BEETHOVEN WAS DEAF. HELEN KELLER WAS BLIND. I THINK ROCKY’S GOT A CHANCE

Several sources confirmed that Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe were at the Flyers-Bruins game today. Mr. Panaccio (a respected source) tells us the Oilers have been there before, so what are they looking for? What do the Flyers need?

OILERS LOOKING FOR SKYSCRAPERS!

I don’t think there’s much doubt about the players Edmonton would be looking for when viewing the Flyers.

  • Braydon Coburn, veteran defenseman who is having a solid year. We’ve discussed that top pairing lefty for Edmonton many times, and we know the Oilers-Flyers talked about this player at last year’s draft.
  • Wayne Simmonds, again a player mentioned often as being an ideal acquisition. I assume the Oilers would plug him in on a skill line at RW. What that says about the name heading out is interesting.
  • Sean Couturier, whose reputation as a two-way center might be running well ahead of his actual value, but that happens with young people.

There are tons more, from the unusual (Scott Hartnell) to the very unusual (Steve Downie) to the likely untouchable (Brayden Schenn). MacT and Holmgren talked at length during the draft and I imagine the same suspects are being discussed now.

What might have changed? What’s going the other way.

WHAT DOES PHILLY NEED?

I think there’s some evidence that the match could be stronger today than in summer or fall. Why? Two reasons. The Oilers don’t have the pressure of making the playoffs to worry over, but the Flyers do. A trade that helps them now is likely front and center, whereas Edmonton can look more into the future.

Second, the problems of summer are slightly different, with some holes being filled (Edmonton doesn’t need a center quite like they did, and their young defensemen have developed more—giving a team like Philly a nice chance to glimpse the future).

  • Kurt R, Broad Street Bullies: How many guys on this team do you watch and think "this guy skates really well" or "this guy moves around the ice nicely"? Four? Five, in total? The three guys on the top line, Matt Read, and … then what? Braydon Coburn is this team’s quickest defenseman, and though I like Braydon Coburn a lot and think he’s a plus skater, that shouldn’t be the case for any team that considers itself to be decent.

Interesting. The Flyers are looking for speed merchants, and the Oilers are looking for veterans. This is a nicer match than in summer, when we heard Smid whispers, or fall when it was about Eberle.

WHO ARE THE FAST AND FURIOUS OILERS BLUE?

That’s one thing about the Oiler kids on the blue: most can scoot. Justin Schultz is freaky on skates, Jeff Petry is a smooth skater, Marincin is all arms and legs but can bust a move, even the minor leaguers like Klefbom and Gernat can go man go. The question is: which one do the Flyers want? Edmonton has several, and I imagine a deal could be struck for a player outside the NHL quickly. No, I’d bet it is someone playing NHL hockey currently, which leaves Schultz, Petry and Marincin. Unlikely they’d move Marincin so soon, right?

Up front, once again there are all kinds of options available. I’d say the Flyers would be looking for wingers, since they appear set for a long time down the middle (Giroux, Schenn, Couturier). The other thing about center? This Scott Laughton kid looks like he might be the real thing.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers have been a million-to-one shot since Pronger left town. Perhaps the city of Brotherly Love offers Craig MacTavish a puncher’s chance at making things right and finding a brand new day.

Names like Coburn, Couturier and Simmonds on one side and Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and Ales Hemsky on the other may make sense for both sides.

  • Brad 21

    All we need is a couple of gritty defencemen like a Matt Greene and a Jan Hejda. And a about 4 forwards with some grit to their game like a Curtis Glencross, Jarret Stoll, Jason Chimera, Andrew Cogliano or Kyle Brodziak. Doh. That’s right Lowe let them walk or traded them for magic beans. We should be very competitive right at this moment in time unfortunately Lowe cannot see what is required. He is incompetent and needs to go. The Oilers are going to pay a kings ransom now for what we had for free before.

