GM FOR A DAY: YOU CALL THE SHOTS

If you could put yourself in Steve Tambellini’s shoes — you’re wearing golf spikes and sashaying around the links with owner Daryl Katz in California today — and take over the rebuild of the Edmonton Oilers, what would your next move be? And the move after that? What then?

If you’re Tambellini, with the same roster players, same organizational players the Oilers have and the same salary cap NHL GMs are working with, what’s your plan between now and the trade deadline? Over the summer leading up to training camp in 2011?

Who stays and who goes? Who will take the players you want to move, and for what return? Who will take Sheldon Souray off your hands and when? Do you want to stockpile draft picks or is freeing up money for free agents the priority right now?

Are you a seller between now and the trade deadline? Does that answer depend on where the team sits in the standings? Will you do whatever it takes to ensure a second straight lottery pick?

Does that putt break right or left?

SETTING A COURSE

Over at Faceoff.com, they’ve done an interesting exercise in which the beat writers who cover the Calgary Flames take a run at some of the issues facing new GM Jay Feaster.

From where I sit, Feaster has a lot more difficult job facing him in rebuilding the Flames than Tambellini does trying to plot a course to get the Oilers back to respectability and playoff contention.

That said, there’s plenty of issues here and they get discussed just about every day in bits and pieces. But what about a master plan? What if you had to call a news conference in the next week and lay out your vision — and spell out exactly how you intend to make it happen — for Oilers fans who have plenty of questions?

  • What’s the single most important issue right now?
  • What’s the most obvious need in terms of personnel?
  • What’s your timeline for icing a playoff team? A Cup contender?
  • Who is untouchable?
  • Do you trade Dustin Penner or Ales Hemsky? Both? Neither?

STEP RIGHT UP

If you’ve got a master plan, let’s see it. What I’d like to do is have you put together what you think and submit it here. While I haven’t asked Jason Gregor, maybe we could spend part of a show discussing the merits of the best submissions we get on an upcoming show and interview the person who came up with them.

Maybe Bob Stauffer would be up for that on Oilers Lunch. I don’t know, because they call the shots, not me, but I’d be happy to take the best of what we get and make the suggestion. If you come up with something that makes sense, why not? At the very least, we could re-post it here as a separate article at Oilersnation. Let’s see how it plays out.

Framed in that, resist the temptation to come up with trades sending Shawn Belle, Linus Omark, Zack Stortini and Souray to Anaheim for Ryan Getzlaf and a first-rounder. That kind of stuff. Don’t make suggestions that would lead another GM to laugh out loud, hang-up and deem you a fool or insane. Keep the salary cap and your timeline for how the rebuild evolves in mind.

Give it some thought and have at it over the next couple of days and we’ll see what you come up with. In the meantime, I’ll bounce the idea off Gregor and see what he thinks.

UPDATE

Just talked to Gregor, who is out shovelling snow at the farm, but he’s all over the idea. Post your ideas here and we’ll take a look at them and pick a day this coming week to discuss the merits of the best stuff that gets submitted. The author might even get a call and a chance to discuss his master plan on the air.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Look. All I would do is, make sure foster never puts on an oiler uni again. Ever. As well as storts JFJ Fraser cogs and smid. Flush out the trash bring in the young. Ei: lander Hamilton hartikinan. Sign Hal gill this summer and shoot for brad Richards. ( how nice would it be to see hall and eberle on his side?) call up souray. He is not going anywhere, so I see no point in wasting an asset. Dump jdd keep gerber.

    Draft day. Draft Gabriel landeskog #3 trade penner or Hemmer for # 6 pick draft lander or Ryan Murphy. Who ever is available. Possibly trade cogs for an avaliable first rounder as well. Draft some solid d men and centers along the way.

    Also. I would look into signing benjamin conz. If it is possible. He is money.

  • shau_co

    I’ve noticed a lot of love for Schenn, since his recent dominance at the World Juniors (which is understood), but I am wondering what about taking a chance on Kyle Turris from Phoenix at the deadline?

    He seems to have struggled to break the lineup there and if we could get him at a decent price, I think it would definitely be worth the risk.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Lots of reasonable suggestions here…Weber sure why not…2nd rounders and the like for one Laddy Smid – Jesus teams will be falling over each other to do those kind of deals.

    95% of these suggestions are not realistic and have little to no chance of happening.

    There are so many issues with this team…What I notice consistently (as I’m sure many others do) is our forwards are too small and our defence is atrocious.

    I’d like to see them resign Hemsky but that’s selish in that he’s been my favorite player for sometime. Everything considered they should probably entertain offers for him.

    As far as Penner the organization is reluctant to move him as he’s the only forward with size who can play. Penner rarely uses his size consistently to create scoring chances but imagine how small this team is up front with him gone.

