Columbus Blue Jackets’ centre situation is worth watching

Jonathan Willis
August 11 2014 05:19PM

Anisimov8.11

Look long enough at the various players who might potentially available to the Edmonton Oilers at centre, and eventually the name Artem Anisimov comes up. He fits the direction of the organization – he’s big, he’s young, his underlying numbers are pretty good. He plays for a team in Columbus that has a surplus of talent up the middle.

Most importantly, though: He’s one of the few cases where there is also logical reason to think that there might be a change in his status as we get closer to training camp.

Naturally, this is all hypothetical stuff. It’s possible the Jackets are perfectly content with Boone Jenner on the wing or plan to play Brandon Dubinsky there, possible the Oilers have other targets in mind, possible, too, that the team has resigned itself to betting on Leon Draisaitl and Mark Arcobello and just hoping for the best.

Insurance

The big question for Columbus is what happens with the Ryan Johansen negotiations. The most recent news came via The Columbus Dispatch’s excellent Aaron Portzline, who wrote the following on August 3:

Two weeks ago, it was reported in this space that… [Ryan Johansen’s camp]… was willing to accept a "bridge" contract. That left one hurdle between the player and the club: money. The two sides were believed to be at least $3 million apart per season on a two-year deal at that point, and it doesn't appear that much progress has been made. Asked this weekend if they were still far apart, one of the interested parties responded via text: "Hectares."

Johansen’s situation is going to be worth following, because from here it looks like one with real holdout potential.

Johansen has draft pedigree (2010 fourth overall pick), and the frame (6’3”, 223 pounds) and scoring (33 goals, 63 points in 2013-14) of a potentially elite centre. He just turned 22 in July, and his camp has a lot of reasons for thinking he deserves a big payday.

On the other hand, his strong 2013-14 season was preceded by two thoroughly mediocre ones and he’s just come off his entry-level deal. The Blue Jackets have many reasons to think that a modest bridge contract is deserved here.

Having Anisimov on hand gives Columbus leverage. With Anismiov, Dubinsky and Jenner (and the oft-overlooked Mark Letestu) they could theoretically enter next season with Johansen still on the sidelines and be in decent shape. Certainly, the club wouldn’t want to make a move (if ever) until it was confident that Johansen was going to be good-to-go at the start of next season.

Edmonton

Craig MAcTavish5

In his July 1 press conference, G.M. Craig MacTavish suggested that it might take until September or October for Edmonton to figure out their centre depth chart. There aren’t a lot of good reasons to wait that late, if it’s at all possible to do something beforehand. Anisimov is one of the few players who might possibly shake loose at that point in time but who probably isn’t available in trade at the moment.

He’d certainly be an awfully good fit for the Oilers if he became available. He’s 6’4” and 200 pounds, and at age 26 he’s still in the heart of his career. He plays in all situations (including the penalty kill), produces offence and is paid pretty modestly for two more seasons. Too, Edmonton executive Scott Howson traded for him once before.

Better still, if the Oilers were to move a significant roster player from the wing in trade, they’d likely be able to secure something resembling a replacement via free agency. It’s mid-August and we’re still waiting for players like Dustin Penner and Devin Setoguchi to find homes.

But then, that’s all hypothetical. Columbus could move Dubinsky to the wing or leave Jenner there. The contract dispute with Johansen might drag out into the season. The Oilers might opt to just roll the dice on with what they have.

It’s just an interesting situation to keep an eye on.

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.
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#51 Serious Gord
August 12 2014, 08:11AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Yeah, they could trade him for a defensively responsible two-way physical forward, the kind of gritty player who could lead the roster in hits AND goals.

You know, the kind of player Edmonton has desperately needed for years.

Yes - if he was a centre...

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#52 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 08:26AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Yes - if he was a centre...

Yeah, or you could trade Taylor Hall for Matt Stajan.

Cuz, you know, Stajan is a center.

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#53 madjam
August 12 2014, 09:00AM
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The patience of fans will be pretty low if we continue to occupy the cellar again this season . New additions do little to inspire competitiveness as yet ( seemingly generic in nature), and may continue to do so with a bad start once again . Draisaitl and Nurse could help interest level . Only two contracts yet to be signed - Draisaitl and Schultz . Has Schultz become a stumbling block ?

Not awe inspiring signings in Nikitin or Fayne . Nikitin was replaced in playoffs by N. Shultz . Purcell was a reject from his former club . Pouliot maybe only an overpaid third liner . Running Gordon as second line center as Oiler site now has him , with Arco and Landers filling bottom two lines does not thrill me or inspire optimism . Afterall this is an entertainment business and I doubt we are getting our moneys worth .

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#54 Silo
August 12 2014, 09:17AM
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Haven't we been rebuilding for 8 years? Can someone remind me why we only have 1 center again?

