11-12 Questions about 11-12

The Taylor versus Tyler debate is a distant bell. Another long season in the L column is almost complete. Oiler fans have the draft lottery ahead of them, and then a spring filled with debates over this year’s #1 and a plethora of possible roster moves. Let’s get started.

We’ve already talked a little about some of the candidates for number one overall, and the debate will continue through draft evening. This is not a slam dunk for any of this year’s models, and unlike last year it’s a difficult race to follow because there are so many candidates. The debate will heat up after the draft lottery and the Oilers know where they’ll pick.

  1. Do the Oilers address defense, center or grit with the top pick? I think they’ll take Adam Larsson. Why? Well, Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor has taken a player "in the range" in the first round since becoming head scout: Jordan Eberle was selected 22nd overall in 2008 and all major scouting services had him in the first round–Bob McKenzie ranking him 29th (Redline Report had Eberle where he was taken, #22); MPS was chosen 10th overall (McKenzie had it pegged this time, #10 and Redline had the Swede #6) and Taylor Hall was #1 everywhere but Florida where a hanging chad made it unclear. Bob McKenzie had it Larsson, RNH, Landeskog and then Couturier in February and his final rankings are probably going to be similar. The smart money is on Larsson at this time.
  2. Do the Oilers stay with the NK-DD tandem in 11-12 or go shopping? Although Khabibulin has two more years on his contract and hiding him in the minors offers no relief, it’s likely the Oilers will add some insurance at the position. It may come in the form of another Martin Gerber or the Oilers might end up being (Viktor) Fasth enough to sign a veteran Euro free agent.
  3. Will the Oilers make a big move this summer, either in trade or via free agent signing? I think the Oilers will make a few major signings this summer, but it won’t be "big name" variety additions. They will sign Anton Lander and a few of the CHL kids, and I suspect a young man like Adam Larsson has an outstanding shot at an NHL job if he shows well at this fall’s training camp. Viktor Fasth might not look like a huge item the day he’s signed, but could go a long way to settling things in the cage. Should the Oilers begin next season with Dubnyk and Fasth as a tandem and Khabibublin deep in the heart of Oklahoma that should be considered a major move.
  4. Are the Oilers putting themselves in danger re:50 man list will all of these college signings? Edmonton has been active this spring, signing Tanner House, Taylor Fedun, Hunter Tremblay, Olivier Roy and Mark Arcobello. However, they have plenty of room for the Lander’s and Hamiltons, as Capgeek tells us there are 27 (actually 29 with Tremblay and Arceobello added) along with 12 restricted free agents. Even if the Oilers sign all 12 rfa’s–and they won’t–that would leave 9 spots open on the 50 mission cap.
  5. What are they going to do about the powder blue-line? The Oilers have Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney, Jeff Petry and Kurtis Foster under NHL contracts for next season. RFA’s include Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney. Minor leaguers in the mix include Alex Plante, Colten Teubert, Taylor Fedun and Johan Motin. I think the Oilers will look at bringing Jim Vandermeer back for another year and assume Foster will be much better next season. A top 4 of Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert seems likely from here, with Foster, Peckham and Vandermeer rounding out the NHL roster. This leaves Taylor Chorney in something of a no-man’s land and I believe he may be dealt over the summer.
  6. What do the top 2 lines look like in the fall? I believe the Oilers will operate (as they have in the recent past) as if they can ice "three scoring lines" and the 9 names in play will be Horcoff, Gagner and Cogliano at center; Hall, MPS and Jones on LW and Hemsky, Eberle and Omark on RW. The wild card is that kid Hartikainen, who could be an ideal item in the ongoing effort to marry size, grit and brains to a skill line. His emergence late may impact the Ryan Jones contract.
  7. Will they spend a roster spot on Steve MacIntyre again this fall? Yes. The Oilers have invested money and minutes in developing a nuclear deterrent. Why stop now? He’ll play 40 games a year under Renney.
  8. Which of the kids outside the pro portion of the organization has the best chance of making the big team in 11-12? Anton Lander. The Oilers have Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano and Colin Fraser as NHL contracts and minor leaguers Ryan O’Marra and Chris Vande Velde at the top of the depth chart. Lander’s SEL experience should put him in the mix for that 4th spot, forcing Fraser to 13F (ahead of MacIntyre) or to OKC with Khabibulin.
  9. How will the Oilers handle round one of this year’s draft? They’ll pluck Larsson number one overall and make a trade up to around 15 in order to acquire C Mark McNeill from the PA Raiders.
  10. Is there an alternate universe on the draft? Yes. They draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and then trade up to get Duncan Siemens at around 15.
  11. Will they sign any free agents? I think they’ll make a push for guys like Viktor Fasth in Europe and Boyd Gordon (57.9 faceoff %) this summer, but heaven knows if they’ll be able to sign any NHL free agents. A year ago they signed Kurtis Foster and Gordon would fit into the "day 3" group of free agents so there’s always a chance.
  12. Which NHL Oilers will be dealt this summer? There’ s a difference between the men who are available and those who will be dealt. Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky might have been in play, but injuries might hold up deals in this regard. NOTE: I’m not suggesting the Oilers should trade either player, but in Hemsky’s case he’s outside the heart of the cluster age-wise and Gagner’s being sent away might be possible should they choose RNH. Men like Kurtis Foster, Gilbert Brule and Taylor Chorney could be in play.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves again today, Noon to 2pm on Team 1260 radio. Scheduled to appear are Corey Graham, play-by-play voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings; Tom Benjamin, an outstanding Canucks blogger; Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey; Lorne Molleken from the Saskatoon Blades; Jim Byers, play-by-play voice of the Oklahoma City Barons and Gregg Drinnan of Taking Note. I am overwhelmed by the number and quality of emails we get every week, and look forward to hearing from you at nationradio@theteam1260.com again this morning.

