Taylor & Tyler: Tambellini should pitch his brains out to Peter Chiarelli

TORONTO - APRIL 13: Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini awaits the announcement for the first overall pick during the NHL Draft Lottery Drawing at the TSN Studio April 13, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL)

It’s not often a team with the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft has a reasonable chance to win now like the Boston Bruins do, and that’s reason enough why Steve Tambellini should be all over Peter Chiarelli like a bad haircut.

But, thanks to Brian Burke and the Phil Kessel trade, the Bruins are a team that’s already pretty good — 91 points this season, 116 in 2008-09 and 94 in 2007-08 — and a team that holds second pick in Los Angeles, right after the Oilers pick first (and take Tyler Seguin).

Given the make-up of the Bruins, who have a core of players entering or still in the prime of their careers, would Chiarelli be better off hanging on to his selection and taking Taylor Hall, as he has already suggested he might, or is it in his best interests to at least listen when Tambellini takes up residence in his ear?

If the conversation starts with Tambellini offering, say, Ales Hemsky and Gilbert Brule or Dustin Penner for his pick and a Seguin-Hall daily-double, is there reason to keep talking?

If I’m the GM of the Bruins, if I think my team might be a Stanley Cup contender with Hemsky and Penner, and if I’m willing to admit gainful employment is a consideration, the answer is yes.

Why wouldn’t Chiarelli listen?

Here and now

Before you laugh off the possibility of Tambellini swinging a deal to land Seguin and Hall, ask yourself this: will the Bruins be a better team over the next two seasons with Hall in the line-up or with Hemsky and Penner? Yes? No? Not sure? If yes, might the Bruins be good enough before Hall turns 21 to win a Stanley Cup with Hemsky and Penner?

Before you trot out cliches about "mortgaging the future" and the like, remember, that kind of talk takes on a different tone if you’re walking in Chiarelli’s shoes, as opposed to spouting platitudes as a fan or writer.

Talk about the future is fine, but the future can be somewhat more immediate in a city like Beantown that hasn’t sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup since 1972. Dale Tallon damn sure had a hand in building the Chicago Blackhawks, but he wasn’t around to enjoy the parade.

Is it a longshot that Tambellini will be able to convince Chiarelli to part with this pick? Duh. Of course it is. Chiarelli will have a line up of eager suitors trying to separate him from a crack at Hall with attractive offers. Then, there’s the optics of giving up a potential franchise player for a shot to win here and now — with no guarantee it’ll play out that way.

Of course, it’s not nearly as hard a sell if the Bruins win something before Chiarelli starts losing bits and pieces of his roster, as is inevitable under a salary cap, and Hall becomes the stud people project him to be.

From the Oilers end of things, Tambellini won’t get the answers to any of those questions unless he asks. He damn sure better — and it should be Plan A before he settles on trying to squeeze something out of Chiarelli to lay-off Hall if he can’t hit the home run.

What’s to lose?

I’ve already written why I’d offer up Hemsky. I’m not sure he’ll be here after his contract expires in two seasons, despite his candlelight dinner with owner Daryl Katz after the season ended. I’m not convinced Penner will re-sign in Edmonton, either.

So, I start this what-if scenario with them, but feel free to change or add names you think might make a deal possible. If that includes taking a hummer contract back, like that of Michael Ryder — the Bruins already have over $46 million committed to salaries next season, so the cap is a consideration — so be it. Tweak it however you like.

The point is, there shouldn’t be anybody near untouchable on the Oilers roster, not after four straight years out of the playoffs. Tambellini isn’t giving up the chance to win something in the next two or three years by parting with Hemsky, Penner, Brule or whoever.

But, if you add a combination of those names to Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara. Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask, might that put the Bruins over the top?

If I’m Tambellini, I’m asking Chiarelli that question in Los Angeles, and I’m throwing offers at him in an attempt to get Seguin and Hall until the mini-bar is empty and he tells me to get the hell out of his room.

