A RECIPE FOR LOSING…

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I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and the the prequels, The Hobbit. Over the years Sam Gagner has earned the moniker “Samwise” here in the Nation, a reference to Samwise Gamgee, one of the hobbits and loyal sidekick to Frodo Baggins.

I’ve long mentioned that one of the Oilers biggest concerns is their lack of size within their skilled players. The young Oilers have skill, but compared to the rest of the western conference the Oilers look like Dwarfs.

Until they rectify this issue, I don’t see this team improving.

I’ve noticed a lot of people suggest that I put too much stock into the Oilers lack of size. Trust me, lack of size isn’t the only issue on this team, and I can’t address all of them in one article, but when you take a moment to compare the Oilers top-nine forwards to the top-nine of playoff teams they don’t come close to matching up. It is a major concern.

I don’t think people realize just how much smaller and lighter the Oilers are compared to the rest of the west. When you combine their lack of size with their lack of experience you get five consecutive seasons of finishing 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th and 28th.

Craig MacTavish has to recognize this, and until he addresses it, I don’t see this team competing for a playoff spot.

I’ve heard just get better players, and of course that will help, but these are considered the Oilers best nine forwards. They have NHL skill, but collectively this group lacks the size to compete against the other teams top lines.

I have outlined the top-nine of forwards of this year’s western conference playoff teams (based on TOI). In the case of San Jose I didn’t include Brent Burns because Burns will be playing defence next season.

LOS ANGELES
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Anze Kopitar “A”  6′ 3″ 224 26
Jeff Carter   6′ 4″ 212 29
Marian Gaborik   6′ 1″ 204 32
Jarret Stoll   6′ 1″ 213 31
Justin Williams   6′ 1″ 189 32
Mike Richards   5′ 11″ 196 29
Dustin Brown “C”  6′ 0″ 207 29
Dwight King   6′ 4″ 230 24
Tyler Toffoli   6′ 1″ 196 22
Average 6′ 1/2″ 207.8 28.2
ANAHEIM
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Ryan Getzlaf “C”  6′ 4″ 221 29
Corey Perry   6′ 3″ 212 29
Nick Bonino   6′ 1″ 196 26
Jakob Silfverberg   6′ 1″ 200 23
Andrew Cogliano   5′ 10″ 181 26
Devante Smith-Pelly   6′ 0″ 222 21
Matt Beleskey   6′ 0″ 200 25
Patrick Maroon   6′ 3″ 230 26
Daniel Winnik   6′ 2″ 207 29
Average 6’1.3″ 207.6 26
SAN JOSE
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Joe Pavelski   5′ 11″ 190 29
Joe Thornton “C”  6′ 4″ 220 34
Patrick Marleau “A”  6′ 2″ 220 34
Logan Couture   6′ 1″ 200 25
Tommy Wingels   6′ 0″ 200 26
Matt Nieto   5′ 11″ 190 21
Tomas Hertl   6′ 2″ 210 20
James Sheppard   6′ 1″ 215 26
Raffi Torres   6′ 0″ 215 32
Average 6′ 1″ 206.6 27.4
ST.LOUIS
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Alexander Steen “A”  5′ 11″ 212 30
T.J. Oshie “A”  5′ 11″ 189 27
David Backes “C”  6′ 3″ 221 30
Jaden Schwartz   5′ 10″ 190 21
Vladimir Sobotka   5′ 10″ 197 26
Vladimir Tarasenko   6′ 0″ 219 22
Steve Ott   6′ 0″ 189 31
Patrik Berglund   6′ 3″ 217 25
Maxim Lapierre   6′ 2″ 215 29
Average  6′ 0″ 205.4 26.7
CHICAGO 
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Jonathan Toews “C”  6′ 2″ 208 26
Patrick Kane   5′ 11″ 181 25
Marian Hossa   6′ 1″ 210 35
Patrick Sharp “A”  6′ 1″ 199 32
Brandon Saad   6′ 1″ 202 21
Marcus Kruger   6′ 0″ 181 23
Bryan Bickell   6′ 4″ 233 28
Ben Smith   5′ 11″ 207 25
Michal Handzus   6′ 5″ 215 37
Average  6′ 1″ 204 28
MINNESOTA
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Mikko Koivu “C”  6′ 3″ 222 31
Zach Parise “A”  5′ 11″ 197 29
Jason Pominville   6′ 0″ 185 31
Mikael Granlund   5′ 10″ 186 22
Matt Cooke   5′ 11″ 208 35
Charlie Coyle   6′ 3″ 221 22
Nino Niederreiter   6′ 2″ 209 21
Erik Haula   5′ 11″ 192 23
Kyle Brodziak   6′ 2″ 208 29
Average  6′ 1/2″ 203.1 27
DALLAS
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Jamie Benn “C”  6′ 2″ 210 24
Tyler Seguin   6′ 1″ 195 22
Cody Eakin   6′ 0″ 190 22
Alex Chiasson   6′ 4″ 205 23
Colton Sceviour   6′ 0″ 200 25
Vernon Fiddler   5′ 11″ 205 34
Shawn Horcoff “A”  6′ 1″ 210 35
Valeri Nichushkin   6′ 4″ 205 19
Antoine Roussel   6′ 0″ 200 24
Average 6′ 1″ 202.2 25.3
COLORADO
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Ryan O’Reilly   6′ 0″ 200 23
Paul Stastny “A”  6′ 0″ 205 28
Gabriel Landeskog “C”  6′ 1″ 204 21
Nathan MacKinnon   6′ 0″ 182 18
Matt Duchene   5′ 11″ 200 23
PA Parenteau   6′ 0″ 193 31
Jamie McGinn   6′ 1″ 210 25
Marc-Andre Cliche   6′ 0″ 202 27
Maxime Talbot   5′ 11″ 190 30
Average 6′ 0″ 198.5 25.1
Edmonton
Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Taylor Hall   6′ 1″ 201 22
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins   6′ 1″ 180 21
Jordan Eberle   5′ 11″ 180 24
David Perron   6′ 0″ 198 25
Sam Gagner   5′ 11″ 202 24
Nail Yakupov   5′ 11″ 186 20
Boyd Gordon   6′ 0″ 202 30
Matt Hendricks   6′ 0″ 211 32
Mark Arcobello   5′ 8″ 166 25
Average  5′ 11″ 191.7 24.7

