LANDER SIGNS ONE YEAR DEAL

Jason Gregor
May 12 2014 12:58PM

lander

The Oilers signed Anton Lander to a one year, one-way deal worth $600,000. It makes sense for both sides, but it doesn't guarantee Lander a roster spot.

Lander was drafted in 2009. He made his NHL debut in 2011, even though he wasn't ready for NHL minutes. Lander's development curve is not one the Oilers will use for any powerpoint presentation on how to develop young players.

"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 wrote that summary of Lander's first few years earlier this year, and while the past hasn't been great, his present and future could still be bright.

Lander will come to training camp in September and compete for a job. The 4th line C spot is vacant with the retirement of Ryan Smyth, so Lander, along with Mark Arcobello (who has the exact same contract as Lander) and others will compete for a centre position. If Lander can improve his foot speed this summer he will have a good shot to make the team.

He will need to earn his icetime and if he can provide some offence he could swap spots with Boyd Gordon. Gordon is an elite 4th line centre, who can play 3rd line minutes, but he doesn't provide much offence. If Lander is going to earn more minutes he has to find a way to translate his offence from the AHL last year into the NHL.

It won't be easy, but Lander is still young, 23, and he is a hard worker.

When I spoke to Lander earlier today (he will join me on TSN 1260 today at 5 p.m. MDT), he said his main focus his getting stronger and faster. He knows his limitations, so we'll see how much he can improve on them before September 15th.

Lander needs to make a positive impression on the Oilers, at the NHL level, to earn another contract. They like his leadership skills, his defensive awareness and his drive, but he needs to produce in the NHL if he wants to stay here next season.

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 John Chambers
May 12 2014, 01:30PM
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Yes. All day.

If you can build your roster with guys like Lander and Arcobello, you can afford to get guys like Phaneuf or overpay for Markov.

3 or 4 quality role players earning less than $1M a year are what competitive teams are made of.

Well done, MacT.

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#2 vetinari
May 12 2014, 01:03PM
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Good value contract... hopefully he can step up and grab a roster spot in the fall... otherwise, low risk dollars and term for the Oil...

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#3 Sorensenator
May 12 2014, 03:06PM
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At least our fourth line centre position has no glaring holes.

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#5 Will
May 12 2014, 01:29PM
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Al Low wrote:

I don't know if this guy really fits what we need in the bottom 6. I like both Gordon and Hendricks but neither are point producers and quite honestly would be 4th line guys on most other teams. Lander hasn't exactly shown he can produce. We need a bit more scoring touch in the bottom 6. As I've said before, I think Lander is MA Poulliot 2.0, in many respects. He's a highly regarded player within the organization for no particular reason other than the braintrust blindly putting their bets on him.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, given the type of minutes GOrdon played, he compares incredibly well to other teams' third line centres. Saying he is not good enough for that role is ludicrous.

Gordon: 21 points Suter: 26 points Horcoff: 20 points Stoll: 27 points Chipchura: 20 points

Good playoff teams have 3rd line centres that net mid 30's to mid 40's in points. But there of course many other teams with worse point productions. And again, given that he played the second toughest minutes in the league, I would say he could be right there.

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#6 bazmagoo
May 12 2014, 02:13PM
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@John Chambers

The more I see Markov in the playoffs, the more I think he'd be a great fit for the Oilers. If Montreal isn't willing to offer him the term he's looking for hopefully MacT is all over it. He would be a great place holder to give our young defencemen the chance to develop properly.

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#7 bazmagoo
May 12 2014, 02:11PM
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Another sound management decision by MacT, so glad Lowe is now sitting upstairs picking his nose or whatever he does with his time. Exactly what I was hoping for, fully expect Lander/Arcobello to battle it out for a spot on the big team, with the loser leading the way in OKC. Go MacT!

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#8 james_dean
May 13 2014, 12:14AM
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RIP Kristains Pelss

Sweetheart move having his jersey out there

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#9 Danger Pay
May 12 2014, 04:03PM
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Off topic but what in Fox Creek has Nuge done to deserve $6 Mil next season?!!!!!!!!!!!!?