    We are stuck with Khabibulin,Horcoff and Gilbert. That’s just being realistic.

    The following players should not wear Oilers jerseys next year –
    Fraser – didn’t work out

    Stortini – Lots of effort – can’t skate

    Macintyre – eating up precious roster space – gets little to nothing accomplished

    Cogliano – Love his effort this year and had high hopes for him but it’s over – too small/can’t win faceoffs and no room in top 6

    Jacques – Amazed he’s even still with the team – gets less accomplished than Macintyre. That is difficult to do.

    Smid – Makes poor decisions. Doesn’t stay within himself/his game. He’s 6’3 225? Plays much smaller than that.

    Foster – 6’5 225? I’ve seen him throw one hit this year…maybe two? PP help? Non existent. It didn’t work out he needs to go.

    Vandermeer – It was a good try with the whole O’Sullivan trade off – he’s slow makes too many mistakes and attempts to jump into the rush/pinch at the worse possible times.

    Strudwick – Amazed he’s still thrown out there. Painfully obvious he can’t keep up. Not worth the “veteran presence”. He simply can’t play.

    The core is Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Gagner and Whitney. That’s it.

    There’s at least 5 forwards and 4 D that cannot come back next year. Additionally the return on this group is not worth even getting into. If Tambellini could turn any of those 9 into even one decent player I’d be amazed. I mean who has any value there? Smid and Cogs maybe a bit…and that’s a stretch.

    Give anyone in OKC a chance basically. Draft in the top 5. Draft again in the top 5 next year because it’s gonna take awhile to get this turned around. Nothing wrong with taking a chance on some “failed’ players Sather style in the meantime – some projects/second chance guys and hope someone sticks. Maybe a Skille or Matt Hunwick type.

    How drunk do we gotta get Scott Howson to trade us Voracek?

    Right mixture of patience and being pro active is needed here. Everyone needs to realize this takes 3 years at least and the organization needs to realize there’s only so much of Strudwick/Jacques hockey even the hardcores like myself can sit through.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    It is my belief that this team needs to be built through the draft and development at the AHL level.

    Any moves that we make should be used to either fill holes that we can’t from the A or to just buy us time until these players are ready.

    There are three free agents that I would target come July 1st and all three would fill various roles :

    A) Hejda – Not an overly physical defensman but outright solid , stabilzer for younger defensmen , good on the pk.

    B) Kanopka – He has been mentioned before , good faceoff , decent fighter , doesn’t hurt you when he is on the ice.

    C) Glenncross – We already know what he brings , good on the pk , fast and gritty.

    Addition by subtraction :

    Vandemeer , Strudwick , JFJ , Stortini and MacIntyre would not be resigned. I really like big Mac but if he ain’t fightin he ain’t doin a whole lot.

    I see a lot of people talking about moving Hemsky or Penner , not a good move if both can be re upped for the same money for two years , team still needs veterans.

    Brule and Cogliano. Major disapointments , I would move both for draft picks or even a prospect , if available same goes for Fraser and Foster.

    My lines:
    Hemsky / Gagner / Penner

    Eberle / Horcoff / Hall

    Glenncross / Lander / Paajarvi

    Jones / Kanopka / Omark (Yeah Omark on the fourth line , with pp time)

    On defense :
    Whitney / Smid

    Hejda / Gilbert (would love to move him)

    Peckham / Petry
    Extra’s :
    Reddox , Chorney (again just to buy time , he is not a longterm solution.)

    Omark / Kanopka

  • Jerk Store

    Fun topic as per usual. All of us armchair GM’s get almost too excited about this, hoping the big boys may listen. My two cents:

    Echoing most of the Oiler bloggers, we need to add some vets along with the talent in order to balance out our team.

    Trade Deadline

    – Have a conversation with Penner and hemsky and see if they want to re-up long term. If either baulks, they get moved this deadline or the of season.
    – Move Penner or Hemsky for Schenn from LA. Gets us atop end centre talent we lack in our system that is ready to step in next year and play big minutes.

    – Move foster to the Canadians. They need help on the PP (with Markov out) and they just lost a top 4 dman in Gorges. Foster has size and PP pedigree, so getting a solid prospect out of the Habs would work with Foster. Add Jacques to the deal (French Canadian with size, which Montreal lacks) and maybe Montreal makes it happen for a decent prospect.

    – Move Vandermeer for anything. He’s been solid when paired with Whitney, and he’ll have value at the deadline.

    At the draft
    – move Cogliano and Brule. They are being passed on the depth chart with the moves we are making, and may have a bit of value to a younger team that can give them top 9 minutes. Not expecting more then 2nd rd picks for them, ,but at least they clear the log jam of small NHLer’s.

    – Draft Larsson if he is available. Adding a top end dman talent gives us a solid back end going forward.

