Fans of the Edmonton Oilers will be fist-pumping until they need Tommy John surgery when GM Peter Chiarelli calls Connor McDavid’s name with the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft Friday, and rightfully so. That goes without saying.

For the first time in a long time, however, Oiler fans are likely to get some actual news leading up to Chiarelli vaulting the podium beyond standard fare in the form of speculation about trying to move up or down in the first round or that there’s some doubt who the Oilers will take with their pick.

That fodder called for by editors across the continent fills column inches, but as somebody who covered the draft for decades, I can attest it seldom leads to much — outside of getting in the way of dinner plans and debauchery for the masses covering the event, held this year in Sunrise, Florida.

For the Oilers, the 2015 lead up to the selection of McDavid will have some teeth. Chiarelli has already telegraphed that, suggesting there’s a pretty good chance the Oilers will round-out Todd McLellan’s coaching staff and make a move to land a goaltender before the teams meet on the draft floor Friday. It’s just a matter of getting the names to fill in the blanks.


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“I would hope that we have two additional assistants before Friday,” Chiarelli said of rounding out McLellan’s staff Monday. “I would think that we would, based on my discussions.”

What we know about that is Jay Woodcroft, who worked with McLellan in Detroit and spent seven years with him in San Jose, will be one of the names we hear in the next 48 hours or so. McLellan made that clear even before he was named Edmonton’s coach.

I mentioned Jim Johnson, another assistant to McLellan in San Jose, as a likely candidate to join Edmonton’s staff back on May 26 in this item. Since then, Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED has also suggested Johnson might be in the running, so that’s a name we could hear before Friday.

We’ve learned in recent days the Oilers have approached the Ottawa Senators for permission to talk to Paul MacLean. MacLean, as you likely know, spent three seasons with McLellan in Detroit on Mike Babcock’s staff, so there’s a connection there worth noting. Is it Johnson or MacLean? Maybe both? We’ll find out soon enough.



Chiarelli went on at great length Monday about a goaltender. Everybody’s ears perked up when he suggested he might be able to take care of that bit of pressing business before hitting the draft floor as well. A snippet of that:

“This goalie thing we’ve been looking at it very closely and it’s tough,” he said. “You see some of the trades of goalies in the past, you don’t know how they’re going to pop. We ended up getting (Tuukka) Rask in Boston and we were able to bring him along slowly until he was ready. Sometimes you’re not. At the same time we weren’t able to bring Michael Hutchinson along slowly and he popped for Winnipeg.”

Added Chiarelli: “It’s a real inexact science and you’ve really got to go to the character of the goalie and how the team’s going to play defensively, My guess is we’ll probably be able to do something before the draft but I’m not completely sure.”

My guess is Chiarelli isn’t guessing about anything, although it doesn’t serve any purpose to disclose who he’s zeroing in on. The names we know – Cam Talbot and Eddie Lack are the hottest commodities, although not the only ones. Who it will be and what the eventual price will be has been the subject of debate and speculation for weeks. New York GM Glen Sather has said he’s already turned down two second-round draft picks for Talbot.

The way I see it, there’s nobody among the goaltenders available who is worth Edmonton’s pick in the 16 slot in a draft this deep. My guess is it’ll take the 33rd pick and a young prospect, somebody like Martin Marincin (46th overall in 2010), to land Talbot. 

Unless Chiarelli is making the mistake of over-promising a without having a deal on the table – I don’t think he is — we’ll know who fills the hole in goal, what the price was along with what McLellan’s coaching staff will look like before the McDavid celebration begins. Real news.


ROUND 1 – 1st

ROUND 1 – 16th (from PIT)

ROUND 2 – 33rd

ROUND 2 – 57th (from MTL)

ROUND 3 – 79th (from OTT)

ROUND 3 – 86th (from STL)

ROUND 4 – 117th (from MTL)

ROUND 5 – 124th

ROUND 6 – 154th

ROUND 7 – 184th

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    Just two more days until McDavid. It would be nice to see MacLean be an assistant in Edmonton. Another smart mind behind the bench. Can’t wait for Friday to see McDavid put on the Oilers jersey. It will be nice to see him play in Canada. Its about time we got another potential superstar playing in this country.

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    33rd and Marincin looks like an overpay for one year of Talbot. Marincin is an NHL defenseman. I don’t think he really fits the ‘prospect’ title any more. I would hope we can send another pick (3rd next year?) or lesser prospect (e.g. Musil, Davidson).

