Monday Musings: The Core

Core

The Oilers haven’t had a “core” for many years. They have three players who have been on the team five years: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and they were either sophomores or rookies in 2011/2012.

Let’s take a quick look at players who have been the staples on other western conference teams during the past five seasons, and compare them to the Oilers.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I’m looking at the past five seasons, since that is when RNH, Hall and Eberle played together for the first time. I’ve included each team’s point totals as well.

St.Louis Blues (230-110-36, 496 points): Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Alex Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenrirk and Brian Elliott. Patrick Berglund and Ryan Reaves have been there the entire time as well. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jay Bouwmeester arrived in 2012/2013. A solid foundation.

Chicago Blackhawks (222-108-46, 490 pts): Patrick
Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford have had them the perennial top dog in this time. Patrick Sharp was there until this season. Their main group consists of one goalie, three D-men, one centre and two wingers. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Anaheim Ducks (215-117-44, 474 points): Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry
and Cam Fowler. Andrew Cogliano has been there five years, while
Francois Beauchemin was there until this year. The Ducks have added a
lot of youth in the past three years, both their goalies, as well as
Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rickell. They are a
rarity, in they had only three top-end mainstays but have still managed
to be ultra competitive.

San Jose Sharks (205-130-41, 451 points): Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun. Couture is the youngest at 27 years old. They had skill and experience and it is no surprise the Sharks have been one of the top nine teams in the league during these five years.

Los Angeles Kings (201-126-49), 451 pts):

Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter (arrived during 2011/2012 season) have been their main guys for all five seasons. Alec Martinez, Matt Greene, Trevor Lewis, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford have also been regulars in this time span. Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards were there until the end of last season. If we just look at the first five they have a goalie, a D-man and three forwards.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Nashville Predators (190-133-53, 433 pts): Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, Colin Wilson and Pekka Rinne. The Preds have been looking for proven scorers for much of their history, and having acquired Ryan Johansen, James Neil and Filip Forsberg via trades they have now some solid scorers. They’ve been a solid team for years, but lacked the top-end forwards to compete with the five teams ahead of them in these rankings. 

Dallas Stars (195-142-39, 429 pts): Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski. The Stars have gone through many changes over the past five years. Vern Fiddler and Jordie Benn are the only other players who have been on the roster all five years. They made some great trades a few years ago acquiring Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza and that has kept them competitive. 

Vancouver Canucks (192-139-45, 429 pts): Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows, Chris Tanev, Alex Edler and Dan Hamhuis. The Canucks are starting to change over their roster. Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler moved on recently, and more changes are coming as they add youth. Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen have also been on the roster all five years.

Minnesota Wild (188-143-45, 421 pts): Miko Koivu, Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella are the only three for all five seasons. However, they did add Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin, Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker in 2012/2013. They’ve had these ten for four full seasons. 

Colorado Avalanche (187-152-37, 411 pts): Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Semyon Varlamov. Landeskog and Barrie were rookies. The Avs made the playoffs once in these five seasons, and they’ve overhauled much of their lineup, especially since Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic took over.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Winnipeg Jets (176-156-44, 396 pts): Dustin Byfuglien, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Toby Enstrom and Ondrej Pavelec. Andrew Ladd was there until this year’s trade deadline, so I’m inclined to include him as well. Mark Stuart has a complementary mainstay. The Jets have some solid players, but they are still looking for one or two elite players. They made the playoffs since returning to Winnipeg in 2011.

Calgary Flames (171-164-41, 383 pts): Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Matt Stajan and Mikael Backlund. The Flames offence has been recently bolstered by Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett, and despite having a solid D corps they’ve only made the postseason once in five years. 

Arizona Coyotes (159-164-53, 371 pts): Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Shane Doan, Mike Smith, Mikkel Boedker (dealt at deadline), Martin Hanzal. Michael Stone and Antoine Vermette. Vermette left for 19 regular season games and a Cup win with Chicago, but he re-signed with the Yotes. The Yotes have lacked an elite offensive player, but they have some good young skilled forwards now. They made the conference Finals in 2011/2012, but haven’t been back to the postseason since. 

Edmonton Oilers (135-193-48, 318 pts): Hall, Eberle and RNH. The Ducks are the only other team with only three main pieces on the roster, but Getzlaf and Perry had each won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal prior to the start of the 2011/2012 season. At the beginning of the 2011/2012 season they had a combined 880 games of NHL experience, while Hall, Eberle and RNH had 134. 