    Off Season

    – Look to sign a few vets on one year deals, or run with the kids (which as we’ve seen this year does not make the most sense). A solid checking centre would be nice – offer Marty Reasoner a one or two year deal. allows us to not rush Schenn or Lander and maybe start Schenn at wing to ease him into the lineup, or move Gagner to wing since he struggles on the dot and the defensive side of the game.

    – See if there is interest in Bulin. He would have 2 more years, but if he gets through this year healthy, maybe a team like Chicago or Tampa takes him back since they are in a position where they will be running for a cup for the next two years. Expect not much back, or maybe a solid pick/prospect if we take back some salary. He would be a solid split time goalie with Crawford, allowing him to play 41 games, stay healthy and then run with Bulin in the playoffs where he shines.

    And mostly avoid any major signings, since regardless of what we do we will not be a cup contender this year. Keep the cap space that will allow us to add big pieces if we make a run, and set us up for a major signing in the the 2012 off season

    Projected lineup for 2011:

    Hall-Horcoff-Eberle
    Pennner-Gagner-Omark
    MPS-Lander-Schenn
    Reddox-Reasoner-Jones/Stortini
    (PKers – Horcoff, Eberle, Lander, Schenn, Hamilton, Reasoner, Reddox)

    Whitney-Larsson
    Gilbert-Peckham
    Smid-Petry
    Plante

    Dubnyk
    Deslauriers or vet signing

    • kawi460

      Like I said before and mentioned with somebody else, the sit down with Penner and Hemsky is a must to find out where they stand. Even if they want to stay, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t move them, but at least you know what you’re working with.

      Reasoner? No. I like the Montreal idea. No clue if it would fly.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    make an oilers theme song hire a band or have a cbc contest. play it at the games.

    trade hemsky for schenn and a pick.

    trade horcoff next season if you can.

    sign ufa arnott
    sign ufa brewer

    sign two new role players. boll from columbus and someone who can fight. maybe glenx.

    Hall Gagner Eberle
    Penner Schenn Omark
    Paajarvi Arnott Jones
    Boll Cogliano glenx

    whitney brewer
    gilbert peckham
    petry foster

    Keep gags halls and eberle on the first line they need the minutes.

    everyone not on the list should have been disposed of.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    1) Trade Penner, Brule, Vandermeer and Gilbert at the deadline with the return being early draft picks and at least 1 solid defensive defensemen with skating ability.

    2) Draft Larsson

    3) Find a taker for Souray.

    4) Sign at least 2 defensemen with good defensive zone skill. Puck movers need not apply.

    5) Buy out Khabibulin’s deal or find a Russian team to take him off the books.

    6) Sign or trade for a young goalie with NHL experience and high potential and hand him the job, someone who will be ready to step up by the time the team gets good 1-2 years down the line.

    7) Sign at least 2 defensive forwards, one of which has elite faceoff ability.

  • GSP

    After reading a bunch of posts, thought I would take a crack at this. Like many have said, our two glaring needs is a big centerman and a shutdown defenceman.

    With Hemsky and Penner both in last year of contracts next year, I would likely sign one and trade the other for one of the needs I mentioned above. May have to sweeten the pot a bit as well, depending on who you target on other teams.

    Based on the fact Anton Lander will likely be here next year as a third line center, this frees up Cogliano and given he has had a pretty good year, can probably parlay him into a decent pick or prospect at the deadline or in the summer.

    The only untouchables I would identify at forward would be Hall & Eberle. The only way I would trade MPS is if we get a top notch centerman or serious defenceman back and he is included in the package.

    I agree with alot of readers with their disenchantment with Fraser. I think next year he can be replaced by someone on the farm like O’marra or Vandevelde if he gets his game on track.

    With respect to Dmen, I sure hope this is the last season for Strudwick..he is a good team/locker room guy but time to put him on the staff to provide this type of role. I have been very impressed with Peckham this year and along with Whitney, definately long term dmen for this team. Hopefully Petry with experience this year will be a good Dmen for us next year and maybe another young Dmen like Plante/Marancin/Larson(if we draft him) will step up.

    In goal, I like DD but like Gregor, I think he needs to play more (1 in 3 would be nice). I think Khabby is here until his contract runs out but hopefully in the next year or two DD overtakes him and Khabby becomes the reliable backup/insurance policy.

    Great idea Robin and fun to see what everyones thoughts are.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    What would the trade market be on a guy like Hemsky?

    I believe he would rack up points in another organization but there has to be a huge question mark on his ability to stay healthy, he has lost time every season due to various injuries.

