IN SEARCH OF Keyser Söze

Ask an Oiler fan what the club needs to improve and the answers vary wildly. However, a "top 4D" and a "big, tough forward to play with the skilled kids" are at the top of the list. We’ve talked at length about the defenseman, but what of this big forward, this Frankenstein, this Keyser Söze?

The Oilers spent many picks and a lot of at-bats on Coke Machines last decade. I define a coke machine as any player with tremendous size, toughness, grit and courage but lacking in actual ability to play the game. J-F Jacques is a coke machine, Milan Lucic is not.

Do the Oilers need such a player, a Milan Lucic? How many are there?

OVER A MORNING CUP OF COFFEE

How many NHL forwards score 60 points and have 80 pims? How many of those are over 6.02 and 205 pounds? Needle in a haystack, baby.

  1. James Neal 6.02, 208 81 points and 87 pims
  2. Scott Hartnell 6.02, 210 67 points and 136 pims
  3. Milan Lucic 6,04, 220 61 points and 135 pims
  4. Corey Perry 6.03, 212 60 points 127 pims

Incredible, isn’t it? We could expand the list–Iginla wasn’t as grumpy as usual and Malkin missed by just a little–but the point here is that the player we envision Edmonton acquiring–big, strong, ugly mule, jackhammer hitter, skilled sniper, vicious attack dog–is more rare in actual fact than a shutdown defender or a 30 goal man.

 

ARE THERE ANY OILERS CLOSE TO THOSE NUMBERS?

Ryan Smyth is 6.02, 192 and delivered 46 points and 82 pims at 35. If he was 23, all would be right with the world. So, let’s move beyond the NHL: are there any minor leaguers or junior players in the system who are 6.02, 205 and deliver those kinds of numbers in their current league?

  1.  

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Probably best to get 23 actual NHL players. The Oilers need to find men who can run with Hall, Ebs and RNH as players and putting another JFJ up there isn’t going to help anyone.

Teemu Hartikainen remains the best in house option, but he’s not at a level where the Oilers can say with authority he’ll become a mainstay; and he’s never going to be a PF with 100 pims.

Best to find better players, then worry about their shapes and sizes.My guess is that by that time the kids will be able to take care of themselves and the size of the roster will be less of an issue.

  • Oilers89

    I agree that the oilers need a player like this. I would suggest Boone Jenner, although he is in now way proven in the NHL and he isn’t huge. He does play a physical, high energy game. He was maybe the second most noticeable player on the world juniors this year as he brought both physicality and a surprising amount of skill. Boone looks like the exact kind of player that anyone would want on their top two lines who can both play hockey and play physical. He is a center which is goofy, but he could probably play wing I am guessing. Just a suggestion.

  • I think we need to stop worrying about the forwards. The group is fine, especially if they don’t dump Omark for peanuts, and have fair competition for spots up front (they won’t).

    I think they actually could use two defenceman. They need a player that can play in the top pairing, a guy who can fit the 4/5 role, and then bump Sutton down to the 7th or 8th guy.

    And a goaltender, too, because Khabibulin isn’t getting you anywhere. A younger guy who can push Dubnyk would be nice.

    • Oilers89

      I wouldn’t mind a speedy winger for the left side of whichever line doesn’t have Hall. However, like you pointed out we could probably do that from within. Pajaarvi should be a mainstay on whichever line does not include Hall IMO. He looked more aggressive and overall better upon his last call up. I believe if he is put in that position without being thrown down to another line after one game off the score sheet, then he will put up enough points to play in the top six and be defensively responsible.

      On Omark: I agree that he is gone, but I do not know why. When he was placed on a line with horcoff and smyth the line seemed to be a scoring threat. It isn’t like he is being paid a lot and they can’t just keep him on the third line and see what happens.

  • Reg Dunlop

    How about some operant conditioning for MPS, a la Clockwork Orange? Eyes pinned open while video of Peter Forsberg or Borje Salming played? What happened to the days when no young man would allow someone older to dictate to them without pushing back?

  • stevezie

    Either Tambellini has no idea what he is doing, or he is about to parlay some of our assets for a legit #1 Dman. If this GM only signs a bunch of bandaid contracts this summer I will have lost all faith in this management group. Time to grow a pair!

  • Reg Dunlop

    A couple things:

    Why does everyone want to ship out MPS? Yes he struggled this year but he had a great rookie year, I see him at worst as a solid 3rd line LW why is that a bad thing?

    Everyone who keeps saying dump belanger, horcoff, whitney, peckham, mark, eager, jones…who would you replace them with? And better yet what NHL team would trade anything to get them?

    And whats with all this talk about switching guys positions around, Peckham to winger and MPS to defence, even Hall to centre. They made it to the NHL at their positions what makes you think they would be better at other ones, this isn’t pee wee.

    • Reg Dunlop

      I can answer one part of one of your questions. If we could somehow ink Stolly in the offseason, we could ship Belanger out for a 3rd or 4th rounder. Stolly has the same faceoff prowess (could teach nuge and gags a thing or two) and he can actually play hockey.

  • stevezie

    Also with people saying Eberle was a no brainer draft pick, I am very impressed with your qualifications as a scout if a 22nd overall draft pick was a no brainer you are a genius and I am looking forward to seeing your work at ISS when they hire you.