A week ago, Craig MacTavish talked about adding size to the supreme skill in the Oilers top 6F. If we made a "wish list" of possible additions, how close can we come to naming the actual target?


  1. W Viktor Stalberg (27 years old) 47, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $875k cap hit). I’ve listed him ahead of Bickell because he can play both wings. Stalberg is a fine winger with a nice range of skills, and could play on the 2 and 3 lines effectively. A target for sure.
  2. L Brian Bickell (27 years old) 48, 9-14-23 (UFA this summer, expiring $540k cap hit). This is an insane underpay for value. 2.30 5×5/60 (4th on team). Bickell’s size/speed combination makes him an outstanding option for the Oilers. Big strong, possessing two-way ability and should be able to step into a larger offensive role. 
  3. F Nathan Horton (27 years old) 43, 13-9-22 (UFA this summer, expiring $4M cap hit). 1.95 5×5/60 (7th on team). Big man has some concussion issues but can also play more than one position (a key for MacT) and is certainly very physical. Horton on a line with Nuge and Hall? Gagner and Yakupov? Interesting.
  4. W Nikolai Kulemin (26 years old) 48, 7-16-23 (UFA 2014, $2.8M cap hit). 2.00 5×5/60 (5th on team). An excellent 2-way option, not the physical player hoped for but certainly a player who can impact the game with and without the puck. Toronto seems to be indifferent about Kulemin, I think he might come at a reasonable price.
  5. L Tomas Vanek (29 years old) 38, 20-21-41 (one year left at $7.14M). 2.64 5×5/60 (1st on team). THIS is an attractive option, if only because the pricetag would be less than some of the players below. Vanek is not a physical player, not at all–but I’ve included him because he’s simply too talented to keep off the list. If the Oilers could get him for just picks or prospects it would be worth every penny.
  6. F Jakub Voracek (23 years old) 48, 22-24-46 ($4.25M cap hit through 2016 summer) 2.58 5×5/60 (1st on team). Ranked lower on the list because the cost would be dear. Voracek was drafted right after Gagner, and is a skilled winger with size. He could be an outstanding addition, but the cost (in terms of trade assets) makes him a far less attractive trade target.
  7. L Raffi Torres (31 years old) 39, 7-11-18 (UFA this summer, $1.75M cap hit) 2.15 5×5/60 (2nd on team). Hear me out, please. Raffi isn’t a perfect hockey player, but he can impact the game. Torres is a physical player with skill, and can move up and down the depth chart as needed. Kind of a poor man’s Esa Tikkanen.
  8. L Dustin Penner (30 years old) 33, 2-10-12 (UFA this summer $3.25M cap hit) 1.85 5×5/60 (4th on team). Hear me out volume two. Penner playd well with both Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, and I believe he might be a perfect fit for this Oiler club. If they could get him at a reasonable price, this could be music!


Who knows, really. However, if the Oilers are looking for a bigger forward with offensive abilty this summer, I think Horton, Stalberg and Bickell is a very good place to start.

Sail on, Ales.

  • TeddyTurnbuckle

    FROM MY SHOPPING LIST – EXAMPLE ONLY , HERE IS MY NEW SQUAD : 1, I drop 16 players totalling 6 defenceman and 10 forwards totalling in one form or another = $35.175M with Souray included in that figure .

    2. Retention list : Dubbie and Khabby (interim and less money ) , J.Schultz , Smid , Fistic ,Paajarvi , Brown Yak , Hopkins Hall and Eberle .

    3. Additions totalling $33.544M and 14 new faces , leaving two spaces for those on the prospect list to graduate -such as Klefbom and Hartekainen perhaps . 6 new defence totalling $13,57M :Alzner ,Bogozian , Morris ,Letang ,and Daley , 8 new forwards totalling $19.974M : Wheeler ,Duchesne, Couture , Franzen , Brouwer , Sobotka , Henrique , and Dupuis .

    Not a bad complimentary economical core I would say .

    • Truth

      I don’t really get what your doing. Is this just your dream if you could swap salary or do you honestly believe that you can get these players? If I was having a wishlist it would be much better than this so maybe I just don’t understand the point of the post. Especially when you consider guys like Letang, Duchene, etc. are in need of raises within a year or two.

  • Shaun Doe

    I wonder if the Oilers would consider signing Cheechoo to a reasonably priced 1-2 year contract. The guy has scored in the past but fell off the map almost completely after that. He is a bigger body (He’s listed as 6’2″ and 204lbs) and perhaps used in a more limited role, 3 liner, with some movement up the roster as needed, he could be of use to us. He has been a good soldier and a consistent threat down in the AHL so perhaps he is the type of player who can chip in once and a while and be complementary rather than running the show. Perhaps he would be open to contract discussions as we threw him a life preserver down in OKC. I can’t honestly recall his grit during his tenure with the sharks but I really don’t remember him as being ‘Soft’, any input on that front would be of interest.

