WINGMEN

hendricks common

Matt Hendricks was hurt last night, blocking a Shea Weber shot. We don’t
know the extent of the injury at this time, but a Shea Weber shot can
break steel so it’s probably not going to be ‘take two aspirins and call
me in the morning’ for Hendricks. With Benoit Pouliot already hurt, and
David Perron on the trade block, what on earth does the Oilers depth
chart at wing look like?

OILERS WINGERS

oilers current depth chart

Is that about right? It’s kind of wonky
with Pouliot out and of course we’re in worry mode about Hendricks as
we speak. The club could run with Pinizotto and Joensuu on the Gordon
line (although Hendricks does a lot of useful things), meaning a more
offensive winger might be needed. If the club chose to run Gazdic on the
Gordon line (unlikely), you might want a checker who could step in if
that goes sideways. Here are the top five ‘in-house’ options in the
system for recall.

THE REPLACEMENTS

pakarinen ferguson 1415one

Iiro Pakarinen, RW.

Iiro the hero has been splendid
in the minors and pretty damn good in the majors this season. Eight
goals in 11 AHL games, he could certainly step in and help short term
based on what we’ve seen this season. He brings some physical elements.

lander ferguson 1415

Anton Lander, C-L

The Oilers haven’t used him this
year at all, but he could help some on the power play. Lander has some
ability to agitate, but is not a physical player and that may hold him
back from recall.

pitlick ferguson 1415

Tyler Pitlick, RW.

Young man came in last season about
this time and impressed. He doesn’t have enough offense but is a good
skater and can crash and bang. He’s still a prospect so we’ll see now
through the end of the season if Edmonton wants to have an extended
look.

kessy by ferguson 1

Kale Kessy, LW

Impressed in training camp and
preseason, plus he’s playing well from all reports in Oklahoma City.
Probably more of a Gazdic replacement but he’s a player of interest.

hamilton ferguson 1

Curtis Hamilton, LW. I know, I know,
but the boxcars (15GP, 4-3-7) are good and he’s playing well this year.
There was talk of a recall before injury last season, he might get a cup
of coffee here if things break right.

Other
possible additions include Travis Ewanyk, Mitch Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
and Bogdan Yakimov. The Russian scored two points in the Wednesday night
game and appears to be turning a corner. (Photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

  • slapshot444

    As a Flames fan I used to dislike the Oil, only because, well I’m a flames fan. Now as an Albertan I’m pissed the Oil management has ruined a perfectly good competitor and the Battle of Alberta is no more. As a hockey fan I’m pissed to see such good top talent of Hall and RNH go to waste. My question now is if the Oil get first draft pick this spring will the pick hold out and not sign with such a poorly run team, or even more pressing is, when will Hall want out?

    • Zarny

      here is the plan. dishonour for Connor.

      POHO is fired after the draft(i mean retires to spend more time with family).

      New high quality POHO fires everyone below him.

      We get new GM, coaches and scouts.

      Hope and change is then an easy sell for the next season.

    • Serious Gord

      Mc David will holdout regardless of who drafts him and demand a trade to a competitive team.

      Hall will demand a trade if the oil are only marginally better by this time next year.

      (Halls agent is Bobby Orr – and. I don’t know what is MO is regarding advising players to demand a trade.)

      • Zarny

        Right, just like all those 1st overall picks before him who held out.

        You live in a fantasy world. The rest of the world doesn’t share your hatred for Lowe.

        • Serious Gord

          As I pointed out elsewhere there have only been four superstar draft picks – gretz, Lemieux lindros and Crosby and two of those four did not play for the team inline to draft them. And Lemieux apparently gave refusing to play for Pitt a lot of thought.

          So historical precedent puts it at about a fifty-fifty chance.

          I would note that his agent is also orr – the first player to use an agent and eagleson bargained the biggest rookie contract ever at the time (by a wide margin). So I wonder whether orr will be as hard a bargainer for mcdavid.

          And I don’t think his holding out would only be the case if EDM got first pick. I think he might do the same for buf and carolina.

          • Zarny

            First, to suggest John Tavares wasn’t as highly touted as the 4 you mention is simply wrong. JT put up 134 points as a 16 y/o in the OHL. Last I checked he didn’t blink even once when drafted by NYI who have been the epitome of futility since 1984.

            As I pointed out elsewhere equating McDavid with Lindros is beyond stupid. Lindros’ aversion to Quebec started when he refused to play in Sault Ste. Marie. Lindros refusing to play for Quebec was simply an extension of that aversion. It was a personal issue with Lindros not something you link to being a superstar draft pick.

