GET BUSY LIVING, GET BUSY DYING

Since the lockout ended, the Edmonton Oilers have done most of their summer’s business between draft day and July 15th. However, the activity from July 15th on represents some of the most franchise altering events in the team’s history.

LIFE ALTERING MOMENTS

  • August 2, 2005: Oilers acquire D Chris Pronger from St. Louis for D Eric Brewer, D Jeff Woywitka and D Doug Lynch. Huge deal, probably the biggest for Edmonton in the post Stanley era. Ignited the fanbase and directly impacted the dream run spring 2006.
  • August 3, 2005: Oilers acquire C Mike Peca from NY Islanders for C Mike York and a conditional pick. Another key move in the run, Peca took forever to adjust but personified ‘shutdown center’ when it mattered.
  • July 26, 2007: Oilers sign Anaheim L Dustin Penner to a 5-year, $21.25 million dollar offer sheet. In early August Brian Burke announced the Ducks would not match, and Edmonton compensated with 1st, 2nd and 3rd rd picks in 2008.

These are massive transactions, the Pronger trade was the beginning of a 12 month ride we’ll never forget and is the one fantastic year that all of Oilers Nation can share (although I can’t watch it, G5 and G6 are the only ones I can take. G1 is a nightmare I’ve relived a thousand times, though).

Oiler fans will live those glory moments again. Soon?

THE SUMMMER 2012 STORY

The Oiler have already made 4 major moves this summer:

  • Bringing back Craig MacTavish to offer clarity and another opinion, perhaps in some cases a tie-breaking opinion.
  • Hiring Ralph Krueger to teach and inspire. He must be good, every time he speaks Oiler fans get excited about the future.
  • Drafted Nail Yakupov, adding another gunner and proving that taking BPA is always the better plan.
  • Winning the Justin Schultz sweepstakes, perhaps giving Oiler fans some of the swagger lost when Pronger pulled out of Dodge.

COULD THEY START THE SEASON LIKE THIS?

It would depend on Ryan Whitney’s health, but that aside yes the Oilers should be able to cobble together a roster with the players currently under contract. It might look like this:

  • C: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; Sam Gagner; Shawn Horcoff; Eric Belanger
  • L: Taylor Hall; Ryan Smyth; Teemu Hartiakinen; Lennard Petrell; Ben Eager; Darcy Hordichuk
  • R: Jordan Eberle; Ales Hemsky; Nail Yakupov*; Ryan Jones; Magnus Paajarvi
  • LD: Ladislav Smid, Ryan Whitney, Andy Sutton; Theo Peckham
  • RD: Jeff Petry; Justin Schultz; Nick Schultz; Corey Potter
  • G: Devan Dubnyk, Nikolai Khabibulin; Yann Danis

Yakupov is highlighted because he is unsigned.

That roster has a stunning group of young forwards but the questions remain beyond that group. Hemsky, Horcoff, Smyth, Jones, Eager, Hordichuk and Belanger would seem to be locks for roster spots so added to the fab four that’s 11 of the 13 or 14 men who’ll start the season.

On defense, I’d say 6 slots (Smid-Petry and then Schultz, Schultz, Whitney and Sutton) are locks pending a deal.  Peckham and  Potter would appear to be the back of the roster candidates.

WILL THEY START THE SEASON LIKE THIS?

I don’t think so, for a couple of reasons. The Oilers have publicly stated that they’d like to add a top 4 defenseman, and the entire league has business yet to be conducted. There are all kinds of reasons–Parise/Suter took time to decide, Shane Doan’s status, hell for all we know the Oilers haven’t signed Yakupov because they want that new CBA 5-year entry deal Robin Brownlee mentioned here.

So there’s miles to go. For everyone.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Sooner or later, the Edmonton Oilers will take their guns to town and get some business done. Steve Tambellini’s calling card is ‘assess to death’ but the team needs are obvious to all and the desire to improve appears to be real. Taylor Hall’s entry level deal expires next summer: the time to take a step forward is now.

