THE GRETZKY STREET BULLIES?

Back in the olden days, hockey had Philadelphia’s "Broad Street Bullies" and the "Big, Bad Bruins" from Boston. Those days are gone, but the Edmonton Oilers clearly have plans to add some size and ruggedness to their lineup. Recent acquistion Kale Kessy and the signing of Travis Ewanyk are going to give the OKC Barons a different look next season. And what happens in Oklahoma eventuallly makes its way to Edmonton.

With the signing of Kale Kessy, Edmonton’s 50 man list for 2013-14 is now at 31. Fully half of the contracts are of the NHL variety, but the ones destined for OKC give next year’s team a different look. One thing we can say with confidence: the Barons are going to be hammering people this fall.

As it stands now–without the additions of rfa’s and the subtraction of trades and buyouts–the Barons 2013-14 roster should feature the following:

  • G: Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz
  • D: Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil
  • C: Anton Lander, Ryan Martindale, Travis Ewanyk
  • L: Toni Rajala, Kristians Pelss, Curtis Hamilton, Kale Kessy
  • R: Tyler Pitlick, Cameron Abney

The three forwards who can impact the game as enforcers, agitators or just hit people (Abney, Kessy and Ewanyk) are joined by a pretty tough customer in Kristians Pelss. That’s a lot of added truculence for coach Todd Nelson next year. Tyler Pitlick can also run over people.

On the blue, David Musil and Brandson Davidson won’t back down and there’s plenty of beef and lumber on the rfa list: 

  • G: Niko Hovinen
  • D: Colten Teubert, Taylor Fedun, Alex Plante
  • C: Mark Arcobello
  • L: Phil Cornet
  • R: Antti Tyrvainen

I’m not certain the Oilers bring back Teubert and Plante, but both of them are capable of playing a physical style.

There are several drafted players who could turn pro, among them a couple of tough guys:

  • D Martin Gernat–My understanding is that the Oilers have to sign him or he re-enters the draft.
  • D Kyle Bigos–He has finished his senior year, Edmonton has to make a decision on him. 6.05, 230
  • F Kellen Jones–He has one year left and may stay in.
  • G Frans Tuohimaa–He had a pretty good season, .912SP in 12 SML games.
  • G Samu Perhonen–Has fallen off the pace, Oilers hunch did not pay off based on this year’s results.
  • F John McCarron–Big body and Oilers are adding from that aisle, has 2 years left but could come out early. 
  • D Joey Laleggia–Has 2 more years as well of NCAA options, would seem likely he’ll stay in college.
  • D Erik Gustafsson–Took a big step forward in the Allsvenskan this season, could come over.

Of course, Mitchell Moroz is also in the pipeline and the Oilers will no doubt be looking for trades, free agents and draft eligibles to increase the number of men of this player-type in the system.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Call them enforcers, agitators, fighters, coke machines, mountain men, or monsters. Whatever you want to call them, they’re on the way. In the last few weeks, Steve Tambellini has added Mike Brown to the big league roster and Kale Kessy to the prospect base.

How many of these kids can score enough to stay in the lineup and avoid costly, career limiting penalties? That’s why they play the games, to find the answer.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Oilers need someone

    who’s willing to throw the fists

    other than Mike Brown*

    EDIT: I meant “in addition to” but couldn’t fit it into the 5-7-5 format.
    * I LIKE the job Brown does 🙂

  • 719

    Thanks Lowetide, your article on the futures of this team are some of the most enjoyable on the site.

    Oilers hopefully see the errors of their ways with Hovinen and don’t re-sign him. Gernat needs to be signed soon.

  • StHenriOilBomb

    This to me, is one of the more interesting phases of the rebuild. The prospects and roster players are on a collision course and it will be interesting to see how the organization moves the two components simultaneously.

    This is going to be all about the brain trust now as they keep the cupboard stocked, move assets to complete the lineup and take care of the contracts of the current 50.

    Tough gig.

  • Zack

    Aside from a few players listed, I don’t really see too many high end prospects in that group (mostly 3rd/4rth line potential). Klefbom and maybe Musil too could turn into something useful but do you think with that core LT that the barons can compete next year? It’s too bad we couldn’t see Juhjar sp* in a Barons jersey next year, out of all our “coke machines” I think he’s the one who has the potential to make the biggest impact (whatever that may be).