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

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  • You will notice the Oilers are the shortest, lightest and youngest team. They average 7 pounds less than the Colorado Avalanche. Due to their youth, I think it is safe to say that in three years this group of forwards will collectively be heavier. Hall, RNH, Yakupov and Eberle will all put on more muscle as they mature, but outside of Hall, I doubt any of them become 200+ pounds.
  • I’ve read many suggest the Oilers can be like the Avalanche. A young, skilled, fast team. In theory that makes sense, but which Oilers will be the solid two-way, skilled forwards like O’Reilly, Stastny and Landeskog? (I believe Stastny re-signs in Colorado)
  • I’ve read many suggest that Chicago isn’t that big. You will notice the Hawks average 204 pounds in their top-nine. They are only a few pounds lighter than the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. The other factor very few people talk about is that the Hawks top-nine forwards are the 2nd oldest in the west. They average 28 years of age, only the Kings are older at 28.2 years of age. Along with their great skill, the Hawks have good size and a lot of experience.
  • The Oilers top-nine as it sits today will give up an average of 10 pounds/player against every team except Colorado. Combine that lack of size, with a lack of physical players and experience and it is a losing combination.
  • This is not new, however, it seems the organization and some fans believe it isn’t an issue. News flash: it is a major issue and until MacTavish finds some heavier, older, skilled forwards to protect his young forwards, this group won’t be winning very often.
  • Size doesn’t matter in every situation, but when the other team’s skilled players — who are just as good, and in many cases better than the Oilers — are bigger and stronger, they will simply win more battles, cycle the puck easier and create more opportunities.
  • The Oilers do have a few forwards in the system who have some size, but none of them are ready for the NHL just yet. Mitch Moroz (211), Jujhar Khaira (210), Greg Chase (205) and Bogdan Yakimov (202) are all over 200 pounds and have some skill. Will that translate into NHL skill? We will wait and see, but until they are ready to contribute in the NHL MacTavish has to add some skilled size into his top-nine to give them a fighting chance in the western conference.

QUICK HITS….

