WWYDW: Which Oilers defencemen should be in the long-term plans?

2-Sekera-1

The Edmonton Oilers have used nine defencemen already this season, but unfortunately for the club the old pattern of having quantity but not quality is producing similar results as it has in previous years. In today’s edition of WWYDW, we ask which defencemen our readers would be inclined to keep for next season, and which ones need to be cut loose to make space for better players.

The Depth Chart

77-Klefbom-2

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Via NHL Numbers, the following is a list of relevant players and their contracts. I’ve also included David Musil, who will require waivers to be sent to the AHL next year.

(As I read the CBA, both Jordan Oesterle and Joey Laleggia can be demoted next year without needing to clear waivers, provided that each is still under the 60 NHL games played mark.)

  • Andrej Sekera: $5.5 million cap hit through 2020-21. Natural LD, can play RD.
  • Oscar Klefbom: $4.167 million cap hit through 2022-23. Natural LD, can play RD.
  • Justin Schultz: RFA, coming off a $3.9 million cap hit. RD.
  • Mark Fayne: $3.625 million cap hit through 2017-18. RD.
  • Eric Gryba: UFA, coming off a $1.25 million cap hit. RD.
  • Griffin Reinhart: $833,000 cap hit (up to $3.213 million with bonuses) through 2016-17. Natural LD, can play RD.
  • Darnell Nurse: $833,000 cap hit (up to $1.713 million with bonuses) through 2017-18. LD.
  • Brandon Davidson: RFA, coming off a $585,000 cap hit. Natural LD, can play RD. 
  • Andrew Ference: $3.25 million cap hit through 2016-17. Natural LD, can play RD.
  • Nikita Nikitin: UFA, coming off $4.5 million cap hit. Natural LD, may actually be more effective at RD.
  • David Musil: RFA, coming off $894,000 cap hit. Natural LD, can play RD. (needs to clear waivers)

That is a total of 11 players, plus any additions made to bolster the blue line. So: Who should the Oilers keep, and who should they part ways with?

My Take

Darnell Nurse

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Sekera stays. I don’t think he’s been as bad as most others do, I’ve been impressed by what I saw of him in L.A. and Carolina, and I think it’s also natural to expect an adjustment period as he gets used to a more prominent role on a new team. Klefbom stays, obviously, as do Nurse and Reinhart given their respective ages (with the caveat that if an obviously excellent defenceman became available, Reinhart in particular might make sense as part of the return package).

That’s four spots taken up, most of them on the left side. If I’m building the team, ideally I want seven defencemen total and one of those seven to be an off-season addition (Dustin Byfuglien is a popular name; basically the idea here is to grab a top-pair defender who ideally shoots right).

That leaves two spots for the other 11 incumbents. Nikitin obviously walks; just as obviously Ference is bought out of his contract. In Peter Chiarelli’s position, I’d be open to trading all of Schultz, Fayne and Gryba. Gryba will obviously have value at the deadline given his expiring contract; the Oilers should be able to get more than they paid for him. Schultz will also be on an expiring contract and a team with power play problems might be interested at the deadline; I suspect he’s tradeable and I’d move on because I see him as a No. 4/5 defenceman and he’s just paid too much. I like Fayne quite a bit, but I tend to think he can be replaced in the summer at a lower dollar figure, so if there’s a deal that makes sense take it and if not he’s welcome to stay.

I like Davidson and I like Musil, but there’s already a ton of youth on the blue line and both guys are left shots (like every other defenceman on the team). If there’s a trade out there, great; if not there’s a training camp battle to be fought for one of the depth jobs.

When all is said and done, that leaves Klefbom, Sekera, one of Nurse/Reinhart and a newcomer in top-four spots next season, as well as the other of Nurse/Reinhart on the third pairing with either Fayne or a cheap newcomer, with one of Davidson/Musil in the No. 7 slot. That’s not a particularly reassuring defence – even if the newcomer is somebody like Byfuglien – but at this point the Oilers don’t have much choice but to give the ball to their young players and hope they run with it.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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    • More like:

      Nurse – Byfuglien/Yandle
      Sekera – Klefbom
      Reinhart – Davidson
      Fayne

      Sekera and Fayne are not likely going anywhere.
      Ferrence has to get bought out next year.
      Justin Shultz can be a guy that the Oilers trade or walk away from.

      I am guessing the Oilers are going to be looking to spend heavy on Byfuglien or Yandle.

