I go to Vegas for the weekend and return home with a dislocated finger, a lighter wallet, a heavier suitcase and much to my chagrin the Oilers haven’t announced who they are drafting.

I’m stunned.

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep that had me thinking four days away from the Tyler or Taylor debate that something might have changed. As the fog from a fun-filled, sleep-deprived weekend in Vegas slowly evaporates reality kicks in and I realize of course nothing has changed in the TVT debate.

And why would it.

The countdown is on, even though Wanye and Bingofuel haven’t fixed the Nation countdown counter, and by Friday most fans will be thankful it is over. But will the moment match the hype for Oiler fans?

Months of waiting will culminate with a short “The Oilers would like to thank the city of LA and the Kings organization for putting on a great event. With the first choice in the 2010 entry draft, the Oilers are proud to select from the ??”

At about 5:04 MST on Friday you will either be boasting to your friends that you called it, or screaming that Steve Tambellini just ruined the future of the team. For many of you there is no middle ground, it’s either Taylor or Tyler.

Hall really impressed the Oilers during his interview last week. He knew Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Jordan Eberle’s stats, was knowledgeable to the history of the franchise and displayed lots of leadership qualities.

Seguin was also impressive, but I get the sense Hall might have graded out slightly higher. As Friday approaches, it seems that Hall is the name Tambellini will announce, but that’s only a hunch. I’m on the record as stating I’d take Seguin , and I won’t change that, but some of the whispers I’m hearing make me think Hall will be the call for the Oilers.


Being a Predators fan must really suck. You consistently lose players as UFAs, trade away high-priced veterans, yet your team is never bad enough to get a top-five pick. David Poile is a great GM. Rather than lose guys for nothing, he at least gets something. Dan Hamhuis wasn’t going to re-sign with the Preds, so Poile gets a conditional pick and Ryan Parent.

Parent didn’t look good for Flyers in the playoffs, but the Preds develop D-men better than anyone right now. Parent was originally drafted 18th overall in 2005 by Poile, so if anyone can get Parent to live up to his potential it will be Predators.

Paul Holmgren must have another trade brewing, and it has to be one of his big-ticket forwards heading out of town. Rumours are swirling that Jeff Carter is the most likely candidate, because he is better at centre and the Flyers have Mike Richards, Daniel Briere and Claude Giroux in the middle.

Tambellini should be on the horn to Holmgren and kick some tires. A 40-goal scoring centreman with size is exactly what the Oilers need. The Flyers can’t take on a lot of salary in any deal and they don’t have a first round pick this year.

The problem for the Oilers is they don’t have a lot to offer up. Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano wouldn’t make sense, because the Flyers don’t need a centre. I don’t see them giving up MPS, but I wonder if they would deal Jordan Eberle, Ladislav Smid and the 31st pick?

Trading Smid would hurt because the Oilers don’t have much depth on their blueline, but he is cheap and the Flyers need one more D-man. Eberle could fit in on the wing in their top nine and they get a future pick. The only concern with dealing for Carter is that he is an RFA after this season. It could be a risk, but every move and every draft pick involves some risk. I’d take the chance.


The Oilers released their pre-season schedule today, and you can guarantee that Taylor or Tyler will be playing their first game in an Oiler uniform on September 23rd. There is no way they would debut either one on the road in Vancouver and it’s very doubtful they would play him back-to-back nights. I suspect the Tampa Bay game will be sold out with fans actually in their seats for a pre-season game.


Game 1: Wednesday, September 22

Opponent::Vancouver Canucks

Location: General Motors Place

Game Time:  TBA

Game 2: Thursday, September 23

Opponent: vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Location: Rexall Place

Game Time: 7:00 PM

Game 3: Sunday, Sepember 26

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

Location: Rexall Place

Game Time: 6:00 PM

Game 4:  Wednesday, September 29

Opponent: Phoenix Coyotes

Location Rexall Place

Game Time: 7:00 PM
Game 5:  Friday, October 1

Opponent: Calgary Flames

Location: Rexall Place

Game Time: 7:00 PM

Game 6:  Sunday, October 3

Opponent: Calgary Flames

Location: Pengrowth Saddledome

Game Time: TBA

  • Hemsky, Khabby back in the lineup. A healthy Horcoff. Whitney. The emergence of Sam and Cogs.

