CATCHING UP WITH THE KIDS

The season for hockey is well underway; for Oiler fans, following the gifted kids across the globe can be frustrating and time consuming. Fortunately, the "player pages" are now up and offer us a handy guide to their progress.

THE KIDS

  1. Oscar Klefbom is impressing everyone with his defensive play. Getting good reviews too, this article from yesterday says Klefbom "played sharply and with a poise that is lovely to behold, best back today."
  2. Nail Yakupov is off to a crazy start, 3 goals in 4 games.
  3. Mitch Moroz has 3 points in 6 games, well ahead of previous numbers.
  4. Jujhar Khaira‘s page has a photo his parents will like and not a lot else.
  5. Daniil Zharkov is about where we’d expect him to be in terms of points.
  6. Erik Gustafsson is in the 2-Swedish league and playing well.
  7. Joey Laleggia has an impressive home page.
  8. John McCarron gives us a chance to visit the glory days of Riley Nash.
  9. David Musil is enjoying an outstanding start to the season.
  10. Samu Perhonen is playing in the 2-Finland League but getting good results.
  11. Travis Ewanyk is getting results and observers are impressed by his play this season.
  12. Dillon Simpson‘s homepage is very nice, probably the best in the group.
  13. Tobias Rieder is on an exceptional line in Kitchener and should post enormous numbers.
  14. Martin Gernat has a page but it won’t be getting many click throughs for awhile.
  15. Frans Tuohimaa is struggling in two leagues so far this season.
  16. Kellen Jones page hasn’t been updated yet.
  17. Kyle Bigos page should get some hits, something tells me the Oilers will be reporting on him a lot.

UP NEXT: OKC

Photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

The OKC Barons don’t have their player bio pages up yet, but I’ll pass them along when the go up. So far in pre-season for the Barons, Ryan Martindale has really made some noise. I have no idea if there’s room for him, but he’s going to force the issue based on his current play.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

This season is up in the air and there’s not much fans can do about it. I think the best way to drive this thing is to enjoy what is available to us: the best league in the world doesn’t exist, so we move on and watch what we can and enjoy the kids as they progress. In many ways, Oiler fans are the least impacted of the 30 NHL fanbases.

I mean–and not to be a jerk–what does another year or two do to the Flames roster? Some of those guys are approaching their pensions as it is. For the Oilers, a season in which the kids play well at the highest available level is a solid compromise.

And as fans, that means finding out about Quinnipiac, Merrimack, Neftekhimik, Farjestad and Belleville. So far, the progress shown by Nail, Oscar and another Ryan is something to get excited about for OilersNation.

  • book¡e

    Personally, I’m enjoying reading up on all these prospects. Ordered my OKC AHL Live pass yesterday (save $50 if you order before 10/19), and planning a road trip to Abbotsford for their November game against OKC. As well, the Edmonton Oilers have already won back to back Stanley Cups in my GM mode of NHL ’13. No NHL, no problem…

  • RexLibris

    Bigos’ page getting some hits. Pun intended?

    There is a lot to like. I had commented back in January that a lockout would benefit the Oilers and be quite detrimental to the Flames current roster hopes. As Oiler fans I think we all feel that right now, we’ve got nothing but time on our hands. The hard work has been done, we just have to sit back and hope the sun shines evenly on all the crops. The next stage will call for some heavy lifting as well, but by then at least we’ll be playing.

    For the Flames? This stoppage could usher in the end they have so desperately been trying to avoid. They are ill-prepared for it and the next steps could be very difficult indeed if management and ownership do not alter their expectations.

    Thanks for the updates, LT. Too bad the players wear helmets all the time now. Klefbom could have become a hit with the ladies if were to go lidless.

    • DSF

      The problem Rex is that many observers are fooled into thinking the rise and fall of hockey teams is a linear natural progression and that a team like the Flames will inevitably hit bottom.

      That’s not how it works.

      For example, the Flames may decide to trade Iginla and Kiprusoff at the trade deadline (if there is one) for a brace of young players or prospects and the game changes overnight.

      Look at what Tallon was able to accomplish in one off season by unloading a ton of vets for prospects and draft choices.

      Now, I’m not sure that Feaster is the right guy to do the same thing but there is so much chaos in hockey that one or two smart moves can turn things around in a hurry.

      You say “the hard work has been done” but, no, no it hasn’t.

      Finishing at the bottom of the standings is not hard work at all.

      The hard work begins now and that involves making shrewd free agent acquisitions and trades to build a winning roster around the serendipitous draft choices.

      The Oiler organization is still woefully weak in centre depth, their defensive depth doesn’t match other good teams and there are more questions than answers in goal.

      So far, Tambellini has shown no acumen in acquiring the players that will be necessary to build a winner.

      • Reg Dunlop

        Do you honestly think the flames will get a windfall in return for 35 year old 7 million dollar Iginla? When he could be signed for zip after this season? Do you honestly think the flames will deal Kipper when he is under contract for next year? If they do, do you really think ,at 36 and 6 million dollars, he will return another windfall? Are you really so bored that you have nothing better to do than critisize ALL things oiler on this site? Just curious.

