RANDOM THOUGHTS

 

The All Star draft came and went, and there was no real drama. Real drama would have had the Sedins sitting as the last two picks, thus forcing Zdeno Chara to pick one of them, and leaving the other last. That would have been great TV, and quite intriguing, moreso to see what Chara’s facial expressions would be.

I’m surprised how many people rack their brain trying to make the AS game "better." It is a great way to waste time, I guess, but the harsh reality is you can’t make the game more exciting or competitive, nor does it need to be. The AS game is for the players, sponsors and young kids. Kids love to see all the best players in the league together. They love to watch them in the skills competition and when they watch the actual AS game, they don’t expect it to be intense.

They want to see toe-drags, behind-the-back-passes, lots of goals and they love to see Malkin and Stamkos on the same line, or even Eberle and Seguin. 

The AS game isn’t for diehard fans in their 20s and 30s, and once those people realize it they will stop expecting the game to be "exciting." It is a relaxing game, nothing more.

TRADE WINDS

With the Oilers out of the playoff race again, the trade rumours have been flying. Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Nikolai Khabibulin and Andy Sutton have been the main names tossed around, but I’ve seen some regarding Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones and even Ryan Whitney.

Hemksy has the most value and is the best bet to be moved. The Oilers have 12 games prior to the deadline, eight of them at home, for Hemsky to showcase his talents. If he scores 10 points before February 27th, I have no doubt the Oilers will get a first rounder in return, in fact, unless he gets hurt I think he’ll garner a first rounder, or a former first round prospect.

If the Oilers can find a taker on Khabibulin they will jump at it. Then they can look at bringing in another young goalie with some NHL experience to challenge Dubnyk.

I don’t see Whitney going anywhere.

Smyth is the interesting one. He wanted to come back to Edmonton because he and his wife love the city and want to raise their children here. Would he accept a trade, and be away from his kids for 2-3 months while chasing the Cup? He loves being with his kids, and that would be a massive sacrifice, but if he can pot a few goals before the deadline I think a few teams will come calling.

I could see Andy Sutton getting some attention, but the return is likely a 3rd rounder, maybe a 2nd. I’d rather take a prospect, because they would be a year or two closer to maybe playing, but we’ll see. Sutton told me he’d love to stay here. He doesn’t want to move again, and if it came down to re-signing him or Cam Barker, I’d take Sutton. The Oilers have to qualify Barker at $2 million to keep his rights, and that is too rich for me.

If Gagner gets moved, I think it is maybe 20% chance, then he could go to a team trying to rebuild, and not necessarily to a Cup contender. If you move Gagner, then you are saying Horcoff is your 2nd line centre next year, and I’m not sure that is a great plan.

Jones has struggled since Christmas, but I wouldn’t trade him. He has a good salary, and if he is a 15-17 goal man for you on your 3rd line you are happy.

AFTER THE BREAK

When the Oilers return to action v. the Avalanche on Tuesday I hope they don’t have Magnus Paajarvi in the lineup. I have nothing personal against the sophomore, but he still needs to work on developing his game in OKC. Keep him down there, don’t recall him after the AS break.  He wasn’t generating any offence, and he needs to rediscover his offensive spark. Unless Anton Lander is going to play top-nine minutes, I’d send him to OKC as well, but I suspect that is unlikey.

I’d also play Deven Dubnyk in 22 of the remaining 33 games. Up until his back-to-back solid efforts v. the Sharks and Canucks, he’d been unable to string together consecutive solid performances. He’ll need to play like that for four or five straight down the stretch, for the Oilers to believe he can be a reliable starter next year.

TRADE WATCH

With word coming out yesterday that Jeff Carter is indeed on the trading block, I’m most intrigued to see what Scott Howson does before February 27th. He gave up Voracek, Couturier and a 3rd rounder to get Carter last June, so he’d have to get at least two top-ten picks in return to break even.

A few other teams should be very interesting to follow: The Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings have loads of cap space, the Flames still think they can get in while the Capitals need some more scoring.

The Preds are in a tough situation. Ryan Suter wants to see if they’ll add a few pieces before the deadline, and if they do, he’s more likely to stay. However, it is a huge risk for the Preds to deal Ryan Ellis, because what if they deal him, but then lose Suter to free agency. Ellis won’t replace him at EV, but he’d be a perfect fit to slide in on their PP. David Poile is in a tough situation, does he deal Ellis to get a bonafide offensive threat, with the hopes Suter re-signs, or is he better off to keep Ellis and hope Suter re-signs.

HELPING OUT THIS WEEKEND

The Edmonton Hawks Athletic Club is having a food drive this weekend, so if you want to help out the food bank here’s the skinny.

"Be a Part of Something Important by Giving to those less fortunate! Donations are delivered to the Fire Hall and a tour and pictures are available for the teams.
Sunday, January 29th, 2012. 12pm until 5pm
Central Gathering Point: ATHLONE COMMUNITY HALL 13010 – 129 street
If you have any questions, please contact Melanie Makowecki (melmak17@gmail.com) OR Melanie Perri (gandmperri@hotmail.com)"

It is nice to see young athletes helping out others.