    Plus adding a “Carter or Spezza or Kovolchuk” on top of a few new trades on top of the one or two hot prospects that’ll crack the team.

    Equates to a “move up from 30th to 28th”? Okay.

    ~Guess you can’t really argue against that sort of flawless logic.~

    “Rebuild” doesn’t mean “gut”. It means RE-BUILD. Competent teams have been reformatted (see: Phoenix Coyotes) in pretty short timeframes.

    There’s alot of different ways to rebuild. Some take longer than others.

    • Horcoff hasnt been healthy for 2 full seasons now, Hemsky and Whitney are coming off surgery, Khabby might be in jail at the beginning of the season for all we know.

      Adding Carter or Spezza might cost us one of the hot prospects and a Gagner or Cogliano.

      There are different ways to rebuild, but hoping that players who are coming off significant surgery will be 100% and trading away youth for a couple seasons of Jeff Carter isnt how it’s done.

      IF all those guys come back and play the way they are capable of then obviously I’d expect more than 28th. I count 7 “if”s in your above statement, maybe 3 are reasonable expectations in Gagner, Whitney, and Hemsky. But even then we need to be lucky.

      • If we are just going to automatically assume that nobody will every re-sign with the team then what is the point?

        If you are going to assume that then you have to also believe that the team will never win another cup because, although I could be wrong, I don’t believe any team has ever won a cup without any players that were re-signed by their team.

        The way you talk we should all just accept the Oilers as having farm team status while every free agent to be on the roster prepares to sign anywhere and everywhere else.

        • Of course we can re-sign players. I bet we even have a half decent chance of re-signing our own home grown guys.

          I think, though, that you are being a little unrealistic if you think that a player in the prime of his career will be traded from the Stanley Cup finalists to the basement of the League 2 years before he hits Unrestricted Free Agency and will sign long term.

          Jeff Carter has no ties to the Oilers and will have everything to gain by hitting Free Agency when he’s eligible.

          The Oilers do not have a winning situation, a track record of good leadership, or a solid dressing room. Why on Earth would a newly acquired player sign long term and nix the chance at hitting the Free Agent market in the prime of his playing career?

          We arent talking about Hemsky, who has been here since he was 18, or Zach Stortini who has worn the Sweater with pride since the day he was drafted. We’re talking about Jeff “I have no ties to Edmonton” Carter.

          Dont blanket my thoughts about 1 player to reflect on people in completely different situations

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

            The team would still hold the Hammer with Carter though, if he refuses to re-up long term next year they swap his rights and re-coup most/all of what they paid to get him.

          • If he refuses to sign long term, then the Oilers lose the leverage in the trade. The other teams wont be offering their best stuff for a commodity that they know has to be moved.

            If you really think that’s a good deal then good for you. I think it’s insane for the Oilers to trade for Carter without a long term deal in place, and I think it’s even more insane to think Jeff Carter would sign that long term deal.

          • I’m not afraid he’ll leave, I’m willing to bet my house that he’ll leave. I’m afraid the Oilers will trade away a valuable young member of the rebuild for essentially a rental player.

            Maybe we should trade Eberle, Gagner, MPS, and the 1st overall for a bunch of established stars nearing UFA status. That should fast-track this rebuild for sure.

          • Managing in fear is pretty pointless.

            How about managing in reality? Is that pointless? Jezus. Why dont we just sign Kovalchuk and convince Niedermayer not to retire this summer too?

            They will all sign for 1 million dollars over the next 15 years and the Oilers will be set. Because rebuilding is fun, everyone loves going into a toxic dressing room with the fewest wins in the NHL and turning it all around.

            That sounds good to me.

