11-12 Questions for 11-12 (Vol 2)

Four weeks ago, I asked 11-12 questions about 11-12. One month later, we have a lot of answers.

Taken over a long spring and summer, the transactions of an NHL team can seem plodding. However, one month into the process it’s clear the Oilers are in fact addressing the main issue of a building team: procurement. Here are the 11-12 questions and the changes we’ve seen in the past month:

  1. Do the Oilers address defense, center or grit with the top pick? Answer April 2:  I think they’ll take Adam Larsson. Answer today: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Why the change? Nugent-Hopkins was on fire against the Edmonton Oil Kings throughout the week and the fallout has most observers and draft experts feeling the Nuge is the number one prospect. We also have to give Bob McKenzie’s "List" a lot of credit; after all, it is clearly the most influential list among those universally available. It came out April 12th, heavily influencing the internet.
  2. Do the Oilers stay with the NK-DD tandem in 11-12 or go shopping? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: No change.
  3. Will the Oilers make a big move this summer, either in trade or via free agent signing? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: Steve Tambellini has since told the media that the club would like to improve at center and defense, but  "one thing I want to be clear about is this organization is not ready to be looking for the free agent that is a US$10-million player. We’re going to stick with the plan of developing from within, drafting, making people better who are here with the organization. Will we be looking for people to complement through free agency or player movement, such as a trade? Yes. Would we like to increase our ability to win a faceoff? Yes. Do we need some help on defence, do we need some help in some of our forward positions? Yes, we do." The issue of goaltending has not been addressed, which qualifies it as the elephant in the room (summer 2011 edition).
  4. Are the Oilers putting themselves in danger re:50 man list will all of these college signings? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: Oilers have gone ahead and signed Hamilton, Lander, Pitlick, Marincin. They have pretty much covered the draft eligible signings, but will need to add several free agents (specifically goaltenders) throughout the summer. The Oilers have 34 players under contract for 11-12, along with 12 RFA’s and 13 UFA’s. We know many of the UFA’s won’t be returning, but it is also possible the club could walk away from some rfa’s (they did a year ago with Pouliot and Potulny among others). I don’t see the 50 man list as being in dangerous territory.
  5. What are they going to do about the powder blue-line? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: Nothing has changed. The Marincin signing may not impact the AHL roster, as there’s a real chance he’s back in the WHL next fall.
  6. What do the top 2 lines look like in the fall? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: A slight update in that Ryan Jones remains unsigned. The club could have made a deal and are waiting until the end of the playoffs to announce it, but the crickets could also be the sound of the Oilers organization standing firm. Part of that backbone might be the Finn.
  7. Will they spend a roster spot on Steve MacIntyre again this fall? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: No change.
  8. Which of the kids outside the pro portion of the organization has the best chance of making the big team in 11-12? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: I think Lander is an even stronger option for the Oilers now that he’s signed. Plenty of time to get ready for training camp and perhaps the organization’s moves this summer will be impacted from knowing he’s in the group. Entirely good news, this Lander signing.
  9. How will the Oilers handle round one of this year’s draft? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: I believe RNH will go number one, and with that would suggest a defenseman is likely the target with the LAK pick.
  10. Is there an alternate universe on the draft? Answer April 2: Yes. They draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and then trade up to get Duncan Siemens at around 15. Answer today: the alternate universe has flipped to the real world and vice versa. It could flip again, and we should also make note that the Oilers could have had one of these kids at number one all along.
  11. Will they sign any free agents? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: Same. The actual names could be different–Scott Cullen has some interesting names in this article–but the general idea is the same. 
  12.  Which NHL Oilers will be dealt this summer? Answer April 2: 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. Answer today: No change.

It’s been a month, but the Oilers have made inroads on several of these questions and have articulated they are aware (and will attempt to address) specific needs on the big league roster. I can’t quite put all of the pieces together, but would like to make a connection between Taylor Hall’s exit interview and some rumblings about making moves to improve the NHL team this summer.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves again today, Noon to 2pm on Team 1260 (live from the Pint downtown). Scheduled to appear are Scott Cullen from tsn, who will discuss the article linked to above, the Oilers this summer and his use of advanced stats; Todd Nelson to do a wrap on the OKC Barons season and talk about next year; Ian Walker from the Vancouver Sun to talk about the Canucks, the playoffs and a few other items (he’s an interesting guy). We’re also hoping to talk about the draft with Dean Millard from the Pipeline Show and very much look forward to hearing from you at nationradio@theteam1260.com and promise to answer as many quesitons as possible with our guests.

