Edmonton Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor knows whose name he wants to call with the team’s second consecutive first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota June 24.

Of course, MacGregor isn’t about to tell me who he has in mind, and he’s not above letting people try to sway his opinion when he and his scouting staff, along with GM Steve Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, open four days of meetings in Phoenix May 15.

Regardless of who MacGregor has in mind, it won’t be a two-horse race (one that soon turned into a runaway for Taylor Hall over Tyler Seguin) like it was a year ago at this time when he and his scouts compared a season worth of notes and put together a final list heading into Los Angeles.

My guess is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels is the player MacGregor has pegged for the top pick. Then again, it could just as well be smooth Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson. And what about big Sean Couturier of Drummondville, red-hot Jonathan Huberdeau of Saint John or Gabriel Landeskog of Kitchener?

If you look at the rankings of all the different scouting services and talk to hockey people, you can make a case that any one of the above players should be part of the conversation. Does that diversity of opinion exist on MacGregor’s staff?

That’s what the meeting is for.


"I’m pretty good on one, yes," said MacGregor, when I asked him if he’s leaning toward any one player at this point. "I feel pretty good about my guy, yes."

A lot of people would be willing to wager that the gifted but undersized Nugent-Hopkins is the player MacGregor likes with the first overall pick. The slight centre obviously has talent and he plays a position the Oilers didn’t fill last summer when they took Hall over Seguin.

After all, MacGregor and a rotating series of Edmonton scouts, along with Lowe and Tambellini among other team brass, have had eyes on the kid, as you’d expect, several times this season.

Then again, MacGregor just got back from the east coast where he was following Huberdeau, who has been tearing it up of late. And he was just over in Europe to see Larsson. Eyes on Couturier. Eyes on Landeskog. He’s been living out of a suitcase, making only occasional stops back home in Kamloops.

"There’s a lot more players in the mix this year than there was last year," said MacGregor, who was completely sold on Hall by the time the staff met at Predator Ridge a year ago. "Probably four or five . . . I would think that you could hear, probably, four."


By the time Hall and Windsor rolled through the playoffs and Memorial Cup a year ago, it was obvious to MacGregor who the Oilers had to pick. It’s not nearly as cut-and-dried this time, and that’s why there’s bound to be plenty of lively debate in Arizona.

"This is where we put our final list together," MacGregor said. "We make some major decisions on positioning and how it all fits together."

If there isn’t a clear and concise consensus with his staff, MacGregor gets the deciding vote. It’s a standard part of a process in which a year or more of travelling, drinking bad coffee and taking notes culminates with everybody making a case for the player they have in mind.

"If you watched Oil Change, this is where everybody was talking about each player (a year ago)," MacGregor said. "This is where most of your major discussions go on. We’ll have more at the draft and so on, but this is where the majority of your work gets done."

Is Nugent-Hopkins the player MacGregor has in mind? He isn’t saying. Might he be swayed if one or two or more of his scouts insist Couturier, Larsson, Landeskog or Huberdeau is the way to go? Maybe. By the way, who is the one you’re "pretty good on," Stu?

"That’s a good one," he laughed. "I knew that was coming."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I think signing anyone to a 15 year contract is retarded. What if they get injuried and are nowhere near as affective once returning and you have say 10 years left on the contract. Do you think possibly that might hurt your team?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Theirs what? 8 – 10 of these super long term deals out there right now?

      Only one of them (Dipi – NYI) isn’t looking like a resonable deal or better.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    On the Team 1260 show Oiler’s Lunch Steve Tambellini said they are not going to try and sign any “whales”. In other words they are not going after any A List free agents.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Why would Shea Weber want to sign with the Oiler’s. He’s at the point in his career where he wants to contend for a Cup not wonder whom his teams lottery pick is going to be.

  • I don’t think anyone is giving Gabriel Landeskog enough credit at this point. It would not surprise me to see the Oilers try and move Hemsky and the entry draft and take him first overall. Hall and him have played together before and work well together. Also I believe Hall has commented on the type of player and his work ethic and would also like to have him in the Oilers organisation. Chemistry is a key component of every team and I think that needs some attention. If the Oilers could pull off a Gabriel Landeskog and Sean Couterier while off loading Hemsky and maybe a low draft I’m okay with that. Hemsky’s injuries and the ? of whether he resigns here and at what price makes me feel that he isn’t part of the future here anymore.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    No doubt Weber is quite good. I
    think many are over rating him. For sure he’s a very good player, I believe a good amount of credit for this must go to Ryan Suter.