          • I cannot believe that you think it is realistic that a newly acquired Jeff Carter would sign in Edmonton long term. I think if you polled 100 sane non-Oiler fans you would find that 85-90% of them would say that Jeff Carter would be gone as soon as possible.

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

            We’d have 12 months to do it, and with his addition + a few other moves theirs no reason we can’t be a solid playoff team this year.

          • I know that summer is season of Hope for us Oiler fans, but I think your expectations are slightly unreasonable.

            Also, I’m not concerned about this year. I’m concerned about 3 years from now, when Carter is playing for a different team.

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

            I don’t buy into the Oiler pipe dream every summer, I’ve been saying they were a bubble team for years, and I believe the would be next year as well with only 1-2 small moves.

          • Wow you’re in a mood today.

            The thing of it is, maybe he does leave, but to claim that we are being completely unrealistic to believe that a 25 year old might see this as a great chance to lead a potential up and coming team is nothing more than you being obtuse.

          • Obtuse? I’m suggesting that it isnt reasonable to expect a 25 year old who just competed for the Stanley Cup to sign a long term deal with the lowest ranked team in the league when he only needs 2 years to hit Free Agency, and I’m Obtuse?!

            For frack sakes people. Take off your Oiler-goggles.

          • Thats bullsh!t and you know it. We have had enough conversations on here to know that I do not take Oilercentric positions and that if anything I am more likely to fall on the cynical/pessimistic side of nearly every discussion.

            In fact, the mere idea that it is me on here taking this position should almost be enough on its own to suggest the idea isn’t as outrageous as you pretend it to be.

          • Ok. Here is the problem. I have never yet assumed he would sign. I have repeatedly suggested he could be convinced to sign, but I haven’t assumed anything. I think it is unreasonable to suggest there is no chance at all that he signs long term and that if we ever want to sign anybody long term we need to have some confidence that our youth will help turn this around.

            Not only that but we need to bring in some talent to play with our youth while they are still underpaid in order to maximize our roster under the cap.

            Also, you keep telling me that you addressed my point about needing more sources than homegrown talent, yet you have only explained why homegrown talent would re-sign. My position is that homegrown alone will not cut it. (My Hemsky comment was merely my titting your tat for your exaggeration of my position)

          • Until the Oilers lose the contracts for POS, Nilsson, Moreau, and Souray I dont see the Cap Space necessary to sign a new high end Free Agent long term AND be able to re-sign Hemsky/Penner when the Kids all need new contracts.

            So logistically, I wonder about how much wiggle room the Oilers have to add big name FA talent.

            Then I wonder why big name FA talent would sign here until the team has proven to be on the upswing.

            Homegrown Talent alone wont cut, likely, but you also can win without it. The Oilers dont have it yet, and the kids that represent that homegrown talent are the pieces that will be moving out to acquire guys like Carter.

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

            Ok, I was going to let it drop, but since you pulled out the “Oiler-goggles” statement, I’ll come back to it.

            “I think if you polled 100 sane non-Oiler fans”

            I’ve always found you to have very thick Oiler goggles on when it comes to our prospects and young players.

            Perhaps you should poll the 100 sane non-Oiler fans to see what they feel their trade value should be, might be a bit of a wake up call.

          • This isnt about “Trade Value”. This is about rebuilding long term vs acquiring as many talented players as possible now.

            Carter > Eberle on talent and immediate impact. There is no question about that. None.

            Now I have to refer you back to comment #20 of this thread.

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

            I was talking more in general terms.

            ie don’t be so quick to toss out the Oilers goggles statement when you wear them a fair amount yourself.

          • Talkin in “General Terms” that do not apply to the specific argument in question is hardly fair.

            I stand by a lot of the statements I’ve made, ranging from Firing MacT to Schremp having a future in the NHL. I, at the very least, try to back what I say with some kind of logic.

            This seems like a shot from the dark. At least accuse me of something specific.

          • You’re right. We better immediately trade Penner and Hemsky for picks. Then when our picks reach RFA we better trade them for picks too because they don’t want to be here. We only have a couple more years of Gagner before he bolts, so don’t forget to start looking for an new home for him too. We wouldn’t want to be caught with our pants down when he’s 2 years away from leaving.

