GDB 76.0: Move up the standings

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The Oilers have won three of their last four games to move within five points of the 27th place Toronto Maple Leafs. Edmonton needs to win three of their final seven games and have the Leafs lose all six of their remaining games to catch them. If the Leafs win once the Oilers need to win four and so on.

Moving up to 27th could be tough, but the main goal for the organization next season will be trying to move up from 13th place in the western conference; and that will be much more difficult.

The Avalanche are currently in 12th place in the west, and they have 25 more points than the Orange and Blue.

You can make the argument that the Todd Nelson-coached Oilers are a better refection of their actual talent. So if you prorate the Oilers 15-18-6 record under Nelson over an 82-game season, they’d be a 75-point team.

That would place them about 20-21 points behind 8th place. Improving by 20 points in one season looks much less daunting than the 32-point deficit they currently face, but anyone who watches the Oilers has to realize they need significant improvements next year to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.

Climbing up the standings won’t be easy, especially when it looks like the Oilers will need to make a 30-32 point improvement next year.

The last team to make that big of a jump was the 2008 Philadelphia Flyers, who finished with 56 points in 2007, but bounced back with 95 in 2008. They improved by 39 points, but they also signed Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen in free agency and added Jason Smith, Brayden Coburn (he was added late in 2007), Martin Biron became the starter and Mike Richards emerged as their leader increasing his point totals from 32 in 2007 to 75 in 2008. 

The 2014 Colorado Avalanche made a huge improvement from 2013, when they had 39 points in 48 games (prorates to 66 in full season), to 112 in 2014, an amazing 46-point increase. The Avs have fallen back to earth this season, but they still are competitive and only seven points out of 8th place.

The Avalanche were a statistical anomaly last season, and reality set in this season, but at least they are still in the hunt in March. The Calgary Flames will need 18-20 point improvement from last season, 77 points, to make the playoffs this year, and that might not be enough to get them in.

We know the Oilers need to make significant improvements, but even if they do that might not be enough to get them into the playoffs next year.

LINEUP…

Forwards

Defence

The Oilers will roll with the exact same lineup as Friday vs. Dallas. Richard Bachman gets the start. Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks were on the ice this morning, but their return looks more likely later in the road trip.

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QUICK HITS…

  • Friday evening was a rare night of excitement for Oilers fans. The team played great. Bachman recorded a shutout, Andrew Miller became only the 6th player in NHL history to score his first NHL goal on a penalty shot and the fans were rewarded for their loyalty with a host of free trips and prizes during the game. For one night it was enjoyable being an Oilers fan. Here’s hoping those types of games become the norm again rather than the exception.
  • Friday night was another example of why people need to stop thinking teams tank. The Dallas Stars were desperate for a win. They’ve been playing great, they are 8-2 in their last ten, but one of those losses was Friday night vs. the Oilers. The Oilers are a bad team, but they haven’t lost on purpose to increase their lottery chances by a few percentage points. Had the Stars won they would only be three points out of eighth place with six games to go. They knew how important the game was, but they still couldn’t win.

    You can say that management might make a move or two with the hope their team fails, but the players don’t lose on purpose. Their intensity might wane, but that happens to decent teams as well — often bad teams are simply just bad teams. With the new lottery in place the odds of winning are so low that tanking on purpose is simply a stupid bet by management.

  • Things I want to see happen by the end of the regular season: Alex Ovechkin score 50 goals. He needs one goal to become only the 6th player in NHL history to have six 50-goal seasons. Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky did it nine times, while Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux did it five times. Ovie is one the greatest goal scorers the game has ever seen.

    I want the Jets and Kings to make the playoffs. I’d love to see playoff hockey back in Winnipeg for the first time in 19 years.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Mile High Hockey

After holding on through a shaky third period against the league’s worst team, the Avs still have a faint hope for the playoffs at 82 points. While unlikely, if the Avs can win out, it would put them at 96 points, a total that typically makes the playoffs. In order to make the playoffs, the Avs would need the Jets to go 2-3-1 in their final six as well as have the Stars lose at least one game and have either Calgary or LA to win no more than three of their final six and seven respectively. It’s a tall order. But maybe just maybe it could happen. One thing is for sure: the Avs can’t afford to lose any more games, especially to teams like the Oilers.

