PIVOT

rnh common5

Craig MacTavish accomplished much this summer, but the center position hasn’t been addressed beyond an old phenom being replaced by a new one. I suspect the team may have overplayed their position, believing something had to shake loose and showing too much patience. That said, they do have options in the middle and some of these men are going to have long, productive NHL careers.

Unless MacT has a miracle in mind, the Oilers on paper are very weak at center compared to the rest of the Western Conference.

THE NUGE!

nuge2

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an outstanding rookie season, spent much of year two less than 100%, and regained some of his magic in year three. Rookie coach Dallas Eakins ran him beyond-ragged at times during the year (Nuge played 28:12 in his first game in the lineup, 2013-14 season). One hopes baby Nuge is getting his rest and taking vitamins, he’s going to need them come the November chill. A lot of RNH’s offensive value comes via the pass (and on the power play), and that will be reflected in our center estimates.

LEON! (with Arco to help)

draisaitl page tsn

We could pretend it isn’t going to happen, but why? Draisaitl’s NHL equivalencies suggest he would score 40 points in 82 games. The Oilers played Sam Gagner over 1200 minutes as a rookie, no reason to believe (at this point) the big German won’t get a healthy TOI and with good NHL wingers. They call it a push, and one suspects we’re going to see a big one this winter. 

BOYD GORDON

oilers 13-14 vollman sledgehammer

Boyd Gordon (along with Matt Hendricks) look like they’ll form a tough minutes line. There was some talk of this being the fourth line, but one suspects it will end up playing the third-most minutes (and in fact being the ‘3line’ for Edmonton). Gordon delivered more than expected offensively this past season, it would be unwise to expect a repeat.

5×5/60

  1. Mark Arcobello 1.82
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.56
  3. Boyd Gordon 0.93

Mark Arcobello had a terrific season when in the lineup, I think he’ll share 2line duties with Draisaitl and then share 4line work with Lander when he’s batting down in the order. Nuge’s 5×5 number needs to be better (say 1.80) if we’re going to consider him an impact offensive player—his power-play ability will take care of the rest.

Source: BTN

HOW MANY EVEN-STRENGTH GOALS?

The Nuge had 13 a year ago, suspect we can crank it up a couple, that’s a decent bet for a No. 1 overall who is completely healthy. I’ll give the Arco/Draisaitl 2line combination eight, that’s a little more than double Arcobello’s total in half a season during 2013-14. Not exactly scientific, but these aren’t first-shot scorers, they’re playmakers. Gordon scored six even-strength goals a year ago, I’m going to guess five this season and we’ll throw two Lander’s way for fun.

30 even-strength goals for the centers. Fair? This is an unproven group and passers all, and the total for C at EVs last season was 34. I’m going to suggest 30, because we know there are going to be long nights and growing pains for lines 2 through 4.

HOW MANY POWER-PLAY GOALS?

Again we’re dealing with playmakers, the Nuge is a crazy passer and in his element with the man advantage. Draisaitl should get cherry minutes at 5×4 and 5×3 on the 2pp, and that could be good or bad (rookies don’t usually get a ton of PP minutes).

Nuge scored 6 last year, let’s pump him up to 9. If three more of those wide high lazers find the range? I don’t think that’s a crazy bet. Arco and Gordon had one each a year ago, let’s keep them there. How many for the German? 4? Let’s say 4 with the man advantage and we’re probably aiming too high but maybe we were tough at evens.

15. That’s 15 on special teams. Fair?

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

car

Sometimes things look out of whack because they are, and the Oilers really should straighten up and fly right with center for 2014-15. But, like that lovable uncle who looks fine except for the comb over and the Keep on Truckin’ belt buckle, it appears the town team can’t help themselves.

A season ago, Oiler forwards scored 166 and I have them at 175 this time, mostly due to the wingers. If they could ONLY get an actual NHL center.

  • Spydyr

    So didn’t all 3 of Hall/Ebs/Nuge decline to play in the worlds’? The only reason I can think of that 3 healthy forwards didn’t want to represent their country is because they wanted to stay healthy and beef up for this upcoming season. I’m going to predict all of them come 10 to 15 pounds heavier for this upcoming season.