    As of this morning the Oilers sit 12th overall in the draft. I’m rooting for them to make playoffs but if they slide into top ten most players selected in that range could easily bolster any position.

    • Lowetide

      I think they’ll sign Arcobello, and Rajala/Cornet have shown they can score at this level. However, that isn’t enough–maybe they sign Cheechoo too?–and with so many physical first players scoring is going to be an issue.

  • Spydyr

    Every team wants one. They are hard to come by. Big, tough , skilled players .Who have hands good enough to score and tough enough to fight.

    The Oilers need one, two would be nice. You have to turn over lots of rocks to find that right one. They are turning over rocks.

    The skill part of the team is pretty well covered. The core is in place outside a top two defencemen and that missing player mentioned above. Perhaps a young goalie to push Dubbie.

    Time to build the grinders , muckers and hard hitters. You know ,the guys that make a difference in the playoffs.

    The team has been too easy to play against for 7 years now. Time to change that.

  • Zack

    All of the above players are irrelevant. None are locks to be 1/2 line players in the next season or the one after that.

    KL&T are fiddling around the fringes of NHL capable physical players. They HAVE to deal roster Talent and prospects to get 1-2 line physical players.

    But they are cowardly in this regard and blog discussions about these irrelevancies only provides them cover.

    • Hair bag

      Ok who do you suggest they trade for and who do they give up for that player smart guy? Every team wants one of these guys and only half a dozen teams actually have them. No teams are going to give them up, no matter what you offer them. It is such a unique skill set to be able to have size, be able to score, hit, intimidate, and fight. The amount of guys in the league that can do all this is probably close to the same number of superstars or not far off. I get sick of reading comments like yours that berate management (“…they are cowardly…) for not making this happen – do you not think they know what they are missing and are trying to solve the problem!?! I am indifferent to Lowe and Tambellini, there has been some good and some bad moves but they, IMO, have 1-2 more years to show significant progress….enough of the personal attacks.

      • DSF

        This is not true.

        If you look at the post above you’ll see Vancouver has acquired FOUR big guys who can also play hockey in the past two years.

        They can be acquired through trade and free agent signings every year.

        • Alsker

          Aaagh, I have to agree with DSF. How many times have we commented on what the Oil havent done rather than what they have. This trade deadline, Raffi Torres fills a need(aggressive,mean streak,tough and can play), also all the talk of Ott being available from Buf. Who cares if you must give up something to get something, whats the point of professional sport, oh ya, to WIN!! This mgt. team drafted their core and now must fill in the blanks(thats their job) and prove they know what they’re doing.

        • Supernova

          DSF

          The guys you listed are 3 players that play on the 4th line, 2 are claimed on waivers.

          One has potential to be a top 6.

          If this is our goal, I am sure Klowe and Tambo can achieve this with the current selections given time.

          Aside from Kassian, what are their ages?

          The goal is to get a step above these players, maybe a Hodgson for Kassian trade will occur but the rest of the roster also has to mature.

          • DSF

            Your bigs guys don’t have to play in the top 6 to be effective….look at LA.

            How much “time” do the dynamic duo need before addressing an obvious issue?

            Drafting those players, hoping they develop and waiting 3-5 years is just dumb.

            They are available all the time.

          • So, DSF, you are saying that LA does not have effective big guys in its top 6? ROTLFMAO

            As much as I agree that Tambi and Lowe have mismanaged the team horribly the past few years, doing nothing this year is not a killer IMHO. The team has too many flaws to suggest that adding some bigger 3rd and 4th line players at the deadline would have suddenly turned things around this year.

          • DSF

            That’s not at all what I said.

            Yes LA does have some big players in their top 6 and it helps.

            And I really don’t think adding size in the bottom 6 would have “suddenly turned things around” this year but as you can see from my post that my point was drafting size and waiting for it to mature is a questionable strategy when it is available through trades and the draft.

            Would it surprise you to learn that despite LA’s stellar drafting record that half of LA’s top 6 was acquired through trade?

            And acquired by a GM who is not afraid to trade assets to get what his team needs?