    I do recall hearing he stumbled while Suter was out and that might be difference between being a very-good player vs an excellent/build-your-defense-around player.

    I detest Suter but I sure respect his ability to get the job done (and I wish he played for the Oilers).

  • derrickhands

    If anyone saw the MH Tigers and RD rebels playoff series would know why the Oilers cannot afford to draft RNH. The Oilers biggest weaknesses were defense and in the face-off circle and RNH doesn’t supply either and the Oilers do not have the big wingers to protect him like he had.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    I really like that he “Knows who he wants” by now he should! it shows that he has a system and does not just feel his way along. I sure he has his own grading system so he can measure intangibles etc. I also know he would never share that system because if it keeps working there will be a ton of scouts scouting him. Trying to see what he sees. Another two drafts were he is finding late jewels and other teams will be after him in all forms. Trying to spy on him and sign him. Mimic what he does and whom he sees etc. Could be as good as any Bond film. It would sell only in Canada however too bad. Stu needs an Aston Martin snow mobile.

      • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

        Does Not mean he can not change his mind but playoffs should hopefully just confirm a solid decision. If he is to change his mind it would be because the player chosen had a slight edge and new factors came to light. He should walk in to that room with conviction as should they all. Then a good hot debate can ensue as they push their points. We don’t want any namby pamby yes sir if that is what you want sir! coming from a scout in the Oilers. The best business decisions happen in a room were every one has a strong opinion but is also very willing to listen. It is a very special type of relationship and if it is the culture that Magnificent Stu creates it is no wonder we have done so well in the draft with him as the leader. Have conviction but willing to change for a good solid logical argument!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Sounds like Stu has a pretty good idea what he wants to do. I’m sure they’ll debate it somewhat down the stretch, but knowing what you want to do with #1 directly effects your later picks, so know early to plan the rest of the draft.

    2010 may go down as one of the best draft ever for the Oil. Most of these picks are trending well above where they were selected. I believe a big reason for this was the decision on the 1st pick was easy. The Oil knew they were picking either 1st or 2nd very early in the year and it came down to Taylor or Tyler. This may have freed up resources to scout the prospects available down the chain, which I think, played a big part in the success of that draft year.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Until we show we are drafting better by drafting to get out of the basement of league , and also addressing our weakest voids then maybe our scouting is still bad ? Hopkins appears to be same type of forward we keep drafting and certainly does not fit the defence or power forward we still do not have -nor the goal tending . Just how many draftees make the team each year that quite honestly might be better than on a cellar dwellar ? One per year if we are lucky ?

    We have so many top first round picks already that still has done little to get us out of the basement .We got to many Hopkins types already , and not nearly enough Larssons or Landeskop types to make choices from . How many of our incumbent first round choices are dependable enough to get a half season without major injury problems ? Players like Whitney , Smid and Foster also come to mind of players that might simply be to injury prone to rely on- yet all were first round picks at one time and were expected to be better than what they have shown so far in their careers . ? We don’t need /want to keep drafting the same types of players that keep us firmly entrenched in the basement .

    Last season we drafted some size , but just how many might turn out , if any , to be a decent NHL talent in a short space span ? Maybe none will turn out to take us out of basement . I’ll reserve judgement on scouting until such time as we see our team start climbing back up in standings . Just how reliable is drafting at best of times to keep us acceptable and competitive ?

    I have a feeling we are going to take Hopkins , and i think it is a mistake to keep taking the same types of players we continually seem to take .

    • I would like you to list all of the Centres that the team has drafted who have been of high enough calibre to be ranked #1 by multiple scouting services.

      Name all of them, then tell me exactly how many players like RNH the Oilers have that fit the bill.