      • Reg Dunlop

        Speaking of centre depth, lets consider that of the canucks. After Kesler they have Sedin who, at 32 is approaching the downside of his career. Malhotra, same thing. Lapierre, 3rd liner at best. Ebbet, 4th liner. Gaunce, nothing but a prospect. I thought that the canucks window of opportunity with this roster was closing but really, with this season likely toast, the window is shut with the lack of center depth they have. But I forgot, they will probably trade Luongo for Malkin and win 4 straight cups.

        Put down the crack pipe man.

        • DSF

          You seem to be under the impression that the only way way to acquire players is through the draft and that Gillis will sit on his hands while his team dodders off into the sunset.

          Let’s tale a peek at how the Stanley Cup champions acquired their centres.

          Kopitar…drafted.

          Carter….trade.

          Richards…trade

          Stoll…trade

          Fraser…trade

          Lewis…draft

          Now, I know Oilers fans have become addicted to the draft since their management team is demonstrably incompetent while acquiring players any other way but that doesn’t mean every other team in the league is so blessed.

          • Why the shot at Oiler fans? You seem to be under the impression that Tambellini jersey’s are prominent around the city. While it pains me to see Tambellini “manage” this team, he is the general manager. And until Daryl Katz focuses on the on-ice team instead of continuing public feuds with city councillors, we as Oiler fans have little recourse but to accept the current management structure…

          • DSF

            Not a shot.

            But the conventional wisdom is the only way to build a hockey team is through the draft.

            While the draft is important…it’s just the start.

            The hard work comes next.

          • Dear neighbour,

            I’ve tried really hard to drop you hints about you telling me the same story over and over, your on going negativity about life and your “the grass is greener” comments. Since all my social cues have been ignored I decided to write you a letter.

            You need new material because you tell the same story over and over. You are a dark cloud on a sunny day: you are constantly negative. You can’t see the good around you because you are focused on what others have.

            I hope this is able to enlighten you so you stop looking like the village idiot. I still like you but I don’t always want to hang out for the above reasons. So, I’ll give you a *HUG* and then send you on your way.

            Yours truly,

            Cheap Shot Charlie

          • DSF

            Nope.

            Jeff Carter was acquired in a trade that sent Jack Johnson the other way. Johnson was acquired in a trade.

            Stoll was acquired in the a trade that sent Visnovsky the other way.

            The only one of the group that was acquired for young players the Kings drafted was Richards for Schenn and Simmonds.

            That would be like trading Yakupov and Gagner to acquire a veteran player.

            Do you think Tambellinni has the stones?

          • GVBlackhawk

            Oilers management has been poor. However, you are not showing the importance of drafting for winning teams. Take LA for example — you chose to show how the centers were obtained. If you look at the bigger picture, the most important players were all drafted (Kopitar, Doughty, Quick).

          • DSF

            I don’t disagree…but, in LA, as in Edmonton, that’s only the starting point.

            You’ll notice that the Kings foundation was built from the goalie out and down the middle while the Oilers have a bunch of scoring wingers.

            The Oilers, to be contenders, need to find 3 quality centres, 2 top pairing defensemen and an above average goaltender.

            They have no high end centre prospects, they will have to count on Klefbom and one of the other defensemen drafted to exceed expectations and hope that Dubnyk, Bunz or Roy turn out better than they’re currently showing just to be competitive.

            That’s an awful lot of wishing and hoping.

      • RexLibris

        Okay, half the hard work is done, and I do believe this. It takes a certain amount of integrity to look at a system that one has ownership over and say that it sucks. It takes a certain amount of effort to identify the problems and then attempt to remedy those issues, especially so when they are systemic, as they were to a degree prior to 2009.

        The temptation is always there to take the shortcut, to make the team better, even if only marginally, overnight and deflect some blame away.

        That they haven’t I take as a positive sign.

        The next phase of hard work as you mentioned is just beginning. Paring down their list of prospects and managing all these players so that the team is grown, signed, and evolves efficiently with an eye on a championship and long-term stability.

        Don’t forget, Tambellini was involved in creating some of this in Vancouver, so he deserves a modicum of credit for that and the improvements shown in the AHL squad.

        • DSF

          Tambellini was mainly a PR guy during his time in Vancouver.

          Burke and Nonis made the hockey decisions and the Moose had their own management team.

          When faced with new ownership needing a new direction, Tambellini got punted at the first opportunity.

  • Lexi

    LT,

    You’re the best. The info you are providing on this this site and your site are sustaining me so far throug this crappy lockout. Klefbom’s play so far, has been extremely encouraging.

    Two takeaways for me from the two OKC games;

    -I’m intrigued by Martindale as a prospect, as a 6’3″ C is exactly what this team is missing in it’s depth chart, but I can’t find any example of a guy having such a mediocre year in the ECHL in his 1st pro year, becoming a legit NHLer.

