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The trade deadline is 21 days away, and the Edmonton Oilers are no doubt formulating their plan of action. Will they trade Nick Schultz? Surely. Ales Hemsky? Likely. Sam Gagner? It sure looks like it. Craig MacTavish has been trading players for players of late, but the organization needs to add a few 2014 picks (their second rounder is in St. Louis for Perron, third rounder in Los Angeles for Scrivens). Chances are they’ll be sending away some of these NHL players for picks at the deadline. This means AHL players will be getting the call. Who is on that list?

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Anton Lander

is having a very strong season in Oklahoma City. He’s the club’s leading scorer (33GP, 14-21-35) while also providing solid 2-way play. We’ll find out what the Oilers think of Lander after the Olympic break. He’s an RFA at the end of the season and the club will have to sign him as an NHL player—I doubt he’ll accept a two-way deal—or they may trade him.

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Taylor Fedun

(40GP, 7-19-26 +8) is the Barons best defenseman this season. He’s played mentor to the department of youth (Gernat currently) and has been an impact player on the power play (5-8-13 with the man advantage). The Oilers look set on the right side for next season (Petry, Justin Schultz) on two pairings, but that third pairing should be open (unless Edmonton upgrades without trading Petry). There’s a chance Fedun flies out of Oklahoma City in February and does not return.

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Mark Arcobello

is an NHL player based on his season (41GP, 4-14-18 with the Oilers) and is hammering the AHL (3GP, 3-4-7). The Oilers employed Arcobello successfully while Sam Gagner struggled but a losing season often sweeps out players trying to establish themselves in the NHL. We should get an indication about Arco’s future with Edmonton after the break. If he’s recalled and inserted into the lineup, he may have a future in Edmonton.

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Roman Horak

(34GP, 13-12-25) is an interesting forward for the Oilers. The club traded for him, had a quick look-see, and then sent him down to OKC. Could they choose post-deadline to get a good look, or wait until training camp in the fall?

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Tyler Pitlick

(26GP, 6-9-15) showed very well in a quick three game look in Edmonton before suffering yet another injury. He may need some extra time to get back into the swing of things in the AHL (he hasn’t played since end of January), but was 3-3-6 +5 in his five games before his most recent injury.

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Oscar Klefbom

(38GP, 0-6-6 -9) has had an uneven season but there are some good signs lately (0-3-3 +2 in his last 12GP). Edmonton’s success in developing Martin Marincin (who spent 1+ seasons in the AHL before getting the call) may be the wise choice with Klefbom, but there’s a chance he gets a cup of coffee.



There are others who could get the call, including Richard Bachman, Will Acton, Brad Hunt and Ryan Hamilton. If the Oilers are as active as rumored at the trade deadline, we could see as many as six additions via trade and injury before the end of the season.

(all Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

  • If MacT trades Gagner I’d like to see Lander get a shot at 2C.

    Given the offence he’s put up in OKC this year, its not a stretch to think it could continue with quality line mates in a slightly sheltered situation.

      • I think Gagner gets traded for a winger.

        I think they trade a winger in the summer for a 2C.

        I don’t think they can trade Gagner for an upgrade at C unless they are adding to the trade, and that’s more of a summer trade.

        If MacT trades Gagner in season, I don’t think it won’t be for a C, so if it happens, there will be hole at 2C.

        • Randaman

          One word. Lander. Play him with some top tier wingers and I predict good results. It is time for Gagner to move on. I don’t care about liking players anymore. We need results and that will only happen through change. The last two years should have made that obvious to everyone. Cue the Trash button

    • toprightcorner

      His 7 points in 79 NHL games indicates he has a long way to go to prove he has the offence of a 2C. I think if his development continues he could be a very good 3C in a couple years and the Oilers would be thrilled. Next year he will compete for 4C, unfortunately lack of size will work against him.

      I like Lander a lot mostly because of his character and leadership but if he won’t sign a 2-way deal, he would be a great add on to a package for a top pairing dman.

      • Lander’s 4 most common wingers from 2011-2012 were (in order):


        Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1534&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

        I think its very fair to say he wasn’t put in a position to score for most of his NHL career.

        This year he’s averaging over a point a game for OKC and plays 1PP.

