The Edmonton Oilers did not pass go, did not collect $200 and did not avoid a goalie controversy altogether. An afterthought trade for a distant bell in the BCJHL fetched the orange and blue their current starter. Is there a lesson here? Yes! Don’t get attached to the goalie. Ever


  • Hockey Draft Central: (Moog) Made
    headlines as a rookie in 1981 playoffs, when he led Edmonton to a first-round
    sweep of Montreal. He also was the goalie of record for the first NHL
    postseason win in Edmonton history, beating Canadiens 6-3 on April 8, 1981, in
    Montreal. Started all nine of Edmonton’s 1981 playoff games despite having
    entered postseason as the team’s backup goaltender. Source

I remember that series and recall thinking Edmonton had their goalie problem solved for the next decade and beyond. Glen Sather? He said screw that and invested the 1981 first-round pick on another goalie, Grant Fuhr. The Spruce Grove phenom came right to the NHL, and again I thought Edmonton was set and would not look back.

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  • Hockey Draft Central: (Fuhr was) demoted by Edmonton to Moncton (AHL) on Jan. 25, 1983,
    as a result of poor performance during his second NHL season in 1982-83. He
    was not recalled to Edmonton until mid-February 1983. Source

And on it went through the decade, with Billy Ranford writing a big part of the story, too. Goalies are voodoo, and for Edmonton fans this year attaching yourself to any of these guys is folly. Here’s how I see things this morning:

  • Anders Nilsson: De facto starter until further notice, he’ll need to have a terrible outing to lose the crease in my opinion. He’s a lesson to NHL teams, too. Unless Carey Price is available, chances are there’s a reasonable goalie swaying in the wind somewhere and available for a single Coughlin.
  • Cam Talbot: As long as Peter Chiarelli is GM, his bets are going to get a full chance to show their quality. I’m not complaining, that’s the way we would all handle it. Talbot was fine early, but as Jamie McLellan said on the Nielson & Fraser show the other morning, things seem to have gone sideways since that late goal allowed against the Flames. He’ll get his confidence back, and I’d still bet on Talbot playing more games than anyone this season in the Edmonton net.
  • Laurent Brossoit: He’s an actual house on fire in the nets currently, brilliant performances stacked neatly in the corner of the Condors story this season. His save percentages from the last five AHL games are .970, .974, 1.000, .952 and. 979. During November, he is 5GP, .98 and .970. Lordy.

Earlier this season, Todd McLellan said something like ‘we don’t care who plays, we just want to win’ and that goes double for the goalies. There’s a job there, and three candidates on the horizon. Who wants it? We’ll see. Don’t get attached though, this is a transaction in progress.

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    • CapeBretonOilers

      MacT is was like a high event offensive d-man Made one incredibly awful move for every really good one.

      getting perron
      Drafting Nurse of Nikuskin
      Drafting Leon over Bennet
      Signing Pouliot
      Broissiot Trade

      Petry non-signing
      Petry trade
      Trading perron
      Dubnyk situation

      Not sure:

      I’m sure there were more…

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        never said he’s Vezina material, but we’ve already gotten good value from this guy in the sense that he’s played 9 games so far and has been decent and has already apparently taken over as the Oilers #1 goalie while Liam Coughlin is already 21 and just starting his college career. i’d say we have won this deal hands down so far, wouldn’t you?

        • CapeBretonOilers

          Sure. I don’t even know who Coughlin is (sounds familiar though) , looks like we won the trade AND the move of sending Scrivy down, that looked like a gutsy move and it’s paid off.
          I just want us to be realistic too, we tend to get overexcited and I’m determined to only get excited when we are a 0.500 team

        • srelio

          Yep we won it but it also wouldve been a hard deal to loose considering Nilsson had a shaky record in the Ahl and Nhl and there was no way he would come back unless a Nhl job was open. Chicago was never gonna get much for him and didnt have an open spot for him in their line up. The real win here was Chia/scouting identifying Nilsson as an option in the first place.

  • Oilerz4life

    So you’re saying we traded a 2nd, 3rd and a 7th for one year of a backup goalie?

    Props to everyone who said, just sign one of the many free agents!

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      and Talbot is a UFA after this year is he not? that’s a high price to pay for one year of a back up as you put it. think about it for a sec. #16, and #33 for Reinhart, who may just end up being a bottom pairing d-man, albiet a good one, and #57, #79 and #86 for Talbot, who could walk after this season as a UFA if the Oilers go with Nilsson and Brossoit next season.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        Lol yup. That’s why I said 1 year of a backup goalie. That 2nd round pick could’ve been Kylington, and I really like him as a prospect

        But if we can be revisionists here, our other 2 picks could’ve been Barzal and Carlo instead of Reinhart and I really like both those guys too.

    • D

      The chances of those magic bullits being transformed into anything of substance with an NHL team is low. I don’t know the actual percentages. With the Oilers I am sure it is a lot less. In the end you may be lucky to garner a Brandon Davidson from that in 5 years. Whoopy.

      Talbot will play fourty games this year, that’s what what we need, not 5 years from now.

  • Here ,here………hard to argue with your logic. I would like to have a tandem as we did in the glory days…….mainly due to injures but also due to poor play. I really thought that adding Talbot was a sure fire solution. My bad!

    This rationale should also apply to centres…… my mind you cannot have enough of them and moving them to wings is a great way to have four or five in your lineup………for obvious reasons.

    Davidson in my mind has been the biggest surprise and Griffin Rienhart has not overly impressed………he seems to be caught watching the play and not participating pro-actively.

  • I’d say sign both Talbot and Nilsson at the end of the year, or sign one of them and bring in someone else – don’t hand Brossoit anything, even a backup job. Wait until he comes into camp one year and shows that they can’t send him down.