    -I find it interesting that OKC completely dominates the game Teubert plays and gets blown out in the gamete misses, because it seemed like his injury last year in the playoffs made a huge difference to OKC’s play. I’ve got to think with the right development plan he could be a Jason Smith/Matt Greene level Dman.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I love it when the Flames suck,and when Calgary is in the crapper as a city,all their juice dried up when the Ralph Klein took his support elsewhere.
    But being an Albertan I also want the Flames to be competative to keep the Oilers motivated,that rivalry can initiate an elite level of focus from guys,and that is what you need to be learning to become Stanley Cup championships,that ultr-focus that is catalysed by controlled emotion,you want to smash them so bad but your Provincial pride also drives you to defeat them with equal amounts of focus,the perfect balance.
    So yes,trade soft touch Iginla he is to quiet of a leader,he is a perennial All-star performer but a low-key leader.He would fit like a silk glove into the Canucks mindset and give them the toughness they require without losing any offence.I want to see Calgary re-tool as soon as possible,they also need to consider the importance of a cross-province rivalry and work harder to make it spark,say something like stacking their roster with young hotheaded players like the old Flames did,combat Edmontons skill with brash attitude,it is a perfect storm your attitude cases will learn high level hockey by getting hammered by the Oil and our skill players will learn to get tough fast and keep their heads up,at the end of the day as in past eras the Flames will rise as the Oilers rise and every year it will be a run to the finish.Unless the Flames try the long rebuild route,and waste the chance to catch some of the Oilers carpet ride.Iginla is worth three roster players right now,he is in his prime,an All-round elite player with experience dripping off of him,he would probably put the Nucks over the top by himself.And take over the room immediatly.When was the last time the Canucks had someone as tough and skilled as Iggy in their top six??Can you say Messier.Perfect fit,Iggy might even carry them to the cup right away this would be the right way for him to go out,iginla deserves a break from Calgary he has given enough,he deserves a championship before he retires,and his leadership style would fit in perfectly with the Sedins and the rest of the team there.

    Anything to get the Flames back on their feet so we can knock the stuffing out of them for the next five or six years,we need a ragdoll and everyone likes redheads right??Lets get it on.Fill Calgarys roster with tough middleweights and let er rip,like the days of old.

    • book¡e

      Your use of commas is as close to tragic as anything I have ever witnessed. You should probably just never use them again to spare humanity from more of what you just did.

    • Lofty

      “Iginla is worth three roster players right now,he is in his prime,an All-round elite player with experience dripping off of him,he would probably put the Nucks over the top by himself.”

      The prime of Iginlas career was 5 years ago. He’s got one year left on a contract that pays him 7 million… trading 3 roster players for a 34 year old player with one year left on his contract is career suicide for a GM. His value is not even close to 3 roster players.

  • Ok he is an RFA an d has signed for Zug but Linus Omark has 11 points in 9 league games now and he leads the swiss scoring league.. And if the European trophy is counted he has 16 points in 12 games..

  • Lowetide

    Rebirth: I think he’ll get another NHL chance, just not in Edmonton. There was no reason for the Oilers to qualify him UNLESS a team had expressed some interest in him.

    It may take a couple seasons, but I suspect he’ll have another chance in the NHL. Maybe this generation’s David Vyborny.

  • RexLibris

    For the record, I don’t think Iginla returns a windfall of picks and prospects, especially in the event of a long-term work stoppage.

    He’ll be nearly 36 and if there is a quick trade deadline, or player’s rights carry over to a specific date if the entire season is lost, then all the bargaining power will be with the purchasing team and the player.

    I’m currently working on a detailed (yeah, I know, big surprise) plan of how I would rebuild the Flames over a four-year window. I’ve got Iginla valued at around a 1st round pick, a 2nd and a conditional 1st the following year and I think that is optimistic.

      • RexLibris

        Why wouldn’t Kiprusoff just retire. His contract only pays him $1 million cash in the final year and that is before any potential rollback. From some reports he is quite fond of Calgary and while the desire to win a championship may be strong, he may be just as likely to decide to quit rather than spend half a season or so in another city playing for peanuts.

        The chips Calgary had to kickstart a rebuild were wasted at last year’s deadline. They could have moved at least two if not three expiring UFAs and gotten some picks. Instead Feaster has traded away two 2nd round picks and two 5th round picks in his two-and-change seasons as GM. He traded down in June and managed to recoup a pick that he had to throw away in order to overpay a problem to go away.

        I’d take Tambellini over Feaster every day of the week. They can’t kick-start a rebuild in Calgary because their owner can’t see the forest for the trees and even if he could that ship has sailed. Now, I’m all out of metaphors and cliches for the evening so I bid you all a good night!

        😉

        • The term “rebuild” is used pretty liberally these days. Your team sucks? REBUILD™!

          How about clearing out some deadwood and swapping a few key pieces? I know jack about Feaster, but perhaps his management team thinks this is what they need to do. Like DSF says (and it pains me to say that), a few key moves and they could be back in business. Maybe not cup contenders, but a solid playoff team. That’s the first step after all.

          Fans in Edmonton seem to have really bought into the idea that it’s cup or nothing. Contending here means “no worse than the cup finals”. Problem is, you have to be in the playoffs to make the cup. Good teams are in the playoffs regularly. Only great teams “contend”. And let’s face it, we are a LOOOOONG way from being a great team. You’re kidding yourselves if you think our D, keeping guys like Hordichuk and Eager around and Dubnyk as your starter gets the job done.

