Do you see what I see, edition VII

With less than two weeks to go in the season, how much can we take out of these final games?

Are five consecutive solid starts enough that the Oilers need to be concerned that a team will claim Devan Dubnyk next year? Or are they enough that the Oilers will keep him and waive Jeff Deslauriers? Or is trading one of them the best option for Steve Tambellini?

If he trades one then they have zero depth in the organization and with Nikolai Khabibulin’s age and recent back surgery I don’t know if that’s the best option. The only way they trade one of them is if they can sign a journeyman veteran who won’t get claimed on waivers.

I don’t think Dubnyk has shown enough for a team to grab him and keep him as their back up next season.

Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan are exact replicas. Soft and inconsistent yet they can tantalize you skill that gives you a false sense that they have turned the corner. O’Sullivan is a bit grittier, but like his consistency that facet of his game only appears from time-to-time. Does Tambellini keep one of them, or both?

Both of them are under 26 years of age, so they can be bought out for 1/3 of their salary, but I don’t see both of them getting the pink slip. If I had to choose I’d get rid of O’Sullivan first, but I bet the team parts ways with Nilsson.

Can the Oilers move forward with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano as centremen? Not if they want to be a contender some day, but Cogliano has put up some decent numbers since being promoted off the 4th line. He has four goals and nine points in his last 11 games, after scoring five goals and 14 points in the first 64.

I think his promotion has been a showcase and he’ll be moved this summer. I like his game and I think he’ll be a 20-goal man very soon, but he just doesn’t fit in the long term plans with Gagner and Tyler Seguin in the mix. Yes, I said Seguin. I think that is who the Oilers should choose on June 1st, if they get the first pick.

The Oilers will move Cogliano for a winger with size or a solid D-man.

The more I think about it, the more realistic it seems that the Oilers might move Ales Hemsky. Hemsky likes Edmonton, but he is tired of losing. Either they move Hemsky or they improve his supporting cast so this team can make the playoffs. I don’t think the latter is that easy, so Hemsky might be dangled.

I know a majority of fans are dreaming of getting the top two picks, but that slim, and I mean slim, possibility will only happen if Boston or Columbus is the other team in the top two. Carolina, Tampa and the Islanders won’t trade the pick, but Boston and Columbus would at least consider it. Scott Howson and Peter Chiarelli need to win next season, while the other three can be patient.

Once again it looks like the east will have four of the top five picks. It’s no wonder many of the top young stars play in the east. Since the 2000 draft only once, 2007, has the west had three picks in the top five. Every other year the east has had at least three choices, and three times they have had four of the top five picks.

Here is who the east and west have drafted since 2000.

East West
Rick Dipietro Marian Gaborik
Dany Heatley   Rostislav Klesla
Raffi Torres Stanislav Chistov
Ilya Kovalchuk Rick Nash
Jason Spezza Nikolai Zherdev
Alexandr Svitov Cam Barker
Stephan Weiss Blake Wheeler
Kari Lehtonen Bobby Ryan
Jay Bouwmeester Benoit Pouliot
Joni Pitkanen Erik Johnson
Ryan Whitney Jonathon Toews
Marc-Andre Fleury Patrick Kane
Eric Staal Kyle Turris  
Nathan Horton Thomas Hickey
Thomas Vanek Drew Doughty
Alex Ovechkin  Alex Pietrangelo
Evgeni Malkin   Matt Duchene
Sidney Crosby  Brayden Schenn
Jack Johnson  
Carey Price  
Jordan Staal   
Nicklas Backstrom  
Phil Kessel  
James Van Riemsdyk   
Karl Alzner   
Steven Stamkos  
Zach Bogosian  
Luke Schenn  
John Tavares   
Victor Hedman   
Evander Kane  

The western teams need to learn how to suck better down the stretch. The Blue Jackets are 6-2-2 in their last ten and are now out of the bottom five, and if they keep rolling them might find themselves drafting 9th. Just more proof that you can’t get teams to purposely tank it down the stretch. The Jackets beat the Hawks twice in the last week.

With four straight wins it looks the Sharks have woke up and will get home ice advantage in the west. They won’t face Detroit in the first round, so I will pick the Sharks to represent the west in the Cup. I know they have Joe “I can’t play with emotion” Thornton, but I believe the Olympic experience will help him and with Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau all winning the gold, the Sharks will finally make it to the fourth round.

I don’t like the Hawks goaltending, and I don’t think Vancouver’s defence is deep enough to win three rounds.