  • O.C.

    Edit… “Win!”

    It’s time to talk Goalies.  

    These are the make or break for a team.  If an amazing talent is out there, it’s better that the Oil have him than say Calgary.

    With rare exception, Goalies take a couple of years at least to develop.  Grant Fuhr was so loose that he didn’t mind being shell shocked.

    Montreal almost destroyed Price his first two years.  Shoulda kept him in minors. 

    DD seems capable.  Is he the go to guy?  No one knows yet.

    I’m not convinced M. Olivier Roy is all that.  He cratered again in the playoffs and the lack of hype is deafening.

    Tyler Bunz is a fifth rounder with excellent numbers for where he was picked up.  Is he a future starting stud?  Who knows?

    There’s a huge Finnish keeper people are raving about.  Samu Perhonen.  Numbers are solid. Use the 19th overall here?

    • John Chambers

      I like the idea of trying to pry away one of Washington’s young goaltenders. I mean they have 3 starter-caliber netminders for frick’s sake.

      Not sure I’d be willing to deal Hemsky, but would Gilbert and the 31st land us Braden Holtby?

      I’m not giving up on Dubnyk, but with a tandem of young goalies one of them may pan out into a future starter.

      • O.C.

        I bet a number of GMs will knock on Washington’s door..

        Washington doesn’t need a Gilbert though. They are developing well from within. They might need a big crashing D man who was an LA first rounder though.

        I like Finn goalies. That Perhonen kid looks way too promising.

  • I like my players, especially on the backend, to be Western Canadian, big, rough and tumble types.

    That being said I dont know how you pass on Larsson. This Nugent-Hopkins kid must be a beauty.

  • Take the best player available no matter what size or position. RNH is that guy. D-men mature slower and I have to believe that the Oilers need players who have at least a shot at the big club next year or the year after.

    Take RNH and try and trade to move up and pick the best defenceman with your second pick.

    Can’t wait till draft day. *runs downstairs to play NHL 11*

    • Quicksilver ballet

      D-Men no longer take so long to develop . 15-20 years ago they might have , but not the ones out their today with all the ice time , games , experience , and personnel training and coaching these athletes are now inundated with now – that just wasn’t there 15-20 years ago ! That generalization of D-men is old draconian . Todays athletes are just that far advanced over that sort of thinking or reality . The game has changed markedly over the last 15 years , and athletes are much further advanced than they used to be.

      • Wax Man Riley

        So how has that theory worked out for (just looking at The Oilers here) Peckham, Chorney, Petry, Plante and Petiot?

        Defensemen still take a long time to develop, it is the nature of the position. For every Gilbert, there are 5 of the above mentioned.

  • Top Right

    Het LT, just wondering what your thoughts were on which teams drafts picks might be in play for the Oilers. What about New Jersey…they are built to win now or Minnesota who has had no luck drafting so might be interested in getting an established play matcher like Hemsky. Would Hemsky be able to get us a pick in the 8-10 range?

    There is a lot of discussion about the first overall pick but I think that the LA pick and our 31 pick will be as important to the future success of the Oilers. What are your thoughts on who the Oilers could be targeting with those picks? I think the Oilers should target Scheifele and John Gibson at 31. My preferce would be to try trading Hemsky (and whatever else it make take) to get a defenseman in the 10(ish) range. Conversely, getting someone like Zibanejad or Armia at 10(ish)and a defenseman with the LA pick like Brodin or Morrow (or Oleksiak of he is still available)

    • Lowetide

      I think the Oilers (if they stay at 19 and 31) might go defense-defense with those two picks depending on what is available.

