CENTRE OF ATTENTION

Faceoff

The old saying “possession is nine-tenths of the law” has been around almost forever – certainly a lot longer than the focus on puck possession stats in the NHL.

While the nine-tenths bit is most certainly an overstatement, there’s no getting around the simple fact that puck possession matters and, it follows, that starting plays with the puck instead of chasing it helps those numbers. It’s not surprising, then, that the Edmonton Oilers, who have been mostly lousy for the last decade, have been mostly awful at the point where every play begins – in the face-off circles.

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It goes without saying that failure or success in the circles isn’t the only factor that’s played into the Oilers being bottom-feeders for 10 years, far from it, but it’s a thing – it’s been a constant since that trip to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final. The Oilers have had countless shortcomings since then, of course, but lack of success on the dot is a problem to this day, even though this edition of the team is poised to break a decade-long playoff drought.

I’d like to think GM Peter Chiarelli is acutely aware of that. From where I sit, doing something about it, acquiring a face-off man who can make a difference, should be his first priority – by a $5 cab ride – heading into Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. I’m guessing I’ve got a lot of company in that regard despite talk about maybe landing a right-winger or adding a depth defenceman.

FAILURE ON THE DOT

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Despite the vast improvement the Oilers have made in the standings this season as we get into the stretch drive, they remain inept as inept can be in the face-off circles. Today, they’re dead-last in the NHL at 46.8 per cent. The Anaheim Ducks, a team the Oilers could very well face in the playoffs, lead the league at 54.7 per cent. Of course, all face-offs aren’t created equal, but the gap between the Ducks and Oilers is considerable.

The Oilers got waxed again on the dot in Sunday’s 5-4 loss in Nashville, winning just 35 per cent of the draws. No, that wasn’t the telling factor – their struggling penalty kill allowed three goals – but it damn sure didn’t help the cause. Again. The Oilers were just 36 per cent in the circles in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals and they were 42 per cent in a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Even in their most recent wins, a 4-3 victory over Florida and a 3-1 decision over Chicago, the Oilers failed to break even. They were 48 per cent against the Panthers and were just 35 per cent against the Blackhawks in a game Cam Talbot stole. Milan Lucic, a left winger, is Edmonton’s best face-off man at 57.1 per cent. Minor leaguer Anton Lander, who can’t do anything else, is next at 56.0, followed by Matt Hendricks at 55.6. Their main men? Connor McDavid is 43.9, Leon Draisaitl is 48.4, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sits at 44.2 and Mark Letestu is 50.6.

Last season, the Oilers ranked 25th at 48.8 per cent. They were also 25th in 2014-15 at 48.2. They were 21st in 2013-14 at 49.0. Again, face-offs are just one component – you can lead the league in face-offs but if you can’t keep the puck out of your net or score enough goals, you aren’t going to win. Still, it’s worth noting that, dating back to the start of the 2006-07 season, the Oilers are tied for dead-last with the Winnipeg Jets at 48.0 on the dot over that span. This isn’t new. Enough already.

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

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Identifying the problem isn’t rocket science. Doing something about it is the challenge facing Chiarelli. Who to get and what to give up to get that player is what the next three days is all about. Most of the names we know, and there’s quite a range of possibilities – not to be confused with probabilities – when it comes to targets for Chiarelli.

I liked big Martin Hanzal, who was 56.0 on the dot this season, but he’s gone to Minnesota. There’s been talk the Colorado Avalanche might be willing to part with Matt Duchene, among NHL leaders at 62.3 in the circles, but he’s a $6-million man, a big fish. Where’s the fit in Edmonton, given the salary cap and who would have to go the other way? Who would Joe Sakic want?

For me, there are three guys that make sense if a roster tweak will do. The name of hulking Tampa Bay pivot/winger Brian Boyle has been out there for a long time. He’s 53.0 in the circles and he’d be a cheap rental – he’s a pending UFA on a $2-million ticket. There is Brandon Pirri of the New York Rangers. He’s 56.5 on face-offs and is an RFA on a reasonable contract ($1.1 million).

The third possibility is Jay McClement of Carolina. He’ll be a UFA coming off a $1.2 million salary. He’s not as good on as Boyle or Pirri on the dot – he’s sitting 48.4 per cent – but he’s a pretty good penalty-killer and would fit in Todd McLellan’s bottom six. The search doesn’t begin and end with Boyle, Pirri and McClement, but I think they’re worth a look. Does Chiarelli?