      I will be patiently waiting.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        My article was about first round picks , not just first overall . So i won’t bother with a list . Our needs far exceed our ability to draft our way out of them thanks to Tam and Company . Might help if we started from backend and glaring weaknesses for one , as well as reputable power forwards that might also be a center -things we have little of to begin with !! You making any guarantees Hopkins going to be any better than the ones we already have , or take us out of the basement anytime soon ? Why keep duplicating a mess and over abundance of player types we already have, that still needs clearing up .

        • I cant guarantee Hopkins will be better than anyone, but then again history is on his side as a forward with high projections. History is not so kind to a defenseman in the same boat.

          Also, you keep going on about the Oilers’ glaring weakness on defense, but you’re completely ignoring the fact that there isnt a legit 1 or 2C in the Organization younger than Gagner. It’s a massive void, one that’s more difficult to fill than defense.

          Define your player type that RNH fits into. Are you basing this on size, position, pass-first/shooter, pedigree, religious affiliation, What?

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          You have a wierd infatuation with the draft.

          It is only one element of building a team. You take the BPA (especially when drafting #1)
          and then use the other avenues to fill your needs

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            What other avenues have we proven over last 5 years , that Oilers are any good at ?? None is the correct answer – thats why we are in 30th spot with little hope to turn it around if last 5 years is a fair assessment of what they have done . How can so many of you miss the blatantly obvious ineffectiveness in other parts of the markets we have no good results coming from ? At least with us committed to 30th spot we should have no problem assessing the job that is not getting done on an assessment level equal ,on par or above what they feel it is /should be . Dead last is deadlast afterall – you don’t get much worse than that to begin with . We need change and a new vision to correct our course , as we are just not getting anywhere with status quo or incumbents to make any difference . Not like we are going to get worse than 30th spot by doing so.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            So your saying last years draft was a bust as well? and Eberle and MPS? I would say Gagner at 6 hasn’t panned out yet but since he didn’t pan out that is no reason to avoid taking the #1 prospect in RNH. What is your take on him? I know you said why take him when the whole Oilers roster is filled with players like him but how so? Other then his size his skill is far superior to other players on the Oilers (minus Hall/Hemsky). My question is why are you saying that it would be a mistake to draft and my second question is have you ever seen him play?

          • I dont understand how you can assume the Oilers arent achieving their goals. The Oilers havent even TRIED to get anywhere except 30th place yet. Why do they need a course correction?

            This course is what got the Oil their best prospects. Acquiring blue-chip prospects is the course. The Goal was never to win. Winning will only become a by-product of the plan after several years.

            You say change the course, and I’m asking why would they? All of their plans have paid off. Building still full, on track to negotiate a new one, two 1st overall selections, a revival of the Organizational Depth Chart, and lower spending on Salary.

            Tell me why they would want to change their plan now?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Didn’t read the article for fear it would sway my own personal bias on this issue.

    SELL THE FARM! Move whatever is needed and earn the right to a second shot in that top 5. If it costs us a Hemsky or a Gagner, so be it. I’d even top that of with a Smid,Brule,Omark even Peckham to go with 2nd/3rd rounders this summer as well as non first round 2012 selections. NuHo and Couturier or Strome and Huberdeau, get it done and fix the issue we have in the middle. Take whats left from that available basket and see what we can do for #2,#3 help on the back end. Bring back Ryan Smyth as well as a UFA and we’re set for next yr.

    With Stu MacGregor at the helm, do we really need Tambellini and Lowe?

    • fuck off

      I totally agree with “selling the farm” to bump up into two top 5 picks. However, that farm can’t extend as far as the D, aside from Smid, because it’s so weak, to remove any futher parts would cause another lottery season to follow. Hemsky is the #1 option to move for a top 5 swap. If they take RNH at #1 and move Gags to swap into the top 5 then I would be “okay” with that baring that second pick is another C. RNH and Couturier would be an absolutely sick 1-2 punch down the middle for years to come.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Agreed, Nuho,Strome,Huberdeau or Couturier. Pick two, any two…but it must be two.

        One of these kids isn’t enough. Time to move out some bodies who have grown accustomed to losing here. (Hemsky,Gagner,Smid etc)

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      The fact that you have the combination of:

      “SELL THE FARM! Move whatever is needed and earn the right to a second shot in that top 5. If it costs us a Hemsky or a Gagner, so be it. I’d even top that of with a Smid,Brule,Omark even Peckham”


      “we’re set for next yr.”

