Today, we start a new weekly tradition here at the Nation. Today, we reach out to our fine readers and ask your opinions on the topics of the day. Today, we put you in hypothetical control of the franchise and determine the path to be travelled by the organization. Today, is the very first edition of What Would You Do Wednesday (WWYDW).



We’re getting to the time of year where management will make their final decisions on who makes the team, who gets cut, and whether or not a trade is needed to ice an NHL roster. In Edmonton, the latter has been a problem for the better part of a decade, and that’s why I’m putting you in control of the team. That’s why I think you’re the man (or lady) for the job. That’s why you’re going to tell me how the Oilers can ice the best roster possible for the 2014-15 season.

What the hell am I talking about? Let me tell you.  I’m going to present some choices that the Oilers will face as they move towards opening night, and I’ll need you to be the decision maker.  Let’s just pretend that we’re kicking MacT out of his office, and you’re going to rearrange the ass print in his favourite chair.

What is the point of this? You want to be in charge of the Oilers don’t you?  You want Nation Gear don’t you? Can you handle that kind of power? Can you smash your face against the desk with enough gusto to leak out the best idea in the history of the Oilers or ice hockey in general? That’s good, because the commenter with the most props for his management techniques will receive a free Nation Gear tee courtesy of ME! 



All summer long, the Nation has been arguing back and forth about the depth at centre.  Some people think that Leon Draisaitl will be fine at 2C, while others think that the Oilers are, yet again, rushing another youngster into a position he may not be ready for.  I want to know what you guys would do with that position.  If you want to leave Draisaitl in the 2C slot, I want to know why you think he’s ready.  If you think the Oilers should make a trade, I want to know who you’re trading for and what you’re giving up to get them?

Tell me, Nation, how the hell are we going to solve this second line centre situation? I know you’ve got some ideas.  I’m turning the keys over to you, and it’ll be your job to make things right. 



To be eligible to win the Nation Gear prize, you have to have the most “props” in the comments section and, just as importantly, you have give evidence to support your decisions.  I’m all for having people drop one liners, and making jokes, but beware that those won’t win you the goods – you have to have some substance going on. I’ll check out the ideas tomorrow morning, and the winner will be contacted.

Luckily, I think you guys can do it. Think of this segment as us asking you mailbag questions, but this time it’s for prizes.  For free stuff, I think you guys can do anything!

    • Wax Man Riley

      Further to the above, Lowe has been here for way too long showing way too many questionable decisions dating all the way back to the Comrie to Anaheim deal. There is no other professional situation I can think of that would tolerate mediocrity as a high water mark, and 8 years+ of failure the norm.

      Culture starts at the top, and with all the talk of creating a winning environment, having the same management that allowed the losing culture to cultivate in the first place, and expecting it to change is a losing battle in itself.

      #2C is a problem that The Oilers would not have if they actually addressed the real issue.

      Right now The Oilers are fighting terrorism (or communism, or witches). Going after the symptoms without trying to find out what the underlying problem is.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Really? We’re going to get into a Kevin Lowe discussion? I’ll pass, as that dead horse has been beaten over and over, and quite frankly my arms are tired.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Now it’s not the time to panic and start trading away anyone, prospects or suspects!
    1st line Hall – RNH – Pitlick
    2nd line Pouliot – Arcobello – Eberle
    3rd line Perron – Draisaitl – Yakupov
    4th line Hendricks – Gordon – Purcell
    Lander as the extra forward
    On Defence:
    Hunt /Petry
    Klefbom /Fayne
    (Ference)Nikitin the extra defenceman.
    Until Ference is 100%, Klefbom should draws in ahead of Nikitin on the third pairing(as a left-handed shooting guard)
    Keep rotating Scrivens and Fasth in goal until one of the two claims the no.1 spot.
    If this is the hand that were dealt, then that’s what i would play it!!!

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    I know we’re all sick of hearing about patience but this still isnt the year. I say pick up Peter mueller on waivers, give draisaitl his 9 games and see how it goes.


    run them like we do goalies. whomever has the hot hand or hot stick in this case gets to stay as the #2 guy.

  • Ok, hold your noses and look at this win win scenario:

    Make a trade with Calgary for Michael Backlund in exchange for Calgary’s choice of one of the young Oilers D prospects. That would be one of Klefbom, Marincin or Nurse. Maybe could be Petry. Would have to adjust with a 2nd or 3rd draft choice depending on the selection.

    Backlund is still relatively young, fast, a possession monster and great defensively. He can also score but hasn’t put up great boxcars yet at the NHL level g (therefore expecting lots of trashes). Last year was a breakout year. Oh yes, great contract too. Calgary has an abundance of young Center prospects and need to make room this year or next, and need some more higher-level D prospects.

    Oilers have an abundance of riches in young D prospects and can afford to trade one to address a serious need. Probably play Backlund with Perron and Pouliot. Move Draisatl to 3C with Purcell and Yakupov, building chemistry. Send Yakimov to the AHL for development and first call-up when injuries occur or he continues his outstanding play and Draisatl proves he’s not ready for full-time.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    To tell you the truth BM (and this is going to hurt) I got pretty bored reading do this or do this. I’d scrap this idea and move on to something else, maybe hook up with Jetters inside the players website.

