Monday Mailbag – June 29th

LeonMail

It’s the first McDavid Monday of the new era and we couldn’t be more excited! All I want to do is read about him, gaze upon him, and kill as much work related time as possible. Enter the Mailbag. Want to be a part of it? Just email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk.  As a thank you, I’ll send everyone that submits a question a sticker package from the Nation.  Questions don’t all have to be Oilers related, so be creative.

Contract

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1) Sean M. asks – Free agency is almost upon us. Who was your favourite Oilers free agency pick up in the last 10 years?

Lowetide:

Benoit Pouliot. Fantastic addition and he should pay dividends for years to come, possibly alongside young McDavid. Very much liked this move, then and now.

Matt Henderson

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The last 10 years have been pretty terrible, on the whole, but I’m going with Sheldon Souray. Big Sexy was physical and had a cannon of a shot. I wish injuries and inept management hadn’t ruined his career. Tough to find a good free agent signing here of an impact guy except Souray came in and played 24-25 minutes a night on D. I think he’s the best UFA to sign here in the last 10 years.

Jonathan Willis:

Dustin Penner. I like a little bit of anarchy, I love offer sheets and my feelings toward scheduling barn fights are difficult to express in mere shabby words. Anaheim was in a bad salary cap situation and the Oilers put them over a barrel; that’s absolutely how the system is supposed to work. Edmonton got some good seasons out of a fun player, then sent him on down the line for a very similar return to the RFA compensation they paid the Ducks. Stricly speaking, the team has probably made better free agent signings over this period, but that one remains my favourite.

Jason Strudwick:

I think we all know the consensus answer to this question. Number two would be Sheldon Souray.

Jeanshorts:

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I think we’ve got to go with Studly Wonderbomb himself, Big Sexy Sheldon Souray. Obviously things between him and the Oilers didn’t QUITE work out as well as we hoped, but he had one really great season and I can’t say we’ve had an offensively inclined D-man anywhere near as good as Souary since.

Robin Brownlee:

I like the addition of Boyd Gordon. Can’t imagine the hole the Oilers would have had at centre without him these past couple of seasons. Workmanlike. Effective in the circle. Veteran leadership.

Jason Gregor:

I’d say Strudwick. Allowed him and I to become friends and co-workers, but most importantly it meant I would have the best sound clip of all time: Struds was on my show and he had the pleasure of having the first pint of Nation Beer. We were doing my show live at the Pint Downtown. After he took a sip I asked him how it tasted…

“Um, it is like a bouquet of flavours coming in my mouth.” Direct quote. Classic.

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Baggedmilk:

Has to be Big Sexy, right? I remember when Souray signed here and we all thought that things were going to be okay – or at least turn around. Unfortunately, the Oilers never fail to find new and creative ways to disappoint us so the Big Sexy tenure crashed and burned in miraculous fashion. Oh the joys of the last Oilers decade.

McDavid

2) Patricks D. asks – What excites you most about Connor McDavid being an Oiler?

Lowetide:

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The sense of joy all Oilers fans shared in that one moment. I always feel for younger fans because being an Oilers fan has been so difficult these last 10 years. It felt good personally to be a part of something so wonderful.

Matt Henderson

I’ve never seen anybody like him before. That’s what excites me. I was born in 83 so Gretzky as an Oiler was over before I started kindergarten. I’ve seen him play at the OHL level and he was electrifying on every shift. I’m excited to see what level he can reach with the likes of Hall/Eberle/Yakupov/Draisaitl surrounding him. He can do things at top speed that nobody else can. Nobody.

Jonathan Willis:

Watching him play 82 games next year. It’s fun to watch great players.

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Jason Strudwick:

I look forward to watching him grow as a player. He has very strong parts of his game and those will be great from day one. Watching him adjust the areas of weakness will really prove how smart he is.

Jeanshorts:

Just watching him do incredible things while wearing an Oiler jersey. Obviously it’s super fun watching the Crosbys and Ovechkins of the league play, so I can’t even imagine how awesome it’s going to be watching one of those guys PLAY FOR THE OILERS! It’s going to be magical! I CAN’T WAIT!

Robin Brownlee:

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McDavid’s considerable on-ice skills aside, the buzz and optimism he provides a long-suffering fan base is a welcome change. Negativity has been hanging in the air like a sour fart around here far too long. His arrival in concert with the coaching and management changes makes it feel like a truly new era for this team.

Jason Gregor:

That it could lead to a competitive team. I think we are all tired of covering a team that isn’t close to competitive.

Baggedmilk:

Since Crosby was drafted I’ve always been jealous that Pittsburgh fans have had the opportunity to watch him every night. We’re about to find out what that feels like, and I couldn’t be happier. 

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3) Craig asks – How long do you think Craig MacTavish stays on as Peter Chiarelli’s number two? 

Lowetide:

Well, they have to define his job first. Suspect MacT won’t like it, and it lasts less than a year.

Matt Henderson

Until his contract runs out next summer. Then he and the team will part ways and it will be “mutual.”