Have a great weekend.

  • Oilers4ever

    I wonder if Klowe and ST are going to do a few rounds of rock paper sizzors to determine who goes down to sit at the TSN draft lottery this year. If the right moves are’nt made come trade deadline i’m thinking both should be collecting cheques some where else. Unlike last year I hope ST is a little more proactive and initiating some phone calls rather than waiting for his phone to ring as he did last year. Targeting say a PK Subban with his age and what he brings would definately bolster our blue line. Turning Gagner into a little more size would not hurt either. By the way if giving up our first to get Subban gets that deal done I would do it.

  • Oilers4ever

    Pure stupidity that Ebs is not one of the shooters for the breakaway roster.. he’s probably better on the breakaway than 75% of the rest of the team.. Morons.. I hope team Chara gets schooled in the shootout…

    • Quicksilver ballet

      If this was going to be his only All Star game i might be inclined to agree with you. Why blow the whole wad in one year. Let the guys that carry the league put on the show, nobody is looking at the first timers to make or break the show. Jordan still has a way to go before he’s one of the brighter lights shining in the NHL.

      • Puritania

        How is participating in one or two events blowing the whole wad? Eberle deserves to do more than just pass pucks. If the captains didn’t decide the layout he would be in the breakaway comp and possibly the accuracy one as well.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          It’s the All Star game. People are there to see Malkin,Stamkos and Datsyuk etc during these events, not a last minute injury replacement. I love Jordon Eberle as much as the next Oiler fan does but give the kid a little time, a little time to be able to run with the big dogs during these swarays.

          Maybe someone could file a grievance on Eberle’s behalf and get to the heart of this conspiracy.

          • Puritania

            Had he not been injured at the time Eberle would have been named off the start. I don’t see how one little event is too much for a kid to take in. If the rooks can handle being in two events I’m sure it won’t overwhelm Ebs.

            Yeah that last line was very necessary, clearly I’m frothing at the mouth suggesting Ebs should get a little love. You have very little to offer ON besides snide comments and ridiculous posts, save the condescension for when you look in the mirror.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Your theory is every bit as ridiculous as well. Why was Byfuglien named to the team and not Eberle then? You go right ahead and hang onto your stupid conspiracy theory there.

            Any other comments Mr. Dunce Cap?

  • Random Thoughts? Is it just me or does Miley Cyrus look a lot like Hanna Montana?

    All this Gagner talk, If he can yield the Oilers a top ten pick then trade him.

    Is it just me or is Petry a T.Potti clone with out the massive allergic reactions.

    History suggests that trade deadline from the Oilers is going to be pretty lame, Hemsky and done.

    If there’s one person wanting out of Columbus it should be Nash.

    The Oilers need three top top five picks this year to end the rebuild. two forwards one D-man.

    Pickup Jackman and Boychuk at UFA season.

    Tambo should get at least one random thought before the deadline!

    good read Gregor, great post’s. Thats my random thoughts

  • Some food for thought (and I’m no holier than though because I waffle back and forth). What championship calibre team trades away there young talent before it matures? Do we honestly know what we have in gagner? Staying consistant and determined might be our best course of action with players who havnt necessarily met our expectations……….then again f#%& it, I always like the grass being greener on the other side.

  • Chris.

    Gagner is a forty point player. Sure we can can say things like: he was on pace for 60 points before that injury; or he started slow but during that 20 game stretch to end the season he was on a .8 ppg pace… But he is a forty point player. (Look it up). I’d bet money he gets around 40 points this year.

    Sure, when Sam is 26 or 27 years old he may have 2 Horcoff like 60-70 point seasons, earn a massive contract, and then go back to being a 40 point player. (I hope it’s not here). Sam is not a bottom six player… but he doesn’t bring enough along with his 40 points to be a key top six forward on a Championship team…

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Well once you hit 22 generally speaking you’ve developed all your going to, not saying you can’t improve though.

    Gagner can still improve consistency and other facets of his game, but he’ll probably be a 55-65 point guy.

  • It should prove interesting if Eberle were to play with Seguin in all star game . Paajarvi will be a valuable asset to our team , but where is still the question ? Gagner gets more valuable each season , yet where does he fit in next year ? I just don’t see the Oilers gutting usefull veterans at this stage for worse players or fillins , or minor leaguers that also need a lot of development . The backend i see as priority number one , but i hope not at the expense of some we should be keeping around in the interim .

  • striker777

    I love everything about Gagner except his size. Oilers need more size. It was embarassing watching them unable to stop San Jose’s cycle in the last game.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    even tsn gets it wrong

    “It appears that Kings forward Sam Gagne is still a long way from resuming hockey activities. Kings Insider Rich Hammond discusses how the Kings injury situation and cap space will affect their ability to make moves prior to the Feb. 27 deadline.”