  • Serious Gord

    Most of you people are bitches on this site.all I hear is boo hoo no one wants to play here.bull!! tell me you wouldn’t move to tuktayuktuk for 3.5 mill a year.or a little less.and all you people that can tell how the oil will do this year can you tell me the next lotto numbers too.

    • Serious Gord

      If I can play for 3.0 in Florida then no way I play up there.

      A more local example Is what welders get paid working in Calgary In a shop versus working on pipeline on a spread north of Norman wells. – probably 3x higher or more for the latter.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        ^if that’s the case, then Justin Schultz would have simply just signed in Florida. the beach and warm weather is important to *you* and i would suggest less important to most players.

  • Serious Gord

    Here’s some facts:

    1) Arcobello was better then Gagner last year.
    2) Gagner was horrendous at 2C last year.
    3) The Wing positions have been upgraded considerably.
    4) The D has been upgraded greatly this off season.
    5) All the young guns are 1 year older and 1 year with more experience and training.
    6) Goaltending has been stabilized if nothing else.
    7) Coaching staff has been upgraded.
    8) Did I mention how horrendous Gagner was at 2C?

    Can anyone actually say that this team has not improved at all?

    I don’t get this wailing and gnashing of teeth going on over the 2C.

    Ribiero, Roy.. no thanks. That would move us up maybe 2 spots in the West. Not thinking long term if your upset over letting those 2 pass.

    • Serious Gord

      Yes on paper – before puck drop they seem to be somewhat improved. The same was said by many last year at this time (I was not convinced).

      But the same condition as last year exists – nil depth in several places, clearly bottom rung strength in others and thus just a few disappointments and/or injuries and this team is as bad or worse than last year (what if Eakins remains incompetent or gets into a feud with one or more of the stars?).

      If the team again finishes in the bottom ten will you be content to keep the big three in management in place? (God I wish someone would ask Katz that) would fans be? If you told that to the non-corporate season ticket buyers that that was a certainty (few that there are) would they renew?

      • Word to the Bird

        You know I agree that mistakes have been made. But we are talking about 1.5 years with MacT at the GM position? Eakins with 1 year? Did they make errors yes. But doesn’t every GM/TEam/Coach make errors? The revolving coaches door in Edm is part of the failures.

        As for the make up of the team. I truly didnt see that many great options on the UFA for MacT. Grabovski for example… did we really want to hitch our wagon to him for $5 mill x 4 years?! Especially after drafting Draisaitl? Sure he’d be great on a 1-2 year.. i’m just not sure he would ben the guy to make that kind of commitment to long term? I can name a few I would of thought MacT should of gone for , Legwand would of been great for 1 year. But now i’m hearing he wanted to be closer to the east. As for nil depth? The Oilers now have depth on Wing. They have improved depth on D.. how much is up to arguement but Fayne and Nikitin is added depth. So the only thing left discussed at nauseum lately is C depth. It is no doubt a weakness but all the other upgrades should limit the effect. We shall see.

        Everybody has their own thoughts but I am of the thinking that if this team improves to 9th-10th in the West and is more competitive “most” every night then mission accomplished. Incremental improvements as players are drafted and developed should hopefully 1 day create a team with depth and longer lasting success. I think its been understated just how horrendoues the development side of this team was 5-6 years ago.

        • Serious Gord

          Let me preface what follows by saying I would not have hired MacT or Eakins – both rookies at their jobs and I guess it goes without saying that the guy who hired them should have been terminated years before.

          For GMs I think its fair to give them two to three seasons worth of trading/drafting/free agency. MacT has just about finished two and if his gambles in net and at centre of not Doing anything result in a tenth or worst in the west the. He should not get another season.

          As for coaches – as they are tacticians not strategists they can be fired in reality short timeframes. Just as an employee in a typical business UsuaLly sinks or swims within 90 days – you know whether its going to work usually long before then, a coach can be judged a failure pretty quickly sometimes (Barry melrose in Fla) I wanted Eakins gone before Xmas last season. I think he was a big part of how bad this team was last season – and that badness never really lessened throughout it.

          Unlike most businesses where workers careers span decades – players careers rarely last one. This compression means that tolerance of failure at the first line management level – coaching – has to be very limited and Eakins has far exceeded his.