BALANCE AND EXPERIENCE

Balance

It is no surprise the successful team’s best players had experience among their core group and they weren’t all forwards. They had defence and solid goaltending.

Asking three young forwards to lead your team up the standings is the main reason the Oilers have been stuck in the basement, not to mention a revolving door of coaches.

I understand fans’ frustration with the Oilers. You are sick and tired of supporting a losing organization. You want results, and you deserve them, but I believe the “core is rotten” suggestions have no actual basis. This team had no semblance of continuity and nothing resembling a core. They had three young forwards who were given the task to save a franchise. It was a loser bet.

The Oilers roster today does have what I would call a workable core. Hall, Eberle and RNH now have 1,119 games of NHL experience. Cam Talbot enters his 4th season in the NHL and has almost 250 pro starts between the NHL and AHL. Connor McDavid is a phenom. He’ll be top-five best forwards in the NHL next year.

Andrej Sekera is a proven top-four D-man with 567 games under his belt. Oscar Klefbom, when healthy, is a legit top-four, and likely a top-pairing defender. You throw in some support players like Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Brandon Davidson and Darnell Nurse and they are least heading in the right direction.

There will be changes this summer, and if Peter Chiarelli is able to acquire a top-three defender, then one of one Hall, Eberle or RNH will be used to garner this type of defender.

Hall, RNH and Eberle are the three-longest serving Oilers, and that is a more accurate way to describe them, instead of insinuating they are the core. 

PARTING STATS…

BTW

Here is the list of the top-five players (GP) during these five years and their average age, to illustrate the level of experience for each group.

San Jose: Marleau, Pavelski, Thornton, Vlasic and Burns. 1816 games, average age 32.6.

Los Angeles: Brown, Kopitar, Doughty, Lewis and Clifford. (Quick dressed in almost the same amount of games as Clifford, but he didn’t play in all of them). 1786 games, average age 27.8.

Chicago: Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Keith, Toews, Kane. 1760 games, average age 29.

Vancouver: D. Sedin, H.Sedin, Hansen, Burrows and Hamhuis. 1710 games, average age 33.6.

St.Louis: Backes, Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Berglund and Reaves. 1702 games, average age 28.

Winnipeg: Wheeler, Byfuglien, Thorburn, Little and Stuart. 1696 games, average age 30.4.

Nashville: Weber, Smith, Josi, Wilson and Fisher. 1683 games, average age 28.4.

Anaheim: Cogliano, Getzlaf, Perry, Fowler and Lindholm. 1661 games. Average age 26.8.

Dallas: Fiddler, Goligoski, Benn, Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel. 1654 games, average age 28.,4.

Colorado: Cody McLeod, Landeskog, Duchene, Johnson and Barrie. 1616 games, average age 26.2.

Arizona: OEL, Doan, Chipchura, Vermette and Stone. 1603 games, average age 30.2.

Minnesota: Koivu, Spurgeon, Suter, Scandella and Coyle. 1491 games, average age 28.

Calgary: Brodie, Giordano, Stajan, Backlund and Monahan. 1474 games. Average age 27.4.

Edmonton: Eberle, Hall, RNH, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz (Anton Lander is 5th on the team among active players. 1465 games, average age 23.8

The Oilers were four years younger than every other group, except Colorado, who were on average 2 1/2 years older. 

They had no chance to compete.

ONE OF A KIND

kidneyFoundation

We’ve had some fun auction items on the show, but this signed Grapes suit is one of the best. All the proceeds go towards the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Don’s son Tim had a kidney transplant. We will auction this off today between 2-6 p.m. You can bid via text to 101260 or call 780.444.1260. 

Recently by Jason Gregor:  



  • dsanchez1973

    This is part of the reason I believe they should be careful about dumping Lander…it’s easy to forget he’s still one of the youngest players on a super young team. It’s also a very very good reason not to give up Fayne, no matter what some local columnists think about his gap control.

    • ubermiguel

      “Cheers” for your take on Fayne; he’s a solid unflashy NHL player. “Trash it” for your take on Lander; except for half a year in 2013-2014 he’s shown no ability to generate any offence at the NHL level. 3 points in 61 games this year?!? You’d have to be trying to not get points to get that few.