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We’ll hear lots of names between now and Wednesday as the rumor mill cranks up – there is more buzz today about the New York Islanders possibly being interested in Jordan Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins. Whatever the name, finding a guy who can get it done in the circles has to be Chiarelli’s focus. This is a weakness that absolutely has to be addressed.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

RECENTLY BY ROBIN BROWNLEE  


  • ubermiguel

    Just hire Adam Oates as a Faceoff Consultant. Have semi-regular sessions with the centres. Problem solved. Second choice: Craig MacTavish. Pro: he’s already on the payroll.

    • Spydyr

      As you mentioned MacTavish is still on the payroll.

      This from Matty at the Journal yesterday:

      “Peter Chiarelli’s right-hand man Craig MacTavish was in Denver on Saturday….”

      That scares the crap out of me.

    • toprightcorner

      When Oates was with the Oilers for that one season, he taught Horcoff and Stoll how to take draws and they went from averaging about 47% to where they averaged 54% for the rest of their careers. Oates could get McDavid and his skill and drive to over 50% in a heart beat.

      If I were Chairelli, I would put Oates on a retainer and bring him in regularly to work on skill with the team. Teach Eberle, Lucic and JP how to finish, Nuge to get his offensive touch back from a couple years ago, Pouliot to do something and some skill to the younger guys.

      Oates is one of the top skills teachers and hockey intelligence people around and has experience for a coaches perspective.

      These are the areas that Katz can throw money at without cap implications and make a huge gain in the skill of this already skilled team.

  • Dan 1919

    At the start of the year adding a scoring winger or defender looked like the next move to help the team. Today I agree with RB, helping the team is no longer the priority, as the gap in face-off’s has become a necessity that needs to be addressed.

    The realist in me says RNH has been dwindling down season after season since signing his $6mill and he has to face an extremely disappointing exit similar to Yakupov. The Oiler fan in me is too stubborn to accept this and says keep him through the summer and he will have a re-bound year next year… I wish.

    • Spoils

      RNH is dealing with a huge shift in the social structure of the team. People overlook the immense change involved when you get “passed over for promotion” or you get “topped” in the business world. Anyone out there working for large organizations understands this.

      Nuge needs to re-establish WHO he is on the Oilers.

      And, the oilers cannot shed assets without returning adequate value in return.

      the right play – from a portfolio management position – is to hold Nuge until we can get value back in a trade. that will hurt us in the short term. but the alternative is far far worse.

        • Spoils

          of course portfolio management includes knowing when to cut.

          I am not saying the right strategy is to always wait. with Yak his game did not translate to the pros. we should have traded him after he got a tiny bump from playing with McDavid – or after his rookie year if we were geniuses.

          with Nuge there are two potential upswings coming – man strength (he is a peach fuzzed late bloomer who could get MUCH better in his mid/late 20s) – and he needs to settle into the new world order that is McDavidland. Now maybe only one of these things comes to pass.

          the right bet is to wait with Nuge.

  • Glass

    Derek Ryan is also good at faceoffs at 56% I believe. I’d rather make a small bet on a player than go all-in on Hanzal (which would require a 1st). Boyle probably would too…

    Or call-up Lander & Puljujarvi.

    Maroon/McDavid/Eberle
    Lucic/Nuge/Draisaitl
    Pakarinen/Lander/Puljujarvi
    Pouliot/Letestu/Kassian/Khaira

    1. I think Nuge needs help driving his line, and Draisaitl could benefit. Leon looks fatigued this late in the season, perhaps he would benefit from less minutes? Also, Lucic & Eberle have been historically bad on the same line, but not SO bad recently.

    2. Give Lander some lethal wingers and I think we’d have a good 3rd line. On the LW Khaira & Pakarinen would be decent choices, as they provide the physicality needed & have decent shots. Slepyshev wouldn’t be a terrible option either.

    • Oilers won’t get a chance to go “all-in” on Hanzal even if they want to — Minnesota didn’t acquire him from Arizona to move him before the deadline.

      Did you mean a player like Hanzal?

      I’m with you on Ryan, who is less experienced than McClement but is very good on face-offs, or somebody like John Mitchell. Both could be tweak options and would come cheaper than Boyle.

    • toprightcorner

      I agree with Derek Ryan. Unless the Oilers can get Boyle without giving up a 1st pick, then I think it is best to go for cheap face off help where a 3rd rd or avg LD prospect is the cost.

