Expectations… Volume 2!

Wow! I love the feedback in the comments section of my last post "Step back from the ledge". You guys are fired up. Even my buddy Brownlee was moved so much he posted on my posting! I love it!

I want to clear up where I was coming from. I wasn’t talking about last year or ten years ago. I wasn’t talking about how this is taking too long or what should have been done is the past. I was simply saying that for this season expectations were set to high. This is not a playoff team.

The younger players need time to grow, to develop and to learn how to play the game. Skill is great to have but other teams are skilled at stopping skilled players. Until they learn the value of soft chips at the blue line instead of turning it over their game to game success will fluctuate. Puck management is a huge part of the game now. You can’t just trade chances with every opponent, that is too dangerous and unpredictable.

There are holes in this lineup. Depth on the back end and size in the top nine forwards won’t be easy to address but by the end of next season it needs to be. Hard decisions face this management group. The sit and wait, passive style which has helped the team acquire top young talent must now be shifted to a more aggressive mode. Can they do it? Time and success will determine that.

I got a posting from MAC932 on my last entry. This is what he had to say.

So Mr Strudwick- explain to me exactly why the Detroit Red Wings have maintained their standing in this league for so long. How many years has it been now.The Oilers have sucked for years 2006 the exception. Lower my expections ? Give me a break, make the moves to fill the voids this team needs without sacrificing the future, it can be done and you know it. You can’t fill all the voids at once i understand that.

Also, tell me from your heart if you feel Oilers Management have built the team to the point they are at now. No they didnt, we sucked for so bad for so long we acquired 1st round picks, and J. Schultz picked us. Put me a list togeather of moves that have improved us. Ryan Smyth- Nope. Belanger- Sorry- Eager- so-so.

Dont pee in my ear and tell me it’s raining Struds.

Takes time- they have had time. We will lose our stars as usual if this 10 year plan continues. Make a Move, show some balls Again, I know it all cant be done at once, but there has been nothing, Fistric is the only decent move to increase team toughness i have seen.

Good stuff from MAC. He covers a whole bunch of topics. I have a question for the whole Nation. MAC writes about making a move. So let’s hear some examples. What moves would you all make? Make them real though. You can’t trade Peckham for Weber. Before you submit ideas ask yourself if you would make the trade if you were both teams.

MAC also says that moves can be made now without sacrificing the future. It is hard to predict how players will mature and improve at a young age. When I look at the players in OKC I would suggest the value of many of them has gone down due to their lack of development. Is that the group that will bring back what this team needs? Do you trade Oscar Klefbom? He has value, do you trade him? Do you move a roster player? Hard to see a big return from the players in the bottom six so then who goes from the top lines? How about future draft picks? Next year’s first rounder could probably get you something, is that worth the risk?

If I was the GM of the Oilers I would not be very aggressive this season. Obviously you are always looking for opportunities to improve but I would not sell the farm. After the season when I know what position I am drafting I start making plans to fill the holes. No more waiting.

It is easy for us all to sit around and say the team needs to make moves. Let’s see what you guys come up with for options.

The best options will get free hugs from both Gregor and Wanye.

The Mighty Kings cometh!!!

I always liked to play the top teams, especially the defending Stanley Cup champions. It was a great way to figure out how close you were to being a good team. I think the game between the Oilers and Kings will be a good measuring stick for the Oil.

The Kings are not the team they were last year due to a couple injuries on the back end. Both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are out. I know for a fact that without both those players the Kings would not have won the Cup last year. That is a fact. Their back end is not the same without them.

Up front they are still a handful. Big, skilled and determined (most of the time). How will the Oilers match up against Richards, Kopitar, Carter, and Stoll at center? Could the game be won and lost simply by faceoff domination?

The grit on the wings is impressive… Brown, Williams, King and Nolan all are strong down low on the puck? How will the Oilers defence match up? I haven’t mentioned Kyle Clifford. This kid has been their best player many nights this year. He is rugged, strong and can score some.

This game will be a very good test for the Oilers. Will the Oilers be able to out skate the Kings? Will they use their speed to get in on the forecheck? Will faceoffs be an issue especially on special teams?

Quite a few questions heading into this game. They will be answered during the game and the Oilers will know where they stand.

  • toprightcorner

    Hemsky for Chris Stewart
    Gagner, Whitney for Clowe and Doug Murray
    Potter for NYI Matt Martin (lead league in hits last year)
    Klefbom and 2 rd for ORiley
    Belanger for Brian Boyle
    Peckam and pick for Zenon Kenopka

    Gives you power forward on each of first 2 lines with Clowe and Stewart, better faceoff man and all around player in ORiley as second line centre, 250 lb 3rd lince centre/winger in Boyle, Kenopka gives you muscle, faceoff wins and can kill penalties as 4th line centre. Matt Martin is a guy we need, something Eager should be, hits everything, fights, agressive and a pest on the 4th line. Add Doug Murray to defence gives good stay at home guy that hits and plays tough and weight 245 lbs

    This makes us bigger, stronger better on the dot, more agressive and about the same offensivly as Stewart and Clowe score more goals but less assists but ORiely is still an assist guy.

    deam world to make all of these trades but this fills our weaknesses for toughness and size.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Maybe Lombardi’s getting a little itchy. There’s never a bad time to inquire about Dustin Brown. Heck, even take back Penner along with him.

