FIRE UP THE MACBLENDER

It was five years ago that I posted an article about the MacBlender. People were outraged that Craig MacTavish would change his lines up frequently, of course 95% of NHL coaches do this, but people needed someone to blame so MacTavish was the guy.

Fast forward five years, and I think it is time for the GM to fire up the MacBlender again.

This time the blender will be set on the Trade setting.

The Oilers need a shake up.

You can try different line combinations, bring guys up from the minors, but it won’t mask the issues.

The first order of business has to be bringing in another goalie. I’m not sure MacTavish can wait much longer, hoping that Devan Dubnyk will find some consistency. MacT needs to bring in someone to challenge Dubnyk or even move him to the backup position.

The Oilers outplayed the Lightning last night. The Bolts turned the puck over way more than the Oilers, but Ben Bishop covered up their mistakes. Right now, the Oilers don’t have that luxury.

OPTIONS…

Most teams won’t just hand you their backup, unless they have a solid #3 waiting in the wings.

Anaheim has lots of depth in goal, but I don’t see them making a move right away.

Jonas Hiller, 31 years old, will be a UFA at the end of the season. He has a $4.5 million cap hit, so the Oilers would need to send some money to Anaheim to acquire him. He is their starter so it is unlikely he’s the one the Ducks would move.

Viktor Fasth is on injured reserve. He is 31 years old and has one year left at $2.9 million. He’s only played 28 games, and after a ridiculous start his numbers have come back to reality.

Frederik Andersen, 24 years old. He’s won all four of his NHL starts and has a sparkling 0.952 SV% and a 1.36 GAA.

John Gibson, 20 years old in his first pro season. He’s had 9 starts in the AHL with a 0.951 SV% and a 1.61 GAA. The Ducks aren’t trading him.

The Ducks would most likely be willing to part with Fasth, but they can’t trade him until he is healthy, so I don’t see a Ducks/Oilers trade happening right away.

BLUES…

The Blues have Jaro Halak and Brian Elliott, with Jake Allen playing in the minors. The Blues could move Elliott, but they aren’t in any rush. The Blues expect to make a long run in the playoffs, and I doubt they would weaken their goaltending depth right now. Unless the Oilers were willing to overpay for Elliott, I don’t see a trade brewing.

LEAFS…

Many expect James Reimer to be dealt, but the Leafs are in no rush to move him. They know Edmonton is desperate, so their asking price is very high. They could move Reimer and bring up Drew MacIntrye, 2.11 GAA and 0.912 SV% in AHL, but the Oilers would need to overpay.

It is a fair argument to suggest the Oilers should overpay, because until they get consistent goaltending they aren’t going to win. Maybe MacTavish feels the same and would be willing to "lose" a trade, to better his team.

OTHER….

The Oilers could sign Ilya Bryzgalov to a pro-rated one-year deal. He is big on family and his son plays hockey and his daughter is a figure skater. There would be lots of opportunities for his kids to enhance those skills during the Edmonton winter. Bryzgalov wouldn’t cost you any players, and he has a much better track record than Jason LaBarbera.

I understand there would be much trepidation in signing him, but the Oilers might have no better option.

Do you see another option, a realistic one, for MacTavish to pursue?

WRAP UP….

We know that MacTavish, Kevin Lowe and many of the Oilers scouts are on the road scouting opposing players and goaltenders, and they have had conversations with opposing general managers.

Is a trade coming? I believe it has to.

The players will never come out and say it, but their confidence in Dubnyk is diminishing. I know he isn’t the only issue on the team, but it is easier to hide an inconsistent winger or defenceman. When your goalie is struggling it is easy to see, and even more difficult to overcome.

I believe it is time to fire up the MacBlender.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

  • Citizen David

    Oilers fans have collectively lost their minds. The amount of support here for Bryzgalov is ridiculous.

    If the Flyers want Eberle I would do it but I’d make them pay through their teeth. I’d want Couturier and B. Schenn plus we’d have to make it work cap wise. Which would have to bring more players into the trade.

