Monday Musings: Chiarelli ready to play his cards?


We are 26 days away from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and more importantly, the timeline when Peter Chiarelli will have the best opportunity to re-shape his roster. The prospect of trading for a competent, top-four, right-shot defender is most likely to happen right before, or at, the draft on Friday, June 24th.

We’ve already seen one trade involving a RD — Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver — so Chiarelli could make a move prior to the 24th, but everyone around the league knows what he wants, and the NHL often functions on last-minute trades, signings and CBA negotiations.

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I don’t buy Chiarelli is dealing from a position of weakness just because everyone knows what he is looking for. He has some very attractive forwards that teams want and the fourth overall pick.

Players like Tyson Barrie, Jason Demers, Sami Vatanen, Justin Faulk, Jacob Trouba will be sought after this off-season. Demers is the lone UFA, and obvious choice as one who will change jerseys this summer, but the others could be moved for the right price.

In April Chiarelli said, “I’m reasonably confident I will be able to address our defence in a meaningful way.” He has been working the phones and talking to GMs ever since. He’s been through this dance a few times, and I’m curious to see who he acquires. He will sign or trade for one right defender, but if he can land two quality RD then the Oilers have a chance to be competitive next season.



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  • Matthew Tkachuk had a great Memorial Cup, and because he was in the spotlight I’ve noticed many now believe he has to be the choice at #4. I caution that thinking. Scouts evaluate on the entire season, not just the final few games. Having spoke with over 10 different amateur scouts, it is obvious there is no consensus #4 overall selection.
    Tkachuk has been a quality player all season long, but so too have the other players ranked in the top-ten. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mikhail Sergachev, Olli Juolevi, Alex Nylander, Jacob Chyhrun and Micheal McLeod are all enticing. So are many other players who will be drafted outside the top-ten and in the second and third rounds.

    I understand why people get excited after watching Tkachuk’s Memorial Cup performance, but the scouts try hard not to let it influence their overall assessments. You can’t punish players who played on inferior teams and haven’t been in the spotlight for weeks or months.

    When you watch prospects keep in mind scouts aren’t just drafting them on their ability — they analyze every aspect of their game in the hopes of understanding how it will translate against the best players in the world. It is quite ridiculous when you think about it, projecting how an 18 year-old will fare against bigger, stronger and more experienced men.

    The reality is there are no guarantees. Scouts spend all season gathering as much information so they can make the most educated projection, but there are so many uncontrolled variables that can occur before a player plays in the NHL (excluding the rare 1% of elite players), that they understand mistakes will be made. You just hope your scouting staff makes a few great picks.

  • I’ll take the Sharks in five. The Sharks made a very strong St. Louis blueline look average in the Western Conference Final, and I expect them to dominate the Pens’ defence. The Pens have had an excellent run, but Joe Thornton will hoist the Cup for the first time in his outstanding career.
  • I would have picked Taylor Hall to make team Canada, yet I didn’t expect him to make the team. But I’m more surprised Corey Perry and Phil Kessel didn’t make it for Canada and the United States. The USA must believe they can “out grind” teams in the tournament. I’d rank Kessel as the third most skilled American forward behind Patrick Kane and Joe Pavelski, and it is absurd to not have him on the team.
  • I’m sure Hall is disappointed, but he should remember Steve Yzerman made his first appearance for Canada when he was 31. Yzerman and many other great players have been overlooked for Canada’s National team.



We have 18 spots remaining in our WSOP charity tournament. First place receives a trip to Las Vegas a seat at the WSOP and $3,500 in cash. I really would like to sell this out, since it will raise over $5000 for charity if we do. If you want to play sign up here, and if you don’t play or can’t do us a solid and send it to your friends who play. Thanks.

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  • G.N

    I would take Hall ahead of Perry , I think if Hall gets a bit of confidence back there’s no telling what he could do . He’s been beaten down so much the last few years, the kid plays with a lot of heart and really wants to win . The oil would be crazy to trade him.

  • Oilers Rule

    Shultz with the Pens looks pretty good. Perhaps they would entertain RNH or Hall straight up for him?

    A few responsible 200′ 2-way forwards would be nice to see in Oilers unis as well. Hard to evaluate d when most of the forward core don’t help out and play at both end of the rink

    Chiarelli has his work cut out for him with this squad thats for sure. Can’t get much worse and have fingers crossed we will see the Oilers in the playoffs before the sad sack Leafs.

    • Seanaconda

      Someone link the article about how the d on our team have way better stats when playing with the top 6. But of course shultz looks better he’s playing on the bottom pairing with some pp time.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      People need to quit pumping this Schultz A-hole he has only played 9 games and playing on the last pair when he does play. Nothing has changed!

      • Randaman

        You sound bitter. Schultz is simply playing within himself, with confidence and is being properly used by the Pens.

        You can’t seriously think his time here was all his fault?? If you do, you need to take some time off from hockey.

        MacT & Eakins own most of that mess. McLellan really had no choice but to slot him above his pay grade. Schultz will take a pay cut next year and be a solid third pairing & PP guy. I would say he fits the Eastern conference better.