    Hemmer, Paajarvi/or Jonesy and Whitney in exchange for Dustin Brown and Dustin Penner. Ole Deanno has to be searching for options by now.

  • Mitch

    I think I would go for some subtle moves. I like the top 6 as it is.

    (1)I would trade Potter & 4th to the Leafs for Steckel & 3rd.

    It is a little nickel and diming, but actually think it needs to be done more, upgrading lower round picks so that your chances of getting an NHL player are improved.

    (2)Hordichuk would never again see the light of day, so I would trade him or completely drop him.

    (3)1st Round Pick, Omark, Tuebert & Eager to Islanders for Thomas Hickey & Kyle Okposo Islanders keep 1.4M of caphit.

    I think the NYI will resign Streit. Hickey is NHL ready, but has been victimized by bad luck. I think an NHL ready player is worth a 1st round in the bush. I see him as a future top 4. So basically 1st & Tuebert for Hickey. Then Omark & Eager for Okposo. I see Okposo as a younger Eager with more talent. But his traditional stats this year are quite horrible(advanced stats show he is playing reasonably), and I think Omark has enough value with how he is playing in Switzerland to swing this deal.

    (4) Not resign Whitney.

    (5) Trade 7th for the rights to RFA Steve Mason. Then before the deadline to offering a qualifying offer resign him for $1M. If he doesn’t accept, then he goes UFA. A worthy gamble for someone who has the potential to be a capable backup.

    (6) Not resign Khabi

    Yak-Hemsky-Gagner – Sign Gagner 4M
    MPS-Jones-Belanger – Re-sign Jones 1.5M, MPS 1.0M
    Lander-Hartski-Steckel-Petrell – Re-sign Hartski 1.0M, Sign Steckel 1.0M

    Petry-Smid – Re-Sign Smid 2.7 M
    Hickey-Fistric – Re-Sign Fistric 1.5M, Sign Hickey 1.25 M

    Dubnyk-Mason – Sign Mason to 1.0 M contract

    That puts the Oilers on the cap. It means the Oilers have 1 extra D, and 2 Extra F. Which as this year injuries have shown is a wise precaution to have.

    This gives the Oilers the flexibility to keep Horcoff or to use compliance buy out. Also the option not to sign Jones & Peckham.

    It is very similar to this year, but it strengthens the bottom 6 of the Oilers forwards, and it brings the future forward on D.

    It maybe nice to have an experienced stable D instead of Horcoff, but I don’t think other teams would make that trade.

    • Are you talking Hickey, the fourth overall draft bust outta LA who got picked up by Captain Wangliner and the Snowshow.

      If he had any value don’t you think Lambo would of kept him as hes down two valuable defencemen. Heck I think Teubert passed him when he was with the Monarchs.

  • You seem like a good guy Struddy, but for the love of god can you not open up a fantasy trade thread while the actual season is going on? We just had, what, 8 months of those stoopid things clogging up the comment threads.

    An article on the relative value of Sam Gagner as a long-term Oiler would get you as many comments and be more fun than the ad-nauseum “Smid and a first for Crosby” trade suggestions people are throwing out.

    Besides, any sane person knows it’ll take Smid, Potter and a second to snag Crosby.

  • ralph_u

    Oh god. Not trade suggestions…please, no trade suggestions. I can’t stand how diametrically opposed people can be on a player, their value, and what so-and-so can get in return. If Joe Blow says ___ is worth ___ tell me what does that get you by reading that? The fact that there are blog sites devoted to this makes me sick jsut thinking of it. No offense to any bloggers out there, but seriously, is your opinion worth anything here? No. And really, just because you might of come up with the idea that Gagner, a 1st and Paajarvi is worth Malkin, doesn’t mean there is ever going to be a chance in hell that any deal like that gets done.

    And where is the GDB??? The game is only a few hours away, how am I going to procrastinate at work unless I have this? Seriously, it’s all I’m thinking about right now.

  • Mitch

    Well I have liked Rupp but that is no longer a option. Maybe you can bring in a Derek Englannd from Pitsburgh for a younger prospect. I have also liked Dustin Byfuglien from Winnipeg but I would play him as a forward. Maybe a Hemsky for Martinez from LA if Martinez was healthy.

    A complete long shot maybe a guy could take a run at Corey Perry. My thinking is we need a veteran up in the top 2 lines just to give a bit of stability.