    • Canadian Hockey Fan

      Always amazes me how fast this town rights off defenseman, David Musil has played a few games for the Oilers, a big dman and you are already done with. Oscar will be next along with Nurse!

    • vetinari

      Hope so too.

      If Chiarelli does unload multiple picks or the #16 for someone like Talbot, I would hope that we get some protection back from the other team like their 2nd or 3rd rounder in the next draft if Talbot doesn’t get resigned to an extension before July 1st next year.

      With how deep the draft is this year, the #16 seems like it would be a #10 selection in other drafts and there are lots of good players currently projected to go in the 14 to 20 range.

  • WTF2

    My guess is the Oil will trade a second and a third round pick for some help on defense and/or goal before or during this draft.

    I know, I know, another brilliant prediction.

  • Spoils

    That’s an overpay for talbot. I’d rather spend more $ on a short term or wait. I’m less worried about Sather pulling the wool over PC than MacT, but we need to spend out chips on D. At least 2 major D improvements

    Ideally one old and one young. One from a big big big trade and one from a UFA.

    1-2 D.

    • What you — or I — would rather do matters little. It’s the reality of what Chiarelli has on the table going into the draft I’m referring to, not what’s “ideal.”

      I suspect Chiarelli will attempt to address additions to the blue line after the draft.

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    The Edmonton Oilers are proud to select first overall (pause..Pete has the “I just won the lottery look on his face”) from the Erie Otters (Katz kid starts to cry) Connor McDavid.

    Suck it TO

      • freelancer

        It was hilarious… (in kind of a sad way) on TSN 1260 this morning, the guys were talking with a tsn host from Winnipeg and even he was asking if Katz kid would be on stage.

        Depressingly we have watched that kid go from being an awkward looking kid to a 17 year old guy. He’s pretty tall now actually and might be bigger than McDavid, might look even more awkward to have him on stage.

    • Derian Hatcher

      At what point does Katz’s kid STOP going up on stage like some sort of awkward family photo?

      Have Connor, Taylor and Nuge comeover and game out with your kid, play road hockey, play poker, watch Netflix or whatever…but come on..get the hockey people on stage and look professional. Now that Katz has finally decided to get serious about professionalism and for the sake of winning and not friends – time to look the part.

      Welcome to Edmonton Connor…

      • I find the fixation by some about whether Katz’s son appears on stage troubling and mean-spirited whether you try to cloak it in “professionalism” or not.

        The Oilers have been a laughing stock for years and you’re worried the presence of Katz’s son will make the organization look unprofessional? If the owner of the team wants his son on stage, so be it.

        I don’t care either way. It’s not a big deal.

      • M22

        Why anyone would have such a passionate stance on this, to the extent of posting to a blog, is baffling – really quite pathetic, actually.

        If the young man wore a suit, and sported a nice, conservative-type haircut, would you care, or even notice? No, you wouldn’t. But his looks make him stand out. Any skin off your back? Didn’t think so.

        Do you know how much his son’s presence on stage affects Katz’s professional standing in the eyes of his colleagues and others in the hockey world? Not. One. Bit.

        Give it a rest, raise your game, and bring something better to the discussion.

  • freelancer

    Robin if the Oilers were to bring in McLean would the Oilers have to give up a pick for him? My understanding is compensation is only given if they are being brought in as a head coach.

  • For me, I am pumped about getting McDavid first and foremost. I am very happy with the surprise summer of Oiler Hockey over-all and getting Jay Woodcroft and say, Paul McLean as asst. coaches would make an awesome team for the Oilers going forward.

    Jimmy Johnson coming would be a good thing as well, especially when considering the many questionable type asst. coaches here the past eight to ten years.

    To me Cam Talbot is gonna be an overpay according to Sather who is tough to deal with. I cant see Chiarelli giving up two second rounders or the 16th pick for a not guaranteed true #1 type goalie as yet.

    Unless Benning is so desperate to trade Lack, even to the Oilers, I believe the Canucks would also want a huge overpay with a deal to Edmonton because the Oilers are in the same Division, let alone the same conference.

    The 33rd and say a prospect (Musil, Simpson, maybe Marancin) is more than enough value for either Talbot or Lack. I would rather see the Oilers get a UFA goalie for at least two years, be it Ramo, Neuwirth, etc, and draft any one of Vladar, Samsonov (if available), Blackwood, etc, at the #33 pick.

    The Oilers are going for making the Playoffs right now this coming season, not winning the Cup, although that’s the over-all goal. with a ton of salary coming off the books next season (Gordon, Purcell, Nikitin – if not bought out this year, Scrivens, Klinkhammer), the Oilers will have a ton of money for a true #1 goalie coming up next season.

