In the summer of 2011, Steve Tambellini hit the free agent market with some cash and about 10 holes in the roster. When the smoke cleared, we were greeted by Cam Barker, Eric Belanger, Darcy Hordichuk, Andy Sutton (via trade), Ben Eager and Corey Potter. The additions weren’t enough, and the club spiraled downward again that winter, resulting in another No. 1 overall selection in 2012.
Craig MacTavish has a shorter list, but the pressure is greater too. After a generation in the depths of the standings, Edmonton Oiler fans have finally run out of goodwill, patience and hope.
Have the Edmonton Oilers heard you? We find out tomorrow.
THE HOLES UP FRONT….
Two things: we can pretend the Oilers won’t keep Leon Draisaitl, but why lie to ourselves all summer? Embrace the fact that they sent away a former teenage phenom yesterday to bring in the one they drafted Friday night. You’ll feel better, honest.
Also, I’ve set this up by line and by call-up:
- First line are the difference makers, that line needs to post more than 85 goals next season (they scored 74 in 2013-14). Nuge will be healthy, so that is possible.
- Second Line is the big ticket item tomorrow (if they can get him). Paul Stastny is a distant bell, but David Legwand would be nice, and there aren’t a lot of quality centers with two-way ability out there this season. How many FA center’s are better than Mark Arcobello?
- Third line needs a Nikolai Kulemin or similar to be ‘first man back’ on a soft minutes kid line that will be high risk all season long.
- Fourth line needs a Daniel Winnik or David Moss, a responsible veteran who can slide in on that tough zone start line Edmonton wants to run this season.
So, that’s a 2nd line center, a 3rd line LW and an important 4th line RW. I’ve written them this way, but the Draisaitl line will in fact be the fourth line (guaranteed, the Oilers are as predictable as sunrise) this year.
The options beyond the four lines, Gazdic/Arcobello (the 13th and 14th forwards on my list and Lander/Pitlick (first call-ups) will move into the slots that aren’t filled. If I’m MacTavish, the first guy I try is Arcobello, seems to me that young man pulled short straw a year ago.
THE HOLES IN THE BACK…..
The Oilers need another NHL defenseman, and the names range wildly, from Derek Engelland to Kyle Quincey to Christan Ehrhoff. I’ve placed the ?? on the second pairing, but it could be one or three (with Nikitin moving up).
THIS is the big one.
If Christian Ehrhoff says he’s interested, the Edmonton Oilers need to close the deal. Anton Stralman? Same thing. They have money. They need to spend it.
THIS TIME TOMORROW…..
If we’re talking about Marcel Goc, Dustin Penner and Kyle Quincey as solutions tomorrow, the internet will be wild in the streets (although I like all three players). If it’s Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Christian Ehrhoff, music!
This is a massive day to come for the Edmonton Oilers. Last Chance Texaco, and I don’t even want to know what happens if we’re talking McDavid this time next year.
Are the Edmonton Oilers listening?