WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR (AND THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!)

EBERLE COMMON

Another spring, same shopping list. A big center, a defenseman with a mean look and hair on his ass and maybe a shot from the point. WHY did they send Sheldon Souray away again? Anyway, Craig MacTavish has a busy summer ahead and he needs to be active. When he goes to market, what will he have in his arsenal for trade?

TOP 10 ITEMS OF VALUE THIS SUMMER

  1. Money: The Oilers might decide to go the free agent route for one of their holes (C, D). Names like David Legwand and Andrei Markov have been mentioned, and of course Edmonton offers free agents special “location” value in the form of extra seasons tacked on to the contract. Think lots times four years.
  2. The 2014 1st round pick: I think you could make a case for trading the pick IF a long term solution to the problem is unavailable. Aaron Ekblad and Leon Draisaitl may well solve stud D and big C respectively, but if the Oilers draft fourth and don’t feel Sam Bennett is a perfect fit, we may see the team trade that pick for a more immediate solution (Tyler Myers might be an example).
  3. One or more of the young defensemen: This is an area fans argue over, and it’s understandable. Who in their right minds would trade Marincin or Klefbom after waiting this long? Well, the Oilers have a plethora of young defensemen, and may need one of them to acquire a more mature player who can step right in. The Oilers already have a mentor-type in Andrew Ference, but if they go to market and have a chance to get a 20+ minute a night defender it could take several pieces to acquire the player.
  4. The 2015 1st round pick: This selection may have more actual value than this year’s pick. An acquiring team might be willing to bet on the Oilers failing again next year (that’s a decent bet) and pick up the extra 1st. If it ends up being outside the top 10 next year, it’ll have value. Should the Oilers have another year in the cellar, the acquiring team might get Connor McDavid!
  5. Trading Ordanjay Eberleway: Out of respect for this blog’s emperor, I’ve fiddled with the actual name. I’m not a fan of dealing Ordanjay, but if the return is a major deal involving Sean Couturier and Braydon Coburn? Mr. Eberleway might be the valued asset sent away.
  6. Trading Justin Schultz: This idea seems to be gaining some support in certain circles, but as with Ordanjay I don’t think it’s a good idea. I spent years as an Expos fan, and they were famous for fixating on their good players’ shortcomings and then sending them away for mush. If you don’t believe me, check out what they got for Gary Carter.
  7. Taking on a valuable player with a crazy contract. Carolina is apparently thinking about dealing Eric Staal, and no wonder with that contract.  I’m not saying Staal should be a target, only that the idea of acquiring a contract overpay for less than full value has appeal. Staal looks good in a quick glance, but that’s a lot of loot.
  8. Emerging prospects: The counter to point #3 is that one or more of these prospects might emerge ala Martin Marincin this season. If Lander or Pitlick or Horak find a way to make themselves useful, that’s one less problem to fret over during the summer.
  9. The waiver wire. Edmonton hasn’t used this much over the years, but would do well to learn from the New York Islanders about the value of players plucked from the scrap heap. MacT picked up Luke Gazdic last fall, maybe they can find a useful player in September.
  10. The current roster taking a step forward. This is the most likely way for this team to improve. I’m absolutely against trading Nail Yakupov (as an example) because the potential for him to bust a move and score 30 goals next year is real. Even a veteran like Sam Gagner (should he stay) is extremely likely to be more productive in 2013-14.

READY, SET, GO!

bourne

MacT needs to be aggressive—Jason Bourne aggressive—this summer. The college free agents are signing, Dillon Simpson’s UND team lost tonight and they await an invite to the NCAA hockey dance, there are tumblers clicking all over the hockey world.

The Oilers need to be involved in all of it. Hold on. It’s coming.

  • Spydyr

    So Lowetide you don’t recommend trading anyone but the team will be better next year.

    Wrong, it is time to make that “bold” trade, move one of the kids for a true top defencman.Try to make a package for a big number two center.Revamp the bottom six less Jones and Landers more Hendricks and players like Shaw from Chicago.Make the team difficult to play against.I’m tired of watching an Oiler get manhandled while players such as Shultz and Belov are looking down making sure their skates are tied. If you don’t stand up for your teammates you don’t belong on my team.No matter what the name on the back of your sweater says.

    Scrivens gets it.

  • Spydyr

    One more thing if they trade next years first round pick (2015) this summer “The braintrust” is more lost then we give them credit for.How could you possibly trade an asset that could very well be yet another lotto pick in one of the deepest drafts in years without knowing the true value of the pick.It could be anywhere from 1-10.

  • Craig1981

    I really, really, want the Oilers to be a hockey team again.

    However, there are some facts we need to realize and not hold onto old hopes and glories.