TONIGHT….

zoolander

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers haven’t won three straight since October, and sadly I don’t see it happening tonight. Oilers lose a close one 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eberle registers two more points to get back on the first page of point-producers at NHL.com.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Brandon Davidson gets penalized in the second period and hears his name announced for the first time on an NHL PA system. Through his first five NHL games he doesn’t have a point or a penalty but that changes tonight. For extra fun he picks up an assist as well.

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  • Serious Gord

    1. Hadn’t realized that the oil were 25 points behind the next worst team in the west. The odds of the oil competing for a playoff spot let alone make the playoffs next year are near zero.

    The more interesting question is: “will they be worse than they are this year?” and i think that is closer to 50:50 especially if the current management stays in place.

    This team is years away from being relevant. Many fans have come to grips with that and have stopped watching/going to games (as robin brownlee has noted elsewhere). A relatively unchanged roster to start next year and a horrible record/out of playoff contention by Xmas next season could see a collapse in fan support as those fans who haven’t been paying attention or who are pathologically pollyannish finally come to their senses. Maybe then Katz will fire someone.

    2. Buffalo and Arizona management as well as toronto’s management – albeit later in the game – are definitely trying to have crummier records than better ones, but many of those teams players aren’t accepting that fate and are still trying – cudos to their professionalism.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Another label you can add to the Sabres efforts this season, is impressive. Impressive when it mattered most in regards to this summers draft class. The fact the Sabres are weeks away from landing a generational player. Securing a 100% certainty of landing a player of this calibre is truly impressive no matter how you perceive their goal this season.

    The Oilers failed to capture that impressive title when it mattered most. Kevin Lowe’s obviously satisfied with that, wandering in the desert mindset thing they got going on during the near last decade.

    • Anton CP

      Before the start of the season that everyone perdicted that Sabres will finish last and Oilers should be somewhere around 19~22nd place. As noted that if Nelson has coached entire season that Oilers will finish around 19~22nd place as expected. The bottom line is that Oilers should never be a last place bad but also not a playoff good kind of team. It is not about Oilers failed on tanking, they were never trying to tank, they are just poorly coached and poorly managed.

    • Spoils

      What I fear with the generational player is that you have to pay him. He could be the first 15 Million dollar player after his rookie contract.

      I think a strome or marner or hanifin might further our long term plans to be a strong team year over year (Hall Eberle RNH Draisaitl yak… Nurse Klefbom plus one of strome or marner or hanifin will be easier to manage on a cap team) the oilers are doing it ugly but they truely are getting some serious talent build up. And are also getting some support players finally

    • Thumby

      What D. give the man a real top 2 d pairing then judge. best defender hes had all year is petry who is maybe a 3 and klefbom has really come into his own under ramsay

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Game Day Notes: The Oilers only need to score 73 more goals than the Colorado Avalanche this evening to equal the number of goals they’ve allowed this season.

    Should be a real nail biter this evening folks.

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    The Oilers win tonight 3-2 with Eberle and Miller and Hall scoring.

    The Oilers have to show up and show up tough as nails in the last 6 games. Show some push back. I think they will and I think 7 points is possible.

    Go Oilers Go

  • Spoils

    I hope they win again tonight. Our schedule gets so tough after this, it would be nice to see another win before the end of season train of despair.

    As for “huge improvements”, it’s hard to look at a team getting some wins and seeing Taylor Hall’s name on the third line and not think that the forwards are just fine. Especially if you consider Gazdic is no longer a liability, Gordon would come back, and maybe even Drai would take up that last winger spot on the third line. Just saying, the team looks surprisingly deep at forward.

    The defence looks like it’s in shambles though. Short of pulling Seabrook out of Chicago, or maybe Petriangilo out of St. Louise, there is not a lot of immediate ways MacT is going to fix that shipwreck.

    As for the goalie, I think our guy is out there, it’s just going to be about finding the right one from the list of possibilities.

    If he can fix the defence, and a goalie can appear, and the team can play as it has since Nelson took over for a full 82 games, then I really don’t think a ‘huge improvement’ is out of the question. You also have to remember that if the team is winning, then that means we are taking points away from higher western teams, also meaning the gap the team has to close is not nearly as great.

    Anyway, looking forward to this and the upcoming Calgary Game.

        • ThinkingOutLoud

          Wow that is the best that you can do, did you think of that all by yourself or did you need to go to the local park to get help with thinking that one up ? if you do not like when a dumb comment like that gets addressed then go kick rocks or better yet play in traffic.