      Hopefully they get one or the other.

    • I think everybody needs to stop acting like they are the General Manager or Coach. Bob Nicholson is the boss and he knows what he is doing. Chiarelli turned a terrible Boston team into a winner and the results started a year into the job. McClellan is a exceptional coach. It is not either one of these guys’s fault with the team they inherited. I have the utmost confidence they will turn this around. Find the right defense and proper forwards. Cannot happen overnight.

  • CMG30

    Musil? Thought consensus was that in the modern NHL his foot speed would keep him from having an impact at the NHL level.

    Davidson has been a revelation as a 5-6 defender. But after that the pipeline includes Osterle, and Simpson, and Joey Legg’s. None project more then a bottom pair defender.

  • For Pete's Sake!

    I know you don’t like Gryba, Jonathan. But he brings a level of toughness to our blueline that we desperately need.

    For me, we should keep Nurse, Klefbom, Sekera, Reinhart, Gryba and Davidson. Pretty much what we’ve got now but we’ve got to give these young guys a chance to mature.

    The coach has got it right.

    But for next year we’ve just got to get Byfuglien.
    What a shot of confidence and grit he would add to our blueline.

    • Eh Blinkin

      Gryba is fine as our 6/7 def at this time. He’s playing to his potential and adds some physical play. We are stuck with Sekera for the long haul. He’s extremely overpaid for what he brings and he isn’t going to get better as a 30 year old. Really hoping Klefbom isn’t the next whipping boy but he looks terrible out there. Reinhart has too much invested in him so he will be given extra opportunity because hex was Chias first big move. Hopefully Nurse will figure the game out but his physical gifts lead to hope. I’m not as down on Schultz as some here and hopefully he returns soon so we can see if he can become something. The rest including the other prospects dont lead to a lot of hope in my opinion.

  • CMG30

    With the way the Oilers forwards play defense and backtrack any defense and goalie is going to be and play worse than their potential and skill.

    Sekera, Nurse, Klefbom and Reinhardt are here to stay.

    Trade Hall and Schultz for a solid #1, and this defense should be respectable in the future.

    *p.s. to the sensitive manginas that push their bias opinion on this site: please stop IP banning because I do not feel about Hall the same way you hypocrites do.*

    • I have no idea who you are, but from “sensitive mangina” I can tell you’re a real charmer. If somebody’s been blocking you I’d guess it has a lot more to do with *how* you say things than the things you actually say.

      • Thank You. Charm is the quality in others, that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.

        However, I will tell you that your guess is wrong. It has nothing to do with how, I guarantee you that.

        If one of the sensitive manginas would come forth and give their reasoning for the ban in the last few days, you would see that my proof is in their pudding.

      • S cottV

        I give honest feedback on most articles, equally. If I didn’t like the article or I think it was sub-par based on previous work, I say it. This happens more for some writers than others, literally never for JW. But Brownlee I dont really care for, some people do, but not my cup of tea. I made the mistake of saying that once, on one particularly poor article IMHO, and I was banned.

        Personally, I think that is so old school. People want to participate in their news.

        The writers will say, if you don’t like it don’t read it. But in the new age of media, its if you don’t want to read bad comments and put up with occasional rude people and trolls and opinions you don’t agree with, then don’t write a blog with a comments section. As long as people are not spreading “hate”, then as a blogger I think its your inherent duty to put up with them. Part of the job these days. Comments = clicks and clicks = $.

        • chickenStew

          Or, the writer can do whatever the hell he wants. He doesn’t owe you or me a damn thing. They don’t write for you to rate their performance. Do you think you can criticize without consequence? Doesn’t appear so does it?

          The article gets the ball rolling; the comments section is for us to share our opinions on the matter at hand. Some people don’t realize that rudeness, vulgarity, and unsolicited writing advice is worth nothing. Those who do it, get what’s coming to them.

          What YOU want isn’t necessarily what the other guys wants. Life is so unfair..

        • CMG30

          Couldn’t disagree with you more.

          Differing opinions are one thing, but there should never an obligation for anyone to put up with rude people and trolls. Neither one earns a webpage $$$ as they kill legitimate discussion and drive off the very people who you actually want participating in the news.

          The sad part of the internet is that anonymity has led to a sizable number of persons behaving in an absolutely atrocious manner. I commend the moderators who are booting these individuals.