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#10 Naky
May 12 2014, 04:21PM
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Wow. That Smid trade is making MacT look Garth Snow level incompetent now. Horak bolts to the KHL, trades Roy for Brossoit. LB is a gem at the ECHL level and a dog at the AHL level so far, whereas at least Roy could hold his own at the AHL level. Jury's still way too far out on LB but Smid + Roy for LB is a joke of a trade and one hell of a good example of bad asset management. I wonder which class he took with that MBA that made him think that was a good deal - I'd like to know so I can tell others to avoid it.

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#11 Harlie
May 12 2014, 10:35PM
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YEAH OIL KINGS!!

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#12 A-Mc
May 12 2014, 02:21PM
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He's the last swede of the original 3 (Lander, Omark and Paajarvi). I hope he can make the jump and solidify a spot; the other 2 haven't been able to accomplish much.

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#13 HardBoiledOil
May 12 2014, 11:03PM
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eases the pain of watching the Oilers and Eskies suck year after year....congrats to the 2-time WHL champs....The Edmonton Oil Kings!!

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#14 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 12 2014, 03:58PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

How is giving an NHL contract to an AHL player a "value contract" ?

He has shown repeatedly that he can't play at this level. At best he becomes Shaun Van Allen, which means he is two years away. At best.

The Edmonton Oilers are a poor hockey operation.

Shaun Van Allen played c. 800 NHL games.

That's a pretty high ceiling!

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#16 RossCreekNation
May 12 2014, 01:34PM
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v4ance wrote:

In related news, I saw a report that said that Horak had signed in the KHL from a Russian site. Waiting for a second source to confirm it.

#CONFIRMED

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#17 Lochenzo
May 12 2014, 01:35PM
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I think both his speed and agility could use some work. Hope he's found the right summer regiment.

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#18 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 12 2014, 04:48PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Yea but it's not cheap for an AHL contract if the new team sends him down after the one month time limit before they're allowed to.

Seems to me that if the player was serious about playing in the NHL, they would accept the two-way even if they had a guaranteed better contract in Europe. The NHL team has leverage there.

That's an expensive OKC payroll if they both get sent down.

You don't abandon prospects at 22 when they are just starting to show some results in order to save your owner a few bucks.

Sure, it's a lot of $$ for an AHL player (if he ends up there this year). but so what?

It's inconsequential.

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#19 Geoff
May 12 2014, 10:10PM
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The artist formerly known as Harry wrote:

Can someone explain to me why Lander wasnt signed to a two way contract?

Landers agent probably said "We want a one way deal" and Oilers management said "Ok".

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#20 madjam
May 12 2014, 10:39PM
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Congrats to Oil Kings - on to the Memorial Cup .

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#21 Sorensenator
May 13 2014, 12:19AM
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Naky wrote:

Wow. That Smid trade is making MacT look Garth Snow level incompetent now. Horak bolts to the KHL, trades Roy for Brossoit. LB is a gem at the ECHL level and a dog at the AHL level so far, whereas at least Roy could hold his own at the AHL level. Jury's still way too far out on LB but Smid + Roy for LB is a joke of a trade and one hell of a good example of bad asset management. I wonder which class he took with that MBA that made him think that was a good deal - I'd like to know so I can tell others to avoid it.

Yeah because every GM in the league has a stellar trade record, especially ones that have only been GM for one year.

You are also forgetting about the salary dump that allowed for Bryzgalov to be signed because the goaltending was THAT BAD.

You won't be able to tell "others to avoid it" because NHL hockey teams don't care about armchair GM's opinions.

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#22 OilClog
May 12 2014, 01:08PM
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Can't wait to see him playing along side Nuge and Ebs again!!! Woooooo

Maybe he'll get 3 points in 30 games playing beside them lol

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#23 Al Low
May 12 2014, 01:16PM
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I don't know if this guy really fits what we need in the bottom 6. I like both Gordon and Hendricks but neither are point producers and quite honestly would be 4th line guys on most other teams. Lander hasn't exactly shown he can produce. We need a bit more scoring touch in the bottom 6. As I've said before, I think Lander is MA Poulliot 2.0, in many respects. He's a highly regarded player within the organization for no particular reason other than the braintrust blindly putting their bets on him.

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#24 Spydyr
May 12 2014, 01:50PM
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Meh.....one more year to show he cannot produce offensively at the NHL level.

He is a place holder for a better player coming up or a good call up from the AHL.