          I’d be happy with a team that regularly plays in the post season. After that it’s really a crapshoot unless you have a clearly dominant team like LA had this year.

          • GVBlackhawk

            Not really. They nearly missed the playoffs. They had a dominant playoff run but the regular season was mediocre, especially given preseason expectations. They were near the bottom of the league in offense — amazing goalie bailed them out throughout the season. Hardly the sign of a dominant team.

            Do you ever tire of being wrong?

          • DSF

            You might want to check out what the acquisition of Jeff Carter meant to the team after the trade deadline. Their scoring rate went up by more than 1 GPG since the opposition could no longer key on the Kopitar line exclusively.

            Trust me, they are a dominant team and will be for years.

          • DSF

            Excellent post.

            Winning the cup is very hard…it’s why we no longer see dynasties even among the most powerful teams.

            It’s also why the notion that you need years to rebuild is flawed.

            For sure, you need some high end prospects to kick start the process but loading up on scoring wingers while failing to address urgent team needs in other areas won’t work unless you’re prepared to use some of those acquired pieces to fill other needs.

            Lombardi started doing that in LA very soon after taking over, shipping out players who weren’t going to be part of the plan….O’Sullivan, Visnovsky, Simmonds, Schenn, Jack Johnson.

            So, tell me why Hemsky and Gagner are still Oilers?

          • DSF

            And what exactly will the Canucks trade to fill all these holes that are coming?

            And if you think one or two trades will put the Flames back on the road to contention, you’re as dense as Feaster.

            Face it. The Oilers are coming up. The Canucks, not so much. I won’t even bring up the Flames.

            The Northwest will be the battle ground for the Oiler, Wild, and Avalanche for the forseeable furure.

            Book it.

          • DSF

            See…there you are being myopic again.

            The Sedins have only this season and next left on their contracts. (brilliant work by Gillis)

            Once those contracts are done, Gillis has almost $13 million in extra cap space to work with.

            Since Vancouver has no problems attracting free agents, Gillis will then have a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to move forward.

            I can see him signing the Sedins at a lower rate to play second line minutes and signing a couple of free agents to play top line minutes.

            Your suggestion that the Oilers are in a better place than Vancouver is just hilarious.

            The Canucks have one of the best young goaltenders in the league and another young stud in Eddie Lack on the way.

            The Oilers have a below average starter and a washed up hack.

            They have a defense that is just entering its prime with Hamhuis (29), Bieksa, (31) Edler (26) Garrison (27) Ballard (29) and two young studs in Tanev (22) and Connauton (22) on their way up.

            The Oilers counter with the remains of Ryan Whitney (29) Nick Schultz (30)
            Smid (26) Jeff Petry (24) Andy Sutton (37) Justin Shultz (22) and some nice prospects.

            Even if J. Shultz and a couple of prospects turn out according to projections, the Oiler defense still has a couple of gaping holes.

            While the Oilers have a promising top 6, they also have gaping holes at forward.

            They need a more productive #2C, a #3C to replace a declining Horcoff (34) and are going to have to upgrade on Smyth (36) Belanger (34) Hordichuk (32) Eager (28) and Hemsky unless he can turn his game around.

            That’s an awful lot of holes to fill before the Oilers even become competitive never mind be contenders.

            The NW will be a battle ground between the Canucks and the Wild while the other 3 teams struggle to make the playoffs.

          • GVBlackhawk

            I love how all the Canucks prospects are “studs” while the Oilers prospects don’t rate with you. The Canucks prospect pool is garbage. Colorado and Edmonton have quality prospects.

            I also find it comical that you think the Sedins will sign lower contracts and be willing to play second line minutes. I’m sure their agent will have a different opinion, too.

            And your future plan has not accounted for Luongo’s albatross contract.

          • DSF

            Well, I see the point has gone completely over your head.

            Obviously the Canucks’ “prospect pool” is not as deep as the Oilers since they have been drafting much lower for years but, as I’ve demonstrated the draft is not the only way to acquire NHL players.

            None of us knows what the Sedins’ future is…they may retire and return to Sweden but, in any case, Gillis will have a lot of flexibility to either re-sign them or replace them via free agency or trade.

            Having “quality prospects” like the Oilers and Colorado means jack squat if you have a GM that isn’t able to fill out the roster with quality players.

            The Islanders, Thrashers and Panthers loaded up on “quality prospects” for years and were still horrible because their management was incompetent.

            Not until Tallon took over in Florida did that organization take a leap forward and I expect it will require a new management team in Edmonton before any significant success is achieved.

            Luongo’s “albatross contract” will be gone as soon as the season starts so I wouldn’t get your knickers in a twist about that.

            Heard from an NHL insider on Friday that there are 5 teams in the Luongo sweepstakes…Florida, Chicago, Toronto one other and….Edmonton.

            Wouldn’t that be something?

          • GVBlackhawk

            I don’t think Tambellini would be dumb enough to take on Lu’s contract. But that is probably giving Tambi too much credit.

            I think Luongo starts the season (if there is one) in Van and the Canucks will wait until another team needs some help.

