rnh common

I’ve been operating under the assumption that the Edmonton Oilers plan to bring in a 2 line center. A “Gagner replacement” and someone who will play between RNH at the top and Boyd Gordon/Mark Arcobello down below. What if the Oilers plan this summer is to hire a 1line C, and have the Nuge kill the soft parade?

parkatti faceoffs

Parkatti wrote an excellent piece on the subject here, it’s a terrific read.

The main point for our purposes today is the idea that bringing in a 1line center, a more veteran center, is a better idea than bringing in a secondary guy. Put another way, instead of talking about Nazem Kadri or Sean Couturier, we might be talking about Ryan O’Reilly or Paul Stastny.


In the case of O’Reilly and Stastny, money. Lots and lots of money. They are both free agents, and have a high degree of value. Over at Fansided’s Mile High Sticking, Avs fans were asked to vote on which one to play, and the results are significant.

stastny or o'reilly


vollman sledgehammer avs

This is the Vollman, and I’m using Corsi Rel (players relative to their teammates). Both players are getting tough competition and similar zone starts, and both have good to very good numbers. Offensively, they’re sold, and both are quality in the faceoff circle, although O’Reilly took many fewer this season.


Assuming the Avs can sign only one, which player would you like to see in an Oiler uniform? Does it make sense to pay the max (this will be a grand contract, well past Hall’s $6 million) and to hire a center who is more experienced? Thus allowing the Nuge to kill the softs?



Make no mistake, we’re talking about spending the defensive money on a center. However, with Parkatti’s information, and understanding the Nuge needs some help, is this a better plan?

It might be.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    As much as I’d love to have Stastny on the Oilers I don’t think we should give a contract any bigger then Hall.

    Call me crazy but I’d like the Oilers to follow a pay structure that no one makes more then Taylor Hall. It’s the same idea Detroit did with Lidstrom.

    • Admiral Ackbar

      Wing is the least important position on the ice. I think it would be unwise to establish a policy that always has Hall as the highest paid player on the team when centre dept is incredibly thin.

      The oilers underdeveloped at the centre position by far and there are only two possible solutions, time, or money. Which would you rather pay?

  • Bishai in the Benches

    David Perron for Brandon Sutter? Better defensive forward for offensive pop. Is Pitts even interested? They are speculated to allegedly be constantly looking for a winger for Crisby

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Ignore that last comment as it was somehow lost in translation between my keyboard and the moderator.

    Eberle Klefbom for S. Weber, is that too much? Maybe Gagner Marincin and the 2015 1st for S. Weber? What kind of combination of players would it take to acquire such a defencemen of webers calibre

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Oh dream on.. no top 1st line Centre in Coming to edmonton. The agents would never do that to their a-list assets. Those are their money players, their most important properties.

    Would u send your top asset to Lowe and mac t with their record?

    No agent would. Dream on edmonton dream on….

  • RCN

    I’m tired of the excuses with the Oilers . MacT has only been a GM for 1 year. Eakins only has had 1 year. Calgary Flames had a better record than Edmonton. That is all you need to know.

  • RCN

    Playing for the Oilers has stunted the growth of all the players. Put the top 6 on better teams they would be better players. So taking a top #1 centre in theory sounds good, but put them on the Oilers and you will see their potential move downward.

    When was the last time the Oilers played a 200 ft game. Could you imagine them in the playoffs playing a team like LA. Oilers are in a lower division when compared to LA.

    • Oilers4ever

      75% of the teams in this league arent in the same class as LA. Or Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and Pittsburgh for that matter. Your comment isnt valid in my mind based on that comparison. While I do agree surrounding them with higher quality players would help, realistically forward wise they only need a couple up front. Leave Ebs Hall and RNH together. When those three are on their game they are as good in my mind as any top line in the league. Keep in mind, I said when on their game. Kopitars line is much bigger but clearly the Sharks showed in the first two games if you shut them down they can be invisible as well.

      Get a number 2 center with size (draft Draisital (sp) for 2 years from now) and another winger like Perron but bigger and play them with Yak. Move Perron to 3rd line. If Yak screws up next year again trade him. I think the oilers pissed in the bed drafting him. Primadona and knocked off the puck easy. Hopefully he proves me wrong next year. If its me I package him with Gags and next years first overall pick and get the number one dman back that we need…

      But hey thats just my two cents.

  • Also, almost zero chance Sean Couturier is moved in PHI.

    Brayden Schenn, on the other hand…

    Curious how the masses would rank Sam Gagner, Josh Bailey, Colin Wilson, Nazem Kadri, Cody Hodgson, Brayden Schenn…

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Also, almost zero chance Sean Couturier is moved in PHI.