      Makes me laugh…. really hard.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        You can sit tight and watch yet another lottery season roll by your driver side window Obbie… your expectations obviously remain at curb height. I’ll take my chances with Horcoff,Strome,Huberdeau,Cogliano,Brule over anything you have to offer up.

        I’m sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it.

        Take a shot at Glencross and Upshall and starting two rookies down the middle isn’t such a stretch. Atleast Taylor Hall would start to see something that resembles a comittment to winning here.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Those 2 fresh faced rookie centers have changed their diet for the remainder of the off season. Both are eating nails for breakfast for the rest of the summer.


        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          It has nothing to do with “sitting tight” (in fact I want the exact opposite).

          It has everything to do with the delusional mind set that adding two rookie centers (at the expense of multiple roster players) has the team “good to go” NEXT YEAR.

          The contridiction between what you want and how you want to achieve it is mind boggling.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Has anything i’ve suggested not conform with the rebuild….am i trading away the long term future of this club? NO.

            I’m only moving out a future third line center and/or possibly our China Doll winger. Maybe Huberdeau or Strome could ride shotgun for Hemsky if Gagner is the one to go.

            We certainly can’t get rid of #10, so i’ll take my chances with RNH/Strome (1st line center) Huberdeau/Couturier (2nd line center) followed by Horcoff for the third line this coming season thanks. We’re all going to die of old age at your pace Obbie.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Again, it has nothing to do with not “conforming to the rebuild” I stated in another thread that if all the stars aligned, your plans very well could leave the team better off *in the future* (though I’d peg that at about a 25% likelyhood).

            The issue is your thought process that we will be better right away (which is echoed again in the post I’m quoting)

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Our goal is the same, i just feel we have the assets (possibly overpay) to find said trading partner. I know you feel i would probably need a gun to get what i want for October 2011.

            If you had it your way, who’s on your roster this July 2nd Obbie. Maybe it’s good enough i’ll keep my mouth shut if your plan is as attainable as mine appears not to be.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            As for my roster: Too many variables to nail down any type of accurate call.

            Ideally I’d scoup either Webber or Yandle via RFA and complement him with a resonable “stop gap” vetran (Rivet/Sopel/Hedja… someone in that class)

            If that fell through, I’d try to land at least one of prefferably two of: Bieksa/Brewer/Wisniewski/Erhoff/Hannan/Jovanoski if we can only grab one of these guys I’d still add one from the Rivet/Sopel/Hedja grouping.

            I’d also strongly consider trading Hemsky for a proven 2/3 dman under 30, or a young top 6 center (Brassard/Berglund/Oshie)

            I’d send Bulin to the KHL or the AHL and sign a decent platoon goalie (or maybe try and get one of the Caps three young goalies).

            I’d pick up 2 bottom 6 wingers, (one that can fight)(Upshall/Eager/Higgins/GlenX) and a 2nd Horcoff type down the middle(Laich/Reasoner/Kopcky).

            If we can add One top 6 center then great, I can’t see it happening though. If we can add 2 I dump Omark and move Gagner over to RW2.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            I’d gamble that Weber signs a one yr extension with the Preds, take a shot at him the next deadline (Paajarvi,Plante and 2012 first) Weber is my first choice, Yandle is plan B in my books. Your plan on the back end gets a thumbs up from me as long as we don’t give up all those first rounders for Weber.

            Like your idea on the goalie front, i’d take Holtby anyday, could be the future No.1 there. Holtby and Dubnyk could push each other for a couple yrs.

            Feel the top 6/top 9 are every bit as important as the top 2 blueliners are, without guys pushing each other for those minutes all is lost as far as i’m concerned. Drafting 2 centers as well as Glencross and Upshall will fill some of those spots. Konopka/Rypien would help as well….. not sure Gagner has the stones for RW2, RW3 maybe.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            The only high end guy (still in his prime) that I can think of that’s gone the one year route is Semin.

            Weber easily has a 50+ million contract waiting for him at the end of this year, maybe closer to 100 million.

