The Stanley Cup Finals start on Wednesday, and usually The Count, Gary Bettman, doesn’t like other teams to make any announcements during the Finals, so unless the Oilers hold a press conference tomorrow, unlikely, you will have to wait until after the Kings raise the Cup to find out who will become the 11th man to coach your beloved Oilers.

I believe 11 is a very lucky number, and whoever has the chance to decide if Hall, Eberle and RNH should be a line for the next few seasons, will have a pretty good chance to be successful. He’ll need a few more established defenders, and some size up front, but I could see the next coach having a pretty good chance to become only the 4th coach in Oiler history to have at least 100 career wins.

Glen Sather had 464, Craig MacTavish won 301 while Ron Low had 139 wins.

Steve Tambellini can’t afford to hire the wrong guy, like the Oilers did on three other occasions.  Bryan Watson lasted only 18 games in 1980/1981 going 4-9-5 before Sather stepped back behind the bench. George Burnett  was axed after 35 unproductive games in 1994/1995 with a woeful 12-20-3 record and Pat Quinn, despite being a great guy and excellent post-game quote, didn’t do much better in his lone season on the bench.

The Oilers don’t need to rush this decision, they just need to hire the right guy. 


The Anaheim Ducks have 25 days to either sign Schultz or trade him and get something in return. The Wisconsin D-man is a hot commodity, and many teams, including the Oilers, would love to acquire or sign him this summer.

Minnesota beat reporter Mike Russo said this about Schultz last week when he was filling in on KFAN in Minny. 

"Lot of people asking me about Justin Schultz. What happened today (withdrawing from school) is a formality. Schultz has been playing hardball from Anaheim since they thought they were signing him at the end of the year. Really at the end of the regular season they thought they were putting him in the lineup. Schultz is a Wisconsin defenseman."

"I think somebody has gotten to Schultz, and told him ‘come here, come here.’ And I think that we’ll know who that team is, come July 1 wherever he signs. And that’s why I don’t think the Wild have a chance with him. Of course the Wild would be interested in someone like him."

"But he has his mind set on going to one specific team right now. And whatever that team is, I guarantee you the Anaheim Ducks will go after them with a tampering charge, because the Anaheim Ducks have been building that case for the last couple of months. They have all sorts of e-mails from him basically saying, ‘I’m coming there, I’m coming there,’ and suddenly, for some reason, he’s not coming there."

 Russo didn’t name the team on air, but on twitter he mentioned Toronto as the likely destination. At Danny Gray broke down the story from a Leafs perspective.

Earlier this year Bob McKenzie tweeted that he felt the Oilers were a front runner to land Schultz. Legally the Oilers can’t talk to him, but Tambellini can chat with Ducks GM, Bob Murray. It is clear that the Ducks and Schultz are going to part ways, so Tambellini needs to be on the phone with Murray as often as possible.

Schultz is what the Oilers need.

A right-handed, puck moving D-man with very good hockey sense. Schultz’ former teammate at Wisconsin, Jake Gardiner, plays for the Leafs, so I’m sure they have spoken about playing in Toronto. But other than that tight friendship, I don’t see many other factors why the Schultz camp would pick Toronto over the Oilers.

He’d have a better chance putting up points and earning more money on a second contract playing with  Eberle, Hall, RNH, Hemsky and this year’s 1st overall pick, compared to Kessel, Lupul, Grabovski, Bozak and the 5th pick.

The Leafs have more depth and skill on their blueline than the Oilers, so if Schultz is looking for icetime, he’ll have a better chance of getting quality minutes in Edmonton.

Tambellini needs to find a way to land Schultz, and trading with the Ducks might be his best option.