      Ding ding ding ding, winnah, lets select another young top center, maybe even a little better than Sean. I’d think the Flyers are more likely to move Couturier than, say, the Boston Bruins are in moving a Tyler Seguin. That guy is a lock to be a Bruin for a long long time. Don’t you think Ross?

      • All that means is that if they don’t sign him before June 30th, they have to offer a 1 yr qo @ $6.5M. ROR could then accept that qo, or continue negotiating, in which case the $6.5M number no longer has any meaning. He can sign an 8 yr deal with COL right now with a cap hit less than $6.5. Regardless, ROR is worth every nickel.

  • We talk about Kadri & Couturier because its a financially viable option & most of us know that the balance just doesn’t work out with the rest of the roster if you start whale hunting.

    to beat a dead horse, but money has to be distributed evenly, that’s why inflated contracts to UFA’s or RFA’s is poor asset management.

    The Oilers have huge holes to fill, money has to be spent wisely.

    A center could be had at the draft, or the pick traded for a center under contract, or you could whale hunt…..

  • OilersDynasty

    Out of those 2, O’Reilly. He’s younger, he’s more defensively sound, he’s disciplined as outlined by his almost perfect PIM’S this year, and his age is in range with our guys.

  • Oilerguy

    I’m not one to blame the coach but the handling of Nuge this year drove me crazy. If you think back to his rookie year, he played his own style. He used his brain and got into the open areas. He knew he wasn’t a giant and as a result, played a game that used his strengths. His brain, stick, and skill.

    Under Eakins, he tried to turn him into a different player. How many times did you see Nuge battling along the boards? Not his game. I know he needed to get stronger, but that will come over time.

    Let him play his game.

    • 2004Z06

      Every player needs to battle along the boards. How do you think you gain/maintain puck possession or break up a cycle.

      I hate to break it to you, but winning puck battles is a significant part of playing hockey.

      Currently the Oilers have no players that can consistently win a puck battle. Hence the problem of the Oilers always being pushed off the puck and playing in their own end.

  • 1979

    Great Idea, but the questions are…

    will they be willing to come here?

    Do you pass on a trade at the draft for a 2C in the hopes of getting a 1C and letting RNH be the 2C?

  • 1979

    I like this plan and think it is certainly more effective then Cobourne for D. I think there is a greater possibility the Oilers D improves next year with little change then the top 6 improving without a major addition. Also, long term we may already have the pieces of a great defense whereas it is clear we need another centre to complete our top 6.

  • If we can get the Nuge to start eating donuts along with Marinincin we should be off to the races for next year.

    As far as the fate of a second line center goes sign Stastny he plays a good solid game and let’s not trade away our future. Trading Gagner for some draft choices would be my preference.

    Leave the new draft choices in junior ……….if we are going to do this re-build right we need to stop panicking for next year……….we need to wander in the desert for at least another two years.

  • I like the idea, except for the part of exceeding Hall’s contract. I thought he was supposed to be the highest paid on the team ala Lindstrom in Detroit. It could potentially create a rift in the room, and it would definitely inflate the contracts of the new prospects coming of contract age.

    • RCN

      If the Oilers win more and become a playoff team. I highly doubt Hall will care if someone gets paid more money. I do agree it could inflate contracts but free agency always does. Given the Oilers upcoming (and cheaper D) I think this type of move makes sense. I hope the Oilers are active in free agency for centers, there seems to be quality at that position. On defense, none of the free agents seem to jump out at me, so I think that issue is better addressed through trade or draft.

  • Oilers Coffey

    This is what Ive said before, The Nuge was basically given the 1st line C, on a sparkling silver platter the day he was drafted. This is ultimately managements issue giving this to an 18 YO.
    No doubt Nuge is going to be fantastic but expecting a 18-20 YO to step up against Jumbo Joe, Kopitar, and even Kesler was asanine.
    There needs to be internal competition, someone to push every position on the ice to be their best and play with the consistency us Oilers fans are dieing to see.

    • Bishai in the Benches

      Thanks for your constructive comments. I’m sure a new President of Hockey Operations would go into the dressing room, tell the team to stop sucking so bad, and we’d be a cup contender for sure. I’m so glad you’ve got this all figured out.