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#55 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 12 2014, 09:33AM
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Nuge and Hall are looking pretty jacked, judging by their ALS ice bucket challenge pics. Hope Gregor can get an interview and ask them what weight they're at right now.

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#57 Basshole39
August 12 2014, 10:12AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Johanssen is a prime example of a prospect being brought up the right way. Seems like the Oilers have every intention of throwing Draisaitl to the wolves, as they've done unsuccessfully with others. That's a risky move on the organizations part, would hope that they would eventually learn from their mistakes.

Why burn an entry level year when all it can potentially hurt a prospect's confidence? Only in Oilerville.

Ryan Johansen was not ready for the NHL in his first year as his numbers would indicate. 69 points in 71 WHL games.

Leon Draisatl 105 points in 64 WHL games! that is a pretty big difference.

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#58 freelancer
August 12 2014, 10:18AM
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@Basshole39

I agree. At the end of the day all I cate about is if Drasaitl can make the jump. If after 9 games it looks like he can play then let him play. If however he looks lost and they keep him up, that's when I will have a problem.

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#59 916oiler
August 12 2014, 10:33AM
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If we land Anisimov, per se, would he slot in as the #3 center for us?

Would that leave Arcobello or Draisatl as the #2?

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#60 2004Z06
August 12 2014, 10:37AM
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Eberle for Johansen....Give him Eberle money and let's get moving!

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#61 Serious Gord
August 12 2014, 10:42AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Yeah, or you could trade Taylor Hall for Matt Stajan.

Cuz, you know, Stajan is a center.

how about hall for toews. Make a sensible argument some time.

Perron for a center of equal value makes sense.

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#62 Towersofdub
August 12 2014, 10:45AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Johanssen is a prime example of a prospect being brought up the right way. Seems like the Oilers have every intention of throwing Draisaitl to the wolves, as they've done unsuccessfully with others. That's a risky move on the organizations part, would hope that they would eventually learn from their mistakes.

Why burn an entry level year when all it can potentially hurt a prospect's confidence? Only in Oilerville.

are you referring to guys like Hall & Nugent Hopkins, or some of the defencemen playing above their position for the Oilers? Do you think guys like Hall & Nuge would be more effective NHL players now if the oilers had sent them back to junior?

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#63 916oiler
August 12 2014, 10:52AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Eberle for Johansen....Give him Eberle money and let's get moving!

That would be one of the few trades I would make for Ebs.

However, long term we have Draisaitl ready to rock for our 2C solution.

That being said, if we want to win sooner I'd pull the Ebs for Johansen trade off PLUS turn around and trade Draisaitl for an older established 1RW to replace Ebs. Everyone knows Draisaitl's potential and his trade value would be high enough to get an established winger who is in a similar contract disagreement with his team. That way we have no rookies in our top 6, and the only question mark is Yak.

Then reality sets in and none of this happens. Fun thoughts during the boring part of the hockey season though ;)

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#64 Young Oil
August 12 2014, 10:54AM
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916oiler wrote:

If we land Anisimov, per se, would he slot in as the #3 center for us?

Would that leave Arcobello or Draisatl as the #2?

My best guess is, depending on who we needed to trade to get Anisimov, Anisimov would be the #2C until Draisaitl is ready to step up and fill that role. As for the #3C, there are multiple options.

Assuming Perron is the one we trade for Anisimov:

1. Draisaitl can move to LW to better ease himself into NHL duties until he is ready to become a center.

2. A LW such as Penner can be signed to fill the gap left by Perron, Draisaitl can be #3C, and Arco can be #4RW on the shut down line.

3. We can add a pick and a prospect to Perron in the deal and try to bring back someone like Matt Calvert to play #3LW, then repeat #2.

4. A similar situation to 2/3, but Arco plays #3C, Pitlick plays #4RW, and Draisaitl goes back to junior.

To me, #2 or #3 would be the most appealing options. #3 would be the most ideal, as it keeps the number of contracts we have constant, and Calvert's age fits with the rest of our core, and Arco has the defensive chops to succeed on a shutdown line with Gordon and Hendricks. Pouliot would move up to #2LW to better justify his contract, and Draisaitl can be on a soft minutes third line with Calvert and Yakupov.

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#65 Mike Krushelnyski
August 12 2014, 11:36AM
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Perron for Anisimov makes sense if you're trying to make the playoffs this year. If you accept the the Oilers are at least another year away, it makes sense to keep Perron, give Draisaitl, Lander and Arcobello a long look and potentially hope for better UFA and trade options at centre next summer.

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#66 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 11:37AM
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Towersofdub wrote:

are you referring to guys like Hall & Nugent Hopkins, or some of the defencemen playing above their position for the Oilers? Do you think guys like Hall & Nuge would be more effective NHL players now if the oilers had sent them back to junior?

He's probably talking about guys like Gagner, Cogliano, MPS, etc.