          Now I know there is the chirping from many corners that this team has had too many changes at the position over the last few years and that is true and it is what makes Eakins hiring in the first place such an idiotic one. Either stick with the somewhat proven and at least stable kreuger – adding In some assistant coaching help (but that would have meant firing some of the old boys!!) or go and do a proper search for a coach with far more experience than Eakins had – one that would have been more bankable.

        • Serious Gord

          This all day.

          The organization clearly has designs to put Draisaitl in the number 2 position going forward, and having a one two punch of Nuge and Draisaitl. And if Staufer can be trusted, he seems to think the third line centre will be given to Yakimov or Jujhar depending on who emerges.

          The brass looks like they could actually have a plan to make a team instead of just wondering around aimlessly changing coaches. I think Mac T is playing a bit of a long game. He’s trying to build a competitive team that isn’t right against the cap year after year.

          I think as fans, we also need to remember the summer is not over. Perron didn’t land here till later. There could still be a trade coming. But if not, so what, no one thinks we make the play offs anyway. Call it the last development year before the team is a perennial play off contender. Next year the team will have a 1 year more experienced Draisaitl, possibly a Yakimov or Juhjar having developed and ready to take the third line. And likely one of Klefbom or Nurse patrolling the D.

          I’m excited for this year, but for the first time in a long time, I think I can kind of see what the team is trying to do, and it looks big, skilled, and deep.

    • Bucknuck

      That’s where I am coming from. For the first time in Eight years there is an NHL calibre defence. They are much better on the wings, and there are two legitimate options in Goal. The team hasn’t been this good since Pronger left.

      There is a weakness down the middle, but it’s no worse than it has been for the last eight years. There are two places open with three contestants (Leon, Arco, and Lander) with some dark horses (Khaira) who might surprise. I wish they had another veteran, but I am a happier fan now than I have been since game seven of the SCF in 2006.

      • Sorensenator

        You are more optimistic than I about the current Oil roster. The have numerous questions remaining. In no particular order.

        1, Goal Tending – many believe the Scrivens and Fasth are the real deal. I don’t think this is a given. They have less than 100 starts between the two of them. They have both provided high quality goal tending for shorts periods, at least one needs to show they can do it for a season. Until that is demonstrated we can’t tick the goal tending box as being a done deal.

        2. Defence – I agree that the D as a group should better than last year, but how could it be worse? Still need a legit top pair. Maybe throughout the year someone will grow into this position.

        3. No.1 Center – The Oil need RNH to progress to be competitive with the “big guys” in the west. This point is papered over by many who follow the Oil.

        4. Center – It has been suggested by many that Acro has a good chance of being as good as Gagner was last year. I agree with this, although the bar is not set very high. This doesn’t mean the Oil centers are nearly good enough and without either LD surprising or a “bold move” there doesn’t appear to be reason to expect better things at center.

        For the Oil to show significant improvement at least a couples of these point needs to break right for them.

        • pkam

          Bucknuck said this team hasn’t been this good since Pronger left, and he is a happier fan now than he has been since game 7 of the SCF in 2006.

          Since you seem to disagree with him, perhaps you can tell me which year since 2006 that we had a better roster than this?

          • Spydyr

            I would suggest at least a couple of the teams in the interim had fewer questions than what seems to be taking shape now.

            How many people thought the Oil would make the palyoffs a year ago at this time? Maybe not Bucknuck (perhaps he can tell us), but more than a few expressed that opinion.

            The 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 teams were both in playoff hunt to near the end, ending up with 88 and 85 points respectively. Those have been the high water marks since 2006.

            If the Oil get up to these totals in the upcoming year with the current roster, then a couple of the concerns I have expressed have probably worked out okay.

    • “Better than a guy whose season was a writoff as a result of serious injury and coming back too early.” isn’t exactly a stellar endorsement for a second line center expected to go up against the most powerful teams in the league.

      Judge Gagner against Arcobello THIS season. It won’t be much of a stretch to say Sam will probably wipe the floor with Arco in the standings. It won’t even be close, just watch. *drops mic*

      • A-Mc

        Still pining over that 8 pt game or did you watch Gagner through his entire career of sucking at the Defensive aspects of the game as well as Face-offs?

        My commentary wasn’t about Gagner vs Arcobello. It was about whether the entire team overall had improved considerably. Does the team need an upgrade at 2C? Obviously they do. Do I think the team will be improved over last season? Yes i do but not enough to make the playoffs. This is mostly due to being in the toughest division in the NHL.