      I would even consider adding 2 cheap centers, where one can play some right wing and jump on to take some draws on Nuges line for defensive draws.

      It only makes sense to bring in a right shot center as that is where we need help, they can play some shifts on RW and maybe be a right shot on the PP like Letestu. Oilers desperately need right shots on PP.

      Others I would consider:

      Derek Ryan – he is 8-10-18 in 43 games, is a right shot and is 57.5% on the dot. He does some penalty killing and some PP work with 6 PP pts. – can probably be had for a 4th since he is 30 with mostly over seas experience. Also went to U of A.

      John Mitchell – is having a terrible year offensively on a floundering COL team. Typically a 10 goal, 25 pt guy, he is 54.4%. He is a left shot but could probably be had for a 5th due to his 4 pts this year

      JG Pageau – has dropped from last years 19G – 43 pts to 6G – 21 pts. 24, RFA end of season. 55.3% this year, fast and feisty like Cagullia. Great on PK, had 7 SH goals last year. Could become long term 3C. could be available after signing Zack Smith long term. Will cost more, maybe could get him for Davidson + pick.

      Jay Beagle – Not thinking WSH would trade him but if they wanted to make another move and clear some cap, it is possible. Career 56%, right shot, 25 pts this season and 1 year after this at $1.7 so this could allow you to protect Letestu while allowing enough signed salary available in expansion draft.

      Left Shot possibilities:

      Grigerenko – 19 pts – 56.7%
      Dominic Moore – 18 pts – 54%

  • A-Mc

    Trade Deadline day is one of my favorite days of the year and i have no idea why. Perhaps it’s because i crack a beer at 8AM, while watching 3 different TV feeds + TSN1260 on the radio. Then again, maybe it’s just fun to take a couple days off work in the name of sports. *shrug*

    I have no clue who the Oilers should get, or if that guy will be that good in the Dot, but they really do need another center!

  • Craig1981

    I think a faceoff guy is overrated. The seperation between a good FO guy and a bad one is aobut 5% (give or take). Most centers take under 15 FO a game so that means, you will win less than one extra FO a game.

    Now of those wins, how many will lead dirctly to a goal? Even if its 1 in 10 (which its not), that is a 6 goal swing season and on four 7 game series result in 2 goals(ish)

    I’m not saying it doesn’t mater, but there are many more ways than getting a winning FO guy to improve your team, and the is a massive overhype in regards to this

    • 4000miaway

      With you on that one. I’d much rather see Chiarelli go after a C or RW who can put up points. Otherwise they already have Lander and I haven’t seen his faceoff-skills end up on the scoresheet yet.

  • Valar Morghulis

    I was kind of hoping for Hanzal, but the price for him and Boyle are/were to high.

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been much for Ryan Miller rumours out of Van since they will be sellers. I think he’d be a great back-up option for Talbot as long as it only cost a late round pick, otherwise forget it.

  • Opie

    Sheahan would be a great option IMO. 51% in the dot. 6’3. A change of scenary would be good for him. A trade including Davidson would make the most sense as we are probably going to lose him to vegas anyways. a Davidson for Sheahan trade is better for the future than Boyle would be.

  • Rama Lama

    How about just teaching our guys to take face-offs………..it’s not that hard? This is the job of coaches, to monitor, identify deficiencies, and find ways to address those problem areas.

    We had Boyd Gordon for all those years, surely our guys were watching him take face off? I think we are letting the coaches off way to easily and I find the notion we have to acquire a player to take face-offs as “letting the current centres off the hook”.

    Here is a simple solution…….make all four centres practice face offs until they become proficient.

    • I’m with you. Always puzzled how a player could make it to the NHL level without being extremely proficient on the dot. Then again, the learning process never really ends.

      Adam Oates made a big difference to the young centres with the Oilers the season he was here.

    • toprightcorner

      If you watch Lander now, he takes the draw just like Gordon, dropping to 1 knee much of the time and now he his a 55% face off guy. These guys need to set up a face off camp during the off season with a guy like Oates.

      The way this team rushes the puck, a 51%+ team face off would make a world of difference.

  • There’s this hot AHL guy I heard about. Plays for the Bakersfield Condors if I remember correctly. Anton Sanders, Coriander, something ending in “der” I think. Good on the dot, defensively responsible, good PK’er and I hear tell he’s ripping up the league scoring-wise. Maybe he’s available?