  • The Oilers have a few more days to sign 2010 draft picks Brandon Davidson, Jeremie Blain, Drew Czerwonka and Kellen Jones, or they lose their rights and those four will go back in the draft. They won’t sign Jones. They like Davidson’s character a lot, so barring a contract dispute, which is unlikely, he’ll sign. The Oilers have already signed seven picks (Hall, Pitlick, Marincin, Hamilton, Martindale, Bunz and Pelss) from 2010, and I don’t think it would be smart to lock up 20% of your 50-man roster from one draft year. I could see one of Blain and Czerwonka signing, but I don’t see the need to sign both based on their level of play.
  •  The Oilers have never had more than five players from one draft year play more than 100 NHL. In 2003, they drafted 12 players and Kyle Brodziak has turned out to be the best. He’s played 419 NHL games while Zack Stortini 257, Marc Pouliot 192, JF Jacques 166 and Troy Bodie 107 were the others. Other than Brodziak, the rest have been 4th line role players.
  • If you actually believe Martin Brodeur is just an above average goalie, then I question how much you know about hockey.  It really is that simple. The fact he is in the Cup finals at his age, shows how great he once was. He isn’t the best goalie in the league today, but he knows how to win. I don’t care what his sv% was, even though it was usually very solid, when you ask players who played against him, they say he was incredibly hard to score on and rarely got rattled.
  • This is what pending UFA Brandon Prust said earlier today when cleaning out his locker, "Money is a factor, but it’s not the biggest factor for me…I want to be a big part of a winning team, like I am here." We’ll see if he stays true to that or lets the money talk come July 1st.
  • Best stat to showcase who much the Oil Kings improved this year.  They won 67 games this year, including playoffs and Memorial Cup. They had 67 wins combined in their first three regular seasons. Great job by Bob Greene, Derek Laxdal and the players.
  • Zach Parise will get a big contract this summer regardless of how he plays in the Finals, however, pending UFAs like Ryan Carter, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta, Peter Harrold, Bryce Salvador, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner will likely garner more interest due to their play. Guys like Carter and Gionta could really cash in, if they continue to play like they have in the first three rounds.
  • I set a goal to raise $50,000 for MS this year. I’m currently at $43,229 (I have $3,000 in cheques that aren’t accounted for on site yet). Any donation would be great and much appreciated, as we try to reach $50,000 by June 8th. Thanks. Click here to donate.
  • The weird thing about Tambo is that, as everyone here would agree with you on bringing in Schultz, we never know what this guy is thinking and how he comes to his conclusions.

    He seems to be happy with bringing Nik Khabibulin back, which would seemingly signify the end of both of their jobs with the team, but that’s what he seems to be interested in doing for some reason. Like the wind blowing by his face and the dew on the flowers making him think of fond childhood memories. In the end, that contemplation could lead to Khabibulin back for next season. That seems to be the gist of his reasoning.

    So, one could point out all of the great reasons why bringing in Schultz would be amazing for this team, and in the end we could find out that Tambo was never interested in bringing him in. And who would be surprised? He doesn’t really do the things that people think he should do, so for all we know, he might not even be talking Schultz at all.

    And this is why he frustrates.

  • Lexi

    All signs point to TO being the team that “tampered” and that will be signing Schultz, unless someone swoops in with a bold. I’ve also got to think Anaheim would love to get something for him and stick it to Burke if they can.

    Based on everything I’ve heard about Schultz and the fact he is the perfect age to fit in with the young guns, I think ST should be going hard for him. I would love to see a 4 th rd pick with a contingent 2nd rd pick next year if they can sign him. I would even think about this year’s 2nd if that’s what it takes. Schultz outscored Gardiner by 6 pts in their last year together at Wisconsin and I think I would trade Pitlick for Gardiner, so that tells me it would be worth the 31st pick this year to get someone better than Gardiner. I’m assuming the reason he would be signing with TO is because Burke drafted him and Gardiner is his best friend. I’ve got to hope if ST has any salesmanship in him he can point out the advantages of playing here and I would hope he wouldn’t just make his decision on playing with a friend.

    I think Schultz’s next four years project to be more more valuable than any of this year’s Dmen in the draft, and that at least gets us to when hopefully a couple of Klefbom, Musil, Gernat and Maracin are top 4 D. I would have a lot more faith in ST if he could pull off something this bold.

    • DSF

      Burke and Anaheim management are on very good terms.

      Check out their trading history.

      Offering a potential third line player like Pitlick for a defenseman who is reportedly better than Gardiner, who led all rookie D in scoring, is nothing more or less than an insult to Anaheim.

      • Lexi

        Will Murray and Burke still be on good terms if Anaheim accuses TO of tampering. I have no idea but I got to think Murray can’t be happy that he might end up with losing Gardiner, Lupul and Schultz to get Beauchimin.