          If you or anyone else thinks St Louis, for example, is trading a stud d man just for the hell of it you and whoever else thinks that needs to have some common sense smacked back into you because you clearly lack it.

          • BobbyCanuck

            The defence looks like it’s in shambles though. Short of pulling Seabrook out of Chicago, or maybe Petriangilo out of St. Louise, there is not a lot of immediate ways MacT is going to fix that shipwreck.

            No that is not what the poster meant, he meant that high end D-men are out there, you just have to be willing to make the deal.

            Seabrook has 1 yr left on his deal in Chicago, perhaps we can dangle 8yrs/$8m per year, and throw in Eberle or Hall. It should be obvious to all but the strongest rose glasses wearers that niether of these players will ever be capable of carrying our team on thier back.

            St Louis may be a better bet, in the sense that after yet another shocking first round exit, they may finally realize that although Defence wins championships, you still need to score the occasional goal, so we may be able to get some of thier D-Men for not as much as we would have to pay a team that has goal scorers up front already

            Or do nothing, just develop and draft, and watch this gong show continue into the next decade

          • bazmagoo

            I think St Louis is doing fine scoring goals remind me again where they are this year, oh yeah the top oilers goal scorer would be St Louis’ 5th best. I would also point out that goal scoring last year was not St Louis’ problem, rather the fact Ryan Miller looked like an Oilers goaltender.

          • Serious Gord

            No they did not, Pronger was traded because St Louis was looking for a buyer and needed to shed salary to make it easier to sell the team, Pronger was the only guy of value because he was a free agent but good try

          • Thumby

            Hmmm, last I looked, having good players made your team worth more but whatever.
            How about Paul coffee then? Norris winner a year before and then bye bye for Craig Simpson.
            All it takes is one Phil kessel or sheldon souray moment by a player and they can be traded.
            If Gretzky could be traded, the best player in the game at the time, then any “regular” top d man today can be too.
            Just my 2 cents.

          • Phuryous George

            its got nothing to do with his opinion on hockey, and everything to do with his ignorant reply.

            I’m outta this convo for good. Not feeding any more trolls ( not aimed at you SSB)

      • BobbyCanuck

        Great question! The name calling is a bit unnecessary, but hey I get it, it’s the internet and you have low self esteem, maybe it’s because you are short, or undesirable to women, or both. Whatever the case, glad I could help make you feel better about you.

        Anyway, to the business at hand. Now I did say Maybe, as in if Edmonton was very lucky as I think a few things would need to happen for St. Louise to consider trading a guy like that.

        First, they would need to choke in the playoffs again, prompting management to shake a few things up. Likely this also means Hitch is gone too, but that is a different argument in which you can use the anonymity of the internet to call me names I guess.

        If they did lose, and started to consider shaking things up, then there are a few reasons they may consider, if they were going to approve a trade like that.

        First. The team has Gunnerson, Zybnek, Boumester, and Shattenkirk.

        Second, Of all their defencemen, Petriangilo has a 7 mill cap hit kicking in starting next year.

        Third, even though Petriangilo leads defencemen on the Blues in scoring with 42 points, it took him 72 games to do it, while the much cheaper Shattenkirk has 40 points in only 50 games.

        Finally, They are really close to the cap and need to do two expensive things in the off season: sign 2 D, and give Taresenko a huge raise.

        Ipso Facto, they will need cap room, and teams that need cap room look for top flight prospects and high end picks.

        And after all that, I agree there is still only a slim chance that team would consider making a trade for that player…

        …stupid face!

        • james_dean

          Wow, you have no clue – if you think that St Louis is going to keep Jackman, Michalek, or Gunnerson over Pietrangelo then you are stupid. Just because Edmonton has a hard time finding quality d men and pays over market value for 4,5,6 d men does not mean St Louis needs too, because well they have their top 3 signed for year to come.

          St Louis has 55 million signed for next year, and the cap is projected to be 70 million, leaving 13 mil which is more than enough to sign Tarasenko at a hit of 6 and brink back Jackman at a hit of 3 and one other d man (like say Bortuzzo or Lindbolm will make under 1 mil), Allen who will be qualified at the min (1 mill)and 2 other forwards (one of which will be Rattie).

          IF St Louis wants to shed cap room then they would trade Berglund first.

          • Burnward

            Huh, there’s that name calling again. Small penis maybe? Just a 12 year old perhaps? The mind boggles.

