Another dreadful Oilers week is in the books, and now you’re all seeking answers. Whether or not the answers in the mailbag will apply? That’s another question. If you have something you’d like to ask, email it to me at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. Now sit back, relax, and waste as much company time as possible. Have a good week, everybody.
1) Woogie63 asks – If you don’t count our three first overall draft picks, have the pro scouts or amateur scouts made any contribution to the rebuild?
Tough to say with the amateur scouts during the time frame — the rebuild — you use. We don’t know what kids taken in the last two or three years (like Nurse) are going to be yet. If you take out the three first overall picks then you’re talking about a considerable drop-off to prospects taken in the second and later rounds. I am interested to see if they uncovered a gem in Bogdan Yakimov.
As for the pro scouts, their performance has left so much to be desired you could fill volumes talking about it. So many misses that weren’t even close to being worthwhile. Most lately, I’d like to know who thought it would be a good idea to offer Benoit Pouliot the dollars and term he got.
Martin Marincin and Klefbom. However, expecting the Oilers to win with more youth in lineup is a losing proposition. The Oilers need some players like Pitlick, Hamilton, Chase, Moroz, etc to develop, but the major weakness was that there was no depth drafted from 2004-2009…other than Petry. Usually picks outside of 1st round take five years to develop. Had they developed any during that time then the Oilers would have been better off.
Yes. Among the draft picks who are contributing now: Jeff Petry, Jordan Eberle, Leon Draisaitl, Martin Marincin. The pipeline has names like Oscar Klefbom. A player like Steve Pinizzotto was acquired for Ryan Martindale, so there are acquisitions contributing via trades made with assets from the draft.
Pro scouting found Iiro Pakarinen, Mark Arcobello, Brad Hunt, etc.
Jordan Eberle, Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin.
In terms of amateur scouting, obviously guys like Marincin and Klefbom look to be finally starting to hit their stride, and Maraincin in particular should be a full-time regular next season and beyond, along with Nurse and Draisaitl, who are also going to be big factors going forward. Then there are guys like Mitch Moroz and Greg Chase and Jujhar Khaira that have shown flashes of what could be some pro potential, but haven’t quite found their gear in pro hockey yet (Or in Chase’s case are still in junior). And then there’s a murders row of guys who we’ll never hear from again. Again these things take time to fully reveal themselves but I’m not super confident in our prospect depth. They still seem to be stuck in the “LOOK HOW BIG THAT GUY IS” mentality, which unfortunately hasn’t really worked for the Oilers since some time in the 90s.
As far as pro scouting, I think up until this season it’s been even worse. When you’re picking up guys like Will Acton, Mark Fraser and Keith Aulie pretty much solely based on the fact that they have prior experience with the current coach, there’s a problem there. It doesn’t help that most of the guys we’ve picked up have had to play way over their heads (Ference) or have just been plain busts (Nikitin) but the track record so far leaves even more to be desired. I think Purcell and Pouliot have been fine so far, but oddly enough neither one of those guys is a 2nd line centre nor a first pairing D-man! And I know neither of those things are easy to come by, but when you’ve had the same glaring holes for years and they STILL aren’t being filled, something isn’t working.
I think the scouts nailed it with Jordan Eberle as a mid/late first round pick. I also think they found a solid defenceman in Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin. As for the pro scouts, I think they made a really safe bet in bringing in Mark Fayne. Unfortunately, Fayne isn’t playing enough minutes.
2) Steveland Cleamer asks – Do you think that the abundance of NMC/NTC in the NHL right now is hampering losing teams (Buffalo, Florida, EDMONTON, etc.) from league parity due to the fact, that these teams cannot trade for proven winner/NHL veterans to come to their teams to help aid in their rebuilds? Even if opposing GM’s wanted to make a trade of Eberle + picks for say Chara (players used as examples only, not a serious trade consideration) these NTC would prohibit the trade.
Of course it hampering bottom-feeder teams. Too many players have them.
I hate them. I’d limit them to two or three per team. It won’t happen, but that is what I’d do.
Sure, but there are always issues no matter the era. I don’t think this can be used as an excuse for poor performance in any market. If the Oilers were better, fewer players would have them on their no trade list.
Certainly no-move clauses impact the ability of teams to add players via trade, but I actually think the salary cap hurts more. We see big moves frequently in the summer because that’s the one time teams have some salary flexibility. Things freeze up in-season because everybody is dancing so close to the salary cap.
I’d say so, yes. As we’ve seen with the free agent market players aren’t exactly knocking down the door to come play for our terrible team (unless Katz drives a dump truck full of money to their house). I don’t necessarily think we’d see more blockbuster trades or anything, but rather than having scenarios where guys like Kesler are handcuffing their team by only giving them two options to be traded to, forcing their own team to deal from a position of weakness and getting less than fair market value, we’d see more straight across trades. Or maybe we’d see more 6 players for 1 trade like we used to in the 90s! THOSE WERE AWESOME!
