GDB 49.0: DEBATE IN DALLAS

Four years ago the Taylor vs. Tyler debate was just beginning. For the next six months both sides debated the merits of Hall and Seguin. The Oilers chose Hall and the Bruins happily settled for Seguin. Four years later both have developed into dynamic offensive players and both of them still have room to improve.

The debate isn’t as intense as it was four years ago, likely because both are producing and both fan bases are happy with the player the drafted, or in Boston’s case the players they received when they traded Seguin, but their individual success means the debate will continue and maybe even intensify in the future.

They play different positions, and in their first three years they played for teams at opposite end of the standings spectrum. Hall was saddled with the pressure of being the face of a franchise, while Seguin got his feet wet being surrounded by great players and winning a Stanley Cup.

When Seguin was traded to Dallas this past summer he was thrust into a situation similar to Hall. Both of them will now be looked upon to lead their respective franchises to the playoffs, and in the incredibly competitive western conference that won’t be an easy task.

This year their offensive totals are very close.

Hall has 18 goals and 43 points in 41 games.
Seguin has 21 goals and 41 points in 43 games.

Seguin is playing with Olympian Jamie Benn and Russian man-child Valeri Nichushkin. They’ve become a very dangerous line, and I’m curious to see Lindy Ruff will match the Seguin line against Hall’s line tonight. Ruff would get a better matchup playing Seguin vs. the Arcobello line; however, many coaches know that their best players like the challenge of playing against the other team’s top line. 

I’d argue that the Seguin trio is just as much of a challenge as facing Sidney Crosby’s line, and a bit different due to the size of Benn and Nichushkin.

Hall and Seguin will forever be linked together, and four years later I still think Hall is slightly ahead of Seguin, but only by the slimmest of margins. 

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Gagner
Yakupov-Arcobello-Eberle
Perron-Gordon-Hemsky
Jones-Smyth-Gazdic

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Belov-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

No reason to change the forward lines. Keep them together and try to build some chemistry. I understand why coaches changes lines frequently, even the top teams do, but I’d keep the top-three the same for a few more games just to see what happens. 

Corey Potter is back skating, and the only player you might take out for a game is N.Schultz because he’s playing the right side. I wouldn’t do it, but that seems like the only option on the blueline.

QUICK HITS

  • The dilemma facing Craig MacTavish over the next eight months will be deciding how he wants to construct his blueline. Martin Marincin has looked good, albeit in only ten games, and if he keeps playing well do the Oilers plan to have him in their top-six next season along with J.Schultz, Jeff Petry and possibly Darnell Nurse?

    That would be three D-men in their top-six with less than 130 NHL games, and Petry will have less than 240 games under his skates. I don’t see them succeeding with that much inexperience on the blueline. For me, Nurse will need to be incredibly good to last more than nine games. Inserting more youth into the lineup won’t help. If all four of them make it, that means two of them will be paired together. I know Marincin and Petry have played together the past few games, but it is asking a lot of Marincin to be a top-four D-man next year.

    I would bring ensure I have at least three proven, steady veteran D-men at the start of next season, and if the young kids play well enough to keep them, then at least you will have some insurance when they hit a rough patch. I’d err on side of caution and start with more veterans and less youth on the blueline next October.
     

  • I agree with Willis that Petry is a competent NHL D-man, but my issue with him is his consistency at key times of the game. For instance during the 5-on-3 vs. Chicago. Petry has control of the puck, but can’t clear the zone. Keith keeps in it, and seconds later it is in the back of the net. Petry has to get that puck out of the zone. We don’t know if the Hawks could have regrouped, re-entered the zone and scored, but not getting the puck out allowed them to stay set up.

    Petry is a competent D-man on a bad hockey team, but I’m not sold he is a guy you build around. He might be a good complementary player, but I don’t see him as a backbone defender.
     

  • Ales Hemsky will be traded. Why would he re-sign in Edmonton to be the #3 RW. By March 5th, Eberle and Yakupov will still be on the team, so the Oilers won’t be able to guarantee him a spot in their top-six at that time. They could roll the dice and keep him with the hope they move one of the other two, because their value is higher, before free agency starts and convince Hemsky to stay, but I doubt that happens. So rather than lose him for nothing, he will be dealt before the deadline.