            Gretzky wasn’t drafted, Crosby didn’t blink once about going where ever he was drafted and if you had even bothered to Google anything about Lemieux you would know that he refused to put on Pittsburgh’s jersey at the draft because he didn’t like the contract the Penguins had already offered.

            Lemieux and his agent were crystal clear that he had no problem playing in Pittsburgh. It was about money.

            So what the historical precedent puts it at is a 100% chance McDavid will do nothing but smile for the camera when drafted 1st overall unless he has an already established personal aversion to Alberta, Buffalo or who ever drafts him or wants more money.

            To date, there is absolutely zero evidence to suggest any of that.

            The simple truth is that you consistently and constantly project your negative feelings towards to Lowe and Oilers management onto others who simply don’t share them.

          • Zarny

            Yes, of course. Brain fart on my part.

            The point remains that Lindros had an established aversion to going where he was drafted. He and his dad were determined from when he was 15 y/o to have him play in major markets to maximize his endorsement options.

            It was a Lindros thing; not a generational player thing.

          • Serious Gord

            I thought about including Tavares in the list but I discounted the fact that he was playing in the Toronto market that consistently over hypes players (and coaches – see eakins)

            Lindros didn’t go to Quebec for two reasons – the owner and the money. The tiny market and the lack of que ability to pay the big salary were the key considerations.

            And you will note that I said “inline” to be drafted not that they were all drafted. Gretz went to the whl again for the money. (And he left EDM for bigger money)

            And as you agree Lemieux considered going elsewhere for bigger money.

            And mcdavid will also have to make money a primary concern – making less of it in a small Canadian market even more so now with the salary cap. Going to a big media market in the eastern US makes far more sense. Thus declinig to play for car or buf are also possibilities (I dont think Columbus will be in the high odds end of lottery once they get healthy).

            So all but Crosby debated going elsewhere over money. Two did and the third helped recruit Crosby. And it is notable that there continues to be some suspicion as to how legit the lottery that Crosby was picked in was.

          • Hemmercules

            Lol. Where are you getting this idea that McDavid will hold out on the team that drafts him?? Is he a huge douche or something?? You have one example in Lindros and that was over 20 years ago. Players don’t do that sort of thing anymore, the league has changed a lot since then. Your hatred of Oilers management is making you go crazy.

          • Serious Gord

            I find it amusing that lindros is a “douche” but gretz isn’t nor is Lemieux. A three wanted to get more money than the draft was going to give them. Would gretz have held out if there wasn’t a whl to go to?

          • Zarny

            Again you are incorrect.

            Gretzky signing with the WHA had nothing to do with more money than he would have received being drafted by the NHL.

            At the time, the WHA was Grezky’s only option since he would have had to wait another 2 years before he was even eligible to be drafted in the NHL.

            There has never been anything to suggest Gretzky would have held out if he was drafted. There was zero problems when he signed in Indianapolis or when Pocklington signed him in Edmonton.

          • Kevwan

            The CBA is very specific as to the amount of money a drafted player can make on his ELC (bonuses included). Wherever McDavid is drafted and signs it will be for the exact same money and term.

            Of course being in a bigger market would be better for endorsements but McDavid is already a North American wide recognized brand. Any holdout / trade demand would hurt that brand just as it did for Lindros.

            It’s not a coincidence that no top pick has held out since the ’05 lockout and subsequent CBA. The chance of any top pick holding out is almost nil.

          • Serious Gord

            There has been no pick as highly touted as mcdavid since Crosby. And Crosby went to a team in the very heart of the north east – not Florida or EDM.

            Did it really hurt lindros? How much more would he have made if he had stayed with que? Do you think the modern hockey fan would hold it against mcdavid if he refused to sign with carolina and had his rights traded to the Rangers or even better to the leafs? The NHL establishment is a lot weaker than it was in lindros’ day.

          • m@s f@s

            I wonder if endorsement $ for hockey players outside of TO, Montreal, Manhatten is really a big deal.

            Crosby as an example. Pittsburgh itself is smaller the Edmonton, not a affluent and the Penguins are definitely far behind the Steelers and possible the Pirates recently in the public eye. Crosby is vilified in Philly and I wonder is he gets many endorsement gigs in the big Apple.