        • 4000miaway

          Last season McLellan made a comment on how Lander seems to grab his stick too tight. Meaning it’s probably a mental hurdle that he’s yet to cross.

          I’d love to see him centering Caggiula and some RW of decent skill/speed instead of being bogged down on a grit line and playing Hendricks’ role.

          • I am Batman

            Enough with the Lander talk.

            He is an AHLer for life – at best.

            Nobody is winning any Stanley cups with Lander playing significant minutes. Just leave it.

            Clearly PC isn’t too adamant of making the team better this year.

            LA and Calgary improved, Anaheim improved, the sharks don’t need to…. guess we wait….

          • McRaj

            The funny thing is that most of the writers on this website don’t want to admit it but the Oilers are dangerously close to falling out of the play-offs. The team needs help, and unfortunately PC can’t see it. The teams 4 Best players (McDavid, Drai, Klef, Talbot) have never played this many games before. Combine the games with the minutes they are playing and they will be fatigued by the end of the year.

            As much as i disagree with him, Henderson has been on the go all-in bandwagon for a long time and he is correct. This whole it is not our window yet crap is untrue, make the major trades and go all-in.

          • McRaj

            Can you tell me one thing I stated that is incorrect?

            Prior to the beginning of this season (recovering from injury), Stone has had numbers of a Top 4 D. the 4 players I mentioned are without a doubt the best players on the team. None have played these minutes or games before, anyone who knows sports or has played, knows fatigue is a factor.

            Careful who you take personal shots at. I ain’t no keyboard warrior so I ain’t going to call you any names, if I wanted to, I’d do it to your face.

            Why would I go hang at a flames site when I am a diehard Oiler. Just not a yes-man agree with everything the team does fan like yourself.

          • “Can you tell me one thing I stated that is incorrect?”

            Well, let’s start with this:

            “The funny thing is that most of the writers on this website don’t want to admit it but the Oilers are dangerously close to falling out of the play-offs.”

            First, you don’t have a clue what writers here do or don’t want “to admit.” Is the suggestion we’re here cheering and hoping the Oilers make the playoffs and we won’t say anything to the contrary? Win or lose, I’ll write the story that’s there. Doesn’t matter what that story is.

            Second, I don’t think the Oilers are “dangerously close” to missing the playoffs. You’re free to feel that way, but resist the urge to state it as fact. It’s not.

          • freelancer

            What is your logic that PC can’t see it? The fact that they haven’t made a deal yet. Okay let’s look who has been acquired so far. Hanzal? It would have been ridiculous to pay what the Wild did. Boyle? No second round picks. Trade a 1st plus for Shattenkirk? A guy who has said he has no desire to resign in Edmonton.

            Look we’ve lost a couple games and people are getting nervous but the sky is not falling. Let the next couple days play out and take some deep breaths sir.

          • McRaj

            Hanzal was a dumb price and happy PC didn’t go for it. But could Boyle not have been had for a player like Davidson? I have no interest in paying for Shatty either. But to stand-pat while all other teams around you are gearing up is a mistake.

          • techmage

            Watch how Davidson plays. His hockey sense is through the roof. Last year as a rookie he was thinking and making plays like a 10 year veteran. Due to injury this year he is a step or 2 behind, but that is quickly fading away. Davidson is NOT a trade option. He is one of the future top 2/3 defenseman on this team. I just pray that Vegas already has their guys when it comes time to look at Davidson.

          • McRaj

            Great hockey sense yes, but as soon as next season Klef, Lars, Nurse, and Sekera all ahead of him on the depth chart. He will likely be taken in the expansion draft, that is why it is important to trade him for a piece that can help us this year as a rental and potentially be able to protect in expansion draft.

          • Not a First Tier Fan

            Bud – going .500 or just below on a tough road trip where the Oilers face mostly highly ranked playoff teams is far from having the wheels fall off…

            Flames have been on a little run – sure. But did they play Washington? Did they play Chicago? Hold off on spiking that punch with cyanide just a bit yet dude…

            The season will be decided for good or bad as it always was going to be – in the last dozen games where ten out of twelve of them will be played against divisional rivals. Looking at how well the team has done against the Pacific this year I like the Oilers chances.

