What Would it Look Like?

At last night’s draft lottery (not a great television show but there was suspense–witness Bryan Murray’s facial expressions throughout the proceedings) Oilers General Manager was resolute when asked if he wanted to be back on the lottery show next year: "Absolutely not!" he told James Duthie. IF the Oilers are serious about staying away from the dungeon, what would this summer look like? 

Even from this far away I think we can agree on a few things about this summer. If the Oilers want to step into the elevator shaft that means a lottery pick they can spend the summer quietly. Draft another elite prospect, get some diamonds in the later picks and then wait for the entire group of youngsters to develop.

Steve Tambellini can’t just say "you know James, we’re going to spend the next few seasons getitng really good kids and then dominate for a decade" so we shouldn’t put too much weight on ST’s words last night. However, if the club is serious about getting better, we’ll know about it this summer.

  1. The draft: If the Oilers plan to reach for higher ground in 11-12, the draft will be about the #1 pick and getting quality with the LAK pick and their own selection at #31. Veterans like Hemsky, Gagner and Gilbert won’t be in play. The number one pick won’t be on the big league roster.
  2. The free agency period will have some nice acquisitions. Along with Ryan Jones, perhaps a Clarke MacArthur or Scottie Upshall will be under the tree. Signing an NHL calibre defensemen (say Denis Grebeshkov) would go a long way to making things right.
  3. Another Martin Gerber type signing–a quality goalie who can play in the NHL and do the job–is vital. The Oilers don’t have any AHL depth now with the free agency situation and Khabibulin’s fade is likely to continue. NK has a lot of miles on him and can see his 40th birthday on the horizon.
  4. A solid center who can help on the PK and in the faceoff dot. Someone like Boyd Gordon. I know Vande Velde showed well late in the season but this team is so poor when it comes to established veterans that signing Gordon and having him play those vital special teams minutes can go along way to improving the PK.

So, what would that look like? 

  • GOALER: Devan Dubnyk, Nikolai Khabibulin, real strength in the AHL
  • DEFENSE: Whitney-Petry, Peckham-Gilbert, Grebeshkov-Smid and Foster or Chorney
  • CENTER: Horcoff-Gagner-Cogliano-Gordon
  • LEFT WING: Hall-MacArthur-MPS–Hartikainen-Reddox
  • RIGHT WING: Hemsky-Eberle-Jones-Omark-enforcer (not my choice but Renney likes enforcers)

It isn’t perfect, but it’s better. And there’s a chance this team would be able to endure the annual injuries better and finish outside the lottery. We’ll know this summer.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    A little more digging on grabbing a second center with a 6 – 10 pick (via Gager+LA pick)

    Centers drafted 6 – 10 from 1990 to 2006:




    So 25 guys

    1 superstar (4%)

    2 first liners (8%)

    5 2nd liners (20%)

    I don’t know about you, but 12% shot at improving our situation, 20% shot at standing pat and 68% chance at down-grading doesn’t sound too promising to me.

  • forestscooter

    The hype on drafts is great.. i love hearing about ‘weak’ drafts because there is no crosby or gretzky.. ‘no clearcut #1’ so media ratings go way up everytime a hockeyPanel is on TV.. controversial draft ranking updates with players moving up and down spots faster than Ryan Jones after xmas.. then after the #1 is picked even more media competition as people argue about how they knew player X was #1. Ratings, ratings, ratings.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Maybe interested peoples could enter a preferred roster for the Oilers heading into next season. After the entry draft, submit a 23 man roster with the W5 to defend their roster. Could make for some interesting observations i’m sure.

  • forestscooter

    I find it funny that people are saying its a weak draft year, I am guessing they hear it and they assume everyone is bad, a weak draft year just means that it isn’t really deep, last year was a deep year aka Oilers getting Pitlick in the second round etc. If your picking top 3 arguably top 5 you are still getting a Franchise player (barring a huge choke or injury), just because there isn’t a Crosby doesn’t make it a bad draft, you replace Hall and Seguin with RNH and Landeskog and people would still say its a weak draft just with two clearcut number ones.

  • Dominoiler

    still looks like a 22-30th place team to me.. 30th with just a couple injuries to key players, a la 2010-2011..

    Nice depth player additions in key positions (marginal quality, but can do their job).. would be nice to see these types of pick-ups.. at least the team could start moving in the right direction..