    I think it would be worthwhile to strongly consider moving him before he injures himself again (it is inevitable) while his stock is stronger than it would be after another injury

  • smiliegirl15

    I will admit, at this late date and three pages, to have not read all of the comments posted however, given all the youth we have, we need players like Hemsky, Penner and Horcoff as veteran presence.
    Hemsky is talented like you wouldn’t believe but healthwise – how many games has he missed in the past three seasons? How many has Penner missed due to injury?
    Is Penner’s wishy-washy attitude a reflection of management’s wishy-washy commitment to the guy? I agree as a player working for a contract, Penner should not play that game but he’s only human.
    I think these new kids breath life back into the Oilers and into Hemsky and Penner too. If the promising future gives them something to play for, I think you will find we need both of these two on our team when we hoist the cup in 2013.

  • smiliegirl15

    The Plan.

    Overall Team Goal
    11-12: Team competes for the low end of the playoff pool.
    12-13: Team competes for 2nd place in the division (~5-6th place in the playoff pool)
    13-14: Team competes for Divisional title
    14-15: Team competes for Divisional title and is considered a Stanley cup contender.
    15-16: Team competes for Divisional title and is considered a Stanley cup contender.

    Overall Philosophy for this Trade Deadline and offseason
    (Speaking for the end of this season and next)
    1: Do not trade for a player over the age of 27.
    2: Violate Rule 1 when the player obtained is a salary dump from another team and a) can be fit under the cap b) comes with some draft picks and/or prospects and c) the contract expires no later than the end of 12-13.
    Penner/Hemsky Issue.
    Neither gets traded at this yrs trade deadline. I would try to sign both players in the offseason. If the players don’t sign an extension, then I would try to trade them during the Draft. If no deal can be made, I would hold on to them until the deadline at which time I would again attempt to trade either of them if they still didn’t sign an extension.
    (Note: I believe that they both have value. They are solid NHL forwards that are at the right age to be a good fit for a team making a run starting at 13-14 and beyond.)
    Souray Issue
    He stays in the minors for the rest of the year. Try to deal him again in the off season. At this point if no trade can be made, put him on recallable waivers and split his salary/cap hit with another team. Trading for another bad salary would be acceptable. Putting him back in the minors is the last option. (Try to save the owner at least 2+ mill on the player)

    10-11 Trade Deadline
    There are a limited number of players on the current oilers roster that would help another team’s playoff drive. I would be open to trade any of the following: Gilbert Brule, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Jones, Colin Fraser, Jean-Francois Jacques, Kurtis Foster, Jim Vandermeer, Steve MacIntyre, Jason Studwick (I don’t see any of these players as core to the future Oilers)

    Goaltending
    Keep as is. (I believe the Bulin wall is untradeable)

    Offseason:
    Core Players (Non-Tradable)
    Hemsky* (See above)/Penner* (see above)/Horcoff/Hall/Eberle/MPS/Gagner/Whitney/Peckham/Petry/Omark/Reddox
    Bubble Players. (Players I like, but if the price was right I would move them.)
    Gilbert/Smid/Brule
    Players I would actively try to trade (but would keep if I had to)
    Foster/Fraser/Cogliano
    UFA’s to let go
    MacIntyre/Studwick/Vandermeer
    UFA’s to try to resign before free agency
    Jones
    Draft
    Pick Best Player Available. Whatever happens…happens

    11-12
    Another Experiment Yr.
    Run 3 lines of Top 6 (or Top 6 “potential”)
    1 Line Energy/Defensive
    See if the new #1 (or2) pick can join from the get go.
    See if Van Velde/Lander /Martindale can fill in one of the center positions
    See if the Plante/Marincin can play. If not fill in back end with 1 yr contracts with the Vandermeer’s/Belle’s that are kicking around.
    At the End of 11-12 (and start of 12-13) Start moving towards the configuration top 6/Checking/Energy for the lines configuration.
    With the abundance of top 6 players auditioned over the last couple of yrs…start purging them for draft picks/younger prospects (to keep the machine running) or trade them for current need.

  • smiliegirl15

    I’m not going to propose any trades for specific players, as there are just too many variables going into it all, but I do have some general ideas for what I believe needs to be done.

    First of all, I would be a seller this deadline. Trade off the older players with expiring contracts if at all possible. I’d give Vandermeer up for anything, even a conditional pick or something. He does not fit in long term, so we might as well get something for him. Foster, I would also try to move, it’s not working out, and with Peckham playing solid minutes for us and Petry looking competent, he isn’t too important. I wouldn’t just throw him away, as defensive depth is always a good thing, but if a reasonable offer was available I’d think about it. The defense needs an overhaul really. I’d keep Whitney and Gilbert (terribly underrated by fans, I think he’s very quietly effective, unfortunately many people think a defenseman is only good if he kills people or can shoot the puck 100 mph), and consider keeping Smid. Signing UFA’s is a must, at least one, possibly two this offseason. Peckham/Petry of course I keep as well, but the other “NHL” defensemen we have on our roster should not be back. Sign up legitimate top 4 guys and pray for someone to develop. A serious organizational hole I think. It may require a lot of money some day to sign a high priced FA if the other pieces fall into place but we’re left with a gaping hole on the backend.