          • Serious Gord

            Crosby plays regularly in all of the big eastern markets and I think his profile is much higher than it would be in the US than if he played in CGY or some place similar. And his endorsements are coastal and national rather than regional and thus his higher profile in Pitt helps.

          • Kevwan

            Crosby was being paid 500k a year from Reebok alone in 2005.He had deals with Pepsi and Tim Hortons as well. The endorsements helped him

            The team he played for had no impact They were signed when he was still in the Q league. It’s reported he makes an additional 10m year due to endorsement.
            His squeaky clean reputation, and the fact he performs at a whole other level is what brings him the endorsements. These have been long term deals. Signed by an undrafted kid. Who was playing in the least discussed junior league in hockey crazy Canada.

            McDavid will play for who ever drafts him. If he lives up to the hype, the endorsements will be there.

          • Kevwan

            I think your old enough to remember that Lindros was vilified in Canada for refusing to go to Quebec. So yes in Canada it did. Lindros banked on US endorsements which didn’t really work out. What saved Lindros’ image somewhat in Canada was his willingness to play for the Olympic and national teams. He eventually rehabbed his image and ironically married a Quebecois, but without a doubt lost endorsement money early in his career. The extra salary in Philly probably made up for it though.

            The NHL and marketing have changed in the last 25 years. Crosby makes the most of any active player from endorsements and Pittsburgh is hardly a big market. ( Lebron – Cleveland in basketball, same). With all games available via multiple platforms we can watch the stars play wherever they are. I watch almost as many Penguins games as Oilers.

            Also turning a struggling franchise around only helps build image. Saying no (hold out/trade demand) to any market can only tarnish that image. Right now McDavid is an all Canadian kid – the boy next door. If he refuses to go to the market that drafts him he becomes a spoiled brat to some. That’s a hard sell.

          • Serious Gord

            Again we are in a different era now than in lindros’ day. Players going to markets where they want to go is far more commonplace and accepted. And lindros and parents were controversial all through his amateur career. It’s interesting that gretz’ parents who were just as aggressive as lindros’ in getting what they wanted – they went to court etc. yet gretz had very little of it stick to him.

          • Kevwan

            Um… One was a 17 year old kid on a personal service contract. He got put on an unpaid charter, in the middle of the night, with 2 other players and no idea of where he was going. Dealing with Skalbania and Pocklington of course your getting a lawyer if that’s your son.

            The other one wanted $ and used the French/English tensions in Canada to try to get it.

            If you don’t see the difference, I give up.

          • Zarny

            Lindros is the only player that fits your argument. He and his dad wanted to be in a major market to maximize his endorsement earning potential.

            Gretzky didn’t go to the WHA “for the money”. The WHA was his only professional choice since at the time you had to be 20 y/o to play in the NHL. Given that Gretzky had 184 points as a 16 y/o in the OHL it’s dubious to suggest turning pro at 17 was simply “for the money”. He had the option to play pro hockey and he took it since, and this phrase gets way overused here on ON, he literally had nothing to learn in Jr.

            Here’s how concerned Gretzky was about the money and where he played. When Skalbania had to sell Gretzky, he, Eddie Mio and Peter Driscoll bordered a charter plane not knowing whether it would land in Edmonton or Winnipeg. Skalbania tried cutting a deal while the plane was in the air with the Winnipeg owner Michael Gobuty over a game of backgammon. If Gobuty won he would get Gretzky; if he lost Skalbania would get a share of the Jets. Gobuty balked and the plane landed in Edmonton.

            Gretzky didn’t leave Edmonton for “bigger money”. He was sold so Pocklington could use the return to cover his losses on other business ventures. Not once did Gretzky ever leverage his position as the greatest player in the game to maximize his salary or leave for more money.

            Lemieux didn’t consider going somewhere else for bigger money either. He did use not putting on a jersey as negotiating leverage but there were never any talks to trade Lemieux or that he would hold out.

            There is also the fact that McDavid’s earning potential wherever he goes is capped per the CBA. Demanding a trade elsewhere would earn Connor exactly 0 extra dollars. Any trade demands that you suggest would be solely about location.

            Again, Lindros is the only uber elite prospect to actually hold out and demand to be traded. And it wasn’t an uber elite prospect thing; it was an Eric Lindros thing.

            But if you are really so confident that McDavid will refuse to put on the jersey at the draft and demand to be traded let’s put money on it. $100? Simple rules – McDavid plays for the team who drafts him I win. The team who drafts McDavid ends up trading him before he plays a single game you win.