            The player is decent; his contract IS an albatross.

          • GVBlackhawk

            I don’t think Tambellini would be dumb enough to take on Lu’s contract. But that is probably giving Tambi too much credit.

            I think Luongo starts the season (if there is one) in Van and the Canucks will wait until another team needs some help.

            The player is decent; his contract IS an albatross.

          • DSF

            Khabibulin was signed to a four year contract on Tambellini’s watch and it was only a year ago he was calling him the team MVP. Enough said.

            People forget Luongo’s contract has out clauses in it and only pays real money for 6 more years.

            The cap hit is no issue.

          • DSF

            Another contract designed with a tail on it…he won’t be playing that long and could easily be bought out in 6 years when he’s 38.

            And, of course, you’re ignoring the out clauses in the contract.

          • DSF

            There’s something we can agree on.

            St. Louis will be banging their way to Central division crowns for a while.

            Love the way that team is set up: Bangers with skill like Oshie, Stewart, Backes and then some finesse with Perron and McDonald.

            Peitroangelo(sp?) will singlehandely keep that backend afloat, with a little help from Shattenkirk, Pollack, and Jackman….

            Halak’s no slouch either…

            The West is shaping up to be bitch of a road to the promised land:)

          • DSF

            Perron, McDonald, Tarasenko, Rattie and Schwartz providing finesse up front and 23 year old Ian Cole also coming to help on D.

            Realignment will be the Oilers saving grace but they’ll still have to deal with LA, Vancouver, San Jose, Colorado and Phoenix to make the playoffs.

          • RexLibris

            The Sedin contracts are brillant, I’ll give you that. But the 13 million in cap space is a non-starter. The Sedins, if resigned, will eat up most of that.

            I can’t see the Twins taking a huge pay cut and playing second line minutes in just two years.

            And I guess finding two-three first line free agents is pretty easy to do. I mean, Shane Doan was running for his shot st the Cup on the coast, right?

            Eddie Lack is tracking well, but so are Roy AND Bunz. Two is better than one, my pappy aways said:)

            And this defence of 2 and 3’s is okay. Not getting any younger. And Tanev and Connau-who? are studs???? That’s rich.

            You said “If J Schultz and a couple of propects turn out, the defence still has a couple of gaping holes.”

            If that happens, the Oilers defence will be set for years and will be infinitley better than the Canucks defence right now. Get your facts straight man.

            Gagner is a 45 point second line cenetr. That’s not elite, but nothing to sneeze at.

            RNH is a 100 point center. IMO, of course, but I have much faith the Nuge will prove me right.

            I’m pretty sure we can find NHL caliber players in 1-2 years to fill the depth roles. That is, if they haven’t been filled by draft picks like Lander, Hartikanen, Pitlick, Hamilton already.

            Might be enough in that prospect pool for a trade or two. You said yourself, a couple of shrewd moves, ala LA Kings, and bammo!

            Face it D…..

            Oiler getting better.

            Canucks. Not.

          • John Chambers

            I said to my cousins in BC two years ago: enjoy the next three seasons because that’s the window for the Canucks. Two Presidents trophies and a SCF appearance later and the ‘Nucks are a full season lockout away from a San Jose-style lengthy decline.

            Anybody who doesn’t think that aging teams like the Flames or Canucks will be worse off when hockey resumes is in denial.

          • DSF

            Anyone who thinks Gillis will fiddle while Rome burns doesn’t know much about hockey.

            By the way, the average age of the Canucks is 27.9

            The average age of the Edmonton Oilers is 27.2

            The Devils are the oldest at 29.3.

            The Avalanche and Maple Leafs are the youngest at 26.1

            The 5 oldest teams made the playoffs and the 5 youngest teams missed the playoffs.

            8 of the 10 oldest teams made the playoffs while 8 of the 10 youngest teams missed the playoffs.

            It would appear that youth is wasted on the young. 🙂

          • John Chambers

            I suppose the difference being one team’s best players are on the right side of 25 (or 23!), while the other team’s core is over 30 and will inevitably begin to trend downward.

            Sutton, Khabibulin, and even Horcoff will soon play out their contracts and money will become available to surround the new core. If you wager that the Sedins’ best season is still ahead of them, that’s a bet I’ll gladly make with you.

          • DSF

            One team’s best players could change dramatically over the next two or three seasons so it’s kind of silly to count on it.

            While waiting for those contracts to expire, so will the Sedins and Gillis will have ample opportunity to replace them, or not.

            I wouldn’t expect their best seasons are ahead of them but remember, just two seasons ago the Kings’ forwards included Smyth, Frolov, Handzus, Calder and Simmonds.

            Things can change very quickly and can change for the better with a smart GM.

          • DSF

            1) I would think the Sedins next contracts (if they re-sign) will be based on performance and will be short term. That’s exactly the way it should be.
            None of us knows what that performance will be but, if they are still more than PPG players, that’s not a horrible problem to have.

            2) Finding top 6 players, especially wingers is not all that difficult if you have a winning culture and an attractive city. Nash, Richards, Richards, Carter, Parise, Kovalchuk, Neal, Hossa, and Whitney are just some of the high end forwards that have changed teams in the last couple of years.

