LIGHT OF A CLEAR BLUE MORNING

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers cash their third #1 overall pick today, adding the final name to the fab four. In a very real way, it’s the biggest test for the scouting group in Oilers history.

Nail is going to be a famous hockey player and an extremely good one. You can’t find a mock draft or a top 30 on the internet without Nail’s name at the top (actually you can, but this has happened only recently). The “gap” between Nail and the rest is sliding, but he’s still #1 as draft day arrives and will be known far and wide for doing the hardest thing in hockey: scoring goals.

I enjoyed Robin Brownlee’s series with Stu MacGregor and the item on Ryan Murray was very informative. MacGregor told Robin that Murray’s weakness was “he’s only six feet and a bit. What will be the determining factor is if he can be that shutdown-type D-man you require in that sort of position.”

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Murray has been described as being a “safe” pick, and I think most of us think he’ll be the pick should Edmonton decide not to draft the gifted Russian.

Griffin Reinhart arrives courtesy a strong regular season and a deep run into spring in which he showcased his talents. A team looking for a combination of size, skill and truculence would have to take a long look at the Oil King defender. In Jason Gregor’s article yesterday he got a wonderful quote from MacGregor:

Macgregor: “It’s almost like he got a bit more determined and decided he was going to show people he is a high-end prospect. Not to say that he wasn’t, but he’s growing into his body and now he’s getting that physical strength that young kids with his size don’t always have right away because they are tall and lanky.”

 

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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Stu MacGregor and his scouts have reached a conclusion. There has been speculation, guesstimation, hunches, sneaking suspicions, trick knees, deduction, theory, supposition.This is the final member of the fab four, these men must choose well. Why is this the most important draft decision in Oiler history? They are selecting number one overall with a gigantic “team need” glaring them in the face. BPA may take a holiday.

Is it Nail? We wait.


  • French Toast Mafia

    Judging by FTHM series i think Yakupov is the guy. If not him on of the centers. Was it just me or did MacGregor not give the most stunning review of Murray.

  • jonrmcleod

    Last night on Sportsnet, Spector said after talking to Tambellini that he’s convinced the Oilers will select Yakupov. (Not that Spector’s speculation is proof, but it’s one more thing.)

  • Concur

    There may be a collective sigh of relief when the Oilers select Nail first, but what is really exciting is what else they will do to select again early or do a deal for something else. It is well known they need defensive help and they like both Murray and Reinhart. I will be on edge until those two are selected to see what happens.

  • TheJKriz

    Around 10.5 hours from now, I fully expect to post something similar to the following:

    “SOCKS???! We got SOCKS for Oilers Christmas????”

    Someone else put it in very good perspective when the topic of possibly trading the #1 pick for a supposedly available Keith Yandle came up…to paraphrase: “I wouldn’t trade the 1st overall pick, but I’d definitely give up Ryan Murray.”

    I maintain that if Ryan Murray were 2 weeks older, as part of the 2011 draft he would’ve been a 50/50 call to even be a top 5 pick, and likely considered to be the 3rd best dman in the draft. I’m not about to easily swallow the medicine that he’s a legit 1st overall choice in 2012.

  • The Soup Fascist

    “Safe pick” is a relative term. Murray may be the safe pick in terms of a can’t miss, steady, if not spectacular 15 year career, but in terms of “safe pick” for Tambo taking the consensus #1 is essential to keep a virtual lynch mob from his door – even though MBS is giving him the piece of paper with the name on it.

  • Truth

    All the Twitter chatter from people at the draft this morning is the Oil taking Murray. I dont’t know if this means anything, but if they take him at #1 I’ll be pissed. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if they want Murray at least trade down and pick him.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/clip706176#clip706176

    About 2:19 in, Ryan Ditarick asks about who the oil are looking at. Who’s on the oilers board.

    ST: I won’t give you names obviously, Ryan, at this time, but I can say Stu and his staff…la lalallaa.

    It’s interesting, as the look on his face seems strange. Starts smiling, like he’s just subtly told the world what he’s doing, not just mentioning the interviewers name. He looks smug enough to think no one will catch the joke. Seems he’s telegraphing his intentions. Say Hello Ryan…unless Nail is Russian for Ryan.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    This isn’t a test for the Oilers scouting department – it’s a test for Dithers and the other half wits in upper management. The magnificent one, as brilliant as he is, isn’t smarter than every scouting agency combined.

    Yak is our man – at least he’d better be.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    They can’t take Murray as their first pick… I see Montreal needing that dynamic forward(s)….I see Oil needing to shore up defence….I see Gags and a sweetner going to Montreal for pick swap plus Subban….I see Oil then picking Murray….

    Book it.