Jonathan Willis:

How long until he gets a better offer? There are a finite number of general manager jobs out there and it’s hard to imagine that MacTavish’s time at the helm of the Oilers has him at the top of many hiring lists. Now, there are all manner of internal dynamics of which I am unaware but from the outside it’s hard to peg any reason MacTavish would be interested in leaving, and if Chiarelli were interested in ousting him one imagines he would have done it immediately or close to it.

Jason Strudwick:

It would be a great place to acquire experience on the management side of hockey. Why wouldn’t he stay for a while?

Jeanshorts:

My gut is telling that this season will be used as a bit of a feeling out period. As I’ve said before, though his GM tenure was pretty…yeah…. MacT isn’t a blubbering moron. He’s a smart hockey man, and he has familiarity with most of the players in the organization, so on paper he seems like a fairly nice asset for Chiarelli to have at hand. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him let go next summer if he and Chiarelli don’t mesh well, or if Chiarelli doesn’t want a backseat GM or what have you.

Robin Brownlee:

Until the end of his current contract.

Jason Gregor:

Good question. It is a bit odd that he does not have a title yet. It either works out and he is here for many years or he is one and done. I will go with the former.

Baggedmilk:

That’s a good question. I bet MacT will find a way to stick around until the planet gets nuked or global warming melts us all. He’ll be sitting in an office with Kevin Lowe and 43 cockroaches wondering where everyone went. Speaking of MacT, how funny was it that he snuck in right beside McDavid for the post draft picture? How did Chiarelli get pushed all the way off to the side? 

LionKing

4) Oilguy16 asks – When was last time the Oilers had a rival in the NHL? What is the best sports rivalry right now?

Lowetide:

Aside from themselves? Dallas Stars, late 90s through early oughts.

Matt Henderson

Last real rival was probably Dallas because of all the times Edmonton met them in the playoffs. You have to be good enough to matter to have a rivalry and the Oilers haven’t mattered in years. I wish Calgary was a rivalry but it really hasn’t been. I hate Vancouver so it’s as close as *I* feel to there being a rivalry but the teams don’t act like there’s a rivalry. There could be a good one with Winnipeg if both the Jets and the Oilers ever meet in the playoffs because the Jets have demolished the Oil physically and that could lead to some fun hate. Best rivalry today in any sport? I’m not sure. I still love watching Montreal vs Boston. We’ve lost some good rivalries like Federer vs Nadal and Tiger vs The Field lately.

Jonathan Willis:

I don’t think rivalries ever really go away; they just become less relevant on the national stage. Ask most Oilers fans about Calgary and Vancouver and they’ll explain the special feeling they have in their hearts for those clubs. As for the best rivalry in sports, I have no idea. The only sport I pay any attention to is hockey. Within the NHL, the rivalry I enjoy most is probably Boston/Montreal.

Jason Strudwick:

I maintain the Canucks have been the Oilers chief rival for a number of years. The best rivalry is my New York Giants against anyone!

Jeanshorts:

I think the closest we’ve had to a rival in the last decade has been the Canucks. We all hate them with a fiery passion. They’ve employed guys like Kessler, Burrows and Kassian. And speaking of Kassian I don’t think we’ll ever forget what he did to Sam Gagner, so for me personally I get a little more geared up for potential losses to the Canucks than pretty much any other team. 

As for the best rivalry right now I really, really love watching Bruins/Habs games and/or playoff series. Those guys DO NOT like each other, and they both have insane, vocal fan bases, so those games are always bound to be entertaining.

Robin Brownlee:

Last true rival was the Dallas Stars in the late-1990s early-2000s because of all the playoff meetings between the teams.

Jason Gregor:

Last rival was Dallas. Best rivalry in sports now — I’d lean towards Barcelona/Madrid, but Pakistan/India in cricket is huge as well. In the NHL — Bruins/Habs is still pretty great.

Baggedmilk:

The only Oilers rivalry I can personally remember is when they used to match us with the Stars every year in the playoffs. I heard the Battle of Alberta (am I allowed to say that?) used to be awesome, but I’m not old enough to remember that. Here’s hoping that the BOA is set for a revival with all the action that has gone on with these two teams over the last few months. 

Feast

5) Allan Fields asks – If you were an inmate on death row what would your last meal be?

Lowetide:

Steak — medium (barbequed), baked potato (with onions, butter), 4,000 beer and a dish of ice cream.

Matt Henderson

Probably a big turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and all the sides that go with it. I would just like everyone to know that while I’m on death row and Justice has judged me harshly, I regret nothing. I would do it again in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t think twice.

Jonathan Willis:

This is my last meal, so I’m going to go all out here. Properly smoked salmon is a real delight as an appetizer and pairs wonderfully with a good scotch. I was thinking Johnnie Walker Blue but as this is my last meal there’s no sense in sparing expense so let’s go with a 30-year-old Highland Park (anything in the Orcadian Series will do, but given that price isn’t an issue let’s go with the 1968). For the main course I’m not thinking anything too elaborate; a rib-eye with black truffles, roasted garlic potatoes  and some kind of braised vegetable. Some high-end dark chocolate for dessert would top off the evening.