            If we’re lucky we’ll never have to have a player over 24 on our roster. All our draft picks will pan out, they always do right? Then we can win our cup with our all-star team of 18-23 year olds.

          • I know from earlier discussions that you arent clinically retarded, but I’m beginning to waver on that diagnosis. Honestly.

            I have already addressed re-signing home grown talent in this thread. I specifically talked about guys with ties to the Oilers and Edmonton, and yet here you are suggesting that I think the Oilers should trade Penner and Hemsky for picks.

            I know for a fact that I’ve only ever agreed that trading Hemsky for a pick works if that pick is the 2nd overall pick in this draft. Barring that, I think the Oilers CAN convince at least one of Penner or Hemsky to re-sign here.

            I’m sorry that you cant look at the Oilers’ situation for what it is.

          • I know from earlier discussions that you arent clinically retarded, but I’m beginning to waver on that diagnosis. Honestly.

            So you’ve decided to regress from hyperbole to calling me stupid? Nice.

            Anyways, the point is that we will never win with the draft as our only source of talent. Never.

            You have basically just called me retarded because I believe that it is possible a guy like Carter could find a reason to enjoy an opportunity to be the leader of a young team, so if anybody is reaching for their position here it is you.

          • I call it like I see it. I already addressed that point earlier in the discussion, but you either didnt understand what I said or you were so caught up in your irrational argument that you refused to acknowledge it.

            Either way, it leaves me little else to judge your mental state.

          • Dont blanket my thoughts about 1 player to reflect on people in completely different situations.

            Ah, so this was the first time you’ve talked about players not wanting to re-sign here?

            You’re talking about Jeff “I have no ties to Edmonton” Carter, but I’m talking about Jeff “I like the young talent this team is putting together, this’ll be fun” Carter.

            Obviously I have gotten tired of all the comments promoting management decisions based on the assumption that nobody wants to be here. You can’t win that way. No team ever has.

          • Ok, well you can live in the land of make-believe, but I will be firmly here in reality. You know, the place where the Oilers have finished dead last this past season and have missed the playoffs several years in a row.

            All I can say is that I’m glad that you arent in charge of the re-build.

          • Right. Because the idea of trading one pretty good prospect for a 25 year old star equates to trading our entire stock of prospects. Makes sense.

            At least if I were planning the rebuild, instead of using your ideas, we wouldn’t be stuck with a dozen RFAs at the same time all demanding large raises before we even have a chance to contend and leaving on offer sheets we can’t match. (Fair’s fair when it comes to hyperbole)

    • VMR

      Khabby ends up in jail/his back doesnt heal all that well and he ends up playing less than half the season. Whitney’s foot surgery takes longer than expected to heal and we have to go with Gilbert as our only dman for half the season.

      There’s a ton of bad stuff that can happen. Kovalchuk left Atlanta when they were offering $10 million to try and go to a contender. Carter can fly in 2 seasons when he’s a UFA. Spezza didnt get it done in Ottawa with a much better supporting cast why do we think he’ll do any better here?

      I dont see why we’re in such a hunt for forwards. We’ve got a ton of prospects up front that look like possible top end players. On the Blueline we’ve got nothing and our goaltending prospects are pretty questionable. Why are we looking at offensive superstars?

  • I agree with Falco and I’ll take the point one step further by asking these questions to everyone (and no one) in particular …

    How many of you think that we won’t be in this same boat next year? (i.e. drafting really high after a non-playoff year)

    And how many of you think we shouldn’t be?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      If we have no major moves (ie just shuffle off some vets…including O’sully/Nillson in that catagory) and bring in some youth I’d expect us to finish between 18th – 24th

      And I don’t think it’s worth throwing away another season for a 8th/9th/10th overall pick.

      I think if we add two 4/5 that play capable defense as well as 2 real bottom 6 players we’ll finish between 15th – 20th

      Doing the above moves + and impact player (like Carter) and I would peg us between 10th – 15th.

