yakupov common

The Los Angeles Kings roll into Edmonton tonight, in search of two points and a healthy roster at minute 60. The Oilers? Evaluating the recalls, making sure next year’s goalie tandem doesn’t spring a leak, and trying to straighten out the ghastly power play.

In February I looked at the lottery section of the  2014 Entry draft

  1. D Aaron Ekblad
  2. C Sam Reinhart
  3. C Sam Bennett
  4. C Leon Draisaitl
  5. L Michael Dal Colle
  6. L Jake Virtanen
  7. C Ivan Barbashev

It’s time to add another name, we’ll call him #8 on the list: RW David Pastrnak. Each year I look for a name (near springtime) to emerge from the Europeans and for 2014 I believe it’s Pastrnak.

  • Craig Button: Pastrnak’s ability to challenge defenders with his skating from both
    straight-ahead and darting positions makes him dangerous. He has very
    good hands and is always looking to create scoring opportunities.

If the season ended today, Edmonton would be drafting 2nd overall (I believe they’ll pass the Islanders and the Panthers). I also believe they’ll be happy with any of the top 4 names above, and that there’s a slight chance Ekblad is not chosen #1 overall. It’s a very interesting top of the draft board currently.

My bet for Oilers pick: Ekblad if they can make a move draft day, Draisaitl any other way.


gagner common2

After the trade deadline passed without a second or third-round selection coming to Edmonton, I think there’s an increased chance we see Sam Gagner dealt for picks (or a pick and a player). Bruce Garrioch talks about NHL teams holding their high picks more dear at the deadline here. 

If the Oilers deal Gagner for a second and a third at the draft, I’m absolutely certain many Oiler fans will be up in arms. However, the Gagner money ($4.8M) may be better spent on a free-agent defender (possibly Brooks Orpik or Andrei Markov) or in trade for Braydon Coburn or Christian Ehrhoff.

Gagner for Ehrhoff works too, but the Oilers may have to offload the Gagner contract and then pursue a player with the cash in hand.






I’ve lifted this from the last GDT, the two recalls won’t play. Both men are on emergency recall, so we’ll see how it rolls. Edmonton is down to three recalls available now (Larsen being the first) so at least three of the guys in OKC we thought we would see won’t be here this season.



PREDICTION: Scrivens stops 50 and the Oilers win 2-1. Team takes Scrivens out for fries and a Coke after the game.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Los Angeles will dominate entire shifts.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PREDICTION: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins breaks out of his slump with both goals—on the power play!

  • Yes, I agree that the assistants will be fired (Bucky will get some sort of job in the organization). They are just scapegoats to give Eakins another year.

    Still … if the Oilers have a crappy start next year Eakins will be let go.

  • The “strategy” of management seems to be letting proven NHL players, including first rounders like Hemsky & Gagner, leave for late round draft choices to “restock our shelves”. These prospects statistically will never step foot in the NHL, especially with our bush-league scouting staff. The same trend of losing will continue as long as the vision of Lowe & MacT remain. We have needed tough top 6 NHL forwards , a starting goalie (not multiple backups) and legitimate NHL defencemen for years. Oiler’s fans are sick and tired of hearing excuses from management on the 7th highest grossing team in the NHL.

  • Rusty Patenaude

    I agree that Ekblad is#1 and Draisaitl #2. I expect the Oilers to finish 28th or 29th. If they get lucky and win the lottery or if Buffalo decides to draft a forward, they get Ekblad. If not Draisaitl is a talented center and a perfect fit with his size.

  • Randaman

    Watching the Red Wings & Rangers. If you want to see a real coach in action check out Babcock. He is in constant communication with his assistants and players.
    Eakins is in way over his head. Fire his a$$ along with Puqueberger & Smith. This is the number one issue but MacT will have to swallow his pride and get Batmans permission when it comes to the pathetic assistants.

  • Randaman

    Is there at least one reporter in this city that will call out this organization for what it is? It’s not like the games are all that great to attend anyway or is it more of a status thing to flash that press pass around?


  • Spydyr

    Any chance that Eakins is history at the end of this season, along with the other two statues behind the bench.?

    Its troubling when you hear comments about the lack of intensity in the teams practice habits! More than one source, must be something to it.
    However, non of the Edmonton scribes dare do a research and write up on this issue.

    Heck there were times when Eakins was in the stands during practice… to big to communicate to the players.

    Also: Why does he always send out the 4 th line after a [rare] goal is scored. Should send a line that can build on the momentum of the game.

    • Serious Gord

      Careful Guys…when someone leaves their current position, eventually it leads to a management promotion, like MacT and Howson.

      It’s interesting on the basic stats of these three:
      Howson: ran CBJ into the ground, and now they are in the playoff race. Only been with the Oilers and CBJ. Maybe no other takers for his services except KBlowe.

      MacT: As a failed coach with Oilers, and Chicago Wolves(AHL), TSN pickup him for a short stint. Only to leave that post for a promotion – with the Oilers. No other NHL takers except for KBlowe.

      KBlowe: No management experience except with the Oilers – he’s successfully been golfing in April for 9 (soon to be 10) years since 2000, the year he was given an office as GM. He works on his golf skills more than his management skills.

    • Spydyr

      Exactly, too much ego and not enough coaching. I suspect we’ll keep Eakins into October 2014 when he is canned after a 1-10 start. Everybody sees it coming except 6 rings and Mac.T who is saving his own ego and hoping to hell Eakins can pull a rabbit out of his ass.