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#25 WhattaMike
May 12 2014, 02:12PM
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IMO, a one year contract at $600K is doable...the kid earned this from the year he had on the farm team for now... but for this guy to stay up soon with the Oil for good, he needs to produce and have a good tag team partner or two to work with on his line.

With the Oil...Playing him here there andanywhere (at various limited minutes per game) does not give the kid confidence to be effective enough, nor offence oriented enough either.

If he is granted the 4th line center status (based on that he earns it) then he needs two competent wingers to play with... cause Gazdic type guys aint gonna help him out at all.

I understand the Oil needs a tough guy such as Gazdic to police the other teams but better talent combinations always helps produce more.

Playing Lander with Pitlick, Hendricks, Joensuu regularly may be the better way to get this kid going just like he did with the Barons this past year.

Was going to say get Horak in there with him...but I just heard that Horak signed with a team in the KHL. Thats another role player type loss the Oil does not need right now.

Not expecting big points production but if he is with the right type of flanker wingers then he should be able to put up 30 to 40 points at the least, be a plus 4 to 10 type player and then his PK help could be even more effective as well.

All in all, I will be pulling for this kid til possibly that someone better is apparent.

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#26 admiralmark
May 12 2014, 02:43PM
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Tough to produce offence when your wingers are Gadzic, Joensuu, and Acton. MacT needs to bring in some more talent so Lander is put in a position to succeed.

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#27 vetinari
May 12 2014, 04:01PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

How is giving an NHL contract to an AHL player a "value contract" ?

He has shown repeatedly that he can't play at this level. At best he becomes Shaun Van Allen, which means he is two years away. At best.

The Edmonton Oilers are a poor hockey operation.

$600,000 is nothing against the cap and all teams need depth. If he's demoted, it counts nothing against the cap.

He's proven that he can handle playing against pro's in the AHL and needs to figure out how to translate that success in the NHL. If he can, then it is great value to the team.

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#28 Ed in Edmonton
May 12 2014, 04:43PM
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Naky wrote:

Wow. That Smid trade is making MacT look Garth Snow level incompetent now. Horak bolts to the KHL, trades Roy for Brossoit. LB is a gem at the ECHL level and a dog at the AHL level so far, whereas at least Roy could hold his own at the AHL level. Jury's still way too far out on LB but Smid + Roy for LB is a joke of a trade and one hell of a good example of bad asset management. I wonder which class he took with that MBA that made him think that was a good deal - I'd like to know so I can tell others to avoid it.

I agree that the Smid trade makes no sense, and am still suspicious MacT had a temper tantrum about Smid's "thing could get worse' comment.

However no-one actually thought Horak was anything more than an AHL depth player did they?

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#29 v4ance
May 12 2014, 01:10PM
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In related news, I saw a report that said that Horak had signed in the KHL from a Russian site. Waiting for a second source to confirm it.

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#30 The artist formerly known as Harry
May 12 2014, 09:55PM
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Frank Rizza wrote:

I'm not sure if I would want to get in a term war with them but I would offer him a 2year $18M contract. He's gonna get 4 years at $6M per at least so maybe he'd take $9M per for 2 years. I might do the same 2 year, stupid money deal for David Legwand. There's no way any sane elite or semi elite player is signing here this summer unless they get overpaid. I would do it short term until our d can get some experience and our forwards learn how to win.

Hahahaaa!!! Your gonna make Markov the second highest paid player in the league! Holy hell. NEXT

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#31 Wonger
May 12 2014, 01:51PM
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Duhvid S said he was 6' 185lbs. Try 5'9" 165lbs tops! If he's 6 FT then I am BIG JOHN SCOTT!!! Another midget, JUST WHAT WE NEED!!!!!

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#32 Fresh Mess
May 12 2014, 03:36PM
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vetinari wrote:

Good value contract... hopefully he can step up and grab a roster spot in the fall... otherwise, low risk dollars and term for the Oil...

How is giving an NHL contract to an AHL player a "value contract" ?

He has shown repeatedly that he can't play at this level. At best he becomes Shaun Van Allen, which means he is two years away. At best.

The Edmonton Oilers are a poor hockey operation.