  • Ducey

    How in the world is Bryzgalov a good option??

    He had a .900 save % last year. He got cut from an ECHL team in October! The guy is done.

    An easier solution to the fact that both of your goalies (who have historically been pretty good) suck? Turf the goalie coach. Maybe a new guy gets them back on track.

  • Citizen David

    Sign Brizzy, wont cost a player or prospect. Sure he is an oddball but this team needs one of those. Also Gregor if you ever get K-Lowe on your show, can you let him know how much the fan base despises him. I don’t think he up to date with social media. Thanks.

    He Who Knows It All

    • Stack Pad Save

      He who knows …. knows what. Bryzgalov is not an option period. He can’t even play in the ECHL … that is 2 tiers below the NHL… that is how far that guy has fallen. Please put some effort and find a legitimate option somewhere in or at least NEAR the NHL level.

  • Stack Pad Save

    Something’s gotta give in Phili; they’re struggling worse than us.
    Giroux – 0 goals. Couturier – 0 goals. Streit – 0 goals. Simmonds – 1 goal.
    Their offensive numbers are horrendous.

  • XL Lebowski

    They need a replacement for DD now. It’s evident when they outshoot teams like Tampa and come out on the short end. And who’s been in charge of stock piling the cupboard? Where are the young goalies in our system? Dubnyk’s career can be traced back to the time when they didn’t have an AHL club. Remember that? Remember DesLaurier sitting on the bench of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Montreal letting their young goalies develop? That was really helping our goalies and our players wasn’t it? Who’s responsible for that?

  • Stack Pad Save

    For what it’s worth:

    @DarrenDreger: In the eyes of Oilers managment, Eberle will be an Oiler forever. Forever is a long time, but, he’s not a trade target.

    • D'oh-ilers

      He’d be a great addition, however, he’s an UFA at the end of the year. He’s got great value, and come the trade deadline a playoff bound team will gladly overpay to rent him. Buffalo knows it and his pricetag will be set very high. Unless the Oil are offering up a package of high picks & prospects, they aren’t getting him.

  • Citizen David

    Giroux is goalless in his last 21 games. 15GP, 0G, 7A, 7P, -11 this season. Going to be making 8.275 a year after this year. He’s what we have with Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak, Hemsky, Gagner.

  • pkam

    Unfortunately, those teams with extra goalies are all high in the standings right now. They can afford to be patient. An Oiler kid or a 2014 or 2015 1st round pick. I would not want to give up any of those in a bad deal.

    Bryzie is the route I would take given the current situation. But assuming the Oil do sign Simpson, that’d take them to 50 contracts.

    • Alsker

      The contract issue is a problem, unless Grebs retires and gets a nice retirement gift and goes back to europe. If you cant make our lineup who would want you?

  • Reg Dunlop

    If #99 can be dealt, anyone can. Can you imagine the social media activity, if it existed, around the oil circa 1988? Would have been insane. But this Philly crap is nothing more than speculation. Mac is as paralytic as Stumblinni was. Dream on about a big trade, no way it happens. They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard, to Isengard, but we are stuck with these particular hobbits.

  • pkam

    Giroux also has a cap hit of $8.275 million per season until 2021/22. There is no way that I’m moving a $6 million cap hit for an $8.275 if I’m moving one forward for another.

    Sure, Giroux has been a point per game on a regular basis and will rebound this season, but Eberle who was almost a PPG in 2011/2012 and .76 PPG so far this season.

    If I’m trading Eberle it has to be an area of need. Grit, defense, or goaltending…prefer all three.

  • Truth

    Funny how things change. At the end of the 2011/2012 season there was a serious buzz about Giroux. He was grouped with Crosby, Stamkos, and Malkin. Now, his $8.275M cap hit is being considered as a burden. I take the Giroux of 11/12 at that cap hit (in an ever increasing cap) all day long. Can he return to form is the question.