        All I wish is that ST would get a little creative with trying to get Schultz as he makes more sense for the Oilers age group than waiting 3 years for Murray to become a top 4 D. I think a second rd pick is all Anaheim can expect to get for his rights as the odds are they are getting nothing unless they have some slam dunk case of tampering.

        • DSF

          How can Tambellini be creative?

          Every team will offer the same money.

          Shultz is going to sign where he has the best chance of success.

          That’s not Edmonton.

          The Leafs highest scoring defenseman last season had 44 points.

          The Canucks highest scoring defenseman last season had 49 points.

          The Oilers highest scoring defenseman last season had 25 points.

          That’s a huge gulf.

          • Lexi

            That’s ST’s job to get creative. The Oilers PP got a career minor leaguer like Potter 21 pts and they have some of the best young PP talent in the league so I think the gulf is the reason the Oilers might make sense for him. None of us have a clue what Schultz will do, but I hope the Oilers are putting as much effort as legally possible to find out if they have a chance.

            I’m just trying to come up with some plausible solutions to solve some of this team’s problems that don’t involve using a time machine to draft Kulinov instead of PRV.

          • 15w40

            “Shultz is going to sign where he has the best chance of success.

            That’s not Edmonton.”

            Define success – he could choose a higher ranked team at the expense of profile or playing position. The fact that the Oilers lacked offensive punch from the back end should not hamper his personal success – in fact it may enhance it. If he shows that he can provide offence he may get more of the plum minutes.

            I think team success plays a part in his decision making but it won’t be the only consideration. Edmonton has a lot of the pieces to be able to compete and he could be a huge part of it.

            I think since he would be a UFA he gets to consider who his coach would be, what’s the system that will be employed, what’s the team depth chart look like. What are the teams chances of competing in the next 5 years for a championship. Which situation best allows him to maximize his value as a player for the next contract in 2 years.

            There are a lot of good options besides Edmonton – like Tampa Bay for one, even New Jersey (especially if they can get Parise to stay). That being said I don’t think that you can automatically rule out the Oilers, but they will have to sell it HARD for him to want to come here.

            Of course all this could be really dead air if he has already picked his landing spot and is just waiting for July 1 to put pen to paper.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @Jason Gregor A player comming out of college at 21(soon to be 22) is obviously more physically mature than an 18year old draft pick. Schultz is 6’1″ and 185lbs. I know Karlsson is about that size but if Schultz has finished growing, I don’t care for his chances against the likes of Corey Perry. Sign him if we can, but don’t pin our playoff hopes to a slight,non-agressive rookie. We still need real NHLers.

    • Jason Gregor

      Feel free to make up things as you go. Who said he was the playoff savior? Do I have to write it in every article that I don’t think the Oilers will make the playoffs, I don’t think so.

      He doesn’t need to be physical to be successful, and who said he’d be in the 1st pairing and have to play against Perry/Getzlaf etc? No one. You assumed that.

      The Oilers D is very thin, adding a top-end prospect who is 21 is realistic. Hoping to add an elite veteran D-man is wishful thinking. Sure it might happen, but it will cost you a lot, getting Schultz will likely cost very little.

  • DSF

    Does Schultz gain anything from signing with the Mouseketeers (or whoever they trade him to) before becoming an UFA? If not, then why would anyone trade for the rights to talk to him for 3 weeks when he can just sit and wait for unrestricted free agency? He’s going to get 30 offers with the max salary for his ELC anyway, and then he can pick whichever team he’s wanted all along.

    By the way, if we’re starting a pool on where he signs, then my pick is Philadelphia. They’re a playoff team today, a possible contender in the future (with Giroux, Couturier and Schenn at center), and if Carle leaves then Philly would have a great open roster spot to give him plenty of ice-time with mentoring from Pronger and Timmonen. I doubt he’ll pick a cellar-dwellar just to get an extra 2 or 3 shifts every night, but we can only speculate.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Best buddies with a guy throughout high school and university. Vow thick and thin, always together, whither he goest, I goest and vice versa. Flash forward from 22 to 30, both working as ‘financial consultants,’ different brokerage firms. Decided working together is an idea whose time has come, move to the firm he worked for. Happily ever after thoughts abound.