    Today is a great day to be an Oiler fan….wow what a change from two months ago…. and the next two to three weeks are going to be awesome (compared to recent past summers).

    Ive already told the wife I am unavailable for any yard work or visits or whatever she may want to plan for Friday evening…. lol… at least until after watching the draft….

    Go Oilers!!!! Go McDavid – Welcome to Edmonton!!!!

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    I predict a Slepyshev-Yakimov-Svechnikov line that will dominate in a few years. There all over 6 foot and have thick frames. The Gordon Purcell Hendricks Klink will be a long gone memory. I still can remember a Ryan Jones- Ryan Smyth-Purcell line that was bad. Thank you hockey gods for a little bit of sunshine on the horizon

    I’m buzzing

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Fans of the Edmonton Oilers will be fist-pumping until they need Tommy John surgery when GM Peter Chiarelli calls Connor McDavid’s name with the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft Friday, and rightfully so. That goes without saying.


    And so it begins. The topic of the next Oilersnation photoshop contest. The Oiler fans guide to a safe fist pumping chart. Never fist pump cold. Always warm up/stretch first.

    You can never be too careful these days…

    • JackB

      Oh, and Quicksilver, we can’t get two goalies (like you suggested we do) because we would have to trade Scrivens (not much luck there I think, plus he deserves a 2nd chance behind an improved defense)

      Or we would have to waive him to Bakerfield, where we have two goalies, Ty Rimmer and Brossoit. Ty Rimmer recently beat testicular cancer, and I kinda like the guy’s spirit and determination. He signed an AHL contract.

      O … can only get one new goalie.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The kind of deals that will soon need to be made by cap teams can wait till after the draft when prices become more reasonable. Sit tight Peter. Slats only loves you for your draft picks. He needs you more than you need him right now.

    The new look Oiler table at the draft will be a welcomed sight for Oiler fans. Anyone who thought 3 months ago the Oiler logo would be front and center at the draft table surrounded by this group of hockey minds, would surely have been labelled a lunatic. Thank you Mr. Katz.

  • Oilers-Entourage

    How many trades will be made for Oilers first round of draft ? I predict none . Second day I predict two involving 4,5 and 6th round only. Deep draft even in third round .

  • Puck JammeR!

    My targets for first 3 rounds are skilled big men . McDavid (C) , Gurianov(RW) -6ft3in.,B,Carlo- 6Ft.5in.(RD) , Blackwood (G)-6ft.4in., Filip Ahl (LW) 6ft.3In., Eric Cernak (RD)-6ft.4in..

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Says the guy who wanted to be bold and take David Musil first overall instead of Hopkins.

      I think you may have 1 right there in your selections madjam.

  • A-Mc

    The first partial sentence in a stauffer article: “Goaltending is obviously the biggest area that needs improvement..”

    I can’t trust anything that guy says because i think he’s completely wrong. Goalie is #2 priority behind adding a Defenseman or two.

    The Gregor article today where he talks to the goalie magazine guy, is only further confirmation that the goalie cannot and should not be the #1 priority. We could have carey price and he’d still suck behind the Oilers defense. We need defense first, goalie second.

    • Randaman

      The defence issue and the goaltending issue are NOT one in the same!

      I don’t see a list of available defence men in the media every day like the available goaltender list.

      Fix what is available first and fix the other later.

      One is no more important than the other.

      My vote is for Lack. The 33rd should do it and based on Gregor’s article, I see him as the best available option.

      • A-Mc

        one IS more important than the other: Defense.

        We have examples of Dubnyk going from terrible to vezina candidate and the only major change were the D infront of him. We have examples of Scrivens going from a great young goalie of the future, to one with a sub .900 save percentage. The difference with scrivens was the D infront of him.

        As stated: it doesnt matter what goalie you get, he wont do a damn thing in Edmonton until our defense improves.

        Also! If acquiring a starter goalie means giving up assets that we can use to acquire a good defenseman, i go for the defenseman every day of the week until its fixed.

  • Wax For My Stick

    God I forgot Katz takes his kid up on stage during the drafts. Whenever I see him on stage, I just laugh…reminds of that kid from Bad Santa. “Can I fix you some sandwiches?!”

  • A-Mc

    Here’s a crazy idea how about trading the 16th & a sweetener (4-7th round pick) for Buffalos 21st and 31st.