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  • Cory Crawford isn’t as good as Jonathan Quick, Carey Price or Henrik Lundqvist, but he’s a damn good goalie. He never seems to get any respect. He just keeps winning and playing solid.
  • Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller will both be UFAs this summer. Will either of them go to a contending team? Do you think they are difference makers?
  • The Oil Kings should have four more players drafted next month. Dysin Mayo, Edgars Kulba, Aaron Irving and Brett Pollock will likely go, and Mads Eller could also hear his name called. Bob Green built a stable of very good WHL players, and now we’ll see how many of them can go to the next level.
  • The Edmonton Rush were 17-3 in the regular season and playoffs, but their season ended due to a 10-minute mini game. They lost 2-1 despite outshooting Calgary 12-5 in those ten minutes. The rule sucked for both teams, but it shows you how finicky pro sports can be. The best team doesn’t always win. The Rush are young and should be just as good next year. They also own the #3 overall pick (Philly’s from the Brodie Merrill trade two years ago) so they should get another very good player.
  • Tough break for the Habs. Oilers fans know how it feels to lose your starting goaltending in the playoffs, but unless the Habs forwards can beat Lundqvist it won’t matter if Price is playing. Lundqvist is playing sensational right now.
  • I still can’t believe Glen Sather was able to acquire Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez and his $7 million contract. What was Bob Gainey thinking?
  • Reminder to get your tickets for this year’s King/Queen of Karaoke contest this Friday at On The Rocks. All proceeds go towards the MS Bike Tour and I guarantee you will have a great night. This year’s group of finalists are even better than last year, and someone will win $1,000. Buy tickets here.

  • Last week I wrote a quick update about the Gregor Foundation and wanted to thank all of you for helping make it a success. I received this email from Larry, one of the teachers, and I wanted to share it with you. Thank you once again for helping out our Foundation.

We’re sitting here at our desks reading your article with tears in our eyes. In fact, I’m in the middle of helping “Peter” with his English. You did an excellent job of capturing the moment. There is a good portion of our society that either does not know or perhaps, even care about these kids. The Fresh Start program through Edmonton Catholic works with the kids that do not fit into the traditional school setting…many are brilliant academically, but suffer from varying forms of mental illness, bullying, substance abuse issues, criminal activity…some are school phobic, many have suffered abuse, neglect and abandonment in their lives.  Most have little to no parental guidance and many are either independent students or wards of the court.

The bottom line, however, is that we still have to get them to the same finish line as every other kid in the Province, namely to write their Diplomas and graduate. And, as I said to you before, had you not stepped in to help, these guys would not have gone to their graduation. So many of them have been dumped on and let down over and over by adults in their lives…but you, your family, friends and volunteers and of course, your listeners, have let them know that there are far many more people out there who care. It’s the ultimate win-win! We will make sure you get Grad pictures. Thanks again from all of us.

Lawrence

    Recently by Jason Gregor:

      • So BPA should mean “Biggest Player Available”? The Oilers are trying to remedy the size issue. They started by trading Reider for Kessy. I bet they regret that trade, or soon will.

      • Serious Gord

        Nice read Jason, sadly though you have been singing this same tune for years now. Just wondering if six rings or any of the oil top brass can read. Maybe you need to send them an audio clip or even better send them a tape of a few of these play off games. Six rings likely doesn’t have satellite feed from his summer home in Salmon arm or he’s out scouting his next off the board draft pick. Hmm how about the ” The edmonton Oilers are proud to select Riely Nash with the 2st pick. I’m Kevin Lowe and I think I know a thing or two about building a winning Hockey team.

      • Slapshot

        I cant believe how many people on here disagreed with Gregors article,the Oilers have been brutal these past 8 years ,does anyone really think over a seven games series we could beat a team like LA,Anaheim,Chicago or San Jose? this team has been mismanaged by Kevin Lowe ,from hiring Tambellini, and keeping Buchberger and Smith as assistant coaches through 4 head coaches is a joke.Katz should’ve of shown everyone the door several years ago and brought in a competent POHO.As long as the old boys club is around get used to watching this circus.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Skill, speed, competitiveness and size.

        The first three are much more important than the last. Just ask the big burly Boston Bruins, who were pretty much embarrassed by the Montreal Canadians.

