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…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    There’s no denying who the #1 pick should be at the June entry draft. Do they take the NHL ready Hall or do they take the one more year in the junior leagues Tyler Seguin?….lets see if we can blow it.

    Send Hemsky and MPS to Pittsburgh for Jordon Stall and perhaps relieve some of the pressure on the shoulders of either Hall or Seguin.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Not to worry sir, there isn’t one H of F’er in the bunch.

        I’m just feeling a little romantic/aroused this summer…….i’m screwing Hemsky before he screws us.

        • I think serious consideration is in order for Hemsky-Staal swap, especially if the feeling is that Ales will bolt (which we don’t really know at this time). However, to throw in MPS… I’m speechless. I’d talk Cogliano before him (and I’m not saying they’d need to).

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Three years ago Cogliano also shared the very same expectations didn’t he….many of these kids come here with great looking scouting reports and then often disappoint when it matters most.

    • Pilgor09

      Why does everyone think that Jordan Staal is good enough to trade for Hemsky and MPS! Hemsky is a point per game player and MPS is developing quite nicely. Jordan staal isnt near a point a game. I know your going to say his all around game is better than hemsky’s, but we need somone who can still put up at least a point per game

      • Quicksilver ballet

        In Edmonton he won’t get that third year in the O….he’ll get rushed along like the other younger kids (Gagner, Pouliot and Cogliano)

        Hemsky….haven’t we had enough of his “i’m already doing more than my share” attitude? If Hemsky’s our best player then (Ryan Smyth)we’re in alot of trouble, the only thing he’s proven here is he’s a non-leader.

        You mixed up the first and second line combo there Archy…..Hemsky’s a second line RW and Stall is a first line center.

        • Pilgor09

          Staal has proven nothing in the nhl except he is a very good 3rd line centre. Hemsky is X2 more valuable to us than Staal would be. Hemsky is probably the only top 6 forward who is willing to go to the tough areas. Why do u think he gets all these injuries. Hemsky would be on the top line of most nhl teams.

          • Are you aware of the fact J Stall can play all minutes of the game ? J Stall would also be on the top line of most teams, with Sid and Malkin it’s kinda hard don’t you think ? Hemsky is one dimensional you can’t say the same about Stall.

          • Pilgor09

            Let’s go through every team and name their number one centre

            Anahiem: Getzlaf………….Atlanta: Antapov………… Boston: Savard…………. Buffalo: Roy……….. Calgary: Stajan………. Carolina: Staal…………….. Chicago: Toews……….. Colarado: Stastny………… Columbus: Vermette………. Dallas: Richards………. Detroit: Datsyuk……… Edmonton: Gagner………….. Florida: Weiss…………. Los Angelas: Kopitar………….. Minnesota: Koivu…………….. Montreal: Plekanac…………. Nashville: Arnott…………. New Jersey: Zajac……… New York Islanders: Weight………… New York Rangers: Prospal……….. Ottawa: Spezza…………. Philadelphia: Richards………. Phoenix: Lombardi………. Pittsburgh: Crosby……… San Jose: Thorton……….. St. Louis: Mcdonald………. Tampa Bay: Lecavlier………….. Toronto: Grabovski……….. Vancouver: Sedin………….. Washington: Backstrom

            The only ones i see as him being the #1 is Calgary, Nashville, Islanders, Rangers, Toronto, Edmonton, Toronto

            The other players are more dominant in their position than Staal. The kid has put up a career high of 49 points. Although he is probably a better defensive player than some, he is not first line material

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Taking into consideration the list you’ve made i’d put Staal in ninth…many of those guys are on the downside of their careers.I feel Staals best days are ahead of him and those days wont ever happen playing behind Crosby and Malkin.

            The kid has put up 49pts playing behind Crosby and Malkin….according to you he’s topped out and must be on the downside of his career?

          • Fair evaluation but add Columbus, Atlanta,Dallas,Nashville,Phoneix to your list. Yeah Stall hasn’t put up big numbers but plays on the Third line ( Sid,Malkin)gets little powerplay time and kills all penalties.

            Columbus has Rick Nash, B.Richards ( -12)isn’t close to the player he was before same can be said about Arnott. Lombardi hasn’t been great (53 points playing top line mins), Antapov I haven’t seen much of him but since he played with Kovy I think his points are inflated. Vinny hasn’t been good for his standards and with Stamkos scoring over 50 and he was still -16, I would almost add him to the list of used to be good

            Horcoff had 70+ points one season is he a top line center ?

          • Pilgor09

            I had nashville up there already, and Staal still gets second unit powerplay time at worst. I think antropov is a more effective first liner and same with Brad richards.

            Okay than Stamkos is the number one cetnre haha. And i think Horcoff is a second line player, that’s why i put Gagner as the number one centre because i think he will be a point per game player some day. Some people say im crazy but the kids got game and a sense for the game.

          • Sorry your right you had Nashville on the list. I think we will be luck if Gagner gets 65 points a season but I have never been a Gagner fan. If J Stall can get 49 points playing on the third line getting second powerplay mins, what woiuld be get playing more mins ? Gagner plays powerplay and 2nd line min, whats his best season? J Stall is only a year older.