    • paul wodehouse

      Cheechoo should fit into the bottom 6,he has the scoring we need and it is good enough to keep him in the lineup.He can also play PP and rotate up if we need him to.

      He definately wont be running the show here,he cant even break into the top 6 here,we can use him to fill in but he couldnt compete for a spot.

      I think mac-T might have room for him,we do need scoring ability,add Torres and Cheechoo centered by Horcoff as our 3rd line.That might fly.

      Training camp should be extended and the Oilers should start making it more competative as it was in the old days,we need to see guys in the bottom 6 winning their jobs here again and knowing if they dont make he cut we will move them immediatly.No more free contractual rides through training camp for anyone below the top 6.

  • TeddyTurnbuckle

    Taylor Hall benched today vs Swiss. Love Hall but it doesn’t surprise me at all. This kid had more turnovers than all the other Oilers combined from what I saw most nights. He will be a great player but he is part of the problem a lot of nights here in Edmonton. How’s that toe drag working for you? Have you ever scored off of it?

    • paul wodehouse

      Taylor Hall needs Moma2 and the NHS to keep him in line and on task.

      Hall tried out his wings this shortened season,had it been an 82 gamer he would have scored over a ppg.

      How he got his points this season is why his line sucked for so long and why Nuge was mired in a season long goal drought and Ebbs was constipated in the points dept for the first 2/3 of the season.

      Blame the coaches and a general lack of Intuitive Analytical ability.

      Taylor will get better.

      If we let him write his own dynamic ticket again without giving him the C we are fools,he CAN lead the team if we let him do it his way,same as Mess was ready early like Wayne was,we have the same problem today,is Nuge going to lead this team or is Taylor/Or someone else?

      If someoen else is going to lead the Oilers then Taylors wings need to be clipped regularly.

  • paul wodehouse

    Maybe benching Hall cost them the game ? Must be a bigger story behind it. A calculated risk that turned sour perhaps on Ruff . Would Dubnyk been better to stay/keep in goal seeing as he won first game ? Wonder how rest of team reacted , not just Hall . Shocker here .

    • Wax Man Riley

      I dont know if they were a disgrace, but they surely got their butts kicked, both on the scoreboard and in the alley.

      That what happens when you dont have tough team.
      Its a problem when little Gallagher is your second most gritty guy on the team.

      There were to many passengers in tonights game, in both the rough stuff, and the skill/scoring side of things.

      PLUS.Ottawa’s goalie was 5 x better than Price.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Well, on second thought, maybe I should drop Hall from my retention list and replace him with a smaller contract like T. Sequin @$5.2M ? Does Hall require an attitude adjustment ? Second thoughts on Hall ? Now he’s a problem ? No wonder Eberle’s and Hopkins numbers are so low . I doubt it !

  • paul wodehouse

    Montreal and Van. in trouble first round . I have visions of Subban ,Kesler , Bieksa and Luongo dancing thru my head . Where are the invisible twins , that was the Canucks ?

  • Word to the Bird

    The way I see it, I think grit in the top 6 should be our #3 priority. (#1 being a top 2/4 defenseman, and #2 being a total overhaul of the bottom 6). That being said, we shouldn’t go for Horton, Clarkson or any of the big names simply because of their shear cost in dollars. The only way it would work is if a big contract was on it’s way out of town (I’m looking at you Hemsky and Horcoff). A name I would consider is Wayne Simmonds. Big strong reliable scorer willing to fight and a cap hit much lower than what Horton and Clarkson will fetch on the open market.

  • It’s easy. Just do what I do on my GM connected league in NHL 13. Super-overpay UFAs on a 1 year contract and then sign them for normal money the year after once they see we have a contender…

    On second thought… barring some sort of ‘we gave up the best player’ trade or massive overpay on the UFA market, I forsee another lean year ahead for the Oilers.

    MacT is going to have to pull a rabbit out of his butt, let alone his hat.

    Reasonable expectations…

  • Wax Man Riley

    On another note:







  • Word to the Bird

    For Hall and Todd – The comment on Hall for Sequin was just a tease for NAS , and seem to fit into my blog #113 on my retention list . Sorry I wasn’t more clear .

