Blue On Blue

A young man’s playing career is in jeopardy, the injuries keep piling up and the Edmonton Oilers aren’t even at the starting gate. Is the story of the season being written before launch?

With Whitney, Smid and Chorney suffering various troubles and Fedun’s future in doubt, the Edmonton Oilers are in a world of hurt along the blue. Chorney is a bubble player, but Smid’s minutes along with Whitney’s are a massive blow to this team. I say this every fall, but the Edmonton Oilers as they currently stand have an alarming lack of quality and quantity on the back end. Every Oiler fan finding out about the disaster in Minny will want the Oilers to make a move.

Tom Gilbert, Cam Barker, Andy Sutton, Jeff Petry, Theo Peckham, Corey Potter, and a recall of Colten Teubert. That’s what things might look like opening night.


Can the Oilers address the defense before opening night? Well, it depends on what the club is willing to give up. At this point, Edmonton does enjoy nice depth along the wing and improving depth at C; the club could procure a gem on D in exchange for any of Linus Omark, Anton Lander or Teemu Hartikainen.

The problem is that Steve Tambellini can’t afford to be wrong in dealing one of the blue chippers. Should they send along Teemu Hartikainen to a team like Dallas for a young defender? What if Hartikainen becomes the big winger with skill we think he’ll become? And what if the defender that the pro scouts like falters or is injured? 

It’s very dangerous–Frank Booth dangerous–to make a panic move. As painful as it might be to suffer another mind numbing season, perhaps Steve Tambellini (or his successor, the clock is ticking) can properly address the extreme weakness that has been the blue for many years now next summer. The price now will be extreme. 

Perhaps a free agent signing or a waiver pickup is the better plan.



Someday the Oilers will ice a defense made mostly of homegrown talents. Complete skill sets, big men with speed and skill. Until then, staying the course is the better plan. Linus Omark is a player of interest around the league for a good reason, and adding an average NHL defender for such a talent is a loser’s bet.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at noon on the Team 1260. Among the scheduled guests:

  • Ian Walker from the Vancouver Sun will join us to talk about the health of Vancouver’s NHL team, naked Canucks and how the NW will look this season. Predicting what Ian Walker will say is not possible, so tune in for the fun.
  • Kent Wilson from the Nations Network. I’ll ask Kent about the NW, about the Doughty signing and we’ll discuss the new Flames whipping boy (Matt Stajan).
  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. Jones has seen a lot of training camps and a lot of phenoms, so should be able to give the best available estimate about this year’s team. I’ll also try to find out why he’s so damn interesting on twitter, although I think it might have something to do with short attention span.
  • Helene Elliott from the Los Angeles Times. We’ll talk about the Doughty signing, the Fraser-Smyth ongoing saga and discuss the Brendan Shanahan’s suspensions and their impact.

I have a couple of other lines in the water but can’t confirm. Please tune in at noon and your calls and emails are always welcome at

  • Terran

    There’s no reason for the Nystrom hate. It was a stupid play, but not malicious.

    If you want to direct your hate somewhere, direct it at the people responsible for not moving to no touch icing

    • wyseguy

      Re Nystrom hate. People are emotional and sympathetic, and even though nothing unbreaks Fedun’s leg the desire for justice doesn’t easily dissolve. People usually find something for it to stick to.

  • justDOit

    Good luck Taylor! You made a great impression this year in camp, and we hope to see you back soon.

    Nystrom – we’re Eager to see you in Edmonton, you sack of filth.

  • Sure Fedun would have been a Baron for this season but he sure impressed enough to remain in the mix for the seventh position. WTF was Nystrom thinking? If that isn’t a careless use of the stick call than what is? Suspend him 10 games for lack of use of his brain. On the positive note Keller just earned a ton of respect for his play on D last night. Lander 3 penalties and 3 points. +3 for the night. Lucky. Petrell stepped up when the team needed it and they responded. Like him more and more. If I am picking I take Petrell over Brule based on his consistency. Brule need 40 games in the minors to get his game back up to par.Brule is done with this organization as far as I am concerned. Lander has definitely passed him on the depth chart and so has Petrell and Hartsy> Dubnyk looked steady. Didn’t give up and considering the D in front of him did a hell of a job. We won in Minny for the first time in a generation. Bonus. Its preseason but its something the team can build on going into Minny the next time. Will be fun watching H2E against the tins tonight. I give Lander another game. I also give Keller a game with Jones and belanger and see what he gives us.

  • I’m always in favour of trading Omark, because I dont believe in him, but it would be unadvisable to do it now unless the return is exciting. This is the exact wrong time of year to make a trade out of desperation. Teams will be much more likely to “see what they have” after going through camp with their own guys. My guess is trade values arent nearly as high as they would be post-christmas

    The planets really need to lineup for the trade route to be the best option.

    Now is the time for astute wire pick-ups and some FA vet signings that look like great moves in hindsight a la Morrison with Calgary.

  • Not sure why they didn’t take a crack at Shaonne Morrisonn while he was on waivers. At least he’s an NHL defenceman. With him having to clear re-entry, and the Sabres up against the cap, he may be stuck in Rochester for the season.

  • justDOit

    So, last night the Oil lose Fedun (to a sickeningly needless injury) and Chorney – neither of whom were going to stick with the big club and Smid, who apparently was chronic already.

    It’s not like Tambo got hit with a revelation last night that his D corps are understaffed and underwhelming. This will hurt OKC, but as far as the Oil are concerned, if Tambo didn’t have a backup plan for an event like this, then he IS the evil genius that I thought he was.

  • Lowetide

    It was tweeted by Michael Russo who covers the wild, and was covering them when Kurtis Foster broke his femur, that Fedun’s injury has the same fracture pattern as Foster’s.

    Which means we could be in for a very long recovery. I sure hope for the best and right now I’m thinking about this young man and could care less about the troubles our GM failed to address.

    Who saw this coming? Injuries just seem to be a big part of the team and I think its time that management starts adjusting accordingly.

  • RPG

    Wow, are we up early!
    Helene Elliott? Very impressive, I’ll be listening for sure.
    The danger in dealing a prospect of course is that they develop into the diamond in the rough. Staying the course might be impossible given the injury situation. Making a deal might be inevitable.

    • As you get older, you need less sleep.

      When you get to LT’s age it more a matter of resting your eyes for 45 min then you’re fresh as a daisy.

      Well, maybe as fresh a dried daisy pressed into a memory book, but you get the picture.

      I really want to see this Oiler forward group together for a year. They have a chance of 3 real offensive lines, which means you can have a 4th line of Actual NHL Players. That’s a recipe for success.

      Overpay McCabe for a year. I still don’t sign Struddy.