No-move clauses suck. So many players have them now that it makes it difficult to go out and get a veteran guy to help your team. The Oilers are awful right now, and I’m sure that their name comes up on most guys’ no-move lists. Until the Oilers get better the veterans players won’t come. Until the Oilers can get better players, they won’t get better. Chicken and the egg.
3) Tileguy asks – What is the lowdown on Petry? Are we going to resign him or lose him for draft picks? Is it possible to get a “quality” warm body for him, if so when is the best time to make a deal? What would you do?
I’m not as big on moving Petry as some people are, but that horse might have already left the barn with the way the last negotiations went. Petry would be nuts not to test the FA waters. The Oilers won’t get close to value for him any time between now and the trade deadline.
I’d sign him. Highly doubt they get fair value in a trade.
I think you get a pick for him, not a player. Oilers crushed his value with that one-year deal. I’ve been saying forever the club should sign Petry, so you can imagine how thrilled I’d be with a contract.
I’d re-sign him. I expect the Oilers will end up dealing him for picks or a lesser player sometime in the next few months.
In a perfect world the Oilers resign him to a long term contract where he makes somewhere between 5 and 5.5 mil per season. HOWEVER, this being the Oilers I wouldn’t be surprised if now that they’ve spent all these years developing and he’s finally hit his stride they get embroiled in a bitter contract negotiation, he walks to free-agency and then signs with a contender and wins a couple Stanley Cups before the Oilers even make the playoffs again. OH MAN I CAN’T WAIT! *never stops crying*
Jeff Petry is a very good defenceman. The problem with Petry is that he’s fighting above his weight class right now. Ideally, you would see Petry as a 2nd pairing guy, but the Oilers have him playing tougher minutes than that. That’s management’s fault, not Petry’s. Unfortunately, we’ll probably see him traded for some week old sandwich at the deadline. Pennies on the dollar.
4) Jason Reynolds asks – What do you make of Dallas Eakins finishing 30th on the coaching rankings from ESPN?
Not much. Why would a raw rookie NHL coach like Eakins going to a lousy team be rated 22nd in the same poll the season before? If “experts” thought he was better than seven other coaches in that situation, does it matter if they rank him 30th or 101st now?
Not much. Put Mike Babcock in Edmonton and the Oilers still aren’t a playoff team. They’d be better, no doubt, but they wouldn’t be a playoff contender. The one difference Babcock would make is that he likely would have told MacT to wake the H up when he told him his plan to come to camp with only two NHL centres.
It would be impossible to rank him high. Eakins isn’t proven and his teams are losing. I don’t think it’s a reflection of his ability as opposed to his track record.
Nothing. Those rankings tend to weigh two items heavily: recent results and reputation. Eakins has no NHL track record to give him a reputation bump, and he’s coaching a bad team; that makes it really easy to slot him dead last. I don’t think it’s an objective and deeply-researched measure of coaching strategy.
I mean, is anyone surprised by this? When that list came out he was just over 100 games into his NHL coaching career, and coming off a losing season. He hasn’t even won 40 games in the NHL yet. It may not necessarily be fair but by that metric alone how do you put him ahead of ANY other coach in the league?
I don’t really put much stock into this aside from it being hilariously predictable. The Oilers are in 29th place in the league – WHERE ELSE WAS HE GOING TO GO? Sure, Buffalo is in last place and Ted Nolan could arguably have finished last, but at the end of the day who cares? The only rankings anyone should be caring about are the NHL standings.
5) Kyle Dawes asks – Hockey is one of the most expensive sports to play. What can be done to give more kids an opportunity to play? Can anything be done?
A good place to start is with organizations like Sports Central which help provide used but perfectly good equipment to kids.
Cost to run rinks is what makes it so expensive as well as equipment costs. I don’t see either going down moving forward. The one way would be to have more outdoor practices and games, but it seems our society is a tad too soft for that nowadays.
This is a tough one because it falls to parents (mostly) to pay for that equipment and when you have more than one child it can be doubly expensive or unfair. It isn’t a good situation, I have a very good idea to solve it but gave it to Willis because he was upset at not having one. 🙂
I think we’ve already seen hockey transition into more of a rich kids sport; I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon.
Maybe Hockey Canada could start a program where it’s kind of like a pick-up league for kids who aren’t quite sure if they want to jump full bore into organized hockey, or for parents who can’t make the time commitment to get their kids to every game/practice. Have equipment available to rent every game for a small fee. Have some volunteers to coach/supervise. I’m not even sure if any of that is feasible but I’m just spitballing here.
I remember when I first started playing hockey, my dad would take me to Totem Outdoor Outfitters to get my equipment. You can get really decent used hockey equipment for a fraction of the cost. There’s also places like Sports Central that will take used gear and pass them along to the less fortunate. If you have used equipment laying around, you should look at donating it – Hockey registration fees are ridiculous enough without having to buy all new gear. How do we get registration fees down? That’s going to take someone smarter than me to figure out.