          • SALAKAN

            I AGREE with you we are not in a great place. plus he already traded the best player after 97, hall. now suddenly he doesn’t want to trade until something falls on his lap. #hemustbesosmartczhehazaharvarddegree

          • McRaj

            They have 2 games in Hand so that 10 points becomes 6. I am not in panic mode, far from it, but it seems like too many people think the playoffs are a given and it is okay to stand pat.

            Over the last week, 3 teams either battling with us or chasing us have improved. That is what concerns me.

          • I somewhat agree with Chiarelli. We have too many young/first year players who will probably get destroyed in the playoffs. He’s obviously playing a longer game. That being said I’m also strongly on the side of continual improvement, if only to give those young guys the feeling they’re not being hung out to dry. On top of which sports is about trying to win, not “losing with dignity”.

        • toprightcorner

          He doesn’t have the wheels. In the AHL, if you have skill, you don’t need speed. In the NHL, no speed makes you almost useless.

          Remember Giroux in the AHL with the Oilers a couple season a few years ago? regular 50 goal scorer and well over a pt per game in the AHL but couldn’t do squat in the NHL cause he was slow. He had about 350 pts and 175 goals in last 300 games. Has over 700 AHL points and 368 goals (7th all time in 5 less seasons than those ahead of him) but only managed 12 pts in 48 NHL games. He is currently tearing it up in he Swiss league.

          If you can’t skate in the NHL, you will never succeed.

        • Spydyr

          Lucic has thirteen goals which is twelve more the Lander. Lucic also brings much more to the team then does Lander. Ask any opposition player who they would rather play against.

    • Randaman

      Ya, he was tearing up the AHL when he was recalled last time. I think that yielded one assist in two games.

      I personally don’t think McLellan has time for Lander. Letestu will take the third line C over Lander any day in his eyes but is that the best thing for the bottom 6??

  • eeagain

    I get the sense that the perception of RNH has changed considerably on this site, even from the start of the year. It was not so long ago that even a mention of RHN in a trade would bring angst to many decrying how can you trade the best young two way center in hockey? Usually BM and Hendo leading the way. A more realistic appraisal of RNH seems to at last become more obvious to some.

  • eeagain

    I am getting a bit concerned about LD. he has looked out of sorts for the last few games. His play dropped off noticeable in last 20 or so games last year. He has also played more games than almost anybody as he was in the WCOH and also before that at an Olympic qualifying tournament for Germany. Maybe a fatigue issue?

    • toprightcorner

      Draisaitl has already played over 80 games including those extra games before the season. Also playing against the toughest dmen while on McDavids line hasn’t helped.

      I think with so many home games in March, he will get a chance to refresh a bit.

        • Shameless Plugger

          Fatigued late every season? Huh?…..As in last season? Because if I recall correcty he was in junior (late in the year) the season prior to last.

          You do know players can’t play great for 82 games right? It happens to every body. He looks just fine.

        • Shameless Plugger

          Leon Draisaitl.

          First 21 games 7g 9a 16pts -6

          Second 21 games 8g 11a 19pts +9

          Last 20 games 8g 11a 19 pat +1

          (Stats courtesy of Gregors article)

          If anything he’s learned to pace himself and play consistently throughout the year. I see no evidence of “fade in his game the last few weeks”.

        • Hemmercules

          I have noticed it a bit but only in the last few games. Thing is, he’s still putting up points. I have noticed the odd lazy play, but like Eberle, when he’s lighting up the scoreboard those things go unnoticed. Maybe he needs to take shorter shifts?

  • Hemmercules

    With Minny, LA and the Shames all making a trade I think the Oil need to pull the trigger on something, even something small. Chia even said he owes it to the team.

    It really sucks that Nuge has never improved on the dot. McDavid is pretty young so he gets a pass for now, I’m sure he will only improve. They need to get a guy like Boyle or at the very least a mentor of some kind in the off season.

  • freelancer

    What do people think about Soderberg? If Colorado could be convinced to retain some salary. An off year but was a regular 40+ point player before.

    This is also a guy Chia has experience with from his time in Boston. My point being if the usual suspects are off the table, Chia might have to think outside the box to bring someone in.

  • Natejax97

    Patrick sharp doesn’t win face-offs but I’d rather spend on him than another underachieving center that can win face offs.

    I think a lot of draws are more of a team win with support from the wingers. I am on the board that we have 4 good centers just teach them to win some darn draws.

    Our possession numbers are fine and will only get better year over year. Let’s load up on some guys that can shoot the biscuit in the basket.