      • Zarny

        Lecavalier signed in Philly to be the No. 2 center in Peter Laviolette’s uptempo system, then got blindsided three games into his Flyers career when Lavvy was dumped and Berube took the reins. Up tempo is what Edmonton wants to play and I don’t think he is any slower than Leon. Now he’s playing in a system that doesn’t really fit his skill set, for a head coach that doesn’t really know what to do with him. It’s a distraction already. And it could easily get bigger.

        Philly’s defence is a concern even prior to losing Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), the blueline is Philly’s biggest issue heading into this season — something head coach Craig Berube confirmed following a 6-3 exhibition loss to the Rangers.

        Philly is also very tight to the cap and we have many defensive prospects that won’t cost them much, so I say a D prospect for Vinny is a fair trade if we can get him in under our cap. He will be a fine addition for a couple of years while we season a couple of C’s.

  • Bucknuck

    Offensively a 2line C needs to be in the top 46 of Centres in the league. He has to be in the group with the 30 first liners and the second line centres of the 16 playoff teams. In looking at NHL.com, boxcars for #46 among centres last year is 45 points. 45 points.

    He also needs to be good at faceoffs. Good is anything better than 50%. they have to win more than they lose.

    They also need to have to give more than they give away. They need to have good posession numbers.

    Those three things will make you a second line centre on the Oilers.

    Arco had 18 points in 41 games, which averages out to 36 in a year. Not bad for a rookie. It is reasonable to assume that on the second line in his second year he will get 45 points.

    He had 51% in the faceoff circle, and his CorsiRel is good. He is a good defensive player. Add that to an impressive AHL resume and you have a good one year solution until Draisaitl can come in and take it from him.

    Arcobello is a 2nd line centre. He is the solution until Draisaitl outperforms him, which he hasn’t.

    • knee deep in it

      Having a pulse will make u a 2c on the oilers re: Taylor Hall, Ryan Smyth, Arco

      For a 2 line c to be too 46 that means he is better than most other 2c. On most clubs that would be a first line C. On good clubs with depth that makes him a 2c. Oilers aren’t going to get that today.

      To be better than 50% in the face off dot, always a good goal, means said player has to be better than the guys he’s taking the face offs against, usually this would also mean that’s said player is tops in the league, or a one year stat anomaly as only half the players can be 50%.

      So where is it that you think the Oil can get a first line C to come and be their 2C? Must be because of the success that is in the Oil’s immediate future.

      I agree that Arco is prob the most realistic option but I think your predictions of his numbers are inflated. I would guess that 1/3 of last years points came while playing with the top line, the guys he had played with in OkC during the lockout.

      I could see him with 30 points but I suspect he will rotate from 2c-3c-4w as coach E needs to shake things up to get diff guys going.

      I won’t argue his face off % or Corsi from last year but again I don’t think that trend will continue. He will play on lines less productive than who he started with last year, but is considered more veteran than say yakimov who is likely to get easier min on the 3rd line.

      Alas, C positions will be this years rotating door, much like last years goaltending.

  • CMG30

    If we’re drafting based on who will have the biggest impact on the team over the long term then it stands to reason that we should develop in the same way.

    Send down LD, Nurse and Yakamov till they are ripe, even if they are the better players in training camp.

    Scour the waver wire for center insurance and let Arco and Lander have the first crack. After 5 games, if the position is not treading water, pull the trigger on a trade using any combination of picks/prospects but the 1st overall assuming the player coming back justifies it.

  • Armchair_Gm

    One player that could be a big maybe is Tyler Toffoli from the kings. Theyre stacked at centre and actually have a few prospects knocking at the centre door. Theyre weak a bit when it comes to young defensive depth so I would trade marincin, and a second + a fourth round pick for him.

    A stanley cup winner who is putting up decent points while getting limited ice time. Would also be a good long term solution once drasaitl is ready as it seems the oilers want to ice 3 offensive lines. Kind of reminds me of the seguin to stars situation where you give a player whos already developed more responsibility and watch him produce.

  • 1. Grab Mueller off waivers

    2. Deal for Carter Ashton. A fifth round pick should get it done.

    3. Sign Loktionov. Give him a one-way deal with a signing bonus, but one a deal that you can bury in the minors without a massive cap hit to save on cap space if he doesn’t perform.

  • Godzi

    Continue reading after the next sentence. Dish off Ebs. He’d fetch a great 2C. I think he’s an elite winger with excellent vision and shot, but he is redundant on this team. Eberle would bring the best return next to Hall whom I’m keeping! Bump Arco to 3C and Gordon to 4C. Give Yak2 a nine game tryout as he’s earned it and may be capable in the show. Save a year on Drai’s contract/develop and WJC. Same with Nurse. I’ been reading this site for along time and happy to finally sign up. Cheers all!

  • Seriously though. We are not making the playoffs this year so a rediculous Eberle trade is out of the question.

