In the storied history of the Edmonton Oilers, few trades have turned out better than Colin Fraser and a 7th round pick for Ryan Smyth. Hell, I’m not even certain there IS a 7th round! I’m not sure it’s the biggest trade in Oiler history, but it’s the longest and that’s for sure.
DEAN LOMBARDI TALKS A LOT, SAYS STUFF
After months and months of headlines like "Kings find Fraser Injured" and "Colin Fraser War" the entire LAK-EDM feud was settled with Edmonton sending a bedpan, a raised toilet seat and a tub mount grab bar to Los Angeles. Holy much ado about nothing, Batman! Honestly. How on planet earth can a man with Dean Lombardi’s reputation go from "The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word" to "hey buy lunch and send over a tensor bandage and we’re good."
The NHL has thousands of truly weird stories about teams and individuals saying ridiculous things about each other, but this is an "out there" event of Harold Ballard weirdness. Honestly. About 150 days of poor Helene Elliott tweeting away the latest updates on a story that apparently no one by Dean Lombardi cared about at all. I think the Kings should send Elliott on a paid 2-week vacation for her trouble, or at least give her the scoop when they replace Dustin Penner.
LINUS THE UM, ER, MINUS
Linus Omark will miss the next 6 weeks with a broken ankle. It’s a potentially devastating blow to his NHL hopes, as the Oilers may cast an eye to OKC if the problems continue on the 3rd and 4th lines. The leading scorers among prospects in Okla City include Phil Cornet (12 goals in 16 games), Teemu Hartikainen (7 goals in 16 games, including 4 on the PP) and Gilbert Brule (10 points in 14 games) may also be an option.
BLUE ON BLUE, HEARTACHE ON HEARTACHE
Someone clearly said "wow, do the Oilers ever have a lot of healthy defensemen!" and then the Hockey Gods proceeded to sort that out in a hurry. Cam Barker, Corey Potter and Andy Sutton were all hurt within a few days of each other and Jeff Petry sustained a hand injury too (although not considered serious at last report).
Steve Tambellini called up Colten Teubert and Taylor Chorney, but I don’t see how they can go the entire season without addressing the blue. Ryan Whitney is close to a return, but that’s a mixed blessing because the closer he is to the starting lineup the closer he is to his next injury.
Smid-Gilbert have become a constant along the blue, and I think Petry is here to stay. After that, Sutton-Potter can help but increasingly Theo Peckham’s play has become a concern. The Oilers may look to deal him in an effort to cut down on the errant passes and bad decisions. It’s a thing.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I think the Oilers are in for a rough week. One of the things we might look for is a less rigid coach Renney and perhaps some shuffling on the forward lines. Jason Gregor tweeted lines yesterday that were quite different than the recent 12, and perhaps we’ll see them tonight.
The blue is the blue, unless we get fabulous news that Whitney is suddenly healthy. And the goaltending might improve if coach Renney worked Dubnyk in more, keeping the young G fresh while giving the older man longer periods of rest between starts.
SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Nation Radio hits the airwaves at noon today, Team 1260. It’ll be up at Oilers Nation sometime Sunday and our scheduled guests include:
- Jonathan Willis from Cult of Hockey, Nations Network, Hockey Prospectus and ESPN Insider. Jonathan is that rare item: a man who can converse equally well in the math hockey world and in the "saw him good" group. I’ll ask him about his recent article entitled "Statistics are Dumb" and the point he was making.
- Trevor Maughan from Arctic Ice Hockey. We’ll talk Jets and their steady improvement, including two impressive wins this week.
- JP Nikota from Pension Plan Puppets and Leafs Nation. The PPP people are some of the finest bloggers on the planet, and JP has been doing some excellent work re:scoring chances. I’ll attempt to mock him, but am a bit of a fan so it’ll probably be lame.
- Tab or Sam from Committed Indians, a Blackhawk blog of some note. Chicago stumbled last night after a nice run recently, and I’ll check in and see what the CI folks think about the team, tonight’s game and Chicago’s chances this season.
- Jesse Rogers from ESPN Chicago.We’ll talk about the current Hawks and how they compare to the Stanley bunch, and I’ll check on any inside info about the Hawks moving forward.
Emails welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m on twitter now too @lowetide_ if that works better for you. I do read comments at both blogs and enjoy your input and questions for our guests. Have a great Saturday, drive safely.