    One of the worst decisions I ever made. Maybe too much water under a too-small bridge, dunno. Circumstances had changed, both avowed bachelors had married, kids, the white picket fence thing. Wolfe was right – you can’t go home.

    Anyway. If the flavour of the day decides to pick up sticks and head for Toronto, I’m sure hoping that Gardiner and boyhood memories and vows aren’t the reasons.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    DSF wrote:

    How can Tambellini be creative?

    Every team will offer the same money.

    Shultz is going to sign where he has the best chance of success.

    That’s not Edmonton.

    The Leafs highest scoring defenseman last season had 44 points.

    The Canucks highest scoring defenseman last season had 49 points.

    The Oilers highest scoring defenseman last season had 25 points.

    That’s a huge gulf.

    Oh DSF, you never cease to amaze.

    Do you not, even a little, think Edmonton could actually be a legit choice based on those numbers you show? If you would pull your head out of your anti-oiler ass for just a second, you would see opportunity for a kid with Schultz’s skillset.

    it has been reported on a few occasions the player is looking for a place where he can get a good opportunity to play and play alot. Do you not think, even a little, the dreadful oilers who have next to no offensive defensemen might actually be a good fit for a young kid looking for top minutes?

    flamesnation is ——–> that way.

    • DSF

      It’s also been widely reported that he may be looking for an opportunity to amass substantial scoring numbers since he wants to maximize the value of his next contract.

      Do you think he’s more likely to that with a team like Edmonton that ranked 20th in goals scored or with a team that ranked 5th, Vancouver, or 10th, Toronto?

      • geoilersgist

        Thanks for trying to pick out data. Edmonton was acutally 19th in GF. EDM 207, TOR 227, VAN 241. Everyone knows Vancouver is a much deeper team with more scoring. The point is he would have a better chance to put up points in Edmonton based on the playing opportunity available. Also take a look at goal differential. Edmonton is actually better than Toronto. EDM -25, TOR-32, VAN+50. It appears that Edmonton is probably a better destination.

      • So he’s going to amass a boat-load of scoring opportunities playing on the 3rd pairing in Vancouver? And not playing top 4 with primo PP time in Edmonton?

        Something tells me the kid is smart enough to see an opportunity to log big minutes with a young team full of talented forwards his same age.

        Im not saying Vancouver isnt an incredibly tempting choice, but you have to be pretty obtuse to narrow the decision down to last year’s scoring numbers without any consideration for the future.

        • DSF

          Why would you assume he would be on the third pairing in Vancouver?

          More likely he would replace Salo on the second pairing and on the first unit PP.

          That’s pretty much the same role Alex Edler had last season on the other side of the ice.

          Edler finished with 49 points while the Oilers top scoring defenseman had 25.

          Since he’ll be signing a 2 year contract, I doubt he’ll care much what MIGHT happen in 3-5 years.

          • DSF

            That might be true but who knows what the Oilers’ future will look like in two years?

            Unless Tambellini addresses the huge holes at #2C, #1 and #2 D and in goal, the future won’t look all that bright.

          • Yes. Schultz will look at that contract offer from the Oilers and say, “I get that you have 3 1st overall picks on your team, plus Eberle, but who the Hell is gonna play defense for you? Until you sort THAT out, I wont sign. And while you’re at it why dont you get rid of that kid my age in his 5th season playing 2C who scored 8 points in one night and can be counted on for at least 40 points a season.”

            That”s like trying to hire a plumber but when he comes in he says, “Whoa, you need to fix this leaky pipe problem before you call me.”

          • DSF


            3 first overall all picks don’t mean much if the team is 20th in scoring in the NHL.

            And that guy who can be counted on to score 40 points ain’t going to impress anyone. Those are Kyle Wellwood numbers.

            I think it’ll all come down to playing time and a chance to be successful.

            If you were a betting man, would you bet your mortgage on the Oilers being more successful than the Canucks or Leafs over the next two seasons?

            I wouldn’t.