            Again, not saying it’s a lock, just looking for teams who might be in a situation to get creative next year. And if you’re telling me the Oilers have absolutely nothing at all that might be worth St. Louise considering a deal involving Alex P, then I submit, it is you who are the one without clue!

          • BobbyCanuck

            The only thing the mind boggles is how diluted the thoughts of Oilers fans truly are. Good job on the insults too, did you go with your buddy there who made the birth control comment to the park and ask the local kids for advice on insulting people.

            Yes you are right I have no clue yet you are the one who is stupid enough to think that St Louis is trading a 24 year top 10 in the NHL now d man because they will have “cap issues” (which I have just proven is BS). Who does Edmonton have that St Louis could possible want – Centres – nope they have Backes, Lehtera, and Stasney, D men – nope already have a top 10 D man, a great #2, and a #3 that on just about every team is a #2 – Wingers – nope unless they for some reason get sick of having big skilled guys like Steen and Tarasenko. I would love to add that the only three players of value – Hall, Nuge, and RHN have the same cap hit as the guy you want from St Louis, so remind me once again how does that help St Louis who you think is in such cap trouble ? Keep dreaming Oilers fans.

            I will leave you with this piece of advice you know how you get stud d men – DEVELOP THEM, contrary to what people like you dream (and there are a few of you on this board that need to put the pipe down) teams with stud d men do not trade them, why because they realize (just like EVERY NHL TEAM) how few and far between they are.

          • Armchair_Gm

            Boychuck was traded; Chara was traded; Phaneuf was traded; Pronger was traded; Neidermyer was traded; Burns was traded; Byfuglien was traded; Suter was lost to free agency; Sekara was traded; Yandle was traded; Garrison was traded; Bouwmeester was traded; Gonchar was traded; Goligoski was traded; Wiesnewski was traded; Meyers was traded; Bogosian was traded; you’re right though. Teams don’t trade those guys so why even talk about it like it happens? Man I’m glad you and your wisdom are here to lead the rest of us. People on this site have zero hockey knowledge, or decorum; so thank all forms of Jesus you have arrived to show us the way.

            At last Oiler fans! Rejoice! Our savior has come! And he has come with a message simple enough for us to all understand. Do not try, for there is no hope.

          • SSB1963

            There is so much wrong with this comment I won’t even bother. Why you even bothered typing out 80% of the names on that list is a little perplexing. Different situations, vastly inferior players, etc etc

          • Thumby

            I think you’re missing the point as it relates to the Oilers. We do not have the luxury of drafting and developing. Even though guys like Klefbom, Marincin, and Nurse look to be on track. The team needs one of these guys now. Not two or three or four years from now. Contrary to what Jeremy decrees, these guys do in fact get traded now and again. My hope is the Oilers are able to make one of those trades happen over the summer.

            You don’t agree there’s a possibility of that guy being AP… fine, great, point made, I do not care. But please, please try and engage in the idea that Edmonton needs someone, and that maybe there’s someone out there on a team, in a situation, where they might be willing to deal. Who is that guy? What is that team? And what is the realistic deal they make?

          • BobbyCanuck

            I cannot even take your comments seriously after reading this BS – if you think Yandle, Sekera, Garrison, Goligoski, Wisnewski and a older than dirt gonchar are legitimate top nhl d men then you are dumb. NONE of those guys are even in the league of a #1 d man.

            Chara was traded when he was barely a top 4 d man on the island, he left via FA when he was one of the top 5 in the league.

            I would also like to remind you Bogosion and Myers were essentially traded for each other so it was a wash

            Now on to the actual true number 1 d men – How about you address why two of those players were traded (and I am not including Pronger’s first deal because he was a prospect at that time not one of the greatest) – Pronger because St Louis was tits up financially and had to shed salary for survival or else no one was buying them and then for personal issues. Phaneuf was locker room issue as well – none of which exist in St Louis right now, Alex is not railing some broad or teammates better half and St Louis is fairly financially stable.

            Chara was traded when he was barely a top 4 d man on the Island

          • Thumby

            You’re just missing the issue here bud. If you want to win the AP will never be traded to Edmonton argument, great, thumbs up, you have won. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to look at how the hell a guy like Mac T executes the impossible task of landing a top pair right side veteran D man THIS SUMMER. And that starts with identifying those guys, who the Oilers could realistically take on, and who would be worth paying a good penny for.