          • The Soup Fascist

            I am well aware of where LA’s top six came from. Just needling you on the bottom six size comment while mentioning nothing about their top six.

            My point is that the Oilers are still two years away (if not longer) from being at the stage LA was when Lombardi started dealing in earnest. They need to 1) shore up the defense with at least three solid NHL d-men to go with Petry, Smid and J. Schultz; 2) they have to reduce the number of bad/untradeable (e.g. Smyth, Belanger) contracts they are carrying, some of which will expire this offseason; 3) develop a stable of prospects in OKC that are attractive to the other teams; and most importantly 4) bring in a new GM to do the deals and take the team to the next level.

            Seeing as the team is still a year or two away from being at the point where adding size will matter, why rush to add plugs like Kassian, Wiese, et al that are readily available? I would rahter have the team give the recently drafted players a year or two to show their stuff or at least develop enough to be useful trading chips. Right now it looks like only two have a shot – Hartikainen (third liner most likely) and Pitlick (fourth, maybe third line option IF he can stay healthy). I would not give up on Martindale yet as big centers can take time to develop, but Hamilton is exactly what I said he would be a couple of years ago – too slow to play in the NHL.

          • The Soup Fascist

            The jury is still out whether Kassian has the hockey IQ required to be more than a bottom 6 player. From what I have seen so far, the odds are against him. I know the Nucks fans are hoping for the second coming of Bertuzzi here, but Bertuzzi showed much more potential from day one in the show than Kassian likely ever will.

            How many Vancouver fans would prefer to have Hodgson for depth scoring this year instead of Kassian? Instead, they have to take on Derek Roy for the rest of the season to try to fill that roll (wow – 1 assist in 2 games). Looking at the current stats, Hodgson has more goals this year than the two of them combined, and is only 2 behind both of their totals. To be fair to Roy, he has not been the same player since his quad injury a couple of years ago.

            Gills is another GM that has done nothing to improve his team over the past couple of seasons. Makes the Oilers look even worse for picking up the loser in that GM competition…….

          • Supernova

            Ryan 2,

            I agree with you. It could still work out but at this point Buffalo makes that trade 10 for 10.

            Vancouver had to give up more assets this year to replace what Hodgson could have done.

      • Old Soldier

        What you fail to mention is that someone had to draft these big guys we covet so much.

        There seems to be this thinking that you have to be one or the other……..hell I would take a Brown, Clutterbuck, or a Darcy Tucker type any day. You do not have to be a coke machine, just be a natural junk yard dog!

        • Hair bag

          I agree take size out of it and keep the fight in the dog. However we hear on this blog all the time about Trading for a guy like Lucic – my point is that there are very few players with all the characteristics that Lucic has and teams like Boston aren’t trading them away no matter what you offer them – they need to be drafted or sighted as a UFA. The drafting part is difficult because most of these big bruisers don’t have the refined skill when they are playing junior or they are a skill guy without a mean streak – it’s mostly speculation from the scouts and you just hope they are correct and the player lives up to the potential.

          • Wax Man Riley

            There are players each and every draft that are described by all the experts to the the ” power forward”. An example of this would be last years draft……Henrik Samuelsson.

            We wanted this guy, but failed to get him and ended up selecting Mitch Moroz way ahead of his draft status. It’s managements responsibility to find the players…….they are out there but since Tamby’s arrival we have always taken BPA, which in my mind is as hit and miss as buying lottery tickets.

            This may work in the top ten, and even then this strategy depends upon some scouts analysis……..which is often wrong.

            I think most people can assume that smaller faster players usually put up more points than their larger counter parts ( except guys named Mario, Jager, Malkin) and as a result get drafted due to the total points they put up. This does not always translate to the NHL so IMHO the secound round draft picks are as important as gold. We had assets we could have used to secure more picks and management did nothing.

            I beleive this strategy will cost us at this years draft .

