Oilers draft Nurse, cut three loose

The 2013 NHL Draft came and went. There was a lot of buildup and excitement but it turned out pretty tame.

The one big bomb dropped was the Cory Schneider trade to New Jersey for the ninth overall pick (more on that later).

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No Time To Panic

The Edmonton Oilers rookie general manager, Craig MacTavish, set the bar pretty high for making some moves for his team. He didn’t come out of the weekend with any active NHL roster players. There is lots of time for him to make some moves. Training camp doesn’t open for two months, no need to panic. I still feel very strongly he made a mistake stating in one of his press conferences that he wanted to make a "bold move".

The NHL is a very competitive market. All the teams are trying to get an advantage. When they hear that a GM is ready to wheel and deal, especially in a market as hungry for change as Edmonton is they are not going to do him any favors. It will be interesting to see what he will make happen over the next couple of months.

I was very impressed with the selection of Darnell Nurse with the seventh pick. This young defenseman out of the OHL is a very big man, 6’3, who will fill out a big frame as he gets older. He currently plays at 185lbs. I bet by the time he hits twenty one or two he is easily wheeling around the ice at 215lbs. Big defenseman that can skate and have an edge are very valuable.

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There should be no rush to push him into the NHL next season. I would be in favor of sending him back to junior next year. He will probably get a chance to play in the World Junior Championships at Christmas. He will mature through that experience and continue to mature physically.

There is no need to force this type of player into the Oiler line up next season. Learning to play defence in the NHL is not a great idea. He deserves the chance to develop at a fair pace instead of drowning in the NHL.

This young player has all the tools needed to play plus he has two excellent role models in his father, who played in the CFL and his uncle, Donovan McNab who played in the NFL. It is is real plus that he can bounce ideas off these two even though they may not be hockey experts! Drawing on their experiences as professional athletes will be huge during his career.

Nurse looks like he has all the ability and attitude that will be required to make it to the NHL as a regular. One big factors will determine how his story ends. Is he willing to put in the time and sacrifice? From what I have heard about him, this won’t be an issue. Moving on….

Yesterday the Oilers announced that Colten Teubert, Alex Plante and Theo Peckman have not been qualified. They are now unrestricted free agents. Never something that a young player wants to have happen to them. For these three, next season, wherever they play, their NHL careers are in the balance. That is a statement these guys also do not want to hear.

Ever year new players are drafted or signed. Each NHL team wants to improve. Often young prospects will get the benefit of the doubt on a couple of things. But there comes a point where you are no longer a prospect. Those excuses that were made for you when you were younger – slow feet, not intense enough, not well enough conditioned, bad shot, etc – are no longer acceptable. Teams want you to succeed because they drafter, signed or traded for you but you need to continue to progress as a player.

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That is the challenge for all young players. They must work on areas of weakness before they are moved aside by someone that has improved on their weaknesses. It is a race and quite honestly a race that never ends.

I played with two of these guys, Teubert came to the team after I had moved on. Both Theo and Alex are good guys but at the end of the day that isn’t enough. I really hope they both get on a team and get going so they can live their NHL dream.

Not Big But Fast

Yesterday the St Louis Blues put speedy but little d-man Kris Russell on waivers. I know I am always saying that the Oilers need to get bigger but I think they should put a claim in for Kris.

He is a player that brings a lot of speed and jump from a defence corps. MacT has said that he wants more puck moving defencemen in his lineup. Well, here one is and he is for free! Last year he made 1.3 million. Not a truck load. His deal is up so I would assume you could get him for somewhere around the same number on a deal for this season.

With Russell and Justin Schultz in your top six there would be quite a bit support on the rush for the young forwards. Those two would help to open up the game, especially on the rush for those guys. Russell has had twenty points a couple of times in his career. Not too bad.

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Last thought

All I can say is wow! What a nightmare going on in Vancouver. GM Mike Gillis trades away the goalie he wanted to keep and keeps the goalie, Luongo he wanted to trade!

I understand that this was the only way to resolve their goalie situation at this point. Something had to give and this was their out. I just do not see this arrangement working out for Luongo and the Canucks.

A new coach will help. John Torterella will have not past feelings built up on Luongo but the fans sure do! I predict the season will start out friendly and nice. Everyone loves to cheer for the underdog (even though Luongo is a very good goalie). However, what happens in early November when the Canucks hit a slump and the friendly fans at GM place in Vancouver start chanting Corey Schneider’s name?

Although I hope I am wrong, I think this will get ugly in Vancouver.

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  • Aitch

    Theo Peckham is exactly the type of defenseman ( five or six) that we are looking for in the UFA pool.

