Do you see what I see, edition IX

Canada's Eberle competes with Germany's Krueger during their international friendly ice hockey match in Hamburg

The Flyers made history over the weekend; the Habs got crushed again in game one, the Sharks didn’t have to kill a penalty but lost and Oiler fans saw a glimpse of what the future might look like.

Jordan Eberle’s four points in a 12-1 blowout over Norway had Oiler fans daydreaming about what they might see in the future. Toss in Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, the signing of Teemu Hartikainen, Taylor Hall’s first period v. Brandon and Devan Dubnyk going to the worlds and finally there are some reasons to be a hopeful Oiler fan.

You never discount four points, but when they come against Norway you have to temper your enthusiasm. The only thing you can’t debate about Eberle is how he sees and thinks the game. The advantage he’ll have when he comes to camp next season is that he’ll play with guys who think and play the game better than any of his previous teammates. Or at least I hope he’ll be on a line with the likes of MPS, Hemsky, Penner, Gagner, Brule or Hall/Seguin. It’s too early to think about the horror of seeing him line up on the 4th line.

The one knock scouts and hockey people have against Eberle is his skating, and he knows it. He’s worked extremely hard the past two years with Steve Serdachny, the Oilers skating and skills coach, and Serdachny is confident Eberle’s skating won’t be an issue in the NHL.

“I’ve worked with lots of young guys over the years and Jordan’s work ethic and drive to improve is the highest I’ve seen. He has put in lots of extra work improving his first few steps, and he doesn’t skate as up right as he used to,” Serdachny said on my radio show last Friday.

Eberle doesn’t have to skate like Cogliano to succeed, because of his ability to get to the open areas. He has an accurate shot, and despite his size, he isn’t afraid to go into the tough areas to score. If he plays with guys who are more puck carriers and puck distributors he should be fine in the NHL.

The more I watch MPS, the more I think he might be more NHL ready than Eberle. He skates exceptionally well, has a bit of bite to his game and after playing three years in the SEL he is physically ready to handle NHL defenceman. I keep hearing the Oilers are getting closer to working out a deal to sign the 10th pick in 2009, so we should see him in Edmonton this fall.

*** It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but the Oilers prospect camp will go July 5th to 9th, and if MPS is signed, Oiler fans could see him before September. This summer’s camp should be the most watched in years. Eberle, MPS, Hartikainen, Linus Omark, Phillippe Cornet, Toni Rajala, this year’s picks and possibly Anton Lander will make it a hell of a camp.***

Scary Love

In one period Taylor Hall showed why he’s a top prospect, but also why there is some concern in how he plays.

Hall’s skills are top-notch and I love how he isn’t afraid to try things with the puck. The video isn’t the best angle of the hit, because it wasn’t from behind, but rather two guys colliding shoulder-to-shoulder.

Hall is not afraid to after any puck, and clearly he isn’t afraid of a collision, but when his own GM says he needs to be more award on the ice, you have to be a bit wary wondering if he can handle those types of hits in the NHL.

Hall’s performance at the Memorial Cup will only strengthen TEAM HALL’s reasons why the Oilers should draft him, and it is hard not to see why people like him. I’d still take Seguin, but if the Oilers take Hall it will be hard to rip that pick. The kid can play, and his passion for the game is refreshing.

DD or JDD

I wonder how much, if any, the decision of hockey Canada to bring Devan Dubnyk to the Worlds instead of Jeff Deslauriers will have on the Oilers this summer.

If the Oilers had any say — I can’t get any confirmation that they did — and Dubnyk was the guy they recommended then it seems obvious who is ranked #2 behind Khabibulin.

I wonder how Deslauriers felt when he heard Dubnyk was going? I can tell you he wasn’t thrilled about it, and it’s fair for him to wonder if that has any bearing on where he stands within the Oilers’ goaltending ranks.