 

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I have this sudden urge to be a cowboy right now…

    I cant watch any of the SCFs of 06 just because of the outcome, WE SHOULD HAVE WON DAMMIT!!!

    LT, Do you think its time ST should look at loading a trade or two with draft picks to get the top 2 dman the team needs rather than say trade Gagner or Hemsky. IMO the team has enough up and comers to buy some time and “asses” what they really have in terms of depth before they start shipping out said players.

    Great read as always, you, Willis, and Brownlee make the long summers more bearable waiting for the next season to start.

    • Lowetide

      Thanks. Well, I think it depends of the return. If it is Shea Weber chances are it’ll be Gagner, Petry and picks (or some such) but if it is Carl Gunnarsson then something less will be required.

      I think Tambellini has an enormous amount of assets to deal, they won’t have trouble satisfying another team’s price point.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Thats what I think too, I would just hate to see Gagner or Hemsky traded when the tem needs to win now, and they still can help with that. Trading the secondary scoring would seem to be just spinning the wheels.

    Id Gladly give up a couple yrs of 1st round picks and mid range prospects for a guy like Weber that could help the team be a yr in yr out playoff team instead of trading Gagner or Hemsky(for now anyway)Detroit has done that for yrs I think.

    Thanks for the reply!

    • Lofty

      If Weber comes in there’s a good chance we loose one of the fab four since we wont be able to pay them all. Leave Weber alone, we’ve got D coming up and there’s lots of good stopgaps that can get the job done.

  • I’m torn up inside, I want the Oiler’s to start making significant process, but I cant help feeling like the Oilers are so much farther away then a player or two away from being a legitimate balanced playoff team.

    I also can’t get past the fact I think the Oilers have overvalued players like Hartikainen and Paajarvi. I’ll I see is a pair of soft Euro’s who don’t engage, pursue or initiate, instead are perimeter reactionary players.

    That despite what Horcoff can still bring to the table he’s a guaranteed roster spot and shouldn’t be. (How bad could we use a player like Peca?)

    Then there are the three worst players on the team. IMO-Eager-Jones-Belanger

    Incredible soft players for the positions they play.

    Not to mention Smid and Whitney are into there UFA year. I’m thinking the Oilers lose one and they sign one, that still leaves them looking for a top 4 defensemen even if they trade for one this year.

    I have this aching feeling the Oilers will be only slightly better this year, maybe not a lottery team but very close to one.

    • Eddie Edmonton

      How did the Oilers overvalue Harti? A soft Euro? C’mon eh guy. Eager soft? Jones the worst?

      You just throw sh!t at the wall and see what sticks? Instead throwing it a at the wall, go sit on the toilet-it will probably help get rid of that aching feeling that’s tearing your insides apart. Or maybe holler at quicksilver, he’s one of the best pesimists I have read. Not as confused as you but a pesimist never the less.

      • Really, Jones isn’t soft. 29 other teams past on the guy. Tell me fast Eddie why was he benched by our now head coach? Your going to see more of that.

        How many fights did you see Eager get into? How many penalties did he draw? How many hits did he give?

        We had to see watch Gagner stick up for his teammates because Eager wants’ to be a hockey player!

        As far as Hartikainen or Paajarvi are concerned. I’ll let you judge the season, my guess is both at some point will end up back in the AHL unless the team pulls a Lander and keeps them up.

        The Oilers are a 30th-30th 29th place team and bringing in AHL players are going to improve our standing!

        Seriously , take off your bloody Oiler glasses

        • Wax Man Riley

          How can The Oilers overvalue Hatikainen and PRV when they are in the AHL? That’s where young depth players go to develop. PRV proved not to be ready for the NHL, but that doesn’t make him a bust by any stretch at 21 years old.

