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SCALDING HOT TAKES: November Edition

I’ve been waiting all month to drop another round of scalding hot takes. The wait is over; prepare to have your eyeballs scorched by a series of red hot and sometimes ridiculous takes.

It’s all Oilers this month.

CHIASSON WILL DOUBLE HIS CAREER HIGH

Coming into this year, the high mark for Chiasson snipes in a season was 13. That’s about to change, big time. His career year came in his first full season in the league with the Stars. He already has 11 goals in just 19 games meaning he will need 15 more the final 57 games of the season to hit 26. He seems like a good fit on the Oilers first PP unit and I think he will remain there based simply on the fact that nobody is really pushing to take that job. His shooting percentage is ridiculous right now but even with that number coming back to earth I still like his chances to finish with 26 goals, a number that will probably be third highest on the team.

STROME FOR SPOONER IS WORSE THAN EBERLE FOR STROME

File this under sad but true. When the Oilers traded Eberle for Strome they were getting significant cap savings, a player who could play at both center and the wing and, unlike Eberle, he was under control at the end of his current deal. It still wasn’t a winner but I could see the reasons the deal was made.

I can’t say the same about the second Strome deal. It’s a loser of a deal that didn’t make any sense. Chiarelli moved Strome for a left-handed shot that, unlike Strome, isn’t able to kill penalties and isn’t under control when his deal expires at the end of next season. I haven’t seen one good reason this trade was made and I’m confident I never will.

PULJUJARVI A TOP SIX LOCK BY FEBRUARY

Jesse Puljujarvi looks like a different player under Ken Hitchcock or should I say more accurately he looks like a different player with Todd McLellan now out of the picture. He hasn’t been amazing since Hitchcock took over but anybody who doesn’t think he isn’t playing with more confidence clearly hasn’t watched the last couple of games.

I do believe Hitchcock is prepared to leave him in that spot alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for an extended period of time and that’s something Todd McLellan refused to do.

Another reason I could see him being a top-six lock by February is due to lack of upward pressure in the lineup. Kailer Yamamoto may provide him with the biggest push, I’ve been told there is a chance that Yamo is back in Edmonton before Christmas.

BLUE > ORANGE

The Blue jerseys are so much better than the Orange ones. Prove me wrong.

NUGENT-HOPKINS MORE IMPORTANT ON PP THAN DRAISAITL

I’m not saying split them up I’m just pointing out that I think Nugent-Hopkins is more important to the Oilers top PP unit than Draisaitl is. Both players are excellent weapons to have and they each have 10 power-play points on the season but I like Nuge’s creativity on the man advantage a little bit better. The Nuge drop pass to Klefbom has been something the Oilers have been looking for quite often this season and it’s starting to pay off.

LUCIC WILL SCORE AGAIN…..BUT NOT OFTEN

Call me crazy but I think Lucic will actually score again this season. You know what he won’t do though? Score nine more times. It’s time to face reality and realize Lucic won’t hit the ten-goal mark this season. The Brodziak Line may last together but at no point is that trio going to produce offence on a consistent basis.

I don’t care how much that line crashes and bangs the Oilers will need to find another line that can actually chip in offensively. The McDavid line is always dangerous, I like the potential surrounding Nuge right now but at some point, you will need a little bit of offence from your bottom six and it’s not coming from Brodziak’s trio. I’d like to see Rieder – Strome – Khaira as a 3B line once Rieder returns from his injury….oh wait.

TALBOT WON’T BE TRADED

This isn’t happening. Why would you trade him when his value is at an all-time low? It doesn’t make any sense. You can’t trade him without getting another goalie back and goalies on the market are only available because they are struggling. Nothing about moving Talbot makes sense.

USELESS TO BITCH ABOUT OFFICIATING

The NHL doesn’t care about what you think when it comes to a puck crossing the line or a goaltender being interfered with or Connor McDavid being constantly hooked and held on a nightly basis. NHL officiating is a joke, it always has been a joke and it always will be a joke. You can’t do anything about it, save your breath and bitch about something more important like that turtle Tkachuk down in Calgary.