    There is a large contingent of fans and media who don’t like Hemsky, but you can’t overlook his skill. How many forwards can walk around Duncan Keith and score like he did on Sunday? Of course you’d like to see that more often, but that play is why opposing GMs will still be intrigued by Hemsky. Hemsky has basically been playing in a 3rd line role this year, but he has the skill to be a top-six forward. He is still fearless on the ice, and I suspect he will have success in a new situation.

    The question is what kind of return will Hemsky fetch? Teams have always overpaid for players at the deadline. An aging Robyn Regehr got Buffalo two 2nd rounders last year. The Sabres also received a first rounder for Paul Gaustad a few years ago. Every GM is willing to pay something different. MacTavish must be hoping Hemsky plays well at the Olympics, because a good showing there will increase his value significantly. 

TONIGHT…..

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall and Seguin each finish with two points, but the Oilers lose a close game 5-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Martin Marincin has another strong game giving hope to beleaguered Oiler fans that in the future the blueline will eventually improve.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Many of the Nation readers will send emails to Kate Beckinsale’s fanmail account after noticing she isn’t wearing a ring in the above photo. Good luck fellas, if any of you get a response let me know, we will post it on the Nation. After the Oilers loss, many will numb the pain by watching Underworld.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    You know, I’d like to believe this will continue to be of debate, of this continuing. But that said, if Hall is stuck on a perennial bottom-dweller, sooner or later this talk will fade out. Not saying Dallas is a real winner, but people care a lot more about debating between players on competitive teams. If the Oilers cant get it together over the next 4-5 years, Hall will likely just be one of those players who “could have been, should have been” so great, but was limited by the crap he was mired in…

  • Jason Gregor wrote:

    Petry is a competent D-man on a bad hockey team, but I’m not sold he is a guy you build around. He might be a good complementary player, but I don’t see him as a backbone defender.

    I don’t actually think we’re all that far off here, Jason. I don’t see Petry as a top-pairing guy; I see him as a useful second-pair right side option. The way guys like Belov and Marincin have fared with Petry as their second-pair partner makes me think that if he’s the number four guy on the blue line you probably have a pretty decent blue line.

    Mostly though, the Oilers’ defence is a wreck and so I think Edmonton’s in a position where they have to make the most of the useful defencemen they have – Petry, Ference and Justin Schultz.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I said this in the other thread.

      You need to look deeper into Belov’s WOWY numbers.

      http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1802&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

      Not only is Belov’s number better with Petry, but so is Petry’s number with Belov. And both are worse apart.

      Also, everyone (minus Larsen) plays better with Belov.

      He looks to me like a competent 5-6 guy on a playoff team. The Oil should re-sign him.

    • Jason Gregor

      Yes their D is a mess, but my major concern with Petry is his inability to get good position in front of the net. He refuses to, or can’t, lift guys sticks. Happened again tonight on 3rd goal. Better players will make team better, but winning battles is on the individual regardless of how good rest of team is. I’m not saying trade him, but when this team becomes good I don’t see him as a key piece.

      I don’t see anything that Petry is doing that makes Marincin better. Marincin has a better stick, has made smart reads and for a guys with only 11 NHL games under his belt is playing with more confidence.

      I’m not a big believer in WOWY. It suggests that Petry influences Marincin, but doesn’t’ include the 3 forwards who are the ice. I think it gives to much credit/onus on one player. That is just me though.

  • Bryzarro World

    I would like to see MacT aggressively pursue guys such as Ehrhoff, Shattenkirk, Byfuglien this summer. Guys who are at least serviceable in a 1-2 position. Realistically if someone like that can be picked up, plus and additional 3-4 guy. Plus a mix of Ference, Petry, Schulz, maybe Nurse or Marincin. That is a solid mix of vet talent to support developing defensemen.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      i’d be surprised if the Blues offer up Shattenkirk! then again if they could get Eberle out of the deal, i could see them doing it. they’d have Ebs but still have Pietrangelo and JayBo on the back end.

      • vetinari

        I feel Eberle for Shattenkirk straight across is an overpayment on our end. It would be nice to acquire someone like Morrow or obviously Stewart as well but then high prospects or picks would have to be attached from our side as well.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Hall and Seguin both great young players. The stars are mired in a 6 game losing streak could be a ring a ding dong dandy tonight. I have to give Hall the edge at this time, he is getting better and better each game. He will be the oilers captain very soon.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Petry is a good defenseman, but it’s hard to judge our defence this year under Eakins defense always system.

