Monday Mailbag – May 4th

Eberle

Is it time for the draft yet? How about now? No? Well we’ll just have to learn to be patient or invent some kind of time machine that allows us to skip forward 52 days until the draft. I’ll get my crayons and some construction paper. While you’re waiting for my McDavid machine is finished, I present another edition of the Mailbag. As always, I need your questions to make this work so email me your question to baggedmilk@oilersnation.com. May the 4th be with you!

Defence

1) Sean asks – For the Oilers to have any chance at making the playoffs this season, they need a top defenceman. The UFA market is fairly thin in that category. Name one defenceman you think they should target via trade.

Matt Henderson:

I feel like they should try to pry Seabrook out of Chicago or Byfuglien out of Winnipeg. So I guess that’s two defensemen they should target and I screwed up the question already. Damn it.

Jonathan Willis:

Just one defenceman who might plausibly be on the market? There aren’t a lot of names out there, but the guy I’d look at is  Dustin Byfuglien. He’s not a perfect fit, but looking at the Jets roster there might be a chance they part with a defenceman and Byfuglien’s contract and history make him a likely candidate. He’s big, physical and offence-minded; he would instantly be the best blueliner on the team.

Jason Gregor:

The Oilers need much more than one Dman to make the playoffs, but to answer the question…I don’t see teams trading a top pairing guy. Phaneuf is available, however, I don’t see his leadership, or lack thereof, being the answer in Edmonton. I think he’d be better on a team where he is a secondary leader.

It is a very remote chance, but I’d contact David Poile to see if he is interested in moving Josi or Jones.

Lowetide:

Brent Seabrook. Chicago has cap issues, Seabrook is a veteran who still has some left and Edmonton may be able to sign him long term. I believe they could trade for him after July 1 and then sign him, so that would be my move.

Robin Brownlee:

Brent Seabrook. One year left on contract at $5M. 30 years old.

Jeanshorts:

SHEA WEBER! Oh, sorry, knee jerk response there. 

The Hawks are going to have to lose some key pieces next season thanks to the cap. Is it out of the realm of possibility to package the Pittsburgh 1st rounder and a couple decent prospects (Greg Chase and Martin Marincin?) and pry Brent Seabrook out of there? Imagine a scenario in which Brent Seabrook takes Darnell Nurse under his wing…. *faints*  I’m a moron so I have no idea if that’s remotely plausible, but if this were NHL 15 I’d look into something like that for sure.

Baggedmilk:

There are some teams in cap trouble heading into the summer so I’d like Chiarelli to pick those corpses for anything of value. Brent Seabrook from Chicago seems like a solid bet, but you know that there will be a dozen other GMs circling him as well. I also think it would be hilarious if Chiarelli went out and re-signed Petry in the summer.

Core

2) Richard D. asks – IF a core member is traded who do you think is the most likely candidate?

Matt Henderson:

I think it would probably be Eberle of Yakupov. I think the team values Eberle higher but so does the rest of the NHL and he would get the most in return. I’m not even sure who is actually still in the core, to be honest. Is there one that Chiarelli has identified?

Jonathan Willis:

Nail Yakupov and I don’t think it’s close because his contract is digestible elsewhere in a way that the other core players simply aren’t. Of the big three, Jordan Eberle.

Jason Gregor:

I don’t see one being moved, but if I have to answer I’d say Eberle. Unless you consider Schultz part of the core, then him for sure, but I don’t see him as a core guy.

Lowetide:

Nail Yakupov. He’s the odd man out unfortunately. Nail’s Edmonton career has been a struggle but he’s signed to a reasonable deal and should fetch a legit player who can be part of the solution. I wouldn’t trade him, Chiarelli is smarter than me and probably knows the risk/reward of Nail v. Eberle and I think he’ll go with trading Yak.

Robin Brownlee:

Taylor Hall.

Jeanshorts:

My heart has literally shattered into a million pieces and Wanye will most certainly take away my bathroom privileges for this, but I think it has to be Eberle. Nuge, to me, is an untouchable at this point. I don’t think you’d get anywhere close to fair value for Hall. And as much as we all love Yak his stock is very low right now. Ebs is a proven 60 point player, he’s still got some of that Team Canada shine left on him, and in terms of this mythical “trade for a 1st pairing D-man” that everyone has been wanting for years I think the return he would get would be the fairest in terms of what the Oilers would be giving up. Obviously I hope it never happens and he plays for the Oilers until he’s 85 years old, but if it HAS to be one of them…

Baggedmilk:

Personally, I don’t actually think he’s going to trade any of them right now. Is Justin Schultz in the “core”? Because if he is I’d look at moving him. Because MacTavish dubbed him as a Norris candidate, and signed him to a 1-year deal, the Oilers need to qualify him at just under $4-million. Not worth the money, in my opinion. 

DoubleAgent

3) Darth Oiler asks – Might the oilers have an advantage at this draft because Chiarelli might have Boston’s scouting reports on a hard drive somewhere and obviously will have the Oilers info?

Matt Henderson:

I’m sure he has a pretty good idea but I doubt he’s memorized 200 junior aged players and their rankings. It’s a bit of an advantage, but the Oilers were in a very different place all year than the Bruins and I imagine their focus was on different players. I imagine he’ll let Bob Green do his job.