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#33 jonny94
May 13 2014, 12:01AM
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So proud of the Edmonton Oil kings! Makes me believe the city is indeed NOT cursed and hopefully these guys are the start of greatness to come over the city of champions! Pelss is looking over this team and lets go Edmonton Rush!!

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#34 Wintoon
May 13 2014, 08:15AM
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Looking back at comments made by MacT last summer, he stated that he had to improve the bottom six because the team needs to be able to ice players with the potential to do more than just break even.

In order to accomplish this, Gordon must be your #4C not your #3C. He would be an excellent #4C on a good team. MacT must find (trade, UFA, develop) a quality #3C that is responsible defensively and can score a bit. If he does that, it will take some pressure off the top six and allow them some leeway.

For this reason the 2014 draft is critical. It must yield the Oilers a prospect to fill the #1C or #2C slot. Whoever they draft must complement RNH and be offensively gifted. If this happens, the Oilers have a chance to be very competitive within the next two seasons. Personally, I can't wait to see what happens.

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#35 Fresh Mess
May 12 2014, 04:57PM
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Naky wrote:

Wow. That Smid trade is making MacT look Garth Snow level incompetent now. Horak bolts to the KHL, trades Roy for Brossoit. LB is a gem at the ECHL level and a dog at the AHL level so far, whereas at least Roy could hold his own at the AHL level. Jury's still way too far out on LB but Smid + Roy for LB is a joke of a trade and one hell of a good example of bad asset management. I wonder which class he took with that MBA that made him think that was a good deal - I'd like to know so I can tell others to avoid it.

I agree. Unbelievable.

It just cements the legendary incompetence of this team's management under this owner.

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#36 LOIL99
May 13 2014, 11:23AM
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Frank Rizza wrote:

I'm not sure if I would want to get in a term war with them but I would offer him a 2year $18M contract. He's gonna get 4 years at $6M per at least so maybe he'd take $9M per for 2 years. I might do the same 2 year, stupid money deal for David Legwand. There's no way any sane elite or semi elite player is signing here this summer unless they get overpaid. I would do it short term until our d can get some experience and our forwards learn how to win.

This HAS to be a tongue in cheek comment. $9M per for DAVID FREAKING LEGWAND let alone Markov. LOL.

Yeah lets make one of these 2 guys (or both it sounds like you are suggesting) one of the highest paid players in the history of the NHL. LOL.

CLASSIC!!

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#37 ThatGuy
May 12 2014, 02:16PM
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Not a bad signing. I like Lander and what he's done this past season. I also like the fact he's sticking it out with the organization here a bit longer. He's been mishandled at times and still has the drive to become a player in North America. Unfortunately for him I think he needs a lot of homework. Continued progress working on his center ice playing position and the skills he needs to better are obvious. Also extra work after practice on the wings so long as it doesn't take away from his main practice duties would benefit him greatly and Perhaps help him become a definite nhl roster player.

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#38 Tikkanese
May 12 2014, 03:53PM
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@JG What is the logic of giving one-way contracts to guys who are question marks to make the NHL? Is it just a little extra insurance that they don't get picked up on waivers if sent down?

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#39 clrsnldvc81
May 12 2014, 05:30PM
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@Ed in Edmonton

Did anyone think that maybe there was some "friction" between Smid and others and that's why they got rid of him? i (like many) was SHOCKED when i saw we had traded him away and to Calgary for that matter.

Something tells me he might've been well liked by some teammates, but maybe the coaching staff/management didn't like his attitude?

Again i have no hard facts on why this trade happened... just wondering if Gregor or any Media personnel knows what is (or was) up???

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#40 Strange Tamer
May 12 2014, 08:20PM
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Frank Rizza wrote:

I'm not sure if I would want to get in a term war with them but I would offer him a 2year $18M contract. He's gonna get 4 years at $6M per at least so maybe he'd take $9M per for 2 years. I might do the same 2 year, stupid money deal for David Legwand. There's no way any sane elite or semi elite player is signing here this summer unless they get overpaid. I would do it short term until our d can get some experience and our forwards learn how to win.

That would be some "bold" outside the box thinking. Short term gain, no long term risk, no asset loss. Definitely one way to improve the team both short and long term. Cap space might be our best asset to use to improve team as the guys on the trading block are coming off brutal seasons and aren't worth the kind of useful assets we need.