        My take anyways.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          Not bitter at all but people need to realize what kind of player he really more than a 5-6 dman. He did not play hard enough or committed enough .Take responsibility for your play . Example Yakupov!


        He got a lot of minutes ( 18:53 ) in game one of the Stanley Cup FINALS tonight. Difficult to shelter a player’s ice time for that long.

        Get over your jealousy. The young man needed a coach to teach him, seems he finally might have one, something Edmonton still don’t have. You’ll see soon enough.

  • Oilers Rule

    I would like to see the Oilers go after Gardiner from the Leafs. Could probably get him straight up for the 4th, then go after a second d-man like Subban or Karlson with some of the failed forward core likely to be shipped out. Bobby Orr alone in his prime wouldn’t solve the problems with this squad’s d, need two or three competent d-men to right the ship.

    Or, flip members of the failed core for more high draft picks and continue to focus on drafting and developing with a big emphasis on D with the team’s picks over the next couple of years???? Lots of time until McDavid is in his prime to build it properly!

  • Total Points

    I found it interesting when they announced the starting lines for tonight’s playoff game between Sharks and Pens.

    They announced the number of years in the players have been in the NHL. Thornton – 18. Pavelski – 10, Crosby – 11, Etc. Both teams have veteran laden lineups

    So lets just sit back and enjoy the ride while Hall, Ebs, RNH, Nurse, Klef, McDavid and the rest gain experience and work their way towards the playoffs and the Cup.

      • Moe Sizzlack

        Sekera makes more then McDonagh

        Pou and yak together make more then Krieder!!

        HELLO ..

        And if you mean the Rangers, there trying to change it up not dump salary

          • madjam

            Rangers have 15.1 M in cap space and need to sign 9 players , but hardly in cap hell if they decide to not bother with E.Stall , Yandle or D.Boyle . They will probably let Boyle go and one of the others and thus avoid cap hell . However , Rangers are without a first and second round pick this year and they may expand trade list to include others , but rather unlikely . Like everyone else they’ll listen to knock your socks off offers on any of their players .

          • camdog

            15.1 to sign 9 players is going to be tough. They need the cap at 74 million to be safe, if it’s 72 million or lower they are in trouble. They definitely do not have room to take on other teams bloated contracts, while liquidating some of their better contracts.

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      That probably won’t happen and I think sekera is going to be a big part of the defense playing in the 2-3 position if we get a legit #1

  • Oilers Rule

    Not to throw salt in 97Trains wounds, but 24 year old Marcinin who was discarded just like Shultz, played pretty decent for the Leafs last year playing on a sheltered 2nd line pairing.

    For a team not very deep in d prospects, Oilers really excel at eating their young d-men and running them out of town.

    Need to be patient, stick to drafting and developing d (draft lots of them this year and next!) and Oilers fans will be very happy in a few years.

  • G.N

    If Hall is traded you just busted 2nd line. Not sure Draisaitl can carry it. Nugent is awesome but hasn’t bulked up like Hall. Likewise with Eberle.Look at shots on goal Hall had, And still had 40 assists Oh and I wouldn’t trade Hall for Suban.Halls worth way more than Faulk.

  • madjam

    Who logically is available for trade without creating another huge hole to fill ? Better yet , what players create those big holes . McDavid ,Hall , Eberle and Hopkins . The rest are far easier to replace , and are the only ones we should consider at this time for trade upgrades other than draft choices . .

  • Hockey123

    Pitt will win they have the best player in the world and he is playing well.

    SJ beat STL who played their best hockey against Chicago . LA didn’t come to play in the playoffs so in my mind SJ has yet to meet a good team Pitt will win.

  • Oiler Al

    The Pen’s just won the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs… they got this far with really just one top D-man [Letang].Daley is now gone for the season and even he isn’t that far ahead of guys like Lovejoy ,Schultz,Cole etc.

    Oilers wouldn’t have these guys[exc. Letang] on their team, yet here they are playing for the Stanley.

    Coaching and team play might be what seperates Oilers from teams like the Pens.

    Would you trade Nurse ,Davidson, or Klefbom for
    Cole,or Lovejoy.?

    • Gravis82

      the pens have d-men that dont need to defend, because they move the puck up and out. All of them. Its never in their zone. If they win the cup this year with that d core, chalk that up to analytics.

      • RJ

        I would say analytics is too broad a category to use. It’s more to do with controlled zone exits; simply put all of their defencemen know how to move the puck from their own zone to the neutral zone and into the offensive zone.

        On a more grim note, who can you say does that for the Oilers consistently? Maybe Sekera? Maybe Klef when he’s not injured? Maybe Davidson when he’s in the line-up? They don’t have an elite puckmover. Instead they have defensive defencemen from the 80s mould; Fayne, Gryba, Nurse, Reinhart.

      • Oiler Al

        Oilers had one of those! Schultz…. he could move the puck up but could not defend. Now he is doing it for the Pens.

        Unfortunately for the Oilers their coach is stuck in the 80’s. Debore took a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year to SC final.