    Playoffs, are still a mid/long term goal at this point..

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    if the choice is between rnh and coutrier then we must choose rnh.

    yah he’s smallish, i get it. coutrier is bigger i understand that as well. the common ground is they both are offensively talented and both play about the same size.

    from what i have heard through tsn etc.. reports say possibly the reason coutrier has fallen is because he is “soft” (such a bad description). exceptionally skilled but doesn’t play strong and physical or as big as he could.

    that won’t work here is etown. we expect (maybe foolishly) a player to play to his size and bigger (ie. penner). sometimes they don’t have that makeup or skillset required.

    keep in mind like many, i have never seen either play live and most of my knowledge is based on someone else’s knowledge…so if they are stupid then…

  • Ender

    If there was ever a year I’d lean towards trading the #1 pick, this would be it. RNH is not inspiring me with the kind of confidence I should feel about the BPA, and drafting a defenseman first overall is a big ol’ lottery ticket. That leaves us with . . . Landeskog? Huberdeau? Take a flyer on Couturier and let your scouting staff try and prove they’re smarter than everyone else?

    Too much room for error, not enough upside for this team even if you guess right.

    I’m not advocating giving the pick away. It’s valuable, it doesn’t come along too many times in a generation, and if the best you end up with is another Gagner it’s still better than a kick in the head. That said, if it’s more valuable to another GM than what it’s worth, maybe this is the year to let someone else try for what’s behind Door #1 and we take the known commodity instead.

  • iamdannybailey

    This is the team I think they should try and ice if they draft RNH and he makes the team out of camp

    (Hemsky – Horcoff – Harti) (Eberle – RNH – Hall) (Omark – Gags/Cogs/Brule* – PRV) (Jones** – Konopka** – Upshall**)

    (Mac, Cogs/Gags/Brule*)

    (petry – whitney) (Gilbert – Smid**) (Peckham – Vandy**) (Struds)

    Dubie Gerber/khabi

    *with one of these being traded ** if they sign for reasonable term and price

    This should leave the oil a fairly competitive team. While still lacking size would bring in more grit with help on the dot.

    Or not!

  • Wax Man Riley

    So really tho, what does everyone think of Landeskog? I don’t count him out yet. He is big, mean, gritty talented, and a leader. Sounds great to me.

    I understand he isn’t a center, but if we look at BPA, he may be it. I am a fan of taking either Swede to play with PRV, Omark and Lander.

    In Stu we trust, so if he ends up saying RNH, I’m sure there is a reason.

  • Ca$h-Money!


    Signing: Langenbruner or Glencross
    Extra: Brule, O’marra, Reddox

    Wisniewski/Erhoff -Smid

    Signing: Wisniewski or Erhoff
    Extra: Vandermeer, one of Plante/Teubert/Chorney


    1) RNH, keep him in WHL, let him go to WJC and show he can dominate there (just like Schenn did this year).

    2) Jamieson O. with kings #18 selection, give him a year or two before bringing him up.

  • Coco Crsip

    How Dirty would It be if Landeskog was a clear cut center? Would be no debate, just draft him and lets go to the post season..

    However, I am still very much sold on sean couturier. Either 1st overall or somewhere in top 5, assuming we move up.

  • Coco Crsip

    Holy smokes!!!I found this site earlier and have just read 5 pages of PASSIONATE OIL fans and what WE should do.As I read i keep thinking to myself god im happy Calgary dont have these options available.You people have alot if interesing ideas and options.As a lifelong Oilfan I think we have to remember OUR team has never had this opertunity to better itself since there inception into the leauge.Having the first overall two years in a row is special and what choices they make will impact OUR team for the next decade one way or another.We as OIL fans have to remember we are in rebuild for the second true year as far as im concerned,and we shouldnt rush it for a better spot in the standings NEXT YEAR.This will take a few years and so we accumulate a few more top prospects next year,the following years are when you make drastic changes such as bringing in a Stastny type.The Webber sugestion is tempting for sure.One other defenceman the Preds have that i would love to see as an Oiler is Ryan Ellis.His name hasnt come up that i have seen but this dude could be deadly with some of our other young guns.What would it take to pick him off there squad?Anywho keep the postings coming i got this on my fav list.Once again arnet you glad were not Flame fans.