      • @Hallsy4

        I like the negativity!! TRADE THE MALL! I for one, would be pleased with a drastic turnover of players. Let the farewell press conferences begin! Can’t wait.

  • @Hallsy4

    Pretty ugly when Yak, Jultz and lander are on that last list. I agree with the article but I think ebs has seen his last game with the Oil, and I will not miss his lack of effort defensively at times. Nuge I believe will be dismissed as well. Good players but not the right mix for this team. The future looks great with Hall, McDavid, Talbot, Drai and Nurse, Davidson and Klef. Hard to stomach after 10 years of losing but things are looking up. Gregor, do you think there is any chance Klefbom gets moved?

  • Bubba Train

    Beautiful article! Sums it up nicely and another blog from a voice of reason.

    It also accentuates what type of trade targets are best. I say best as we can use a make us better today guy or two, but best is a competitive 22-24 year old who will stick for the longer term and peak with a championship team.

    Draft position #4 overall could get us a younger player who could become part of the core in a few seasons. Trade only if we can get a core type in return, otherwise it will be disappointing.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    the Avs had no problem trading Ryan O’Reilly and got a good return and managed to stay at least competitive so there’s no reason why the Oilers can’t trade Nuge or Ebs to address our needs as well and i’m all for it !

    • So you would be happy with a return of Nikita Zadorov, forwards Mikhail Grigorenko and J.T. Compher, and the No. 31 pick for one of those guys?

      Only Grigorenko played a full season this year and registered 27 points.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        i don’t recall saying that ! the Oilers needs are different aren’t they? we’re not dumping a big salary for kids and magic beans, are we? none of the big 3 will be traded unless we get a really good d-man back and preferably RD, correct?

    • Jason Gregor

      Good value?

      O’Reilly is one of the best two-way centres in the NHL. He is 25. He was 19th highest scoring C in NHL this year and he missed 11 games.

      Grigorenko had 6-21-27 in 74 games. Zadorov was sent to minors and only played 22 games.

      Jamie McGinn, who was also part of the trade TO Buffalo, had 22 goals and 39 points. He alone is better than Grigorenko right now.

      It was a horrible trade by the Avs.

      I’m all for the Oilers trading one or RNH or Eberle, but Chiarelli will not trade them for younger players. He will trade them for an established NHL player.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        apparently people missed the part where i said “there’s no reason why the Oilers can’t trade Nuge or Ebs to **address our needs**, as well and i’m all for it !” i in no way was suggesting the Oilers trade one of the big 3 for more kids and magic beans!!

      • The Last Big Bear

        “Zadorov was sent to the minors”.

        Way to just hand-wave away a 20 year old, 6’5″, 220lb offensive defenceman, a recent 1st rounder, who posted 29 points in 52 games in the AHL, following up a 15-points in 60 games rookie season in the NHL at 19 years old.

        And now after dominating at every level, from being nearly a point-per-game defenceman in the CHL, to 4 goals in 7 games at the World Juniors, Subway series appearances, to crushing it in the AHL, to playing 89 NHL games before he was even legal to drink, you dismiss him with a single sentence, because he spent part of a season in the American League at age 20.

        I’d take Zadorov over every Oilers defenceman except maybe Klefbom, and even that is a tough call. Zadorov has got top-pairing written all over him.

        • Jason Gregor

          I didn’t throw him away. I pointed out the situation.

          O’Reilly is a proven legit first line centre.

          Zadorov is not a guarantee. He might pan out, but he isn’t a regular NHL yet. Saying that is good value for #1 centre, like HardBoiled wrote, is incorrect.

          • The Last Big Bear

            I’d say a 6’5″ blue chip defenceman with realistic top-pairing upside is pretty good return for the negotiating rights to an unsigned pending free agent who is known to want out, which IIRC was O’Reilley’s situation.

          • Jason Gregor

            He was an RFA, not UFA. And top-pairing upside is best case scenario, and only a projection.

            Upside is not guarantee, which is what I wrote. O’Reilly is a guarantee, and the trade was easy win for Sabres. Zadorov will need to be really good to match O’Reilly.