    The facts are:

    1) The worst team in the NHL over the past 14 years, coinciding with Kevin Lowe’s arrival on the scene.

    2) The majority of what Lowe has done includes Mac T. They are joined at the Hip. They are a team.

    3) As was quoted from a friend of mine who works in the NHL, will not give any more information. “The Oilers are a recycle plant for all the NHL garbage. This is well known in the NHL and there is no respect for the management of that team.”

    4) The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball).

    So, here are the facts. There are two things to consider getting free agents to Edmonton. The most obvious, the players. Second, their agents, which are equally important because they want to protect their financial assets.

    The agents, who make their lifelong paycheck from advising and negotiating for players that play an average of 3 to 5 years in the league are well seasoned in the “business”.

    So, If the agents look at the Oilers. They want to maximize the economics of the player, but also the future value of their asset. This includes development, and the “winning” factor which will affect future negotiations.

    Because of the Oilers recent 14 year record. The agents look at the Oilers as the “team of last resort” in their recommendations to their players. If two teams are bidding for a player with equal money. Do you go to a winning team or the Oilers if you are an agent? That is easy.

    The only way to correct the problem is a culture and leadership change within the Oilers organization so a “fresh slate” can be developed with the players and agents.

    This will not be accomplished with Lowe, Mac T, Smith, Buchburger et al.

    We need a complete change, otherwise the NHL recycle team for NHL garbage will continue to be very good at what it has been for 14 years. Losing.

    • Spydyr

      Very well said and IMO most of us here agree with you.The thing is with Katz as the owner the chances of what you said happening are very Lowe(pun intended).

    • toprightcorner

      I question all of your points to their accuracy. Some are made up, some are twisted to make your point and some are all together not accurate.

      #1 – Worst team in last 14 years? Depends on the stats you use. In 2011 SB Nation did ranking using a point system for team standings, making playoffs, cup finals and winning the cup to rank the last 10 years. If you take those same measurments and put in the last 2 years and previous 2 years, FLA, ATL/WPG, NYI and CBJ are by far the worst 4 teams in last 14 years, Edmonton ranked 22nd.

      If you look at the last 6 years, then you are correct as the Oilers have the worst winning % in that span.

      #2 – How has the majority of what Lowe has done been with MacT? He is a first year GM and he was a coach for a bunch of years but the coach has nothing to do with mgmt. For the first 8 years of Lowe being GM and MacT coaching Lowe was actually considered a good GM with many great trades and made the playoffs in 5 of the 8 years he was GM and MacT has a .537 winning% over the same time. If you want to blame Lowe for where the Oilers sit now, fine, but do not say it is becasue of the tandem of him and MacT as this is untrue

      #3 – If nobody has respect for the management team (which must mean Lowe since MacT is new to mgmt) why does Lowe always get invited to be a part of the management group for Team Canada?

      Not saying Lowe is great or anything but not only does your comment not make sense but I do not see an NHL employee stating such a thing to a joe blow like you.

      BTW, just cause your buddy sells beer at the games, it doesn’t mean he works in the NHL

      #4 – ” The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball). Why would you not name the magazine? Is it becasue it doesn’t exist? ESPN voted Toronto Maple Leafs the worst run sports franchise from 2007 – 2012. Others I looked up at Fox Sports, Bleacher Report and even Forbes and the lists were mostly made up of NFL, NBA and MLB teams with only 1 NHL team ranked in the bottom 10 on only 1 list I looked at, Phoenix, when they did not have an owner. No such article exists on Sports Illustrated.

      I am not going to say that I agree or disagree with the point you are trying to make because you never used any facts to make your point, just a bunch of made up stuff and guesses or twisting the truths.

      Your comments would be much more credible if you used actual facts to back up your points. Anyone can B.S. to make their point which you have just proven to all of us.

      • Harry2

        Totally agree. to quote “) The major sports industry magazine in North America voted the Oilers the worst managed team of all major professional sports teams (NHL, NBA, NFL, Soccer, Baseball).”

        just name the dam magazine, or quit being a rabble rouser.

    • Spydyr

      No use telling the truth to Oilers fans they will trash your comments.

      Reality has jumped the shark for Oiler fans.

      Oiler fans you are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts

    • Sevenseven

      Agree with you almost 100% The oilers have to take a hard look at why top ufas and players with NMC do not come Edmonton. Its not the weather. Its managment. From the treatment of Souray to Heatly in his prime refusing a trade to Edmonton, there are many examples. Getting rid of klowe and all those clown assistant coaches would help. Mac t has shown desire to shake the makeup of this team. Id give him one more year to see if any progress comes.