            Doan always wanted to stay in Phoenix and and was very upfront about that but, had he not been convinced to stay, Vancouver was his second choice.

            3) Eddie Lack is well ahead of both Bunz and Roy in both development and demonstrated ability.

            Vancouver also has Joe Cannatta playing NCAA hockey where he was a Hobey Baker finalist and defensive player of the week several times over the past couple of seasons.

            4) Vancouver’s defense is hardly old. They have 1 defenseman over the age of 30.

            The Oilers have 3 defensemen who will be 30 this season. Not getting any younger?

            5) None of Klefbom, Shultz, Marincin, Musil, Gernat or Teubert projects to be better than Hamhuis, Bieksa, Garrison or Edler so suggesting the Oilers D will be “infinitely better” is just hilarious.

            Tanev already has 54 NHL games on his resume and is only 22.

            Connauton was an AHL all star last season (won the hardest shot competition) and scored 33 points in the AHL last season.

            Adam Polasek is also another very promising young D who scored 80 points over the last two seasons with PEI in the Q.

            While I think Schultz, Klefbom, Marincin and Musil are a very nice bunch of prospects, they are likely at least a couple of years away from being impact players in the NHL and no one knows what their ceiling is.

            6) If Gagner is your second line centre and he is up against Kesler, Richards, Granlund, Kane, O’Reilly, Berglund, Couture, Filpula, Fischer and Hanzal, kiss your ass goodbye. He’s not in that league….not even close.

            And then, of course, you also have to replace the old men, Horcoff (34) and Belanger (34) before you can get anywhere.

            Who are their replacements?

            Lombardi didn’t make a “couple of shrewd moves” he made many over the course of several seasons.

            He was hired in 2006 and immediately began purging veterans and collecting either draft choices or young players.

            That team included only 2 players, Kopitar and Brown, who were on the roster of the cup winning team.

          • GVBlackhawk

            1)These Sedin contracts you speak of will be watershed moments for that franchise. If they are still PPG players, how big of a paycut will they take? As big as the last one? Not likely. And if they don’t resign them, how exactly do you replace Art Ross and Hart trophy winners in one year?

            Guess what? You don’t. So that 13 million in cap space. Poof! gone.

            2)You’re right. FA change cities all the time. Who was the last big profile free agent that signed in Vancouver? Mats Sundin? Swing and a miss.

            3)Eddie Lack was tracking no better than Roy or Bunz at their ages. He should be ahead of them right now. He’s older.

            4)I never said they were old. Just said they weren’t getting any younger. Tanev is a solid prospect, but translates into a second pairing dman AT BEST. He is the brightest spot in that prospect pool. J Schultz, Klefbom and Musil project top 4. Not to mention Teubert, Marincin, Plante, Gernat.

            Oilers seem to have a better mix of youth and experience. Sorry bud. Those are numbers. Can’t argue those.

            5)Klefbom, J Schultz and Musil all project to be just as good or better than Hamuis, Edler and Bieska. Look at a propect site. I know you can read.

            And I think you meant to type Plante when you said AHL Allstar and 30+ point defenceman.

            Conna-who indeed.

            6)You don’t like Gagner??? Only 22, consistent 40-45 points, 4 years experience???

            Huh. Funny. He tracks better than a lot of those guys you mentioned. I guess we’ll wait and see…….

            Lombardi fumbled his way to a Cup. Don’t get me wrong, I really like LA and the way he works. I am a fan of the aggressive GM, but he wasted numerous draft picks, signed a few bust free agents, and fell bass ackwards into Quick(wasn’t he keeping the seat warm for Bernier?).

            A desperate coaching change(those never signal a GM in trouble…) and season long out of body experience from Quick saved his bacon. Look it up. NHL numbers.com

            You might as well have put a picture of Swiss cheese up, that post has so many hole in it……

          • DSF

            1) If they are still PPG players they won’t have to take a pay cut. They will just be signed to short tern contracts until they aren’t.

            2) Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison both signed in Vancouver, leaving money on the table.

            3) My point exactly. He’s better now and will likely be for quite some time.
            Considering Schneider is signficantly better than Dubnyk I don’t see how you see this as a win for the Oilers now or in the future.

            4) Vancouver doesn’t need Tanev or Connauton to be top 4 defensemen. They already have four of them locked up to long term contracts (Edler excepted).

            5) That’s nonsense. Hamhuis is one of the best shut down D in the league (Mirtle did an analysis putting him at #1…look it up) and Bieksa is one of the best two way D in the league.

            Edler just turned 26 and finished 7th in D scoring. He’s going to get better.

            HF has Klefbom rated 8C…suggesting he MIGHT be a #2D but lots of doubt about that.

            Schultz also rated at 8C.

            Marincin, Gernat and Musil all ranked 7.5C suggesting second pairing upside.

            While that’s a nice group, your assertion they will be “infinitely better” than Vancouver’s top 4 is just silly.

            Connauton…it’s a name you’ll have to get used to. 13G 33P in thr AHL last season. The OKC Barins top scoring defenseman was Brian Rodney with 6G and 30P and he’s a vet while Connauton was 21 during the season.