Jason Strudwick:

That would depend on what I was convicted for.

Jeanshorts:

Beef tortellini with alfredo sauce, a chicken club pizza from Panago, multiple tubs of half baked ice cream and to wash it all down a bunch of Arnold Palmers.

Robin Brownlee:

Big, honking apple pie with a hacksaw blade in it.

Jason Gregor:

Hope I’m never there — BBQ chicken, esparagus, mashed potatoes and homemade lemon pie.

Baggedmilk:

How long am I allowed to eat for? I think I would start off with tacos. I’m talking shredded beef tacos, fish tacos, chicken tacos. From there I’d move on to a roast pig. I’m talking a full sized pig that has been roasted over an open fire. I’d like the whole thing. After the pig has been taken care of I’m looking for a four litre tub of black cherry ice cream. Since I also love candy I’m also going to need a big bag of either coke bottles or gummy dinosours. For dessert I would probably polish off 43 beers. All in all I figure my last meal would take three months to finish and that’s three more months that I’m alive. Thank you. 

P.S.

I want to give a shout out to the boys at Jobsite Workwear for treating us so well and hooking us up with all those GCs for the Draft Party on Friday. We didn’t even ask and these champions volunteered to help in any way they could. If you’re ever looking for anything go see the boys at Jobsite and they’re sure to treat you as well as they’ve treated us. *standing applause*


  • judgedrude

    Chris Stewart should be #1 on the Oilers list BIG JOHN SCOTT#2 and Brian MCGRATTAN #3. Imagine if we added these three SWEETHEARTS to protect our highly skilled/vulnerable SUPERTARS!!!!!WOO!!!!!’

  • Alsker

    Nothing seems to change #16 + #33 in a deep draft for a prospect with skating issue. This draft was suppose to be a great day in Oilers history and now this sour taste in my mouth, all I can think of is how stupid the Oilers are when it comes to hockey.

    Nothing against GR not his fault Oilers are stupid.

    • Shaun Doe

      He might not be a Boumester, but you can’t teach size. I look t a guy like Lander and see how lots of hard work can pay off when it comes to skating. Also I think the reports of his poor skating are a bit blown out of proportion. From the few times I’ve seen him play, combined with what many scouts say, it’s not that he’s a bad skater really, simply that he’s usually in good position so he doesn’t need to rely on his mobility as much. He’s kind of a low risk low event guy. Watching him in the Dub he didn’t lose many battles for the puck, nor did the opposition do anything too dramatic when he was on the ice.

      I think that could hurt him in the NHL if he makes a mistake as he won’t be able to cover the bet getting back against guys like Kane or Cogliano, but his strength will lie in not making many of those mistakes. Anyway, he’s not being asked to come in and lead the team, we already have Nurse and Klefbom to hang our hopes and both those guys are amazing skaters.

  • stonedtodeath61

    Can’t teach size sounds like when you got nothing else you use that as a positive.

    No way you give up 2 1st rd picks for a non- NHL players. I say 2 because deep draft.

    If GR ends up as a top 4 this is still a losing bet, the only way Oilers win this bet is if he becomes a legit 1-2 Dman.

    99/100 I don’t make this bet. NYI gave him away because they did not think he was a top pairing D.

    • paul wodehouse

      He’s good positionally, calms everything down on the back end, doesn’t need to cover mistakes because he makes very few. When I say you can’t teach size I mean he can learn to be a better skater, but he can’t learn to be a bigger player.

      As for giving up the picks. Well, okay number 16 was a centre. Honestly, and it’s crazy to say this, but I don’t think the organization needs anymore centres at the moment especially ones that are small and skilled. Is Brazal going to be better than McDavid, Nuge, Draisaitl, or even Lander or Yakimov? And then pick 33 I see was… another undersized centre, much less likely to be as good as the one picked at 16.

      So perhaps you are saying another prospect picked in that range will be better than the one the Oilers got. Let’s see, for direct defence comparable we have Chabot, Juulsen, Larsson, Carlsson, and Roy. I think maybe one of these guys might just go full Cam Fowler and be better than Reinheart or even some of the defencement picked higher this year, but when will that be? and do you have a crystal ball to tell me when? Of those guys only Roy and Juulsen shoot right and both those guys are small. None of those guys are over 200 lbs, none of them lead their respective teams.

      But then maybe you are wanting a forward with those picks. While I do agree the Oilers could have used Evgeny Svechnikov, you have to remember they already kind of have a big skilled LW russian player further along and more proven then Svechnikov in Shlepyshev.

      Like I say, maybe one of these prospects picked between 16 and 33 are going to turn out better then Reinheart, but at the moment I think the Oilers made the safer bet. Just my opinion though, let’s revisit this discussion in 3 years time.