NEXT!

The Ladislav Smid exit kicks off ‘trading season’ in Edmonton, the annual sell-off of actual NHL players for picks and prospects. It has to be a bitter pill for the organization, but it’s important for them to make rational decisions and receive value for their veterans. Here’s a look at some players who may be headed out of Edmonton long before the deadline.

WHO’S AVAILABLE?

  1. R Ales Hemsky (19, 3-6-9 -12). The veteran winger is spending his 10th winter with the club, but most believe he’ll be sent away some time over the winter. The playoffs are not going to happen for the Oilers, and there’s a growing number of teams who are losing touch with the front of the pack in their respective divisions. Those teams–especially the ones with offensive problems–may see Hemsky as an attractive option. If Edmonton can keep some of the cap hit, that makes him even more attractive. Estimated value: 2014 1st or 2nd rd pick.
  2. D Nick Schultz (17, 0-1-1 -1). Stay-at-home veteran defenseman always have tremendous value at the deadline, and the appeal of Schultz is the expiring contract. Many Oiler fans were shocked by the Smid return, but long term deals for defensive defensemen reduces value (clubs don’t want their cap tied up that way). Schultz can slot right in and play at the NHL level, and that makes him a player of interest. Estimated value: 2014 3rd rd pick.
  3. F Ryan Jones (11, 2-1-3 +3).Having a nice season, Jones is a veteran who can jump in and contribute on more than one line, and his offense is a nice kicker. Estimated value: 2014 4th rd pick.
  4. Any of the goalies who play well. It’s open season for goalies in Edmonton. If one of Dubnyk or Bryzgalov plays well enough to attract a team’s interest (and the Oil don’t feel he’s in the future plans), they could be gone.

THE HEART OF THE ORDER

Craig MacTavish has been sending away some players some of us thought were part of the future (Smid most recently), so we’re getting a better view of how the new GM sees this team. We’re all going to have different names (I suspect) here and there, but the heart of the cluster from my point of view is this:

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. Jordan Eberle
  4. Nail Yakupov
  5. David Perron
  6. Sam Gagner
  7. Boyd Gordon
  8. Jeff Petry (RFA)
  9. Justin Schultz (RFA)
  10. Andrew Ference

That’s 10 players, three of whom (Perron, Gordon and Ference) were acquired by MacTavish as GM and two of whom (Yakupov, Justin Schultz) were procured by the organization with MacTavish in the fold.

ANYONE EMERGING THIS YEAR?

  1. D Anton Belov: He’s been a revelation.
  2. C Mark Arcobello: I think he’s shown enough to be considered a strong candidate for next year’s roster.
  3. L Jesse Joensuu: Looked good early, injuries have impacted his season.
  4. C Will Acton: Brings some interesting things, difficult to know how well he’s playing because of the enforcer nature of linemates
  5. L Luke Gazdic: Young and tough, he’s done well in the enforcer role.
  6. D Phil Larsen: Looked good in early exposure, jury is out as things roll along.
  7. D Taylor Fedun: As with Larsen, we’ll have to wait and see. Hit and miss.

BUBBLING UNDER

  1. D Darnell Nurse: He got a long look at training camp this season, and could make the club in 2014 fall.
  2. D Oscar Klefbom: 1st rd pick in 2011 will probably see action in the NHL this year.
  3. D Martin Marincin: In his second season in the AHL, working toward NHL employment
  4. R Tyler Pitlick: Looked good in an NHL cup of coffee.
  5. F Roman Horak: May see NHL time this season, is a better player than some current Oilers.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

 Rebuild. I hate that word.

  • Spydyr

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

    — Albert Einstein

    See the smartest man ever says “The braintrust” has to go. Who are we to argue with him?