You know, Oilers first round draft picks who were unsuccessfully thrown to the wolves.

Players who were put immediately into key roster spots, and performed well enough, but whose development was completely stunted and they never again even managed to match their rookie production.

You guys know that's not normal right?

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#67 Reading
August 12 2014, 12:07PM
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Keep seeing the Draisaitl argument about rushing a prospect. This is maybe an argument for defence prospects and middling to late first rounders. But top 5 picks should be competing for a spot in today's NHL. Look at Belov, or Monnahan or Coutouier top 7 picks all excelling in their first couple years. Plain and simply if Drais is not ready he won't make the team but if he is it will not hurt his development. The game has changed and so have these kids.

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#68 Randaman
August 12 2014, 12:09PM
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It looks to me like McDavid will be our next #2C. Nobody wants to trade value for value in Oiler land. You people are delusional if you think Arc is the answer. Even short term

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#69 Randaman
August 12 2014, 12:10PM
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Reading wrote:

Keep seeing the Draisaitl argument about rushing a prospect. This is maybe an argument for defence prospects and middling to late first rounders. But top 5 picks should be competing for a spot in today's NHL. Look at Belov, or Monnahan or Coutouier top 7 picks all excelling in their first couple years. Plain and simply if Drais is not ready he won't make the team but if he is it will not hurt his development. The game has changed and so have these kids.

He will be forced to be ready as there are no other options

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#70 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 12:21PM
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The Internet says Draisaitl just signed.

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#71 jt in Oilertown
August 12 2014, 12:26PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

The Internet says Draisaitl just signed.

Yup.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=459259

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#72 sizzay
August 12 2014, 12:31PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

1) Perron for Anisimov is ridiculous. The Oilers lose that trade coming and going, and Anisimov is not the long-term solution to anything. The Oilers would be giving up their most complete forward and probably most tradeable asset for a mediocre stop-gap in a position they've made no real attempt to fill.

2) You think 9 months of Jeff Petry, and a $5 scratch card, is the best offer Boston can get for Kelly AND Boychuk combined?

3) "Pancakes at 27 years old couldnt carry the team out of last place. But Pancakes at 32 years old will lead us to the promised land!!"

4) Loktionov is not holding out so he can play for the Oilers' AHL affiliate.

If I was cheering for a team that had been rebuilding for 7 years, gutting the roster for picks and prospects, doing thing like hitting the draft with 3 first rounders, slinging offer sheets, getting 3 first overall picks *in a row*, etc... and after 7 years of full-bore youth movement ^THAT^ is what the roster looked like, AFTER my fantasy dream trades...

...I would be PI$$ED.

Follow me on this:

1) Perron may leave as a UFA in a couple years and so may Anisimov however we need a big 2 way centre capable of playing 2nd line minutes. Anisimov does that. Who is to say Anisimov won't put up 55 points next year with better wingers? Also we need more PK guys, he is good at killing penalties.

Think of it this way, Anisimov + properly developed Draisaitl (not being forced into 2nd line minutes) or Perron + rushed Draisaitl. I know what I'd take.

Big centres aren't readily available, please, find another candidate that Perron will fetch

2)Kelly is coming off injury so there is risk (I believe it was his back), so a mid round pick is fair. Boychuk is UFA in a year as well. How many teams will offer up a roster player for a guy they may not keep in a year? Most deals for pending UFA's are pick + prospect. I've provided cap relief + pick + player and would be ok with a prospect added. It's a competitive offer but sure it could be beaten.

3)Penner is Penner, you'll get 40 to 50 points from him. Not sure why you think he's the reason we get pulled from the basement? Didn't say that anywhere. My whole premise is adding more size and two way ability through our forward ranks with players that have NHL resumes. Apparently you are against this? Penner + Anisimov is better than Perron + internal centres we have now. As I said above, I don't want Leon rushed, would prefer him back in the dub.

4)Maybe he thinks he can beat out Arcobello to get that other top 9 spot. I'm sure he sees that opportunity here.

By all means provide me with realistic alternatives. Dont come back and say bundle Yak or Eberle for an elite dman, because they aren't available.

I'm waiting.

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#73 Oiler Al
August 12 2014, 12:33PM
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If he's even available, I would not trade, Eberle, Perron, or Yak for Anisimov . He would be a decent addition in view of what is out there.

The trade I would make is Petry. He is long gone and will not resign next year. In the meantime you pick up someone like Jamie McBain for $1.1 per season ie: DelZotto money.

McBain plays 20 min per game, and had good numbers in Carolina. Buffalo, not so good, but then who did.He's in his mid 20's.

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#74 Linden Likes Bike Lanes
August 12 2014, 12:40PM
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Randaman wrote:

He will be forced to be ready as there are no other options

Typical impatient Oiler fan.

The season doesn't start until October.