  • Good post, I do have a concern though;
    Why on earth would we trade Gagner over the likes of Cogliano?
    I see no point in keeping Cogliano, I think what you see is all you’ll get out of him, Where as Gagner has potential and way better up side.
    I always ask myself before I post on situations like this, do I see this person being here in 3 years? I just can’t see Cogliano beibng here or fitting in long term.

    • Lowetide

      Wes: I agree, Gagner is the better young C imo. However, there is some evidence that coach Renney sees a 2-way player in Cogliano and I don’t think that race is as settled as it was a year ago.

    • Lowetide

      Put yourself in the shoes of any NHL GM that ST speaks with. In that frame of mind, are you asking about Cogliano? Or are you asking about Gagner? That should answer your question.

  • Lowetide

    The Oilers have done the pump on Cogliano about as well as could be expected this year. They must follow through on the dump, while the dumping is good.

    Horcoff, Gagner, (Boyd Gordonish guy), Lander, Fraser, Vandevelde, O’Marra plus a centre draft with one of the two first round picks.

  • T.C.

    A wise GM would keep the smooth skating, puck moving Taylor Chorney and move Tomr Gilbert. Gilbert would bring much more in return and the only thing he has over Chorney is size which he doesn’t use anyway.

    Also don’t think Omark makes it through the summer. I liked him early but this stretch run is exposing the holes in his game.

    Lowetide I would rather you get baxk to telling us what the Oilers should do, not what you are hearing/think they will do. The MSM tells us all the time what the Oilers are likely to do but there are few media types that will openly challenge the decisions of Oiler management. This is the Lowetide I remember. Don’t allow yourself to become just another MSM guy.

    • Lowetide

      That’s coming. 🙂 I think it’s important to factor in what the organization is doing with regard to the summer. That way the disappointment is at least expected.

  • slopitch

    Hey LT, interesting questions. I would have liked to see your answer to “where do the Oilers finish next season” or “are we a lottery team again”.