        The only thing the Oilers lack, is competitiveness. Size is irrelevant if you don’t have the first 3 elements. The Oilers just have this order of elements all mixed up.

        • Serious Gord

          I agree to some extent. But the lack of competitiveness is extreme even if it is hard to quantify.

          And it is worth noting that all four of these elements are largely genetic – aquiring a player with three of the four and expecting to be able to train/coach the fourth is folly.

          Thus a lack of competitiveness cannot be developed – it has to be aquired and those lacking competitiveness traded away. Once that is done, what would be left?

        • Quicksilver ballet

          I’m not sure the Bruins are the best example of why “big” teams don’t always win. For a start, have a look at their recent history..

          But more relevant than that, the Bruins downfall vs montreal IMO was their inexperience on the backend. Here’s their top six D, ordered by playoff EV/TOI:

          Chara
          Bartkowski
          Boychuck
          Krug
          Miller
          Hamilton

          4 of them are in their first or second season. Sure sounds similar to the type of defense the oil like to roll with.

          I’d suggest this is the part of the lineup that has more influence on wins.

        • Zarny

          Skill, speed and competitiveness are going to do SFA against behemoths like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, etc because all of those players have skill, speed and competitiveness too…plus size/strength.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You may want to take note in a week. When all 3 of your so called behemoths are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup.

            They will all be wearing “Participant” ribbons though, for their efforts these last couple weeks. So, i guess that’s worth something.

            Skill, speed, competitiveness and size. If the first 3 elements aren’t present, the fourth matters little**

            Your opinions are often a tad wobbly there Zarny, but they are fascinating, i’ll give you that.

            ** Rule No.1/page 1 in our HFD handbook.

            • Harry2

              Hey Mr. Gold Gloves Ballet. Maybe you should take a look at the diversity of the forward groups of the 4 remaining teams. They all have big strong skilled forwards and they also have small strong skilled forwards.

              Edm has only small (some strong) skilled forwards. I think in all your days of bare knuckle boxing you might have lost a couple valuable brain cells

            • Zarny

              All 3 are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup?

              You apparently missed Jeff Carter’s hat trick tonight lol.

              You know…in the Western Conference finals with LA.

              You are correct size by itself is little more than Luke Gazdic.

              That isn’t what anyone is talking about. They are talking about players who have just as much skill, speed and competitiveness as any player on the Oilers.

              And they are 6’4″ 230 lbs which no one on the Oilers roster is even remotely able to deal with.

              • Quicksilver ballet

                And they are 6’4″ 230 lbs which no one on the Oilers roster is even remotely able to deal with.

                ===================================================================

                Never been into copying someone elses successes. The game changes rapidly in todays pro change environment. What’s wrong with starting a new path that other followers may want to copy?

                Edmonton needs to create the new original Zarny. Lead, don’t follow.

              • Zarny

                It’s not about copying someone else’s success. You simply don’t reinvent the wheel.

                There isn’t one way to build a contender; but in every team sport champions are characterized by depth because injuries are inevitable, and have the right mix of players because you have to be able create offense and defend against different teams.

                “Creating the new original” is nothing but a meaningless talking point. The average NHL F is 6’1″ 205 lbs. That’s not a big F…that’s just average. Every single top 6 F for the Oilers is average or smaller. That will never win. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not in an alternate universe.

                All of the top teams have a mix of top 6 F. Every single one of them. They have skill players who can score with speed and finesse. They have big, strong power F that can physically battle D like Weber or Chara and score G players like Patrick Kane can’t. They have Selke caliber defensive F who can check.

                The Oilers have one type of top 6 F. They all create offense with speed and finesse. Perron at least has a bit of attitude but his game is still fundamentally the same as the rest. They have no one who plays physical. They have no one like Bickell or Brown. They have no one who is top-tier defensively. The only C who is even half-decent at face-offs is on the 3rd line.

                The Oilers are as one dimensional as it gets. Like a basketball team with nothing but 3-point shooters or a football team that only has a passing game.

                There is nothing new or original about one dimensional teams.

              • Quicksilver ballet

                …..and trading the third next month (Zarnys recommendation) will be the cure that ails this hockey club. One player will turn this ship around. Yeah right.

