rnh common

I’ve been operating under the assumption that the Edmonton Oilers plan to bring in a 2 line center. A “Gagner replacement” and someone who will play between RNH at the top and Boyd Gordon/Mark Arcobello down below. What if the Oilers plan this summer is to hire a 1line C, and have the Nuge kill the soft parade?

parkatti faceoffs

Parkatti wrote an excellent piece on the subject here, it’s a terrific read.

The main point for our purposes today is the idea that bringing in a 1line center, a more veteran center, is a better idea than bringing in a secondary guy. Put another way, instead of talking about Nazem Kadri or Sean Couturier, we might be talking about Ryan O’Reilly or Paul Stastny.


In the case of O’Reilly and Stastny, money. Lots and lots of money. They are both free agents, and have a high degree of value. Over at Fansided’s Mile High Sticking, Avs fans were asked to vote on which one to play, and the results are significant.

stastny or o'reilly


vollman sledgehammer avs

This is the Vollman, and I’m using Corsi Rel (players relative to their teammates). Both players are getting tough competition and similar zone starts, and both have good to very good numbers. Offensively, they’re sold, and both are quality in the faceoff circle, although O’Reilly took many fewer this season.


Assuming the Avs can sign only one, which player would you like to see in an Oiler uniform? Does it make sense to pay the max (this will be a grand contract, well past Hall’s $6 million) and to hire a center who is more experienced? Thus allowing the Nuge to kill the softs?



Make no mistake, we’re talking about spending the defensive money on a center. However, with Parkatti’s information, and understanding the Nuge needs some help, is this a better plan?

It might be.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I would love to see the Oilers grab Stastny. But I would guess he will cost the Oilers $7.5M per season.

    That would give the Oilers a top six costing approximately $33.2m. It’s doable but it means value contracts are needed outside the top six, which then means Ference and Hendricks are a problem.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If you can sign a free agent and lose no assets why concern ourselves with overpaying a player if it does not affect the cap? We would be lucky if any of those players were interested in coming to Edmonton to begin with. I liked it better when we didn’t know salaries and everything was based solely on their play.
    I am more concerned with the Oilers asset management as our habit of trading or losing players for nothing e.g.Greene,Stoll,Ciogliano,Glenncross,Brodziak etc. let’s see… 3rd and 4th line centres who win face-offs, a big heavy tough defensive defenseman and a solid top nine winger with an edge just what this team needs.

  • bazmagoo

    Stastny could be a great move, but not at more than $6 mil per season. Considering this is his best season to date I’d reasonably assume he’s hit his ceiling as this is a UFA contract year. He’d a great addition to the Oilers, but I’d much rather spend that cash on a #1 d-man myself. Too bad there isn’t any available.

    The team cap of a max of $6 mil per core piece is about the only thing we’ve got going for us right now.

    • Bishai in the Benches

      I think there is virtually no chance the Oil will land a big fish via free agency to fill either of their glaring holes (top pair D man or 1C).

      This brings me back to my thought that the Oil should be actively entertaining offers for their top draft pick this year.

  • OilClog

    we need a first line centre a first line winger a first line bruiser a first pair dman, a president of hockey operations who is not an ass hole like kevin lowe and someone who appreciates the fans.

    Oh and someone who is not french canadian, cuz god damn those frenchies are idiots.

    We could probably use a black guy or two– usually pays dividends

    Oh and better music at the games, get DJ Azaad

    • Admiral Ackbar

      How is a post like this acceptable?

      You, sir, are a clown. Stop worrying about what languages players speak and the colour of their skin. If you’re just classlessly trying to get a rise out of everyone, you’ve succeeded. If you actually believe this, you’ve got some growing up to do, regardless of your current age.

      Moving on….

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Nuge needs to grow a pair for one thing. He has played pussy hockey from the start. I haven’t heard him say even once post game anything but the usual blah blah blah about how the team is improving and getting better. He is one big bag of excuses. Bad pick. He clearly gasn’t got what it takes. Bad pick.

    Eberle and Schultz are the same style of player. All offence no defence and no apparent likelihood of change. Nut transplants all round please.

    • Bishai in the Benches

      I do agree that there are a few too many of the same players in Nuge, Ebs, Gags and Shultz. A couple also should probably be moved to create a more dynamic roster which can give and take “Heavy Hockey”. Because this whole passing it into the net with these overly adored young skinny good at trick shots in practice type players isn’t getting anything done ’round these parts.
      Then again most of oil nation would shart a collective brick if we had to ship out a good player for a good player. Like any team would somehow want some magic beans and spare parts for their significant investments.

    • Sorensenator

      He plays it safe with the media, not a very outspoken guy.

      I don’t know what hockey you have been watching because Nuge has a nastiness to his game. He doesn’t put up with BS unlike Gagner.

      Give him a couple more years to fill out, the kid still looks like he’s 12 for peats sake.

      • Tikkanese

        “I don’t know what hockey you have been watching” because Gagner doesn’t put up with BS. Ask Beauchemin, Jack Johnson or any of the 5 other guys he’s fought in the NHL. With a 3-2-2 record overall I might add by the votes on hockeyfights.com. Featherweight Champ of the NHL lest we forget.

        Nuge is starting to develop a little pushback, possibly rubbing off from Perron? I like it.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    The team does not require it to have all Lucic type players . Boring hockey if it was . We need more size and physically to surround our young base . Your not going to get much physicality from our youthful seeing as they are not that type of player to begin with . They can still be more combative in battles , however , and that’s what Eakins appears to be instilling in them . Progress , although slower than anticipated or hoped for in this regard ,is still pretty limited but is moving forward somewhat .

    It’ about getting some more players on each top line to open up our type of game and handle the physicality aspect for each line . We presently do not have that ,even though Perron I classify as combative . You still need superior skill to compliment size and physicality – two way street .

  • Bishai in the Benches

    I think it depends on what kind of a rise in salary cap we see this year. It might be enough to offset the signing of a player like O’Rielly. The Oil could still be in good shape as they also have a bunch of retained salaries/mistakes coming off the books and I would have to assume that if a center is coming in then Gagner is moving out. Can Gagner get you a good 3C ????

    • Bishai in the Benches

      Its not just about $. There is little about the Oil that would likely attract a big fish free agent. Bad team, bad management, bad weather, bad travel schedule.

  • Jordan1126

    id do whatever it takes to get mackinnon… , nuge, kleftbom, and the1st rounder, hell even throw in marincin.

    then i would trade yakupov, gagner and a prospect for sequin.

    then i would resign hemsky to play top 6

    then the oilers would have hall mackinnon hemsky first line and free agent sequin and perron 2nd line.

    strength down the middle with scoring on the wings

    role players through lines 3 and 4…problem solved 🙂

    end of big splash…

  • Admiral Ackbar

    This is the first summer where Nuge isn’t recovering from shoulder surgery. I’m hoping that makes a huge difference for him going into next season.

    We should be looking to add experience to important positions on the team. 2C and top 2 D. I’m sure we led the league in terms of minutes played by kids under 25.

  • Ryan14

    Hardly anyone talks about spezza. Rumour is he is being shopped out west according to Ferraro. May not be an offensive juggernaut but he is respnsible and has what this team sorely lakes in its top 6, experience. He would be a good pick-up in my books.

    Theoretically the oilers will be a year older and “should” be naturally getting better. Theoretically.