    I’d like to see them sign a goalie like Fasth and ditch NK. And I dont know enough to chose btw GL, RNH or Larsson. Its too bad cause we need both a #1C and #1D.

    According to http://tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=39245 LA plays all teams in its conference and all of them without Kopitar. Hopefully the pick can be in the 15 range without much help.

    • Lowetide

      I’d say the Oilers will finish 12-15 in the west, so the lottery is possible. I’ll say 6th overall is where they pick in 2012’s draft. Hall/Eberle and the other kids are going to improve and you can’t discount that, but there are holes that we can see from here and we haven’t seen any signs the organization is going to address them.

        • Lowetide

          speeds: Colorado looks lost. They may turn it around but I expect there’s going to be some management turnover there and more changes. Columbus is a mess, Minnesota looks lost and I don’t see Calgary having a run like this season.

          The Oilers SHOULD be better next season. They have some nice things and should they be able to stay healthy (and improve the ghastly special teams) they should be able to post 30 wins (or a little more).

          I think they can be better than two teams in the west, which puts them 13th and (all things being equal) about 6th in the draft.

          • Horcsky

            This article is clearly an April fools joke, and I don’t believe it for a second!

            That aside, if point 2 comes true and they actually do bury Khabby in the minors, then I would believe that management is serious about righting the good ship Oiler.

          • I guess I could see COL as a possibility, but they have had worse goaltending than EDM this year, once again the market sees more goalies than jobs and COL should be able able to improve their goaltending via UFA without much difficulty. Who knows, maybe they get Vokoun and gain .02 in sv% right there? That said, I would probably expect Khabibulin to be better next year, if EDM keeps him and if he stays healthy, so maybe that’s a wash? I think it’s a point in COL’s favor. Who knows what kind of money COL is interested in spending, but then again who knows what EDM will be spending either.

            I don’t know I agree that CLB is “a mess” and that MIN “looks lost”. Both are on pace to finish with more points than last year, and both will probably finish 25 points ahead of EDM this year. That’s a lot of ground to make up.

      • slopitch

        Ya your probably right. I think they will be hard pressed to finish in the lottery range again so its time to start addressing need. I dont see them being able to attract a player at fair value though so it might take an overpay – which is ok as long as the term is short (we have the cap space).

        The optimist in me is hoping for a healthy Whitney and thinks Hemsky will stay healthy on a contract year. Still a lot of ground to make up however.

  • GtK

    Omark will not be going anywhere.

    During this stretch the holes that you have talked about are being shown on everyone still in the line up. However the plus that Omark has is the continued ability to make plays. He is giving and getting others the opportunity to get points.

    Addon: I to agree that Landers has the potential to replace cogs in the line up – depending on his choices (he may just to opt for one more year in Europe) and how he does in training camp. Very good chance that next years centers are Gagner, Horcroff, Landers, Vandevelde. (Give us an entire swedish line ;))

  • GtK

    RNH current wingers:

    Andrej Kudrna 6’2 200lbs
    John Persson 6’2 195lbs

    RNH future wingers (if drafted by the Oil):

    Taylor Hall 6’1 195lbs
    Jordan Eberle 5’11 185lbs

    RNH is currently playing JUNIOR with 15lbs and 4″ more that he will be in the NHL playing against men….

  • O.C.

    LT said…

    “I think the Oilers will look at bringing Jim Vandermeer back for another year and assume Foster will be much better next season. A top 4 of Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert seems likely from here, with Foster, Peckham and Vandermeer rounding out the NHL roster. This leaves Taylor Chorney in something of a no-man’s land and I believe he may be dealt over the summer”

    If a play is made for Larsson, wouldn’t he look good learning beside the vets?

    What are realistic options to Oil for Shelly this off season?

  • Who gives the Oilers the best chance at finishing 26th or better next year, RNH or Larsson?

