The finished product of this Edmonton Oiler rebuild should last a decade and receive all kinds of awards. Sooner or later, you need to edit the movie and have the premiere.


The Fredo rebuild might look like this: adding draft pieces forever without putting together an actual team. Columbus would be a recent example, and the Islanders of the Milbury years are the same. These teams drafted high, did not draft well and surrounded these young players with subpar and inadequate teammates.


The Sonny rebuild might look like this: building by trading draft picks and making kneejerk decisions that impact the team in a very negative way. Toronto might be a recent example of this, dealing three high draft picks (including Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton) for a one dimensional scorer. Signing touted Swedish goalies is also a pratfall of this group.


The Michael rebuild might look like this: vicious and unerring disposal of weak and untrustworthy elements. A recent example of this kind of rebuild might be Boston, who stole a big brain from Ottawa, had that big brain hire a giant from the same city, and then used the draft to meticulously build an annual contender.


Everyone wants to be Michael but the facts are there are very few winners in a very dangerous game. Michael followed the adage "start as you meant to go" by settling all family business in one day (poor Abe Vigoda).

How would we recognize Michael in this Oilers rebuild? Well, Michael was a ruthless fellow, one of the most brilliant movie anti-heroes in the history of film. Let me ask you a few questions:

  1. If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, what would that mean to Nikolai Khabibulin?
  2. If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, how aggressive would he be in finding a way to improve the defense?
  3. If Michael Corleone was GM of the Oilers, how many more years would Taylor Hall finish outside the playoffs?



Clearly I’m using hyperbole and a movie classic to make a point and apologize to anyone who is offended by the words and images. The point I’m making is that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone and inaction (Fredo) or ill advised missteps (Sonny) could be devastating for the rebuild.

Take the #1 overall pick as an example. Taking the Russian is the wise thing to do, but how long before the Oilers have to address defense via trade? If they don’t get some quality help there soon, the organization runs the risk of watching these #1 overall picks complete their entry level deals outside the second season.


I have some questions:

  • Can we all agree that if we’re discussing Nathan MacKinnon as a possible Oiler pick next season that this rebuild has gone on too long? 
  • Can we all agree that if the Oilers can’t improve this blueline with small moves, drastic action is going to be required?
  • Can we all agree that if the Oilers have to take "drastic action" that action may include trading one of their best forwards for help on the blueline?
  • Can we all agree that trading an Eberle, Hall or the Nuge is madness?

I think that’s the main reason Edmonton would consider drafting Ryan Murray with their lottery pick. Murray or Reinhart or Rielly, the one that MBS and his team decide is the best available defenseman.


The Edmonton Oilers are dangerously close to becoming an excellent comp for the French in  World War 2: all of their cannons are pointed in one direction.

What would Michael do?



  • Reg Dunlop

    Why not take Yakupov? Because he would need to play RW and hemsky is there. Hemsky? Trade him in a heartbeat. At the draft you’ll certainly find a taker for Hemsky. And to heck with all those who value a playe who hasn’t done diddly in 2 years. He might get 60 points this year? Really think not.

  • Reg Dunlop

    You take the best player . Whoever that is. Your GM is supposed to add a “D” player either through a trade ,ufa or Europe , in other words do his job .Really would like to see more on the BARONS playoffs.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I think how you all argue back and forth on this. I think the biggest thing to realize here is that Yakupov is the BPA in this years draft. And he actually brings a lot of qualities that are missing on the team. He would likely be a great top 6 that plays with a lot of energy and grit but can also put points on the board. Is that not something that is lacking from the top 6 right now?

    This team has a not of needs but the one thing that is becoming increasingly hard to find are those physical,competitive,grit guys that can still play in the top 6. Lucic, Brown kind of guys. Thats something this team needs that is very unlikely to happen by a trade or FA signing.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Props to Magnus. Agree totally.

    Additionally, I would like Tambi to trade some assets to be able to draft Galnychuk or Grigorenko and go hard at signing Schultz.

  • I bet Ales Hemsky gets you that 3-4 NHL D-man we so sorely need. And no, drafting Murray instead of the BPA in hopes of getting that D-man isn’t a good bet. Might turn out to be in three or four years. Maybe. Possibly.

    Which brings us to the real point at hand. This team cannot wait two or three more years to make the playoffs. By doing so they will have burned through all the good will (and ELC’s) Nuge, Eberle, Hall and the fans could possibly give.

    Trading for a prospect D-man is NOT in the cards for team that has to get its sh!t together next year. Or at the very least make it look like it’s trying to. Drafting Murray instead of Yakupov is an admission there really is no plan.

    Wait…aw crap.

  • Chris.

    I want the Flyers to meet the Kings in the finals; if that were to happen there is about a 5% chance Mr Dithers might finally figure out that clever trades can help both parties improve their roster.

  • Loganoil

    The Oiler contigent at the WHC has shown up in spades. Bodes well for the future of our team.

    Would Mitch Moroz be the player we take at 31? Or H Samuelson? Both have the speed and skill and the nastiness to play right wing on the top line. I could see either in the role of corner man and protector. 2 guys who play on the edge. My feeling is Teemu Hartikainen is not that kind of player. Skilled but he would be forced to play a role out of his comfort zone.