          Did you watch Hartikainen play? He goes in the corners and takes the puck to the net. Not a soft player at all. If those 2 spend another year in the AHL, it will be good for both of them.

          Both you and Quicksilver have this strange line of thinking that if a player cannot play straight out of junior then they are a bust. Hall and RNH are 1st overall picks, so yes, they play out of junior. Eberle played 4 years of junior then played in the AHL as well before making the big club. Good ice hockey squadrons (by no means am I calling The Oilers a good hockey squadron, lol)have and need a place to develop players.

          If anything, the coach overvalued Belanger, playing him on the PP.

          Jones does what he is supposed to do. He bangs a bit, brings some energy and speed, and can pop a few goals. Does the guy ever miss on a breakaway?

          29 other teams did not pass on him, as the waiver wire works in priority, with last place teams getting first pick, so if anything, he was picked up on the first pick.

          • Yes, Wax Man they were. They were benched for taking to long of shifts if I’m not mistaken, not running around with your head cut off in your own zone.

            Comparing Eberle and Hall to Jones or Paarjvi is not a very good argument IMO,

            As for Paajarvi, I hope he does turn the corner and become a useful NHL player. I don’t see him being a top six player the way he plays.I don’t see him strong enough or willing enough to be an effective checking player. I see more upside in a trade.

            Jones can PK but plays a really soft game, and the thing I notice about Jones is he will pull up rather then take the body. He’s too easy to play against is what I’m getting at.

            Far too many Oilers play that style of game. Hartikainen I just don’t see fitting in anywhere, he’s not a top six forward, he’s not good enough to check the opposition, maybe a fourth line energy player.

          • Cheap Shot Charlie

            I agree that Jones and Eager were both soft players last year but Hordichuk was pretty soft on some nights, too. Hordichuk doesn’t have a reputation for that, to the best of my knowledge. I wonder if the soft play was more about the coaching and coaching style of Renney. Hordi did make it pretty clear that Renney wanted players to do what he wanted on the ice and nothing more. I think Eager and Jones will rebound. Jones’ season really tailed off in November. That’s the same time that Smyth dropped off. I’m curious if there is more of a correlation than we know about.

  • striker777

    Extending UFA eligibility from 7 to 10 years would benefit Oilers in a very big way, as they have a their fab-4 maturing. Realignment is also a pretty big deal, as increased travel for Eastern teams will finally make western teams more attractive to UFA’s.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    I’m not comfortable going into the season with nuge, gags, horcoff and belanger as our centers. None of them play physical or intimidate anyone. Sadly the nuge might throw the most body checks of them all.

  • Lowetide

    The thing to remember about guys like Hartikainen or Paajarvi is that the “push” received from playing with these gifted guys will be incredible. Remember Mike Krushelnyski? His 43 goal season had a lot to do with the center.

    I think Harski and or Paajarvi could score 20 if they play on a line with Nuge-Eberle.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I agree with EddieEdmonton up, there, Jones is not in the bottom three for worst players on the team. Yeah he does things here and there that make you want to rip your hair out, but he’s nowhere near the worst.

  • paul wodehouse

    Cold beer on a hot roof…1st tie-in…the Warden gets his in the end for the escape behind the poster 2nd tie-in …the ultimate tie-in with the pin up girl from One Million Years BC [rw] ( I had that poster up in my room in high school) who turns up and ties-in again in the What’s it all Mean? section…my numero uno favorite film Shawshank Redemption?

    is the tie-in of all tie-ins the idea that our Oilers will have the best ending ever ???!!!!

    like the film?…thankyou muchly LT

    best bit of picture editing in ages

  • Alexander Semin

    Height 6.02 — Weight 208 469 GP 450 Points

    Sounds like a player everyone would be drooling over to get, tell me why a player like that is still floating out there?

    SOFT!!!!

    Yep, Paarjvi can get 20 goals, maybe even 40 points. But I doubt it, unless he can score 20 goals from the perimeter or half wall.