    Tambellini will draft the player who’ll give him the best chance at winning NEXT year.

    At some point loyal fans start looking like stupid consumers, and it’s getting close.

    A lotto pick next year only confirms Edmonton’s GM is a lemon.

    • Tambellini will draft the player who’ll give him the best chance at winning NEXT year.

      I don’t buy that. If Tambellini was interested in trying to win next year then the Penner trade makes no sense at all.

      Tambellini plans to milk this 4-6 year window for all it’s worth because if he actually starts trying to win and still fails anyways…

  • forestscooter

    hmmm… for the first half of the season i was all for Larsson, but listening to the arguments over the course of the year I am firmly against taking a 1D with the #1 pick. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t take RNH. I guess the oilers have to get that #1 pick first though.

    When is the lottery draft ? is there a date set ?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I think Gilbert Brule is signed for next season as well, may have to make room for him in that group of Horcs,Gags,Cogs and Fraser.

    Steve has to be ultra aggressive this summer, move some of these guys out. Combine players with the 20th pick as well as that 31st pick and move up when possible. We need a center as well as a d’man who can step into this lineup in the fall.

  • Omg if the lineup looks like this next year:

    Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser or _______, Hall, MPS, Jones, Hartikainen, Eberle, Hemsky, Omark and _____________.

    Smid, Gilbert

    +Either Lander, or RNH

    I will not watch that team, its the same team as this year + another lotto pick (if even that)

    Screw it.

  • Horcsky

    Looks like another deadlast team again next season . Far easier to sell an image to fans than actually ice a competitive team . I see we are down to scouraging the University and college ranks . With any luck the year after that it’ll be the womens national team (tongue in cheek ) ? With the success of running an image instead of a competitive hockey team here , why rush to try and field a good team for next season or in the future ?

    Even ON is unequalled by the success they are having by running a deadlast team . How many of the new draftees last year and this will actually make Oilers roster next season ,anyways ? Maybe none ? Maybe end of season might be end of Oiler management as top priority ? We will see what develops in that regard first . Will they finally decide that on ice competitiveness is more important than just an image and hope ?

  • Mitch

    @ Lowetide

    I feel we must still fall into a lottery position next yr as well, or what would be the point of finishing dead last for the past 2 yrs. Anything that the oilers touch interms of UFA players turn to garbage or they seem constantly injured. I don’t see Foster having a better year next year, lack of footspeed and the ability to read the play or 2 major downfalls. I would draft RNH if I had to pick the player today, that said watch out for the kids in the east minus S.C. Whom ever they pick is going to need another year of development. I would move out Gagner and Hemsky. Lander and Hartikenien(or how ever it’s spelled)I feel can play major roles here next yr, they have a battle level that wins in todays game. I would also move Cogs. I was in favor of Souray never playing another game for Edmonton, but he is unmoveable and just maybe he can help in someway? Enough lessons were learned from this would you bring him back just to finish out the contract or is he really that much of a negative influence?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    LT – A top 4 of Whitney-Petry, Smid-Gilbert seems likely from here, with Foster, Peckham and Vandermeer rounding out the NHL roster.

    LT – What do the top 2 lines look like in the fall? I believe the Oilers will operate (as they have in the recent past) as if they can ice “three scoring lines” and the 9 names in play will be Horcoff, Gagner and Cogliano at center.

    So we need a #1 or #2 dman, and a true #1 center, someone who can win faceoffs since thats a big part of being a good C. And LT you think the above will be our D pairings and Horc, Gags, and Cogs will be our top 3 C’s? If thats the case, why should we expect next year to be any different than this year? Sure some of our rookies will have more experience,and well have another top pick in the system, but that isnt going to make up for not addressing the weaknesses on this team. I REALLY hope your wrong on this one LT.

  • Mitch

    Hey LT, enjoyed the column and am digging the Nation Radio podcast. Makes work a little bit more enjoyable at my office.