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#75 Jeffer
August 12 2014, 12:57PM
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Randaman wrote:

It looks to me like McDavid will be our next #2C. Nobody wants to trade value for value in Oiler land. You people are delusional if you think Arc is the answer. Even short term

What are you talking about? Arco is the answer if we are going for a McDavid.

You're absolutely right...these people that think we won't finish 30th with Arco playing 2C are completely dillusional. Drives me nuts! But they'll come back and say he had great advanced stats.

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#76 clyde
August 12 2014, 01:04PM
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916oiler wrote:

That would be one of the few trades I would make for Ebs.

However, long term we have Draisaitl ready to rock for our 2C solution.

That being said, if we want to win sooner I'd pull the Ebs for Johansen trade off PLUS turn around and trade Draisaitl for an older established 1RW to replace Ebs. Everyone knows Draisaitl's potential and his trade value would be high enough to get an established winger who is in a similar contract disagreement with his team. That way we have no rookies in our top 6, and the only question mark is Yak.

Then reality sets in and none of this happens. Fun thoughts during the boring part of the hockey season though ;)

You won't get him for Eberle.

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#77 oilerjed
August 12 2014, 01:57PM
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Jeffer wrote:

What are you talking about? Arco is the answer if we are going for a McDavid.

You're absolutely right...these people that think we won't finish 30th with Arco playing 2C are completely dillusional. Drives me nuts! But they'll come back and say he had great advanced stats.

Jumping in.

I know he is not a center, but is Burrows not an example of a player nobody thought would make it until he played two season with the Sedins. Even then there were doubters. What is your argument for Acro not being able to play 2C and be successful?

Developed properly- check Work ethic- check good numbers in AHL- check good defensively- Check

Any raw player is going to have to prove themselve and not all do it on the 4th line. I dont see any reason why he cant be used at a minimum as 3c and prove all the doubters wrong.

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#78 Randaman
August 12 2014, 02:10PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Jumping in.

I know he is not a center, but is Burrows not an example of a player nobody thought would make it until he played two season with the Sedins. Even then there were doubters. What is your argument for Acro not being able to play 2C and be successful?

Developed properly- check Work ethic- check good numbers in AHL- check good defensively- Check

Any raw player is going to have to prove themselve and not all do it on the 4th line. I dont see any reason why he cant be used at a minimum as 3c and prove all the doubters wrong.

My GOD!!. Once a player becomes an Oiler they have to be here for life it seems as nobody wants to trade anybody to improve this sad sack group. 30, 30, 29,27. Wake up people. Arc is probably a very nice guy and a pretty damn good AHL player but that is it. Do you want play-offs or lottery??

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#79 Towersofdub
August 12 2014, 02:38PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

He's probably talking about guys like Gagner, Cogliano, MPS, etc.

You know, Oilers first round draft picks who were unsuccessfully thrown to the wolves.

Players who were put immediately into key roster spots, and performed well enough, but whose development was completely stunted and they never again even managed to match their rookie production.

You guys know that's not normal right?

Gagner & Cogliano made the team on merit as rookies. MPS had already played 2 years in the SEL before gettign a shot with the Oilers. He played a full season in edmonton, then got demoted to the minors the following season, and was traded a year later. That's hardly throwing him to the wolves. The fact that gagner and paajarvi couldn't develop into better NHL players is more their fault than the Oilers. Only Sam Gagner knows why he absolutely refuses to know where opponents are when the play is in the Oilers defensive zone. I doubt the Oilers told him to completely ignore defensive responsibility for 7 years, or told Paajarvi that he needs to play a soft, timid style if he wants to be an NHL player. Cogliano has apparently done well for himself in Anaheim.

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#80 steven86
August 12 2014, 02:46PM
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Silo wrote:

Haven't we been rebuilding for 8 years? Can someone remind me why we only have 1 center again?

Actually we have 2 Why does everyone forget About gordon

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#81 oilerjed
August 12 2014, 03:30PM
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Randaman wrote:

My GOD!!. Once a player becomes an Oiler they have to be here for life it seems as nobody wants to trade anybody to improve this sad sack group. 30, 30, 29,27. Wake up people. Arc is probably a very nice guy and a pretty damn good AHL player but that is it. Do you want play-offs or lottery??

Your not making any sense, only repeating yourself. Who said anything about not trading anybody?? If you are going to reply try at least to answer at least one of my questions. You seem VERY sure that ACRO is a bust(well not a bust as we didnt draft him or spend anything to get him). Lets hear your reasons why. You dont really have enough info to prove your point one way or the other as far as I can see. If there is a legit center to bring in lets hear it. So far there has only been mediocre centers at free agent prices and trade rumors that havent had a hope in hell of happening.

