Monday Mailbag – May 26th

AnswerTheQuestion

Once again, it’s the Nation’s favourite time of the week as the writers take a look at your questions and answer them to the best of their ability.  As always, this is driven by you guys. If you’ve got a question, you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.

Sit back, relax, enjoy.

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1) @oileryoungguns asks – Do you think Matt Niskanen is a good fit for the Oilers via free agency?

Jason Strudwick: 

Yes I do like him as a player. He is a nice puck mover that can eat minutes. When Pittsburg got so many injuries he stood tall for them. I like that. A more physical guy in the top four would be a priority but I wouldn’t turn him away if he was interested. That is the issue — would he be interested? He is a young guy, getting into his prime. Why come to a team that has had issues with wins? MacT will have to sell the future to him.

Lowetide: 

I like him plenty, but suspect he’ll receive some massive offers and from contending teams. If MacT landed him, even at an overpay, I’d be fine with it.

Jonathan Willis: 

Sure, in that he’s a legitimate NHL defenceman. The problem is price point – I’d be leery going to $5.0 million per year on Niskanen and after the year he just had I’d bet he goes at a price far beyond what the Oilers should be willing to pay for an offensive right-shooting rearguard.

Wanye: 

See I don’t even know who this is. I’ve been forced to watch this tire fire of a team for so long that i’ve become all isolated and weird. Know who is a good fit? Grebeshkov for a third tour of duty *drools*

Jason Gregor: 

He would be a great fit. A right handed shot who moves the puck and he is good in his own end. I’d be very surprised, however, if the Penguins let him become a UFA. I don’t see him hitting the free agent market in July.

Brian Sutherby: 

Having played with Nisky, I know he is a great teammate and a good puck moving, offensive minded defenseman heading into his prime. He’s a pretty quiet reserved guy that lacks a real physical element to his game. 

He’s a good NHL defenseman, but I have concerns he’s too much of what they already have. Petry and Shultz from afar seem the exact same player/personality to me. Lets not forget the Oilers are not the Penguins. D-men on the Oil would look better on the Pens and vice versa.  

I’d like to see a more assertive veteran presence brought in. 

baggedmilk:

Matt Niskanen would be a great fit for the “free agents that we’ve overpaid to come here and even though we don’t really know much about them we hate them as soon as they don’t win the Norris trophy” throne! I like it.

Hats

2) Mark Beare asks – What happens to the hats that get thrown on the ice after a hatty? I’ve donated two buckets to support Hallsy on two different occasions; are they in Hallsy’s basement, does Katz’s son wear them to school?

Jason Strudwick: 

Good question. After all my hat tracks I would just go and pick the ones I liked best then walk away.

Lowetide: 

No idea. Great question. Suspect they are passed along to charity or something similar.

Jonathan Willis: 

I don’t know about Edmonton specifically, but Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski dug into this question a couple of years ago and from the sounds of it they either go to the player (if he wants them) or get donated to charity.

Wanye: 

Thats actually a good question. I’d bet they are chucked for sanitary reasons or Kevin Lowe piles them high atop his head while smoking cigars stuffed with orphan hair and cackling wildly.

Jason Gregor:

I know when Georges Laraque scored his hat trick he kept all the hats at his house, but eventually they started to stink up his house and eventually he gave them away. Nowadays the hats are sorted out and the ones in good shape and not too worn out or sweaty are given to charity. Usually the players takes a picture with all the hats in a bag, but then the team donates them to charity.

Brian Sutherby: 

No clue, as a player I’ve never seen them make their way back to a dressing room.

baggedmilk:

I often lurk outside of Rexall to try and score some swag so I actually know the answer to this.  The last time Taylor Hall scored a hat trick, I watched Kevin Lowe carry the bag full of hats into his lair which is located deep in the centre of the earth, where the core is still warm enough to appease him.  There he has fashioned a mattress from the stray hairs of the Tier 1 fans and sleeps, deeply, until the smell of Tier 2 tears awakens him to start another day. Allegedly in my opinion, of course.  

IWIn

3) Harry asks – How likely is it that we could see a championship series type tourney involving the KHL, NHL, and other elite leagues? Do you think it’s a good idea?

Jason Strudwick: 

I don’t think it is likely in the near future. The time change would make it very difficult to create that style of tourney. The Champions league is now a reality in Europe so in the long term we could see something but lets be honest: the best players in the world play in the NHL. What does the NHL gain by playing in that type of tourney?

Lowetide: 

The NHL controls most of the calendar, but if there’s a window, why not?

Jonathan Willis: 

I love the idea, personally, but I doubt we ever see it. The NHL season is already awfully long.