THE OILERS NEED TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR FANS

Yes, I know, what a Hot Take. Everyone knows this but the team doesn’t really do anything about it. I saw tickets for sale on Facebook this afternoon for HALF of the face value. If you were properly marketing your product in a hockey-mad market you would never see tickets available for half price. I know the Oilers don’t appear to care about this and that alone makes it look really bad on their part. You are the fans, what would you like to see this franchise do better to connect with their fans?

May I suggest they allow their players to actually join local television stations, podcasts and radio shows to show some personality so the fans can actually learn whom they are and feel a connection with them. Outside of a 15 minute window in the dressing room four or five times a week, tell me the last time you actually saw the players in the media, talking to fans, showing some personality and opening up a bit. THIS IS NOT ON THE PLAYERS, THIS IS ON THE ORGANIZATION. Not all players would enjoy this but some of them would and it will help the product locally. And just so you know this isn’t me as a show host complaining about my show, I don’t hear the players going live on Oilers Now or Inside Sports either. Don’t tell me they don’t need help locally; you could have gone to that game for 30 bucks last night.

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • Datsyukian

    Isn’t $30 (or free) tickets exactly what we need to get some sense into the organization? The way the top brass have been handling things here, half of Rogers Place should be empty on the game nights. A couple of (lucky?) wins under Hitchcock is not nearly enough to change that. Post a 10-win streak like the Sabres did, and maybe, just maybe the fans will start realizing again we actually have an NHL team in town.

    • FutureGM

      no, because they arent the ones taking this in the teeth. The ticket prices are so high that most people with season seats need to sell half to sustain tickets. They then post the ones they want to sell and take a bath on some games such as last night

  • Abagofpucks

    Retro all the way, I know this might sound crazy but the Oiler’s actually looked like the Oiler’s last night in those jersey’s. As far as the ref’s go they should have their names on the back, and have to answer question’s after games from the media like the it used to be.

    • Serious Gord

      The refs had their name bare removed by Gary bettman – as punishment for going on strike.

      I think it takes away from the entertainment value of the game as we don’t know who to hate. And a less entertaining game means less revenues for the league and thus Gary’s bosses.

      I would very much like to see them return.

  • Spydyr

    I have been watching the Oilers for so long it took me almost to the end of the first period before I realized they were wearing their blue third jerseys they just looked like the Oilers and yes they are much better than the pylon orange jerseys.

  • Beer

    Orange is a symbol of hatred towards hard working blue collar workers in the province of Alberta.
    The officiating hasn’t always been horrific. It was actually quite good before massive expansion. How many officials wood have jobs in 25 team league? It’s only going to get worse with more teams. Can you say “Killed the goose that layed the golden egg”.

  • The Immortal

    Trading Strome for a bag of pucks would be a winning trade imo ….Happen to see the NYR hilites last night and the guy standing beside the Sens player that scored the first goal?

    Trading Eberle for Strome was just plain stupid.

  • camdog

    Yamamoto wont push Jesse, he’s not there yet. Hitch knows that he needs Jesse to perform in order for the Oilers to have a second line capable of scoring. RnH probably best powerplay forward on the team. Klefbom is getting his shot back, powerplay we’ll be top 10 by season’s end. Strome deal was bad. If Todd’s fired earlier a new coach would have been able to use him more effectively. A Strome, RnH, JP Line could have been really good.

  • Hemmercules

    Ugh. Post disappeared.

    I like all the Jerseys. I have one form every era and none of them are bad as far as Im concerned.

    Strome deal was a waste. Hope Spooner can find a groove. Not easy joining a new team two months in but right now its looking like another Chia miss.

    The fact that Talbots value is low makes me think Chia is shopping him more with every Koskinen win.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      Talbot’s value (or any ‘tender) goes up at the deadline. However, I believe that being a UFA this summer, losing his starting spot, and playing like guano when he does start has sealed his fate.

  • Nellzo

    The KL(U)B line is a time killing, grinding, shift extending nightmare for the opposition. When their luck breaks a little for them, they will start potting goals. Keep it up boys!