            There aren’t many in the league. I think AP is one, I gave reasons why; you disagree with those reasons; I disagree with the reasons you gave for disagreeing. It doesn’t matter. What matters is who are these guys, and how do the Oilers get one of them.

            Also Yandle has been in top five D man scoring for like 6 years in a row playing on a team known for not scoring. In what way is he not a top line D?

          • El Pindo

            “Will” your passive aggressive comments seem to be more indicative of small dick size than what Jeremy was saying to be perfectly honest.

            Anyways, the reason I am responding isn’t to highlight your second rate insults, but instead to express my astonishment at your complete lack of common sense re: Pietrangelo. If you honestly believe AP is available for ANYTHING the Oilers have, you’re a brain donor, period.

            “rabble rabble cap crunch rabble rabble”

            You’re right, Chicago unloaded Kane and Toews when they were up against the cap, didn’t they? I mean, why jettison your garbage when you can dump your core players to stay cap compliant? Get a clue meat whistler

          • BobbyCanuck

            My ‘passive aggressive second rate insults’ are meant to be lame. They are there to highlight how sad name calling is on an internet comments board. I know, it’s high brow stuff but don’t worry we’ll all get there together.

            Let me see if I can find the point in your comment here, because that’s what I’m trying to promote, poignant discussion, not name calling.

            So, you use the example of Chicago as a time when team sup against the cap choose not to trade their core players. I think that is a bad example.

            When Chicago first won the cup, that off season was a fire sale of core guys like Byfuglien specifically because the team was over the cap. This summer, those dual 11 mill contracts will kick in and we will see if the team manages to keep core guys like Seabrook, Hossa, Sharp, ect. But, looking at the numbers I highly doubt it.

            And now to respond to your critisism that if I think St. Louise is going to trade a guy like that, I am a “brain donor, period.”

            (as a quick aside you do know the little dot that follows the word period is a period right? Speaking the word period can be effective, but in print it just looks redundant. Just saying… the more you know)

            Anyway, as stated in every comment, I do not think that is the case. I’m saying the Oilers have a problem, specifically they need a top pair, veteran, right side D man. In an earlier article I discovered there are about 4 of those guys in the league on teams that might – again MIGHT – be in a situation to part with them. Despite the math Jeremy used, I disagree St. Louis won’t be in a cap situation over the summer. Thus there is a hair line slim marginal chance a guy like AP could become available. And if you are inclined, I give some reasons as to why I think he could be, and what the circumstances are for him to be. So please, take a moment, read, think, then respond. And if at all possible, without the name calling, cause I like to think we’re better people than Leafs fans.

          • BobbyCanuck

            I’m going to keep it very simple for you. Try and keep up.

            Alex Pietrangelo is locked up until 2019-2020 on one of the most cap-friendly contracts in the entire league. The asking price on this player would be astronomical. Every one of the players you listed earlier to suggest AP could be moved was in a much different situation, or is a vastly inferior player.

            Please, list any remotely plausible situation in which he becomes available.

            PS I’d rather you dropped a directly rude comment instead of these snide weaselly remarks, tbh. Promoting discussion is fantastic, drop the holier than thou attitude and I’m sure people will respond reasonably.

          • El Pindo

            7 million a year cap hit is not “one of the most cap friendly contracts in the entire league”. Not even close. I’d say it’s worth the money, but best contract ever! Comon.

            I really don’t care how people respond, or what attitude you think I’m taking. Truth be told I was replying to Jeremy and you decided to jump on in to the conversation or something.

            PS I didn’t jump in on your conversation, you jumped in on mine, so go stuff yourself and your stupid opinions.

          • El Pindo

            Salary does not equal cap hit. Your white pointy hat is in the corner where you should be sitting. Here to help!

            AP at 6.5 is ridiculously good value. You can’t see that, I can’t help ya.

          • El Pindo

            Ha! You’re right I did misread that. He is a 6.5 cap hit.

            That does diminish my argument slightly. Hmmm, still do not think it is one of the best value contracts league wide. Fair? Sure. But those are matters of opinion.

          • Armchair_Gm

            I guess we differ on that but I’m sure we can both agree that it is gonna look pretty darn good the last couple years of that deal especially.

            Anyways, I of course will not debate the fact that the Oilers are desperate for someone to lock down some major minutes on the right side of that group. Preferably 2 guys if we are being honest.

            And don’t get me wrong, if Blues management are dumb enough to make AP available Katz should give up Rexall to get him.