      As for trading up, I’ve been expecting them to do it since 2002 and they never do. Last time the Oilers traded up they did so to take Riley Nash. If they do trade up I suspect it would be into the top 10 to get a bookend for RNH or Larsson. y that I mean RNH and a defender or Larsson and a center.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The Oilers better do a major job on fixing the backend this season , or they are going to risk this years stellar rookies begging to go elsewhere by the end of next season if we end up with same type of backend we had this year . If they pass on Larsson for starters , then the red flags are going up ! Yes we still need centers , but if we want to retain our young stars we better get going on backend pronto. Another season being in basement with an inept backend could well undo what they are maybe trying to do if results are the same as this season . They can’t afford to wait another season on a poor backend as far as i am concerned .

    Taking Larsson should show our young talents they are headed in the right direction . If we could get some decent talent on backend by other routes then maybe they could contemplate someone other than Larsson . The chances of that are rather remote , given Tams and companies record . Besides Larsson is probably the BPA anyways and one our many Swedes would like to play with here !

    If we are going to help our young stars flourish , we have to addresss the backend problems as our top priority . The rebuild might get decidedly worse if we don’t , and another 3 years wasted and down the tubes .

    • O.C.

      If you are concerned with retaining our young stars then I think it will be more important to get a #1 centre than a defenseman. Our young stars are all wingers.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I would love if we could land Kane. Would probably take more than just Gagner. I would try to target Kane as an RFA after this upcoming season.

    Nikita Kucherov might be an interesting pick for the third round. Ranked 17 for european skaters and lead the u-18 in scoring.

    Would Nashville trade Ellis for Hemsky. They are deep at defense and Ellis and they would probably send him to the minors for a couple of seasons. Hemsky would give them immediate help up front and they would have a year to work on resigning him.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The integity of hockey is being destroyed because we expect young super athletes today to play a physical contact sport in a season far to long for that sort of contact . Could you imagine football playing a 40 season schedule ? To many teams and to many games are driving up the injuries , with little time to recuperate . Bring it back to 60 games before we lose all the stars prematuely to injuries . Trying the respect route will fail, as it has shown already , under such a long season , pre-season and playoff structure that is in place now .

    The athletes and equipment are getting to big and strong today , but no relief in playing such a long arduous season ! Tired of seeing so many stars of teams getting major injuries because of length of hockey season .

    • The integrity of hockey is being destroyed by activist vocal minorities that are out to fundamentally change the game to suit the gentler tastes of those who dont even enjoy the sport. That along with an over-expanded NHL that failed to grab the attention of American TV viewers has produced a confusion in the game of Hockey that need not be there if it weren’t pandering to the perceived desires of a group that has no intention of consuming the game.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I see we disagree on the subject , but i feel the seasons longevity is to much to handle for the game and players today . I feel the longevity is the biggest culprit , above all else, and thus threatens hockey’s integrity the most .

    • O.C.

      There is a similar note on the Tennis Tour. With no off season, they noticed that stars are showing more injuries.

      I agree with you. The season should be a game every 3 nights, not 82 in 165, plus pre season plus playoffs.

      Willis, I agree, unless there is a stud goalie available. No one is trading Premier goalies.

  • All it took to grab Jaroslav Halak from Montreal was Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

    There’s not much point in developing a goaltender when you can get them for peanuts via trade or free agency.

    I think the Oilers run Khabibulin/DD at least one more year and possibly look to address the position next season or even the year after, depending.

    Heck, Roloson will probably still be playing well about that time 😉

      • O.C.

        Agreed. But superstar goalies are NOT being let go. Fleury, Price, they are premier goalies that come around every other year or so. There might be one available this year.

        Look, if your goalie makes one save that good goalies can’t in any given game, well, whats that worth? About 82 goals.

        Saving one goal that no mortal can save is just like scoring, sort of.
        What’s an 82 goal scorer worth?

        So yah. Don’t develop a ton of young talent. But if a major goal tending phenom is available, pick him.

        If you coach, you know that a scorer sells seats but the goaltending makes or breaks the team.

        • Agreed.

          Hey look. If there’s a standout prospect, then by all means… Otherwise, buy ’em.

          I know Dubnyk looked “OK” this year, but that was in comparison to…???