            6) Which players that I mentioned is Gagner “tracking better” than?

            7) All teams “waste draft picks”…it’s the nature of the beast.

            How about this list…

            Plante

            Nash

            Omark

            Cogliano

            Chorney

            Shremp

            Pouliot

            Jacques.

            All teams have ups and downs while building toward a championship…calling Lombardi a bumbler when you have two world class bumblers right in front of you is a just a bit precious.

          • GVBlackhawk

            1)The point is, if they resign, the cap space is moot. If they don’t, there is no may they will fill the holes of two players of that caliber, so what’s the point of having the money? They very well may fill the holes, eventually, but not in one year.

            2)Dan Hamuis was not a high profile free agent. A good signing yes, but definately not high profile. He was third on Nashville’s depth chart. Walked on Vancouver as defacto number one. Jason Garrison is not high profile. Again, good signing, but lets stick to the parameters,shall we?

            3)Eddie Lack is a prospect. Is he ready for backup duty? Nope. Same as Roy. Roy is younger and projecting higher as of now. Schneider has proved nothing as a starter. Neither has Dubnyk. Let’s talk after the season.

            4)They’re studs, but they don’t need them to be top four? If they don’t resign Edler, that’s a big hole, no? Tanev’s going to step right in?

            5)Hamuis is a good defenceman. Never said he wasn’t. But anyone can go to HF and find stats promoting anyone they want. By some metrics, Dustin Penner is a pretty good shutdown forward. Bieska is good too. So is Edler(best of the bunch, IMO). But to dismiss Whitney(who, if healthy,and I know that’s a big if,is as good as any Canuck D) and the progession of Petry, Smid, as well as a capable defender in Schultz is silly. Throw in the prospects,m and that’s a winning combonation.

            HF can say what they want, Klefbom is playing like a number one in the SEL already, and is only going to get better.

            J Schultz is the real deal. Thirty teams would not have wooed him if he wasn’t.

            Get ready bud. Lockdown is coming.

            6)Look at where that list was when they were 18-19. Other than Richards and Kane,, behind Sam. Get with the times.

            7)I know all teams waste draft picks. Do I have to list Detroit’s draft record?

            Lomabrdi was on his last legs in LA. Sutter and Carter saved his a$$. I realize he made those moves, but be real, and look yourself in the mirror. That season was almost bumbled away. If not for Quick…..who knows?

            I also never said anything about our bumblers. Not sure what Tambellinni has to do with Lombardi, but whatever.

            I’ll put my money where my mouth is.

            By 14/15 the Edmonton Oilers will be ahead of the Vancouver Canucks in the final standings.

            If you win, I’ll add – Team DSF-King of Hockey – to my name.

            If I win, you have to add – loosmoose was right, again – to yours.

            I know it’s a while till we find out, but I figure you’re a gamer.

            What say you?

          • GVBlackhawk

            That guy does not have the balls to make a bet like that. He talks out if his bum hole. Examples:

            1. Sedins will sign short term contracts while they are still top scorers. Then sign lower contracts once their production tapers and value decreases.
            2. All the top free agents want to sign in Vancouver.
            3. A player like Garrison left money on the table to sign in Vancouver (although they overpaid for him and DSF would not be able to back up the claim of an alternative, higher-paying contract)
            4. All of the Canucks prospects are amazing (this is actually comical) while the Oilers prospects are unproven or overrated.
            5. Luongo’s contract is no big deal because there are “out clauses” (which he cannot specify or source). Teams are lining up to get him…maybe even the Oilers according to ‘hockey insider’.
            6. Schneider is the next coming of Patrick Roy (although in reality he is only a decent backup who is unproven as a starter in the NHL). St. Corey better have a good psychologist to talk to when the Canucks fans inevitably turn on him.

            I could find more…those were just off the top of my head. I thought he was a credible troll, but he’s clearly a sad little Canucks fan with nothing better to do.

          • DSF

            1) Gillis already signed them short term…they wanted 12 years.

            2) No one said that. Bu they haven’t had any problems attracting talent.

            3) Garrison was the second highest rated defenseman on the table. Suter was #1. The Oilers snagged a college boy.

            4) Then Oilers have some very nice prospects…thing is they don’t have a very good hockey team.

            5) Contract status:
            Luongo has 10 years remaining on his deal, and is owed $47.28 million. Of that, $40.28 million is owed in the next six years. In seven years, Luongo’s salary drops to $3.38 million. In eight years, it’s $1.618 million
            There are a couple of interesting clauses in the contract, which have been dubbed out-clauses. Luongo can supply a five-team trade list following the 2013-14 season, valid through July 15, 2014.
            If he doesn’t provide a list, the team can request a five-team trade list following the final game of 2017-18 season, valid through Sept. 1, 2018.. If Luongo submits a trade list in 2014 and isn’t moved, the team loses its right to request trade list in 2018.