  • Neilio

    Goal Scorer. That skill has worked out pretty nicely for Stamkos dontcha think?
    Fail for Murray just does not have the same cache to it. We suffered all year and were unexpectedly handed the BPA. Klowe & Co do not have the kahunas to stick it out that far and not select the Bure clone. If, by some act of Pierre McGuire, they announce the wong name by mistake, the pitchfork parade from the downtown Pint to the Oiler offices is not that far. All Hail Nail!!!

  • Seriously....Gord?

    “You would have to have a wheelbarrow to transport your gigantic super gorilla balls up onto the stage and announce Ryan Murray as the first overall pick. Wheelbarrow.”

    @Oilander – is there room in the wheelbarrow for the empty pea pod that your brains must have been in in order to make that decision.

  • Seriously....Gord?

    If there was ever a draft that the GM had to get involved in, this has to be the one.

    Why does it always feel like Tambellini is waiting for the best offer to come to him in these types of situations instead of shaking every available tree himself to see what may fall out.

    The Oilers have specific needs, everyone knows what they are and none of the ones at the top of the list are another smaller offensive RW.

    The Oilers can’t settle for lesser value but surely at some point the organization and fans should be able to expect management to manufacture a deal that reflects fair value and actually helps propel this re-build forward in a meaningful way.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    Digger wrote:

    Around 10.5 hours from now, I fully expect to post something similar to the following:

    “SOCKS???! We got SOCKS for Oilers Christmas????”

    Someone else put it in very good perspective when the topic of possibly trading the #1 pick for a supposedly available Keith Yandle came up…to paraphrase: “I wouldn’t trade the 1st overall pick, but I’d definitely give up Ryan Murray.”

    I maintain that if Ryan Murray were 2 weeks older, as part of the 2011 draft he would’ve been a 50/50 call to even be a top 5 pick, and likely considered to be the 3rd best dman in the draft. I’m not about to easily swallow the medicine that he’s a legit 1st overall choice in 2012.

    I see your logic, and I agree with you – except for the bit about Keith Yandle. I would probably do the first overall for Yandle, and I would probably be really excited about it.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    “There is no defence for dynamic offence”

    Hiring MacT seems like a fair tip of the hat that not only is BPA a priority in a draft… but shoring up offence is too.

    If Not YAK… that statement and the organization’s philosophy might be in need of some ironing out (again).

    Off topic: does anyone know if TSN or NHL is going to be streaming the draft? they did last year… but I can’t seem to get an answer out of the double-speak on their websites…

    no cable… but I don’t want to miss ST diss LA and smile that stupid grin while he spills out Yaks name.

  • ubermiguel

    “I really want to go to the Pint tonight just to witness the reaction when Tambo goes off the board. Someone please video tape it for me!”

    Good idea, I’ll do a little recording my iPhone for you. If they pick Murray it will be fun to watch.

    Other problem if they pick Murray: the kid will be traded in 3 years because the fans will run him out of town for not being Nail.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    As much as I like Yakapov, he will be a distraction to the team with his over abundance of personality ……..and need for attention.

    Yes his skill is unquestionable, but there is something to be said about team chemistry and here is where I am concerned. We already have an Alpha-dog and he (Hall) will not give up his bone easily, or without a death fight. Maybe a little over speculation, but something worth considering.

    I say trade down ( take less if you have to Tamby) and let’s draft two players in the first round either Murray, Galchenyuk, or Grigerenko and some toughness like Samuelson.

    Samuelson is s more talented version of Lucic……..he will be the steal of the draft.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Ugh why can’t the Oilers just be men and come out and say that Nail is our guy? A Mini Ovechkin, comparable to Pavel Bure, this guy frickin ripped it up at the world juniors showcasing his playmaking abilities. How can anyone in the Oilers management justify not going with a guy who has 60 goal potential?

    If the Oilers choose Murray then there will be a small riot in Edmonton tonight. Part of the reason why were a laughing stock is theres no real men at management. When Tampa had the pick they let it known it was going to be Stamkos. We get Taylor vs Tyler. Nuge vs Landeskog or whoever else. For gods sakes Oilers be men and just come out and say who it is. And for F**K sakes pick NAIL!!!!!!

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      “impending disgrace” is a powerful demotivator.

      Best to tackle the problem head on and outwit ST by disgracing yourself with the office ficus early in the day.

      Disgrace with no longer hold purchase over you and you can freely taunt the Oilers (“try and disgrace me further… just try it!!”) over a semi-productive, if mildly bruised and somewhat soiled, day.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    @Archaeologuy

    This Murray decision should seal Tambellinis fate though. With Ryan Murray the Oilers are a definate lottery team again next yr. Murray isn’t even the best defenseman in this draft.

    Kinda feel bad for Murray, not sure if he knows what he’s getting himself into going 1st overall. By Christmas i can already see Tambellini saying they hoped Ryan Murray would be better.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Murray isn’t getting himself into anything, not his fault he’s rated the best defensive prospect…
      If Murray goes #1 it’s all Tambellini’s fault.