      • Ducey

        Alright, 10 to 15th place finishes for eternity!

        What you and David S are proposing is what the Leafs have been doing for decades. Kevin Lowe tried it for a while too: Bring in high profile assets, still suck and watch the assets walk away. Rinse, repeat. Carter would just be the latest Cole, Pronger, Peca, Souray to pass thru town.

        What happened in PHX last year was an anomoly (as was the O6 cup run). Any GM that uses that for a successful model is going to be sorry.

        So they bring in Carter. They still only have 3 Dmen, no checking line, a marginal 4th line, a few rookies, little toughness and weak goaltending. Even with needed major rebounds from Horcoff, Hemsky and Bulin and this still isn’t a playoff team.

        Meanwhile, you have traded away a couple of your assets for the future.

        Why not do the rebuild correctly? Suck for a few years, grab as many young assets as you can and add a Carter as the final piece.

        Then we can actually cheer for a cup contender rather than a perpetual playoff contender.

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

          Balogny, as mentioned theirs no cookie cutter to rebuilding.

          My 10th – 15th stance INCLUDED, adding dmen and quality bottom 6 bodies. Team improvements from their would come from the maturation of the young guys that were still here.

          You can throw out the Leafs as an example as to why a proper rebuild is needed, but theirs matching examples of teams with top 10 picks for mutiple years that never go anywhere.

          It’s not an all or nothing question, not every player on the team needs to be younger then 22.

          • Ducey

            My 10th – 15th stance INCLUDED, adding dmen and quality bottom 6 bodies. Team improvements from their would come from the maturation of the young guys that were still here.

            Okay, so you bring in 6 or 7 new players (3 “quality” bottom 6 guys and 3 good Dmen + Carter) plus buyout a few and you are going to be under the cap?

            I just don’t see that as a Cup contender. Its what you might try if you a core to build around, but this team has no superstars to build around. Even then its tough, see Calgary Flames.

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

            I said two dmen and 2 bottom 6 forwards.

            Last year bottom 6 forwards were found in the discount bin, I think you’ll find them their this year as well.

          • Ducey

            I don’t beleive that.

            Free agents are going to want to go to places where a) they will be overpaid and/or b) they have a chance to win a cup.

            Right now we are the last place team in the league (by a lot). People are not going to want to be a part of that. I assume you agree we are not going to build a winner by overpaying.

            Plus, Canada/ Edmonton is a tough place to play if your team sucks. Its awesome if you are on a winner.

            Until this team has a bevy of young talent that develops and starts to make some noise, players are going to want to play elsewhere.

          • 1. So your big idea to win a cup is to try and sign players when our young talent has aged to the point where we now have to pay them and the window for winning while they are underpaid has passed?

            2. How is it you seem to believe that 25 is too old to be part of the teams future?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Just a side note as I know Gregor wanted a guy like Bradley Ross. Apparently he is the best agitator in the draft. Played on a line with Nino and Johansen. Ranked 35-59th, is this someone we should look at with NSH’s pick?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Timing of this P.R . video Thurs. worries me . How did they find the time to do this video when there is so much to do with on ice product and talk of setting up for draft , assessments and trades, etc.? I’d feel more comfortable if they had started it after draft , etc . when we could see the on ice product maybe improving .

    Maybe it is a Heatley type try on the Oiler fans ? Some sort of hybrid off the Springfield sales pitch ? Well i hope it doesn,t turn out to be as “meatless as Springfields did last season .

    I’m getting to the point where i’m giving these PR stunts a deaf ear . I’ll wait till i see an improvement in the on ice product before buying anymore hype and talk from them. I want to see some meat and potatoes not hype , hope and talk !

    • You know the same guys that make PR videos arent the same guys that deal with the On-Ice product, right? It is conceivable that they hired totally seperate people to do that kind of stuff, unless Tambellini is an AV wizard.

