McLellan points out harsh truth


Todd McLellan laid out the future of some of his players very clearly this morning. We will find out if they are listening.

McLellan isn’t afraid to challenge his players, but he often challenges the group rather than one individual.

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When asked about motivation for his players down the stretch he didn’t mince his words.

“I think there’s too many guys in that room
who have way too much to play for to decide to take a few nights off,” he began. “That starts with free agents, it starts with unrestricted free agents, it
starts with players who are coming back and battling for positional status,” said McLellan.

He then mentioned Jordan Oesterle as possibly being next year’s version of Brandon Davidson. A player who exceeded expectations and took icetime away from other players.

McLellan continued to voice his opinion.

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“So to get comfortable and say ‘I’m just
going to go into my spot here in Edmonton’, I think would be a grave mistake by
many of our players, including the very upper end guys.

“I did a study the other day, went back and
looked at Edmonton’s roster from last year. If (a player is thinking),
‘If it’s not in Edmonton it’s going to be somewhere else,’ I’d go do that
homework. Because for a lot of them it wasn’t somewhere else, it was nowhere.

“We’re in the 28th to 30th place range and
those players aren’t quite as desirable as the Stanley Cup champions,” said McLellan.

A nice dose of reality from McLellan.

David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year. The rest are either on non-playoff teams — Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Ben Scrivens — or not in the NHL — Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie, Jesse Joensuu and Viktor Fasth.

If any players are “playing out the season,” they should listen to their head coach. 

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Many have asked about Yakupov leaving the ice at the practice this morning. It never happened. Today was an optional skate. Some players were on the ice and others weren’t.

Something did occur at practice on Saturday morning, and I believe this is what fans are referring to, but they have their days mixed up. I wasn’t at the morning skate, but through multiple sources this is what occurred.

When the two PP groups were announced Yakupov wasn’t on either. Then while the units practised in the  offensive zone all the players stood at the blueline watching, even those who weren’t on the units. Yakupov did not. He skated over to the bench and stayed away from the group for a short time. He likely was frustrated, and I can understand why. He believes he can contribute and would like to be on the PP.

Yakupov is allowed to be frustrated, but I’m sure if he could do it over he would have bit his lip and stayed in the group with his teammates. Yakupov never left the ice. That is a very different story.

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Some will consider it an issue while others won’t. Players get frustrated all the time, it happens, but usually it occurs behind closed doors.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

  • 916oiler

    Even before this came out, Yak was not part of the solution. He had a chance this year, his last chance, and he hasn’t shown he can contribute.

    Love the kid and his enthusiasm, but let’s get what we can for him and move on.

  • 99 NOW 97

    Hey Nail ! You are frustrated Comrade ? Really , wow , we need to go for a couple Vodka’s and talk about frustration.

    Seriously Man , dont give me that shiiit. Learn to be multi dimensional.

    Hey there is this thing called Tapp Car now – Use it. Good guy Yak but way
    over rated. Prove me wrong.

    Sorry, its the truth

  • MorningOwl

    OK, let’s answer the question once and for all…


    Who should the Oilers have drafted?


    Tyler__48 playoff games, 21 playoff points, went to game six of the cup final


    Taylor__0 playoff games, 0 playoff points

    “Trash it” = Taylor

    “Cheers” = Tyler

    • i like the implication here that everything else in their careers is entirely equal. That they both had guys like Zdeno Chara on their team. They both benefited from the goaltending of Tim Thomas and Tukka Rask. That they both played on teams with a guy like Patrice Bergeron. You know. Everything those 2 players have experienced in their careers so far is identical.

      • Seanaconda

        Also sequin was just along for the ride on the bruins playoff run. He had one great game and didn’t do much of anything else. It’s not halls fault he actually had to go to a 30th place team while the bruins drafted sequin with Torontos pick while they were contenders.

        • pkam

          Seguin has two people he should thank for his fortunate career.

          1st, Brian Burke. Just imagine if the Leafs had not traded their pick and Seguin was drafted by the Leafs.

          2nd, Steve Tambellini. Didn’t Chia offer that pick for Eberle and Tambo turned it down? And then the Oilers picked Hall instead of him. Just imagine Seguin was drafted by the Oilers.

          • Seanaconda

            I remember chia really wanted hall. But there
            were probably Eberle rumours at the time too. That would of been right after his crazy world juniors wouldn’t it?

