall, or watching the Oilers has given you *painfully* low standards of what an appropriate level of defensive commitment looks like for an elite first line player.

2) Ryan Kessler, Antoine Vermette, Joe Pavelski, Sean Monahan (who BTW has more goals than The Nuge), Andrew Cogliano, and Mike Richards.

Those are the Pacific Division's 2nd line centres. Every one of them has 20 goals already this season, except Mike Richards (and he's an Olympic gold medalist, Stanley Cup champion, recent 30 goal scorer, etc, so I'll cut him some slack).

Oh yeah, and Mark Arcobello.

Sing along now, "One-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others"!

Im sure his 4 career NHL goals will stand to his credit when he goes head-to-head against other NHL second line centres like David Krejci, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Sharp, Vincent Lecavalier, Nathan MacKinnon, and seriously, you guys see 2Cs on other NHL teams all the time. On what planet is Mark Arcobello a serious option in that role?

3) The best long-term solution is to draft another 18 year old forward and throw him straight into a crucial top-6 role in the NHL? I think I blew some kind of sarcasm fuse trying to respond to this. I just... I just don't have enough sarcasm.

All I'll say, is don't ever change, Edmonton... Don't ever change.

Avatar
#49 Randaman
April 07 2014, 02:26PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
admiralmark wrote:

I think MacT will have to trade some of the future for the now. Gagner for a quality 3rd line winger(e.g..Winnick) is a good step. Gagner is beyond horrible. What is it 5 years in the league and you don't know to pick up the trailing player? Brutal. Maybe a stop gap measure will be needed until a better option becomes available? Grabovski might of fit the bill as he could of mentored Yak as well? Bennet/Draistl look like great prospects but need another year in Junior likely? Its hard to say what might come available but 2C absolutely needs an upgrade and an experienced player that can help Yak along would be advisable. And yes I know about the D. I put the priority at 1) 1st pairing D. 2) 2nd line Center.

It is sadly obvious judging from the amount of trashes to your comment that most people on here have no clue and want to be basement dwellers for the forseeable future.

PEOPLE: Gagner is not going to lead us to the promiseland. He should not even be a secondary piece if you sincerely care about making the play-offs. Has this year or the last four actually not given you enough evidence to support thet FACT? Sheesh and we wonder why management just laughs off comments on here.

Avatar
#50 geoilersgist
April 07 2014, 02:31PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
The Last Big Bear wrote:

1) Either you have been watching a different Taylor Hall, or watching the Oilers has given you *painfully* low standards of what an appropriate level of defensive commitment looks like for an elite first line player.

2) Ryan Kessler, Antoine Vermette, Joe Pavelski, Sean Monahan (who BTW has more goals than The Nuge), Andrew Cogliano, and Mike Richards.

Those are the Pacific Division's 2nd line centres. Every one of them has 20 goals already this season, except Mike Richards (and he's an Olympic gold medalist, Stanley Cup champion, recent 30 goal scorer, etc, so I'll cut him some slack).

Oh yeah, and Mark Arcobello.

Sing along now, "One-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others"!

Im sure his 4 career NHL goals will stand to his credit when he goes head-to-head against other NHL second line centres like David Krejci, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Sharp, Vincent Lecavalier, Nathan MacKinnon, and seriously, you guys see 2Cs on other NHL teams all the time. On what planet is Mark Arcobello a serious option in that role?

3) The best long-term solution is to draft another 18 year old forward and throw him straight into a crucial top-6 role in the NHL? I think I blew some kind of sarcasm fuse trying to respond to this. I just... I just don't have enough sarcasm.

All I'll say, is don't ever change, Edmonton... Don't ever change.

You say don't throw a rookie into the 2C spot but you list Monahan... I am also guessing you didn't read/hear that interview with Cogliano either. The guys ISN'T playing C he is playing the wing. In the interview he talked about how he has regained his confidence playing wing. Your third point makes me laugh because you totally are contradicting yourself. I get you are angry at the Oilers and management but at least make sense.

Comments are closed for this article.