What’s to lose?

Know your audience

There’s some sharp fans out there, but there’s a handful of dullards with slack jaws and walnut-sized brains in the mix who keep things interesting by providing laugh-out-loud material.

Every Sunday, Jim Matheson serves up one of the best reads anywhere with Hockey World in the Journal. Matheson, an Elmer Ferguson Award winner — he’s in the writer’s wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame — got people talking with his latest offering last weekend.

Among other things, Matheson asked if the Oilers might make a pitch for Chicago’s Kris Versteeg with the 31st pick at the Entry Draft, if they might be interested in free agent defenceman John Scott and if San Jose might be interested in Sheldon Souray.

Matheson’s what-ifs and speculation drew this response by somebody calling himself "Asher" over at HF Boards.

"The more I read these Matheson "speculations" the more he comes off sounding like Eklund. I’ve often thought a lot of Eklund rumours are created by him sitting down looking at rosters and saying things like, "Gee, Team A could really use a player like the one Team B has that might be available." And then he goes on to create a rumour. I know Matty was writing for Eklund’s site a while back… maybe he picked up a few of Eklund’s writing habits along the way."

Matty was writing for Eklund a while back? Uh, no. Never has. Never will. That’s the wonderful thing about the interweb. Dolts can write stupid stuff that has no foundation in fact and people will read it because it’s only a mouse click away, alongside legit offerings from journalists, fans and bloggers who aren’t uttering nonsense and lies.

The right stuff

Hall certainly passed his drive-by to Edmonton today with flying colors, saying all the right things.

"I know how crazy this city is for hockey," Hall told reporters at Rexall Place. "I was having lunch at Joey’s and the chef came out and asked me to autograph his apron. People are recognizing me, already. I think it would be pretty cool to play here."

Part of the reason some people are pitching Seguin as a better fit for the Oilers is that he’s a centre, while Hall has played primarily left wing while leading the Windsor Spitfires to two straight Memorial Cups.

"I’d be very comfortable playing centre," Hall said. "In Windsor we had a lot of true centres who were better there than on the wing, so I moved over.

"When we had injuries this year, I moved back, and I played half the year I was at centre. It’s still hockey, it’s about winning battles in the offensive zone."

Seguin will stop in Edmonton for a look-see next week.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    It may be prudent to get Dale Tallon on the Jason Gregor show sometime before the draft and see what he would do with this all important draft pick and draft. Tambo always seems to have the deer in the head light look. Tallon the architech behind the Blackhawk turnaround was apparently not qualified for a Katz group pay check. Robin is right we should be doing whatever it takes at whatever cost to land both Hall and Segan. We are, after all in rebuild mode so let’s rebuild and do it right. Failing to move both Penner and Hemsky this summer we mean our GM has failed ! My two cents. I note too that Taylor Pyatt is a UFA. How about Ben Eager as well. Some size and grit would be in order fir this summer shopping as well.

    • Hemmertime

      Failing to move Hemsky and Penner means our GM has failed?

      Wow… really? Please take our best 2 players, we are “rebuilding” so we need to move anyone with talent. Get rid of Hemsky, bring in Pyatt. Damn right. Penner for Eager? Sign me up! As long as we move these pesky “high return” contracts we’ll be fine. And you do realize Tallon is Florida’s GM eh?

      • Yes I realize Hemsky can dangle with the best of them but think again if you think he will resign here for a contract $$ less than Horcoffs. That Horcoff contrcat at the end of the day will cost us more than $30 million. The penalty management will pay for that awfull contract is ultimately lossing Hemsky. My thought were to trade him now while we are in rebuild mode and try to land a top pick. Yes Penner has size and skill but fails to show consistency and fails to add grit. I”m guessing he moves on after this contract. Trade him now as he has value. Management knew Souray wanted out last year and did nothing now his value on the market is questionable. Another mistake ! And yes I know where Tallon is now but he sat unemployed for nearly a full season while our GM was still assessing this gong show. .