    This system has turned off any opportunity or ability for the defence to join and support the play. It’s only when we are behind in a game with two minutes left that you see any defenceman taking a chance.

    Without exception every defenceman has regressed under this system and your advanced stats will prove it!

  • I still think it was a huge mistake not to draft Nichushkin, huge!! Size, skill and plays a little mean. No offense to Nurse, but I don’t see the same upside.

    I like Petry but he is a butter soft player, not competitive (tough) enough for me.

    Hall all the way, Seguin is good and lord knows we need him in the worst way, but Hall’s the better player.

    I feel better about the return for Hemsky then I do for Gagner should they trade them both.

    Do the Oilers trade Smyth, Bryzgalov & Dubnyk by the trade deadline?

    I keep hearing the Oiler will turn a corner here the last 40 games, I don’t see it, the Oilers will be off loading competent NHL players and replacing them with AHL talent, that will start taking place shortly, so unless the Oilers push January (doubtful) and Feb is a write off, come march this team will be stocked full of AHL talent for the remainder of the year.

    29th overall = Ekblad.

    • pkam

      Nichushkin is playing on the RW in Dallas, he would not have taken a spot on an AHL team. So unless the Oilers could have traded one of their RW for some value, where would Nichushkin play on this team, and what incentive would he have had not to just bolt back to the KHL.

      Keep in mind at the time Yak was coming off a great rookie campaign.

      That Benn, Seguin, Nichushkin line could grow to be one of the most dangerous top lines in the game.

      I actually think Hemsky will resign here as he did not want to be traded last time. So playing on a bottom dweller really doesn’t seem like it bugs him. And for all the hope that he will actually get traded for something of value, he has played pretty well this year in whatever role he’s been asked. The last blues game I watch him get absolutely wall papered to make a play. Lots of respect for that. I’d much rather see them trade Yak or Ebs as the return would be greater, and they might actually get either a big RW, 2nd line centre, or solid top 2 D.

  • A-Mc

    The oilers aren’t going to go from bottom feeders to stanley cup champions over the summer. We all know we need #1/2 defensemen but they are likely home grown.

    Realistically speaking if we can snag a couple #3’s over the summer, it’ll go a long way towards seeing the Oilers climb out of the pits of hell that they’ve been in for the last 8 years.

    TLDR; we want a show stopper trade for a stud D but if we can’t get that, can we please get a couple #3’s to get us headed in the right direction!

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      While I agree with your premise that they will not climb out of this overnight, and that the best top D are home-grown, I think you overestimate the ability to climb out in any reasonable period of time. The Oilers won’t be able to have any truly serviceable, top 4-Dmen that they developed themselves for years still. It takes dmen longer to be really NHL ready, and we need them to be the kind of guys who would be top-4 pairing guys on contending teams, not just the Oilers. That is going to take a lot of time–imho, probably 4 years before we see glimpse of the kind of dmen we really need. 4 years from now to see GLIMPSES.

      That’s still a long time for people to need to be patient, and watch as holes are filled temporarily and shoddily, waiting for the saviors/young-homegrown-D to arrive

      • A-Mc

        I didn’t overestimate anything. We both agree that home grown has the best chance of anything close to a #1/2 D. We both agree it takes a LONG time for even a star young player to turn into something useful.

        All i said is that i would like to see a couple #3’s added to the roster so that we can start seeing improvement. 2x #3’s wont get us the playoffs, but they will help us to start advancing.

        An extremely successful summer, to me, would be to start the next season with 2x top 4 defensemen, 2x bigger forwards and a decent starting goalie. That’s a big wish list! But with even these changes, i dont think the Oilers are a solid playoff team.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I can see the debate over which player (Hall or Seguin)is better continuing for the rest of their careers. They are both excellent young players and I don’t think we’ve seen the best from either one yet.

    In my mind however I’m glad we took Tyler.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      which is ridiculous because he’s our most talented player and along with Nuge are the two i wouldn’t trade. but keep in mind, there are those who never want the Oilers to succeed so no matter what we do, it’s wrong!

      • pkam

        If Boston drafted Hall, I doubted they will trade him away. And if Hall is a Bruins, what is the chance he plays for Team Canada?