    Maybe he get’s tougher this year, I truly hope so! After watching the last two years I have serious doubts.

    • Lowetide

      Paajarvi scored 15 as a rookie, including 12 at EV strength. And that was with 13.5 EV minutes a game, ranking him 7th among regulars in EV TOI. His 12 EV goals as a rookie tied Eberle, 1 back of Hall.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    @Lofty

    Webers contract is intimidating for sure, but my hope is Hall, Eberle and RNHs 2nd contracts arent as bad as predicted (6mil+) and with Whitney Boozin Sourays buyout off the books this yr and Smytty, Hemsky of the following yr, with some lofty cap managment maybe a guy like Weber could come here and Katz could afford to keep the fab 4 plus Weber….stranger things have happened.

  • Lowetide

    I sure hope your wrong on possibility of oilers stalling on signing Yakupov because of potential changes to cba.

    It would send a real bad message to Yak and might come back to bite them in the butt.

    They practically get down on their knees to sign Justin and then play hardball with first pick .

    Wouldn’t make sense to me.

  • Lowetide

    I’m pretty sure Yakupov’s entry level deal falls under the auspices of the existing CBA.

    The delay probably has more to do with Larionov being a new agent than anything else.

  • KleptoKlown

    Wow, I thought Leaf fans were out of touch with trade proposals.

    Gagne, Petry and picks for Weber?

    A couple of 1sts and a mid range propect for Weber?

    What’s next, Horcoff and Hemsky for Bobby Ryan…

    Weber is the best Dman in the NHL.

    First thing Nashville will want in return is another top 1-2 Dman. I could even see Polie asking for a 1-2 Dman and a 3-4 Dman.

    There is no way you get the best player to ever wear a Predators jersey without giving up top end talent. Weber isn’t going to be traded for only prospects and picks. Nashville needs to stay competitive, or they can kiss there fan base good. They will need players that can play and compete in the playoffs right now, as well as future prospects.

    The best overall Dman in the game today, and some of you think you can get him for spare parts…

      • KleptoKlown

        @Lowetide That’s because there is no wisdom in it.

        Would it be great to have the leagues best Dman in the prime of his career? Absolutely yes.

        However, it comes at a price. Not just the massive package deal of top end talent it would take to acquire him, but the financial dominos that would surely follow.

        Weber can easily become a 9 million dollar cap hit. Any team that signs him would undoubtedly like to sign him to a long term, front loaded, cap friendly hit, but these front loaded, cap circumventing contracts will soon be a thing of the past.

        Lets say Weber gets 8 million…What message does that send to the rest of the core guys? I doubt they would be inclined to take that home team discount.

        At the tip of the iceberg, Weber in an Oiler’s jersey looks great, but if you go below the surface, it’s deep, dark, cold and unknown.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    LT, what do you think Buffalo would need for Tyler Myers? Would he ever be a #2 guy, or settle in at a 3 or 4 guy?

    He’s no Shea Weber, but we should have a plan B or C option.

  • Crispy

    Wouldn’t we only trade for Weber if he was already signed to a long term contract, or we knew that we could sign him? It would be a huge waste to trade away Gagner / Petry / picks if it was only for one year of Weber.

    • KleptoKlown

      Any team would only trade for Weber if they knew they could lock him up long term. No one will pay the massive price Polie is sure to ask (and get) on a 1 year gamble.

  • Lowetide

    Klepto: I have no quarrel with any of what you’ve said. Seems reasonable.

    quicksilver: Myers in Buffalo played the 3rd most EV minutes, 3rd most PK minutes and 2nd most PP minutes. 2nd most on Buffalo, and about half a minute behind Ehroff (meaning not much).

    So I think he’s a 2-3 on their depth chart; Vollman’s usage chart says he gets a zone start push and didn’t play the tough competition.

    But I don’t think that’s necessarily saying he can’t do it, just that Buffalo went with Regehr-Sekera in the tough minutes role.