          OTOH, if your assertion that you’ve been banned for politely taking issue with points in an article is correct, well that’s a different matter. I would suggest that you inquire via email why your comments were banned. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding over tone or something.

    • Reg Dunlop

      You are not the only fan who views Hall as expendable. Comments from departed players like Peron and Smid hint at serious dysfunction on the team, even the coach noted that the team was very quiet on the bench. The way nobody supports teammates during scrums is further evidence that something is ROTTEN here. Who has played on a competitive team in any sport, even a rec league team, that wasn’t full of banter and comaraderie? Who knows if Hall is part of the problem, I certainly don’t, but he and Eberle are the 2 constants in the last 5 years of Oiler gong show.

      The only problem I have with your opinion is that one solid first pairing defender is not nearly enough. We need two or it will be like bailing out a boat with a hole in it. Gotta fix the damn hole this time.

      • For Pete's Sake!

        I agree with you, the Oilers do have to support each other more during scrums but that’s on everyone, not just Hall and Ebs.

        I think you are out of line when you insinuate that there something “ROTTEN” in the Oiler’s dressing room and it’s linked to Hall and Eberle.

        These two young guys have gone through 7 years of hell because of the terrible supporting cast an incompetent management group has foisted on them in that time.

        From Brodziak to Matt Greene to Jarret Stoll to Andrew Cogliano management traded away one player after another who had any leadership qualities.

        They replaced them with a bunch of aging loser veterans who probably couldn’t make any other team in the league.

        You put Toews and Kane into a similar situation and see how well they do.

        Hall and Ebs deserve better, they really are two great talented players that ANY other team in the league would love to have on their roster.

        Put the blame where it really is. At Katz and Lowe’s doorstep.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Do you recall when Smid exited and he said that things could get much worse? Did you notice during the Pittsburgh loss one play when Hall delayed with the puck at the Pen’s blue causing Yak to skitter offside? As Hall circled out of the zone he looked back at Yak and shook his head. I know, it’s only body language that could be mis-interpreted but do you think a good teammate and leader acts like that? I challenge Hallphiles to convince me that he should be untouchable as a trade chip. Is he a good hockey player/

          • a lg dubl dubl

            I suggest that if he’s as bad as some people around here suggest, Tmac and PC will move him. No coach wants a cancer in their dressing room. If Tmac is good with him, so am I.

          • Reg Dunlop

            I think that Hall has matured a lot, even in the past year, and doubtless he still has a way to go. If he had a mentor, someone to show him the way these last few years I’m sure he would be further along. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is our best moveable asset after McDavid. That doesn’t change the fact that a Hall-led team without a top D-pairing is a bottom 5 NHL squad. Time to move onward and upward in my opinion. We will soon find out if the GM agrees.

        • BubbaZanetti

          Let’s not start comparing Toews and Kane with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

          And why is it that “they deserve better” ?

          Toews and Kane lead the hawks, who the hell is the leader on the Oilers ?

          I know who the leader will be once he gets back.

          And for the record I would keep Eberle on the go forward.

          The make up of this team needs to change drastically.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            If Kane and Toews had been saddled with the kind of sad sack supporting cast Hall and Ebs have had in the last seven years, courtesy of Klowe, MacT and Tambo, how many cups do you think they would have won??

            And as for the part where I said, “they deserve better?” Glen Sather always said his job was to provide Gretz, Mess and Coffey with a great supporting cast that would help them win and become great team.

            I think every exceptionally talented player “deserves” that kind of management to help them reach their potential and become winners.

            Hall and Ebs have never gotten that until perhaps now with Chiarelli.

      • CMG30

        Hall and Eberle the only two constants from the last 5 years? Really? There’s tons of constants from the last 5 year. Actually why stop at 5? lets go all the way back to 2006 and look for constants from the entire period of suck.

        Lets see: Coaching carousel, playing rookies too soon, GM trading quality defensemen away for picks and prospects leaving us with below AHL quality D corps. Successive GM’s stubbornly refusing to surround talent with actual supporting roll players. Goaltending etc, etc, etc.

        Now, lets examine your logic: Hall and Eberle have been here for 5 of the 9 years the Oil have totally sucked. Hall and Eberle are two of the 3 or 4 players on the team that have actually preformed at or above expectations. Therefor they’re the expendable ones!

        Of course that doesn’t make any sense, but a little gossip and innuendo should totally make it legit.

  • It feels like you’re reading my comments, JW. I agree with all of it.