        Despite he has two big Olympian wingers, Seguin’s PPG is not better than Hall.

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          given the fact the B’s already traded Seguin away, i’d say they’d have been happy as pie if they had gotten Hall. needless to say, he’d still be in Boston right now.

  • vetinari

    Happier to have “Cannonball Hall” on the roster than Seguin… as for Petry, he needs more experience and is not a top 2 guy… Marincin will be here next year but I think Nurse will see another season of development in the minors before he makes a push for a roster spot, but that likely depends on whether we can score 2-3 veteran defenceman in the offseason… I think we’ll see Grebeshkov, Nick Schultz, and Potter gone by next year, and although I want to see Belov get another year, I don’t know if he will want to re-sign here (he’s a UFA)…

    GDP Oilers 4 Dallas 3

  • As an aside…. in the Oilers season seat questionnaire yesterday…. this question.

    How big a factor is having seats in the new building in your renewal decision. (not verbatim).

    I found it rather humorous. Maintaining the right to a seat in a new (not started) barn is potentially more important than the entertainment value for the next three seasons. Is that legit?

    If so.

    Kudos to the marketing of the shiny new barn.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Here’s a thought for the class today. How long (i.e. how many NHL games) does it take for a dman to generally come into form? I’ve seen anywhere between 150ish all the way to 240+. That is, anwhere from the better part of 2 full-seasons of play, to more than 3. In all of those cases, the assumption was it would not be a huge influx of youth, that these would be young players here and there, being sheltered and mentored by solid veteran D.

    Given that, I am not certain why the Oilers seem to think that in 2 years, we’re going to have world-class D, the kind that will allow up to compete for the Cup. TBH, I dont see our prospects being markedly better than the current mish-mash of D we have now, at least in 2 years. In maybe 3, more likely 4-5 years, I think we could have AMAZING D, but to expect all these young guys to come in and manage to improve the team in a way veterans and other youth haven’t been able to for nearly a decade?

    Just seems like an awful lot of fans are now pinning hopes on a few young stud dmen being able to turn the ship around—when a few young stud forwards certainly haven’t been able to. Would hate to see us wait until 3 years down the road frm now, realize these young D are only human and not the saviors we so needed them to be, and be at the end of #4, etc. contracts with nothing to show. You tell me–would you resign in Edmonton, given how it looks like this is going to continue for several more years?

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Do you go to ON each day to see if they have finally fired someone in management , or to see if a good trade has come ? MacT. appears to have turned into Tams , unable to do anything of consequence to improve on ice performance once season starts . Obviously with the mazes of people he must get approval to make moves , like Tams it never comes to fruition , or it comes to late and another team snaps up that opportunity . I doubt being a new GM has much to do with it , it’s more the mazes preventing acting boldly and swiftly .

    I wonder if management should not apply same philosophy to themselves as they do to the players : if they are not contributing to better the team and results , then they should be let go one way or the other ? They know the problems but as a group obviously cannot readily enough to rectify them . Two many chiefs or cooks in the kitchen by the sounds of it ? Like promoting people to a higher degree of incompetence at times ? A MacT. decision seems more like a group decision , and the group has not done well and retard efforts to make our on ice product any better .

  • Bryzarro World

    And PLEASE dont start on how we’re going to sign all these veteran D FA’s this offseason. The only veteran D FA’s who will be available, likely, are those that aren’t actually all that good in the first place (the good ones will be re-signed or traded well before they are allowed to hit FA). Even if we assume there may be a few middle-of-the-road FA d’s available in the offseason, why would they come to Edmonton? I mean that honestly–if it were you, and you were trying to decide where you might want to go, would you choose Edmonton? Would you choose Edmonton, if you had any other options available? How much “hardship” money would it take to get you to even consider signing in Edmomton?

    It’s great to think we could solve our problems the easy/no-pain way in the off-season, but its a pipe dream. We either need to accept another 3+ years of mish-mash D and bottom 6 players, until our prospects are ready to make a difference in the NHL. Or we accept that we have to make some uncomfortable, painful exchanges before then to keep from basementing in 2015, 2016, and 2017

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Petry will improve when the players around him improve, there’s no doubt about it! In my opinion, this guy still has a huge upside! When you can skate the way he does everything else about him will improve if he has a steadying, veteran presence partnered with him!