    Obviously we need a third line centre who can win draws and lead the PK. It would be optimal if we could get a first line centre who does those things as well, but the only way that’s happening is if we draft one, and you can’t count on that. I’d go after UFA’s who can anchor a third line, players like Vern Fiddler, Malholtra, maybe Reasoner. Possibly look into trading for Jarret Stoll if at all possible. I’d try to sign Glencross in the offseason to add grit (with NHL ability, no more JFJ’s) to the bottom six, and if not him, then other players who bring size and toughness, but they MUST be able to play the game. Keep Ryan Jones, make Cogliano, Brule, JFJ, MacIntyre, Fraser available. Stortini I’d keep. He plays his role well, just get better fourth liners to play with him (similar to the Glencross-Brodziak-Stortini line).

    The top six/offensive forwards I’m pretty comfortable with going forward. They’re not there yet, but neither are the Oilers as a team, so patience is required. Don’t trade Gagner. He’s 21, and he’s already a legitimate NHL centre. Talk to Hemsky and Penner. Right now. See how they feel about the situation here. If you can keep both with reasonable contracts (about 10 million per combined) then I would think long and hard about doing that. But don’t close off your options, if another team is offering up a lot (very good prospect, very high first rounder, promising young defender who’s already proven himself as capable) then I would probably trade one of them. I’d prefer to keep Hemsky, as the LW looks good in the future with Hall/Paajarvi and the RW would look great as well with Hemsky/Eberle, and Omark is always a possibility if any of the wunderkinds don’t pan out and he does.

    I’d hope to get the team in the playoff picture next year, and definitely in the playoffs by the year after, and be a legitimate contender in 2013-14.

    I think the key to this rebuild is to read and react. If Plante or Marincin or someone ends up developing into a nasty top pairing d-man then that will save us a lot of money. If neither Hemsky nor Penner want to re-sign then that will certainly set us back a bit, but if they both make it clear they’re leaving, you trade them. No matter what. I believe that you must get a return for your valuable assets. My plan is to continue the rebuild, adding the pieces along the way that are necessary, like the bottom sixers, and the 2nd/3rd pairing d-men, and if necessary, maybe a big ticket UFA once we’re in a position to really contend. I didn’t mention goaltending, but my plan is simple. Never spend more than $3 million at the absolute maximum on a goaltender. You don’t need consistency back there from year to year, just sign the best UFA each year for a bargain deal. Elite level goaltending just isn’t enough of an improvement over average goaltending to justify the money. Look at Detroit/Philly/Chicago. Not a necessity. Get an average-above average goalie on a good deal and call it a day.

  • Chris.

    Sorry I’m late to the party… and I will really try to be brief

    From now, to the trade deadline, and through this summer I want to accomplish four things: 1) Improve the Pro Scouting. 2) Upgrade the defence. 3) Upgrade the Bottom six 4) Grab more picks for Stu.

    Right now: I’d send JFJ down to OKC and call up Alex Plante. (Let’s have another look)

    At the trade deadline: I’d quietly shop Khabibulin looking for a legit return. I’d see if I can get any kind of pick or prospect for Vandermeer and Strudwick.

    This summer. I’d try again to move Souray (for anything). I’d try to extend both Hemsky and Penner. I’d dangle Smid for another defenceman who can legitimately play in the top four even if I have to take on some salary. (Kid just has an uncanny knack for taking bad hits, and deflecting pucks into his own net… unlikly to be a true top four IMO).

    As for trades, RFA extensions, UFA signings… it’s still too far out to speculate… but a revamped, dedicated Pro Scouting staff can help me target a few players to help address my stated goals either via trade or free agency. (as long as I keep my picks and young core) I’m really concerned about the slow starts and want players who have a history of playing with energy at the first drop of the puck. I want players without a history of injuries.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Halfway through the 2010-2011 season it is hard to already peg the Oilers in last place. I am still holding out hope that they make a better half for themselves and finish somewhere 9-12 in the West.

    Trade Deadline:

    The Oilers will and have to be sellers. As alot of people have mentioned, you have to sit down with Penner and Hemsky and get a feeling of where their heads are at for the future of their tenure with the club. Sadly and with deep regret, I believe that Hemsky is the odd man out. Penner has turned into a great voice in the dressing room and we need his big body, players like him are very hard to come by. As for Hemsky, he could probably fetch us the most on the trade market, and Hall and Eberle on the wings make him more expendable.

    As far as the rest of the team goes, JF Jacques has to go, probably via waivers (the Oilers gave him his one year chance and he has flunked). One of either Steve MaCintyre or Zach Stortini will be shipped out, or placed on waivers. I think the idea of trading Kurtis Foster to Montreal is golden, they would love him in hab-land. Vandermeer could also get you a 3rd or 4th round pick from a playoff team looking for defensive depth.