        Hey you dropped something.

  • Gordie Wayne

    Peter Mueller (6’2″ 205 pounds)

    Arguments for:
    – Former 8th overall pick (pedigree is there)
    – Rookie year: 22 G, 32 A in 81 games as a 19 year old
    – Has 5 years pro experience
    – Entering prime at age 26
    – Led Swiss league in goals last year

    Arguments against
    – Injury issues (concussions from 2+ years ago)
    – He is perceived as a better winger than a Center

    At best if he works out, he will be able to fill in as a 2/3C on this version of the Oilers team.

    At worst, he is a better player than Joensuu all around and can replace him on 4th line wing.

    Wouldn’t it be worth a shot at a 1 year 1 million dollar contract? I think so…

    • Gordie Wayne

      I would tend to agree with you on this one. Worth a 1 year deal. I guess the question is would he go for it? Would he want to come to Edmonton etc. Maybe it will happen yet?

  • pkam

    Yakupov for Brayden Schenn.
    200 hits
    41 pts
    6’1
    22
    From a cap desparate team.

    Pickup bargain winger Penner for third line duty.
    +25
    35 pts
    6’4
    245 ilbs
    Pancakes, lots of em’

    Hall Nuge Eberle
    Poulliot Schenn Perron
    Penner Arcobello Purcell
    Hendricks Gordon Lander

    Nikitin Petry
    Ference Fayne
    Marincin Schultz

    Scivens
    Fasth

    • Buke

      You should take a look at Yak’s cap hit after bonuses, because it’s more than they pay Shenn. Thus, I’m not sure a cap strapped team would want to add more cap.

  • Buke

    MacT has shown no indication or desire to sign a real 2nd line centre. This is because he knows that LD is that guy……….plain and simple.

    What we are speculating is whether he is ready or not? The kid is ready and Mac T knows it!

  • Spydyr

    @ Serious Gord

    I agree with your point that incompetence can’t be acceptable especially with this young team at this point in time. I guess the difference in our opinion might be how much blame should Eakins shoulder from last season? I have trouble giving him blame for the first month of Dubnyk. That was the absolute worst time for the goalie to implode and I dont blame Eakins. Another question is really how much of a team was put in front of him last season? Would any coach of been able to take that lineup out of the leagues bottom 10? I don’t think so. Gagner injury and his play after coming back.. the defence? ugh. He was also saddled with Asst coaches he may never of wanted? Maybe thats somewhat minor? On the other hand the Swarm, I thought Yakupov should of been given more PP time, the PP itself all were fails on his part.

    Maybe he should not of been hired in the 1st place? But I think he should be given a more balanced lineup to work with.. which he now has. And I think he should be given at least the first half of this season to show what he can do. If the team is still lingering around the bottom 5 by January and team injuries aren’t a major factor then cut him loose. The thing I see with him is he may very well be an arrogant and stubborn individual.. but I think he is intelligent enough to adjust when he sees the need. His career(his passion) depends on it.

  • Tikkanese

    On another note, since we all seem to agree the team should improve this year, which teams in the west do you see the Oilers jumping over.

    I’ll just say Calgary right off the bat. They are one Hiller vertigo spell away from having a disaster season.

    I’ll also say Vancouver. They still have an impressive D corps, but I just can’t see the Sedins and Nick Bonino getting it done. Plus another new coach.

    I think Winnipeg got worse this off season, and there’s a lot of distraction with Kane.

    Nashville will not work with the hodgepodge of free agents they brought in. Neall will not be as good without Malkin, and Jokinen, Roy, and Ribeiro will simply not be able to match up.

    After that it’s tough slogging as the teams start getting stacked. Really we’d be up against Dallas, Arizona, and Minnisota, and I suppose Colorado if their goal tending comes down to earth and the addition of Iginla doesn’t replace the loss of Stasny.

    So, which of these teams do you think the Oilers can push past this year?

    • Serious Gord

      This is just my opinion, but i cannot see the Oilers leapfrogging many of the mentioned save for the Flames.

      vancouver has better goaltending and better defense. They also have proven offense that can trump ours (albeit not near as good as they used to be). And their new coach is an advantage to the sad sack of —- they had last year.