          • BobbyCanuck

            Well yes, I do agree that’s would be a tough contract to give up. But, it’s not like they don’t have a replacement. Might just be a case of St. Louis selling high. My hope was they would be in cap trouble, and I still think that could be an issue.

            But as you say, it’s less about what the Blues will do, and more about what Edmonton needs.

            My other candidates were equally unrealistic with Seabrook (I think he has a limited no trade), Voynov (who would need to win his court case, so maybe roll the dice on that with a low pick and cross your fingers), and Franson (UFA would need a Nikitin like contract, and then still not really a bonafide top pair guy).

          • Zarny

            If StL runs into to cap problems they won’t move Pietrangelo. If they need to move one of their high-priced D it will be Bouwmeester and his 11 pts for $5.6M. Or they move a player like Berglund or Schwartz or they’ll sacrifice depth by letting players like Ott or Gunnarsson or Jackman go. It won’t be AP or Shattenkirk.

            It’s possible the Oilers could pry OEL out of Arz if the Yotes get Eichel and you package Hanifin with a few other 1st round picks, prospects or perhaps a player like Yakupov. Maybe.

            Otherwise, the simply reality is the Oilers aren’t trading for a “franchise” Dman. They undoubtedly need top-pairing D but other than maybe OEL none of their options will be of the Doughty, Weber, Pietrangelo, Subban, Hedman variety. They are going to have to target less sexier names than that.

          • El Pindo

            I like the Voynov idea haha. With the Oilers draft record, it’s probably a better roll of the dice than actually making a pick outside of the first round.

          • Spoils

            I think I included a double quote.. Sorry.

            I’ll say that Will is on to the heart of the issue. Instead of tearing down his proposals I would like to read others.

            I believe the single most important move this summer is to get a high end veteran for our def.

            The Campbell to our eikel
            The streit to our subban
            The weber/ekholm to our jones

            Etc etc…

            We desperately need a guy to play with Klefbom until nurse gets here then play with nurse for a season or 2 or 3

            The guy doesn’t have to be weber or sutter type but still a pretty effen good veteran player.

            I believe Seabrook could be had for a 2016 1st rounder and a solid prospect not taken in the 1st round. Gezz, in 1 year he is a UFA. The longer Chicago takes to trade him the less value he has. ( k… Let the roasting begin lol)

            I do lack some creativity in trade proposals. The St. Louis one was interesting and merits some genuine conversation in my opinion. Wondering if there are any other ideas out there instead of trolling proposals of others…

  • El Pindo

    Of course the Oilers need a player like AP, at no point did i dispute that. Was just pointing out that calling out a guys dick size for saying (and rightfully so) AP isn’t available is pretty dumb.

    Promoting poignant discussion was your goal? Welp, better insult a guys dick!

  • El Pindo

    The players might not go out and purposely try to lose games but management in Arizona and Buffalo have definitely done all they can to try and finish last.

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    I’m also really questioning how big of a difference Eichle will be from Strome when all is said and done. I think right now Eichle could step in and maybe impact the game. But a 6″3 17 year old centre who just won the OHL scoring title just seems like he will also be an incredible player one day. Bottom line, Oilers either get another great centre, or the consensus best D man in the draft. Not really seeing a downside to picking third or fourth.

  • Spoils

    I think there is a 40% chance a team better than the Leafs wins the lottery. The tank move is for the Eichle guarantee, and Buff has that locked up.

    I plan to enjoy these last few games… because summer is a long time when it starts in early April.

  • Anton CP

    Players and coaches won’t tank but team managements would. One thing indicates that this year is a throwaway from the get go for Sabres is they were having Reinhart play entire season in junior. They actually have a real rebuilding plan which now they are going to have McEichel and with Kane returning and possible call up of Reinhart that they have a very complete forward lines next season.

  • BobbyCanuck

    “With the new lottery odds in place the odds are so low that tanking on purpose is a stupid bet by management”.
    Should be reassuring but not with this proven bunch of winners. MacT’s been doubling down on stupid bets since day one.
    Maybe all this anger is just a coping mechanism…. I’ve ….I’ve….been cheating on the Oilers with the Winnipeg Jets. I’m sorry they just had these fun chants and I got all caught up in all the reasonable hockey decisions. Oh MacT it’s not me….. its you! I took your Boys on The Bus and Tony Robbins Secrets of Success VHS over to Kev’s. Bucky’s clearing off the top bunk for you. Thanks for the memories. Keep your head up……no really your not wearing a helmet.