    • Xtnct

      I guess it depends upon the conditions attached to that 2nd round pick but it seems the leafs didn’t pay much for Boyle. I think if Chia wanted he could have beat that offer fairly easily.

      I’m guessing this is a pretty clear signal that the Oilers won’t be significant buyers this year.

  • I am Batman

    Why are we so protective of our prospects and picks?

    I want the Oilers to be aggressive and get what they need to win NOW.

    If next year or in two years the cap is so bad we just go on and trade for picks or buyout one of the useless ones we have making 6 mill.

    Not going all in right now is nonesense, we have McDavid, Draisatl, Nurse, as the future what more future do we need? Let’s go for the present and kick ass! Who cares what the price is?

    Do it Chia! Do it now!

    • eeagain

      Based on Chia’s latest media conference, he doesn’t see it that way. He seemed to say if the price is right he would do something, but don’t expect anything big.

  • Randaman

    With the way the rental market prices have been so far, sit tight and laugh at all the over spenders when they are one round and done.

    Can’t see Boyle resigning with the Leafs. That deal just went totally against what Shanahan said their path would be, but…

    • McRaj

      Um Boyle for a second is not over-payment, a second in a weak draft class do not forget. What the flames paid for Stone? Cheap for a Top 4 D.

      Only high price paid so far was for Hanzal, besides that all smart deals for the buying team.

      • Randaman

        You’re right. a 2nd for Boyle is fair but who says Stone is top 4? He has looked alright so far in Calgary but maybe prices for the Oilers aren’t the same as other teams are getting?

        Hamilton should be here but…

        I wonder who pissed off somebody of influence…??

        Just sayin,

        *adjusts tinfoil hat*

        • McRaj

          Last season Stone had a great year, Top Pairing kind of year. This season he was recovering from injury (torn ACL and MCL) but in the last 10 or so games had really gotten back to form (takes close to a year to fully recover from major injury). On the Flames he is a #4 and looks great in that role so far.

          I do agree that prices may not be the same. The Oilers it seems like have to pay more for any player then any of the other teams do in a trade. It has less to do with PC (except for Boston) and more to do with the Oilers getting McDavid after having gotten three other 1st overall picks.

  • McRaj

    Should have traded Davidson for Boyle and some kind of conditional pick. Pacific div teams getting better, as are other Western teams and even a “rebuilding” team like the Leafs while PC stands pat. Disappointing would be an under statement.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Man I liked the sound of Jay Beagle. Wonder what it would take to pry him loose from Washington’s kung-fu grip?…

    Otherwise I’m all for gaining a years experience in the playoffs and then rolling a Brinks truck up to Adam Oates house for next season. Hell – its only Katz’s money. Let’s splurge a little.

  • SALAKAN

    EVERY FREAKING TEAM IS GEARING UP FOR THE PLAYOFFS. EXCEPT US TILL NOW. CZ FREAKING CHIARELLI WANTS TO SIT ON HIS ASS. BECAUSE WE ARE STILL “GROWTH TEAM” and we have the best player in the WORLD ,unfreaking believable. this team hasn’t been been in the playoffs for 10 years. fans deserve better. gear up give it your best punch who knows what could happen. f### magic beans.

  • I am Batman

    Maybe we are getting Duchene AND Landeskog.

    Maybe Lazy Ebs plus whatever is the price Colorado is willing to take.

    Maybe Santa Claus exists and comes in February

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      That would be a huge trade, would love it!!!

      I can’t see the Cap working for the Oilers in that trade though.

      Would have to have a lot of moving parts and players to work it.

      Names fans would hate to see would be needed and the first name wouldn’t be Eberle more like Nurse to even start that convo IMHO

  • 4000miaway

    Chiarelli has already payed dearly for Larsson and Lucic. Maybe he doesn’t want to do yet another “whatever it takes”-trade. Not at this point when they aren’t yet really cup contenders.

    It’s not like he’s afraid to pull the trigger, we know that.

    Toronto made a big move, but right now they hold onto the last wild card spot with lots of competition.

    Minnesota also made a push, but they are within striking distance of the cup.

  • fran huckzky

    The Oilers had a good penalty kill with Lander and he is by far their best face off man. So what if his 5 x5 scoring is sub par. There are many games we could win,including Nashville, with a penalty kill and face off specialist. He is a captain or alternate on every team he has been on except Oilers, and I don’t understand why he gets so little love from this coaching staff.