Wanye:

That would be a sick idea no doubt. But given the rumours the NHL is backing out of the Olympics every four years it seems they want NHL players in NHL games for the vast majority of the time and prevent exposing the players to non NHL injuries. Plus the NHL would shatter any teams from other leagues.

Jason Gregor: 

I don’t see the NHL agreeing to do it. The players won’t agree to playing more games for the “World Hockey Cup.” The top KHL team wouldn’t be competitive against the Cup champion. Keep in mind Anton Belov was the reigning D-man of the year in the KHL before he came to Edmonton. The overall talent level in the KHL isn’t close to the elite teams of the NHL.

Brian Sutherby: 

I don’t think very likely. Season is way too long as is, and the risk of injury too high. 

I don’t overly care for the idea. 

baggedmilk:

I think it’s a good idea. It would finally give Rob Schremp and Linus Omark a chance to prove that MacT stunted their development.

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4) @Jodes97 asks – Hypothetically – If the Oilers were to skid Smith, Buchburger etc – who would be a good replacement to bolster Eakins’ coaching staff?

Jason Strudwick: 

I would have called Oates right after he was let go by Washington. He speaks the same language as skilled players and was a great face off man.

Lowetide: 

I like the idea of Craig Ramsay, Perry Pearn types—lots of experience and with a great deal of success. I also like the idea of Todd Nelson being a part of the team. It might help getting these AHL prospects a push into NHL employment.

Jonathan Willis: 

I’ve made the case repeatedly for Todd Nelson but there are plenty of other options. Craig Ramsay is a name that really stands out – not only is he a Roger Neilson guy but he was an associate coach with Florida back when Dallas Eakins was playing there.

Wanye: 

Denis Grebeshkov for a FOURTH tour of duty I’d wager. There is something about that guy that MacT and I can’t get enough of.

Jason Gregor:

Someone with previous head coaching experience. The Oilers overall coaching experience is very low compared to other teams. Craig Ramsey or Brent Sutter would be good hires, although I don’t see Sutter being an assistant. Todd Nelson and Perry Pearn would be an upgrade over Buchberger as well.

Brian Sutherby: 

Whoever Eakins wants and is comfortable with. End of the day, systems are his call.

baggedmilk:

You can’t tell me that Cory Cross wouldn’t turn this ship around. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT!

Im-a-survivor

5) David Evans asks – If the Oilers Nation writers were going on a team building retreat in the mountains and got lost, who would be the most and least prepared for survival?

Jason Strudwick: 

We would all die. You can only have so many cooks in the kitchen and we would never make any decisions.

Lowetide: 

Hmmm. Well, I don’t go more than 90 feet from a bathroom, so chances are I wouldn’t be involved. Willis is from up north and is an astronaut, so he’d be fine. Gregor would call someone to pick him up, Sutherby would build there and Brownlee would use his compass.  

Wanye would be happy until the batteries in his boom box died, and then he’d scramble. I’d still count on him finding a way, probably build a Pint and Oodle Noodle next to Sutherby.

Jonathan Willis: 

I don’t know who’d be least prepared, but I’d be most prepared. You might think it would be because I grew up in the middle of nowhere and go hiking regularly, but you’d be wrong – it’s because my wife prepares me for any outdoor excursion lasting more than an hour like I’m a small child (she has some justification for this). Seriously, I could probably live for two weeks off what she has packed into our car emergency kit ‘just in case we ever break down’.

Wanye: 

Finally someone asks a question with some real meat on er. If this retreat went down I’d be dead within minutes, Brownlee would be wearing my severed ears as a necklace and Gregor would establish a top drawer farming operation on the side of the mountain within minutes.

Jason Gregor: 

Since the retreat was in the mountains I’d say Strudwick would be best prepared to survive only because he loves to wear sweaters. He’d survive through the cold nights, but if the retreat was in a tropical place he’d likely struggle with dehydration because he’d be too hot from his sweater. Least prepared would be Brownlee. He relies on his Escalade’s GPS to get anywhere. He has forgotten if the sun rises or sets in the west. He’d end up walking aimlessly in circles unaware of which direction he should be walking in. Also, he’d likely go insane after running out of cigars. Being directionally challenged (and of course the cigars) would be the demise of Sir Brownlee.

Brian Sutherby: 

Not sure who would be the least, but two stand out for most prepared.  

Struds can hunt. He is great at sneaking up on his prey and jumping them!

Wanye would be very prepared as well. He already sleeps in the ditch most weekends, and he has more meat on his bones than anyone else. 

baggedmilk:

No one is voting for me to come out as the winner, but I’m a survivor and not opposed to cannibalism if it comes to that. I don’t want to do it, but I’m not going down without a fight. Just saying.