    • oilersd

      Definitely wish they had Stoll and Matt Greene still. And I also agree that cogliano would be better than gagne. But if they kept all of them they might have been middle of the road this whole time which would make them the Calgary flames. I don’t think I could handle that.

    • Dockstaff

      Kevin Lowe has made mistakes along the way, but each transaction you name here, with the exception of Brodziak, was actually a good move.

      Greene was moved at a time when the Oil had solid D, and Greene was the slowest and lowest performing of the group. Stoll wanted more money than he was worth. Trade the two for a very promising puck moving Dman in Visnovsky – Good Move! Signing an unproven Visnovsky to a four year $7M/yr contract – Dumb move!

      Cogliano was doing nothing and the entire town was crying for him to be moved. A draft pick was worth the shot. The problem was having a piss-poor amateur scouting program and a GM that wastes picks! Check out Jonathan Willis’ article on the trade.

      At 35 Hejda is just recently coming into his own. For a contemporary comparison it would be like sitting on Sutton or Potter for another three seasons hoping they’ll finally pick it up.

      Chimera wasn’t getting it done either, and didn’t fit the Oiler game plan of speed and youth. He didn’t deliver on the wily veteran role he was supposed to deliver, and besides we all wanted Smytty back.

      Finally letting Glencross go wasn’t as bad of an idea as not replacing him with a like-styled player. Glencross types are prevalent; so the error again lies with scouting and GM for not finding a cheaper replacement.

    • They had to let them go, how do you rebuild if you are finishing in the middle of the pack still?? Rebuild means to bottom out, not holding on to your good players yet still finish at the bottom … it doesn’t happen that way.

  • Brad 21

    The fact that Lowe is scouting with MacT says that he is still running a large part of the show. I’d like to trade KLowe to be honest…don’t trust this Oiler mgt in making a big trade.

  • TayLordBalls

    KL: Business tip: Its better to finish last than 10 points out of the playoffs.

    Results are the same but a higher draft pick is the result.

    Trades to increase standings at this stage are not beneficial.

    • you actually think there is a trade out there to be made that will make enough of an impact that we could say catch florida? even if they were making the team better through trade right now thats not going to happen.

  • oilersd

    Josh Oiler. I stopped financially supporting this product four years ago. My season tickets wetter given up with out an hassle. I guess you can call me a tier two fan now. There were a number of us that stopped buying. Issue being is there was a line up of fans and business owners wanting in… It will never stop.

    For calling a bunch of fans idiots publicly was harsh and not called for. Oiler fans should feel free to publicly state a trade idea consider that the column was about hearsay and evidence the oilers management was seen at the Flyers game. Now isn’t this site built towards the fan in mind? Ironically the Oilers web site over moderates discussions and fans choose this site as their outlet of frustration. It is apparent that you are new to this forum. Maybe a home at the oilers official page would suit you better? Raging on the readers of oilersnation have put you in the disbanded column.

    Hey that’s just my opinion.

  • oilersd

    I don’t think top-2D is the critical need. Its in net. It makes me wonder what the ransom was for Schneider. A 1st, a second, and something else is what was reported.

    It’s easy now with 20-20 hindsight to say the Oilers would have been much better off starting the season with a Schneider/Dubnyk combo for a season, than with a Dubnyk/Labarbera combo. How long has it been since the Oilers had a better than average goalie? Roloson in the cup run?

  • Rick Stroppel

    MY LAST COMMENT ABOUT JOSH OILER EVER, I PROMISE

    Everybody who has EVER propped ANY of Josh Oiler’s comments in the past, could you please identify yourself and apologize to the rest of ON.

    And then we can get back to talking about hockey.

  • Lowetide: “Edmonton doesn’t need a center quite like they did” REALLY?
    Oh, because they do have RNH and that’s all you need in a hockey game: 1 (one) center…

    I’m either dumb or just very surprised.
    I suspect a bit of both at this juncture in the Oilers season.