          • Ned

            I’d say you’re way off base here and Gregor is bang on. O’Reilly was already a proven/established player at the time of the trade, Zadorov wasn’t and still isn’t. Like the old adage, a bird in the hand….. As I’m sure you’re well aware, many many highly touted prospects with so called “potential” never realize that potential. Colorado lost that trade heavily.

          • HardBoiledOil 1.0

            it’s easy to say they “may never realize their potential” when they haven’t yet. and the Avs might have lost it now but may have won it in the future.

          • HardBoiledOil 1.0

            but it is good value because these players all have bright futures and all were fairly high picks. just because they all haven’t shown much yet for the Avs doesn’t make it a bad trade and nobody is arguing whether or not the Sabres got the best player, but in the Oilers case we just haven’t been winning with the “big 3” whether fans think it’s their fault or not and one or more of them will not be flipped for just picks and beans, if we don’t get a good d-man out of the deal then there simply won’t be one.

  • OldOilerFan

    I agree with your article, it’s unfair what’s said about them. But one thing I don’t think is brought up enough is the salary cap – and that’s $18 million tied up in 3 players. I see potential in the players you mentioned but all their contracts are going to go up – especially McDavid. I see a core of players now coming together. But one if not two of the big three are gone only because we have to, no?

    • Jason Gregor

      Yes, they will need to trade one of them. I’ve always agreed with this, but my point was suggesting they need to be traded because “The Core” is rotten is simply incorrect.

      They were fed to the lions from the start of their career, and had no support.

      • @Hallsy4

        They may not be rotten, but I believe as a whole the best before date has past. I do not think this is a winning core, even if they were “surrounded by good players”. I can’t see ebs or yak, maybe nuge, on a championship team, unless they are supporting cast. Ebs seems like the type of guy you add as a rental at the deadline when you need more scoring. I still have hope for Nuge, but I’d prefer if he was dismissed as well! It’s rotten to the core! TRADE THE MALL

    • The Whispererer

      I share your concern about the salary cap. That is why it makes much more sense for the Oilers to trade for defensive upgrades rather than chasing (and overpaying) UFA’s.

      Talking about Cap Hell though, i note that the top 9 salaries on the Blackhawks signed for next year total over $54 million. That doesn’t even include Shaw, Panarin, Ladd or Teravainen.

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    The only caution that comes to my mind is how good our 23.8 year old core will be once they reach 27-28 as opposed to where those 30 year-old’s will be at 34 should we trade for them.

  • Spydyr

    (Anton Lander is 5th on the team among active players). This says everything you need to know about the Oilers “Braintrust” and their player evaluations.

  • madjam

    Chia was bought in to help fix the group around the core to help them get to next level , not start ripping them apart like he did in Boston and failed . If he deals Hall,Eberle or Hopkins , and results stay negative , then I would think Chia will be gone by January .

    • @Hallsy4

      I can’t see it, but if the results do stay negative I would be pleased to see him dismissed as well as TMAC and his little sidekick Woodcraft. For now though, In Chia Pete we trust. Let’s hope he can pull the strings on the sh!t puppets.

      • madjam

        Chia hasn’t exactly enamoured himself in creating much of a support group in Reinhart , Korpikosi and Letestue at a fairly steep price . Kassian is questionable as well . Clendening and Pardy are not much either . Only one trending well and small sample only is Maroon .

        • McRaj

          madjam…Did you start a petition yet to keep the core together? Let’s not trade Eberle because he is our only right shooting proven top 6 winger (valid point). Let’s not trade Nuge because you can never have too many centers (another valid point).
          Let’s not trade Hall because, well you have never given a reason to not trade him but I’ll give one in that he pushes the river on his own line (also a valid point).

          So who should we trade to improve this team? Please do keep salary cap implications in mind and that those 3 make $18 million between them (Or 25% of the Cap).

          • madjam

            That’s right , and 4th line (over 6M) makes more than Hall.Eberle or Hopkins . That’s an expensive 4th line more than any other club and still is one of the worst in league .

          • McRaj

            Because of one player and his name is Korpi. Letestu and Hendricks are 2 great players for a fourth line, just need an inexpensive third.

            But can you please answer my question on how we can get the right defenseman to help out this amazing core. And how we can afford all of these player’s as soon as next year (Drai’s 2nd contract) or for sure the year after (McDavid’s 9 Million + contract).