    At the Draft:

    If the Oilers are picking in the the top ten, I wouldnt be surprised in the least if they traded their pick. Its a weaker draft then most and they could pick up a high end defensman or a top line faceoff wizard centerman. Of course they would have to package that pick with a roster player to make it that much juicier, so I could see Cogliano or Brule being thrown in for extra value. I could see them trading for Brad Richards and signing him.

    As far as other moves at the draft, probably not much, if not trading more unusable peices currently on the team for depth draft picks. Its all about building up your farm system to pump out solid NHLers.

    Free Agency:

    Ryan Jones will be priority numero uno. By seasons end he will be in the mid teens for goals, so signing him in around the $1.5 million mark should be sufficient. The Oilers, like last summer, probably wont go after any of the real big fish, but will look to add some solid depth guys. Curtis Glencross, Scottie Upshall, and Ben Eager could be some good targets. Our defense will need some pieces, and as I dont see Tambellini going after big names like Markov or Kaberle, some good moves could be made with names like Eric Brewer, Ed Jovanovski, Jan Hejda, Christian Ehrhoff, and Chris Phillips floating around.

    The Souray Ordeal:

    Once the season has finished and rosters reset, the Oilers will recall Sheldon Souray, without him having to go thru re-entry waivers. After that, it will be an all out SALE. No reasonable offer refused….And most likely noone will bite. So then with only One year left on his contract, the Oilers might just look at buying him out, or once again, burying him in the minors for one more season. Either way, Sheldon Souray will never be seen in Oilers silks ever again. Which most of us already knew.

    My 2011-2012 Lineup:

    Taylor Hall Brad Richards Jordan Eberle
    Dustin Penner Sam Gagner Ales Hemsky
    Custis Glencross Shawn Horcoff Magnus Paarjarvi
    Ben Eager Ryan O’Marra Ryan Jones

    Ryan Whitney Chris Phillips
    Tom Gilbert Teddy Peckham
    Jeff Petry Ladislav Smid

    Nikolai Khabiboulin
    Devan Dubnyk

  • RedArmy

    1. Hemsky, Souray, mid-round pick to CLB for Voracek, Commodore, Boll.

    Columbus is in a franchise slump needing change and wins. Howsen is on the hot seat, has an Oiler connection, and Columbus needs to get attendance levels up.

    2. Omark, Stortinin to NJ for Clarkson.

    Jersey cuts salary, gains an offensively creative prospect, who could develop needed chemistry with Kovalchuk. They also replace some of Clarksons lost toughness with Stortini.

    3. Penner, Cogliano to TOR for Bozak, Armstrong.

    Burke gets his big top six forward who replaces Armstrong on the left side and adds offense, plus familiarity with the GM. Cogliano is a Toronto boy in need of a change.

    4. Sign Hedja, approx. 2 year/4 million.

    Defensive Veteran with an Oiler history.

    Hall Gagner Eberle
    Paaravji Bozak Voracek
    Armstrong Horcoff Clarkson
    Jones Lander Boll
    Brule Reddox

    Whitney Petry
    Peckham Gilbert
    Smid Hedja
    Commodore

    Dubnyk
    Khabibulin

  • Original West Coast Oil

    GM for a day

    Okay before I post what I would do as GM for a day I want to state right of the bat that I have not read any of the prior comments as I did not want to be influenced. So if mine is similar to anyone elses it is strictly coincidence

    I go into this looking at longer term because this year is done.

    First attempted trade is Cogliano or Brule for Jim Slater from Atlanta. Thrashers get some more secondary scoring for the play offs and Edmonton gets the 3rd line center with size who can win face offs to use in key situations. Because of Slater’s injury history I would start with Cogliano and a mid round draft pick and hope that gets the deal done.

    Next trade would be with the Devils. Souray and the option to trade first round drafts this year or next for Rolston and AHL depth to help Lou out capwise. The only caveat being if Souray needs to be made available to all NHL teams prior to clearing waivers (Im not sure if this is the rule)then the trade changes to Rolston and a second for JF Jacque a 4th and Edmonton having the rights to swap 1sts with the Devils this year or next.
    Last trade I would see if offering the Kings further secondary scoring in the form of Brule and perhaps a 3 rounder would loosen their grip on either Jake Muzzin or Thomas Hickey. I would also speak to Tampa about Brock Beaukeboom and what would be needed to shake him free.
    I would also dangle Ales Hemsky for Milan Lucic and if need be add Omark to the offer.