This really could be an avenue worth pursuing now that Omark is gone so the Weber deal is off.

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#41 kale
May 12 2014, 09:21PM
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and 20 seconds later its 3-1

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#42 Zarny
May 13 2014, 10:47AM
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Frank Rizza wrote:

Do you have a better way to get a #1 Dman until our guys can develop? If you do I would love to hear it. Just for the record, IMO, Phanuef, is nowhere close to a #1 Dman and neither is Braydon Coburn.

The whole point of the deal is that he may not be able to say no and its for only 2 years.

A 1D by definition is one of the top 30 D in the league.

Phaneuf makes that list before Markov. And Coburn has better corsi stats than both. Offering Markov $18M over 2 years would be stupid beyond belief.

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#43 Fresh Mess
May 12 2014, 04:47PM
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admiralmark wrote:

Tough to produce offence when your wingers are Gadzic, Joensuu, and Acton. MacT needs to bring in some more talent so Lander is put in a position to succeed.

So how do you explain his complete lack of production when given games on the second line?

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#44 kale
May 12 2014, 09:34PM
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continuing with the play by play 4-1 oil kings , all goals in the second

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#45 John Chambers
May 13 2014, 07:41AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Horcoff was mainly a 4th line C and winger this year.

Gordon can be a 3rd line C on a bad team, but not sure I see him on a good team. He doesn't come close to offensive production of Stoll or Horcoff historically, and today Stoll also plays about 1:30/game on the PP. Gordon not close to him offensively.

Gordon can play hard minutes, and be in your top PK unit, but if he is on your 3rd line you can't play him with offensive players. He is not a point producer. Never has been. If he and Hendricks are your 3rd line then you are putting too much pressure on top-six to produce. Need a 3rd line with some offence IMO.

You can mitigate a low-scoring 3rd line with Defensemen who score.

I think if the Oilers have button-down 3rd and 4th lines, and add some Dmen who can deliver on the powerplay and on the rush, they can survive.

It would also help immensely if Yakupov can take a step forward offensively giving the 2nd line a big push.

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#46 Frank Rizza
May 13 2014, 09:28AM
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The artist formerly known as Harry wrote:

Hahahaaa!!! Your gonna make Markov the second highest paid player in the league! Holy hell. NEXT

Do you have a better way to get a #1 Dman until our guys can develop? If you do I would love to hear it. Just for the record, IMO, Phanuef, is nowhere close to a #1 Dman and neither is Braydon Coburn.

The whole point of the deal is that he may not be able to say no and its for only 2 years.

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#47 Sorensenator
May 13 2014, 11:00AM
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Zarny wrote:

A 1D by definition is one of the top 30 D in the league.

Phaneuf makes that list before Markov. And Coburn has better corsi stats than both. Offering Markov $18M over 2 years would be stupid beyond belief.

Not every team has a #1 D man because there are not 30 of them in the League, 20 is pushing it.

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#48 Jordan1126
May 13 2014, 01:19PM
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Katz business model...

The edmonton Oilers = Edmonton's main attraction. (people pay no matter what)

The Edmonton Oilers = one of the worst franchises in North America

One of the worst franchises in north america = headache after headache, possibly even depression or other illnesses.

Illnesses = Prescriptions

Prescreptions = Rexall Drugs

Rexall Drugs = Katz being rich, by both peoples devotion to the team, and by needed prescriptions related to being a fan.

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#49 ubermiguel
May 12 2014, 03:56PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

How is giving an NHL contract to an AHL player a "value contract" ?

He has shown repeatedly that he can't play at this level. At best he becomes Shaun Van Allen, which means he is two years away. At best.

The Edmonton Oilers are a poor hockey operation.

I hope he turns into an NHL player this year, I really do...otherwise management has to cut him loose or give him a one-way AHL contract next year. 8 points in 94 NHL games is not an NHL player. Jason Smith put up points at twice the rate of this guy.

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#50 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 12 2014, 03:56PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

@JG What is the logic of giving one-way contracts to guys who are question marks to make the NHL? Is it just a little extra insurance that they don't get picked up on waivers if sent down?

I think the logic is that that is all you are going to get from the player and his agent.

If you want the player you have to pay the price.

The contract is so cheap that if another team is seriously interested, it won't be an issue if he hits waivers.

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