          • D-Man

            I think the piece you’re missing is ‘the chance to be successful’… Don’t get me wrong – every player coming into the NHL wants to win the Stanley cup – but I’d imagine they’d want an opportunity to showcase their skills and make as much money as possible in the process…

            Simply put, both Toronto and Vancouver’s defensive core is significantly deeper than what we could hope to see in two years… And yes – although their window is starting to close, Vancouver has a better chance of winning the cup in the next two years… But Schultz, who has yet to play one game of professional hockey, will not be in either team’s top four. The margin for error for both teams are small… Rookies (regardless of skill level) need time to mature and understand the level of the game… Toronto needs to make the playoffs (or Burke gets canned) and Vancouver needs to win the cup… They can’t afford to let Schultz learn the ropes and make mistakes in the process…

            I haven’t seen him play, but the thought is that he’s NHL-ready right now… He definitely will have a better chance to play a premier role in E-town… We’ll just need to see on what or how he defines success… Is it a Stanley Cup contender right now as a 5-6 (maybe 7) defensemen in Vancouver? Is it a playoff team (Hahahahahaha) as a 5-6 defensemen in Toronto?? Or is it a #2-4 defensemen on a 26th overall team this year and an 18th overall team next year, with a core group of young talented players??

          • DSF

            I would think he would be a second pairing D in Edmonton.


            I would think he would also be a second pairing defenseman in Toronto.


            I would also think he would be second pairing in Vancouver.


            Unless you believe the Oilers will replace Petry with Justin on the top pairing, the TOI and PP opportunities should be pretty much equal in all three cases.

            He may well decide to join the Oilers in hopes they make the playoffs in 2 or 3 years but that would like spell suicide for his next contract since counting numbers and a potential playoff showcase are much farther away.

          • DSF

            The Oilers are dreadful (22nd) 5V5 and adding another 18 year old to the mix won’t help much.

            I’m not sure where you think an explosion in scoring is going to come from but I doubt Yakupov single handedly is going to do that.

          • In 2006-2007 your beloved Canucks were 22nd in the NHL for Goals per Game. (If you want to look 5v5 they were actually 28th) their G/G got worse the next year.

            Who knew that a team so inept at scoring would eventually get better? Where did such an offensive outbust come from? Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows got more experienced and learned how to produce more at the NHL level. The Twins kicked it into overdrive and racked up points like DSF racks up the imaginary anti-props we all want implemented.

            You really dont think Hall and RNH wont score more? That Yakupov (hockey gods willing) wont add to that? That there wont be surprise scorers like Burrows or to a lesser degree Kesler come out of the woodwork?

            You mock the goal scoring ineptitude like its a permanent situation, like the Oilers dont have one of the most promising young teams in the NHL.

            The goal scoring is coming.

          • DSF

            You’re missing the point entirely.

            Schultz is going to sign a TWO YEAR entry level contract somewhere in hopes of maximizing the value on his second contract.

            If he wanted to burn off a year with no return, he would have signed and played with Anaheim as soon as the NCAA season ended…but he didn’t.

            Instead, he will likely sign where he is likely to put up the best numbers in the NEXT TWO YEARS.

            Is that Edmonton?

            Or is it more likely the Canucks or Leafs?

            The Oilers scored 212 last season…the Leafs scored 231 and the Canucks scored 249.

            Hmmmm…this is a tough one 🙂

          • Missing the Point? I just evicerated your point, but now I’m missing it?

            I dont think so. He’s looking to MAXIMIZE his second Contract. Are you suggesting that with the Twins, Kesler, Luongo, Bieksa, Hamhuis, and Ballard all making Big money for the long term that Schultz thinks he’s gonna get a huge slice of the pie in 2 years? Vancouver asked their Hart Trophy winning duo to take discounts. Some rookie is gonna get the gold? Doubt it.

            Vancouver is a horrible place for him to go. Compare that with the Oil. They dont even have a defenseman other than Nick Schultz signed longer than the 2 years of contract. Dont think that’s a much better chance to get the coin?

            No defensemen signed, young team, goal scoring promise, playing time assured. Oilers are looking pretty good.

          • DSF

            The Canucks have 3 defensemen under contract for the 2014/15 season.

            Looks like there might be some opportunity there.

            And your “goal scoring PROMISE” is where your argument falls apart.

            Do you really believe Eberle will outscore Henrik in the next two seasons or that Hall will outscore Daniel?