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#82 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 03:51PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

Gagner & Cogliano made the team on merit as rookies. MPS had already played 2 years in the SEL before gettign a shot with the Oilers. He played a full season in edmonton, then got demoted to the minors the following season, and was traded a year later. That's hardly throwing him to the wolves. The fact that gagner and paajarvi couldn't develop into better NHL players is more their fault than the Oilers. Only Sam Gagner knows why he absolutely refuses to know where opponents are when the play is in the Oilers defensive zone. I doubt the Oilers told him to completely ignore defensive responsibility for 7 years, or told Paajarvi that he needs to play a soft, timid style if he wants to be an NHL player. Cogliano has apparently done well for himself in Anaheim.

Ah yes, the "No true Scotsman" argument.

The Oilers have never ruined a good prospect, because if a guy didn't make it, he obviously wasn't a good prospect.

QED.

Never mind that these kids could all play at the NHL level as teenagers when they first made it to the Oilers.

They were just bad prospects.

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#83 Jeffer
August 12 2014, 03:56PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Jumping in.

I know he is not a center, but is Burrows not an example of a player nobody thought would make it until he played two season with the Sedins. Even then there were doubters. What is your argument for Acro not being able to play 2C and be successful?

Developed properly- check Work ethic- check good numbers in AHL- check good defensively- Check

Any raw player is going to have to prove themselve and not all do it on the 4th line. I dont see any reason why he cant be used at a minimum as 3c and prove all the doubters wrong.

I don't think Arco can do it because a) he's too small b)just not good enough c) sometimes AHL talent doesn't equate to NHL talent.

I really liked Arco to be honest...he did work hard and was good defensively. Last year didn't matter though because we were going to suck either way. This year I'm hoping to take a step forward and I don't believe we can do that with Arco. As good as he was last year, he could not have played on a playoff team. He is a good guy to have on the farm to call up for 10-15 games in the case of an injury. More than that and you are destined to be a bad hockey team.

Now I know the advanced stats guys are gonna jump down my throat because I haven't proven my theory with numbers. I don't care! I don't need numbers to back me up here because I have seen him play. There are no stats you can throw out that are going to make him an NHL centre.

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#84 oilerjed
August 12 2014, 04:08PM
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Jeffer wrote:

I don't think Arco can do it because a) he's too small b)just not good enough c) sometimes AHL talent doesn't equate to NHL talent.

I really liked Arco to be honest...he did work hard and was good defensively. Last year didn't matter though because we were going to suck either way. This year I'm hoping to take a step forward and I don't believe we can do that with Arco. As good as he was last year, he could not have played on a playoff team. He is a good guy to have on the farm to call up for 10-15 games in the case of an injury. More than that and you are destined to be a bad hockey team.

Now I know the advanced stats guys are gonna jump down my throat because I haven't proven my theory with numbers. I don't care! I don't need numbers to back me up here because I have seen him play. There are no stats you can throw out that are going to make him an NHL centre.

So a player who was holding his own, on a terrible line, with less then 1/2 a year of experience is a total write off? A) he is far from being the smallest player in the league, what makes him different? B)Your perception, fair enough C)how do you know until he is given a chance? Any other player putting up those kinds of numbers in the AHL(not junior mind you) and getting that kind of reviews from their coach would be sure to get a long look for NHL employment. Wouldnt they?

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#85 Jeffer
August 12 2014, 04:24PM
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oilerjed wrote:

So a player who was holding his own, on a terrible line, with less then 1/2 a year of experience is a total write off? A) he is far from being the smallest player in the league, what makes him different? B)Your perception, fair enough C)how do you know until he is given a chance? Any other player putting up those kinds of numbers in the AHL(not junior mind you) and getting that kind of reviews from their coach would be sure to get a long look for NHL employment. Wouldnt they?

He held his own for about 10-15 games. After that he disappeared...though his I've time was cut. I think (again, just my opinion) that he's too small for our division and to play 2C behind Nuge. If we had 3 other big centers it wouldn't be as much of an issue. Also, I don't put a lot of faith in AHL numbers. Anton Lander can rip it up down there too. I think Lander is better than Arco. But I don't think either is good enough from what I've seen.

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#86 Randaman
August 12 2014, 04:26PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Your not making any sense, only repeating yourself. Who said anything about not trading anybody?? If you are going to reply try at least to answer at least one of my questions. You seem VERY sure that ACRO is a bust(well not a bust as we didnt draft him or spend anything to get him). Lets hear your reasons why. You dont really have enough info to prove your point one way or the other as far as I can see. If there is a legit center to bring in lets hear it. So far there has only been mediocre centers at free agent prices and trade rumors that havent had a hope in hell of happening.

Point #1 - In the Western conference, SIZE matters. I don't care about Calgary or Vancouver but San Jose, L.A. & Anaheim will eat him alive. Point #2 - Anisimov was the main topic of conversation here so he is who I feel is a great fit with Yak and to help Drais take #3C instead of being force fed #2C Point #3 - Nobody wants to trade Yak, Perron, or Eberle, even if the return is comparable salary wise or talent wise. I have been trashed every time I mention trading one of these players so don't tell me nobody said anything against this option. We desperately need a #2C and history tells me that the braintrust are hoping and praying instead of actively pursuing that need.