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Don’t get this # 89 on the first line! This guy is a total boat anchor. Move Eberle back up, at least you would have one strong line. Gagner should be on the third. Oh, right his defensive game is sheet.

    Hemsky goes back to his cocoon for another 15 games , or will hat rare goal inspire him to get more.

    • Zarny

      What don’t you get?

      Trade deadline is March 5th. Gagner is being shopped around. It’s called showcasing.

      And now that Gagner is healthy he’d be fine on the 2nd line. The only problem is he doesn’t compliment Nuge well.

      • Bucknuck

        I think he would be a better “showcase” on the third line ! Playing against other teams top lines will not enhance or showcase his skill. Would look better down the line up , I think.

        For what its worth I use to be a big supporter of Gagner, but his game seems to have gone in the ditch big time. Man he’s only 24. You would think after 6 years he would at least be a better face off man. Didnt Take Arco six years.

        • Zarny

          Don’t underestimate the impact of Gagner’s broken jaw; both physically and psychologically as to why his game has been in the ditch.

          Gagner’s strength is his offense. Very little offense is generated on the 3rd line not to mention fewer minutes. On the top line with Hall and Nuge is Sam’s best chance to have his offensive strength’s showcased.

          In terms of faceoffs Gagner suffers from physical limitations. He’s undersized. Arco is a year older and only 50.4% for FO. He might be better than Gagner but he’s not good.

          Gagner is healthy now and his offense will return. Over 82 games you can bank on 55-65 pts for the next 7-10 years. He’s never going to be big, or really good defensively or great at FO’s which is why long term he doesn’t compliment Nuge well.

          Like you said though he’s only 24. He’s just entering his prime. He’ll be better over the next 7 years than he was the previous 7 years.

  • Zarny

    IMO there is no debate.

    Hall has 93 pts in his last 86 games; Seguin has 73 pts in his last 91 games.

    Throw in the fact Bos had to put a bodyguard outside Seguin’s room to prevent him from skipping out to party on game nights in the playoffs and I don’t see him being the centerpiece of any Cup contender. The Oilers made the right choice.

    I don’t see Petry as a top pairing D either but I think he can be a 3-4 guy.

  • Bucknuck

    The Oil need to add two first pairing defenders. I wonder how they are going to accomplish that. I sure hope it doesn’t take too long. I like Petry and Ference as second pairing defenders.

    On another note, Kate Beckinsale is one of the most beautiful ladies on the planet. Thank you for posting that, Mr. Gregor.

  • A-Mc

    In a article elsewhere today Eakins was quoted as saying he sometimes forgot Hemsky was on the bench and apologized for his missed icetime. Another scathing indictment of Eakins ineptitude. Hemsky probably cant get out fast enough.

  • Bucknuck

    Examining the Seguin deal, when it was first consummated, obviously, Loui Eriksson was the big name going back. But Loui’s been banged up and his numbers are down this year. The guy picking up the slack has been Reilly Smith with 15 goals which I totally didn’t see coming. I think Boston is happy because they found a nice surprise in Smith.

    I think that’s the challenge in the Oilers dealing one of their young studs. We need to receive an established player and a second component that hopefully becomes a nice surprise so that the trade at least looks kinda even.

  • S cottV

    Oilers probably did the right thing, but both players have merits and no real loser on the deal.

    To me the biggest draft issue where the Stars kicked our ass, involves Jamie Benn in 2007.

    Geez – would Benn ever look good, as one of our top 2 centremen.

    Oilers took Sam Gagner, Alex Plante, Riley Nash, Linus Omark and Milan Kytnar – over Jamie Benn, who went #129.

    Ok – Benn was playing in the BCJHL in Victoria before the draft, but still – the Oilers should of been aware of him. Edmonton is a lot closer to Victoria, than Dallas is.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      The scouting staff has been very bad for a few years. They are very indecisive, this has to be a major concern. Doobie over Schneider, cream puff Pouliot over Parise it goes on and on.

  • S cottV

    If the Oilers are unable to shore up the d for next year, with one or two veteran d men – they may have to consider fast tracking Nurse.

    Goes against conventional wisdom but the Oilers have to get the d corp up to speed with the the ongoing maturation of Hall, RNH and others.

    Oilers are unlikely to make the playoffs next year, so – maybe bite the bullet and get this guy going. Other first round guys have successfully made the jump and Nurse doesn’t look like a timid or mentally fragile kind of guy.