        • Hemmertime

          Take the Chicago model: They didn’t dump Havlat when the plan was rebuilding. They let him go and signed Hossa this year.

          Pittsburgh: Didn’t move Gonchar or anyone with talent during rebuild.

          Kings didn’t move anyone of note.

          I don’t see why you would want to move people now vs later for a slightly (possibly less too) better return instead of having some good caliber players to teach our young guys. Don’t get me wrong, if we can get a great pick or a young player who should be great down the line it is a good deal. But going with the mentality “We have to get rid of these guys” will net us a bad return and is just idiotic

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    everyone is so impatient. A rebuild takes time and looking at the Kings and Hawks it is more of a 3-5 year process if done properly. In that time the dealing of 1st round picks just isn’t smart. There will be good players in next year’s draft. And with a thin defence Adam Larsson would be a good pick for the Oilers. And given that the Oilers roster is looking worse or about the same as last year the odds are they’ll get a lottery pick again.

    I know everyone’s excited about the prospects that are coming over in Omark, MPS, and Eberle but let’s face it the better thing to do is for the Oilers to bring the young guys to the camp for experience and send them down to the AHL to ease them into pro hockey. It wasn’t that long ago that they screwed the pooch by bringing Cogliano and Gagner up too quickly without allowing them to get stronger and smarter when playing at the pro level with full grown adults. The new prospects should get some time in semi pro hockey. The only exception would be Hall because his style of play and his strength already make him fairly NHL ready, that is if the Oilers draft him. If the Oilers select Seguin I don’t see any harm in him finishing Junior and getting experience in the World Junior Tournament as there are still things he hasn’t experienced as a young player.

    Side note on the backups. Dubnyk should start in the AHL to see if he’s learned anything from his NHL stint and his numbers don’t scream consistency. He looked better as the year finished but he still hasn’t proven he’s ready for an 82 game schedule. Backups aren’t that expensive. The Oilers would be better off shopping for an inexpensive backup for this season. There’s a lot of serviceable ones who aren’t expensive. ie. Biron, Auld, Nittymaki

  • From Jim Matheson’s Hockey World today (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/MacTavish+hits+books/3148349/story.html)

    -If I were a betting man, I’d say the Oilers will try to trade goaltender Jeff Deslauriers at the draft because he, not Devan Dubnyk, is more marketable and because they don’t want three goalies vying for one net.
    Also, they will sign a B-grade free-agent goalie (maybe Curtis Sanford or Joey MacDonald) to play in Oklahoma City and definitely draft a goalie, probably after Round 2, because the cupboard is almost bare.

    -Teams are lining up for Kris Versteeg. If it takes a second-round draft, the Oilers, at No. 31, should lead the parade. This is a no-brainer as far as I can see for a guy who might score 30 goals for them. I think the Oilers will shop 2007 first-round draft Riley Nash’s rights at the draft, too.

  • Chris.

    Spacing out some of our upcoming youngsters or trades down the line might help keep them here . I would not want all of them up same year for contract renewals . It can/could happen if we add more than we have already this season . 15 already this year up for renewal . I’d rather hold onto next years NBR. 1 choice , as there is a very good chance it will be NBR.1 choice overall again if we play with present defensive and goaltending conundrum ! Even Ufa’s could become a huge fiscal problem . I think we need to trade for contracts that are not expiring this season to be honest .

    Does anyone see a future for Khabby down the line ? I’d move Khabby if they can .

    I don’t think i’d be selling out the farm like some of you suggest, and being stuck with all those contract renewals in the same year down the line . We need to add parts wisely , and address fiscal and contract considerations/ responsibilities at the same time as players if we are to be successfull down the line . Otherwise, we might be in a worse position than we are now 3 years down the road in many respects , with star players we cannot afford to hold onto .