      • DSF

        Wow, u are going to give management 1 to 2 more years to show improvement. Tell me one significant move that mangement has done in the top nine. Hall, Eberle, Yak, MSP Gagner have all been drafted in the last five/six years. They tried to trade hemsky and couldn’t even get a number one draft pick for him last year. Now they’re paying five million dollars for hemsky who’s been hurt and on pace for under 20 goals and fifty points in a 82 game season. Horkoffs contract is Lowes doing but he serves a purpose just a little overpaid. Ryan smyth is a borderline fourth line player. Lots of skill in our top six but who’s tough to play against? Who bangs? And five years into the rebuild we are realizing we need clowe/ Horton/ Stewart type players. So if we draft these type players now we have to wait five years to develop. Every analysts says trades for top nine players are very tough unless u give up skilled value. In my mind management has been patient, made excuses and done nothing. If Columbus beats us in the final standing, the final straw and we clean house up top but it won’t happen.

        • DSF

          Here Here.

          Hemsky should of been dealt for Forsberg if it was possible. Whitney should of gotten a second or third at. least concidering what long in the tooth deman like Rhegier and Murray went for. Who cares if Whitney puts up points, hes a disaster in his own end and should of been sent away. Jones for a pick, Teemu’s ready.

          Management in Edmonton is just bad.

        • DSF

          Chet, you are absolutely correct in what you say!.
          The circus upstairs has to leave town, and the biggest clown there is the ring leader, Mr Lowe!

          But, you know he isn’t going anywhere soon, not as long as Katz has that old jock strap with a
          #4 hanging over his bed.

        • acg5151

          Horcoff is overpaid because when you’re going through a rebuild, you

          A) have to get to the cap floor
          B) have to keep people who will be important down the road.

          Guess what? It’s hard to keep people when your team is going to be the worst in the NHL for a few years. Want someone who can be a leader for your young core? Guess what – you’re going to have to pay that third line center what he’s worth to you.

          As for the top six, the oilers just need a good power forward left wing style player for the second line. Hall, Gagner, Yak, Eberle, RNH should be kept. Keep Paajarvi on the thidprd line to provide depth and get some fourth liners not named Petrell. A guy like ryane Clowe would have been perfect for the Oilers. Raffi Torres would have been a good pickup. The Oilers could have afforded these assets. Maybe Clowe wasn’t worth it, but Torres was definitely worth a third round pick.

  • MattyFranchise

    I agree with the type of player that dithers has been trying to acquire here but I think he needs to up the skill level a little bit. I like the idea of more grit in the lineup but if they aren’t good at keeping their heads above water or the PK or something then it’s just wasted roster space.

    The skill portion of the roster is pretty much set, now the oil just needs some bottom six guys that aren’t going to get murdered every night on the scoreboard while they are trying to crush people.

    And of course, a couple more defensemen that aren’t injury machines that can play would help a lot too.

    • Lowetide

      Oilers have been consistent over the years in drafting skill forwards with their first selection.

      So far, they’ve avoided drafting a big forward in the first round during the MacGregor drafting era.

      I think we see that this season.

      • @DSF

        Here’s to another decade of “Well he’s got the size… I guess we can teach him how to play hockey over the next 3 years.”

        That will probably be a less successful drafting technique than that of Maggie the Monkey.

        I REALLY wish they would just let other teams do the guessing and reaching and then trade for those guys when it is a little less of a gamble.

        I guess what I am saying is that 6 singles, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts are worth more than 1 home run and 9 strikeouts.

        • Lowetide

          The funny thing about that is the Oilers often draft, develop and the release these players. Brad Winchester played 300 games in the NHL after the Oilers set him free to “get a second opinion.”

          And Colin McDonald now appears to be catching on with the Islanders.

          • Alsker

            But not just our tradition, Semenko,McClelland,Brown,McIntyre, etc. were all other teams draftpicks. It almost seems like they need a change of scenery to prove themselves or maybe just a new look at things from both player and management.

          • Eddie Shore

            Which is why i’m not sure you necessarily have to trade for this type of player. Nathan Horton, Ryan Clowe, David Clarkson, Guillame Latendresse, Alexei Ponikorovsky, Raffi Torres, Ryan Jones, Colby Armstrong, Max Lapierre, Viktor Stalberg are all UFA’s that have size and at least some skill. There will also be RFA’s and compliance buyouts that will be available. If Tambellini cannot add some size this summer then he should be shown the door. This summer should be make/break for him.

          • Wax Man Riley

            As we all know, this franchise is steeped in tradition.

            -Once an Oiler, always an Oiler.