    The only stipulation will be the trades that will happen this season. I expect Gryba to be traded, not just because he is expiring, but because the way he plays is helpful when the refs put away their whistle.

    I think all of them could be moved in the right deal, between now and the start of next season.

  • Spoils

    talking long term

    I’d say let’s keep developing the Klefbom, Nurse, Schultz, Rienhart, Davidson, maybe Gryba (juries out) prospects like LeLeggia etc. I’d plan to trade the too long Sekera contract and let the others go.

    BUT we should also plan to
    TRADE FOR A TRUE #1 STUD.

    if one or two of our guys can be more than a 2-4 guy, great (maybe we keep or even use them as a strong trade piece for the final missing pieces of our cup run (like a premium goal scorer or a lock-goalie)

    Nurse and Klef have a shot. I’m worried about the bad habits, but they do.

    we look like we have enough to staff positions 2-8 quite well (once they mature).

    we just need to make a trade for the guaranteed piece. stanley cup teams always have the #1 guy.


    McDavid > Toews
    Hall = Kane
    ???? = Keith
    Talbot/Nilsson?

    we are close

  • Obviously more losses are going to pile up.

    The Oilers will win 3 then lose 5… and continue this trend.

    So… some changes somewhere need to be made…

    Oilers special teams have improved. Shots against have improved. Unfortunately goal tending and defense (in terms of giving up golden chances) has not improved. If we had some offense from the bottom six, we would also be in better shape.

    So… in saying that… the bottom six is in need of some additions and subtractions.

    I don’t think there is a defensive fix (unless a blockbuster trade) until the summer. Sadly, the Oilers might miss out on some big D free agents and then we are right back here looking for the team to improve organically.

    Chiarelli shouldn’t waste this season… he should be looking to improve the defense at any cost other than dealing McDavid/Nurse.

  • I think it’s obvious you keep Nurse, Klefbom and Reinhart. The idea is that they’re developing into serviceable NHL dmen.

    Question I have is are they actually developing? Does playing on a bottom feeder team, getting fed to the wolves with no quality mentorship qualify as developing?

    Are we gonna be looking back 5 years from now wondering what happened to these guys who had real good potential at one point?

  • For Pete's Sake!

    Ok guys. I know its not the most popular subject and he’s playing great this year. But let’s be honest here.

    It’s time to trade Hall. No other player gets us that top pairing defender that this team so desperately needs.

    Even Hall wouldn’t get us an elite number 1D man, actually I’d be interested in what a real return for Hall would look like, but, regardless, Hall can get you what no other package of yak or ebs etc could get you.

    Oilers fans need to become less emotionally attached to any players other than McDavid or Nurse.

    When Hall was out end of last year and our top line was on fire, you can’t tell me that didn’t open some eyes that this team doesn’t rely as much as we thought on Hall

    Yes he’s an amazing talent and elite, but, this isn’t NHL 16 on your PS4, you need to give quality to get quality.

    With Nuge, Ebs, McDavid, Drai, Yak you have more than enough skill for your top 2 lines and I think we would survive Taylor hall not being there.

    What’s more important to winning? A top D man on a terrible defense or a top left winger on a forward group filled with top end talent?

  • For Pete's Sake!

    I’m so tired of the guys saying, “trade Hall for this or this defenseman.” It’s never going to happen so just stop talking about it.

    First of all, after McDavid, Hall is our best player. Haters hate all you want but that’s simply a fact.

    Second, you’re not ever going to get Arizona to trade OEL or Nashville to trade Weber, or Montreal to trade P.K. That’s the kind of guy you’re going to have to get for an equal value return on Taylor Hall.

    The only way a team can pickup a decent first pairing Dman nowadays is through free agency. That’s how the Islanders did it.

    We’re just going to have to be patient and wait until next summer and hope that Buff picks us.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I hope the oil make a big trade and change the dynamic of the core.

    its the only thing the oilers haven’t done in the last few seasons. the oil signed some players, drafted high, made minor shuffles here and there, coach changes, and continued to hope players will just pan out. Yet, they are still losing or on the outside looking in come playoff time every season.

    Why not make a big splash? Make a go of it now and see if this team can make a playoff push. The oilers don’t need to worry about the future or long term plans-at this point because there is no guarantee they will make it to the playoffs or be a good team in the next few seasons.

    So go all in with a big trade. If it fails, the oilers are right were they before-a middling team trying to get out of the bottom standings of the league. at the end, atleast mgmt. made an effort and gambled big.