      Winnipeg is always a wild card and have arguably the worst goaltending in the league (may even be as bad as ours last year), but again, their defense is great and their offense is something to be desired. They just dont mesh well as a team so i can see them falling off the ranks.

      Nashville has always been a defense-first organization. They brought in laviolette to change that and mix it up. Their additions are good ones considering the offense they have iced in the past. They have one of, if not the, best goaltenders in the world, Shea Weber, Seth Jones and Roman Josi (any of which would instantly be our #1 dman), and they have a much better shot at getting the puck in the net now. They could be a surprise and be playoff bound.

      Arizona is another well coached team. Good goaltending tandem, great defense, but when your new #1 centre is Gagner, that does not reflect on a good offseason. I can see us putting up a decent effort to beat them inthe standings.

      Dallas and Minnesota is not even plausable. They will both kill us by at least 20-25 points. Dallas now has 4 solid lines, reliable goaltending and a decent defense (although not great – see what Colorado did one year ago with similar defense). Minnesota is strong in EVERY position. They will challenge for the cup let alone the playoffs.

      Colorado will not be near what they were last year. That was a fluke. But it also shows what a good coach can get out of his players. Yes, they lost Statsny, but only because they have their shinny new toy names McKinnon, who was playing wing last year and showed he is more then capable of stepping in and taking over. They have the best centre depth in the league. Even without Statsny. Their defense is just as questionable as last year but their goaltending is solid. They could hit a wall and miss the playoffs completely or they could challenge for the top of the division. Its a hit or miss there, but i dont believe for one second that we will finish above them.

      I truly believe that we are a botton 2 or 3 team in the West; however, there are a lot of teams that could finish below us in the standings from the East. We may very well finish outside of a lottery pick.

      • pkam

        Hmmm, all solid points.

        I disagree that the Dallas defence is good. In fact I think it could be worse than ours. Gonchar was a complete bust last year, and at 5,11″ and 185, Goligoski is not really an ideal shut down guy in the west. Their tending is average at best. Their top line IMO will become one of the powerhouse top lines in the league one day, and are already scary good. I do also like Cody Eakin. But we’re all familiar with the type of player Hemsky is, and I just don’t see that second line being as consistent as it needs to be. After that the bottom six is just a bunch of washed up and ineffective players. So I don’t think they are strong at every position.

        Nashville no longer has one of the best goalies in the league, and in fact may never have had one. Clearly the departure of Suter really hurt that team. And now, they also don’t have the one thing that has always helped their success: Trotz. They have a bunch of guys coming in no other teams wanted, and will all be expected to mesh. I agree their defence is great, but their forwards are no different than they have been: an unruly mix. It is not going to go well for that team, and without Trotz and his system, a lot of guys are going to get exposed badly.

        I will concede Minnesota, though I never really thought we would get higher than them anyway. The one thing that could hurt them is if their goalie runs into injuries again. Also, after Suter, not the greatest defence. I do not see them winning the cup because after all these years, they just seem like a team built out of free agents, with no real identity. Other than Brodin and Granlund (who was a huge let down) they have not developed a single player. Maybe Dumba comes up, but after watching him play against the Oil Kings in the Dub Finals, I really don’t see him impacting the game at the NHL level, and actually am predicting he is going to be a bust pick.

        I also agree with you on Colorado having the deepest centre depth in the league, or at least equal to LA and San Jose. But talks with O’Reily seem to have really gone south, and again no Stasny. If their goal tending comes back down to earth, I don’t think they are an unbeatable team, and they could see a big swing, especially if a few key guys go down to injury.

        As for Vancouver, is Miller better than Luongo? I think that team is on the slide, and the Sedins are going to show their age bad this year.

        I agree Arizona is not looking hot. They have some exciting young players, but they are always a money strapped team playing in a small market. And that always hurts them.

        Anyway, should be exciting. I think the absolute key for the Oilers, especially if they don’t get a second line C, will be to avoid injury at all costs.

  • Tikkanese

    Why is everyone complaining about the lack of Center depth? I recall about 90% of you demanding Gagner and even Horcoff to be traded away for bags of pucks. Now many are complaining about the returns received for them and how good Horcoff actually was. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Spydyr

      I wish for competent management that can assemble a complete team.

      Not just a bunch of high first round draft picks acquired through losing for eight straight years.