            -Hire only ex-Oilers in the front office.

            -Draft big coke machines that can’t play.

            -Draft small, skilled forwards

            -Finish out of the playoffs or last every year.

            Check on all accounts.

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

        So LT, I know the answer to this question all depends on Draft position, but all other things being eqaul, you see the Oilers taking a larger/rougher skilled winger over a middle size skilled center?

        The example would be, you see them taking an Anthony Mantha 6’4″, or an Adam Erne 6’1″, or a Kerby Rychel 6’1″, over a 5’11” center Curtis Lazar. (all of these guys are currently ranked between 14 and 23)?

    • DSF

      Agree completely.

      Interesting that both the Oilers and Vancouver appear to be on a mission to add size and tenacity but are taking very different approaches.

      Canucks acquired Zack Kassian in a trade for Cody Hodgson but have also been adding size in other ways and, almost without exception they are players who had success in junior.

      Zack Kassian – 6’3″ 216 – Windsor Spitfires – 56GP 26G 51A 77P

      Dale Weise – 6’2′ 210 – Swift Current Broncos – 53GP 29G 22A 51P

      Max Lapierre – 6’2″ 210- PEI Rocket – 69GP – 25G 27A 52P

      Tom Sestito – 6’5′ 230 – Plymouth Whalers – 60GP – 42G 22A 64P

      In every case, these players were able to score in junior.

      I’m not sure a strategy of specifically drafting for size will be successful if the players involved were not able to produce offence in junior.

      • Hair bag

        I have no problem with any of the guys above, I would take any of them on my team BUT none of them is top six guy like a Lucic, Horton, Stewart or Iginla of old…. (The verdict is still out on Kassian – he could be potentially).

        If the Oilers could add two of the above type for their 3 and 4 th lines it would go a long way….but again trying to find these guys who can also score and play in your top 6 is extremely difficult.

  • Spydyr

    The toughness factor seems to be “trending up”, as they say………..I hope that Kale Kessy is a good substitute for Tobias Reider. Tobias looked real good on a really bad team at the world juniors.

    Keeping the team relatively the same after the trade deadline has put us in a situation where we can draft in the top ten. Perhaps we can take a crack at Curtis Lazar ( going around 15 or so) Max Domi or trade up and try for a home run with Sean Monahan?

    There is also Jugir Kharia who after next year should merit some attention.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Kessy will play as many or more games in the NHL than Reider. The odds are stacked against both to be honest. One is a small skilled guy, whose numbers have regressed. The other is a large tough guy with flashes of skill, still playing Junior at 20. Difference is Kessy IMO has more of what the Oil are missing. Not sure why there is so much hue and cry over this deal.

      Much ado about nothing.

  • DSF

    I was catching up on some Matty this morning and there was an outright statement about the Oilers being interested (they’d be stupid not to be) in Barkov. He seems to be dipping a bit in the polls (6th at ISS), I wonder if there’s an opportunity for us to move up and flip our first and some of our D prospects to get him. He’s a big kid who shoots left so maybe he could slide over to 2LW down the road.

  • DSF

    I think they should re-sign Fedun & Teubert! Marincin & Davidson are already there under contract, that’s a nice base for OKC! Klefbom & Musil are signed & on the way, that’s six! I would definately sign both Bigos & Gustafsson (very solid defender in Swedish hockey & plays with truculence :-)), that’s 8! Bigos takes Plante’s spot easily & is bigger & meaner! They probably will add one more minor league defender to have the proper numbers for OKC & Stockton!

  • DSF

    I forgot to add I think the Oilers will also sign Gernat but he will play junior as an overager because of last years injury problems, good for him, Oilers & Oil Kings!

  • PlayDirty

    Yesterday me and my 8 year old watched disc #1 of the 10 greatest Oilers games ever – Gretzky’s 50 in 39 vs. the Flyers. He musta told me 20 times; “Wow Dad, those guys are waaaay tougher then they are today!”

    Aaaah….. The good old days. They musta got clipped with a high stick every second shift. No snappin their heads back and goin down like they’d been shot. No lookin around for the ref every time an elbow grazed their face. It’s too bad the next generation was raised to be such a bunch of pu… pansies. Somewhere, we lost our pride.