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#87 Ed in Edmonton
August 12 2014, 04:32PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Ah yes, the "No true Scotsman" argument.

The Oilers have never ruined a good prospect, because if a guy didn't make it, he obviously wasn't a good prospect.

QED.

Never mind that these kids could all play at the NHL level as teenagers when they first made it to the Oilers.

They were just bad prospects.

I haven't heard about the "No true Scotsman" argument but saying the either of the three have been ruined seems to have no basis.

There is an implicit assumption in your argument, that if either of three had been handled differently when they were with Oil (i.e. not played in the NHL until some older age) they would have turned out to be better players. I don't see how one can come to this conclusion.

I have not been a big Gagner supporter, but claiming that he is "ruined" is far from true. A player that can put up 40 points a year in the NHL will be a wealthy man. Cogs was the 25th pick in 2005. Turning the 25th pick into a solid NHLer is a success story.

The jury is still out on MP, he might be in the SEL in KHL in a year if he doesn’t show something more. But couldn’t one make an equally legit argument that the Blues have ruined him? If this come to pass, I would say the logical conclusion in the MP was never going to be am NHL player.

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#88 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 04:36PM
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sizzay wrote:

Follow me on this:

1) Perron may leave as a UFA in a couple years and so may Anisimov however we need a big 2 way centre capable of playing 2nd line minutes. Anisimov does that. Who is to say Anisimov won't put up 55 points next year with better wingers? Also we need more PK guys, he is good at killing penalties.

Think of it this way, Anisimov + properly developed Draisaitl (not being forced into 2nd line minutes) or Perron + rushed Draisaitl. I know what I'd take.

Big centres aren't readily available, please, find another candidate that Perron will fetch

2)Kelly is coming off injury so there is risk (I believe it was his back), so a mid round pick is fair. Boychuk is UFA in a year as well. How many teams will offer up a roster player for a guy they may not keep in a year? Most deals for pending UFA's are pick + prospect. I've provided cap relief + pick + player and would be ok with a prospect added. It's a competitive offer but sure it could be beaten.

3)Penner is Penner, you'll get 40 to 50 points from him. Not sure why you think he's the reason we get pulled from the basement? Didn't say that anywhere. My whole premise is adding more size and two way ability through our forward ranks with players that have NHL resumes. Apparently you are against this? Penner + Anisimov is better than Perron + internal centres we have now. As I said above, I don't want Leon rushed, would prefer him back in the dub.

4)Maybe he thinks he can beat out Arcobello to get that other top 9 spot. I'm sure he sees that opportunity here.

By all means provide me with realistic alternatives. Dont come back and say bundle Yak or Eberle for an elite dman, because they aren't available.

I'm waiting.

1) Lets set the framework here. The 2C spot is vacant because it was intentionally left vacant for Draisaitl. I don't think that was a wise decision, but that's where the club is now. If you want a stop-gap centreman you sign (just for example) Olli Jokinen at $3.5m x 2 years, or offer to double the term and/or salary of someone else from the laundry list of veteran centres who went for very cheap 1 year contracts.

Just because the Oilers missed that boat doesn't make it a good idea to now move David Perron for a stop-gap solution. You can move him for a long term solution, or move another asset for a short-term solution, or you can just buck up and eat this season. But I see no long-term benefit to moving Perron for Anisimov. If you think Draisaitl should be in juniors then send him to juniors, the presence or absence of Anisimov should not be a factor in that decision.

2) That's fair. I just don't see Boston taking that offer.

3) I think Penner + Anisimov might be a modest upgrade on Perron + Arcobello THIS SEASON. But this season is a write off, and long-term I think Perron + Draisaitl is the best possible outcome. Keeping Perron doesn't mean you have to rush Draisaitl, Draisaitl will be rushed because that is the plan.

4) Roman Horak should also have every reasom to think he could compete for, and win, a roster spot on the Oilers. The fact that he went to the KHL after playing in North America since juniors, regardless of whether it was his idea or the Oilers', would give me pause if I were planning on essentially filling his spot.

My realistic alternatives?

The die is cast for this season. Let the chips fall where they may in terms of the standings.

Sign Schultz.

Play Draisaitl as and when his ability warrants.

At the deadline be BUYERS as well as sellers, moving depth picks for expiring contracts with an aim to re-sign them ala Scrivens and Nikitin. As well as moving Petry, and takingany opportunity to ditch Pouliot or Purcell's contracts.

Look for early 20's defencemen who still have upside and are buried in their organization. Dmitri Orlov is a good example.