  • pkam

    A shoe is bound to drop sooner than later. With players returning from injury, we all of a sudden have a bit of a logjam up front and especially on the blue line.

    At this point, any trade for a goaltender would have to address the question of who will mind the net for us next season. Upgrading the goaltending is no guarantee that we make up the ground that we’ve already lost in the playoff race so if we are going to lose a trade, hopefully it makes us better for the foreseeable future.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I’d do that trade. It would sting losing Ebs but we’d be eliminating a redundancy and gaining much needed grit.

      I would see if tossing in Gags could get Brayden Schenn in that deal too, Schenn would be a perfect 3rd liner for us imo.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    @ Jason Gregor – We all agree that the team is poorly constructed, but why is the coaching staff getting a free pass on the struggles this season? Everyone piled on Krueger last season when the team started to fall apart at the start of the stretch run last year, BUT they were at least in the playoff hunt at that point. This season, they will be out of it by the end of November with what everyone agreed is a better roster.

    There are a number of coaching related issues on this team. The special teams are a disaster this season (PK can be explained by losing key pieces from last year, but the PP has the same or even better cast than last year), d-zone coverage is non-existent and even when the team is playing the “system” the overcommit can be manipulated by passing to leave the slot open (see Detroit game), and the players do not seem to be playing with any fire/passion (or maybe they do not believe in what Eakins is preaching?).

    A good coaching staff will adapt its scheme to the roster it is dealt. Thus far, we have not seen anything in Edmonton to indicated that the current one is capable of doing this. At what point do they pay the price for it?

    • Dan 1919

      Here’s tomorrow’s headline, “Oilers Get New Head Coach.” Fast forward one month from now, does the 9th coach in the three years change anything… It won’t, it’s this team’s makeup why they are so bad.

      It is realistic to say the Oil would have 4-5 more wins and be around 9th place right now if they had average goaltending.

      They need to quit firing coaches and fire defencemen and goalies. To Mac-T’s credit he was trying to sign Shneider in the offseason, and they weren’t counting on Dubnyk but they also weren’t expecting him to be this terrible. I thought Labarbra was a bad signing when it happened. T

      • pkam

        I was not thrilled by the signing of Labarbera. But to be fair to the management, Labarbera’s stat in the past 5 years was pretty good. I don’t watch him a lot but I remember he was great against us.

        One thing we should learn by now, don’t take any goalie coming from Coyotes, but take their goalie coach instead.

  • A-Mc

    I didn’t really have much exposure to Bryzgalov so can someone please fill me in:

    He has gone through periods of being a flake and playing horribly, but is he capable of stealing a game for you even on rare occasion?

    There was something there that sparked the contract he had gotten from the flyers, so if there is any chance you can get him in for DIRT CHEAP, then i think it’s a better option than Labarbara for sure. You already know that labarbara isn’t getting any better… so why not take the chance on bryz?

    The worst that can happen is that the Oilers continue to lose..

  • A-Mc

    Oh my god. Can we please, please, stop bringing up Bryzgalov?

    Watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ns14hRqwY8

    And combine that with all the other drama around this clown and do you really, really want that guy on our team right now? Seriously? Do you think he’s really changed his mind? He’ll come here because he wants an NHL contract but if he’s just gonna be another player looking to cash in on a short term deal to earn another one with another team, I’ll take a pass. A big pouty baby who can’t take the heat of the local press or the cold of our weather is the absolute last thing this team and organization needs.

    I’m almost disappointed in you for bringing it up, Gregor.

  • Serious Gord

    The playoffs are out of the question.

    Thus there is NO – ZERO – need to make trades anytime soon. MacT is being reckless to look for trades now unless it would be massively lopsided in favour of the Oil.

    He should be communicating his lack of urgency publically rather than let the rumor mongers have an open field.

  • Dan 1919

    Not finished yet Bryz in Smid out for 2 to OKL Expect Ebs to go & resign Hemsky . That would never surprise me , Is Ebs & LOWER PRICED “d”(Larsen) worth Giroux +3RD RD PICK