            Note I’m a Jordan Stall fan so my opinion could be swayed

          • When have I said that ? Cause I wrote I see Gagner as a 65 point player ? Horcoff had a couple good seasons, I don’t see him as having offensive upside. He was playing in the zone, he lost that zone at the allstar game a couple years ago.

            I think Gagner has offensive upside but not as such as we all hope. Lots of players have upside and also downside.

            Three years ago Horcoff had upside now he doesn’t. Here is a list of players people thought had offensive upside, J Lupul, R Nillson, POS do they now ?

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

            The point is you are saying Gagner is a 65 point if we are lucky, while Horcoff has had 2 .9PPG+ seasons… meaning you think Gagner doesn’t even have the same offensive ceiling as Horcoff.

          • I wrote 65 points, sorry give or take 4 or 5 points. At this point Gagner is slowly getting better and his point totals will go up. I just don’t see him getting more then 20 more points anytime soon. I would compare him with Daymond Langkow. Have a couple good seasons but on average a 60-65 point guy.

            Horcoff was playing with better players in those two seasons then Gagner has in his short stint with the Oil. I’m not saying Horcoff is a better offensive forward but would be suprised if Gagner matched a 0.9ppg season. A center can get points by winning a faceoff back to the point or to a winger ( 2nd assist), Gagner has to work on his draws. You win the draw your on offense lose your on defense. Horcoff has a better shot also.

            Gagner should just mail the puck it would get there fast ( Thats a joke).

          • Pilgor09

            A lot of people don’t give gagner a good shot of being a point a guy player in this league. But i believe he is comparable to a Spezza minus 15 points. When he max’s his potential out he will be a very effective player, he needs to work on his speed and release. He tries to do to much sometimes in the nuetral zone and has a little bit of a giveaway tendancy. He is a tad soft and for his size that doesn’t help either. Well if we can compare next year stats i think gagner is gunna end up with 70 points next season. So if we assume(everyone is gunna bash me for this one but i truly belive gagner will be a premier set up guy in this league) than it isn’t even comparable. I wouldn’t trade Gagner for Staal because i am a Gags beliver. Cogliano on the other hand is a guy i’ll give up for Staal in a heartbeat.

          • Crash

            You’re not alone Pilgor…I am a Gagner believer too….seems many are already to cast him aside at the ripe old age of 20….yet his numbers at this early age are comparable or better than many of todays great players..

            I see the hockey sense and skill in his game as well and do believe if the Oilers would just make the guy the top center and put him on the 1st pp unit that he’d be shining consistently in no time…especially with the added skill this team is soon to have…

            Within the next 3 yrs people will be singing his praises…

          • Eddie Shore

            I’m not sure if I understand where your affinity for Hall comes from? Have you seen that much more of Seguin than everyone else to say with such certainty that Hall is better? There is a reason that Seguin was ranked 1 and I think I’m going to go with the scouts that have seen BOTH players play LIVE. If in the end it’s determined that Hall is better, so be it.

            Jenks? McRae? Really? Seguin had 43 more points than the 2nd leading scorer Jenks and 55 more points than the 3rd leading scorer McRae.

            EDIT: I should clarify I have no solid opinion either way as I haven’t seen enough of either to form one, I just don’t think it’s as cut and dry as you seem to think it is.

          • The Fish

            Evidence, my opinion is all based on evidence and on my own thoughts…

            Maybe it’s not as cut and dry as I think it is…but then again….maybe it is. Time will tell…

            For the record, from what I’ve heard and seen Seguin is really only ranked number one by one branch of scouting…virtually every other scouting service outside of Central scouting has Hall number one..

            This includes ISS, tsn and the Red Line Report…not to mention that media such as Bob MacKenzie, Doug MacLean etc. have mentioned many times now that a majority of NHL scouts have Hall ranked number one.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            you had me until you included doug maclean on your list….

            the 1 armed midget dancing on 118ave has more credibilty than that ass clown maclean

          • A Bear

            Hey, I didn’t say it was Doug MacLean who said it, I said it was Doug MacLean was getting that info from NHL scouts…

            No matter what his credibility level is I’m sure he is at least swift enough to talk to scouts and get their take.

            Or maybe he isn’t 🙂

          • Hall is proven to be at the top of his class even when pushed by Sequin and the likes . It inspires him to play to even greater heights as you have witnessed him do again this during the Memorial Cup drive . Their is no reason to expect him not to star at NHL level either !! Hall will be a star at NHL level because he has the desire to do so . Sequin has not shown himself as yet, to handle that type of scrutiny in star company . He(Sequin) may pan out (iffy) but Hall definitely will. There is no indicator, or reason to expect Hall will not . Now , if Sequin had Halls resume then i’d say stick with Sequin – but he does not, so why risk going with Sequin ,an uproven performer that has yet to shine against fellow stars . The only risk here is Sequin , not Hall .

          • It’s impossible to say anyone will definitely pan out. Impossible. I think they both pan out. I think both have shown up with the pressure on. Seguin did it all year without a great supporting cast. His entire team was on his shoulders. Hall has definitely done it in the playoffs. They’re both great OHL players. Who has a better NHL career? I have no idea. I still think Seguin, but I’m not gonna cry if the Oil take Hall.