            Good luck with that.

          • DSF

            Well the Canucks do have former 41 goal scorer Kesler, 35 goal scorer Burrows, a former 31 goal scorer in Booth, a former 27 goal scorer in Higgins and a former 25 goal scorer in Raymond.

            Do you know how many Oilers have ever scored 25 goals in a season?

            Were you aware that there are only 3 forwards in the NHL with a cap hit of $5M+ and that two of the three play for the Oilers?

            It’s quite sad actually.

            Jesus, you’re drunk on the Tambellinis.

          • DieHard

            So, what you are saying is the Canucks will not regress in the next 2 years and the Oilers will not progress. Anyways, I believe that no one knows what exactly Schultz is thinking or what he wants. Scoring helps a lot as a defenseman. You better get a lot of ice time (especially on the PP) which means you better be the coach’s best option. Between Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto, he’d be the best option with Edmonton (if he’s as good as they say). But, that’s just my opinion so don’t take it as fact.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @ DSF

    “Offering a potential third line player like Pitlick for a defenseman who is reportedly better than Gardiner, who led all rookie D in scoring, is nothing more or less than an insult to Anaheim.”

    Except they are only trading for his negotiating rights…. which typically go for a 2nd… for established stars.

    Good try though.

  • db7db7db7

    I kind of miss the old whale hunting days from when Lowe was GM. It didn’t usually work, but it was sure exciting to see them try. How the heck did we ever end up with Pronger? The future sure seems a lot rosier now than it did back then, so how come Tambi can’t sell that to the whales? At the very least get the court jesters out to try woo Schultz.

    What happened to that DVD the Oilers had made up a few years ago to try and sell the city to FA’s?

    Does any player even own a DVD player anymore?

    Oh well, all questions that will never be answered as this is an old thread.

  • db7db7db7

    Flip picks with Toronto [ 1 for 5 ] for Jake Gardiner, then you might have a chance to sign Shultz as well. / End up with two young good defense men. You might have throw in a Peckham or Tobuert into the deal.

  • DSF

    Flip picks with Toronto [ 1 for 5 ] for Jake Gardiner, then you might have a chance to sign Shultz as well. / End up with two young good defense men. You might have throw in a Peckham or Tobuert into the deal.

  • Truth

    @ DSF

    About my earlier post…I would ok with Schultz giving Anaheim the Snub to come play in Edmonton because it is the best available place for him to play. He is from Kelowna, so you are right Vancouver would be the closest city to play in, but if he signs for Vancouver his chances of starting opening day and staying on the team are much less than in Edmonton. He could just as easily end up on their farm team in Chicago (I believe). Not much closer to home. Calgary is also closer than Edmonton, but they too have a stronger defence core than Edmonton and everyone knows Calgary is going nowhere in the next few years.

    The obvious choice is Edmonton if his three priorities are: 1)close to home 2)playing time 3)team with a bright future.

    I would not question Schultz’s character if the top priority is close to home. Numbers 2 and 3 are the difference why he would choose Edmonton over Van and Cgy.

    In saying that, pay me $800,000/year to play hockey and I’ll go play in Bangladesh.

    RE: Your (DSF) above post about the top defenceman point totals on Van, Tor, and Edm…I believe you just made the case why he would come to Edmonton if playing time was his major concern. Why go where the top 2 pairings are solidified already?

    If Schultz goes to Toronto his reasoning is that he wants to play with his buddy Gardiner. And this is why I would see him as entitled.

  • @DSF

    What sexual favour did Kyle Wellwood give you? I understand your role here is to agitate and stir up conversation. But man you have a crush on him… I’m kind of scared for you.

    Also, Re: Justin Schultz

    I dont know why we are all fantasizing either way. He will or he won’t. I want the team trying to get him if possible but I also want the team working on all the other issues. Re: Center, LW, Grit, Defense, Goaltending, Coaching, Management

    *Sigh* Schultz would be nice but the rest is just as important…

  • @DSF
    I assume you now mean Hemsky and Horcoff…

    Well I dont think anyone Disputes how embarrasing the Horcoff contract is so you’re beating a dead horse there. Hemsky… I still think that signing is OK.. not great but OK.