  • I see no advantage to dealing Souray before next years trade deadline if he or we ever hope to get close to his value in return ! I take his word on being traded “if it benefits the club “. Well , it doesn’t benefit the Oilers at this time . I’d hold him to it till he proves next season or later he still can play at the valued contract we gave him . Fence mending on both sides is the best avenue to go with Souray , not let him go for more disasters that might well confront us .

    I think Souray is an honorable enough man to live up to his contract until he shoots his play up to the point Oilers can afford to accommodate a reasonable trade . Thats not being unfair to Souray’s request to be traded down the line .

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      and when souray gets hurt again next season?

      i would rather take the hit and dump the often injured guy who doesnt want to be here than roll the dice and end up with an untradeable asset next season because he is hurt AGAIN.

  • Lofty

    Gettin rid of MPS, Omark, Eberle, or the #1 pick is rediculous. They’re the future and loosing them to drop a bad contract is like two swift kicks to the groin.

    • striker

      Gagner is a top 6….so I suppose once you’ve traded Gagner for this top 6, in three years when that top 6 guy “might” start to become good you’ll be back on here again saying you’d trade that guy for a top 6…

      Wash, rinse and recycle….the cycle never ends

        • POTENTIALLY equal player. Some time in the next couple of years.

          Even then the best prospects aren’t locks. You’d be willing to give up a known, upwardly trending (20 year old) top 6 NHL’er for a “maybe”?

          • It is to help the rebuild get more prospects. Like I wrote it didn’t have to be gagner. Also gagner isn’t a top 6 forward on good NHL teams. Brûlée and cogs are equal to gagner judging from last season.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Cogs is equal to Gagner based on last season?

            Do you know Gagner finished 136th for scoring amoungst forwards? That would put him right at the cusp of uper end 2nd line numbers at 20.

            Stating that trading a 20 year old that’s proven he’s at least a 2nd liner for prospects helps a rebuild is ridiculous.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I’m assuming you are talking about Hemsky/Penner? The only reason I’d be remotely open to trading either for unproven youth/picks is if it’s clear they aren’t resigning here.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            No, but it would need to be a star to be better then Gagner. even if he does top out at the 65 points that you think he does, theirs not alot of guys that even get their drafted 4/5/6. I looked at it before, but the odds of a pick in that range being either a plug or a bust is still 30%ish (estimate)

        • You mean the guy that is reported to be on the first plane out of town after his contract is up? Plus, this isnt a question of moving up into the top 2, you said you’d move him to get into the top 6. Uh, last time I checked Gagner was top 6 just a couple years ago.

          You’re willing to keep a guy that isnt going to be here in 3 years over a guy that is the 2nd best player in his draft class and is just scratching the surface of his potential at the age of 20.

          Personally, I dont think the Oilers will be trading Hemsky, Penner, or Gagner at the draft; but if they trade Gagner for anything short of Boston’s pick then Tambellini should be fired on the spot.

          • I see where your coming from. I just don’t believe the reports from brownlee etc on hemsky not signing here. When is the last time mathesons rumors have been true? I think upgrading your prospects will help the rebuild. As you aware I’m not big on Gagner and he has yet to sign a long term contract. Plus other GMs will be asking for young players will potential not are spare parts

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            “I think upgrading your prospects will help the rebuild”

            You fail to aknowledge that Gagner is only 3 years older then whomever they pick, and that their is a very good chance that whomever they pick is actually a downgrade.

    • Pajamah

      C’mon Thorny, say “car ramrod”. You forgot to say car ramrod.

      How about we don’t name the lines at all?

      Since the “Legion of Doom”, pretty much every line name has been absolute crap. And that includes “Horpensky”.