          All I’m saying is that when you look at the league as a whole, there’s goaltenders out there that would make us hugely better.

          League average competency would make us a whole lot more competitive. And not by a little bit either.

  • Duke – See how well Eberle plays behind a half decent defence at worlds ? Makes a lot of difference i’m sure even you agree . Watch our kids break out offensively next season behind a half decent defence . We have plenty of young forwards to move ahead already as Tams has stated . Others can be added down the line more easily than backend that remains our achilles tendon to moving up in standings !

    • NastyNate

      it’s been one game against a Sub par Belarus squad with 2 NHL players on the roster. Not going out on much of a limb stating that he looked better playing with Team Canada defence and linemates vs a 30th place team with 2 rookie defenceman and a plethora of injuries. Both of his goals were Ryan Smyth type goals scored in close and the quality of defence had little to do with the end result.

      • Are you all trying to say todays athletes are no better off than they were 15 years ago ? Like football in the States where their kids played on two teams each year at primary school levels yet . They were far more advanced than our kids which were lucky to even get the sport in school system at high school level . The kids today have access to facilities , coaching and training that most of us could only dream of . Of course they are better and more advanced than most of us ever were .

        An offensive players game only gets better with a defence that also knows how to help their forwards in transition game and getting invovled in the offensive thrust . Have you all forgotten the Orr’s , Coffey’s , etc.?

        What kind of a game are some of you watching when you still can’t figure out why a 30th place team is not on the same level as a first place team ? And yes, size matters more so in todays sports team than it ever has in the past .

        Eberle can do better with a decent defence like anyone else – some of you need to give your heads a shake if you think otherwise . Most of the gems are in the top 6 picks to begin with when it comes to defence – something we have none of when it comes to drafting star and adequate defencemen . In other words we have not taken any early enough to reap those rewards to begin with . Some of you need a little bit more use of using common sense .

        • Wax Man Riley

          Madjam…It is quite clear from the recent articles by Gregor that you dont need a top 6 pick to find a gem of a defenseman. It is strange that you are still making that argument even though history is showing otherwise. By the way, the Oilers have a top five defenseman in Ryan Whitney which demonstrates that these gems can be traded for.

          • Do you realize what it costs to obtain a top end defenceman over and above just drafting one . Probably in the neighborhood of about 7M cash and 2-3 first round picks . That’s not exactly peanuts , and where and when will we be in a position to even get one here again ? Not like top line players lining up to come here people !! I don’t see much advantage or cost effectiveness/ or asset management going the most costly way to obtain top line players . Money does not grow on trees in a cap system . You have to be more frugal than what most of you think . The draft route can allow for that , just not all our voids of course thanks to the extensive gutting that was done . In a nutshell – it limits our choices accordingly . We are the victims of overkill on the gutting – to much in such a short span with to little an exit strategy to compensate for it .

          • Clyde Frog


            You are my hero!

            Name 3 trades in the last 3 years with those stakes?

            I think you are fixating on the pronger trade, but really I would rather us be trading the 20-29th pick and a few lower prospects for a guarunteed stud that has been developed than reaching with the 1st overall.

            1st round picks are not equal, each subsequent pick definitely lowers the chance of payoff and top end a player can have.

            Wasting it on a snarly, defensive defensemen with an ok first pass… We aren’t talking about a kid with a rocket shot who is going to anchor the point, we are talking about an upgraded Ladislav Smid here. (For player type)

            At his best will he be 5 minutes more productive than Smid? 10? Is finding a way to get 5-10 more productive minutes out of the other 5 defensemen easier than making up for the missing 35-40 points our fist line centre isn’t producing that a #1 draft pick could?

    • O.C.

      Dude, did you really write this. Are you aware that the two defencemen on the ice for Eberle’s two goals were Dion Phaneuf, Mario Scalzo. Scalzo isn’t even in the NHL. That’s a weak argument.

  • Lowtide, I enjoy your articles and your radio show.

    Madjam, So if I am reading you correctly….If the Oilers don’t take Larson, then we won’t be sucessful for 3 years and the young talent will leave.

    The length of the season hasn’t changed in years yet the injurys have increased. But you think it is the long season?