    One question: At what point does management recognize that their current alignement down the middle is a non-starter as far as being competitive?

  • Coco Crsip

    Lowtide, enjoy your blogs and your radio show.

    To DRock…
    At the risk of being called a troll or a douche again…

    then don’t watch and hop on the Vancouver band wagon until the Oilers are good again then you can jump back here. Either you are a fan or not, sounds like you are not.

    To Madjam, “How many of the new draftees last year and this will actually make Oilers roster next season ,anyways ? Maybe none ?”

    Not sure if I understood, are you suggesting that Hall may not make the team next season?

    To D, that was the same thing they said about Hedman but I don’t think he has been an impact player yet.

    Pick RNH, use the LA pick and Cogs or Hemsky to pick in the top 5 if possible then take GL IMHO

    • I was being sensationalist. Vancouver is not an option. I hate them more than any other team, always have, always will.

      What I really meant to say is: I wouldnt go out of my way to watch that team. I certainly wouldnt pay 200$ for a seat. If anything slightly entertaining is going on, im doing that first. Heck if an exciting game of “bounce the ball against the wall” comes up it will be more exciting than that team again.

      Heck, everyone is talking about seeing “improvement” next year, I’m not sure what that is. Id setting for “trying for improvement” that roster discussed is not even that.

        • Ehhh i know how you feel. I am always going to be an oilers fan, ALWAYS. But the reasons for watching sure have changed.

          They went from hoping we would win to hoping Hall or Eberle would come up with something fancy.

          While I can always catch Hall or Eberle highlights on the news the one reason I will sit down to watch a game is that it is always fun to sit down with family or friends pound back some wings and enjoy hockey.

          p.s. complaining and arguing about the team with my father and father in-law always keep things interesting too.

          • Mike Krushelnyski

            Completely agree, I feel the same way. I watched games live for the first bit of the season, then it changed to PVRing the games and fast-forwarding through, only stopping to watch Hall and Eberle’s shifts. Since Hall has been hurt I haven’t voluntarily watched Oilers hockey.

            I’m sure I’m going to take some heat about being a fair weather fan for this too, and I think that’s the attitude that lets the management get away with this garbage. Tambo knows he can trot out a team that stinks like dead ass indefinitely and fans are still going to turn up and watch. It’s a real shame because you see how discouraged guys like Eberle are becoming at getting waxed night in and night out. I wouldn’t blame Eberle, Hall or any of our young guys for wanting to jump ship if this team continues to be an also-ran for 4-6 years.

            The other shame is I think we might actually have a pretty good coach in Renney but no amount of coaching can make an AHL team win in the NHL. Too bad for him he’ll get the axe before Tambo does.

            Lowetide’s projection of what the team will look like next year is probably pretty accurate but is honestly the most depressing thing I have read on this site in a long time. It would be great if I could bring myself to cheer for another team because I miss NHL hockey.

    • LA pick plus Hemsky for a top 5 pick in a weak draft year?

      No thanks. I’ll keep brittle Hemmer rather than flush more players for potential.

      You’re essentially giving up Penner and Hemmer for a top five pick (Colton Teubert notwithstanding). FAIL.

      • When you put it like that it looks terrible:( haha. But looking at it from the other side if Penner and Hemsky were both gone as UFAs then in 2 years time it would look good. And its a weak draft year as in there is no clear cut #1 and I think the later rounds is a major drop off but I think a top 10-15 pick gets you a pretty solid player, if the Oilers went into the draft with two top 5 picks I would be thrilled! Even if it costs Hemsky or Gagner, A cobo of RNH and Hamilton or Larson and Strome/GL would be solid. If we came out with RNH and Hamilton I don’t think you would hear one complaint. I think Hamilton will be the better NHLer over Larrson…bold statement but I think he will be a sure fire top paring defenseman.

  • Hemmertime

    Are Hemsky and Horcoff set to take the next step and have the breakout year I’ve been hearing about since second grade?