    • Johnnydapunk

      Whilst I kindof agree on a few points, I hate to admit this but depending on what you mean by managed, but from a business side of things, they are somehow quite well run. Which makes the p*ss poor performances of the Oil even more galling.

      The fact that the franchise has doubled in value since 2008 is not something to sneeze at.

      But what doesn’t help the Oil in attracting players is something as simple as geographical location, Edmonton is the city I grew up in and everything but it’s pretty isolated and the weather is not so nice.

      I’m sure factors in deciding where to play are things like your life outside of hockey, and if you can play somewhere in the sun and nice weather, or a major city that perhaps is near home, those things I’m sure play a pretty big part.

      Of course if the team has a chance at a cup or at least some success, that is a factor also but that also depends on the stage of their career, the ones who have won a cup are sometimes more open to a move.

      Regarding your idea that agents are concerned about their financial assets, a losing team does have an advantage also as being on a team that isn’t winning and being able to use that as an “excuse” for a poorly performing player works in the agents favour, when it comes to the financial side of things. Agents follow,the money and security, which a team with cap space and stable ownership can offer which is one of the few things the Oil are.

      The Oil cause me pain of course, and getting free agents here has never been easy, the biggest reason will always be geographical, which is something that won’t change.

      If they can get rid of Chabot and the assistants, that would be a massive boost I believe, especially Chabot before he ruins another 2 goalies.

  • O.C.

    Nothing good is going to happen until the real problem, Kevnin Lowe and all his croonies are gone.

    These guys could not run a lemon aid stand.

    Until they are all still here, expect the losing to continue.

    Brian Burke was right in saying Kevin Lowe will decimate this team.

    The fans need to speak up about the problem like in other cities that were fed up with their sports mismanagement.

    Until then, we can keep post all of our thoughts, which don’t mean anything anyways.

    The only things the fans can do to fix the problem is protest that Kevin Lowe be fired.

    I for one, am going to the game in a Flames jersey tonight as a protest with a sign fire Kevin Lowe (If they let me bring it into the building)!!!

  • Bucknuck

    I was so sure the Oilers would make some noise this year. I had been hopeful in years before (especially 2008-2009), but this year I really believed. I almost feel betrayed so some broken part of me just can’t even hope anymore.

    It stopped being fun somewhere along the line. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way.

    Next year better be “the one” or there could be some seriously empty seats at Rexall soon.

    • Serious Gord

      Speaking of seats…

      Season ticket holders – some of them at least – have a hell of a sweet deal going. A good friend of mine shares a pair with a friend and the buy them corporately – writing off the cost. If I have the math right they paid about ninety dollars off the posted price on the ticket.

      They each pick a few games that they go to and they sell the remainder for cash, making more than enough to pay for the games they watch and they have over years built up a surplus to the point that by the time the new arena is finished the invested surplus will be generating enough income to pay for the tickets I perpetuity.

      And example he told me of was selling the pair for the last game of the season last year (against Vancouver) for a thousand dollars each. The cost to him was less than 200 each which was written off.

      In sum don’t pity the season ticket holders too much.

      • ChillyPepper

        Gord, for every case like your friends there are 100 that can’t give the tickets away except for the original six games and a couple other teams after Christmas. Those games are usually the worst night ever if you are sitting beside some of these once a year I don’t give a shi# about anyone else in my area fans.
        The problem is as a season ticket holder I was ready to give up a couple of years ago but like many have family that want to buy them down the road and we hope they will get an opportunity to see a dominant team. I feel a lot more optimistic about this team that sits in 29th this year than the one that finished in 24th last year. They absolutely have to shake up the top six by adding size and a 2-3 veteran d man.I wish K-Lowe and some of the management were not there but that won’t make it happen. I like Mac T and I keep going back & forth on Eakins.

  • Craig1981

    Tonight’s game will be a very real litmus test for the Oilers. The Flames are playing their second game in a row and the Oilers are fresh after being embarrassed by Buffalo.

    The Flames are playing most of their junior roster and has a coach that has everyone playing to the very top of their capabilities.

    I predict a hell of a game!

  • Serious Gord

    Lets not kid ourselves…..we aint winning anything next year. To give up a young defenceman with so much potential would be wrong

    We have figured out you cant pry away 1st pairing D-men from another club and most clubs with 1 or 2 number ones are undoubtedly (usually) in the playoffs (nasville ecluded)

    In any sport defence wins championships, and you have to be solid down the middle.

    Lets let the d-men mature one more year, and if we have and abundance of great D-men, then you can trade them for REAL value……and this way you dont step into any landmines like Clarkson (BTW, sometimes the best move is not getting an overpaid dud)

    As far as the like of an Eric Staal….great idea if contracts werent guaranteed like the NFL…..but if you screw up and youre saddle with a bad contract, you set you club back several years (ref, Oilers after the Stanley Cup run)

    Lets stay level headed………

  • Craig1981

    “Trade for a big tough fast center”, “We need a 1-2 tough as nails defense” or we won’t win. “Sign xxx as Free Agent” Who are these guys with GMs dumb enough to trade them or with Agents desprate enough to place their players future in Klowe management teams hands?

