HALL OR EBERLE?

Jason Gregor
August 14 2012 10:28AM

In certain debates there can be no wrong answer, only differing opinions, and I think this article is one where there is no wrong answer.

Yesterday during my radio show Ryan Rishaug and I debated who would we rather have in a game seven; Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle? Rishaug picked Eberle, while I picked Hall.

Unlike previous years when we've debated the merits of young Oilers, this is the first time in the last decade where I can honestly say there is little downside to either player. Both are incredibly talented, have a desire to win, have scored key goals and they still have room to improve.

But there is no fence sitting today. You take one or the other.

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THE JOURNEYMEN

Jason Gregor
August 10 2012 10:17AM

When you've played for 11 different organizations, in five different leagues over a span of 17 seasons it's clear you have some talent. You likely also have a nice set of luggage.

Our esteemed colleague, Jason Strudwick (left in pic), carved out a pretty damn good career for himself over the past 17 seasons.To bad he forgot a comb when Ferencvaros held a press conference announcing he and his cousin, Rob Niedermayer, had signed with them.

While it looks like the cousins arrived at the presser fresh off an all-nighter of wine of goulash, I'm sure Struds will tell us he had just left the gym, while Rob had clearly just left an all-night buffet.

The one thing I've learned about Struds is that he is one of the best story tellers around. He has an a vivid memory, and imagination, so when you combine that with his stops in: Worcester, Kentucky, Long Island, Vancouver, Syracuse, Chicago, Rangers, Ferencvaros (Hungary), Lugano (Swiss), Edmonton and Sodertalje (Sweden) it creates some epic tales.

Tales of a Journeyman.

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WHAT'S UP WITH WHITNEY?

Jason Gregor
August 09 2012 09:34AM

Since making his debut as an Oiler on March 5th, 2010, Ryan Whitney has eight goals and 58 points In 105 games. He had tallied 38 points in his first 54 games, before injuring his ankle December 28th against Buffalo. He then missed 78 of the next 129 games with a variety of ankle/foot issues.

Whitney was able to play the final 34 games last season, but it was clear he'd lost some footspeed. He was frustrated, but he admitted that in those final few games he was finally pain free. His injury wasn't hampering his speed, or lack thereof, his leg strength was.

Due to his injury in December of 2010, Whitney hadn't been able to do any off-season training heading in the summer of 2011. It was obvious on the ice that he had no explosiveness, but when the Oilers packed their bags this past April Whitney was in a surprisingly good mood. He told me he was looking forward to finally being able to work out, and he was determined a solid summer of training would allow him to rediscover his game.

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COMPARABLE FOR HALL AND EBERLE?

Jason Gregor
August 08 2012 11:56AM

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, sent out this tweet yesterday around 7 p.m. EST., " It looks like we are going to be able to get Jeff Skinner tied up for a number of years. Exciting news for our franchise."

Then a few hours later Bob McKenzie tweeted, "Jeff Skinner's extension with CAR expected to be 6 years with an AAV of $5.725M."

The Hurricanes have been very aggressive this summer trading for Jordan Staal, signing Alex Semin, albeit only for one year, and now Jeff Skinner. It's nice to see them go after and lock up some offensive stars, but more importantly for Oiler fans Skinner's contract will have to be looked at as a comparable for Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle's new deals.

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EXPECTATIONS FOR DUBNYK

Jason Gregor
August 07 2012 01:46PM

Devan Dubnyk started only 13 games in the first three months of last season. He went 4-9 with a 3.15 GAA (If you don't count empty net goals it was 2.92) and a .902 SV%. He started back-to-back games once, December 10th and December 15th. He started 13 games over a span of 84 days and didn't put up great numbers. He did not look or play like a #1 goalie.

However, when the calendar turned from 2011 to 2012 Dubnyk suddenly looked like a guy ready to start a new chapter of his playing career.

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