  • Rdubb

    “I’m not confident that Tier One fans are attracted to winning so much as they’re prideful that they can afford Oiler tickets and jerseys and stickers on their trucks. I’m not convinced they’re going out to see their team win as much as they’re there to be seen. They may get a little bitchier at the continuing slide to the bottom (not much further kids, almost there!), but I don’t think they’re looking for the best hockey game in town.”

    I believe this comment 100%, and this is what is/will slow any “fan planned revolt” needed in order to get a message to Katzy that Kblowe must go, McT possibly back to coaching, and Eakins out the door!

    I’m afraid this is going to be a long long process. In the meantime, I suggest everyone find an alternative team to cheer, for now

    Will keep you posted on when you all can go back to being Oiler Fans

    BUMMER!!!!!

  • Chaz

    Supporting this team by buying tickets and merchandise is akin to enabling an addict. Time to send a message Oil Nation. The only thing Katz likes more than hanging with the Boys on the Bus is money. Affect his flow and changes will follow, it’s the only way! Besides who in their right mind would pay to watch this group right now?!?!?! Anything more than an average AHL ticket price would be too much!

  • Chaz

    If this is how Katz made his billions and was successful, then I give him credit.

    How can a billionaire be so successful at one thing, and so bad at another.

    I don’t think the Islanders were as dysfunctional at the height of their mess. My plan is to watch the rest of the year, as this is like driving and seeing roadkill on the right hand side of the ditch. You just gotta look, stop the car and take a picture. With Bryz coming, I may start watching Oil Change as it looks like this years contributions should be up for a day time Emmy. How many more years of that show they going to run.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      LOL !!! You Win The Internet Today!

      I wonder what security is like around the building?……Could this be accomplished?

      If it gets done be sure to take a picture….so it can be published!

  • Bryzarro World

    Any org that has multiple assistant coaches surviving multiple head coach firings is a complete freaking JOKE! FFS OILERS!!

    KATZ, YOU’RE TURNING THE TEAM I GREW UP WITH INTO A JOKE!! NOT ONE MORE PENNY OR MINUTE SPENT ON THIS SH!TSHOW UNTIL YOU CLEAR OUT THE STANK!

  • Spoils

    few things

    1. You don’t want to fault Dubnyk because he made some great saves… but what happened to a goalie playing well for 60min. He let in a couple softies and that was the difference.

    2. How do we stop our own zone turnovers? How do we learn not to treat the puck like a hot potato in our own end?

    3. It is tempting to think we can skate with the Hawks because it was a fun game that went into the 3rd tied 3-3, but when the Hawks played their possession game they were a much better team.

    4. I thought the line combinations looked better last night. Gordon on a fourth line and Arco on a third line feels like the move for now.

    5. Love Smyth but he is just a step or four too slow right now. Love Jones, but there has to be a better option that we could deal for.

  • Spydyr

    I have been watching a lot of game center games lately.

    I’ve noticed the good teams like the Pens, Sharks, and kings never stop moving its only when their in there own end they box out the opposition to the outside, even then their still moving ready to make a rush.

    There’s teams like the lighting where only one line will do this all the time(Stamkos line).

    When I watched the Detroit game the Oilers weren’t moving they fell into Detroit’s game, I seen like two minutes of this then changed the channel, I knew what was going to happen.

    Before the Oilers played against the lighting I knew if the oilers didn’t take out Stamkos and St.louis we are going to lose that game and we did.

    This is on the coaching Staff they all need to be changed, I’m sure that’s easier then a whole rebuild or trying to get vets that know this stuff already.

    Come on Mc.T hurt some feeling already.

  • Bryzarro World

    I’m in Detroit a few times a year. You people are seriously on crack or have never been there to say it is far better. LMFAO!! Want gated communities? We have them… Want a 1000 acre secluded ranch close to city? We have that too… Next excuse from the sheep?

  • Kevin R

    I don’t believe trading hemsky
    Would better the oilers in any
    Way, plus he Hemsky has been
    Here for ten years he deserves
    To be here when and I say when
    The oilers start to be contender
    Not pretender.