      I dont think K-Lowe came down to Steve’s office and said, “Hey, we came in dead last this year. Make my team better come hell or high-water…but first I need you to put together a promotional video. You can ask your parents to help you but you have to do the bulk of the work yourself. This will count as 20 percent of your final grade.”

  • Milli

    I’m with most in not wanting to trade our young players and prospects. But, sooner that later I hope, we need to address the size or lack of on our team. Realistically, can we ice a top 6 with one six footer?

  • So logistically, I wonder about how much wiggle room the Oilers have to add big name FA talent.

    This is true. I have been discussing this from the theoretical aspect of what this team needs. Cap space would need to be cleared but I am under the assumption that a move like this wouldn’t happen without cap space being cleared first. I didn’t mention it because I thought it went without saying.

    …sign a new high end Free Agent long term AND be able to re-sign Hemsky/Penner when the Kids all need new contracts

    This has been my primary point all along. We need to try and win before the young guys get their long term allstar contracts or our roster value will never be high enough.

    Then I wonder why big name FA talent would sign here until the team has proven to be on the upswing.

    This is a reasonable statement. I just disagree that it isn’t worth trying because I believe that if we don’t try we will never contend.

    I should also add – I agree that homegrown talent is important, I just don’t see why you seem to think we need to keep all of it. Why do we need all of MPS, Eberle, and Hall? Aren’t MS and Hall enough if Eberle could buy us a Carter? I would be stunned if Eberle was ever as good as Carter, even forgetting about immediate impact.

    • I think it’s important to keep as many guys as long as possible. In the specific example of Eberle vs Carter, I think you know that I believe having Eberle for 7 years outweighs Carter for 2. If Carter was signed long term it would be a different story, but we disagree on that possibility.

      And I dont know if MS and Hall/Seguin are good enough, like Eberle, neither have played an NHL game.

      I think it’s too early to move such hot prospects, and Eberle is a hot prospect. I want to see the Oilers draft AND develop their young talent.

      When the Cap is less of a concern and the team starts winning, I will be more open to the idea of making the “Win Now” moves. I just think that based on the way things are now, the Oilers should be in the phase of rebuilding that involves getting and keeping as many young players as possible,

        • It will be less of a concern when guys like Moreau, POS, Nilsson, and Souray are gone. Considering the amount of high end guys the team needs to compete at an elite level and how many RFAs need to be signed I wouldnt consider the Oilers in good standing with the Cap just yet.

      • but you agree that:

        MPS/Hall/Carter > MPS/Hall/Eberle?

        I have to ask because you say the issue is losing Carter, but then you go on to talk about Eberle being a hot prospect. I like Eberle but I cannot, with any basis in reality, put him in a category with Carter. If we can’t improve enough in 2 years to get Carter to re-up then we are likely in a position where we are starting out rebuild over anyways because our “hot prospects” are not as good as we thought they were.

        This is not a “win now” move either. It is a “win before Hall, MPS, and Eberle all potentially demand big raises and we no longer have any bargain contracts on the roster” move. (A win soon move?)

        • Yeah, I also think Carter/Hall/Eberle > MPS/Hall/Eberle

          That isnt the point. It’s not as if Eberle is some unheralded prospect. The kid is the CHL player of the year and I think rated #6 best prospect in the NHL by the Hockey News. Yes, he’s just a prospect and Carter is a proven commodity.

          2 years is a short time. It took Chicago about 7 years. It took Pittsburgh a long time as well. Two is nothing, it is not unrealistic to think that in 2 years the Oilers will be much better but not ready to truly compete for a Cup.

          • If our prospects are really top shelf then it is not unreasonable at all. Maybe 3 years would be a better number, but you get my general intention. You can probably tell by my edit that I agree two might be a bit fast.

            The idea is to have pieces in place to win while they are still deals, that is the point, not the specific number of years.

            Chicago and Pittsburgh are rare examples of kids leading their teams to a cup by the way, usually it is done with veterans leading th team while quality youth are under value contracts…even then Chicago was contending 2 years after Kane and Toews rookie season.