          • Serious Gord

            Gretz went pro earlier than the NHL would allow. Thus he went to the whl 100% because of the money.

            And he went along with the deal to LA in large part because of the money. Read Brunts book and get back to me with your apology.

            Lemieux held out for money. The option of going to another team is obviously part of that tactic.

            And no i am not betting on anything as silly as that. You seem emphatic that mcdavid and his agent are 100% not considering holding out/ not reporting. I think it would be an abrogation of orr’s fiduciary responsiblilty as his agent to not consider it and discuss it with his client. Three of the four on my list did. And the fourth we don’t know.

          • pkam

            If money is the only reason the players held out, why would they want to do it today. ELC contract is already determined by the CBA. There are tools like arbitration and offer sheet for the player and his agent if they think he is not properly compensated.

            I would bet all I can afford that McDavid will not hold out, will you since you appear to believe that he will than he won’t?

          • Serious Gord

            Please see john kirsch’s comment above and my response to it to see the answer to why it makes sense in a cap world – even more so than in a non-cap world.

            In the MLB teams like Miami and seattle can pay stars like Stanton and cano big enough dough to offset the Merch and endorsement losses because they are in small markets compared to LA CHI and NY.

            In the NHL teams can’t do that. Now it isn’t a big deal for run of the mill players, but for super stars it is a big deal.

      • Hemmercules

        I don’t believe he will come to Edmonton even if drafted- I assume he (his people) will opt for a larger market organization (See Lindros). There are “brand” considerations in play and the fact that the Oiler’s management are such a mess doesn’t help. The saving grace for the Oil if they draft 1-2 is the fact that Eichel is there who may turn out to be an equal or better player- time will tell. Hopefully, if Eichel is drafted by the Oilers he leaves BU asap. Hall will put up Stamkos if Jack is his centerman.

        • Serious Gord

          Exactly. It is the brand that make superstars like gretz Crosby Jordan james different from other players in a cap world. For them it isn’t just what their team pays them they can make as much or more – sometimes far more than that via Merch deals and endorsements.

          Which makes refusing to play for the team that drafts you a much more viable thing fro a cost/benefit standpoint.

  • Serious Gord

    In other words the oil have zero quality forwards in the minors – certainly nothing that’s going to be 1/2 line on a cup competitive team.

    What the hell have the scouts been doing the past eight years?

    • Spydyr

      Patting each other on the back for the great first overall picks.They can’t wait for another this year.It will take all their brain power to take McDavid.

      • Serious Gord

        Begs the question: are the oil the worst drafting team in the league this Millenium?

        Even more damning IMO is their proscouting that almost never wins a trade/signing.

        • Wax Man Riley

          I think I remember DSF proving that The Oilers have been the worst drafting team in the last 10 years.

          Anybody in Oilersnation could draft at least as well as this team over the last few years.

        • D

          I would argue the Oil are the worst (or one of the worst) drafting teams since the miracle run of drafts starting in 1979. Recent pro-scouting has not been much better. In the 1990s, the Oil pulled of some impressive pro trades, especially considering the economic climate of the time. But I’d bet that was more Glen Sather than the pro-scouting staff.

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      They are replacing a 3/4 winger. Pakarinen is a good replacement. You rarely draft 1/2 wingers after the first round. The ones we drafted are already here.

  • Kevwan

    Working down from the top – Hall, Eberle, Yak, and Perron are the top 2 lines.

    I’d play Purcell with Gordon. During some close games, when Eakins shortened the bench, those 2 played together and had some chemistry. I’d bring up Lander with these 2 or put Joensuu with them. Kind of an any situation line and a chance at depth scoring.

    That leaves Leon with Pinzotto or Gadzic and Joensuu or Lander.

    Not a lot of great options.

    • m@s f@s

      …”That leaves Leon with Pinzotto or Gadzic and Joensuu or Lander….”.
      Lander, Joensuu, and Pinzotti/Gadzic, and send Leon the Jrs before its too late for the kid.

  • Serious Gord

    Foe all intensive purposes this season is already lost , and MacT. should be dealing now for the future instead of after season ends . Not like any trades are going to salvage this season now other than being possibly a little more palatable to fans in the interim . If you agree we should be dealing now and into rest of season vote Cheers , if not vote Trash . .

  • Kevwan

    For the love of God……..please let’s not expose any of our prospects to Eakins, he will totally destroy their confidence and render them useless.

    Keep them in OKC where they have a chance to improve under Nelson!