    He must have really pissed someone off to not get a legit second chance……..all because his bodyfat was above average?

    Mac T will regret this move as he will be signed……..and have a great career. Add him to the throw away pile that will only get larger and come back to haunt us!

    • Ducey

      Peckham isn’t even as good as Corey Potter or Fistric.

      His first pass is off the glass and he has no offense to speak of. He is not able to get back in his own corner and make quick reads and despite his size is more likely to get blown up than hammer someone else. His puck handling is poor and his physical presence usually comes from cross checking others in the back.

      He is tough, can handle the front of the net and PK duties, but that is not enough.

      I love the guy but if you think this is exactly the type of player the Oilers are looking for then you are not paying attention.

      • Tikkanese

        I disagree.

        Peckham is better than both Fistric and Potter. Peckham brought compete by the truck load and is a better skater and passer than you make him out to be.

        We’re stuck with Potter since he is signed though. Fistric, so far, wants to much $ to be resigned, he may get it elsewhere. I won’t shed a tear if that happens.

        He might not hit quite as well as Fistric but he is better at every other facet of the game than Fistric is. Especially at not putting himself out of position like Fistric does a lot.

        I don’t care what the “advance” stats say about Potter. His supposed offense may be better on paper but that is really about it. He’s very boring and is a below average d-man in every aspect. Brings zero compete.

      • Bonvie

        Really if you look back through the years does signing the big name free agent, ever result in pushing a team forward especially looking beyond the first two years of their contract. These buyout loopholes are the only thing that keeps these few big money teams from high rolling every summer. I heard one poster refer to it as whale hunting.

        it would be interesting to see a study on the last 10 or so years to see the impact of these big free agent signings especially after year two. Seems to me most end up in some sort of a buy out or burying the players in the minors.

        You know that whoever signs Clarckson for over 5 mil long term is going to have a contract that the player has difficulty living up to resulting in misery the rest of his playing career.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Want to see Torts go at it with Dan Murphy, go up one side of him and down the other. To heck with the on ice games, lets just get to the comedy that has become the Canucks.

    Give Torterella a month before we get to see the real him again…..this is gonna be GREEEAAAATTT!

    The Luongo thing will just be a bonus. Match stick, meet dynomite.

  • Aitch

    Gillis should have gotten more for Schneider by all accounts , but I doubt Canucks will fall any using Luongo and having a usable good talent in Horvath . They are still not falling apart .

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I’ve asked numerous times, but why doesn’t anyone write an article about our cap situation.

    Possibly how much money we have, how much money we will have when Horcoff and Hemsky are gone- and what we can look forward to spending it on.

    The comment section on an article about FA will be epic.

      • nuge2drai

        Oiler Domination To Follow

        I was thinking the article would consist of the “experts” playing GM.

        Letting us know who they would target with the 20+ million in cap space(Horcoff buyout, Hemsky trade, elc bonuses no longer count against the cap).

        Comments section to this article would solid before Fridays FA period.

        Awareness for Oilersnation that the Oilers are looking at 20+ million in cap space, may create fans accepting an overpaying strategy rather than doing nothing.

        Also would like to know if cap geek counts for the new rules with elcs.

        Free agency happens once a year, be nice to discuss amongst fans our options, and I think an article like the one mentioned above would get the conversations and armchair gms going. I know Jason would target “character” players.

  • Ducey

    Crunch time could come early if our Oilers continue losing ways by sticking to youth plan. They may have to reassess direction of rebuild thru draft and youth . So far it has not led to positive results, but escalating youth salaries are and will be escalating despite poor results. Our results are painting a different scenario when it comes to results ,and that quite frankly might continue .

    Case scenario : Might we be wise to take our valued youth to obtain top NHL talent plus : Example only : Hall for Weber and their first round pick that year because of Weber’s contract. Take all our youth and they are worth more than what we are paying them on open market , and they should get back more than just their current worth . I dare say within one year we would be contending for top spot if they decided to go this route . Is it ripe to use our youth to stock the on ice team is the question ? By results , maybe the entire youth rebuild was not such a good thing after all ? Time to stock the team , or continue this long path of stocking the cupboards . So far the cupboards are not getting positive results .

    Other teams are building by on ice product ,and have done so , and successfully for quite some time now , and still have youth in their dealings acquired by not having to remain a cellar dweller . Which way would you like to see us go – new direction or stick with the plan that up till now has kept us in the cellar of the league ?

    • Jason Strudwick

      Do you really think the Oilers could trade Taylor hall for Shea weber and their first round pick? Does this sound like a good idea for Nashville considering how much they have already paid him in bonus?