    • pkam

      He looked good at camp and is having a great year in the OHL, The Oilers need the right d partner for him and he will be on the team.
      I don’t think Seth Jones is any better than Nurse but he gets to play with Weber.

  • S cottV

    It was rumored the Bruins wanted Eberle and Hemmer, for Seguin at the draft.

    Imagine if we had made that deal?

    Hall – RNH – Gagner? (Who knows)
    Perron – Seguin – Yak

    Balance and strength down the middle for a decade. Anyone not make that deal now?

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      but Yak and Gagner on the right side for the top 2 ? i dunno about that, though the Oilers would have likely drafted right winger Nichishkin instead of Nurse last draft.

      • S cottV

        Yes – would have worked but Seguin is probably not the ideal compliment with RNH – as the top 2 C’s. You wouldnt get enough diversity with RNH and Sequin.

        RNH is pretty soft (will get a little harder in time) and the better compliment would be Benn-like or Backes-like.

        Follow up a high skill guy with hard to play against tank.

        Use the tank – at home vs certain opposition 1C’s where that match up is in our favor.

    • pkam

      You guys keep complaining that this Oilers team is too small and too soft, then you argue adding Seguin will balance and strengthen the middle?

      He is 195 lb and has only 22 hits in 43 games, and has less hits/games than any of our small and soft forwards.

      Even Gagner had more hits (23) than him even though Sam played 8 less games and was with a broken jaw in most of those games.

      Not saying he is a bad player, but how can he fit into our roster when we keep saying we need to get bigger and tougher?

  • bazmagoo

    Petry will be a solid 2nd pairing d-man for many years to come, I’d be happy with him and Ference on the 2nd pairing for the next few years. We do need a legitimate #1 d-man, preferably left sided, though. Team isn’t going anywhere if we don’t resolve that glaring hole. Ekblad looks pretty darn solid, so hopefully we don’t jump the Flames in the standings and snag him in the #2 spot, even if he is a right sided guy he looks like a champion. If that was to happen we’d seriously have a wealth of talented prospects on our blue line:

    Nurse
    Ekblad
    Marincin
    Klefbom
    Fedun
    Gernat
    Musil

    You’d have to think 2-3 spots on our future defence will be covered by those 7. The only question is how soon will they be legitimate NHL’ers. Hope sooner rather than later, but there is no way of knowing!

    • pkam

      Don’t forget to add to the mix J. Schultz who has played less 100 NHL games, and Craig Simpson in college.

      Not that I don’t like Ekblad, but we already have so many defense prospects but no depth down the middle, why would we want another defense prospect over a center is beyond me.

      • bazmagoo

        The simple answer to why would we want another defense prospect over a center is – we have the worst defense core in the league, I don’t think that’s even debateable at this stage. I do agree we have a lack of depth at centre, but currently our defensive depth is much more worrying, in my opinion.

    • Zarny

      A couple of D prospects will be part of the long term solution; but it’s insane to think the Oilers can add a 3-5 rookies to an already inexperienced blueline and not have a train wreck.

      Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Simpson and Musil all play the left side so #1 there is a logjam.

      Klefbom and Marincin both project to be in Edm next year and Gregor is 100% right neither should be top 4 right away. Which is why MacT should trade one of them.

      Package Klefbom or Marincin with whatever it takes to get a top 2 or top 4 D. Whoever we keep plays on the bottom pair next year. When Nurse arrives I’d shop the other guy around too. Or perhaps you wait a year and trade the remaining guy when Nurse is ready to be a top 4 D.

      Simpson, Musil, Gernat, Fedun…rinse and repeat.

      It’s good Ekblad plays on the right side. IF the Oilers drafted him they should trade Petry or Schultz for a top 4 who is more mature.

      Contenders trade picks and prospects for proven NHL players. It’s that time in Edm.

        • Zarny

          Yep. Hopefully they get Simpson signed. Sounds like he’s doing well. And it’s certainly very possible that Musil, Gernat, Fedun and most of Edm’s prospects never play in the NHL. Or they could top out at the bottom pair.

          Regardless the general premise remains.

          • vetinari

            Well, I hope that the Oilers are smarter than the Ducks and if Simpson doesn’t look like he will sign, they at least flip him at the deadline for something.