    Also D-men require development not because of lack of skill or thinking ability, they need development by way of experience.

  • O.C.

    If we have Horcoff, Gagner and Cogs as one, two, three centers next year, hello first pick overall 2012. We need a halfassed center that is better than all three of these guys to take over the first line job. Gagner could probably play number 2 center even though he blows in the faceoff and the play ends on his sick alot. However, he will chip in garbage goals and assists (maybe 50 points) Horcoff would be an awesome third line guy for a couple more years and let the rest fight for the fourth line job or the odd man out.

    To bad Tambo will dither away instead of getting a center to run with this team for a few years. He probably has 5 guys to trade to get the first line halfassed center we need. He could even afford 5 million to attract that guy. But, what do I know, Tambo’s record speaks for itself

  • Wax Man Riley

    PONDERING – How valuable is Larsson to the Oilers ? Bruins know full well the value of an anchor defenceman with the likes of Charra , Orr and Bourque parts of their historic present and past . I’d give up Segin and their first round pick from Toronto to fetch Larsson for starters ! For RNHopkins i would not give you even Segin straight up . Larsson is a huge reward for someone worth going after far more than the other top 6 . Can the Oilers be talked out of taking this years prize – i hope not . Even if he brings the biggest offer by letting him pass by . He’s ours , so lets get on with our second first round pick to add to our rebuild !

    • Clyde Frog

      Lol, first off I would like to suggest you win Troll of the Year honours right now!

      The Bruins are a horrible team to list, their defensive stars all came from other teams via trades/free-agency AND they have 0 top 5 picks anchoring their back-end.

      Why would you not put Segin straight up for RNH? Is Segiun having an impacting currently?

      Why do you have so much man-love for Larsson? His offensive stats don’t put him in the top 30 for point production, he is snarly and nasty and has a beautiful first pass ON A MUCH LARGER ICE SURFACE! There will be an adjustment period for the kid.

      As for your this is a different world for D-men… List the top 20 defensemen in the league right now and how many were taken top 3?

    • Haha wow is all I can say. You would trade 9th Overall and Seguin for Larsson? Larsson is a good player but there is no chance that they would do that, Boston might get Murphy who could be better then Larsson (Offensively) at 9. Larsson might not even go top 3 or even 4 Boston could trade 9 and a second and maybe move up and get him. Was that just an over exaggeration implying Larsson is very good or were you ebing serious? If that was a legit thing then in thw words of Brick Tamlin “You got mental problems maaannn!”

  • Goal scoring wins games and preveting them wins games.
    what do we consider the superstar player. The elite goal scorer and first pass tough shutdown dman.

    Adam Larsson is that Dman. what are the elite scorers. the .9NHLE guys who get 45%+ of there points from goals. What is the list the last ten drafts:
    Hall, Skinner
    Horton .83nhle

    thought there was not a guy like this available this draft. there may be.
    Brett Ritchie 6′ 3″ player who switched from an agitator role to a Offensive part of The Sarnia team.
    first 25 games 6G 4A .4PPG
    Last 24GM 15G 16A 1.3PPG
    Hockey Canada saw the Change.
    Made him Part of the U18 team.
    A 1.3PPG for a July player projects to .9PPG NHLE
    There are only 4 who are there RNH, Courtier, Hubredeau, and Strome.
    Plus he is a product of Sarnia. They seam to Either Draft or Create 50% points from Goal guys.
    2010 Yakupov,
    2009 Ritchie
    2008 Mattt Martin
    2007 Stamkos, Arneil
    2006 Dibeneditto
    2005 jeffrey
    2003 Fritsche, Carcillo

    Best Case we get a 50% points from Goals guy with .9 NHLE 37G 37A or worst case a .7PPG guy who is 27G 27A. The guy hits. Think a Physical Dustin Penner

    we have the chance to pick the equivalent of two first overalls. with 1st and 19th.

    Or we can pick a player with stats like Daigle, Bonsignore, Kelly, Stefan, And Niinimaki first overall. and take a number 3 or 4 dman at 19. I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

  • Bucknuck

    I hope that the Oilers look hard at Landeskog too. I want them to pick the BPA, not the best centre available. I like all the top five picks, I just hope the Oilers pick the best one. In Stu we trust.