  • Rnr

    Let’s trade Schultz for a forward while he still has any value. If we can’t find a taker, let’s play him at forward. He plays like he is a forward anyway, absent the backchecking.

  • Zarny

    I have seen many people promoted above their skill level. When the boss who promoted them finally realized that he/she made an error and demoted the employee to a position that they can handle the demoted employee was embarrassed but to a large extent relieved.

    After a period of time the employed became happier and valuable to the company

    If Katz is a friend of Lowes the best thing that Katz can do for Lowe is demote him.

    • Zarny

      You’re bang on. MacT’s mistake was made 4-5 months ago and there is little he can do to rectify it now.

      If the Oilers are/were going to move a player like Eberle or Yakupov now isn’t the time you do it. Because many of the teams that might be interested can’t make that deal right now.

  • nugeformayor

    Irro will get used poorly by this Eakins character, I feel bad for these players working hard in juniors to try make nhl then they get to nhl and get a peewee coach! What did he get like 6 minutes a game

  • vetinari

    This will sound like a broken record but Patience is the key. This is not the best time to be making any trades to try to save the season or change the franchise substantially. There is simply to much ground to make up and too many holes to fill.

    Three key mile posts will be coming – the trade deadline, the 2015 draft and UFA day 2015. These are where the Oilers must once again take steps to recalibrate their line up. To try to do anything substantial before the draft order is set is folly. With the way the team is performing this year it is highly likely we will draw into one of the top 2-3 draft spots. Until we know, any moves, particularly involving our 2015 first round pick, would smack of Brian Burke and the Kessel/Seguin fiasco.

    When you have potentially generational talent at the top of the draft, you owe it to the team and especially the long suffering fans, to ensure you acquire the best possible assets for the club. Please note I stated assets. I did not specify them as players. Over the past few years management and the fan base have fallen into the trap of over either rating assets (Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz, Gagner, Perron etc.) or becoming emotionally attached to prospects who have not yet and may never achieve their full potential.

    MacT may not be the smartest guy in the room. He doesn’t have to be. He just has to be calm, clear headed and objective when assessing talent. His actions or hopefully his lack of knee jerk reaction to the current disaster may be what sets him apart from the rest of the Oilers brain trust. We can only hope so.

    While it sucks to be awaiting the deadline, the draft and UFA Day in November, it is so much better than an ill considered trade that further sets this rebuild back.

  • lucky

    So if McDavid refuses to report, does that mean we would then be reverting to the “Colorado” model? Hell, I’d be on board for that, except that none of the successful rebuild models employed this dog’s breakfast of ownership, management and coaching. Pains me to say it, but at least I’ll be able to get a great deal on a Hall jersey (when they’re blowing them out at United Cycle). But I think Katz has decided he wants McDavid, and when you have this kind of money, you tend to get what you want.

    • Hemmercules

      They only have a 20% shot at McDavid if they finish dead last. If they are purposely tanking with the expectation that McDavid is guaranteed at the draft then the Oilers management and owner are even stupider than imagined.

  • Spydyr

    I agree that there is virtually no chance McDavid will refuse to sign with whomever drafts his as there is little financial incentive for him to do so. The Lindros situation was very much a result of the Lindros family’s sense of entitlement that hampered Eric career significantly.

    Prior to the cap and rookie restrictions early draft pick hold oust were not all that uncommon. But these were driven by salary issues. Mike Modano spent and extra year in PA rather than sign in Minnesota for less than he wanted.

    Having said all that, if the Oil get a top 3 pick next year (McDavid. Eichel, Hanifen)they should entertain offers for the pick. IF the deal is right this could help improve immediately and god knows they have had enough early draft picks for last a while.

    • Serious Gord

      I had forgotten about modano. Funny how it never hurt his reputation. Lindros had parents who were umm, controversial. But were it not for that his refusing to play for que would have been far less notorious.

  • D

    Is there any merit in moving Justin Schultz to a winger position,he can skate,handle the puck well ,great passer,even makes the odd great wrist shot,obviously he’s never going to be a good defenceman ,so why not put him in a position to use his strengths.
    Back in the day it worked for guys like Red Kelly who went from an all star defenceman with Detroit to an all star center in Toronto.
    Just my thoughts on what to do with an obviously talented player who seems to be regressing in a miscast role

    • Tikkanese

      As a forward he would backcheck even less than he plays defensively now as a defenceman.

      Hopefully in a couple of years we’ll look back at this time and say “just like most young defencemen, it took time to develop”.