Just Because

And we continue to wait for the other shoe to drop.

Craig MacTavish had his season-ending press conference today, but didn’t answer key questions, refusing to comment on his future or that of Dustin Penner. The Oilers have the tenth worst record in the NHL this season, but we have to wait for the lottery to see where they end up exactly. The rumours of a massive shakeup in the front office are everywhere, and Robin Brownlee has as good a take as anybody on them in the post below this one.

There’s a sense that the changes this summer will define the Oilers for the coming years, either for good or for bad, but there’s still no concrete idea what those changes will be, so we wait. This seemed like a safe video for the interim, given that neither Coffey or McSorley is in contention for the Oilers’ head coaching job, so we can safely enjoy their connection to the glory years without the distaste many feel for the occasional nepotism of the current club. Dave Hodge also has a cameo.

On a completely different note, with the draft coming up I’ve been thinking about the way picks are made. I realize that having the worst teams pick first helps ensure parity and prevent laughing stocks in the league, and also that the lottery is supposed to discourage tanking for the number one overall spot. But my question would be why the NHL doesn’t do a zig-zag style draft.

If, as expected, the Islanders win the lottery, they’ll get the rights not only to the first pick of the first round, but also of the second round, third round, and so on. Wouldn’t it be fairer to good teams as a whole if the second round were conducted in reverse order of the first round? Bad teams would still get their superstars to build around, but it wouldn’t be so difficult for good teams to restock on the run, and would minimize the advantages of holding a firesale and tanking the season. Just something to keep in mind while we wait,

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Roli?? Where was he?? I guess if I were on the team I would have left town already too.

    I'm going to go ahead and call it right now that MacT retuns next year and the team will look much different again.

  • Hippy

    David S wrote:

    topshelf wrote:
    I’d take him at his word and put him on a short leash next year. The potential upside for both Gagner and Nilsson playing well together is too obvious to ignore.

    So who goes then?

    Clearly they need to get bigger and that means atleast 1 if not 2 of the small guys get moved out so out of Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and O'Sullivan who draws the short straw?

    I am thinking Nilsson has to be a slam dunk at this point.

  • Hippy

    I give Hemsky a wash this year and write off the attitude to high team expectations that werent filled, a team that sounds like it was divided in the locker room and a coach and upper management team that did nothing. If i had the weight of being the star player in this mess i would feel the same

  • Hippy

    Rob wrote:

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Roli?? Where was he?? I guess if I were on the team I would have left town already too.
    I’m going to go ahead and call it right now that MacT retuns next year and the team will look much different again.

    Nevermind, I guess almost the whole team spoke, thought they had only those first three.

  • Hippy

    Rick wrote:

    David S wrote:
    topshelf wrote:
    I’d take him at his word and put him on a short leash next year. The potential upside for both Gagner and Nilsson playing well together is too obvious to ignore.
    So who goes then?
    Clearly they need to get bigger and that means atleast 1 if not 2 of the small guys get moved out so out of Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and O’Sullivan who draws the short straw?
    I am thinking Nilsson has to be a slam dunk at this point.

    Might come down to who will bring back what. Nilsson wont net you much in a trade while O'Sullivan or Cogs could be a key piece in getting a J Staal or a N Horton.

  • Hippy

    It all depends if MacTavish stays.

    If a new coach comes, I see no reason to move Penner, and it would be neccessary (although perhaps still advisable, depending on the deal) to move Pouliot and Nilsson.

    If MacTavish stays, on the other hand, I'd guess those three all get new addresses.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    @ David S:
    Nilsson, Pouliot and Gagner were good together. Wasn’t it O’Sullivan who was subbed in for Nilsson on the left side?

    Jonathan – I thought Nilsson and Gagner were good. Maybe their combo fit with Pouliot. But Pouliot, Gagner and O'Sullivan didn't seem to work so well on last two games. That's just my opinion though and they were games with nothing on the line.