      You are right, I should not have such a grandiose wish.

      • Serious Gord

        If a team intentionally tanks in order to obtain high draft picks. And in subsequent years drafts 1st, 1st, 1st, 7th, and 3rd. i would say they were successful in their goals. If they are then able to build a winning team within a few years after Stage 1 then i would say they are competent. A very good argument can be made that this is not the best route to take. And I would expect this is your standpoint on this. A valid on for sure. But one cannot say incompetence is an issue when they are following and achieving their set goals within their gameplan.

        2010 was the year this began. Thats 4-5 years ago not 8.

        • Spydyr

          So “The Braintrust” is very competent at losing? I have to agree with that one.

          It began the day Pronger left.”The Braintrust” just did have the hockey intelligence to realize it.

          • Serious Gord

            They just cam off a SCF and you think that did not cloud their judgement a little? The braintrust tried hard to add Heatly and others in the 2 years post SCF. It wasn’t until 2010 that the full rebuild began. This rebuild does not end when we win the SC . It continues and it goes on so that we never again have to languish in obscurity ever again.

          • Spydyr

            That off season they lost Chris Pronger arguably the best defencman of that time.Michael Peca one of the top defensive forward in the game at that time.Jaroslav Spacek at top four defencman.Sergei Samsonov a top six forward.

            If that is not enough to change their judgment on the team I don’t know what is.

            That summer they then made matters worse by overpaying both Pisani and Horcoff.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        The new GM has been on the job 18 months, the assistant GM for less I believe, and the coach for one year. What exactly has mgnt done to show they cant assemble a complete team?

        What chance have they even had yet?

        This season will give us a better indicator, based on the moves made so far this off-season, Im optimistic they will at least be in a playoff race come march. But I don’t expect them to make.

        Anyways management has hardly done enough wrong so far for you to call them incompetent. Your prob just another stubborn mule who cant believe Lowe isn’t still pulling the strings.

        • Spydyr

          The new rookie GM.The new rookie coach.The pair that had their team regress last year?

          Led by the same upper management.

          The team with glaring deficiencies such as #2C and top pairing defencman.

          Forgive me if I am not overwhelmed with confidence in them. Until they prove something on the ice I’m going to go with what happened for the last eight years.

    • Serious Gord

      I and others wanted both dealt when they had some value for Centres who had different attributes than they had – not a bag of pucks. They were both dealt for surplus pucks because management lacked the guts to trade them earlier – accepting less than they thought – though no one else in the league did – they were.

  • Guy Lafleur

    Even if the OILERS racked off 3 Cups in a row guys wont wanna come here . Back in the 80s there was no Florida , Tampa , Phoenix , San Jose , Anaheim . If your a millionaire 20 something year old do you wanna play where its summer year round and girls are wearing bikinis everywhere or come here where its 800 below zero for 8 months of the year ???

  • Zarny

    in·san·i·ty /inˈsanitē/ – Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    How many times do StL, Ana, LA and SJ have to pulverize the Oilers for the obvious to be…well…obvious?

    It really comes down to expectations.

    If the goal this year is to simply show a bit of improvement and let the chips fall where they may then by all means proceed as is. The Oilers will finish 19-25th ish and most games against StL, Ana, LA, SJ etc will continue to look like a traffic accident from the Oilers’ perspective.

    It’s really super duper awesome that Draisaitl’s NHLE is 40 pts. So was Barkov’s last year and he ended up with 24 pts.

    Arco’s numbers last year were skewed by being gifted 10 A in the first 10 games while he road Hall, Eberle and Perron’s coat tails. He contributed zero goals and was nothing but a passenger. Given that he’s actually smaller than Gagner what could possibly go wrong?

    If the goal this year is to aim a little higher than simply not being terrible the Oilers have no choice but to acquire a 2C.

    Yes, it will require giving up assets. The better the C the better the assets the Oil will have to give up. That’s just how it goes.

    Everyone makes mistakes. The idea is to learn from them. Every year for the last decade the Oilers have relied on what ifs and maybes. Maybe Gagner will be a 2C, maybe Smid will actually be a top 4 D, maybe Petry will be a 2D, maybe Dubnyk will be a starter…etc, etc etc.

    How is that working out? Gagner has been gone for less than a month and based on many of the comments here people have learned nothing.