    If he stays healthy, I think he ends up on the top pairing for a successful NHL team.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @KleptoKlown

    Spare parts? Gagner and Petry? Seriously? That is way too much for 1/2 of the best D pairing for 1 year. Who knows how he adjusts without Suter.

    As far as Yak is concerned, maybe the oil tried to get him signed before he went home. My beet leaf reader said’ beware of Russian overtures’.

    Also, grinding Wes and Quick for being realistic about the state of our rebuild is unwarranted, but I still think Hall gets 40 goals, RNH and Ebs get 70 points and Petry emerges as a top blueliner as we sprint to a playoff berth.

  • nuge2drai

    Weber would cost a fortune if he was signed. Every day that passes he becomes less expensive.

    It doesn’t have to do with his abilities, it has to do with the fact it seems clear he wants out of Nashville. The Preds don’t have leverage in this situation, much like the Jackets with Nash.

    The Preds can’t afford to let the other half of their top pairing walk away for nothing. I am sure they receive low ball offers daily.

    I hope the Oilers learn to avoid situations like this. If a player won’t come to an agreement at a certain point, deal them with some term left on their contract. And don’t sign NTC’s except for very special players.

    It makes sense to deal for Weber if winning has become the goal. I would want to have a clear picture of health (I have my doubts) and there is no way they get a top young forward (because Poile has lost leverage), but as LT said there is some quality to send south.

  • KleptoKlown

    Like I have said before Lowetide, please stop putting up pictures of Peca in an Oilers jersey. One year of Peca (and exactly what we need in our Oil centers today) is just a tease and resurgance of bad memories of him leaving.

    Oil lineup for next year should be:
    Hall Nuge Eberle
    Smyth Gags YAK
    Harti Horcoff Jones
    Eager Belanger Hordichuk/Petrell

    Smid Petry
    Schultz X2
    Whitney Sutton

    Not sure what to do about Hemsky? If still here maybe put Yak on the other side shift Smyth down and put Harti on the otherside on the 4th? Dont care what people say about Eager last year we need a player like him in our lineup.

    Pajarvii taking Smyths spot next season and bumping him to 3rd or 4th line****

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Hemskys value will be highest after 40 games as long as he doesnt get hurt – no point trading him sooner. For half a decade he was the only reason I watched Oiler games. Always repeating to myself, if Hemsky played with a finisher and a Center not named Horcoff he would be a 100 point player. I am hoping Hemsky plays the way he has shown me he can in the last decade – with Hemsky heart and Hemsky skill. He is one of my favourite Oilers all-time and his skill will not be easily replaced. I would like to see:
    Hall Hopkins Hemsky|
    Yakupov Gagner Eberle|
    Smyth Horcoff Jones|
    Eager Belanger Petrell|
    Call-ups:Paajarvi, Hartkainen

    Injuries will occur and having depth players who can fill in without losing a step is the difference between a making the playoffs and lottery picks.

    We should sign Roszival or Kuba, let them mentor Schultz on the 5/6 pairing, match them up against 3/4 liners and let them dominate. Kuba was paired with Karlsson – and was a great mentor – a two year deal would be the perfect time frame to let our D prospects develop unrushed and in the AHL. Petry played well with Smid, N Shultz played well with Whitney and Kuba Schultz can handle weaker opposition im hoping.

    Petry.Smid.Shultz.Whitney.Kuba.Schultz.Sutton

    I like the D, with Dubnyk and the depth up front and on the back end this team can finally play meaningful games after the All-Star Break.

  • nuge2drai

    I still think we’re a big forward who can contribute offensively, a second pairing puck moving defenseman who can defend and a better backup goalie than Khabi from breaking out of the lottery.

  • nuge2drai

    I still think we’re a big forward who can contribute offensively, a second pairing puck moving defenseman who can defend and a better backup goalie than Khabi from breaking out of the lottery.