Then draft high, and start working the phones for the 2015-16 season. The Oilers still have a long hill to climb ahead of them.

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#89 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
August 12 2014, 04:40PM
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Jeffer wrote:

I don't think Arco can do it because a) he's too small b)just not good enough c) sometimes AHL talent doesn't equate to NHL talent.

I really liked Arco to be honest...he did work hard and was good defensively. Last year didn't matter though because we were going to suck either way. This year I'm hoping to take a step forward and I don't believe we can do that with Arco. As good as he was last year, he could not have played on a playoff team. He is a good guy to have on the farm to call up for 10-15 games in the case of an injury. More than that and you are destined to be a bad hockey team.

Now I know the advanced stats guys are gonna jump down my throat because I haven't proven my theory with numbers. I don't care! I don't need numbers to back me up here because I have seen him play. There are no stats you can throw out that are going to make him an NHL centre.

Can we at least agree that nobody KNOWS how Arco will perform this year, if he beats out Leon and Lander for the 2C spot?

I get that you're convinced he isn't big enough, or good enough. I agree that his size is a significant obstacle to overcome. As far as how good he is, could or will be? Well that remains to be seen. His play last year was, by my eye, good. Not spectacular, but good enough to suggest that, if nothing else, he could maintain a comparable overall contribution to the guy filling the 2C spot last year. Less offense than snowpants, but a when you factor-in faceoffs and defensive play, it's not a huge downgrade in my books, and many have suggested Arco over Sammy is an upgrade.

As far as AHL talent and numbers translating to the NHL, you're statement is factually true: sometimes AHL talent doesn't equate to NHL talent. But the guy only has 42 games in the NHL, playing in a variety of roles, in front of some of the worst D and Goaltending in the league. Let's recall that when Arco was our 2C last year, Dubs couldn't stop beach ball. His AHL numbers, I believe dictate that he has earned more of a look. At least we can be confident he'll have good wingers in his line.

What I did love, is that after he got sent down, he lit it up. Used it as motivation, worked his butt off, and did exactly what you would want him to do. I also think that an Ivy League degree (not sure if he graduated, assuming he did) says something about his character. He knows how to work, and overcome obstacles. And he's smart. All things I'd like on my club.

And besides, if Leon shows in 9 games that he's ready, then Arco can be our 3C instead.

So, in anticipation of your response, let me just clarify a couple things: 1. I'm not saying that Arco is a premiere 2C or the next Marty St. Louis. That'd be cool, but I'm not expecting it. He could still have value as a C on this team, at a minimal cap hit. 2. No advanced stats were used in the creation of this post. It's all my opinion and observations. The only stats I've used are games played and I also looked up his AHL pts and games played. Check them out - he's just shy of 2 pts per game at that level. Enough to warrant a longer look. 3. As I said at the start, nobody can possibly know what will happen next year. I think there's some risk in going with Arco and Leon - not the least of which is what happens if Nuge gets hurt - but not enough to warrant getting rid of a player like Perron in August. If Arco proves you right, and he's the reason were gonna miss the playoffs, deals can still be made.

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#90 michael
August 12 2014, 04:41PM
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One of those times where an agent may welcome an offer sheet. 6x7 for RJ would give Davidson apoplexy.

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#91 The Last Big Bear
August 12 2014, 04:53PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I haven't heard about the "No true Scotsman" argument but saying the either of the three have been ruined seems to have no basis.

There is an implicit assumption in your argument, that if either of three had been handled differently when they were with Oil (i.e. not played in the NHL until some older age) they would have turned out to be better players. I don't see how one can come to this conclusion.

I have not been a big Gagner supporter, but claiming that he is "ruined" is far from true. A player that can put up 40 points a year in the NHL will be a wealthy man. Cogs was the 25th pick in 2005. Turning the 25th pick into a solid NHLer is a success story.

The jury is still out on MP, he might be in the SEL in KHL in a year if he doesn’t show something more. But couldn’t one make an equally legit argument that the Blues have ruined him? If this come to pass, I would say the logical conclusion in the MP was never going to be am NHL player.

I repeat this over and over, but I'll add it again.

Rushing a player does not necessarily mean bringing him into the NHL too soon.

You can put a player in the NHL without giving him top-6 minutes and relying on him to be a key producer.

Pavel Datsyuk played bottom-6 minutes until he was 25 years old, and its not because he couldn't carry the load. That's how the Detroit model works.

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#92 Zarny
August 12 2014, 05:02PM
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It really comes down to expectations for this season.

With their current depth at C the Oilers have no hope of contending for a playoff spot.

Arcobello is smaller than Gagner, didn't make the NHL until he was 25 and for all the talk about his great start last year he had a grand total of 0 G while riding Hall, Eberle and Perron's coattails. Rookies that have made an immediate impact in the NHL have all been outstanding skaters (Hall, Duchene, MacKinnon etc) and skating has been identified as a weakness for Draisaitl.