      • v4ance

        People who believe rigorously in NHLe as the be all, end all predictor of 1st year players production should give me their money.

        I have a stock that should go up 40% next year based on my stock market predictor, the NASDAQe.

    • pkam

      To be fair, Barkov only played 54 games last season. If he did play 82 games, it would prorated to about 36 pts, very closed to 40. And he played with 30 pts players on his line.

      Not saying LD will score 40 pts for sure, but if he can play all 82 games with Perron and Purcell, both 50+ pts players, I don’t see why it is totally impossible for him to score 40 pts.

  • Tikkanese

    I hope the Arcobello supporters are correct. I have two Oiler names, let alone the 100’s of similar stories from around the NHL of the “small sample sized looked good players” who never panned out. Ryan Potulny and Bill McDougall. Or even Linus Omark looked good his first stint as well. Many hailed him as the next Hemsky after his first 20 games or so.

    • A-Mc

      Here’s what we know:

      Derek Roy is DONE. Craig Button pretty much said so, and he’s fairly in-the-know, plus Roy’s stats and usage last year showed a player at the end of his career. He’s even smaller than Arco.

      Ribeiro has done more rails than a CN worker. Not the kind of guy you want around the kid core.

      So it’s not a matter of “I hope the Arcobello supporters are correct” as it is “We have no other option”.

    • pkam

      If I remember correctly, late last season someone here proposed to trade Hall + Perron + Klefbom + our 2014 1st rounder for Seth Jones. IMO, this trade makes the person who proposed Yak + Petry + Marincin for O’Rielly a genius.

    • Spydyr

      No offence to your survey but this would mean 14th in the West and possibly drafting 3rd overall again would get a cheers. A little misleading since every single fan would have to agree that would be a total failure for this team.

  • Bob Cobb

    How about a blog entry about Rocky Thompson, someone we can say with certainty will be with the Oilers next year.

    The Oilers depth at centre, or lack there of, has been beaten like a dead horse, move on nothing to see here.

  • Word to the Bird

    I’m surprised that Mike Richards hasn’t been mentioned on this site. He is a legitimate 2C, and the Kings need cap space to resign Stoll and Williams next year, and Kopitar in 2 years. They also need to sign three high profile RFA’s in Toffoli, Muzzin, and Pearson. Perhaps the Oilers could get Richards off LA’s hands for cheap because the Kings don’t need to buy him out.

    • Word to the Bird

      Mike Richards is at best a 3rd line Center in the league now. However he would be an excellent 2C for the Oilers for maybe 1-2 years. BUT the problem is he is a $5.75 Mill cap hit until 2020! Therein lies the problem.

      • Guy Lafleur

        Well with our assets it would be very easy to get one. I think MacT is trying to get one he doesn’t sell the farm and to get one that fits our 2-3 stop gap need.

        Now that is very hard to do so I personally don’t expect it anytime soon unless something weird happens.

    • Serious Gord

      This should win comment of the day. I would go further and say we wouldn’t be Oilers fans if we weren’t overly optimistic about the team, even with the holes.

      • Very true . Although i’m finding that everyone seems to have their own version of what would be considered to be a failure next year. Some say simply not making the playoffs is the determining factor while others say bottom 10 is a failure. But what if its 10th exactly? Is that a failure considering the past 2 seasons? I find eveyone on here is sometimes arguing over the percieved success or failure without any context.

        Personally I would consider 20th place in the league overall as being the line in the sand for a relatively successful season. That would mean around 9th-10th in the West. But thats just where my expectations are with the lineup as it stands.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Who cares when the rebuild officially started. It always upsets me when people comment like it matters.

    The only number that matters is 8.

    8 YEARS NO PLAYOFFS. 8 YEARS OF MEANINGLESS HOCKEY.

    8 YEARS OF MISERY.

    Sad that after 8 years of this crap the team finished 27th last year.

    Here’s hoping next year the number isn’t 9.

    • Serious Gord

      I don’t think it’s ever been done nor is it likely to be done the off season, but a formal poll of oilers fans as to where they think the oil will finish the upcoming season would be very interesting.

      My Gus’s would be that more than any other season since the nineties fans think the team will not make the playoffs this year. And that’s AFTER eight years.

      As I am a bit of a contrarian that would be a bullish signal.