    • Word to the Bird

      I remember a radio interview Lowe gave when Renney was not renewed. He said the onus is on the GM when it comes to the future of the head coach, but the exit interviews from the players, regarding the coach, weighs heavily into the decision. For the benefit of the team and the fans, hopefully the players give a scathing review (Ference won’t because he is an ass kisser), and MacT realizes he bet on the wrong horse. If an experienced guy like Laviolette os Sutter…coached the Oilers, we would have a system that everyone can learn in a timely manner. This season is over 60 games old, and the boys still don’t have a clue. Coaching is the problem without a doubt.

  • Spydyr

    I can not believe that Gagner is still on the first line.

    Arco should have taken his place before Christmas and Gagner should have been placed on waivers (nobody would have picked him up on waivers) and then banished to the press box until he figures out how play the game.

    It is hard to believe that MacT and 6 rings actually considered him as Captain. Goes to show how out of touch these 2 are.

    • Spydyr

      Relax. There’s nothing to lose.

      Perhaps they’re seeing for the last time whether or not Gagner is having an off year, or if they have to offload him.

      I believe they offload him and take Bennett (in no particular order). He’s exactly what they need – grit, prickishness, scoring ability, faceoff ability, he’s 186 lbs and hopefully would fill out to 205ish.

      Gagner may fetch a few pics like LT says, or, I’d rather get Ehrhoff.

  • Stud Muffin

    I don’t see us passing islanders and flames as they have fairly easy schedules for the rest of the year and Luongo will keep Florida winning some games so I think
    4.Flames-Dal Colle

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    An example of the above is Ales Hemsky and Andrew Cogliano.

    4 points playing on the top line with the Sens already, can blame Eakins but on our top line he wouldnt have performed.

    Good for Hemsky, happy for him, wish him all the best, but crappy for the Oilers.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I would be happy with any of the top 3. Bennett’s the grittiest, Ekblad fills the teams biggest need.

    Watching McKinnon play, I am starting to think Oilers ruin prospects, even if they are 1st overalls.

    Hearing guys like Bryz and Smid say they are “shocked” at the intensity and speed of other teams practices is very concerning.

    Is it possible Hall would be a consistant 40 goal scorer on another team? Hopkins would be a league leader in +-? We all know how good Yakupov was before spending a year with the Oilers.

    There’s a chance no matter how good Reinhert or Bennett are they will not perform on this team… As an Oilers fan that’s devastating.

    • Spydyr

      The reasons for bad development:

      a) Too many Coach changes

      b) No veterans too help the players learn

      c) No bodyguard for the players

      d) Not a good assistant or goalie coach

      e) Rushing the players to the NHL

      • toprightcorner

        100% agree

        I think some of that bad culture we supposedly had 3-6 years ago greatly affected Gagne and also hurt Hall and Ebbs in their first year. It could take a couple years to break those learned habits.

        Much of this is easily fixable this summer but could take a season or two to reverse the damage.

        – Add 2 veteran dmen, preferably #1 and #3 over the age of 27 and have character and leadership to be role models for defense A guy like Orpik who knows how to winit the type we need.

        – Add a veteran 2C with good 2-way play and good work ethic and competes hard. A guy like Dubinsky or Vermette comes to mind.

        – With Gadzic, Hendricks and Fraser we finally of bodyguard types. A big winger like Stewart or Brower would be awesome in the top 6.

        – replace Bucky and Smith, overpay for quality replacements. Move Acton to assistant or let him go and bring in associate with NHL experience

        – Replace Chabot as goalie coach. Overpay to get a Burke or Radford type with NHL experience

        – Leave Nurse in junior one more year to develop more, use the Pietrangelo method of 2 years in junior.

        – I would like to see whoever they draft 1st spend 1 more year in Junior. Drouin, Huberdeau, Murray, Reinhart, Schenn and Reilly are all top 5 picks that spent at least 1 more year in junior.

        The change in team dynamics needs to happen this summer as it will take at least a year to reap the rewards of that change.

      • Randaman

        Horcoff was here when most of the kids came into town. Who did Tavares have? Doug Weight? That’s about it.

        There was also Hemsky, there’s Gordo, etc.

        Doubt it’s a lack of vet’s.

    • Randaman

      I agree with you except in the largest area of need. We are absolutely worse at the centre position considering what we have coming up in terms of defence. If Gagner is dealt for a second & third, I for one would be extatic. He needs to go to another team that needs to reach the cap floor or that needs offence first because we all know what he brings defensively. That leaves a huge hole @ 2C.
      Are they easier to acquire via trade than a 2D? Possibly. If we could somehow acquire a 2D via the UFA route (Markhov overpay) then we can bring up either Klefbom or Nurse to be mentored by a quality D like Jones with Weber. Yes Jones + – doesn’t look good but that is an over rated stat with rookie evaluation in my mind.
      I really prefer Draisaiti or Bennett as Ekblad will be gone and so will Reinhart.

    • Hair bag

      Great point. Just look at how well Cogliano’s playing in Anaheim. It makes me wonder if Gagner will flourish on a new team like many other ex-Oilers have.

    • Spydyr

      Well you don’t just get to end up out of the playoffs for eight years ,most as a lotto team by having intense up tempo practices. It takes an team effort to be that bad for that long.

  • Stack Pad Save

    Do the Oilers have to play the emergency recalls?????

    I really want to see the final games the year put to some actual purpose to evaluate what we actually have in guys like Lander, Klefbom and Pitlick.

    I want to know what the Oilers have at the NHL level in Pitlick, he strikes me as the kind of player who excels in better games, i.e. he will be a better player at the NHL level than the AHL level. I have no proof for this, but I liked what I saw before he got hurt in the NHL at the start of the season.