        • Ryan14

          i respect you opinion, but i completely disagree. It is the POHO that attracts (or doesn’t) top talent. It is the POHO that sets the direction of the team, ie. thinking the NHL is becoming a speedy, skilled league again, and therefore, drafting small wingers over and over. It is the POHO that has to stand up to the owner when he insists on picking the players he likes, but the scouts don’t. It is the POHO that runs a professional organization that hires the best, and fires the incompetent, or hires friends and doesn’t have the stones to let them go. It is the POHO that gives the impression of professionalism that can attract FAs. There is sooooo many examples and plenty of evidence that KLowe absolute must go, it is miles beyond argument. Seriously, not trying to be a jerk, but defense of KLowe is ridiculous. The man is cleary bad for the organization and is hurting it in many ways. As long as he is at the helm, they will never be taken seriously by FAs and agents.

          • Ryan14

            Actually, ownership decides the direction of the team. Upper management merely puts ownerships decree into action. To demonstrate this point, who did the oilers management/scouting staff want to draft (as the rumours say) in 2011? Who did ownership want to draft? Who did the oilers draft?

          • Bishai in the Benches

            Holy crap…. I am FAR from a Lowe lover. I’m just saying that the results from this season are solely based upon player performance for this season, and these are MacT’s players. HE needs to make the changes necessary to win. IMO Lowe doesn’t have much power or say anymore. He messed up, but firing him now is simply an accountability move (still needs to happen) and won’t change the team’s fortunes next year unless new players are brought in.

            Get good players, keep good players.

        • Bishai in the Benches

          Agreed, he/Tambo have made stupid decisions and brought in bad players. But players play the game, not management. The reason the oilers suck is because, largely, the oilers players suck. Changing out the POHO like you suggest does absolutely nothing. This team belongs to MacT now. I also agree that Lowe shouldn’t have a job anymore, but the days of him screwing the oilers with stupid decisions are long gone. Firing him would do NOTHING to change the product on the ice. People like you who do nothing but spam FIRE LOWE everywhere don’t actually understand how hockey works.

          • Bishai in the Benches

            Let me try and follow you here. The management brought in bad players but its not their fault because the bad players they brought in are bad? I don’t understand what you’re trying to say

          • Sammy27

            I think what he’s trying to say is we get it.
            1)Lowe has screwed a lot of things up.
            2)Lowe shouldn’t have a job at this point.
            3)We are mad about it.

            At this point its gonna make zero difference to fire him.
            AND it’s getting real real REAL boring to read for the 2,673,999th time someone respond with. It doesn’t matter as long as Lowe is in place this team will never win. Or fire Lowe that will send a message that incompetence won’t be tolerated anymore. etc etc etc.

            Personally now when I read a comment along the lines of Fire Lowe being the answer to all that is wrong with the Oilers? It looks more like Blah blah blah blah blah…

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Yup I agree with blah blah blah.

            This is why we will be the recycle bin for NHL garbage from agents as a last ditch effort.

            So, do what Vancouver did. Stop going and speak up.

            It would also help if our media were not so in bred and spineless.

          • Zarny

            Ok I gotcha. I’ll stop talking about it and just accept Lowe for what he is. I’ll just fall in line, support the team and get excited over our newest high draft pick added to the collection.

          • Bishai in the Benches

            Wrong. Lowe is the problem because he is the leader who picks his management team and thus the record. Worst team past 8 years.

            This has nothing to do with hockey. It is called organization leadership which looking at Lowe’s record he has none.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Oh yes, I agree. Would fire Lowe and all the current management. Complete clean house and change from a losing culture and arogance to a positive constructive leadership model.

          • Bishai in the Benches

            If firing Lowe will have no impact then whats the point of keeping him? He should be fired simply to show that being the 2nd worst team in all pro sports isn’t acceptable.

  • I like the idea of chasing a Statsny but I dread how much it would cost to get him here.

    MacT dodged a bullet by having Clarkson sign in Toronto last summer, but has he learned from that? We shall see.

    • The thing about Stasny is that he has a much longer history of quality performance, is younger than Clarkson was this off-season, and is at a more crucial position than Clarkson.

      I would be in favour of an overpay in money rather than term. I don’t mind signing Stasny for four or five years at top dollar, but the concept of locking him up for a lot of cash for six or seven? Little bit more worrisome.

      As long as the expectation is “legitimate top line centre” and not “elite, point-per-game player”, I think he’s a nice fit.

      But I don’t see him signing here. Not unless they overpay on dollars AND term, which is what concerns me.

      The longer I’ve been around, the more I feel there are only two types of players you should pursue in free agency–underrated middle tier players (the ones who are still unsigned in August, for instance), and future hall of famers who are in their late twenties or early thirties. Everyone else is a risk, and even if they’re good players, you usually end up with a cap hit that is uncomfortably large.

      Stasny is likely going to get eight and a half million, and will likely be a feature player for whichever team he signs with, but they’ll likely wish they had him for six million after a year or two.