    Good gawd … does Hall remind me of Messier the way he plays! Not as aggressive though.

  • Dipstick

    If we are subject to waiting for these Coke machine picks
    to mature and make it to the bIg club in 2-4 Years , i can assure
    you we will have lost Some of our elite talent to injury, or worse they
    tire of getting pounded night in and night out and
    will want out of Dwarfville. It will Happen, A piece or 2 must be picked
    up this summer that can slide in to the current roster. Easy to find ?
    No, Not at all. But they are put there somewhere, and we have the
    Prospects and Picks to acquire them. Dont tell me it can’t be done, it can with a aggressive GM. Again- no it is not easy , but can be done.
    I would suggest the Oilers scouts world wide if they aren’t aleady
    start hunting. The last 2 games show you, we have no chance
    at all against big teams, especially in a 7 game series.

    And we have Anaheim 3 more times ? Good luck with that.
    This year is over as much as it burns my A$$. I almost don’t
    want to make the payoffs and get the s sheet kicked out of us.
    It will happen and we all know it.

  • Old Soldier

    An organizational need was identified and given the sheer numbers of potential players to satisfy that need I think the Oilers are done with the “coke machine” type players, unless one comes along that cant be passed up.

    Going with a 2 or 3 year developmental system, what the Oilers need to focus on this draft and perhaps next is pure Offence. The team has some great talent, but thats all. The system is a dead zone when it comes to offensive players at all positions.

    As with any pick, its a crap shoot, but with the possibility of picking 6 to 7 offensive players this draft, thats what I think the Oilers should focus on.

    They have the defencemen in the system, they have the pluggers and tough guys in the system, now they need the skill in the system.

  • Hair bag

    Forget the idea of “cookmachine” size only. They have to be able to play hocked at a high level, in speed and puck control, and passing ability, and take a regular shift on a line.

    This idea of these thugs playing on the 4 th line and sitting on the pine for 55 minutes a night wont win you hockey games, or take care of toughness on your team. These come out take a dance with the goon from the other team and their nights work is done.

    Eager was a partial model, can skate like the wind, not the greatest hands, but his hockey sense didnt even move the needle. He changed or developed almost zero from his Jr. days. Wasnt much of fighter on top of that.

    Guys like Carcillo and Clutterbuck, aren the biggest guys, but can play and hit to hurt, and play on regular line. Heck , Carcillo often plays on the second line.

          • DSF

            Yeah, the Columbus franchise could really use the boost but it’s likely only one of Phoenix, Columbus, Edmonton or Dallas can make it.

            Phoenix currently has the edge.

          • Lowetide

            Hard to argue which team needs it more between Phoenix and Columbus. Phoenix in = increased playoff revenues for the league and likely increased appeal to potential purchaser. As fun as it would be to see the Blue Jackets somehow make it, I would rather see the Phoenix situation resolved first and if the playoffs helps a bit let them have it.

            As far as the teams that are out, I would love to see the Wings drop out of the playoff mix.

          • DSF

            Might be best if Phoenix missed the playoffs and brought the issue to a head sooner rather than later.

            The Wings are pretty much the only team that might drop out now.

            The Wild have a pretty easy schedule:

            CHI @ MIN

            STL @ MIN

            CLB @ MIN

            MIN @ CAL

            MIN @ EDM

            MIN @ SJS

            CAL @ MIN

            LAK @ MIN

            EDM @ MIN

            MIN @COL

            So, out of their remaining 10 games they have 7 against teams that are below them in the standings.

            If the playoff cutoff is 55 points they only need 9 points in 10 games to make it.

            Detroit’s schedule is a bit tougher:

            SJS @ DET

            DET @ CHI

            DET @ NSH

            DET @ CAL

            DET @ VCR

            PHX @ DET

            LAK @ DET

            NSH @ DET

            DET @ DAL

            STL has 3 games left against Colorado and Calgary and, with a game in hand on almost everyone, they should coast in easily.

  • Alsker

    IMO, the Oilers are wasting time and resources trying to find this type of player this way.

    Mitch Moroz? or Matt Finn?

    Gee, the Oilers are deep at D, better take a shot at the next “Lucic”…..

    The Oiler Way…..