          • pkam

            I dare to say all 30 GMs would draft Hall if they had the 1st overall pick. Only some idiots now will argue about that.

            I don’t even know that Chia did offer the 2nd overall pick for Eberle until I heard that rumor in this forum last year. If that rumor is true, you know Chia is not that high on Seguin.

  • oilredemption

    Can’t figure out why they don’t want to use yaks shot? He’s not perfect and he isn’t always accurate but at least he can shoot the damn puck… I haven’t once this year seen an attempt to use it and I just wondering why at this point when everything is failing you don’t say “hey let’s experiment with his 1 timer”. You can’t pass the puck into the net. So to have 3 perimeter passers, 1 soft but accurate wrister and 1 half slapper working the pp it just isn’t a recipe for success. Successful powerplays consist of 1 net front player, 1 goal line puck retriever, 1 perimeter Passer (QB), 1 bomb (commonly a dman,oilers lack this of course) and 1 option (floater in the middle but can vary on team, commonly another net front player but can be a Passer too). That’s why it think you have Eberle working the left half wall, yak as the bomb on the right, McDavid on goal line, maroon in front and sekera on the point to use for coverage and a possible shot. Pp#2 use Clendening as the bomb/1timer, drasitial as the floater, hall on the right half wall as QB/perimeter Passer, kassian as net front and letestu/korspe as either goal line puck retriever or have pak as the cross crease 1 time too.

  • MorningOwl

    and this guy i believe has demonstrated he is not afraid to pull the trigger on huge moves and star players. he will not hesitate to make moves to correctify the problem.

    I actually expect the Oil to be significantly better next year.

  • Total Points

    Oiler fans and management over value all their players.

    Purcell was healthy scratch tonight, Schultz plays 3rd pairing (management valuation), Petry plays 2nd or 3rd pairing. As JG stated in his column many players from last year are not in the NHL anymore, Derek Roy for one..

    Yak is also over rated and should be let go and let some other fans get frustrated, probably Russians.

    I talk to a lot of fans that cheer for other teams and they just laugh at the Oiler fans that think that Yak is an NHL player.

    Remember when his agent came in after Yak complained about his ice time, Yzerman would have send him packing at that time.

    • .

      I don’t think you’ll find too many fans valuing Petry and Schultz higher than the Habs and Pens have–Schultz was addition by subtraction and no significant number of Oiler fans think that Petry’s contract with Montreal is worth the cap hit/ cost. And if you can count more than 5 Purcell Jerseys in one gathering, you’re at a Purcell family reunion, not a hockey game.

      If Yak is over-rated, it’s by a minority of Yak-fans. How do you over-rate a 1st pick over all who scores 5 goals in 60 games and plays on the 4th line?

      Again, only friends and family members over rate Yak.

  • hags437

    Sorry everyone (well most of you) but I’m sick of the whining over moving Yak. Face reality…the kid is more Patrick Stefan than Patrick Kane. Get over it

  • KACaribou

    A supernova is a rare astronomical event that occurs during the last stellar evolutionary stages of a massive star’s life, whose dramatic and catastrophic destruction is marked by one final titanic explosion.

    For a short time, this causes the sudden appearance of a ‘new’ bright star, before slowly fading from sight over several weeks or months.

  • Oil City Roller

    Fail Stankapov has always been playing these bull jive games. Having his agent talk about trades, the KHL, complaining about ice time. The Oilers can’t 86 this guy fast enough. Fact is, TMac was talking directly about Yak. He is a first overall bust and a fourth line player on the worst team in the NHL. Yak is going to find out real quick just how valuable he is to a good team.

  • .

    @JasonGegor wrote

    “David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year.

    Really? Was Jultz on last year’s roster? What about Purcell? Or Matt Fraser?

    • Jason Gregor

      Schultz and Purcell were on the team this year. We are talking about players who were on team last year but aren’t this year. Scrivens never played a game for Oilers this year so he was included.

      McLellan was referring to players not being motivated down the stretch. So the correlation is players who are here NOW might not be next year.

      And Matt Fraser was listed right behind Roy.

      I didn’t include Klinkhammer or Hunt or others who are still in the organization. Seemed pretty clear. You misinterpreted it and missed Fraser’s name.

      • .

        @Gregor wrote: “David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year.”

        Gregor, try again.