    So if things go well at the end of the year I have a line up of
    Hall – Gagner – Lucic
    Penner – Horcoff – Eberle
    Paajarvi – Slater – Rolston/Jones
    Stortini – Fraser – Reddox

    Gilbert – Peckham
    Vandemeer – Petry
    Smid – Foster
    Strudwick Whitney injured

    This also gives us a top D prospect of Muzzin or Hickey on the farm and the potential for the first overall pick.
    By adding a defensive prospect and shoring up our centre position it would allow MBS more leeway to make the choice of swapping 1st or not and who to choose.

    At the draft I would argue for Landeskog or Larsson. If Landeskog he would figure in to the top 9 right away, moving Jones or Rolston only if he out performed them at traing camp. If it is Courterier or Larsson I would keep both down a year or 2 in the minors unless they blew our socks off!

    Next years starting line up would now be

    Hall – Gagner – Lucic
    Penner – Horcoff – Eberle
    Paajarvi – Slater – Landeskog
    Rolston – Lander – Jones
    McIntyre (unless better option available)

    Whitney – Peckham
    Gilbert – Smid
    Petry – Plante or similar FA

    Anyone not listed is gone except for Storts maybe if Renney finally uses him.
    Team is still lacking toughness up front but Lucic and Landeskog would add , I would also be hoping that Hall and Paajarvi pick up a bit of a chip.
    Toughness with dmen is much more balanced though and we have a decent prospect on the farm.
    If Penner doesnt resign he is traded at the deadline and Paajarvi moves up and Hartikainen moves into the 3rd line
    Face off specialist acquired and
    Goalies stay the same and in fact I sign Gerber again if possible but no JDD

    Cant wait to hear feedback

  • Seriously....Gord?

    1) I’d stay the course for this year. We have a lot of rookies getting a shot. Let them learn. This year is NHL101. Next year, they go to grad school. By this point, I’ll know what my depth is.

    2) Look to move Penner at the deadline or in the off season. I’d go after J Stall as an established center. Or go after some prospects J Colburn from Boston or Karl Alzner or John Carlson from Washington. Penner is a good player, but the fans will eventually run him out of town.

    3) Hemsky stays if he signs an extension. If not, start shopping him for blue chip/or young established players. I would move him at the draft. At trade deadline, LA would be partner, Nashville, Boston as well.

    3) Move Souray at the in the summer. I expect there will be no takers, as he has had an awful season in the AHL. If not able to move, then try to lose him through waivers. Worst case, buy him out. No need to pay that money if he’s washed up.

    4) Offer cap relief to cap teams so they can top up on talent for the push to the cup. Take a bad contract and a good pick for a Low Pick round pick.

    3.1) Move Fraser, Brule, Cogs as sweetners in a penner/hemsky deal or for picks. Fraser for a 3-4th. Brule, Cogs – 2nd rounders. Vandameer for a 3-4th.

    4) Give Stewie a pay increase and send him to town in on draft day.

    5) Work with OK to establish more depth on the team. If we will be raiding the cookie jar year to year, we should put more cookies there that can compete without the call ups. That means bringing in as many signed prospects as possible and put them in the AHL and signing more players like Giroux, Belle and the new Guy (Hemmond?).

    6) Get another solid AHL starter/ex NHL player for goal in OK. Gerber would be fine, but doubt he’ll do a 2nd year in the AHL. He’ll be looking for a back up gig in the NHL or go back to europe.

    7) Rebuild the bottom six. No point in having sorts and mac if the coach won’t play them. See who is available at free agency.

    8) NHL/European Scouting + Invest in scouts/software so I have a better idea who to deal for.

    9) Take off my clothes and dance naked around my corner office. I’ve done a good job so deserve it.

  • stev5555

    I dont have time to answer on all of this, but I do feel that long term, Hemsky and Penner arent going to be key members on this team. I think that the team would be better served by trading them, but only if we get something of quality and a role, in return. I would like to see Lucic as a member of the team, but am unsure if either of these would get Lucic. Perhaps, however, Hemsky for Kassian is a possibilty. Kassian is someone who could skate with Hall in the future, has some size, speed, and is willing to use his body, which will create space for Hall to do his stuff.

    We are in desperate need of Defenseman, puck moving, shut down, the whole defense core needs to be improved (aside from Whitney). Defenseman take a lot longer to develop, and as such the Oilers should get some serious defense prospects soon, perhaps at the deadline this year, they can get some.

    I dont want the Oilers to be a playoff conteding team, I want them to be a Stanly Cup contending team, and am willing to wait a few more years for this to happen.