    One priority this summer is to replace the management team, so players and agents change their view on coming to play with the Oilers. I like Bob Nicholson to lead this team.

    Second priority is shaking a defenseman loose who can be a 2. I can only see two options in the entire league Myers or Josi. I like Myers bigger and tougher and right handed shot.

    Third priority re-think your core, we will become winner because the defense develops NOT because of the number 1 picks.

    New core
    Hall, Shultz, Petry, Klefbom, Nurse, RNH, Marincin, Scrivens, Yakupov, Eberle, Gagner our next 1st round pick in that order

    Fourth priority
    SIGNIFICANTLY over pay for Paul Stasny in FA, make it impossible to say no we have cap space and Katz money.

  • camdog

    I supported Gagner a lot over the years, but he hasn’t given me any ammo to defend him with this year. I am unsure as to why being defensively aware is so difficult.

  • Craig1981

    “Edmonton offers free agents special “location” value in the form of extra seasons tacked on to the contract. Think lots times four years.”

    This is a stupid strategy when applied to guys like Ference or Markov.

    Markov wants $6M x 3 years? Offer $8M x 2 years. He would be crazy not to take the two year deal.

  • Slapshot

    Everyone just needs to take it easy,If Kevin Lowe says he “knows a thing or two about winning” why are us tier 1 and 2 fans doubting him? its only been 8 years and counting,lets give him a break. I am sure next year things will be better,what possibly could go wrong with this management group running the show?

  • Slapshot

    We shouldn’t expect too much from this particular management for next year. If we expect them to turn this team into a contender, the most likely outcome is disapointment and heartbrake. But if we expect absolutely nothing, two outcomes are possible: 1- we are confirmed in our believes that they are bumbling idiots; 2- We are pleasently surprised. And it’s always fun to be pleasently surprised.

  • ChillyPepper

    hall-nuge-couturier
    yakupov-anisomov-perron
    Hendricks-Gordon-colbourne
    gazdic-brian boyle- ott
    pitlick

    marincin-petry
    ference-markov
    Schultz-Nikitin
    Klefbom

    Scrivens
    Fasth

  • JSR

    Ryan Smyth NEEDS to hang up the skates. Its embarrassing to watch him. he cant skate, he can hardly shoot the puck. the oilers will not compete in this league until he is gone. Its beginning to be comical.

  • beloch

    MacT should and all of the old boys should just get up and leave. I’m sick of these idiots. Just seeing their faces has created a pavlovian reflex of utter distain for what they have done to this franchise.

  • beloch

    I always comment on how Opinion is a point of view without fact!

    After going to “some kind of ninja” and looking at shots against while a collection of oilers are on the ice.seeing the goals that result

    I think that, Fraser, Ference, Gazdic are not nhl players.

    championship teams have 9-11 top 200 EVG forwards and usually 4-5 top 100 forwards.

    A list teams players and top (xx) in the brackets and Edmonton that year!

    12-13 CHI: toews (1); Kane (10); Hossa (30); Saad (75); Bickell (75); Stahlberg (75); shaw (140); Bolland (160); Sharp (200)

    12-13 EDM: Eberle (20); Hall (30); Yakupov (40); Gagner (50); MP (160)

    LAK: was more defensive team:
    but they still had 7 and a player who had been top 100 returned in the playoffs.

    Carter (60); Kopitar (90); Gagne (90); King (90); williams (130); Brown (140); Richards (160)

    EDM: Eberle (12); RNH (90); Smyth (90); Hall (110); Gagner (140); Jones (140); Hemsky (200)

    EDM 13-14: hall (20); Perron (25); Eberle (45); RNH (145); Gagner (220); Yak (220); Goedon (250); Smyth (290); hendricks (290).

    we see that Hall, Perron, Eberle, are top 50 EVG scorers.

    Yak has already been a top 50 EVG scorer in the correct system.

    RNH top 90 when healthy!

    Gagner, Smyth paired with quality scorers are top 120 EVG.

    Hemdricks adn Gordon make high caliber #11 and 12 forwards.
    And if you run 3 of the 20 best PKGA forwards on the 4th.

    Hall-RNH-XXX
    Perron-XXX-Eberle
    XXX-Gagner-XXX
    Hendricks-Gordon-Smyth

    looking @ EVGA

    XXX-XXX

    Marincin-Petry

    Klefbom – SChultz