            Can’t see him risking that to injury.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Makes sense moving up to grab a second premium center this yr then don’t you think….especially if Hopkins stays in Red Deer one more yr.

            I do agree Weber is as important as the 1st line center position is. If we’re going to be sending all these picks Nashvilles way we should have the center issue taken care of by then.

            Line of the playoffs has to be Jim Hughson commenting on some of the playoff beards to date. Jim mentiond a beard like what Shea Weber’s sporting is usually accompanied with orange coveralls and chains.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I don’t think there is one center in this draft that will put up 40+ points next year.

            If we are grabbing another center in the top 10 it’s for 3+ years from now, not next year IMO.

            I would strongly consider moving Hemsky+19+something small though because of health/contract concerns.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            in reference to the webber via rfa notion….no please and thank you.

            crazy talk giving away potentially 4 1st rd picks for webber. yeah he good but i’d rather develop and/or trade for quality d-men.

            don’t down play suter’s role plaing with webber.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            With a front loaded deal we could very resonably get one of the two for 2x1st + 2nd + 3rd, maybe even one 1st + 2nd + 3rd if the cap goes up enough this year.

          • can you front load like that on a rfa deal? i am skeptical that you could arrange the deal that way. if so well then for a 1 + 2 + 3 then maybe (a big maybe) otherwise i dont like it.

            nashville will not let him go anyway.

            webber was 2nd rd pick i believe.

            lets just take all our picks after the second rd and select defenceman, one will work out…maybe.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Ya you can front load any deal.

            Why on earth would 1+2+3 be a “maybe”? That would be the steal of the century for us and go down as a worse trade then the Thorton deal for them.

            I’m sure Nashville wants to keep him, but are they willing/able to cut 11 million/year cheques for him for the next 4-5 years?

          • Peterborough

            11 per is max money no? that would be the four first rounders then, no thanks. He is the whole F’N show down there the face of the franchise and they have got a good thing going. Pick someone else.

            Also aquaiting Brooks Laich to Marty Reasoner? C’mon man. Wait for the kids to develope. Sign UFA to over pay two year contracts. By the end of them we will have a really competitive team and wouldn’t have to over pay anyone.

            Just keep the faith and stay the course.

            PS man its gonna be sucky next year again. 18-26th overall depending on the will of the gods.

            PPS I’m picking 25th

            EDIT: okay so a 11 year deal front loaded you mean? NOt sure that Nashville is that cash starved, but if they we’re you would need big cash up front 25 mill in the first year or more . . . like the Rangers tried to do with Sakic.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            I could be wrong but I believe RFA compensation is based on cap hit, not dollars paid.

            Pay him max dollars (20% of the cap, will be about 12 million next year) for the first 4 or 5 years and then go on a declining schedule to reduce the cap hit into the 7 million range so the compensation is either 2x1st + 2nd + 3rd or 1st+2nd+3rd.

            “Sign UFA to over pay two year contracts. By the end of them we will have a really competitive team and wouldn’t have to over pay anyone.”

            Yes, that is what Laich or Reasoner would be for….

          • Peterborough

            Again Laich and Reasoner are not comparables at all. They both play hockey it ends there.

            I really don’t see that not being matched for Weber again FACE OF THE FRANCHISE. you would need a 30 30 5 3 2 1 1 seven year deal that might have a chance. But I really doubt it.

            PS Like the way you think though.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Talk about nit picking.

            I wasn’t trying to compare them, I was listing a few a solid centers that can play a decent 2 way game.

            Who knows, they might match. I have a hard time seeing a team that pays 50 million for total payroll willing to pony up 12 for one guy.

          • it would be a maybe because as you said “cut 11 million/yr cheques for for the 4-5 years”.

            the cost. possibly it is just me but i dont think webber is worth that much. crazy money for a guy that plays with such an under-rated partner. i think webber is great just not extraordinary like that kind of money would demand.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            None that has anything (or at least very little) to do with how much $$ he actually puts in his pocket.