    The price tag on some players who knows the most important thing is the chemistry that they would bring to the lineup. Mitch

  • Phixieus666

    I would agree that this season is probably not the season to make a big move. In the off-season however, I am wondering if the Kings and Oilers might not become trade partners again. They could use more speed and skill while we could use more size and grit. Should be interesting if they miss the playoffs because they were only an 8th seed last year and they could use a player like a Hemsky or something. Just throwing it out there.

  • 27Ginge

    I would overextend big time for Lucic.
    Hemsky, Gagner, Klefbom whatever spare parts they might want (not hall, schultz, nuge, ebs, yak or hartikainen or 1st rounder).
    Would look awesome riding shotgun with nuge and ebs.
    Second line could be hall between yak and hartikainen.
    Thats a bigger top six.

  • 27Ginge

    maybe you could trade some offence for some defence-Hemsky to philly for Coburn? Magnus and 1st pick to colorado for O’reilly and there second pick? he’s not happy in colorado.

  • ralph_u

    Thanks Struds for making me GM for now.

    1)Trade Petry and Musil for O’Reilly.(Need to get a 2nd center with some bite and still score this guy fits)

    2)Whitney and 3rd rounder for Streit.(Both expiring contracts and coach knows this player well)

    3)Gagner to Columbus for a 1st.(Hang onto Gagner till draft if worried about Nuge’s health)

  • Hmmmm.

    I move that we change the name of this article to, “CONTEST: Type some stupid sh** and then will all laugh at you and point out how absolutely shitaneously out of touch you are with reality.” ™

    It certainly brings traffic though… the wrong kind.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Stephen Wiess for Oilers 2014 1st if Wiess resigns,2014 2nd round if not and Tyler Pitlick.

    Buyout Horcoff.

    Move Gagner to the 3rd line to replace Horcoff,Wiess 2nd line center.

    Petry and Musil and for Letang.

    See if I can get at least a 3rd round pick for Whitney if not let him go.

    Ben Scrivens for this years 2nd round pick

    • a lg dubl dubl

      Petry and Musil for Letang? Get your head of the sand, buddy. Letang is going nowhere. If Edmonton has Schultz as their untouchable defencemen, Letang is the Penguin’s. Here’s the thing though…Letang is proven.

      Love all the Omark trades, no NHL team would trade a bag of frozen peas for him.

  • ralph_u

    These are trades I would explore:

    NYR – very weak on the RW after Gaborik, so Hemsky and Whitney for Del Zotto and Kreider. The Oilers get another puck moving defenceman and a big left winger with size and upside. Yakupov moves into hemsky’s spot. This is a “next year” play but addresses a long term imbalance in the roster.

    NYR does the trade because (a) not afraid of skilled players with injury history, not afraid to trade young players, and Del Zotto’s name has come up in trade rumours this year.

    BOS – Hemsky and Whitney for Hamilton and a depth player. Boston only does this deal in they believe they are a little more offense away from winning it all. Also a “next year” deal for the Oilers.

    COL – Hemsky and Lander or Belanger for O’Reilly and a pick. COL is fielding offers and they are weak on the right side with Parenteau and the fading Hejduk as the top 2 options. Hemsky gives the Avs a skilled player to play with Stastny, who clearly misses having a skilled player to play with since Stewart left. Oilers do this deal because O’Reilly is a possession demon with some offensive upside.

    If you get O’Reilly, then you have to consider a second trade of Gagner for a top defenceman. Maybe to the Rangers for a Staal or McDonough?

  • Totally disagree with Mac! Using the last five years and the next five years as context, I am more than happy with spending this season in classic Tambellini mode – ignoring/underadressing roster holes (because WE HAVE TO TRADE SOMETHING TO GET SOMETHING).
    “Deal Gagner” you say… great. Now you need a #2 center. “Deal him for Getzlaf” you retort. Awesome. Gags + this year’s 1st + 2 of our better D prospects besides Klefbom, at a minimum!
    “Deal Paajarvi” you say. Why??? The 3rd line is important and we won’t win any Cups without skill at all levels of our roster! Just because he doesn’t score 30 goals – yet – doesn’t mean he’s not part of the plan!
    “Deal the #1 pick” you say. I facepalm, Picard-style.

    Life isn’t NHL 13! You have to consider more than the last and next 5 minutes when looking at a roster! No team will give us a good player for our misfits and spare parts.

    If we hold to the plan and get halfway competent GMing WHEN THE TIME TO MAKE TRADES COMES we can expect to be one of the best 5 teams in the league for 10 years. If we blow our load now we can hope to be in the top 8 for 3 years.

    The season ticket holders were asked their permission to undertake the rebuild. They said they were OK with it… “provided the Oilers took the time to do it right!” The Oil have a mandate to do what they are, directly from the fans who have been the most supporting (ie: spending the most) while also being the most knowledgeable (ie: they get to watch all the F*ing games, the lucky sods!).

    Every year there is new excitement over this team, and all the “fans” who couldn’t handle watching the team take it on the chin over the last 5 years suddenly want a bandwagon to hop on to. You’ll get your damn bandwagon… in two more years. But you DON’T get to drive it!