        Over a point/gm in the AHL bodes well for being able to score a bit in the NHL.

        I don’t think he’s a 2C today, but would like to see him test drive it.

        Good teams like CHI and ANA have good young players on their 4th line who can move up the roster as needed (injury etc)

        Oilers need to build their roster similarly and I see Lander being a quality 4C to start.

        • toprightcorner

          I agree that Lander can be a quality 4C.

          Scoring a point a game (only 33 games for Lander)in the AHL doesn’t relate to offence in the NHL.

          Shremp, Omark, Moran and Alex Giroux proved that.

          Out of the top 40 scorers over the last 4 years, only 8 of those players are currently playing in the NHL. Out of those, only Tyler Johnson, Ennis, Santorelli, Conacher and Nyquist have shown any sign of offence and all but Ennis scored at a .85 ppg for at least 2 years in the AHL.

          Lander is far from showing he can produce any offence at an NHL level.

  • TayLordBalls

    Oilers two best junior forwards may be winger Anton Slepyshev and Yaks evil twin centre Bogdan Yakimov.

    IF these two pan out then Landor is obsolete as well as most other current forwards on OKC.

  • barry.moore23

    LT, Little off topic but is it wrong that I was cheering for Russia this morning because Anton Belov ?? Man I love the Oilers. Peace from the US. B.

    • #ThereGoesTheOilers

      I think most of us were pulling for Russia simply because they were playing the States this morning, less about Belov.

      Although on that note, I though Belov seemed solid today. Is this more credence that his struggles might have a bit to do with systems and less about ‘north-american-style’ hockey?

      You tell me.

      • #ThereGoesTheOilers

        Not me, pulled for USA, can’t stand that door knob sucking Putin, high fiving the commrads in the back ground and probably counting off some rubles to pay off the Refs.

        Welcome to the big ice and the trap.How’s watching 8 guys jammed up infront of the goalie.

        PS Hiller was terrific in the Swiss game.. sign him up.

  • TayLordBalls

    If MacT trades Hemsky and Gagner for picks only, then he might as well turn in his badge!

    Seen Hemsky do some banging and knowcking guys down in the Olympics today… too bad he cannot muster up the same jame wearing a $5 million dollar contract with the Oilers. KHL.. is the place for him, same can be said for Belov.

  • TayLordBalls

    Hemsky is coasting this year and if I was coach, would have benched him until he was traded.

    That kind of attitude spreads to other players and can / has caused long term problems with other players.

    • EasyOil

      Ummm, by all accounts Hemsky has been one of the Oilers best two way players this season. And he’s long been a player who goes into them corner and drives the net. He may not score as much as he used to, but that doesn’t make him a bad player. In fact, he’s a very, very good veteran forward, the type this team could use more of.

  • oilcountryforlife

    Of course people are cheering for Belov and Hemsky and Marincin. Is it just coincidence that they are playing better on big ice or with a better supporting cast….or wait?! Is it better coaching?!

    Package the two Actons (coach and baby Acton), bundle Bucky, and Smitty, with Gagner and N. Shultz for one excellent defensemen right now. Lowe might keep his job (damn, I wish we had a group of business owners not a star struck wannabe like Katz) and MacT will look like a genius. Eakins can hire anyone because anyone would be better. as his assistant coaches..heck I might even apply! I have a nice suit and can chew gum and talk into my sleeve.

    Seriously though. Time for some house cleaning. We gotta stop trading players for picks though. Players play right now and picks play MAYBE in three years. As much as I never liked Smid, he was a player and what exactly did we get for him again? And to Calgary no less.

    Go Team Canada.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Oilers have been playing better of late, 5-1-1.

    Hemsky has paid his dues and played with lots of heart, I wish him nothing but the best.

    Gagner+ for a Dman like Larsson would be amazing. Hes playing in the AHL now.

    Gagner(@2.4 2 years) + 2015 first rounder



    Ekblad, Shultz, Larsson, Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom

    34+ mil in cap space as well.

    • toprightcorner

      its called positive reinforcement to motivate players to push, especially for a young guy coming to North America. Telling him he has a long way to go would have done more harm than good.