    I think if Steve doesn’t see goaltending as an area in need of improvement then he must have a HUGE blindspot caused by his inability to admit an error (i.e. signing Khabibulin).

    • I see no reason to do anything with the goaltenders this year at the NHL level. DD had a breakout year and should be given the chance to play 55 ish games next year. Remeber the Oil have no chance of a playoff spot next year even if they improve by 30 points, so why not give the reins to DD and see what he can do? Last year a save % of over 900 on a last place team gives some reason for optimism. They do need another Martin Gerber type to provide some veteran help to the like of Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz on the farm.

      The thought of trading No.1 for Seguin is quite fasinating. It would go a long way to adressing the Oil’s woes at center. I don’t know if Segiun is better than RNH but he is bigger and that is an issue for the Oil. If Boston think Larsen is the BPA even it takes a few year for him to develop they may see this as their best move.

  • @ madjam

    Come on man, seriously. I’m not going to argue about your draft selection because Larsson may turn out to be a stud. But the guy’s are right, the statistics are there to support the fact D-man take longer and are easier to trade for after they develop.
    Jason Gregor had an excellent article that showing this. It’s not that old so you should have no trouble looking it up.
    You also take about getting bigger then in the same breath you mention Eberle?
    Then you talk about the likes of Bourque, Coffey and Bobby Freakin Orr!! Dude really! These players are one off players that come along ever decade! The others you mentioned were traded or where UFA’S. Your argument about taking a D-man would be more solid if you choose to use the words BPA, but again, from almost all scouting services RNH would be that playa!

  • It seems like a waste of energy arguing over as unpredictable a process as an 18 year old evolving into an NHL player. On the other hand, MATT HALISCHUK, BABY!!!! Fourth round pick, 117th over all. What a sweet night!. I couldn’t be happier if I had a sack full of Canuck fans to drag behind my pickup. PREDS IN 5!!!!!!!!!

  • O.C.

    By the way, are the Sedins playing for Sweden in the World Championship in Slovakia? ’cause I haven’t seen them since game 3 against Chicago. I was wondering because I noticed Sweden lost 5-4 to Norway today.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Every playoff game I watch makes me more aware of the fact that the Oilers are not an NHL team and miles away of becoming one. A few draft choices here and there wont make enough of a difference to turn this team around. Trades and free agents? Let management take are of that. Their record speaks for itself.

    • I and I think many others agree. Pro-Scouting will be crucial in next few years, and I would suggest it needs to get better somehow, even for the 11-12 year, despite the difficulties in bringing guys to Edmonton. Players have to feel efforts are being made to improve the team.

  • Why not broker a deal between the Oil Kings & Cougars to bring Martin Marincin to Edmonton. Not only would it give the local fan-base a chance to see a top prospect up close & personal all season long, but it would likely help the Oil Kings sell more tickets. Plus it would likely be good for Marincin’s development on & off the ice.

    That goes for any other ‘Dub’ prospect, too.

  • So the choices are Jim Vandermeer V2.0 or Chris effin’ Pronger?


    Our D is so weak that even an average NHL player in that position would make us worlds better. I’m talking AVERAGE now, not “stud” or “lock”. That sort of player doesn’t cost a minimum of $7 Million.

    We have at least 6 players so bad they could be replaced with just “decent” guys and a significant improvement would be seen next year.

  • Top Right

    I know this is far off down the road, but i have a question regarding Taylor Hall and whether he will sign with Edmonton after his entry level is up

    Does anyone think that there is a real possibility he might not sign here?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Thought about this as well, with zero commitment to winning, how long is a guy like Taylor Hall supposed to wait? What must be going through the minds of Hemsky,Gagner or Cogliano who seem to have developed a sense of comfort with it the last 4-5 yrs.

      Even though he isn’t eligible for free agency for another 6 yrs, if he decides at anytime he wants out, one phone call to his agent will start this extraction process and the Oilers would have another Chris Pronger scenario on their hands.

      Lets hope management aquires a little bit of pride this summer and this doesn’t happen.