    • Seanaconda

      I think the oilers would love a letang. Guy plays 30 minutes a night is a monster super fit. Probably the only dman in the league to be able to keep up with karlsson for points.

      Only issue with him is injury history.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I wonder if Snow/Hamonic came out and said he wants to stay in NY just to quell the rumours til a trade actually happens. Let it happen behind closed doors, with no leaks.

    *takes off tinfoil hat

  • camdog

    Sort of shocked that people on here thing that Hall and the 4th for Karlsson is a realistic trade proposition. Karlsson, right now is on pace to be a top 20 (maybe top 10) defenceman of all time. Right now in Ottawa he’s in Connor McDavid country in respect to his value to their team. Would anybody here trade Hall and the 4th for McDavid? Because that sort of like what it would be like to get Karlsson out of Ottawa.


    Imo, if Chiarelli can’t get us a tier 1 D-Man(Faulk,Pietro,Subban Etc.)even after offering everyone, not named McDavid.Then we should go after tier 2 D-men(Barrie,Vatanen,Demers,Shattenkirk)and hopefully still retain our #4 pick and Hall(Nuge or Ebs should get the deal done).

    I would hate to lose Hall or our pick for a tier 2D-men, when we really need a stud instead.

  • BobbyCanuck

    @OilersRules post:

    #71 23 trashes/2 cheers
    #78 1 trash/10 cheers

    You basically said the same thing using different words..welcome to BiPolarNation!

    Glad Schultz got a point last night, see what happens when a D man is assigned to his skill level, and has forwards that back-check?

    All this talk about Sharks in 5 or 6 had me concerned, hope Pens thrash the hell out of them, speed and finesse is the game I like to watch, with with Schultz hoisting the Cup! Why not? No need for sour grapes…

    Chia:’Hello Mr. Rival GM, I would like to trade you my 3 Lada’s for your Rolls Royce’ Hello? Hello? Why you hafta hang up?

    Lets get real, to get what we truly need is going to cost us Hall+ or McDavid…

    Draft and develop, and maybe in 4 years we will be competing, or trade the mall…I is feeling the Bipolarness of it all

  • madjam

    Homerun acquisition – target E. Karlsson . Some rumblings that his defense is suspect and maybe not in tune with coaches game plan . If that be the case then perhaps a trade is not out of the realm of impossible . Ottawa looking for a power centerman and other forwards . Hockey buzz have them looking at Logan Brown at 12 in draft.

    Oilers could offer Draisaitl , Reinhart , Yakupov and swap of picks giving them Dubois or Tkachuk . Oilers get Karlsson and 12th pick . Is that to much for us to give up ?

    Reinhart starts to replace C.Philip who retired this year .

    • McRaj

      I think you are close in value, especially because Dion likes to play the right side and Ceci is right handed. But the trade would require everything you listed plus the 4th pick straight up, not a swap. Even then the Sens may not bite because they value Karlsson like we value McDavid and they should. Karlsson is a point per game D-Man while playing with mediocre offensive players.


      All you have to do is put the shoe on the other foot. Would a rival G.M. trade the best defenceman in the NHL(82pts!)and their 12th pick for Draisaitl(51) , Reinhart(in AHL),Yakupov(23pts)( and 4th overall pick? I wouldn’t.

      Karlsson has more points by himself then all three Oilers players and he’s a DEFENCEMAN lol!

      • madjam

        Without the swap , Karlsson would be getting Ottawa four young first round picks all in top 1-4 range . Not to many Gm’s would not be interested at that price , or even the swap .

  • Pritchard

    Taylor Hall will not be traded as part of a package for a #1 defenceman. I know this because teams don’t trade their #1 defenceman. And Hall is way to good of a player to deal off for some 2nd tier dman. ChIA is going to have to be real crafty to revamp this defence. How ? I have no idea …but he’s a competent GM so let’s let him do his job. I think we can all agree our opening night blue line will be much better this fall than it was last fall. And for anybody that wants to move Nurse as part of a package. .for Trouba or whovever. ..pump the brakes ! Let’s see what this kid can bring In his SECOND year of pro. We need a full year of evaluation on this kid.

  • Seanaconda

    This is what you’re quoting right?

    “Hall’s main competitors for the final four forward spots include Perry, Claude Giroux, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Brad Marchand and Joe Thornton. Perry was the captain at the World Championships and has two Olympic gold medals. I see him as a lock to make the team”

    I would say he was talking about perry being a lock. He mostly said hall “should”(as in his opinion and gave reasons for and against) make the team in the article

  • Jason Gregor

    Bingo, Of course I was talking about Perry.

    The article was showing why Hall should be on the team, not that he would be.

    Kurt’s inability to comprehend things is not my problem. I can’t control that.

  • Twitch

    Are the Sharks winning 4 straight games…..”I’ll take the Sharks in five” I said Penguins in 6 in another article but I admit I also said they’d do it against Nashville when they were going into game 7 versus the Sharks, but my prediction remains and I say Penguins in 6.