  • kawi460

    I wonder if they regret claiming Maroon?
    Kid scored at the AHL level and can swing with Sestito.

    I hope they get him and maybe offer Clowe a contract in the offseason. I can see them moving hemmer and anothe peace to add a dman.

  • This is where I get lost,

    We know the Oilers need size, skill, grit, toughness and the ability to bring that constantly and consistently.

    I can’t say for sure if the Oiler will enviable draft Lazar, which most likely won’t be BPA when they draft, but it sure feels that way.

    To make matter’s worse; the Oiler will leave exactly what they need in a player on the board.

    The Oilers had ample opportunity to move Whitney, Jones, Hemsky for this type of player or picks.

    The Oilers could badly use another first in a very deep draft, the way I see it, the Oilers need 2 positions fixed up front, LW and C.

    These players

    Left Wingers – Nichushkin – Mantha – Rychel – Center – Barkov – Monahan – Gauthier –

    All these players are big, skilled and imposing, with the upside that these players may all be NHL ready next season.

    You can’t beat skill and size.

    • Supernova

      I agree it makes sense to swap expiring contracts for assets to build, but part of building a team is showing them faith and allowing them to win or lose as a team. The players will learn there is ramifications.

      The “intangibles” are hard to see and hard to know what is right or wrong.

      Hopefully sitting still will pay off in the things that we can only see in compete level and learning to win, and confidence.

      Other wise that 5 game win streak could have cost them the ability to gain a exceptional asset In a deep draft.

        • Supernova

          Disagree, that it NEVER pays off

          Not all moves that teams do actually end up improving them.

          I agree with part of what you are saying, just think Vancouver is the wrong example. Since Gillis has been there his acquisitions have weakened the team.

          Booth? Did that improve them
          Ballard? Having cap space alone would have been better for years his coach can’t stand him
          Loungo? A team in their “window” with limited cap space

          I could keep on, but two of these moves doing NOTHING actually improves the team from purely a cap space move, doing SOMETHING on the other even to get Nothing would do better.

          Know when to hold them, know when to fold them.

          This is the wrong year to say every competitior is doing something to improve them.

          • acg5151

            Max Lapierre, Chris Higgins were huge parts of the 2011 run.

            Jason Garrison and Keith Ballard have both been good.

            David Booth was solid before he started turning into Sami Salo 2.0 and provided the Canucks something they didn’t really have – energy.

            Zack Kassian has been good, even though he’s been snakebit after the first month of the season, I still like his play.

            Dale Weise has been good – another Mike Gillis pickup.

            Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra were both big parts of the 2011 finals run.

            Compare today’s Canucks with Nonis’. Mike Gillis is a better GM than anything Edmonton has had since Glen Sather.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Wow – not sure where to start with this..

            Ballard – 27GP 0G 2A plus 1 (Garrison is plus 15 by comparison). All this from Ballard for a mere $4.2 million.

            Weise – 32GP 3G 3A minus 3

            Lapierre – 38GP 2G 6A

            Kassian – 29GP 6G 3A minus 6

            Booth (how can this be considered a good signing? / he is a glass doll)

            Look I will admit, despite not scoring to his contract, I will concede Garrison is much better defensively than I remember him with Florida. These other guys have been absolute DOGS. I will cut Lapierre and Wiese slack as they are 4th liners.

            Kassian is back to earth, where he belongs, after an anomalous start. Are you saying Kassian for Hodgson (and his 29 points) is working out in Vancouver’s favor?

            Seriously, how can you use the words Keith Ballard and “good” in the same sentence? The words “unmitigated disaster” do not come close to describing the horror that was the Ballard signing.

          • Supernova

            Soup Fascist,

            That is what I see as well.

            Ballard is almost for sure a buyout.

            Is Lapierre really any better than a smithson or even a Belanger?

            Or are him and Wiese 4th liners on a playoff team with top level stars I’m their prime.

            Yes they are a playoff team but don’t really think they are the difference.

          • Supernova

            Depends if you look with a glass half full or half empty.

            Is Mike Gillis similar to Wilson in San Jose makes moves but never enough to actually win the whole thing, Vancouver’s window is closing and might close quickly.

            Or has he done enough to be with the cup winners that are GM’s. Chiarelli, Shero, Holland.