  • stev5555

    (Going to use a format used by another poster)

    Trade Deadline:

    -Resign Hemsky to a long-term deal before the trade deadline, resign Jones to a 1-2 contract with a fair (but not huge) raise
    -Make any small moves to get rid of expiring contracts for small assets (ie: Vandermeer)
    -As a potential ‘bigger’ deal, trade Dustin Penner to LA along with Gilbert Brule for Wayne Simmonds & a Kings defense prospect of our choice & a draft pick. Resign Simmonds to a 1-year deal, see what he can do before we give him term/money

    At the Draft:

    -Major trade. A package containing Gagner/Gilbert & a combination of prospects and/or draft picks for Shea Weber (who is yet to resign with Nashville) and a needed role player who could play in our Bottom 6(ie: Marcel Goc). Weber signs a big long-term deal, Goc a 2 year deal

    -If this ‘Hall to center’ experiment works, do anything necessary to Larsson, mainly trading up in the draft using a prospect or Cogliano as trade bait. If Hall is suited best for wing, draft Couturier (I assume he will still be available where ever the Oilers draft)

    Free Agency:

    -After the above mentioned trades, the need to go ‘Big-fish hunting’ in free agency is not so necessary. But as evident this season, the need to get a great Bottom 6 is #1 concern. With cap space, we go out and overpay a few guys for 2 year contracts. We have the space, so it doesn’t hurt us, and in 2 years when we have to resign the kids we can evaluate our need from there. Guys like: Glencross, Upshall, etc

    -JFJ signs 2-way deal, starts in OKC. Stortini and Big Mac released.

    My 2011-2012 Lineup:

    Hall – Horcoff – Eberle
    Pajaarvi – Couturier – Hemsky
    Simmonds – Lander – Jones
    Glencross – Goc – Reddox

    Petry – Weber
    Peckham – Whitney
    Smid – Teubert/Hickey

    Khabby – Dubnyk

  • I don’t know if anyone has suggested this yet, but what about our #1 this year to the Bruins for Seguin?

    We get a young centre with the extra year of development already, and the Bruins get a good shot at drafting the scoring winger they need.

    The year burned off of Seguin’s entry-level deal makes up for this being a slightly weaker draft at the top than last year.

  • Mitch

    First time poster – this one was too good to resist.

    Following the Chicago model, 12/13 and 13/14 needs to be the real focus. So what do we have right now for 12/13: Hall, Eberle, MPS, Peckham and Omark (assuming a re-sign) will all be 3 years in and over any sophmore slumps, we’ll have Whitney and Gilbert still locked down, we’ll have a very expensive and worn-out backup goalie and a very expensive and hopefully not too worn-out 34-year old Horcoff.

    We will also have an extended Hemsky (for hopefully something like 3 additional years for $5.5M per), Gagner (3 yrs and $3.5) and Peckham (3 yrs and $1.5). We will have about $29M in cap expenditures, and 12-ish roster spots to fill.

    We will not have any other current NHL Oiler (including Penner Cogs and Brule) unless they re-sign cheap, and will actually not have much need for Penner unless he’s super-cheap.

    Filling in the charts, we look something like this:

    Hall-Gagner-Eberle
    MPS-_______-Omark
    _______-Horcoff-_______
    _______-_______-_______

    Whitney-_______
    Gilbert-Peckham
    _______-_______

    ________
    Khabi

    In the system we have some candidates to fill in those spots. On D, Plante, Marincin, Petry and Chorney could fill in the blanks, but Marincin is the only one that looks to me like a possible top-4 guy, and even then 2012/13 is a bit early for that kind of jump.

    Up front I like the chances of Vande Velde, Hamilton, Rajala, Pitlick to fill in most of our bottom 6 by 12/13. Lander is also interesting. Cheap short deals for any FAs we bring in will also be key.

    So what do we do with what appears to be the 2 glaring holes (1/2nd line center and a top-4 D)?

    This year, scout those positions for filling in post 12/13, but whoever we get likely won’t be ready by then. Job 1 is therefore to attempt to turn Penner, Brule, Cogs or anyone else not listed above into someone who will fill one of those spots.

    Next year, lather, rinse, repeat. Keep powder dry and cap hit low. Monitor goalie development in the system. If we don’t have a #1 other than Khabi, make a move to get one so that he’s in the system for a year, or at least part of one. Only exception is if by some miracle a good center comes available in free agency for $5M-ish, then sign him up for 3-5 years.

    12/13 – go time. Pick up that year’s equivalent of Hossa in free agency for our 1/2C if we don’t already have one, and if our goaltending situation isn’t solved then solve it. Get some grit for the back end and bottom 6 to the extent needed (see: Penguins, Pittsburgh – 2010-2011). Then make a run!

  • Mitch

    @Brownlee

    Robin after watching 2 periods it gets totally fustrating watching Hemsky. What makes this guy a allstar? The Stars are throwing there weight around, send the 4th line to run around a bit. That little Red Headed Piss Ant isn’t going anywhere, not a huge fan of Reddox but he dam well deserved his opportunity. Why don’t they give one of the guys the “C” while Horcoff is out, makes the other leaders wearing that “A” look like a afterthought, or is Khabibulin the Captian? After watching almost all of the 3rd Jones deserves more of a look, he has scored many big goals with hardly no ice time.