The Edmonton Oilers have procured boatloads of elite level young talent. That requires a loyal fanbase, an owner willing to buy in (or in this case suggest) on a rebuild, an effective scouting group and time. To build a winner, there are a few other elements.


"More recently, the Red Wings have been able to build around good players–not only good players, but great players. They did a good job drafting other guys, now they can be patient with their other players. Kenny (Holland) can argue that it’s a strategy, I think it is more a product of how deep they are. I think more often than not, you succeed by leaving your guys–like a fine wine–to let them play in the minors. I remember being so envious of Kenny over, say the last three to five years. He was so matter of fact about what was going to happen to his team next year and the year after. ‘We have this guy, he’s going to fit in here.’  It was all going to fall into place because he knew he had Datsyuk signed. He knew he had Zetterberg signed. He had Lidstrom signed for two more years. With those guys, you can win."

-KEVIN LOWE, Behind the Moves

I believe there is a lot of the Oilers current roadmap in that quote. The signings of Hall and Eberle–perhaps imminent based on credible sources like Ryan Rishaug–would represent the first two of four ‘franchise’ contracts to be negotiated during the last days of the rebuild. Get those gentlemen signed to reasonable, long term deals and it sets the outer marker for Nuge, Nail and the rest.

The other item–and this may partly explain the inertia displayed by the Oilers after noontime July 1–is that the club may finally be willing to ‘roll their own’ role players via the AHL. Although we’ve been talking about a guy like Teemu Hartikainen for a long time now, he is still not a waiver worry this fall! The Oilers could send him down and have him play in OKC for another season. That’s what Detroit would do, difference being it is going to be very difficult to argue that Hartikainen is outside the 12 best forwards on the team–Magnus Paajarvi too for that matter.


Detroit always seems to have the right man in the right spot. Although there are some short term missteps (Dave Lewis as head coach), they are quickly fixed in a precise manner and things roll along as usual. The Oilers have been doing some fine addition in this area over the years, with (imo) Stu MacGregor and Todd Nelson clearly quality in their roles.

The jury is out on the front office trio of Tambellini, Lowe and MacTavish but in fairness the decisions made so far–since the owner suggested rebuild Feb 2010–have had more to do with the draft table than signings and trades. I’d count management victories over the last 5 years as the hiring of Stu MacGregor in his current role, retaining Ales Hemsky, bringing back Ryan Smyth, improving the farm system and winning the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.  Your mileage may vary.


We’ve been in a black and white, two channel world for several years now but the foundation seems solid, the leaks are slowing being fixed and the improvements up front give massive curb appeal.

Upate: word from Bob McKenzie’s twitter is that the Oilers and Taylor Hall have concluded negotiations on a 7-year, $42M contract. MUSIC! 

  • 1) I really dont think Hall earned this contract. Lots of missed time, not enough ACTUAL points being put up.

    2) I think he will earn this contract.

    3) Actually, by the middle of this contract we will probably be laughing at 6 million dollars for Hall.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    It feels good to have a future superstar want to be an Oiler. Hasn’t happened since Messier left town. Dougie Weight was the closest we had. Eberle and Hall wanting to be here is a good sign. RNH and Yaks to follow I hope, in the next few years.

    My only nagging thought is that if Hall can’t stay healthy for a full season he might not make the end of his contract. Lets hope he can start seeing the hits coming a bit better and not get run over game in game out. Other than Scott Harntnell, Taylor Hall has got to spend the most time on the ice in the NHL. Every shift there is snow on his jersey.

  • DieHard


    What’s up?…….Is Steve Tambolini dating your mom or something?

    This is a great day in Oilers history….Hall will be the Captain of YOUR team when they win thier next Stanley Cup! Rejoice Bro…..There will be lots of time for whining and complaining in September what with the CBA and all….

  • Many believe that Hall, despite injury, despite risky style of play, is heart and soul of the franchise. Me included – he’s future captain material and if what I read is true, his will to win is not all that distant from a past Oiler, the Moose, #11.

    His contract sets the bar; just as in the Detroit example, no one else’s salary should exceed that of #4. That said, we may have as many as 5 potential superstars going forward. (JE, RNH, Yak, Shultz the Younger and perhaps even Klefbom.)

    I get way ahead of myself, but nonetheless if these kids turn out to be as good as I think they might, hopefully they see the future benefit of staying together and price themselves accordingly.

  • Milli

    It’s a relief to have the first contract out of the way. Hall has made his commitment to us and vice versa. The kids seem to like playing here and hopefully they all stick together for many years to come.

  • KleptoKlown

    For the next 2, maybe 3 years(after ELC) Hall is going to be considered overpaid (only 100k less than the Sedins) but for the remainder of the term, he is going to be a huge bargain.

    Most importantly, this contract sets a ceiling for the foreseeable future. Ebs and RHN won’t be able to negotiate a higher rate.

  • KleptoKlown

    Great news,now lets get Ebbs settled in .

    This was a very professionally handled signing,and it is an indicator of the level of seriousness and committment the Oilers are willing to support with this core group.

    The men want to play and stay here,the owner understands value and maintains a proactive position on retaining it–we havent lost anything we didnt want since we got our new daddy–take note.The management team is quality and qualified,and was improved upon with Mac-Ts addition last year.

    You can feel a sense of calm surrounding the players and management here,everyone is waiting to see what happens with this group,but no one is holding their breath here,its all eyes forward,all hands on deck and all engines forward,seemingly every single step is in the right direction and properly paced and patient.

    Excellent job done by everyone involved.nice to see things rolling smoothly along.