    Yakimove, LD, Arco to start the year. After 9 games send down LD unless hes showing extremely well. Go with Arco, Yakimov while keeping both eyes peeled on the waiver wire.

    On a side note. Nurse also plays 9 games but almost definately goes back to SSM.

  • knee deep in it

    Nelson from the islanders is the obvious target. The isles have Tavares and grabovsky ahead of him and he is more suited to a 2nd line role than a 3rd.

    The isles traded away their 1st and will be desperate to avoid a lottery finish. They might start the year with 2 of their top 3 dman on injured reserve. There is no limit to the potential stupidity a desperate Snow is capable of so a petry for Nielson swap is definitely possible.

    His even strength pts per 60 minutes would be second only to hall if he was an oiler last year.

  • knee deep in it

    Neilson from the islanders is the obvious target. The isles have Tavares and grabovsky ahead of him and he is more suited to a 2nd line role than a 3rd.

    The isles traded away their 1st and will be desperate to avoid a lottery finish. They might start the year with 2 of their top 3 dman on injured reserve. There is no limit to the potential stupidity a desperate Snow is capable of so a petry for Nielson swap is definitely possible.

    His even strength pts per 60 minutes would be second only to hall if he was an oiler last year.

  • Spoils

    Even with the give ARCO and LD a chance to make it move, bringing in injury insurance feels wise. After the 9 game tryout, we might need 2 Centers!

    Offer for Anisimov, Eakin, Schenn…

    Best possible mix of Petry (I am feeling fayne and Niki), #2 2015 (not #1 from that deep draft year), #1 2016 (that prospect likely won’t make our Stanley run in 2018), prospects lower than Klefbom/chase on the list.

    Looking for teams with cap space issues, center depth, weak D.

  • Zarny

    I think regardless of how LD and Arco show in training camp, you need injury insurance. I think it is a must to employ a 5th center and I’m not so sure Lander will suffice (because offense, because experience).

    I think bringing in a 2C is a pipe dream and the focus should be shifted to acquiring a 3 or 4C. If the nuge goes down, Arco and LD will slide. If Gordon goes down…… hang on to your underpants.

    I’m going to propose moving prospects or a mid pick for that insurance. I like the idea of Brodziak, but its already been mentioned so I’ll go with someone else.

    2015 3rd round pick + Kyle Platzer (if necessary)for Kyle Chipchura or Vernon Fiddler

    Then you can send Leon back to Jr. or have him run soft minutes at 2C. Arco can be the utility guy playing C if need be, but also slide to the wing on the 3rd or 4th line.

    Hall – Nuge – Ebs
    Pouliot – Leon – Perron
    Purcell – Chipchura – Yak 1
    Hendricks – Gordon – Arco
    Joensuu, Gazdic

  • Zarny

    BM, this is Jeeters website, might be of interest to you.

    Jeter is hoping to help other athletes avoid those mistakes — and get out their own “unfiltered” stories — with the launch of The Players Tribune website (www.theplayerstribune.com). His site, which went live Wednesday, promises unique access to top athletes in every sport — from videos to photos to podcasts and more — in their own words.

  • BlazingSaitls

    I would re-think the hiring of Drew Remenda for being a talking head in Edmonton. Granted most Oilers games are blacked out for me so I wont see him much but I have heard him on Oilersnow a few times and I am not a fan.

    Edmonton Oilers have some of the most, if not thee most, knowledgeable hockey fans on the planet. Remenda seems stuck in San Jose mode where he spoke simply to help grow the game. I find myself neither agreeing with him or disagreeing with him. I just go ….meh

    Greg Millen > Drew Remenda, and that’s not saying much.

  • Domitius

    So based on what I have seen so far, Draisaitl gets the 2C spot. Assuming he continues to be able to find his teammates with passes and work hard on the boards he’s earned it. Now you cant just throw a freshly drafted kid into the NHL and hope they succeed. You have to put him in the place to have success.

    Putting him in the place to succeed means consistently giving him the minutes even through the tough times which happen, it also means giving him the proper line mates. Perron probably wont whiff on as many chances as he has in pre season, and Drai and Yak seem to have good chemistry and if they can hold that through camp that’s just an extra reason to keep him on the team. A good season for Nail will mean a good season for Draisaitl.

    Finally to make sure Draisaitl has a stellar rookie season in the 2C slot, you need to shelter his minutes. Line match him against the weaker lines, lines you know cant play D. Give him the Offensive zone starts and start depending on your first line of nuge and hall and ebs a little more in the defensive zone to be able to win the draw, get out of the D zone and push the play up the ice.

  • Do what Weight did?

    Congrats Jeff!

    I was so sure one of our regulars would have taken this contest… You know, the guys who complain non-stop about what MacT and KLowe do. Were their answers censored or something? Surely Quick Gord knows the answer. No? Maybe Serious Silver?

  • Give Leon a chance at 2C. The new veteran wingers acquired during the summer will make his life a little easier. This whole “give the kids time to develop in the minors” is blown up by characters in the media. Not to say there isn’t truth to that, but if the kid shows he’s ready to play in camp, give him the opportunity.