          • madjam

            Bridge contracts on either or both of Draisaitl and McDavid would hold them each an additional two years for starters . Cap goes up in that time I suspect . Chia missed out on his A- grade R.Defenseman for now , but certainly a top 3-4 defenseman or two if he chooses could probably be had in Vatanen and Demurs at a decent price not having to gut main core at this time or even next year . We also have an abundance of L . Defenseman to aid in a top defender , be it leftie or rightie . An overpriced 4 th line could also be used in trade and several others more easily replaced , not to mention the farm or even draft choices seeing as we have 3 in third round this year alone . We have a multiple choices beyond having to rip the core apart this year or even next .

          • fran huckzky

            Please enlighten us about the dressing room needing a shake up.How many times during a game or practice have you been in there to observe what is going on?????

          • Total Points

            Toews and Kane make 21M for 2 players. Cant invest that much in 2 players

            The Hawks will not win a cup in the foreseeable future due to bad cap management.

          • McRaj

            The Hawks have won 3 Cups in 6 years. Give me 3 cups in 6 years and a Perennial Playoff team for 10-15 years (counting past and foreseeable future) and I could care less about cap management. We haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years yet need to start thinking of managing cap space, see the differences?

        • @Hallsy4

          Agreed. Talbot was a great acquisition, but I think anyone could have pulled that one off. It seemed like everyone knew Talbot was ready to be a starter and NY moved him. I am glad Chia got it done but I don’t believe that was a difficult deal to make. Maroon looks like a steal. Korp Reinhart and Letestu I agree were misses. Getting rid of Jultz is a huge plus. Best trade of the year, and I wish one day we could understand why it took so long. I don’t beleive they really tried to win this season… and this summer Chia is on the hotseat. Get to work Chi PET!

          • RJ

            Kassian was great in a small sample size, but once the emotion and adrenaline wore off, he struggled with consistency. This applied to Nurse as well.

            I wonder how much of Maroon’s elite play is sustainable over the long-term. It would be a great find if he can keep it up, but the Ducks are paying him a quarter of his salary to be an Oiler. We shouldn’t forget that.

        • JimmyV1965

          Sometimes I think half the posters on this site are insane. That or they are 12 years old. The GM hasn’t fixed 10 years of problems in 12 months so he must totally suck. My question to you. Are you insane or 12 years old?

          • McRaj

            Madjam I think is a troll. In his last two posts he contradicted himself, first saying don’t gut the core then saying gut the core properly. He thinks that Demers can be had cheap (will cost $5M) and that vatanen can be had for yakupov and a 7th round pick. On top of that he thinks that McDavid will get a bridge contract. And doesn’t seem to understand that we already have 2 top 4 LEFT SHOT D men in Klefbom and Sekera but what we need is right shot. Thankfully more Oilers fans cheer for the crest on the front instead of the name on the back.

          • madjam

            The two of you want to trumpet the minimal to abysmal job Chia has done in getting us a support group below our core feel free to do so . Just take a look at Oilers site and the players surrounding our main core and it’s blatantly obvious why little if any progress has been made with our club . We can go back to Schultz fiasco and lack of buyouts as well . You should expect progress not to digress . You do not rip a core apart until you have a decent support group around them to judge them , or you just digress and push the major problem around . That’s not trolling , that’s the acceptance of the reality of where we are at . Keep the major core together until they make a decent support cast around them should be our first priority .If they don’t then it would not matter if we had Toews and Kane , we,d still be in the basement with our support cast . If your so smart expand your horizons , and think how they can do this (better support group) without gutting the major core , or is that beyond your understanding and comprehension ?

          • Jason Gregor

            Chiarelli has signed or acquired the following:

            Talbot, Sekera, Maroon, Kassian, Gryba, Letestu, Korpikoski and Reinhart.

            Talbot was very good. Sekera solid. Gryba played very well. Maroon, small sample size, was excellent.

            Kassian added a missing element, and if re-signed at $1.3-$1.5 mill he’s fine. Letestu produced more than Gordon and same cost. Korp had tough year. Reinhart still waiting to see what he becomes, just like the picks he was traded for.

            Getting a bonafide starter a solid Dman, and some much needed size in lineup. Not sure what you expected him to do in one season.