To think either Arco or Draisaitl will be impactful players is absolutely foolish and borders on the same insanity that led some to think Dubnyk was a bona fide starter, Smid was a legit top 4 D or that Schultz and/or Petry could play at a 1-2D level. We've seen the results of hoping for the best and they are flat out fugly.

Like most a bigger trade for Johansen or Couturier would be preferable but I don't see that happening. Mostly because I don't think MacT is willing to part with the talent needed to pull off a trade like that.

Anisimov is a very likely target for the Oilers. I'd prefer Dubinsky but I doubt he's available after signing an extension. Howson's connections give the Oilers a pipeline to CBJ and could facilitate a deal.

Perron is more than I'd want to give up for Anisimov but as Mr. Willis has commented it's a dilemma. With an injury to Nuge the Oilers could have the worst C lineup in the history of the NHL.

If the Oilers are serious about moving the needle up the standings they need to make a move. If Katz is ultimately satisfied with rolling the dice with what they have prepare yourself for another disappointing season. It will be better than last year simply because they won't start 4-15-2 but it won't be good. It won't even be in the vicinity of average.

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#93 Jeffer
August 12 2014, 05:19PM
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Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe! wrote:

Can we at least agree that nobody KNOWS how Arco will perform this year, if he beats out Leon and Lander for the 2C spot?

I get that you're convinced he isn't big enough, or good enough. I agree that his size is a significant obstacle to overcome. As far as how good he is, could or will be? Well that remains to be seen. His play last year was, by my eye, good. Not spectacular, but good enough to suggest that, if nothing else, he could maintain a comparable overall contribution to the guy filling the 2C spot last year. Less offense than snowpants, but a when you factor-in faceoffs and defensive play, it's not a huge downgrade in my books, and many have suggested Arco over Sammy is an upgrade.

As far as AHL talent and numbers translating to the NHL, you're statement is factually true: sometimes AHL talent doesn't equate to NHL talent. But the guy only has 42 games in the NHL, playing in a variety of roles, in front of some of the worst D and Goaltending in the league. Let's recall that when Arco was our 2C last year, Dubs couldn't stop beach ball. His AHL numbers, I believe dictate that he has earned more of a look. At least we can be confident he'll have good wingers in his line.

What I did love, is that after he got sent down, he lit it up. Used it as motivation, worked his butt off, and did exactly what you would want him to do. I also think that an Ivy League degree (not sure if he graduated, assuming he did) says something about his character. He knows how to work, and overcome obstacles. And he's smart. All things I'd like on my club.

And besides, if Leon shows in 9 games that he's ready, then Arco can be our 3C instead.

So, in anticipation of your response, let me just clarify a couple things: 1. I'm not saying that Arco is a premiere 2C or the next Marty St. Louis. That'd be cool, but I'm not expecting it. He could still have value as a C on this team, at a minimal cap hit. 2. No advanced stats were used in the creation of this post. It's all my opinion and observations. The only stats I've used are games played and I also looked up his AHL pts and games played. Check them out - he's just shy of 2 pts per game at that level. Enough to warrant a longer look. 3. As I said at the start, nobody can possibly know what will happen next year. I think there's some risk in going with Arco and Leon - not the least of which is what happens if Nuge gets hurt - but not enough to warrant getting rid of a player like Perron in August. If Arco proves you right, and he's the reason were gonna miss the playoffs, deals can still be made.

Agreed, none of us know how he will perform for sure...but my opinion is that he is an AHL player. I don't think he's much of a downgrade from Gagner...I'd say a small one but not much, but I don't think we had a shot at playoffs with Gagner either.

I get what you're saying about him deserving a look...but I think that's going to be the difference between talking playoffs and talking bottom 5-8 teams in the league. When guys like Arco get a shot, we won't be good. Just my opinion. I like a lot of things about him, work ethic included...but I just don't think he's good enough. Again, if we had 3 other big centers it might be doable...but not with the mix we have.

If he turned into the next St. Louis I'd be the first to admit I was wrong...and go buy his jersey! But that's not going to happen.

I agree that getting rid of Perron is crazy right now...I wouldn't do that either.

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#94 GCW
August 12 2014, 07:56PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It's not personal. People just (understandably) really don't like the idea of trading Perron. I don't much like it either, but a team has to give to get.

JW - the other one to look at is Frans Nielsen in New York.

The Isles have Tavares - Grabovski - Nielsen - Bailey - Strome - Nelson - Cizikas

That's pretty good depth. The Isles would likely want to move Bailey, but if you are giving up Perron, perhaps you shoot for Nielsen.

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#95 K_Mart
August 13 2014, 07:27PM
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How long until that awkward moment when Fellow pipes up..." Uh, Penner really is good and uh, he can move to centre and that's who you should sign." ?

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