                Give me skill, speed and compete, and he’ll overcome that caveman 6’4 240lbs demographic.

                Good thing nobody told the players whose banners hang up in the rafters at Rexall how “inadequate” they were.

        • Harry2

          Bourque Pattioretty vanek Galchenyuk, moen, weiss, eller. All over 6′ most are 6’2″ + and all are well over 200lbs. The key here is diversity in the 12 man forward group. MTL has tons Edm has none

      • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

        How many times have heard that the Oilers need skilled size to complement the kids? How many times have people tried to “solve it” with asinine trade proposals and outlandish claims that if we just overpay a couple free agents (who’d never dream of coming here), then the team will suddenly be a playoff lock?

        Unless Tambo and Milbury take over the Pens and Canucks, no GM in the league is going to take our undersized, under-performing, probably-overpaid spare parts for anybody that can hit, take/make a pass, shoot the puck and play a top 9 shift on a real NHL team.

        It is sad, but I don’t really see one team that made the playoffs this year in the West that looks like a paper tiger ready to collapse next year. It’s going to be a couple of long years while we wait for SJ, LA, ANA, and the other Western Conference heavyweights to start looking too slow to win games.

        EDIT: Sorry for the bummer post. Re-reading that makes me realize I sound pretty DSFesque. It’s been a long couple of years and it’s frustrating to think that we’ll have at least a couple more before we see a playoff game in Edmonton.

      • Anton CP

        Take out Arcobello and the tallest players from other teams, the height difference is not that significant. The height chart has only proven that we don’t have a tall foward and Arco is too short for an NHL player, well, at least at Western Conference. And yes, Nuge, Ebs and Yak all need to grow more muscles but again if you take away Arco’s size that the weight is slightly better. The whole article only proves one thing, Arco is too small and too light for NHL.

        We can keep on talking about what this team need till the end of the day, but in the end who will give us what this team need? Oilers need to hire an outsider to give a more realistic evaluation for this team, that’s what this team need. As matter of fact, can anyone of you blogger do pros and cons for each players on Oilers? Maybe by then that we can have a more clear picture of what is this team about.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog feces and mix ‘em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former.

        Fire Kevin Lowe

      • Admiral Ackbar

        I still can’t believe that no one has commented on Arco being included in the Oiler top 9! He’s the outlier that’s influenced the Oiler weight statistic here. Change him and your statistical ‘evidence’ has much less credibility.

        The reason the Oilers don’t have a Kopitar, Backes, Koivu or Toews is because that type of player is unaquireable. I’d love to have a 210lbs #1C that has skill and size but let’s worry about the things we can control.

        Two 1-2Dmen is a bigger fish to fry.

        • Admiral Ackbar

          I agree with your comments, but maybe read the prior comments first before commenting on them… Many of us have already pointed out the fact that Arco greatly affected the results.

      • camdog

        Gregor is dead on and many fans are in denial. The Oilers can’t cycle the puck effectively nor can they defend the cycle effectively. Why? Size/Strength. If this team doesn’t get a big player in the top six this trend will continue. If MacT doesn’t pick the big German than one of Ebs/Yak will have to be sacrificed to fix this glaring hole.

      • Zarny

        Mr. Gregor is 100% correct.

        The comments about average team height and weight are downright silly. You don’t play 20 players of average height and weight. When guys like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, Bickell, Lucic, Chara etc are on the ice it doesn’t matter who is on the bench.

        The issue isn’t about “size” per se. It’s about having the ability to score goals and win games in different ways. You need to be able to score goals 2 ft in front of the net. You need to be able to drop a shoulder and drive the net. You need to be able to go in the corner against D like Chara, Subban, Pietrangelo, Weber etc and take the puck away.

        And in your own zone you need to be able to stop players like Getzlaf, Perry, Lucic etc from doing all of that.

        It just happens that 98.6% of the players in the NHL who can do that are are 6’2″+ 215+lbs.

        The Oilers can only create offense one way off a fast break with a cross ice pass or a nifty toe drag. They have no one who can score goals the kind of goals Bickell and Lucic get. They have no one who can score the kind of goals Perry or Brown get. They have no one who can set up the kind of goals Getzlaf and Thornton can. And they have no one who can win a 1 on 1 match-up against any of those players.

        That will simply never win.