          • madjam

            My view of Chia is different , and if MacT. were still GM and made those moves only to barely finish 29th everyone would probably be out after him . Our view on Defence is quite different , so I’ll explain my view and let you and others decide if it is safest , best and likely cheapest way to go without sacrificing any of top 3 . I’ll start off by saying Oilers and Chia probably have a deal for Vatanen for Yak and Pouliot . Not fond of losing Pouliot , but Chia traded him away in Boston as well I believe .

            That then gives us 3 good defenseman in Klefbom , Sekara and Vatanen in the fold . Demers or Gologoski would service much the same without loss of personnel just for example only . We add another 1 or 2 UFA’s that only cost us money , can be either side giving us 4-5 good ones . Many useful UFA’s on market from young to older veterans , as long as we can get 2 years good service out of them while Nurse , Reinhart , Davidson or Oesterle advance in their play . Secondly we draft an offensive defenseman in Chychrun, Juolevi or third choice Sergachev with our first pick . We might even consider moving up and still do that . That gives them 1-2 years to develop that offensive defenseman . Team Canada’s defence at Worlds seems weak because of lack of big name defenseman , yet it is doing very well/effective up till now . We do not need to sacrifice our top 3 now in order to get a much better defence than we have now to be honest . A quick fix for a number 1 should not be necessary/adviseable at this time .

          • McRaj

            You cannot compare Canada’s D at the World’s when they are facing borderline AHL competition. Look at what just happened today, the D and talbot got slapped by Finland (one of the couple good teams at this tournament).

            Look at the past 10 cup champions and who the #1 D was

            16 – Either Letang, Hedman, Pietro, or Burns
            15 – Keith
            14 – Doughty
            13 – Keith
            12 – Doughty
            11 – Chara
            10 – Keith
            09 – Gonchar
            08 – Lidstrom
            07 – Pronger or Neidy

            Oilers NEED a top pairing D.

    • Smuckers

      If that did happen and I don’t think it would, let’s hope they dump MacT and Howson as well. I stop watching hockey altogether if MacT was reinstated as GM… or just as bad, Interim GM.

      • @Hallsy4

        Could you Imagine. Lol, they’ve pulled moves like that before. I can’t believe the nerve it took to re-hire Mac T as GM a couple years after he was dismissed as coach. It’s unbelievable, haha now why did you have to bring that up.

  • camdog

    The “Core” is a horribly misunderstood term in Edmonton a term that a former GM had Justin Schultz a member of. In Edmonton “Core” means young players that “fingers crossed” turn into the building blocks of the team aka putting the “Cart before the Horse”.

  • daryl

    Here is what you missed the was no D to get them the puck and out of our end they played defense far too often if we stopped at Yak and took a dman we would be much better now we have to trade for a #1 because it take too long for them to develop.

  • Total Points

    Great Article

    I have been saying for years the Core is too young. We expected 19, 20, 21 year olds to get to the playoffs. Insane

    Time to add veterans to the lineup

  • Oiler Al

    Have to question how far the team can go with
    McMillan and Woodcroft at the helm.???

    Yes, there are holes in the lineup, but the guys that are there are not playing to their full potential.

    When you have a passive coach, you have passive playing. Todd’s got the talk but not the walk.

    PS; Hall isn’t playing to badly with McDavid in the Worlds. Different coach.!!!

  • camdog

    O’Reilly may also end up being one of the better players in the NHL with a criminal record – lot’s of things going on here, things that nobody is privy too…

  • madjam

    It’s time to gut the core properly this time rather than wallowing in the basement with Chia, MacT ., Howson and Green pulling the strings . Shake my head everyday figuring how it is possible they could have McDavid and fall further into the basement of league even with Talbot . They are doing a better job of destroying a team here than building one .

  • OilBlood

    Hall for Justin Faulk.

    Fan boys may think that’s an overpay but Eberle and a second does not get you Faulk.

    And Nuge couldn’t even get us Seth Jones who may one day turn into a #1 so people thinking of trading him for Faulk can keep dreaming.

    Yes Hall is great but he also has the most value and at the least important position.

    You have to give to get in this league.

  • Explicit

    Agree to agree but also disagree? Hall and company never had a chance to succeed. True fact. But I think Gregor is in the ‘trade the pick’ boat and I can’t get behind that.