    The oilers cant get any worse if there was a big trade made.

    • Spoils

      I’d love to see an old-time eight or ten person trade. Remember those?

      That would shake it up. But I think GMs are too risk-averse to make trades like that any more. Nobody wants to be criticized after the fact. Look at Chiarelli. He traded Seguin, for some pretty legit reasons of the rumours are true. He is still roasted pretty badly in Boston.

  • Shit bitch cunt fuck

    NHL coaches want a Left and Right handed defensive pair. Period. If that means trading Andrej Sekera for 10 cents on the dollar, do that trade. Cap room is an asset. And they should offer sheet Seth Jones in July. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

  • Spoils

    Re: Buff: he would undoubtedly be the Oilers top d-man next season. But for how long afterwards? He is making $6m this season, and would be in line for a raise. Does Buff come here for $7m/3 years? I wouldn’t be comfortable going much longer than that, given his physical style of play and his age.

    And the Oilers biggest problem is a quality puck-moving defenceman, not lack of size on the blueline. Is Buff a quality puck-mover?

    • For Pete's Sake!

      For a big man he moves more than fast enough. Heads would be up on opposing attackers crossing our blueline with big Buff there.

      And he can play forward. We could always put him on Connor’s wing. Can you imagine? No one would ever look sideways at McDavid if he had Big Buff menacing them on his wing.

      • Stack Pad Save

        For two or three seasons, I think he’d be great for exactly the reasons you give. He’d put some fear in opposing teams. He’d be fun on an Oiler PP in front of the net. He’d show some leadership.

        If it was a six-year term to get him to Edmonton, then you have to worry about the wheels falling off by the end of the contract, much like we are seeing from Ference. Big, physical d-men usually age poorly.

    • Harry2

      Why do people think that 30 is all of a sudden 100 when it comes to defenceman in the NHL? Byfiglien is 100% exactly what this team so very desperately needs. Id be comfortable giving him 7mil for 5-6 years easy.

  • Morgo_82

    Klefbom and Nurse MUST be part of the long term plans, both a stud defenceman and moving them would be detrimental to future success. everyone else (aside from Davidson) is expendable.

  • Danglishish

    Bah, I hate the ‘trade Hall’ camp…. He has proven his worth time and time again on this team and while I wouldn’t consider myself his biggest fan, you can’t argue with his point totals and ability to push the pace of the game and make opponents chase.

    In order to get a no. 1 defensemen in the salary cap era you need to determine where it is that no. 1 defensemen have come from. How many legit no. 1’s have come through trade when they were already an established no. 1 on the team trading them? Not often…

    So, either you need to draft and develop a true no. 1 likely with very high draft pedigree and a lot of patience, or you need to pry a ‘blossoming’ no. 1 from a team that either does not value them, or is willing to sacrifice them at the expense of keeping a core group together.

    So as of right now, our high hopes rest on Nurse, who is the most likely candidate to become our no. 1 guy, but when I say most likely, it’s definitely not a slam dunk.

    Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that true no. 1’s don’t come around often, and drafting high doesn’t guarantee anything (see Ryan Murray). I feel relatively comfortable in our future at the blue line (in two seasons most likely) with the following:

    Nurse – ????
    Kelfbom – Sekera
    Reinhart – ????

    So that is two spots to fill ideally with youngish veterans that can show the ropes to the up-and-comers, while not being on the downslope of their career. Ideally these players will be acquired in the offseason by Chia-pete.

    If I were GM I would be willing to give up multiple of the following players: Yak, Schultz, Eberle (ideally not but sooner him than Hall), first rd. pick in 2016.

    For those saying there is a cancer in the dressing room and not too subtley pointing the finger at Hall, there is no way of anyone knowing that except the coach and players. If anyone can get Hall to buy in it is TMac, and if he can’t I’m sure he will make it known and Chia pete will be the first GM in history to trade the top two picks in the same draft year.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    to me it’s pretty clear that Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart and the long term signed Sekera are the 4 who are in the long term plans. now sign/trade for a couple of good vet d-men who can move the puck (i know, easier said than done!) and our D will look pretty good in the near future.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    JW,

    Do you think the Oilers should take one last look at Philip Larsen next year? He’s right-handed, putting up decent numbers in the K and at 25-26 years old, he’s entering the prime of d-men carrers. I’m not advocating him, just asking about him.