    Gives us an extra trade chip for that goalie or an extra pick in a deep draft. Also removes buffalos opportunity to trade the 31 out from under us for Talbot or Lack. No idea if buffalo would be interested.

    Who to pick at 21 & 31 than?

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    It’ll be interesting to see what Chiarelli will do as far as Goalie.

    I don’t think he’ll overpay for Talbot, and I think the Rangers want too much for him.

    I think he’ll wait it out until Free Agency, maybe look at Niemi if the Sharks don’t close the deal with him.

    Or who knows, maybe a younger goalie and keep Scrivens in net and hope he pulls a Dubnyk and puts last season behind him.

    • JackB

      He won’t look at Niemi (I don’t think)? Sharks are reported to be looking for a goalie, so it doesn’t appear they want to resign him. (And McLellan will certainly know why they don’t want to re-sign him.)

      And yes you’re right, Scrivens might (VERY longshot) pull a Dubnyk (or at least have a better season)

      Either way, Scrivens is under contract for one more year, we wouldn’t get anything in trading him (except having to eat 1/2 or more of his salary) and we can’t waive him to Bakersfield He would just screw up our roster down there. We’ve got Brossoit and Rimmer (plus two more prospects in other leagues)

      Nope … Scrivens is here for next year.

  • JackB

    Speaking to the matter of trying to get a goalie, this is my understanding of the situation. Sather is asking for a 1st. round pick (because he is Sather, firstly) and because he doesn’t have a 1st round pick (he traded his to FLA) HE ISN’T GOING TO GET ONE!

    1) A back-up goaltender is usually only worth a 3rd round pick, or maybe a 2nd, at most? Sather is playing us against Buffalo, who’s general manager is a dork (remember his little temper tantrum on national TV after WE won the lottery) and who might still be sore we won (Sather’s not stupid – he guided the Oilers to some fantastic years) And he knows both us and Buffalo need a goaltender.

    2) New York is in some cap trouble. They have 15 roster players signed for $62.35M ($65.2M with allowances for bonuses) So he has between 6 and 9 million to sign 8 more players to fill his roster – AINT GONNA HAPPEN!

    3) Sather isn’t trading Talbot for any cap relief (Talbot’s salary is only 1.45M) HE IS TRADING TALBOT (UFA next year) BECAUSE HE KNOWS TALBOT WILL WALK NEXT YEAR. There is no chance he can become a starter, playing behind Lunquist, one of the league’s premier goalies.

    4) Sather is trading him now to get the best return he can.

    5) Sather is paying $20.4M to his top 4 defense. He is also stuck with $7.8M cap hit for Rick Nash (and there ain’t no team going to take Nash off his hands – not for that cap hit)

    So Sather has A FEW PROBLEMS (of which I am sure Chiarelli has mulled over in his mind many times) Maybe Chiarelli says “OK Glen you want a first rounder. How about I give you our first rounder, and help you out with your cap problem as well. You give me Talbot and Marc Staal (or Dan Girardi) and I’ll give you our #16 and our #33 (and Chia could even throw in a prospect or two to help him fill out roster)

    We would be getting a top-pairing D for our first round pick + some prospects/players (which most posters on this site want us to do)

    And we would be getting a goalie for our #33 (which a lot of the posters on this site want us to do)

    Then we only need to try to get a good (veteran) 4-5D through free agency.

    And, I wouldn’t be too worried about Talbot being a UFA at the end of next year. He wants to leave NYR so he can gat a chance TO BE A STARTING GOALIE, which he would be with us. And he probably WILL WANT to stay (long term) with a team that has McDavid, a stable of young great players, and is TRENDING UP !!!

    AND … if we can’t pry a goalie AND a top 2D out of Sather, then tell him he can stick his 1st round pick request up his …. and deal with Vancouver for Lack. They are trading him because they will have 3 goalies on their roster. If they don’t trade one, they have to keep three on their roster all next year, or lose one to waivers. And it appears Benning is only asking for a second round pick (he knows that’s the most a back-up is worth – and he’s not Sather! In fact he probably knows a back-up, normally, is only worth a third round pick)

    I’M SURE GLAD WE NOW HAVE CHIARELLI looking after these things, and not McTavish.

  • You tools that are complaining about Katz Jr. being on stage for the 1st pick obviously don’t have kids. If my son wanted to be part of something I do for a living or be part of an event that I had a hand in, I would have him there every year too. You know why because I love my kid and would do anything for him, Katz Sr. is no different.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Woodcroft and Johnson now official. McLellan and staff won’t need time to find a fit because they already have one from days together in San Jose.