        • Zarny

          Really? Ryan Smyth made his career on goals scored in front of the net. He is listed at 191 lbs.

          That’s one of many examples out there.

          Yes, you need players who can win battles and score goals in close. I agree with you 100% on that, but to say only players who are 215+ lbs is simply ignorant.

          Our biggest glaring hole is finding defensemen (and forwards) who can stop the best forwards in the world from scoring.

      • Zarny

        @Shau_co

        Yep Smyth made a career out of scoring G in front of the net. He would be of the ~ 1.4% of players who do that and are not 215 lbs ish because he was willing to take a hellacious beating.

        And no, there are not many examples out there I’m afraid. Watch what Bickell does in the playoffs. Or Kreider. Or Brown. Or Lucic.

        There are maybe a handful of players sub 200 lbs that can do the same job; maybe. Especially in the playoffs.

        That doesn’t mean you need a lineup of behemoths. Just a few.

        • Zarny

          Holmstrom is another player listed at around 200 lbs who was very capable in close.

          From NHL.com only 5 of the top 30 forward goal scorers from last years playoffs were listed at 215+ lbs.

          This year 9 of the top 30 forward goal scorers are listed at 215+ lbs and you and I both know that many of those goals were scored in close by smaller players.

          Agreed that we need players who can score in close, but to say that only 1.4% are sub 215 lbs is ridiculous. In fact the majority are under 215 lbs. the line is probably somewhere closer to 200 lbs…

          • Jason Gregor

            Name another where their heaviest forward is 202. Take your Oiler coloured blinders off and realize they are too small and too soft.

            The consistently good teams in the west average 204-207 pounds. The Oilers are at 191. What does Ryan Smyth have to do with it? I don’t see anyone on the Oilers who plays like him. They don’t magically transform into something they aren’t.

            The Oilers don’t even have ONE player who is 204 pounds. Winning teams all have at least one, and usually three or four big, skilled players.

            Even the Avs had six players 200+ pounds. The Oilers had four and two of them are Gordon and Hendricks, who are excellent 4th liners, but if they play on your 3rd line they bring little offence.

            Suggesting the Oilers are big enough to win, especially with this group, when none of them play like Marchand, Shaw, Gallagher or other small forwards is incredibly inaccurate.

            • Quicksilver ballet

              Re-read my comments Gregor. I never once suggested this team is built to win or is big enough to win. I have repeatedly stated that size is being over-emphasized. I agree there are many holes in the lineup and this is one of them it’s just not as important as the attention it is given.

              Also, you pulled my Ryan Smyth comment completely out of context… You told me to take my Oiler coloured blinders off, but maybe you should read into my comments a bit more before misrepresenting them. I have acknowledged this team needs work and agreed the top nine need to be improved. It’s just measuring what is important that I disagree on. The top nine are too soft. They are too small. I disagree on the importance of those two factors and do not think the average weight of a team’s top nine is an accurate statistic at all.

              The Avs have a lot of players right around the 200 lb mark. My point is that the weight of a player is being over-emphasized and that by adding a behemoth to increase our teams average weight won’t fix the larger issue. A forward group built like the Avs has a chance to win in my opinion.

              I have been saying they are too soft and that size is part of that but in my opinion it is not as important as other factors. You have been implying that if we bring in some size (e.g., a Dustin Penner) it will improve our chances of winning. I disagree. Bring in some guys who compete 10X harder and are smaller like Perron and our chances improve more so than a player like Penner.

              I suggested it would be more valuable to assess compete level and who wins more battles on the ice. Even though a guy like Gagner is one of our bigger forwards, he does not compete hard enough in my opinion. That would be an example of where we need to improve the top nine.

              • Jason Gregor

                Please show me where I said Penner. Fact is I have never once said bring him back. He is not what this team needs.

                You keep talking about small guys who compete like Perron. It is great to have some, but NO team has all of them, so stop thinking size doesn’t matter. It does. All the winning teams have skilled, big bodies. Simple.

                Gagner is not big on any team. He is heaviest on a light team, which illustrates the problem. You don’t win with just guys who battle hard. Some days you need to be able to have size advantage to fend off guys without having to use extra energy. Which is why all the top teams have a mix of size and skill.