  • Guy Lafleur

    @serious gord maks valid points that are based on fact. The thing is Gord never offers solutions or imo see’s the way hockey has changed in the past 10 years. He still thinks we can spend or trade our way to winning.

    He like many other believe in 100% hindsight.

    Without factoring in person place and time.

    Gord has a tendancy whether on line or on air to live in the past. Daily Doug does the same thing. Its rehashing past mistakes over and over again that drives me nuts. Sure learn from our mistakes. But gee whiz give |MacT credit for doing rather than sitting and doing nothing.

    Gord etal need to see that the past is what it is. Hall is not Weight. Eberl is not Pisani.RNH is not Messsier.Players come and go and we reap with what we have sown in the past few yars. We have rid ourselves of the chaffe and the good parts remain.

    MacT and KLOWE and the rest of the staff have some sense of what it takes to win. I am old enough to know that they do. I watched them win those Cups. So yeah I do think MacT has the right of it.And Gord does not.

    • camdog

      “MacT and KLOWE and the rest of the staff have some sense of what it takes to win. I am old enough to know that they do. I watched them win those Cups. So yeah I do think MacT has the right of it.And Gord does not.”

      Can’t forget Kelly Buchberger and his 2 Cups… lol

    • Serious Gord

      I quite often make predictions on what’s going to happen or moves that should be made.

      What i don’t do very often at all is make specific suggestions as to who should be gotten in return for a trade or via FA or waiver simply because I do not know the rosters of other teams very well at all and thus do not feel I would be an adequate judge. That’s where pro scouting comes in.

      And pro scouting is one of the most important keys to success in the cap universe and excellent amateur scouting that is public knowledge.

      And the oil over the last decade may be the worst in the league at it.

      • JBear

        The overall draft record of the past was abysmal. Pro scouting has been at best questionable.

        Drafting past the first round for all teams is a crap shoot. Pro scouting I believe along with many others has failed to bring in anyone of quality.

        Those are facts that you and I can agree on.The proof is in/on the roster.

        Whether or not MacT’s current roster achieves better results this coming season remains to b seen.

        Like many I had little faith in Eakins by seasons end. He looked like a rookie coach all season. It was a trainwreck. But.Big But. The team imo moved forward by seasons end. I felt that the moves made by MacT to shore up the goaltending and the addition of Matt Hendricks brought leadership and experience.The teams systems play improved as it was simplified.

        How will this team perform in 2014-2015? Who knows.

        What I expect. Top 10 scoring from Hall. A 30 goal year from Eberle and Perron. Yak 25 goals. RNH 15 goals 60 assists. LD? 30 points? Arcobello? 45 points. Purcell 15 goals 35 points. Gordon and MH. 5-10 goals total 30 points total.JS? 40 points. BP? 25 points?

        I expect a reduction in SA and GA and an increase by at least .5 GF per game.

        The defence should be less like keystone cops.Hopefully.

        Goaltending? Well the tandem of Scrivens and VF fills me with more confidence than last years starting 2.

        I expect a 15-20 point overall increase from last year. I think 80-85 is reasonable.

        But we’ll see what the future brings.The past is done and gone. Time to move on.

  • Serious Gord

    Teetering on being competitive with two more additions . One top 1-2 center and same for a defenseman .Without , we are likely going to remain in cellar of our western conference despite some small progress . M.Green (RD)(seemingly available ) might be an option and be the only right defenseman on squad , as all our 11 on team ,rookie and AHL’ers are all left handed .many options for trade at center but at what cost ? Could be bold and try for winger E.Kane with some risk no doubt and perhaps to costly player wise to obtain . Last thing this club requires in trade in more pertinent holes to fill .

  • JBear

    My thoughts… Oilers gave up early last year because of the horrible horrible goaltending by Dubs. Previous year Dub was decent but he always let in one soft goal per game I felt. This year I have a lot of faith in Scrivens. His play last year was absolutely phenomenal and I’m hoping he helps the Oil start on the right track.

    As for our forwards, I believe Hall/Nuge/Ebs are as good or better than most first lines in the league. In their final games against San Jose and Anaheim I felt they were even (Getzlaf/Perry) or outplayed their counterparts (making Big Joe quickly show his age). They cycled hard down low and were just quicker than everyone else.