    Trading away your high draft picks to bolster your depth for a cup run is usually a losing bet. Trading a high pick just because you’re desperate to improve a bottom feeder team is guaranteed to be a losing bet.

    If it’s me, you never trade a first round pick unless you’re cup window is open. These guys can’t even come close to the playoffs so why would you trade away a high first round pick to help improve the team? They’re not worth trying to improve. Keep building from the draft!

    • camdog

      Hall and company is exactly what the rebuild was about and he can’t do it on his own. I’m still have trouble evaluating RnH’s game as a centre. The analytics being used to state he is a first line centre were being used to state that Gagner was a second line centre. It shouldn’t be forgotten that these same bloggers were not long ago campaigning for Gagner to be team captain. RnH has flat-lined at centre the past few seasons, much like Gagner and Cogliano. Ideally RnH and LD split time between centre and the wing this season, depending on circumstance. RnH may still end up being a better fit on the wing on a winning team than as a centre.

      Reality is the Oilers can’t go into next season with McDavid, RnH and LD scheduled in as there top 3 centers. The team still needs a veteran centre with some skill that can win faceoffs, play powerplay and penalty kill. If the Oilers trade one of their skilled centres they will still need one centre to fill the void but the centre will need to be able to bring more. Letestu has a place on this team next season, but if he’s working 2 minutes a night on the powerplay this team is not a playoff team.

      It wasn’t long ago Gregor – went on a rant when RnH was centring the third line and he’s right RnH should not be centring the third line, but the Oiler need somebody else on this roster to fill that position. The third line center role right now is the second biggest hole on the team right now behind finding a stud on right defence, hopefully we get that centre this off season.

  • McRaj

    LOL It is impossible to acquire a top pairing D man without giving up quality. You seem to think that PC can magically land one. This team will not improve without a top pairing D man, to acquire that player, you have to trade 1 of the precious 3. Also, I find it funny how you don’t think the team is going to be in any kind of cap issue. If you look at my comments in the past, I have given many suggestions on how to improve the team but you will not agree with them since you absolutely refuse to move even a single one of the precious three.

    • madjam

      Canada’s defence in Worlds is not made up of very big names , yet they have done well despite that . You claim/assume Klefbom and Sekara are not top pairing material . It does not have to be a top 1 defenseman for the club to improve a lot defensively , but you can not seem to fathom that . Your idea is to throw your best payers via trade at the problem to get your idea of whom would be the NBR. 1 required , ignoring the hole(s) it might create . No I do not agree with your version and for good reason . Guaranteed your not changing my mind .

      • McRaj

        Look at the competition that Canada is facing. How many NHL players are they facing on a nightly basis? Look at the roster the US took over to the World’s. Are you telling me that some combination of Mcdavid/Hall/Drai/Nuge is not good enough to carry the top six without Eberle. Maybe you should look at Chicago or LA or Pitts or so many other teams and look at how many “elite offensive” players they have in their top 6. If we had only McDavid left after making a trade of Eberle or Nuge, I could understand you saying we are creating holes. Madjam, you cannot build a winning team this way. When was the last time a team won the cup without a true #1 D-Man?

        You’re right, I am not changing your mind because you have a stubborn opinion and refusal to trade any of Hall, Ebs, or Nuge. Once PC trades one of them this offseason, I will be waiting to see your reaction.

    • Jason Gregor

      I’ve said for months I would trade RNH or Eberle in the right deal. Never once said don’t trade them.

      I said the suggestions the core is rotten are misguided and incorrect. They are good players. The reason the Oilers are terrible is not on those three. Of course, they could have been a bit better at times.

      Show me one place where I wrote or said don’t trade them. Thanks.

  • @Hallsy4

    Trade Pouliout, Yak, and ebs and be done with it. See what that gets us then we can decide on Nuge later. Maybe we find out he or Dr Drai can play wing. Then we will know what we’ve got.

  • DoubleDIon

    What a bizarre way of distinguishing a “core.” Including Stajan but somehow not including Gaudreau, Bennett and Hamilton into the core group? That’s just a silly way skewed way of looking at things.

    Calgary’s core consists of Bennett, Gaudreau, Monahan, Brodie, Hamilton, Giordano and Backlund. Average age suddenly becomes 24 exactly instead of over 27. Keep telling yourselves it’s just the youth though Oiler fans…