    LT-6th pick next year? I say top 3 with the current line-up. Remember Penner is gone now.

    So many holes.

    2 more years of suck, at least.

  • magisterrex

    Interesting thoughts, LT. I doubt they take Larsson, as they know that d-men can be traded for, but franchise centers cannot. It will either be RNH or SC, depending on what the playoffs bring.

    Poor Khabbi will be in jail when the season opens, so I doubt he’ll be a part of the team next season. How that affects the Oilers’ cap will be interesting.

    Next year will be Renney’s last if the team can’t win.

  • Eulers

    Lowetide, that glimpse into the future was mighty depressing; in other words, more of the same.
    I’m hoping we can sign at least sign a few average qualify FAs, so we don’t crumble like a muffin again when the inevitable injuries come.

  • Coco Crsip

    God, I hope that you are wrong LT. The Oilers need to ship out Cogs, Brule, JFJ, Fraser, et al and make a serious overhall of the third and fourth lines.

    I like Hartikainen on one of the lines, but after that I hope the other 5 spots are filled from the following list:

    Arron Asham
    Eric Belanger
    Matt Bradley
    Chris Clark
    Mark Cullen
    Pascal Dupuis
    Ben Eager
    Vernon Fiddler
    Curtis Glencross
    Marcel Goc
    Jeff Halpern
    Jussi Jokinen
    Brooks Laich
    Jamie Langenbrunner
    Chad Larose
    John Madden
    Rob Niedermayer
    Michael Rupp
    Jarkko Ruutu
    Dave Scatchard
    Fredrik Sjostrom
    Brian Sutherby
    Maxime Talbot
    Scottie Upshall
    Joel Ward
    Todd White

    Laich, Asham, Clark, Belanger, Ruutu, and Sutherby would be interesting. And the Oilers should not be shy by overpaying for players on these lines on deals of 2-3 years. Let’s face it, outside of Laich (who will have lots of choices), most of these guys need to maximize thier income. Lots of these guys are in the $0.8M – $1-5M range. Offer $1.5 to $2.5M and on a deal of more than one year and it will be hard for guys on this list to resist (sadly except for Madden who is rumoured to be retiring if he does not re-sign with the Wild).

    The defence you describe seems like more of the same, which isn’t good. Can’t afford to have a defence with Gilbert and Foster in the top 6 either.

    I fear you are right, but I hope you are SOOO WRONG…

      • He is 35, but his scouting report reads:

        “Has great size and very strong defensive instincts. Is hard to line up against and can play both center and wing.”

        Sadly, that beats most of the current bottom six.

    • Hemmertime

      I like Scottie Upshaw and I think he would be a fit and he may want to play here. Also is Zenon Konopka a UFA this year? A tough center who can win face off’s. A few of the guys on your list would not be a good fit I think but I get what you are proposing and I agree. We need to dump some players and get some grit, heart and soul guys.

    • Hemmertime

      “Can’t afford to have a defence with Gilbert and Foster in the top 6 either. “

      You are immensely undervaluing Gilbert. He needs the right partner but if you think hes not even an NHL D man you are a moron

  • Coco Crsip

    I hope to the hockey lords, we drop colin fraser as well as kurtis foster. Give some one else a go, because i cannot watch another year of Kurtis Foster / Fraser. Toss Teubert in there. As well as VDV

    Mac will be back, hopefully. Renney seems to like where he is going, as do I. Why not have the best in the league at what he does.

    Draft larson, hopefully couturier slips into 8th or lower so we pick him up.

    Cogliano is our third line center. I like his 2 way

    Someone tell me, Is Benjamin Conz available ?