And it will be sweet to watch the Flames scratch and claw their way to 9th place in the west. They are dreaming if they think they will catch Colorado. They play each other this Friday, but it won’t matter. The Avs have five of their seven remaining games at home where they are 23-11-2. Sorry Flamers you won’t be going to the dance.

I wonder if the Flames would be in the playoffs if they showed as much fire as Jim Playfair, the head coach of their AHL team in Abbotsford.

Playfair lost it over the weekend. To bad he didn’t rip off his shirt,that would have been even funnier.

  • I know a majority of fans are dreaming of getting the top two picks, but that slim, and I mean slim, possibility will only happen if Boston or Columbus is the other team in the top two. Carolina, Tampa and the Islanders won’t trade the pick, but Boston and Columbus would at least consider it. Scott Howson and Peter Chiarelli need to win next season, while the other three can be patient.

    With a small tweak, I'd think this to be true… I don't think the Bruins move the pick, but wonder if Tampa might. Adding a reasonably priced playmaking winger to play with Stamkos could be somewhat intriguing to them, no? Had Columbus continued to fall, I'd say maybe even them.

    • Jason Gregor

      I said Columbus would do it….hellooooooooo.

      Tampa won't because they want to build a young stud with Stamkos, or if they get top third they want Fowler. They'd love another young D-man along with Hedman, preferably one more offensive like Fowler.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        I'd be very curious to see if CBJ has the money to take on Hemsky or if we have to take on some money to make that happen.

        I also question if a team like Florida pulls the pin and decides they want another top 5 pick. Trade Vokoun and their 2nd in a package to TB.

        I guess it really depends on what teams get the green light to spend and which ones are told to cut.

          • Possibly….but I really think that is the only way to sell it to the fans. Trade quality, get back a player & the draft pick.

            If we traded for the pick, say it is the #4 pick. We get our pick of house hold names like Brett Connolly, Riley Sheahan or Erik Gudbranson. What do you think the reaction is then?

            I would hope they wouldn't do the deal if Columbus wasn't picking top 3.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            i think the reaction will be negative for almost any trade involving hemsky.

            however

            trading hemsky for a cheaper version of horcoff probably wont fly. trading hemsky for a top 3 or 4 pick sells the fanbase on potential. you know, that same potential we have had shoved down our throats since '92

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            Trading Hemsky for someone with less potential and roughly the same age and roughly the same cost doesn't make sense.

            Whitney for Lubo at least Whitney has a couple things on Lubo and the deal could potentially make us a better team.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            I don't do Hemsky for Vermette. Hesmky and Cogs for Vermette and their pick then I would have to probably do it, that is if that pick turns out to be a good one.

            Don't get me wrong I really like Vermette and what he brings, but he is more of a #2-#3 center. This 60+ season seems like a real good year, but not something I'd expect out of him every year.

          • @ Woogie

            If your're getting their first pick & if Colubus has to lose some salary.

            That would be ridiculous to trade straight up. If Vermette was part of the deal, we would have to lose a center, like Cogs.

            I think trading Hemsky for just a pick is riskier than getting back a player & a pick. It's tangible – you can see the player. People would be chastising a Hemsky for a pick deal forever if the pick didn't pan out the way us fans would want.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            When I mentioned salary coming back from CBJ I was thinking more on the lines of someone they don't need, not their 2nd best player.

            Anyone catch that Hejda is being sat? He or Chris Clark was who I was thinking about when taking on some salary.

          • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

            Isn't this akin to taking Whitney for Visnovsky? When the Oil dumped Visnovsky one of the reasons was salary-related, despite the fact that he was far and away the best player on the team.

    • Evil Ginger

      Do you think it would take a hemsky and something else to do that then? What do you think the GM would think about giving up the second overall pick to the team that has the first? Do you think it changes the deal in their mind and they try to get more for the pick then if the 17th overall is trying to acquire it?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I'm thinking (hoping) Nilsson has produced his way off the buyout option and into trade contention.

    Lets send him to Atl/Carolina/Nashville/Columbus for a late pick.

    • Because what we really need to do is ditch guys who produce in favor of late picks who might/may/could possibly/some day/we hope produce.

      Put Nilsson on a line with actual NHL players that can finish and he's a 50 point man. Its not that we're so loaded up with talent that we can afford to piss these guys away. Development is great and all, but do you really want to go through another season like this one? I bet management doesn't, nor do the season ticket holders.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Are you really wanting to bank another season on a bunch of small one dimensional forwards? You could say the exact same thing about O'sully/Cogs/Potulny. Seriously man, lets move on from him (or at least 2-3 of those guys) and bring in someone that can give you the same production that can actually play physicaly and defensively.