  • Devon

    I would be against trading Hemesky at this point. Let him get a year back with good young talent and if he can’t be kept trade him this season or next the same with Penner. We need some people that can score and make plays while the youngsters develope. A more likely scenario would be trading down with Boston if Tambs decides he wants Seguin. And getting Bostons other first rounder and one of their defense man to play with Smid. And giving them one of Oilers forwards likely Nielsson or O’Sullivan. Trading to get the Second and First pick I think would be to hard no matter what you offer I can’t see Boston going for it.

  • We sucked this year with an AHL lineup and some people still want to bring in more prospects.

    *shakes head*

    Meanwhile, in the real world we still have to play 82 games next year against NHL teams. Unlike internet fans the people that actually go to games and spend untold thousands for seasons seats will expect a better showing than the 09-10 trainwreck. That isn’t going to happen with a bunch of 18 year-olds getting smashed into oblivion by real NHL players.

    Sam is a gamer and has nowhere to go but up. I bet he hits 60 easy next year if he has Penner as a linemate for the entire year. Penner, Gagner and Hall? Dare to dream Arnold. Dare to dream.

    • Agreed . With 15 still unsigned i wonder what Tams will do about them before or after/during the draft ? Just how many incumbent players might be requesting trades ? Is Tams waiting to see what Gags and Cogs might fetch the RFA route before trying to sign them ?

      More time keeps rolling by with no clear picture of whats happening with many veterans, or intentions/directions in draft beyond first pick . Lots of conjecture , but little content in direction they are headed .

      Nice to fantasize what they might do , but i’m wondering if they’re just doing the same with little to no plan in place that is /can be put into practice and not just talk ?

      Matheson appears to bring out the most , but the names he’s bringing out don’t lead me to believe we are forming anything more than a bad bottom feeder again next season . Will Hall, Svensson and maybe Eberle/ Omark be enough to appease the Oiler fans if our goaltending and defence is still closer to the tragic side of things ?

      Huge gap of balance/talent/skill between our forwards and backend , that will threaten our ability to go on offence once again .

  • a lg dubl dubl

    ive got to agree with devon, trading hemsky and or penner would be pointless at this time. The only reason why the oilers shat the bed this year imo is becase they had almost 600 man games lost due to injury, how well do you think the likes of the flammers, cantnucks, and any other team that lost their top 3 players do? i bet they’d have been right there fight for the #1 pick in the draft. Lets give them another yr (hopefully a healthy yr) and see what happens….but still please for the love of all that is holy!! get rid of nillson, pos, moreau, and that drunk khabby( how can u own a ferrari and NOT have insurance) I think the oil will draft Hall for simple fact we NEED a pure sniper we have all the playmakers in the world in gagner,horcoff,hemsky,eberle

    in my armchair gm position id put the lines like this

    penner gagner hemsky; cogs hall eberle; mps horcoff mps/brule; stortini potulny stone/whoever can hit

    whitney gilbert; smid chorny; peckham scott

    gone r nillson capt casper(moreau)pos and soury all traded 4 a brand new kitchen sink or bought out and scott FA signing

    sorry if i rambled on im a rookie at this thing called blogging lol

  • Forgive me for not reading 250 comments to see if this was said already, but what would happen if the Oilers picked Hall first overall, making the second pick of Seguin less attractive to the Bruins and probably more willing to deal for it?

  • Hemsky is a good contract for the Oilers. That is to say, he is underpaid. He and his agent will be looking to make up for lost money when his contract is up. Unless the Oilers back up the money truck, his best strategy is to let the free agent market negotiate for him. If the Oilers are not prepared to overpay him they had better be prepared to trade him. Not neccessarily in June but maybe Boston bites.

    Also I think the Oilers should keep their eye out for Jack Campbell. He might be the next Al Montoya mind you, but the re-build is going to need some more goalie prospects I think.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I think taking a 50/50 shot to get a good dman is too big of a risk to trade a “2nd line center” for.

      It’s like cashing in your $500,000 for a chance to win $1,000,000.