        I didn’t miss Fraser’s name; it’s not even in the sentence you wrote (above). The fact is, your sentence is false, plainly and simply false. Clearly, there are players from last year’s Oiler roster who are on a playoff team this year, contrary to what you wrote.

        Combining sloppy writing with an inability to acknowledge the problem doesn’t make your claim correct.

        • Jason Gregor

          Matt Fraser is not on a playoff team. He isn’t even in the NHL.

          Also read this slowly…

          “The rest are either on non-playoff teams — Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Ben Scrivens — or not in the NHL — Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie, Jesse Joensuu and Viktor Fasth.

          You can see the name after Derek Roy and before Andrew Miller.

          Feel free to keep complaining. You are showing all Nation readers your level of intellect.

          • .

            Claim: “David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year.”

            Fact-check Q: What teams do Teddy Purcell or Justin Schultz play for? (you see, both Teddy and Justin were on “last year’s Oiler roster”).

            It’s not that complicated. You are wrong in what you’ve written. Own it and move on, FFS.

            Pro tip: if you think that a reader who points out fact-free writing is complaining, then you’ve got a whole different set of problems around self-image.

          • Jason Gregor

            Schultz and Purcell were on this year’s team until a few weeks ago. Not hard to figure out when you read the context of McLellan talking about players on previous teams late in the season.

            But keep trying.

          • .

            Claim: “David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year.”

            Q: Who is “the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year”?

            a) David Perron

            b) Teddy Purcell

            c) Justin Schultz, or

            d) All of the above.

            If you said d) All of the above, you’re actually following along.

        • Seanaconda

          David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year. The rest are either on non-playoff teams — Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Ben Scrivens — or not in the NHL — Derek Roy,——> Matt Fraser,

    • Seanaconda

      Maybe he meant out of guys that were traded before playing a game for the oilers this year? Cuz I don’t think anyone he mentioned played a regular season game for the oilers this year. Weird wording if that’s what he meant tho.

      • .

        Sure, he coulda meant a dozen things. But what he actually said is completely wrong.

        Besides, what he’s even arguing? If Petry was traded to the Bruins or Kings instead of the Habs last year, he’d be on a playoff team this year, but not last year. So what? That’s not on an individual player.

        • Seanaconda

          I think he was trying to say something like the grass isn’t always greener on the other side for players. Like they shouldnt play to get traded or something? That’s what I would assume with the rest of the article being about todd wanting the players to keep playing hard.

          here is the quote from right before it so yeah.–>  guys.

          “I did a study the other day, went back and looked at Edmonton’s roster from last year. If (a player is thinking), ‘If it’s not in Edmonton it’s going to be somewhere else,’ I’d go do that homework. Because for a lot of them it wasn’t somewhere else, it was nowhere.

          • .

            Yeah, as I said he could be saying a dozen things, but what he says is simply wrong. Taking up one of the examples that he somehow misses, Schultz was arguably the worst player on the Oilers from last year and this year and he’s on a playoff team. So? It’s not like Schultz has any control over where he plays.

            To be clear, I’m not asking you to try and figure out what Gregor’s saying, I’m only saying that if he want to write an opinion piece that’s supported by facts, it be useful to use actual facts. Non-facts don’t tell us much except that’s he’s either a sloppy writer (unclear) or a poor researcher. Given that one can research this stuff with a google search, I have a hard time understanding how it’s simply poor writing.

          • Seanaconda

            I agree it was worded sloppily. But the way he chose to separate the players suits his argument better.

            Def biased to make his opinion work. But he should of been more clear on how he was making the list.

            It had to be on the roster last year but didn’t play a regular season game this year. I would of said traded before the season but scrivens was on it.

            I don’t believe Gregor would of forgotten about all the deadline deals that happened last month already. Guys paid to talk and write about hockey.

  • Lamar's Javelin

    Anyone remember when Nail said that he would either be in the NHL or KHL after his draft year? The Oil mgt bought into that posture from a not-yet-rookie and the mismanagement/coaching went from there. Now, it’s a situation that is a nuclear cluster-F and it has ruined him – he/they don’t trust he/they. It’s over and everyone knows it. He’ll be a 2nd wing RW elsewhere, as effective as Samsonov in 2 or 3 years once he gets his head straightened – and we’ll still be short a RW – or at least that’s what our prospect pool suggests. Yay.