    @Topshelf
    @Rick

    No doubt something has to give. Myself, I just can't ignore the potential of Sam and Robert together when both are on. In fact, I'd love to see Cogliano back with these two. The thing of it is – can Robert play 82 games? That's the question.

  • Hippy

    David S wrote:

    But Pouliot, Gagner and O’Sullivan didn’t seem to work so well on last two games.

    IIRC, Pouliot didn't play much down the stretch at all – he was out of the lineup before Nilsson even got moved off of Gagner's line.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Horcoff and Roloson named to Team Canada for the worlds. No Souray or Gagner.
    I’ve got a list of who else might be going at my new other site.

    Looks like Mr Willis has gone pro! Nice job Jonathan.

  • Hippy

    David S wrote:

    @Rick
    No doubt something has to give. Myself, I just can’t ignore the potential of Sam and Robert together when both are on. In fact, I’d love to see Cogliano back with these two. The thing of it is – can Robert play 82 games? That’s the question.

    I don't know, 4 years as a pro and that question still hangs around like a big white elephant.

    A big part of the problems this year was that they spent the whole season waiting on the younger guys. I'm not sure it makes sense to enter next year with the possibility that you could be waiting again.

    But Ogden Brother has a point in that it may depend on what deal brings the most back.

    Personally I think both Nilsson and O'Sullivan can be shipped out despite that I think they are both very talented. If the return is available to significantly shake up the dynamic of the team though, it would be fine with me.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    No Souray, Penner, Pouliot, Peckham or Deslauriers. Anyone else missing?

    Souray was already quoted as saying that he would politely turn down the Canada offer to spend time with his kids. I read that a few days ago. Sorry I don't have a link handy.

  • Hippy

    I think you hold on to O'Sullivan. I know he didn't exactly do a lot since coming over, but he has a bit more bite than some of the other smaller guys on the team. Give him a fresh start next season, and I'm guessing you'll see a legitimate top 6 forward in every sense.

    It seems highly unlikely that Sam Gagner will be going anywhere, no matter how good a trade offer (within reason obviously).

    Robert "Softy, I mean call me Bobby" Nilsson could have all the skill in the world, but I wouldn't bring him back. I'm guessing he has little to no trade value. It wouldn't suprise me if he were in Europe next year (I know he's still under contract in Edmonton).

    Andrew Cogliano would have some significant trade value IMO. With too many small forwards, he could be moved (although I have my doubts as to whether or not that would happen). Obviously it would take a significant deal (ie: Simon Gagne, Jordan Staal, etc.)

    I wouldn't bring back Kotalik or Pouliot.

    As much as they've loved Edmonton and been consumate professionals, I think its time for Ethan Moreau & Steve Staios to move on.

    Tom Gilbert would likely have some decent value in a trade, and if Denis Grebeshkov is to be resigned, I would all but assume Gilbert is moved for a scoring forward.

    Dwayne Roloson could be brought back on a 1 year deal, however, if he's looking for much more than that, I'd say thanks, but no thanks. Josh Harding, Kari Lehtonen, Antero Nittymaki, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Ilya Bryzgalov and perhaps even Marty Turco are guys that could be available, suitable possibilities (I like Harding & Hiller). I'm not sold on Deslauriers, even as a backup.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Anybody wanting to depress themselves should listen to the Ales Hemsky season ending interview.

    Wow.

    "What do you think you should do more as an individual?"

    How about you score some more goals Hemsky

  • Hippy

    Heading into next year I have two questions.

    Will Penner be over weight and out of shape when he shows up to camp? And, which newly acquired Oiler is going to suffer the shoulder injury?

  • Hippy

    @ EMAC:

    I have only 1 question: What will the fans do to embarass the city when they announce Mact will finish his contract with the oil???

    Seriously, The more I read and listen about the Mact situation the more I feel like he isnt going anywhere. He's dicussing his "future" with the team over the next two days. Look forward to many open mouth looks from behind the bench again next year people. Deep down you all know he'll be back and many players won't, again.