        • Did I write lock ? 20 years old has nothing to do with it since it’s a rebuild. We need depth on the back end. They have built some depth upfront. I did write before that it doesn’t have to be Gagner. But I feel that’s what the GMs would like.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            How does 20 years old have nothing to do with it? 20 has everything to do with it.

            I think the issue people have is trading one of the few knowns we have for another unknown.

            I agree that we need to shift some assets from the forwards to the defense, and would have no issues trading Gagner for his defensive equivalant… say an under 25 dman that’s already proven to be a 2nd pairing guy, that still has the potential upside and pedigree to be a first pairing guy. (Jack Johnson for example)

          • I think you’re missing the point completely.

            Gagner is the best young player on the team. There is no rebuilding if you’re giving up your best young players for 6th overall picks. Yes, I know you said it doesnt HAVE TO BE Gagner, but that statement still means you think it’s acceptable to move him for the 6th.

            They have depth upfront because the youth movement is being lead by Gagner. The Oilers dont have depth in the middle. They do though have 4 prospects at defence in the AHL in Petry, Plante, Peckham, and Chorney. So from where I sit, they need Gagner a lot more than another defenceman who will take at least 3 years to develop.

          • When you wrote those names of the defence man did you think they are all NHL caliber dman ? I don’t. You think a guy like Gagner isn’t replaceble I think he is. Also I wrote in the top 6 not the 6th pick. I’d take brule over gagner from last season. Now go ahead write back on how Gagner has played more NHL games etc.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            You keep ignoring the key point. Trading proven commodity (assuming you’ve got his rights long term) for unproven commodities is poor asset managment.

          • Most trades involving draft picks involve proven commodity. Also you think Gagner is a point a game player. May be if robin wrote a article on how Gagner won’t resign long term you would agree. If we are rebuilding it’s going to take time and tough choices to make the team better. I understand we don’t have much depth at center but Sam hasn’t been exactly that good on the faceoffs dot

          • Who addressed ? You ok. You think Sam in a proven player and none of the guys drafted in the top 6 will ever be as good as as him. He will get 90 points in a year. And is improving and have stats to show it. You think we have good depth on the dline.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I’ve showed you the caliber of player that typically gets picked in the 4/5/6 slot. I’ve shown that theirs a pretty good chance we will be downgrading what we already have…. with very small odds that we get someone substantially better. That is all that matters, but you chose to constantly ignore it.

          • You listed forwards. I’m talking about getting a good dman. I know we need more centers but feel we should get some dman this draft if they are better then the next bunch. Also I said top 6 which includes the second pick. I think the oilers have as many crappy centers as crappy dman. If Gagner was a bonified number 1 guy I wouldn’t think about the trade.

          • So the crux of your argument here is that the 6th overall pick is going to be an NHL calibre defenseman; Something you cannot possibly be sure about.

            The 4 guys I mentioned have been honing their skills in the minors and college, Chorney even had time in the NHL this year, and they arent ready. But you’re saying the 6th overall pick this year will not only be ready but be comparable in value to a 20 year old centre who has moved from the 4th to the 1st line in 3 years?

            Take a time out and think about this for a bit.

            You dont have to pick Brule over Gagner, and you shouldnt even if you had to. You can have both. You do not need to get rid of either. You SHOULDNT get rid of either. Rebuilding = Stockpiling youth, not recycling youth.

          • I wrote in the top 6 not the 6th overall pick. Yeah chorney is played really good. I see you took the time to list our dman but not forwards since we have more depth at forward. It’s not possible that a player picked in the top 6 gets as good as Gagner ? You would rather trade proven top 6 forwards in hemsky and penner ? Cause brownlee and mathesons wrote articles about what they guess will happen three years down the road.

          • The talk of trading either Penner or Hemsky begins and ends with the 2nd pick overall. After #2 its over.

            And since we’re talking about our wicked depth at forward, please list all our centremen by depth. All of them, and please stick to centrement that actually play that position.