Jonathan Willis:

Technically I suppose it’s possible but it’s not like Boston’s draft record the last few years has been anything to write home about.

Jason Gregor:

If he has that, it could give the Oilers more information, but ultimately I’d hope he has lively debates/discussions with Howson, Green, MacGregor and the other scouts when the times comes to picking a player.

Lowetide:

Maybe but Chiarelli was let go before the final Boston list would have been put together. The No. 1 overall is a no-brainer for the Oilers, but he could have some knowledge about Boston’s leanings for their pick and that could be an advantage. Good point, Darth.

Robin Brownlee:

No. That would be theft. Don’t think Chiarelli, a lawyer by trade, rolls that way.

Jeanshorts:

I doubt it, mostly because the Oilers and Bruins have completely different sets of needs and team building philosophies. And it may end up being the same info anyway, since the Bruins fired a chunk of their scouting staff shortly after Chiarelli, and I would not be surprised to see a few of those people end up here before the summer is over.

Baggedmilk:

I doubt it. Unless Chiarelli has a hard drive with all the old Bruins scouting info on it there’s simply too much to remember. The Bruins and Oilers are in two completely different places in terms of prospect depth so I would also imagine that that affects how and who they’re scouting. 

Shock

4) Carey Salming asks – Which surprised you more the Oilers winning the lottery or the change in management a few days later?

Matt Henderson:

Both were very surprising but even though they had the third best odds of winning I STILL didn’t think it was a possibility. No way Bettman would let that happen, right? I wanted MacT out as GM and I didn’t think Lowe’s vision as President was very good, but I was still caught off guard when Bob Nicholson followed through on this audit business.

Jonathan Willis:

The lottery. I never imagined the team would get that lucky.

Jason Gregor:

Change in management. It went against everything they have done since Katz took over.

Lowetide:

The lottery. I’m still not certain it happened. It happened right? RIGHT? (*runs to Youtube*)

Robin Brownlee:

Change in management. Thought there was zero per cent chance we’d see Lowe moved out of hockey ops and MacTavish replaced as GM.

Jeanshorts:

GREAT QUESTION! This is a tough one. Obviously NO ONE expected us to win the lottery. If anything I figured that the Oilers being the Oilers they would end up falling to 4th and that I’d have to buy a new suit for Matt’s funeral this fall when the Oilers used that pick to take Lawson Crouse (SO SIZE! MUCH BODY PRESENCE!)  

And even though we all wanted sweeping changes to the front office did anyone think it would ACTUALLY happen any time soon? As I wrote a couple mailbags ago my first reaction after coming down from the nine day high of the lotto win was that MacT and Lowe had just been granted at least two or three more years of immunity now that they had landed the golden goose. The fact that they were both relieved of their duties DAYS later seemingly came out of nowhere so I guess I would have to say that was slightly more surprising.

Baggedmilk:

I’m still not convinced that either of these events have actually happened. I know people keep talking about the Oilers’ right to draft Connor McDavid but I’m not sure it will really sink in until I see him throw on the jersey on draft day. That being said, I have to say the change in management is most surprising. I never expected MacT to be ousted as GM only days after winning the lottery. It seemed like management’s roots were too deep to have them get fired transitioned into other roles, and it’s still surprising that we’ll have a new boss running the show going forward. 

Advice

5) Sean M. asks – If you could give Connor McDavid any piece of advice about coming to Edmonton, what would it be?

Matt Henderson:

Buy some lock de-icer, plug your truck in when it’s cold, work like hell and the fans will love you forever, and have fun. Oh, don’t let the other top six guys tell you that drop passes work in the NHL. They don’t.

Jonathan Willis:

Don’t read the papers, the blogs or anywhere the locals talk about hockey. There’s simply no upside to it.

Jason Gregor:

Have fun — you are only 18 — and don’t read anonymous comments on fan boards or blogs.

Lowetide:

Have fun! Enjoy yourself! I wish him all the good fortune in the world, no matter where he ends up—west end or downtown!

Robin Brownlee:

Have the confidence to be what you are and do what you do.

Jeanshorts:

Become friends with the managers/bouncers at The Pint so you don’t have to wait in line to get in on a Saturday when it’s -35 in the middle of January.

Baggedmilk:

Befriend bloggers that use pseudonyms. Invite them for dinner, offer to pay, and plan fun adventures for you guys to do during the summer. It will all be worth it. Totally…

  • chuckcouples

    In regards to question #3, “Might the oilers have an advantage at this draft because Chiarelli might have Boston’s scouting reports on a hard drive somewhere and obviously will have the Oilers info?”

    29 of the 30 NHL teams use the same software to gather and record information on potential draft targets. Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils are the only team not to use it. The reports written by the individual scouts are only available to the team they work for but all of the information is stored online and not on a hard drive.

  • Darth Oiler

    If your trying to figure out nicholsons next moves you have to go back to the foundational values expressed at the end of the study phase

    1. Team – this means decisions will be consensual. Having the old and new will mean consistency but reflective of new thinking. It might take longer to make decisions but they will be better decisions. No more oh I just hired Eakins and fired Kruger or Petry doesn’t fit anymore….Grebeshov

    2. Trust – this means wen you were part of the decision there is trust that you will execute properly

    3. Loyalty – if a decision doesn’t work out, the organization has got your back. This encourages risk taking and bold thinking