  • Zarny

    I hope the team plays well and the guys on my fantasy team get some points; but I have no appetite for moving up the standings. Quite the opposite.

    What’s most important is improving and moving up the standings next year and the 10 after. McDavid and Eichel help significantly over any other prospect in the draft. They are far more valuable than 27th versus 28th. It’s that simple.

    • bazmagoo

      It’s really too bad we didn’t keep Eakins for the whole season, that would have guaranteed a decent shot at McEichel. I’d be pretty content with Strome though if we end up drafting third, he looks pretty legit to me. Might be logical to think he’s riding McDavid’s coattails, but he actually plays on a different line which does makes a difference. Just hoping we don’t overtake Toronto at this stage – that could be a nightmare!

      • Zarny

        The Oilers just recently lost 10 of 12 games under Nelson. I like Nellie. The players seem happier. It isn’t coaching.

        It’s not about Strome or Hanifin or Marner. Terrific prospects for whoever drafts them. All 3 would have challenged Ekblad for #1 last year and may have bumped all of Reinhart, Bennett and Draisaitl out of the top 4.

        It’s about McDavid and Eichel. They are that good. Look through the drafts from 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

        Ovechkin and Malkin. Crosby. Kane. Stamkos and Doughty. Tavares, Hall and Segiun. That’s what McDavid and Eichel appear to be.

        Now compare that list to Barker, Ladd, Wheeler, Ryan, Jack Johnson, Van Riemsdyk, Turris, Bogosian, Pietrangelo, Hedman, Duchene, Gudbranson and Johansen.

        Which list would you rather choose from? It’s really that simple.

  • dougtheslug

    Reading MacT’s mind:
    “Schulz’s goal puts him back in the Norris conversation. And Niki’s goal – what a thing of beauty. I’m very comfortable with this group moving forward.”

  • Alex87

    Gregor, I thought you made a mistake by omitting Brett Hull on your list of players to have six 50 goal seasons, but sure enough, he’s only done it five times. Goes to show just how good Ovi is and where he might rank with the greats when his playing days are over.

    Still, I think Hull deserves honourable mention. In any conversation talking about the greatest goal scorers of all time, he should be in the conversation.. 86 goals in 90-91 came oh-so-close to touching Gretzky’s record of 92.

    His dad, for that matter also had five seasons with 50 goals, and two of those were in years that he played less than 70 games.

    • BobbyCanuck

      I know, I saw her at the big dance 3 yrs in a row, way back in the late 60’s -early 70’s

      The poor girl never made it onto the dance floor any of those years, not even for one spin around the floor

  • @Will, @dubya, @jeremy

    Thanks for the entertaining exchange 🙂

    I no doubt agree that St.L would be very reluctant to give up AP but unless its established what Edm. would be giving up we can’t say its out of the question. Edmonton in fact have a lot of assets that should be of interest to other teams. Especially contenders that are having cap issues.

    There is not likely a team in the League who wouldn’t want Hall or Eberle at 6M/year. A big young Center such as LD would be very easy to move and/or 3rd overall pick in the deepest draft in over a decade.

    The fact is Edmonton have a lot to work with. The question is does MacT (and the GM on the other side) have the guts to part with assets of value to get value in return?

    • Spoils

      So let’s get this straight once again a team that is in “cap problems” is going to trade a stud d man whose cap hit is 6.5 million for a winger whose cap hit is 6 mill, again in what world does that make sense ? As someone already pointed out if the Blues or bruins or hawks or kings need to shed salary they are shedding it from the bottom of their roster not the Pietrangelos, Seabrooks, Keiths, Hamiltons, etc sorry to burst the collective bubble of oilers fans

      • Armchair_Gm

        Jeremy, its very unlikely that the Blues would move AP, but far from impossible. As others have pointed out, it is not so unusual for very good or even great players to be traded.

        What would you say to a scenario like this. The Blues go out in the 1st round again this year and again mostly because they can’t score enough. Would it be “impossible” for the Blues to trade AP for scoring help like say Eberle? Eberle not enough than how about Hall?

        I am not predicting AP is moved, but its not “impossible”.

  • Spoils

    in the span of two weeks the Oilers absolutely crushed the hopes of the Colorado Avalanche. Nice getting the win against Dallas, now we need to take one from the Flames