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

            I don’t think we take salary/salary cap inflation into consideration often enough.

            I don’t worry that much about having guys like Hall on “good deals” (ie his rookie contract) when the cap has increased 5% in each year of the worst recession since the 30’s. More often then not teams are going to inflate their way out of trouble.

          • It might take me a while to find the data, but it’s been pretty much proven that recession actually drives up numbers in industries categorized as entertainment. It’s not a coincidence that the movie industry has also been having big years lately.

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

            Interesting. So if that’s the case, and we’ve also seen that the NHL revenues grow at a brisk pace when times are good, should we not be very confident in continued, long term salary cap growth?

          • So your position here is that small increases in annal cap number will be sufficient to provide for multiple simultaneous massive raises if our prospects pan out? And that it will also allow us to retain competent bottom six help along with all the raises?

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

            Not exactly, I think we have to potential to be in a bit of a pickle if all three start this year (which is part of the reason I wouldn’t mind at least 1 playing a year in the A/another year of Jr). However if that’s the case that means all are likely playing top notch hockey and we’ll have lots of options if need be.

            However, I think the odds that all three will need substantial raises in three years are pretty slim.

            What is Gagner at this point? A 2.5 – 3 million dollar player? I expect Eberle to be slightly behind Gagner in 3 years and MSP to be slightly ahead of Gagner in 3 years. So I don’t think either will be in line for cap crippling raises.

            I also don’t think we are going to see small increases in the cap each and every year. The cap has increased between 5% and 13%(ish) every year, even 8% – 9% growth is equivalent to a solid 1st line player.

          • Pray tell, when did the rebuild start? 97-98?

            Just because Chicago sucked for a decade it doesn’t mean we need to do the same.

            And what is this new obsession everyone has for Chicago? They fluked ass-backwards into a contender and now we want to replicate that?

          • It isnt about replicating them, but looking at them the base of their rebuild started in 2002 and 2003 when they drafted Keith and Seabrook.

            Obviously the Oilers want to rebuild faster, but you cant ignore that the average rebuild takes time.

          • Because the team has no solid prospect in Net going forward and a questionable Defence. I think in 3 years our forwards will be quite good. I really think that’s possible.

            It IS possible that the Oilers will be on the upswing in 2 years. 2 being the key number in the Carter discussion. So all the Oilers have to do is play chicken with Carter’s contract situation long enough that he MIGHT be interested in staying long term. Sweet plan.

          • Ah, you mean when they fluked into their franchise defenseman with the 54 pick?

            I’m looking to generate sustained success, rather than a one shot title before we lose everyone we cant pay anymore. If everyone important on the team is in the same age bracket the problem is unavoidable.

          • I’m confused about when I am supposed to have made such a claim?

            I have been talking about maximizing the value of the roster. The roster needs to be adjusted as time passes with the intention of keeping as much quality.

            If it happens that our team plays well enough that our prospects demand big raises then Carter will have played well and done his job. This in turn means he will have a high trade value and can be moved for new prospects to replace our current prospects as they move into the “allstar” void left by Carter’s departure.

            This is not complicated, or even new, concept.

        • VMR

          How does having Carter help us when it comes time to sign our young guys to bigger contracts? He will have to be resigned and to a pretty hefty contract to keep him in his first UFA contract. I think we’re better off having the 3 kids coming up to RFA status at the same time then we are being stuck with a long term big contract to a player 5+ years older and 2 kids going to RFA.

          Of course the biggest problem with all this talk is that we’re ignoring the actual holes on the team and trading prospects to get us a bit more scoring. Meanwhile our defence gets no love and we’re giving up extra pieces we could use to trade for or picks we need to draft the guys that we need on the blueline.

  • Philosophically, I am opposed to moving guys like Gagner, Eberle, MPS, and even Cogliano to a lesser degree. Let them all grow together for the next 5-7 years.

    I see this very differently. I believe a team needs a big mix of players of different ages so that they are all in different stages of contract progression. I don’t see any other way to get maximum value out of your roster.