    Anyways, Sekera, Klefbom and Nurse are obviously not going anywhere, but the rest needs major improvement.

  • Stack Pad Save

    A healthy Oilers has the following depth chart (these are not lines just best players by position)

    Hall – RNH – Ebs

    Pou – McDavid – Yak

    Hendricks – Drai – Purcell

    Korpikoski – Lander – Pakarinen

    Klinkhammer – Letestu – Pakarinen

    Nurse – Sekera

    Klefbom – Schultz

    Reinhart – Gryba

    Davidson – Fayne or Ference

    The Obvious weaknesses on this team is depth on the wings. A lack of tough, power forward type players throughout the top and bottom 6. Most importantly they lack a reliable pair of top defence man. That is a ton of work for Chiarelli. In my opinion you need to get 2 power forwards to play in your top 9 on the wing, who can contribute both physically and on the score board. You also need 2 top pairing defence man. I don’t see any team giving those to the Oilers. So, somewhere from with-in we need those players to develop (Yakimov?) and you probably have to trade an Eberle or Yakupov to make something happen.

    And if you have to ask the question. is the goaltending where it needs to be?

  • 2Oilers4

    If Ference retires at the end of the year does he still fall as a cap hit next year? If that’s the case then I hope he does retire. Best for both parties. He would not only be off the books (good for the Oilers) it would save him the embarrassment of being bought out (also good for the Oilers as he wont be a cap hit for the next two years).

  • 2Oilers4

    I sign UFA Braydon Coburn for 3-4 years if he’s willing. His HERO chart is a thing of beauty. If possible I’d trade for him right now and include one of those resigning clauses where you hand over another pick if he signs an extension. Buying out Ference is a no-brainer unless he’s not causing cap problems.

    Next year:

    Coburn – Sekera (It’ll do as a top pair)

    Klefbom – Fayne (A true second pair)

    Nurse – Reinhart (The third pair that is the envy of the league)

    Ference/Davidson/Musil/etc.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    None of the current ones should be jotted down in pen. Both Nurse and Klefbom are still 2-5 yrs away from potentially being top pairing regulars.

    That all world group of forwards will continue to struggle till they have a couple 27 minute a night leaders back on that blue line. Till then, it’ll be the same hope song and dance year after year.

    Hate to see where we’d be today if Kevin Lowe didn’t know so much about winning during his watch the last decade.

  • Eh Blinkin

    The closest they’d get to a 1D in a trade right now is someone of Sekera’s level (a strong 2). For the love of Pete, Jones/OEL/etc are simply unavailable.

    Keep working on Nurse, Reinhart and Klefbomb. Keep Schultz, as $3.9 is league average, which he fits that bill. He’s only the 4th highest current D, it’s not like he’s making 6.5 which everyone seems to act like.

    Give the new coach team and management do their thing.

  • Reg Dunlop

    After 42 games the Oilers will be something like 16 w and 26 loses. They will be out of the playoffs.

    The pressure will be off and then they will end up playing very well and finish with 24 wins and 18 loses in the last half for a total of 80 points.

    The Oilers will once again think there players have turned the corner and do nothing regarding the improvement of the team, getting rid of the core or acquiring veteran help.

    Same as every other year

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’ve never been banned.

    I side with JW and suggest it’s more in your delivery or use of adjectives or names.

    From my point of view, that’s a good thing.

  • Ever the Optimist

    I have to agree that Sekera, Nurse, Klefbom and Reinhart are here to stay.

    Fayne I hope can be pumped and then dumped at deadline.
    Ference will be a buy out and with luck go to work with the oilers as a community ambassador.
    Schultz has opportunity to play his way into a contract and would be a great fit on the 3rd pair with lots of pp time.
    Davidson is another that has a real chance to play for a contract and would be very nice as the 7th dman.

    to fill that rhd spot I would target Shattenkirk from St Louis. He only has one more year under contract until UFA status (this will make him cheaper to aquire). St Louis is in a cap crunch and may be looking for a shake up if they bomb in the playoffs again.

    At this point we would have

    Klef – Shattenkirk

    Nurse – Sekera

    Reinhart – Shultz

    Davidson

    I also believe we will not have a true number 1 Dman on either side until they develop but would be fine with 2 good second pairs and a good third pairing. As for who gets moved it would come from the forward group that has 7 top 6 forwards. I won’t guess which one as Chia is the guy that would know.