            We (and the actual team) care about cap-hit, Darryl Katz and his accounts care about salary.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            i dont care how much he puts in his pocket but im not the one who said that 11 mil per yr figure either and then on the other hand said we can front load the rfa deal.

            so what is it? if we front load then it wont be 11 mil p/yr but if we dont then cap issues galore.

            pick your pleasure.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            you are blowing my mind here and i love it.

            ok just to clarify pay him 11 mil p/yr for the first four years (but only a cap hit of seven tho, right because we are front loading here) then for the next ten years pay him on a declining schedule.

            What is the total of your contract so i can understand the remaining years cap hits?

            and…so we are signing a bruising big defenceman, who is very good, to a 14 or 15 year contract.

            ~perfectly logical solution to our defence problems to me~.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            ~Ya I would have hated to have had Chris Pronger from 25 – 39 at 7 million per~

            Just for arguments sake we’ll start with 12 million per.

            12 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1

            14 year deal 91 million 6.5 cap hit but theirs dozens of possible scenarios.

            ~Real confusing, groud breaking stuff~

          • Dan the Man

            For RFA offer sheets compensation is based on the cap hit for the length of the contract or the cap hit for the first five years, whichever is the lower number of years.

            In your scenario even though it only generates a 6.5 cap hit to the team, for compensation purposes the cap hit would be based on the first 5 years only resulting in an 11.6 cap hit so the Oilers would be giving up 4 first rounders.

            Edit: Compensation cap hit on contracts over 5 years is based on total value of contract divided by 5.

          • Wax Man Riley

            I think that a 14 year contract is a terrible idea and the best way to handicap a team for years to come. Anything more than a 5 year deal is ludicrous.

            Ask Shawn Horcoff. Or DiPietro. Or Luongo. Or Hossa. Kovalchuck is still weighing his answer.*

            Too many things can happen over 9, 10, 11, or 14 years. Terrible cap management.

            Leave Weber in Nashville if he is going to command $10+M per year. I like his play a lot. He is a very good defenseman, but way too much risk in that contract.

            I will take Chara at 5 years 7.5M per year any day.

            *By asking the players, I mean ask how the teams that signed them feel about it

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Or ask Mike Richards, or AO, or Backstrom etc etc

            And how exactly are Luongo, Hossa or Kovalchuck bad deals at this point? (And Horcoffs is completly uncomparable)

            It’s a risk either way, signt them short term and you could lose them for nothing when the term comes up.

            Sign them long term and you risk injury/ineffective play.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            never said i was confused, you just didnt provide adequate details.

            i also realize your are dealing with make believe numbers cause you are not mr. dithers, i think?

            i would have hated to have pronger for that long at that price. that is a really long time for a physical defenceman…they are not lidstrom.

            i dont understand these crazy long term deals to begin with, doesn’t seem like good business to me.

            thanks for the debate but on this topic sorry OB1 i will going with the dark side….whoever they may be.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            The other big issue is that I feel you vastly overate draft picks (outside of the top 2-3)

            If we’re getting a top 5 pick, then fine cash in your 7.5/10 player in hopes of getting a 9/10 (because your odds are at least resonable)

            If you are cashing in your 7.5/10 for a 7/8/9 etc pick then odds are that you not only downgraded your team, it’s going to take 3-5 before you figured out that you did that.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You’re right, i am gambling a little here. The field is spread pretty evenly in this summers entry draft though. I’m gambling that there’s a nine in that group of Strome/Huberdeau/Couturier. To add RNH and one of these 3 kids to the group that’s here already (Hall,Eberle,Paajarvi)could end up hopefully being an embarrasment of riches. Tambellini needs to show 4,14 and 91 he has what it takes to get them the help they need… and then some. Entry level players are cheap and have a way of sorting themselve out by the end of those ELCs and also conform to what’s going on here. Moving out 2nd teir players for a shot at another part of your core is a risk i’m willing to take.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            This years 2nd tier of centers (Strome/Huberdeau/Couturier)sounds too much like the 08 draft class, 2nd tier of centers for my liking.


        • Hemmertime

          “I’m sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it.”

          “and starting two rookies down the middle isn’t such a stretch.”

          Ummm… where to start?

          • Quicksilver ballet

            The Oilers started four rookies during the better part of last year. What’s wrong with just having two rookies this coming year?