    Although right now it looks like he’s pushing to be called up.

  • CapeBretonOilers

    I still think Talbot will be the #1 .. Can you imagine the pressure he must feel ? I think he will be just fine with 1 more #1 or 2 D man in front of him !! He had a little rocky start in New York don’t forget !

  • CapeBretonOilers

    Off topic: Taylor Hall 4th in league scoring an a line with a Leon (rookie)& Teddy (slow feet). Also some guy name Leon is 1st in PPG in the entire Fing NHL!!

  • CapeBretonOilers

    At some point if LB keeps playing like this the Oilers are going to have to give him a shot. Nilsson’s been good, but not so good that you wouldn’t consider alternatives.

  • Strange Tamer

    The Smid for Brossoit was one of a couple of good moves in a forest of blunders. Any fan of the Oil does not need to be reminded that a prudent fan never falls in love with ANY player. After the roster was cynically denuded after Coffey, Gretzky et al were sold for cash you know changes will eventually arrive. All we can hope for is that this team catches lightning in a bottle before the toilet gets flushed again just like the era post-1990.

    The problem now may not be organizational incompetence but holding on to key talent in a salary-cap world and a weakened cuurency. Read Connor McD. and friends into that statement.

  • Strange Tamer

    the only way you keep those 3 centers happy with playing time is to put drai on the wing then eberle or yak becomes expendable .i do worry about the cap in a few years so stop trading draft choice as we will need those elc or we become the bruins giving away Boychuk Lucic etc i hope chia learned from that .

    • camdog

      Couldn’t agree more! That’s why the talbot and Reinhart trades stung me. We could’ve had 3 very good prospects and we didn’t get any impactful players in return. Barzal could’ve been a cheap replacement for Eberle on the RW in a couple years, Plus we could’ve grabbed 2 very good defense prospects in Carlo and Kylington

      I don’t wanna turn into the pens

      • D

        “Could’ve” is the operative word. The reality is that the likelihood of any of those draft positions making an impact in the NHL are much lower than Reinhart’s chances. IMO the Reinhart trade was a good strategic move, obtaining a defenceman further along in his development and also considered a high prospect. All prospects are a gamble, but Reinhart was less of one versus those draft picks.

        All prospects are over hyped at the age of 18 as they are full of “potential”. That view changes pretty quick after a couple of years when they’re not in the NHL yet and a whole new crop of 18/19 year old prospects are coming behind them.

      • fran huckzky

        You state that Talbot and Reinhart will not have an impact on Oils future.You are speculating just as mgmt. was and I like their chances oof success more than yours.

      • Jay (not J)

        Stuff your prospects where it don’t shine..we have had 9 YEARS of prospects and where has that gone….PC is trying to deal for the now thank god ,not another 9 years from now.

  • S cottV

    McD, Leon, and Nurse are going to be real dominant players within 3 years.

    Possibly the best one two punch in the NHL at centre.

    Nurse – a true top pairing defender.

    Sure – we need tangible progress in the meantime, but when those 3 are really ready to rock n roll – as young but hardened veterans, Oilers need to have it all pulled together.

    Nurse will need a complimentary top pair – partner and it may take awhile to have something shake loose that makes sense. Ideally – another up and comer like Seth Jones who will peak at the same time.

    A top end veteran d man would be nice but it’s unlikely to be a great fit re availability, cap hit, trade hit and optimal timing to peak at the right time.

    We all maybe thought or hoped that this was all gonna come together with Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak and Shultz as center pieces.

    May turn out that all but maybe 2 of these guys will be around for the real push, as the others will be needed for trades to get the back end in line, to get bigger and to get harder to play against.

    My guess – Hall stays for sure.

    Until the back end gets addressed and it may take awhile – we will never know exactly what we have in net.

    • Rem99

      An NHL team sharing a WHL goalie coach is NOT how it’s supposed to be. We definitely need our own proven, NHL caliber goalie coach. As an after thought, who is the Condor’s goalie coach?

  • Rem99

    For all the people simply saying Chia to trade this piece or that piece to get a top 2 defenceman need some perspective on how incredibly difficult that is. Suggest go back and read Jonathan Willis blog on “What Chirelli summer work says about the Defence market”. Great piece on how difficult it is to fix Edm’s defensive issues – no silver bullet here folks. Let’s quit pointing the finger and let current management see what we have this year and make the right decision when a few defenceman come off the books – same with our goalie situation, have a feeling this competition will be good for Talbot not giving up on him yet.

  • lucky

    Huge fan of LB as an Oil King and very pleased to have snatched him out of Calgary’s grasp. Please leave him in AHL until this defence matures or is otherwise shored up.

  • Mooseroni

    Growing g up I always thought Edmonton had the best tenders….fuhr, ranford, cujo, conks, salo…and then it’s all kind of fuzzy after that…..streaky tenders since the lockout in 05 ( except roloson )

  • Soiled Trousers

    That was a sweet win last night. I feel like the Oilers could go on a real run this road trip. The though of being interested in Oilers games come January is fantastic.

  • Harry2

    I dont understand the Reinhart hate. The guy has played leas than 20 NHL games. Good lord people give him a little bit of slack.

    Hes playing resonable minutes on the third pairing. MacLellan is a damn good coach too. Hes being developed properly. Not so mention Edm is still a felatively weak defensive team. Theyre getting much better but still a work in progress.

    Relax on the Reinhart hate train. I have a feeling hes going to be a very solid reliable top 4 dman.

  • Harry2

    If we trade through Carolina to get Hamonic……… Eklund is speculating, it better not be Eberle that is going out!!

    The most I would be willing to part with is Yaks. I really hope PC is not that stupid.