        • hitchikerforajax

          If the Oilers keep Yakupov, he needs to be sent to the AHL, because he needs a lot of “seasoning”. He looks like he’s a boy playing against men. IMO, he’s in the same boat as Schultz. Why the Oilers ever picked him no.1, is beyond my comprehension.

          • shaner

            i have been the hardest guy on Yak, but “wondering why the oilers picked Yak” would make me the hugest hypocrite. I was firmly in the camp of “you have to take that guy, he is a 1 shot scorer”

            I was wrong, but I can’t fault them for taking him. I drank gallons of the kool-aid.

          • MGD

            I was so sure they were going to trade down for that draft; then, when they picked Yak, I was positive he’d never play for the Oilers, being traded for very needed D… After his rookie year, I thought I saw the reason for their madness, and were going to sell REALLY HIGH on the winner of the rookie scoring race.

            Now, I’m sure they’re going to keep him for one more year and let him walk at the end of his contract… blechh!

  • Oilerchild77

    What McLellan said is absolutely appropriate for this team. Personally, I think his message is mostly for the 6M dollar guys. He feels they have more to give and aren’t giving it. Of course the message was for everybody, but who are we kidding? You know he was talking about them. And rightly so, considering the check outs we’ve seen from them the last few years near the end of the season.

  • Poloismz

    I just don’t understand why there are people who defend yakupov, he has had plenty of chances with the core players to produce and grow as a player. He has failed at both, he is lazy and his hockey sense is horrible without the puck. His problem is that he thinks he is better than he actually shows. No one in the league celebrates goals like he does, he scores his 4th of the year but he makes it out to be the 50th. What a joke.

  • hagar

    Remember that “many faces of PC” article a while back? Just watching hockey central, and he has a new one!! “Kids first day back to school look!” He was sporting a nifty striped shirt with his backpack over one shoulder.

    It’s way funnier if you see it I promise.

  • 99 NOW 97

    Moderators – you should incorporate a skill testing question with the correct answer only permitting you to comment on this site.

    Seriously, it has become ChIlDiSh 🙂 , yes thats me , but it sucks having to
    scroll through the garbage in order to read good actual Hockey talk.

    Redirect those that fail back to Flames Nation.

    OK I am childish so what ! don’t send me to Flames Nation , i will be good.

  • Yak is clueless…. Nuff said, nobody can really disagree with that. Regardless of his natural skill or talent which we haven’t seen regardless of line mates (since a brief stretch in his rookie season), he isn’t able to learn and apply what any coach teaches. just watch him on each shift, he is completely lost most times, especially in the d-zone where you NEED to have a basic level of competency to be an NHL player.
    The other oilers TMac is calling out are also garbage in the d-zone, but that’s just because they don’t care enough to try (read 4, 14), not because they are incapable of learning basic hockey fundamentals.
    I say lose em all depending on return. Will be tough to replace halls point totals but if we can get a defenseman to help keep the pucks out of our net and provide some level of stability and leadership, it would be a tough deal to pass up.
    Nashville seems to get by ok without a hall-type player… We’ll see how much they beat us by tonight.

  • MorningOwl

    Todd McLellan angrily lays down the gauntlet:

    “anyone who not willing or able to earn his spot NOW, won’t have a spot on this team next season… they will be gone!

    23 hand shoot in the air accompanied by a chorus of “Pick me! pick me!”

  • Max

    Tough love. Shock tactics. I’ll back whatever it takes to get these players all on the same (correct) page, and if they can’t? well, we shall see who PC thinks will be an improvement on them. The clock is running down……………

  • Rheal1 "Ontario Oilers Fan"

    Who knows what is plaguing this team for the past 10 years…
    I’m still hopeful stability behind the bench will help going forward. Based on what I see as a trend, I’d be happily surprised if the Oilers have 90 pts after 70 games next season………………….

  • pkam


    If it is not in a playoff team then it is nowhere? If that has any truth to it, then the ex-Oilers are just moving from nowhere to nowhere in worst case scenario.

    Perron is definitely moving from nowhere to somewhere. If Price didn’t get hurt, Petry is also moving from nowhere to somewhere. So is Dubnyk.

    • Seanaconda

      I think the nowhere more referred to the players not in the nhl anymore. Because other non playoff teams are probably doing better than the oilers hahah.