      • StHenriOilBomb

        Although I think it’s a valid question whether Nashville would trade Weber for Hall, even without the draft pick (doubtful), I question the reasoning.

        To hold on to Weber because of what he’s already been paid is using flawed reasoning. What’s paid is paid, and what matters is how much he is worth going forward. A good poker player never makes a bet because he/she has already invested in the pot. Every round is a new round, and all that matters is what the player is able to win in total compared with what has to be put in NOW.

        The fact that Nashville chose to match the offer sheet definitely shows how much they value Weber, but should not further influence their decision to keep him or to move him.

        The fact that he will have already received his two largest signing bonuses by the time he can be traded makes him a more valuable asset, and will be reflected in the return if he is traded.

        All that to say that I highly doubt he is moved without a couple of major players going back the other way – at least not until Ellis, Josi, and Jones reach their potentials.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        One has to admit. The 84 million remaining on that deal, could become more of a burden than the previous 28 mill, soon to be already paid.

        Lecavilier pulled down 10 mill per during each of his last 4 seasons, and look what happened there. Trade vs buyout, not much of a decision to be made there. With the new great hope in Seth Jones, along with Josi, i’m sure it’ll start crossing that ownership groups mind. Perhaps sooner, rather than later. Imagine the possibilities with a Yakupov, Smid and an additional first rounder next season, taking into consideration what is already in place there.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Realize first it’s only an example , and yes I would keep Hall as a center stone in almost all instances and that’s the reasoning for what I”d require minimally to move him at this stage . Would Nashville accept it ? With Hall contract being so reasonable into comparison to Webers I think they might jump at Halls apparent upside and dole over a first . Offensive talent of his magnitude projected is rare and more difficult to obtain than a top notch defenseman in most minds i’d presume . Not saying they would , but I wouldn’t bank they wouldn’t either . Even in my summations , i’d like to keep 2 of youth , preferably Hall being one of them . Article was to show how a different direction might prove more fruitfull than present direction .

        In a nutshell :I believe they are worth more with what we are paying them , and on an open market would probably fetch us their star status players plus because of it . Hope you catch the jist of what i’m referring to . Whether you agree or not is perhaps another story . You can change the name from Hall to the others and you might find the same scenario happening . Not out to offend any of them , just trying to show how much an asset they could be if we choose a different direction . Building more for the present , rather than an imbalance into the future that we presently have .

    • Ducey

      We’ve been at the “actual” rebuild for 3 whole years?! Trading Hall now is an asinine idea. It’s called patience. They do however need to make the playoffs this year..pending what MacT can do.. it is feasible for them to do just that. I would say making playoffs with even a 1st round loss would be massive progress.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i doubt Peckham will have a “great” career, but could still have a good one if someone picks him up. i certainly won’t miss him or Plante or Teubert. time to cut the losses and move on with the next group of young d-men.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Clarkson is looking for 7 years x $6 million per (Yikes)


      Knowing what we do now, changes being quite difficult to make. I think the Oilers should, offer up some sortof enticement to bring someone in here. With what’s going on here already, nothing wrong with plundering a player like Clarkson for 5.75 over 5 yrs. There’s always one desperate team every summer, why can’t it be the Oilers this summer with the cap room they have. We need another difference maker, no doubt.

      Have to admit, i’d do this in a heartbeat with 83 and 10 being pressed out of the picture here.

      • Bonvie

        Were you in favor of giving Bill Guerin 45 million over 5 years too? Overpaying that badly is never a good move. Witness the buyouts happening right now. It’s not monopoly money they are buying those guys out with.

  • StHenriOilBomb

    It looks like Pittsburgh did a very smart thing and re-signed Pascal Dupuis. I was hoping he’d be available for the Oil. I saw him as a very good upgrade on Ryan Jones.

  • Tikkanese

    There was nothing wrong with Peckham from a physical perspective.

    This was our mgmt trying to send a message, in the process Souraying another asset, and the fans and the player paying the price.

    I wonder the message that is sent to guys like Horton who think that if they came to Edmonton they would be forced to tow the company line and shut the f up and you’ll be spared the wrath type of atmosphere that this can portray?

    Oh, and hey, we’re gonna be bold.

  • Tikkanese

    I like the pick of Darnell Nurse, you can’t find potential #1 Dmen in the league unless you draft them.

    Edmonton has been drafting #1 and getting somewhat the same player. They take BPA. When you are in a lower position you get more of a chance to pick position. It would have been nice to pick a player like Sean Couturier but you can’t pick him with your #1 pick.

    I think Oilers will be able to find their rugged 2way center in the draft in the next couple of years.