      • Rick Stroppel


        What kind of “positive reinforcement” did MacTavish give Horcoff and Hemsky when he told the whole world (including Horcoff and Hemsky) at the beginning of the year that he couldn’t wait to get rid of them? How do you suppose Hemsky feels about that as he works to motivate himself to play for this team? Can you imagine MacTavish “bargaining” with other GM’s to trade Hemsky:

        MacT: We’re taking offers for Hemsky.
        Other GM: You already said he isn’t good enough for the second worst team in the NHL. Why should we give you anything? If we are really desperate come deadline time we may offer a 3rd or 4th round pick. Otherwise we’ll just sign him in the summer for nothing.

        IMHO, the results (solidly in second last place) speak for themselves. MacTavish is not that smart. I believe the team has almost no chance of becoming competitive (ie making the playoffs) until both MacTavish and Lowe are removed.

  • toprightcorner

    Of course most of us were cheering for the U.S.. Our lives are all better because of our close ties to our big brothers to the south.Like to see our Oilers perform well as well.

  • toprightcorner

    MacT needs to wait until the draft to trade Gagner to maximize return for a roster player on his own or in a package. No team will give up a decent roster player before the deadline heading into the playoffs.

  • Here is a perfect example of how a hockey player in Edmonton develops like Anton Lander. He wasn’t a first round pick so he didn’t get the hype the others did and now we are talking about either he makes it or come summer he’s gone. But why does it have to be that way. Past years there’s always been certain rookies that was gonna make the team already so he was left in Sweden, and now getting quality ahl minutes and thriving. This is how young players develop. I cant help but think if he was a Detroit player this was exactly the way he was handled. In a couple of years he would be a well regarded third line center and be part of a welll structured team. If he doesnt get traded in the next three weeks and hopefully gets his cup of coffee in the bigs we should hope for good minutes with occasional point producing. Then we should resign him and let him continue to get better. I remember the year he captained the swedish juniors how confident and do anything to win attitude he has. There should be no doubt how to go forward with him. But this is the perfect example how unrealistic we the fans sometime are about players and unfortunately how clueless the brass here is nowadays. We are not a good developers of players. They don’t get enough time and quality coaching it seems.this is really the problem that ails us. Thanks for reading

    • toprightcorner

      I agree with you but unfortunately it makes it more difficult if he will only sign a 1-way contract. If it is believed that he needs another year on the farm its hard to pay a guy $1 mill to do that.

      When Detroit did that with Datsuyk, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Franzen they each played 3 years in Europe before coming over and being signed, none played in the minors. Others like Nyquist, Abdelkater and Helm played 2 years in the AHL. What Detroit has done successfully is rarely, if ever, put a player in the NHL the year they are drafted.

      Lander played 2 seasons in Sweden and the Oilers mistake was playing him for 56 games with the Oilers last year. If he spent that year with the Barons as well, he would likely be NHL ready instead of on the bubble.

      None of Gagner, Cogliano and Pajaarvi played in the AHL prior to a season in the NHL and Petry, Smid or Gilbert played less than a season in the AHL. Other than Petry, none met expectations with the Oilers.

      I hope the Oilers take their time with Nurse, Klefbom and all other recently drafted players. Rushing them has proven to be disastrous.

  • bwar

    Earlier in the year Lander played about two shifts at 2C and both shifts Oilers controlled the play and looked like a real hockey team. Now I know its only two shifts but that brief glimpse gives me added optimism that Lander can handle a top 6 roster spot. Calling him up for a 10 game stretch and giving him a real opportunity as an offensive player doesn’t do any damage to the Oilers this season. I personally think its worth a shot. Gives the Oilers a clearer picture of what kind of player he actually is and hopefully gets us closer to solving the 2C issues.

  • Spydyr

    If I was an owner and my GM signed a player to such an overpay.A player many fans knew was not worth that contract.Some of us have been saying that player was weak for years now.Then that player sucked so bad you have to trade him and eat salary.I would take a long hard look at the competence of said GM.

    • oilcountryforlife

      100% Agreed. Sadly this team is owned by Katz, who isn’t concerned about winning. He wants to develop property around his new stadium and lose so much that a huge core of talent has been assembled. Then he can cash in and sell the whole thing for a massive score!