      “Because for a lot of them it wasn’t somewhere else, it was nowhere.” I personally take somewhere else as all the players playing on diff teams.(including the bad teams) Nowhere as in not playing at all. And he mentioned perron specifically because he’s the only one playing on a successfull team this year

      • pkam

        This is quoted from the article:

        “David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year. The rest are either on non-playoff teams — Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Ben Scrivens — or not in the NHL — Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie, Jesse Joensuu and Viktor Fasth.”

        Basically JG separates the players into two groups, one group (David Perron) in the playoff team, and the rest in non-playoff teams or not in the NHL.

        • Seanaconda

          3 groups of varying success really. But the nowhere quote was from the paragraph above it. So the first two groups could still be considered “somewhere” and the third group would be the “nowhere”. Idk that’s just how I interpreted it but maybe Gregor can come back and clarify

          • pkam

            JG list David Perron in his first sentence. Then he uses the term ‘The rest’ in his second sentence. Yes, there are two groups in his second sentence, but both of them belong to ‘The rest’.

          • Jason Gregor

            Over analyzing. The rest refers to the other players who played for Edmonton last year but not this year.

            McLellan’s point was no player should think the grass is greener. Playoffs are only thing greener.

            McLellan suggested if their attitude is they aren’t the problem here but will be the solution elsewhere.

            No need to over analyze one or two words.

          • pkam

            I like TMac but his comment has little to no truth except the 1st paragraph.

            His message basically is ‘If the Oilers don’t want you, you are likely going nowhere.’

            Let’s ignore the AHL players like Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizzotto, and Keith Aulie, as they are on two way contracts, or signed mainly for our farm team.

            So the ones who are going somewhere are Perron, Petry, Marincin, Arcobello, Gordon, and Scrivens.

            Those who are not going anywhere are Roy, Fraser, Joensuu and Fasth. So out of ten players, only 4 are going nowhere. And we can argue that Fraser and Joensuu are borderline NHL players so they are lucky that they even had a chance to play in the NHL. Roy is on his decline due to his age. Fasth is a backup goalie in his NHL career.

            So out of ten players, 2 are lucky that they had a chance to play in NHL, one is on his decline due to his age. 6 are still in NHL. So the only one who is going nowhere is a backup goalie.

            This is the dose of reality you are talking about?

          • Oilerchild77

            I think McClellan was simply saying to his players that they better perform, or they might not get another contract after this one expires. And to the highly paid guys that they will be shipped out one way or another if they don’t start to consistently bust their rear ends for this organization.

          • pkam

            That is the 1st paragraph of his comment which I said is the exception in his comment that has some truth to it.

            And the fact is, even if you start to consistently bust your rear ends for this organization, there is no guarantee you will be back. What happened to Gordon and Acrobello? Didn’t they consistently put in their best effort for the organization?

            Who are the high ended guys we have? I count McDavid, Hall, Eberle, RNH, Drisaitl, Nurse, Klefbom, perhaps Yak. Do you think any of them will be going nowhere if the Oilers ship them out? I believe the only one in question is Yak, the rest will have no problem landing somewhere.

          • Oilerchild77

            With regard to Gordon and Arcobello: Gordon was paid $3M to be the fourth line center. That’s way too much for what he gives you, so that’s the reason he isn’t here. And Marc Arcobello? He’s an AHL player, pure and simple.

            TMac wasn’t necessarily referring to EVERY player that played here. But take a look, there’s going to be at least two more players on this current roster that probably won’t be back in the NHL, period. And if you’re following the team, you’ll know who they are.

  • hockey1099

    The yak lovers confuse the hell out of me. They blame the oilers organization for “ruining” him and yet want him to remain apart of the same organization. Is Next year the year the organization stops ruining him? Or is next year when he figures out how to defend and score in the nhl?

    Why would you want to see him remain on a team that sees him as a 3rd or 4th liner? The coach isn’t changing so I don’t see him moving up the line up.

    It’s plain to see that the organization has moved on from him. They aren’t even trying to “showcase” him.

    I think chia pet has figured out the best way to maximize his value is to play him on the forth line, maybe some gm is a “yak lover” who think he only needs Crosby or backstrom to centre him. The real way to add value to yak is by creating the what if factor. What if yak played with ________(fill in the blank)? Then he would be great. Maybe we get more than a bag of pucks that way. What we don’t want is gm’s realizing that he only scored 3 goals with 97. How many gm’s have a better centre option than mc Jesus?