              • Quicksilver ballet

                I didn’t mean to imply you said the Oilers should bring back Penner. I was only using him as an example of a soft, large player.

                Regardless, I think we are mostly on the same page. Assuming the same level of skill, the ideal player would be a large competitive 2-way player player, next would be a smaller competitive 2-way player and last would be a small competitive 2-way player. Which confirms what I have been arguing all along that compete is more important than size. Size is still important but secondary. So, don’t sell the farm just to get bigger…

                Focus on improving the defense now as that is by far the most glaring hole on this team and improving compete level throughout the lineup. Add some skilled size if possible too.

                The other constant (and more critical component) that all of the remaining teams have? Top high end defensemen like Keith, Seabrook, McDonaugh, Subban, Doughty.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Bang. Bang. Bang that same old boring drum. See you’ve now changed it to top 9 forwards. Must be because your “it’s a fact” top 6 BS has been clearly proven wrong. CHI top 6 give up on avg 8.5lbs to LAK top 6 yet, appear to clearly been out playing them.

        You preach “patience” but can’t wait to trade any Oiler not 6’3″ and 225+ lbs.

        Biggest problem with Oiler forwards is, they do not have 6 bottom 6 Only Gordon and Hendricks. Before the Oilers throw away talent, they need 3 quality 3rd liners and an addition to the 4th line. Yes, they can have size but, they need to be strong NHL 2 way players. These will be easier to find than a “getzlaf” or “Lucic” type that no one wants to give up.

        Ya ya ya. Perfect world they would have 12 super stars with “size, skill, competitiveness , and edge” but, look up…sky is blue.

        • Jason Gregor

          Last I checked Kings pumped Hawks 6-2.

          You think their bottom six lost them games last year? They give up too many goals because their D is weak and inexperienced just like the forwards.

          I never said trade for pipe dream of Lucic or Getzlaf, I said Oilers need to adjust their focus. Expecting to win with all small, skilled forwards was recipe for disaster.

          I wrote at the time drafting Yak, another small winger, wasn’t right fit for the team. He might become an excellent player, might, but teams don’t win with all small, skilled wingers.

          You don’t have to like it, but it is a fact.

          If I did top-six forwards Oilers wouldn’t measure up either. Fact is you need at least three productive lines to win.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Gregor,

        To add to my comments above, I would ask you the following question:

        If you have limited resources to obtain NHL Players, where would you focus them? In what priority? Because it is easy to say the Oilers need to get a Getzlaf, Perry, Keith, Seabrook etc. but much harder to achieve.

        1. No. 1 Defenseman
        2. No. 2 Defenseman
        3. 1st line forward with compete, size, skill
        4. 2nd line forward with compete, size, skill

        Assuming you have limited resources and can only get either a 1st line forward with compete, size, skill or a No. 1 Defenseman, where do you sacrifice? I realize The Oilers may not be able to get either… In this scenario, which of the following would be a better option?

        1. No. 1 Defenseman and a 2nd line forward with compete, size
        2. No. 1 Defenseman and a 2nd line forward with compete, skill
        3. 1st line forward with compete, size, skill and a No. 4 Defenseman

        • Jason Gregor

          OIlers need a top-pair D-man but likely have to develop from within. Very rare they get traded.

          Oilers need to be smart with how they develop Klefbom, Marincin and Nurse. If one becomes a legit top pair they are good, and if other two become solid 2nd pair they are laughing. However, they can’t rush them.

          I don’t expect Oilers to make miracle trades. Their rebuild will take another 2-3 years if they actually want to be a solid team. Sucks, but I don’t see a quick fix happening.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Who’s in denial? If you had any hockey sense ad actually watched the games it was blatantly obvious that the Oilers could not sustain a cycle nor get the puck out of their zone. HUGE issue and it was obvious all year. Time on attack was non existent. This stat obviously re-enforced by shots taken and shots against.

        Big is NOT overrated. Playing hockey myself I know how hard it is getting a puck from a much bigger dude.

        PEACE!

      • Zarny

        @GK1980

        True dat. The comments often make me wonder how many actually play hockey.

        I was 6′ 210-215 lbs when I played Jr. and I played physical. Guys who are 6’2″+ 220+ lbs and can skate are a nightmare to play against.