            Remmeber Klowe and Sutter both took teams to within a win as well look what there teams turned into after.

            Right now he looks more like an Alberta GM then a cup winning GM.

            The goal is the cup not playoff appearances! ( unless you are Toronto)

      • I agree, to some extent, however, were I differ is showing who faith? The players?

        How is this proper asset management? If you lose them at the trade deadline or at the end of the season what does it matter?

        The Oilers could lose two of the three players with nothing in return.

        The fact is them leaving is enviable, the Oilers are getting nothing from them is disconcerting.

        The Oilers weaken there own team on a off chance they might make the post season, a very slim chance at that.

        • Supernova

          Your last line says exactly what management didn’t want to do. Confidence alone is worth more than a 2nd and a 3rd round pick.

          Why shouldn’t they show faith in the players? They are the people that actually play the games.

          Cap space and contract space have never been a more important currency then they currently are and will be. Look how many players that were on waivers that if we had more contract spots we could have acquired for nothing.

          I am definitely in agreement on asset management on a whole, I just really think that the 5 game winning streak came at a time that wasn’t conducive to The overall build of the team, but if they traded away assets it could have a real negative effect on the confidence and likewise intangibles of the hall, Eberle, RNH, gagner, Schultz, petry, Smid, dubnyk’s long term.

          When horcoff and Belanger went down earlier is when we should be all over them, we had contract space and need, while the ship was sinking. Who knows how many points we could have gained if we had even a smithson to win face offs, and play defensive Center.

  • Re-sign Fedun, Teubert, Arcobello and Cornet. Let Plante, Tyrvainen and Hovinen go. Sign Gernat and Bigos.

    By my count that leaves us with Marincin, Gernat, Fedun, Davidson, Klefbom, Musil and Bigos in OKC. Not to mention that management will likely want to add a veteran dman or two. I think a prospect D could be moved in the summer as part of a package to bring in either a top pairing LD or a big/gritty second line LW.

  • If we lose two or more for nothing ,we gain more contract space to add to roster .Hopefully we add personnel of an upgrade nature from those that are let go with no compensation . Not like losing the odd one that way will hurt us at this stage- it might be a blessing in disguise .

    With the open space contract and money wise, whom might we go after outside organization to help adequately fill roster while still waiting for draft picks to develop ? Ufa’s ,rfa’s,trades,etc..

    • Definitely a top pairing defensemen has to be on the short list.

      A LW or C with size and skill.

      As far as contracts go the Oilers could shed contracts at the minor league level without having to touch the active roster.

      It’s still is inexcusable as to why they could potentially let two or three players walk without compensation, without getting a draft pick or a player in return that fits a need.

  • Chew on a slightly salted sack of penile implants. All of you. Seriously. Draft hockey players, then draft more hockey players. Then when you are almost done, trade 5 awesome hockey players for 1 nice hockey player with size. Yay. Just draft hockey players please.

    I don’t give two fiddlesticks what size they are. You put your goon crew up against my hockey players any day. We score more goals we win. We win Canada we win. Is two guys from Seeeebeeria in crowd and say YEAH and we shoot more pucks we score goals we win we win we win Canada we win.

    Is see you next year.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Perspective for next season . Contracts that could be gone : Souray $ 1.5M , Khabby $3.75M, Whitney $4.0M ,Sutton $1.75M ,Eager $1.1M , Jones $1.5M , Fistric $1.45M , Petrell .825M Hordichuck .85M . Thats 16.725 M just for starters . Danis, Vandevelde, Plante, House and Stafford if set free make another 3.3 M . That totals about 20 M gone and about 15 contracts – not bad , and not that hard to replace with upgrades and emerging youth .

    Perhaps you might want to add to that list with buyout candidates ? Horcoff $5.5M , Hemsky 5.0M, Smyth 2.2M , Belanger $1.75M ,Lander .90M . Obviously they are much harder to replace or trade for upgrade talent perhaps .

    We are not that bad off going into next season and right combination of subtractions could leave us in a hunt for someone like Vanek on forward and Weber on defence . Should also have enough to find some size with grit and skill . This should be the season for major juggling coming up for next season . I think we are set up , now lets see if management is up to task . Current roster just will not cut it in the upsized NHL today !