My money is that Dubnyk will be here longer than Deslauriers. Of course, Khabibulin’s court case this summer will have an impact of whether the Oilers move JDD before training camp. If the Oilers keep both DD and JDD through training camp, the chance of them losing one for nothing would be high. I think they might move JDD at the draft, and then sign a veteran journeyman this summer. He would be one injury away from getting called up to Edmonton, and that will be an intriguing carrot that Tambellini can dangle. Would a veteran guy like Curtis Sanford or Brent Krahn be of interest to Steve Tambellini?

‘Wow’ is all I will say


We Are LeBron Video – Watch more Funny Videos

(Big shout out to loyal Nation reader and TEAM 1260 listener Brian for sending me that video)

After watching this video, do you applaud the city of Cleveland for pulling out all the stops to try and entice Lebron to stay, or does it look like begging? I thought it wasn’t bad, in a cheesy sort of way. Listen to the song without watching the video, and you’ll groan a bit. Carl Monday’s moustache is awesome and Mark Brown the furniture pitchman made me laugh out loud. Some days we need to not take ourselves so serious…

  • GSC

    As an Ohio native, I would be very sad to see LeBron leave Cleveland. He was born and raised in OH, played throughout his career there, and saved a floundering Cavaliers franchise.

    That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did leave. He looked almost relieved to be ousted by the Celtics, like he was happy that it was all over. I do believe, however, that Mike Brown being sent off would only help Cleveland’s chances of keeping LeBron around…those two clearly have some friction.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Gregor…

    After watching Hall this weekend, I have switched my pick for the 9th time. I am back with Hall. My main reasoning is the intangible of being a winner. We have no idea what Seguin will perform like in high pressure situations but we know how Hall will. Even Don Cherry predicted it on Saturday, so you know it will happen now.

    One prospect who played well on the weekend who you forgot to mention is Toni Rajala with Brandon. He scored 2 goals. Do you have any more info on him?

    Finally, do you have any thoughts on McKeen’s journal article on the entertainment district?

  • GSC

    Jason, you’ve stated your preference for Seguin but how much have you seen this guy play and not just read the latest central scouting reports? I’ll be honest and say that I really am not in a position to make an educated choice because I haven’t seen Seguin play and I’ve only seen a little bit of Hall play in the WJCs. Let’s not pick a Patrick Stefan or a Doug Wickenheiser just because we have to have a centerman.

    • Jason Gregor

      I’ve seen Seguin play eleven times. None live though.

      Teams scout better now than ever, and while a bust is always possible, I don’t think Seguin will be that. I could be wrong, but I don’t see Seguin flopping like those two, but of course there are no guarantees.

      I can see why Hall would change your mind, because he is dynamic, but so is Seguin. Some think his four games v. Windsor show he isn’t a top-end player, but I think that is way to small of a set of games to determine his value.

      The optics for most won’t look good if the Oilers take Seguin, and Hall will probably out score him in the first few years, which will only add fuel to the argument.

  • misfit

    I’m definitely not worried about Seguin being a bust, I just think you take the best player available, and I can’t see much evidence that Hall isn’t that guy.

    • Pilgor09

      Hall did not make the Team Canada Jr Roster in 09. That was Halls second year in the ohl. Sequin just finished his second year and just happened to tie Hall for points.

      I am quite sure if Sequin were to return to Junior next year that he would make the Team Canada roster.

      I like both-Hall seems more dynamic my concern is the number of scary hits he takes.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Matt Duchene got cut from the world jr. squad in 09 and look at him now. He looks like he’ll be a solid NHLer for years to come despite not having that experience. Granted he didn’t go #1 but he was at least in the running leading up to the draft last year.

  • Edmonton makes a video like that, Dany Heatley is an Oiler.

    That’s all I have to say on this matter*

    *looks longingly at Heatley Jersey in the closet collecting dust*

    *Please note I hate Dany Heatley and I am glad he isn’t an Oiler

  • @Packer

    He wasnt #1 but Duchene didnt make the WJHC team. I dont think Jordan Stall did either. Looks like Eric Staal didnt do it either.

    I’m only looking at their Stats pages on the NHL website. I dont know if they’re totally accurate for the WJHC, but they seem to be.