            Keeping in mind two of those rookies led the team in scoring last yr. Doesn’t say much for the non rookies on this steller squad does it Hemmer? Hall and Eberle did have their share of boo boos to eh.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Last years rookies are stiil very young, very inexperienced players. They aren’t all of a sudden “proven vets” just because they have a year under there belts.

          • Hemmertime

            You attack the position of standing pat and keeping our core with “another 300 man games to injury and we’re screwed”. Thats retarded, any changes you advocate making are screwed too with 300 man games of injury to your core. You can argue Hemmer is injury prone and thats fine, Whitneys foot too. But if want to move Gags due to Jones stepping on his hand then may as well deal Hall too since his ankle looks a lil weak.

            I have a little faith this summer. Last summer Tambo targeted some players I wanted. He looked towards Malholtra (didnt want to go through a rebuild) and even Boogard.

            Having RNH, Gags and Horc and your top 3 can be fine. Horc can handle the roughs. Or send RNH back if think he needs it. Id love one more Center but I dont think its jettison time. If someone knocks your socks off on a Hemsky offer at the draft you pull the trigger. Otherwise you take July 1 -> Trade deadline to try to sign him again and see how the team is doing.

        • I’m not sure if trading your most productive centre or winger, as well as packaging up one of your more reliable defenseman, AND possibly moving down in the draft in order to acquire a couple of draft picks constitutes “a committment to winning.”

          I’m also not sure if Taylor Hall would see it that way either.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Staying the course has its downfalls as well Archie.

            Say nothing is done to better the club this summer. The Oilers take their boobie prize for finishing dead last this year in Hopkins with their first selection, he goes back to Red Deer, with another 300 man games lost to injury season we’re stuck with the same pathetic lineup we had last year. Is the only goal next year to get Eberle and Hall another thousand NHL minutes under their belt again?

            Screw that, time to get off our asses and do something.

  • Time for the Oil to draft the Centerman 1st Overall that they’ve been missing since Weight left the team. Then maybe add a couple d-men with the 19th and 31st picks, and then grab the out of nowhwere sleeper homerun with Calgary’s Staios pick.

    Between this year and last year’s draft the Oil could have a real solid base of Youth to support the franchise for the better part of the next decade. It all depends on the Clairvoyance of one Stu Magnificent Bastard MacGregor.

    In Stu We Trust.

  • YFC Prez

    Yes in MBS we trust. Credit is definetly deserved and I will be lingering on this site every morning for Mr Brownlee’s new pieces. I love hearing from Stu. Perhaps some of the love oiler fans have for MBS should be shared with Sillinger and Moores. Oilers have alot of picks trending up this year. Player development as a whole is pretty darn good.

    • Good point about the player development end.

      Doesn’t matter how many good kids you draft if they hit the wall as pros because you don’t have the people and structure in place to bring them along. We saw that when the Oilers opted to get out of the AHL business.

      There is a real commitment in terms of staff and money to to shore that up and that aspect goes hand in hand with whose name gets called at the podium.

  • Cru Jones

    In MBS we trust. Because really, who else in the organization has performed on a consistant basis over the past 4 years?

    If the Oilers are committed, as they should be, to taking the BPA, there’s no one else I’d want deciding who that player is.

  • Cru Jones

    I was really hoping for Adam Larsson mid season, but I’ve become a big fan of RNH! I know he’s on the “slight” side, but, good players find a way to play in the NHL! Martin St. Louis and Daniel Briere come to mind. I don’t think we go wrong with either guy, but if we choose RNH, we need to size up the other lines! Maybe Hemsky and Gagner have to go to make way for someone bigger. I believe the article was titled, “runt in, runt out”……?

  • Cru Jones

    Is there any better indicator of Oiler fan’s devotion to their team than the fact that their head scout is not only known by name, but has also become a THE person that most fans want to hear from?

    I guess it also reflects the fact that we’ve had our collective hats handed to us for the last few years, but I can’t recall a similar relationship between the fans and someone who isn’t the GM, owner or coach anywhere else in sport.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Let me be the FIST to say that MBS has my
    complete and total confidence in whoever
    he picks


    Robin, hope you asked him about the chances
    of trading picks (which of course is more
    GM responsibility than Chief Scout’s)