            If #2 overall is off the table then I would prefer to keep both Penner and Hemsky. My hope would be that the influx of talented wingers convinces at least one of them to sign another contract with us.

          • The top 2 dmen in the draft would mean top 4, not top 6. No, I dont think our guys in the system are equal to them, I also dont think the top 2 are greater than Gagner. The Oilers dont need defencemen nearly as much as they need centres, and they dont need defencemen at the expense of the young centres we DO have.

          • We don’t know the draft order. It’s also possible if the GM feels like you do we get even more on return. I also think it’s possible for any forward draft in the top 6 this year could ,COULD put up 50 points after three years in the NHL.

          • Do you really think a goalie is going in the top 5 this year?

            After Hall and Seguin the best players are defensemen. I will wager money that the order goes F F D D.

            I also expect Hall or Seguin to put up more than 50 points in 3 years.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Guys taken 4-6 from 2000 to 2005 (propbably too early to judge anyone taken later)

    Klesla/Torres/Hartnell//Weiss/Kristov/Koivu//Pitkanen/Whitney/Upshall/Zherdev/Vanek/Michalek

    Ladd/Wheeler/Montoya/Pouliot/Price/Brule

    I don’t see one superstar there

    I see 2 stars in Vanek/Koivu

    So thiers only 2/18 I’d take hands down over Gagner

    2 complete bust (Montoya/Kristov)

    Sure we might get the next Vanek/Koivu (or their defensive equivalent)but their also really good odds that we get the next Torres/Zherdev/Montoya/Kristov/Klesla.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Last season our backend was our “Achilles Heel “. Oilers thought it would be just the opposit, and decided to gut that experiment only to make us even worse as it’s turning out if Souray goes for little . Maybe fans did not help much by expecting too much from the talent we actually had ?

    We are going into next season in a position on the backend that simply cannot be expected to compete with most/all of the backends in our division .

    When players cannot reach their own goals they become disgruntled and it effects their game and mentality . No one likes to play under those conditions , not be able to please themselves , their fans , coaches or club . We need a marquee defenceman to start building upon ,as we don’t have one now . To me, current players are fast losing faith in organization to get and retain any major marquee talent to build upon .

    Our problems are going to manifest despite forward talent we have emerging next season , if we don’t make a serious effort to make backend far more competitive than it is now !! We need a lot more than just fillins and fringe players back there – for even the likes of Souray, Viz and Grebs was not enough for last season !

    • Grebeshkov and Gilbert took a big step backwards last season. It wasnt until the last quarter of the season that Gilbert started playing like the team thought he was capable of. Smid and Souray were both injured for quite a bit last season, and that lead to Chorney and Strudwick playing way too much.

      Yes, the club is going to be weak on the backend unless Tambellini makes some trades or goes after free agents. I fully expect him to fill in capable 4-6 defensemen in the summer. If the team goes to camp with Chorney in the top 6 again we’re screwed.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Theirs lots of time to address the backend. If they haven’t brought in at least 1-2 2nd pairing guys by mid July, then I’ll be worried.

      • VMR

        Agreed. Drafting a defenceman wont help the team this year or even in the next 2 or 3 years most likely. Look at Keith in Chicago he was with the team for years before he developed into one of the best players. If we are looking at what the team needs right now then yes defencemen is probably the top priority. The draft table is not where you will get that help. If we’re looking for 3 or 4 years down the road then maybe but it’s harder to pick who they will be by that time.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    is this writer on hard drugs…..hemsky for the
    number 2…..I wouldnt even let my son do that
    on his VIDEO GAME………so what your really saying is the bruins traded phil kessel for hemsky…..the oilers came in LAST
    PLACE …who wants ANYONE on your roster..do
    you write these articles to try and make the
    oiler fans dream…..GET REAL…oilers take
    hall bruins take seguin….BOTH TEAMS get a
    future hopefully great player…is there any credibility in edmonton