    • Hemmertime

      Not to start an argument because I really am beginning to think the Oilers “NEED” the D-man. Also a the “NEED” for a center man is obvious too, and is why I think the Oilers need to be aggressive at this years draft, but I hate to harp on this guy but,
      where is Horcoff going to play if Cogliano is your best 2 way center?? Doesn’t make sense. Cogliano is the odd man out and should be moved provided the Oilers realize there need for a top center man

      • Coco Crsip

        I hope they are aggressive this year at the draft. Everybody does.

        You point of Horcoff, that statement could be correct if ganger starts at center. I doubt next season, at least in my opinion Sam starts down the middle.

        • Gagner has had success as the 1st line center with Eberle and Hall, he also had success with Omark and MPS, I don’t necessarily think the Oilers need to give up on Gags, I do think Horcoff needs to be that 3rd line center/shut down guy, which leaves the second line to fill between Cogliano or Gagner. I am simple saying Gagner gives us better all round player, provided the Oilers draft a center. Just saying.

  • Eulers

    “Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser or _______, Hall, MPS, Jones, Hartikainen, Eberle, Hemsky, Omark and _____________.

    Whitney-Petry Smid, Gilbert Peckham-Vandemeer Foster

    +Either Lander, or RNH”

    4-6 years seems about right. At least the new rink will be built.

  • Rogue

    No to Larsen. A centre and a bruising winger, or draft 2 centres. We are weeeeeeeak down the middle.

    For Gawds Sake, I will pull out my hair if Foster and Fraser are among the starting 18.Might as well rotate some kids, as have these 2 guys play. Reddox is a 14th forward at best or gone.

    Horcoff, Hemsky and Brule. The first 2 are vets that the kids should be able to depend on. Problem is, they are injury prone. You cant trade Horcup. Brule and Hemsky must be gone, sooner or later. I like Hemmer, but I feel he is a 40 – 60 Game a year player now. I wonder if the Oil were trying to trade him without disclosing his shoulder problem?

    Upshall and any Dman with push back. Please!!!

  • Hemmertime

    As you say, if the Oilers will operate as they have in the recent past, which has produced two last place finishes and five consecutive seasons out of the playoffs, Oiler fans are doomed again when the 2011-12 season begins!

    Saving a slot for MacIntyre, how could they? Nuclear deterrent, not.
    And the centres being Horcoff, Gagner and Cogliano. Ugggg.
    Even more problematic than defence, centre is a major weakness and no more than two of the above should be with this team next season (2nd and 3rd line centres). And further to the forwards, beside MacIntyre, there should be consideration for moving Hemsky, Brule, Fraser and Jacques in the offseason. It will take far more than just Hartikainen to supply size and grit to balance off the smurfs and compete in the very tough Western Conference.

    As for the suggestion : “…if Larsson ends up being anything near Lidstrom”, this is like suggesting that if pigs could fly.

    The present roster is beyond fine-tuning and your forecast is about rearranging the Titanic deck chairs. So tell us what you think they should do. Otherwise, this blog is very discouraging.

  • Hemmertime

    Draft RNH and Siemens, next years lineup:


    Cogs/Free agent-Gagner-Hemsky
    Jones-Brule/Free agent Center-Hartikainen

    I think the bottom 6 would look pretty good. I would love that 4th line a lot of grit and hustle and some scoring ability (Brule is solid on the draws and as much as he is hurt all the time he throws his weight around which not many Oilers do)

    The following years lineup:

    MPS-Gagner-Hemsky/Free agent

    I think Cogs is a valuable piece to the Oilers but I believe its a 3rd line wing role, he is an awesome PK guy and I think he is better suited for the wing, I think Omark also helps as a 3rd line PP/Shootout specialist and having RNH take top line Center Horcoff can bump to the 3rd which helps out, I think Gagner should be traded, I think his value is semi high and I dont feel he brings anything special to the table he may develop into a solid Center but I dont see him being the center to build around I think he is only as good as his wings are I dont think he makes people better. And I am sick and tired of having centers that can win a FO, thats why COgs should be on the wing and either Gagner to the wing and trade Omark or Hemsky or trade Gagner.