  • paul wodehouse

    …madjam…here’s the problem…Taylor Hall is in Europe to scrape his horn on every Finnish and or Swedish chick he can meet…he was probably out all night and showed up unfit to practise…Ruff throws a predictable fit and the rest as they say is history…like Messier and all those good ‘ol boys from back in the day…they did the same thing playing for their country in the off season and they turned out ok…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I just want to send out a thanks for Lowtide’s new radio show on Team 1260. I do not know his background but he comes across as an experienced and articulate broadcaster in addition to being a great hockey mind.

  • Tikkanese

    Where is Clarkson or Iggy on this list? They’re exactly the type of player the Oil need. Not to mention both UFA’s.

    I hope the Penner inclusion was a joke. Not to mention Torres and Kulemin cannot play top 6, yet that is what this article is supposed to be talking about… If those guys are in our top 6 then we’re in even bigger trouble. Our top 6 needs skilled size that plays with their size and a for sure bet to produce consistently. Not more wishes and hope that there’s some unseen untapped offense and physical play in a 27 year old…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wow, the kid who wins the rookie scoring race not even nominated for the Calder trophy.

    Sadd,Huberdeau and Gallagher.

    Must be all the nothing games the last quarter of the season catching up to the Oiler rookies.

  • Twiggs

    No mention of Steve Ott? is this a joke?

    I know we all understand this but if anyone in the city of edmonton thinks the current oilers could withstand even ONE period of the pounding inflicted by the Blues, Kings, Sharks, Bruins, Leafs….they are dreaming. We need more changes than people realize, and it starts with Steve Ott, Wayne Simmonds, Curtis Glencross and Brandon Dubinsky. Then, we need a Darius Kasparitus nutcase and a Matt Greene (ill smash your face-in D). Then we need a faceoff specialist. ONLY then will the Oil be even close to a playoff spot

    • Truth

      Exactly. I would even take 2 nutcases.

      Most teams must look at a game against the Oilers as a night off. Even if the Oilers beat them on the scoreboard it’s an easy night. “Oh they’re sitting Fistric, do we have to wear shoulder pads tonight coach?”

      How about that Gallagher. An NHL rookie who throws two punches before the other guy even knows he’s in a fight. He gives a crap, unlike the league low in fighting majors Edmonton Oilers.

      • Truth


        Amazing how it takes a Queens MBA to figure out anorexic midgets can NEVER win in the nhl. Tammy and KLowe didnt realize this? jesus.

        good point on Gallagher. what a great little pest, totally IN the game in any way possible, pure winner.

  • Truth

    I would definitely add:

    David Clarkson

    Ryane Clowe

    Cal Clutterbuck

    Jordin Tootoo

    Steve Ott

    Jaromir Jagr (not of the same mold as above, but every place he goes raves about how his work ethic and attitude have a major impact on the young players. Also getting advice from a surefire hall of famer can’t be discounted)

    I would remove:

    – Penner (unless you sit him until the playoffs, when he shows up. Can’t see it with MacT running the show now)

    – Kulemin (too much finesse for what the Oilers should be looking for)

    • Truth

      This is a winning lineup:

      1) Clarkson-Nuge-Eberle, 2) Hall-Dubinsky-Yak, 3)Clowe-Ott-Pajaarv, 4) Brown-Faceoff specialist-Clutterbuck, Extras: Tootoo, Smythe

      Whorecough (buy-out), Alice, Gagner, Petrol, Jones, Belanger

      1) Streit-Boychuk, 2) J. Schultz-Nutcase (think Kasparitus), 3) Smid-Petry, Extras: N. Schultz, Matt Green type, Fistric

      Peckham, Potter, Whitney

      1) Dubnyk, 1A) Tim Thomas

  • stretch14


    Let me break it down frame by frame:

    -You provide a vague yet somewhat intriguing title to get some hits for your article.


    -You reiterate the fact that everybody knows about the Oilers needing to add more size/grit to their elite talent.

    -Yay! Another picture after two sentences.

    -You provide a crapshoot of several players the Oilers COULD target with no real basis for your argument except pure speculation, some of whom are under contract beyond this year. Any clown on could make a list several players the Oilers MIGHT target and pull up their advanced stats.

    -Oh whaddya know, another random picture. Cat wearing glasses, cute. That ties in well

    – Two more uninspiring sentences of “But hey, who really nows what’s gonna happen…your guess is as good as mine”

    -And finally the obligatory “What does it all mean?” (the answer is nothing btw) semi-hot chick picture followed by the clever quip “Sail on, Ales”.

    Which one can only assume means that with the free-agents the Oilers COULD sign may mean Ales Hemsky is on his way out. Even though you didn’t allude to him once throughout your entire article or provide a solid reason for why signing one of these guys means that he will be moved.

    Sports journalism at it’s finest ladies and gentleman.