          • I’m still hoping something magical happens and we get both.

            I know what Boston’s GM said, but after the finish they had in the playoffs, I wonder if he’s changed his tune at all.

            Whatever happens, I think we’re turning a corner and it will start to get easier to be an Oiler fan.

        • Ah, yes. Jordan Stall’s less than 50 points a year SCREAMS 1st line center, and Hemsky’s point per game play is clearly 2nd line material. Gotcha.

          Seguin is the OHL player of the year and has been ranked #1 by several scouting services, but he needs to stay in the OHL because…the guy who thinks Hemsky is a 2nd liner says so? Sure.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            I feel Stall would be that point a game player as the top center here in Edmonton…don’t you? Playing behind Crosby and Malkin tells me he’s capable of much more here in Edmonton.

            How often has Hemsky had an 70’ish point season? He’s a top line winger here in Edmonton but on a team that has a chance to win he’s getting 14 mins a night and not 18-20 like here, don’t get me wrong i wouldn’t give Hemsky away for anything less than the second pick or a No. 1 center.

            The more we see of Taylor Hall the clearer it becomes who the better player is….correct?

            ….or are we going to continue to project that Seguin may eventually be the player Hall already is?

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

            Theirs what? 10 – 12PPG centers every year, Staal is an opportunity away from being one of those guys???

            I’d love to have Staal on this team (I think he’s the prototype 2nd line center on a championship team) and I’d consider trading Hemsky for him straight up, if Hemmer is unlikely to re-sign… but to include a premier prospect like MSP on top of Hemsky is insane.

            Hemsky is a top 10 RW in the NHL, arguably top 6-8.

            Lets get a grip with this 2nd line stuff.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Yes, Staal is an opportunity away from being a PPG player. I’m not saying he’s a point a game player for five years running, i’m saying he could fill this role for a season or two till Hall’s ready for the No.1 center role here in Edmonton. Hall has played center before and he will again in the NHL, i know this sucks if your name is Gagner or Horcoff but we can’t wait forever for these guys to meet expectations based on potential or salary.It could be time to cut bait on Gagner being a center here…i’d move him to the wing and see if there’s an improvement in his game or just move him this year if he gets off to another slow start.

            If we could get Staal or the Bruins #2 pick i would move Hemsky in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t wait for Ales to make up his mind about his future here….i’d make that decision for him.

          • I see Hemsky as an 18-20 min a night player on 20-25 teams in the league at least. I dont think Jordan Staal will be a point a game, but I see him being one of those guys that teams need to get to go to the Championships for the length of his career.

            Hall has not stopped impressing people, but I dont have the opportunity to compare him to Seguin. Whoever makes this decision cant base it off the playoffs alone. I wonder if we talk about Seguin the same if he’s on that bigtime Windsor team instead of Plymouth. We’ve all had the chance to see Hall more than Seguin, is that enough to take him over Seguin?

            All the pressure in the world is on Stu MacGregor’s shoulders.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @ Arch

    That’s what I see Seguin being. Solid, all around #1 center that gives you 20 – 30 goals, 75 – 85 points.

    Nothing wrong with that, and something I’d love to see on the Oilers. Just not at the expense of Kovalchuk type numbers.

  • Pilgor09

    In regard to Hall taking scary hits I saw beukebeum crush seguin face first into the boards,i think any young player worth his salt is going to run into this until they totally develop ie ovetchkin at world junior

  • Pilgor09

    This situation really reminds me of the Duchene/Tavares dispute. Hall being Tavares and Seguin being Duchene. If it were me i would take duchene because he does all the nitty gritty things in the defensive end. Like Seguin i believe that his game is more well rounded than Halls. Its hard for fans to appprecitate a well rounded game opposed to a dynamic offensive player.

    If the oilers could snag another top 5 pick, we need to try and get Gudbranson. The guy is the next Chris Pronger.

    Finally what is all this crap that i hear that the oilers could trade Penner Cogliano and Hemsky for Malkin. That is the craziest thing i’ve heard. Why would the penguins trade the 3rd best player in the league of 2 above average player’s and a younger guy. I undertand they need wingers but they should look at trading Jordan Staal before they even consider trading Malkin…..

    • I too take Duchene over Tavares… said it at the time last year. I’ve kind of used those names as comparables to this years crop,hence my picking of Seguin. If those aren’t fair comparisons, then perhaps my line of thinking is a little off (I haven’t seen a lot of either).

      I also think this Gudbranson kid could be a real nice pickup wherever he ends up.

      • Pilgor09

        Everytime i see hall though he grows on me. I’ve never had a good look at seguin, Hall in this game has been playing PK and blocking shots with his teeth. But all the Cup teams build around centre so thats why im sticking with Seguin

  • Tracie

    With either pick, I’m very excited about the future of the Oilers and very thankful I’m not a Toronto fan! Although Sunday’s game with all of the Oilers prospects was kind of a bust, I think we have a bright future to look forward to! What do TO fans have? oh right! they have Kessel and Celine Dion! LOL

  • @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.

  • 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.