            6) Schneider has proven far more than Dubnyk who has been a below average goaltender in the NHL. And. of course, Lack is a far better prospect than either Roy or Bunz

          • Reg Dunlop

            ‘Of course Lack is a better prospect than either Roy or Bunz’. The only basis for this statement is the fact he has played more games in a better league. However, using this criteria, Khabbi is a better goalie than either Luongo(1 cup to zero and the fact that he has made more saves in the NHL) or Schneider.

            ‘Dubnyk who has been a below average goaltender in the NHL’. Even the staunchest oil fan admits that the defence iced by the intentionally tanking oil has been of AHL caliber. It is unfair to compare a goalie playing behind Barker to a goalie playing behind Bieksa.

        • DSF

          I agree that Feaster should already have moved Iginla and Kiprusoff but that doesn’t mean he won’t get some useful picks or prospects at the trade deadline if he decides to pull the trigger.

          Teams desperate to make the playoffs or who think they need a piece to 2 to win it all could easily end a first round pick or prospect to seal the deal.

  • Hot Eire

    LT,

    It seems that Jujhar Khaira made his debut for Michigan Tech in an exhibiton game last night (6-2 win over Brock). Looks like he centred the second line and he finished with 1 goal, 4 SOG, +2 and 2 mins for roughing.

    They have him listed as 6-3 and 195lbs. Interesting prospect and not a bad start all in all!

  • Hot Eire

    How about a piece on exactly what each NHL Oiler is doing to be ready IF the lockout ends. By my count, Yak, Hemsky, Smid, Petrell and Potter are in Europe, Nuge, Eberle (Hall soon) MP, Hartikainen, Lander, J Schultz are in OKC, Belanger, Jones, N Schultz and Petry practicing with the Bears, Smytty practicing with the Oil Kings, Gagner and Horc in a camp with Crosby and others. What are Eager, Peckham, Sutton, Whitney, Dubnyk, Khabibulin and Hordichuk up to?

    Just wondering. Hopefully Theo isn’t working at MacDonalds for all the fast food he can eat.

    • GVBlackhawk

      He’s a Canucks fan who spends all of his time on Oiler sites. Then applies all of his knowledge that he has gleaned from watching the Canucks win the Cup. Oh right…they haven’t. If that isn’t trolling I don’t know what is.

  • two smokes

    @DSF
    You need to realize that high end talent has to want to go somewhere to be traded to that place…. within the 5-10 years nobody wanted to come to edmonton, its not that our management team doesn’t know how to trade for top talent, its the fact that they simply can’t

  • RexLibris

    Having spent a fair deal of time digging through the Flames situation, from top to bottom, they are more than just a few trades away from being a good team.

    There are significant gaps in many areas of the team’s development pipeline, including defense, goaltending and, ironically enough, the right wing – Iginla’s position.

    Offering a five-year contract, with a full No Movement Clause, to Wideman is such a delusion that I really can’t overstate it. The Oilers had a horrible time dealing with Souray’s contract, yet at least they could waive him to the AHL. I suspect that Wideman will be a similar albatross for that club in two or three years and they won’t have that luxury.

    There are problems in that organization that will take four to six years to correct, whether they choose to spend that time rebuilding or not.

  • The Soup Fascist

    @ DSF

    Please let us wait until Schneider is a starter for a season, without Luongo in town before we crown him one of the best in the league.

    It’s a little different when you are suddenly “the man” and all eyes and all the pressure are on you. Back up tender is the most popular guy in the fans eyes – ‘cept Khabby of course. Let’s face it Vancouver fans are not the most loyal, patient or knowledgable patrons in the world. They will turn on young Schneider as quick as they did a legitimate top goalie like Luongo.

    I do not mind Schneider, but when you state as a fact he is one of the best, you lose me. To call others myopic, while spouting unproven nonsense like this rings hollow. Schneider may turn out to be a fine goaltender but he is a long way from establishing it. Apparently they sell rose colored glasses in BC (along with hallucinogens) as well.

  • book¡e

    You know what I bet DSF hates. I bet he hates it when people get all upset and respond to his posts in a somewhat exasperated way. He probably abhors the fact that he frustrates you with his quasi-logic. I am sure that he doesn’t intentionally use arguments that are 70% logic mixed with 30% overreaching idiocy simply to screw with you.

    I admit, I am equally amazed by his ability to goat so many people into responding as I am confused by the amount of time he spends doing it.

    It’s kind of like playing Farmville or something. You just keep going and going, but never really achieve anything.

    • The Soup Fascist

      You know what I hate?

      No NHL hockey.

      Goading DSF to spew out a bunch of pro-Canuck hogwash gives me a chuckle. And something to read.

      I love how riled up people get. I have a smirk the whole time I read and write on this site. All in good fun.

      And its a little naive to think anything will be achieved on a hockey fan blog, regardless of the merit of the conversation:)

      And ironically, your post was full of quasi-logic and goaded me into reponding! Now you’re doing it too!!!!

      That DSF is gooooood…….

      • DSF

        I think we should also take a look at the Blues.

        That’s a team that’s poised to be a contender for a long time.

        After finishing with 109 points last season, they are adding Tarasenko, Ty Rattie and Jaden Schwartz (3 elite forward prospects) to their roster.

        Considering they were the best defensive team in the NHL last season, they could soon be challenging for best in the west consistently.