    P.S.
    As much as I liked the 1st incarnation of the orange jersey, the second one is “meh” at best. Bring back the blue as our home jersey and the old orange for the third jersey!

  • OILERSORDEATH

    I 100% disagree about the Spooner / Strome trade. Spooner, although he hasn’t scored is faster, more creative and more physical then Strome. Spooner will start getting points he soon. Stome glad to see ya go, C-ya sucka!!

  • 30 for tickets? I’m flying to tampa to golf and catch the leafs game, bleeders there – in Florida – are 90. St Rexall the cheapest I ever saw was 60ish, and that’s middle of DoD. What a disaster

  • Glencontrolurstik

    Want to connect with the fans? Please get rid of those “pylon-esk” jerseys… Other NHL fans haven’t laughed so hard since Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald Flying V’s. The jerseys, the laughing stock of the NHL. Plus it’s hard to give Calgary a hard time about their jerseys anymore… Last night’s jerseys were awesome. A team can wear those proud. They look like a hockey team and not like a department of highways safety inspection crew… Please let our team look like a hockey team again & lose that orange… It’s hockey, let the players look like hockey players, please… There, I said it…

  • I agree with you on all points, Dusty. Especially on marketing.

    Oilers marketing is doing a terrible job of selling the team beyond just watching hockey and saying McDavid a thousands times (“The What” of selling). It’s a team, not one person. Fans want to connect. OEG need to sell and promote “The Why”–the emotional part. The part we get attached to.

    Why did we love Maroon? He showed us his heart. That’s character. Same with Hendricks.

    We saw a bit of that with Chiasson last night in his intermission interview with Gene how much he appreciates the opportunity. Lots of people I talk to say he’s their favourite player now. He’s mine now too. PTO guy that Gulutzan brought in, sat the first pile of games, then BOOM!

    Then on Klefbom’s goal, we saw Kassian and Talbot on the bench looking at each other screaming in joy. It’s those moments we as fans connect with.

    Remember the pre-game intro from two seasons ago showing the Oilers and fans as more raw and gritty? It got us pumped up. Last season’s intro showed them as emotionless automatons. It completely lacked “The Why”. It totally totally sucked.

    We want to know the players as people and not things with skates and sticks.

    Wake up OEG!

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Right on!!! “1000 likes”… you are right, the sad part is, it’s not that hard…
      Not that it’s my team, but, The Saskatchewan Roughriders & Green Bay Packers get it right…Their fans claim ownership (as they are technically owned by the fans).
      I haven’t lived in Edmonton for a long time (transferred out the day Gretz was traded),… I have a question.
      Do they hold regular practices at the mall the way they used to? I think they were there like once or twice a month in those days?
      It was great for the fans, the kids especially with autograph sessions and connecting after.

  • Serious Gord

    Re ticket prices.

    The fact is the worst seats in rexall were much better than the worst seats in Rogers. In Rogers you are much further away. (And the difference in amenities between the best and worst is also far far greater)

  • Goobie

    It would be great to see some personality from the players. I always liked those videos other teams put out for ASG campaigns (Kane/Toews two of my favs), or the cheesy songs, or between two zambonis. They’re not actors, but they’re having fun and it lightens it up.

    • hagar

      I dont know.. Its pretty painful watching that weird commercial for pepsi or whatever it is that thank the fans over and over. Reminds me of a 12 year old kid being forced to act in a play.

  • Chiasson told Gene that when he gets in the paint area, just prior to a pass coming, he creates space for himself so he has room to get the stick on the puck. This is exactly what this team needed since Maroon left to get these goals. Lucic should take note instead of handling the puck on the side with his head down.

    Hall and Eberle were top six wingers. Current top six wingers playing in similar positions include Drake Caggiula and Alex Chiasson.

    GOALS so far:
    Hall ($6m): 7g in 23gp = .30 gpg
    Eberle ($6m): 6g in 24gp = .24 gpg

    Caggiula ($1.5m): 7g in 21gp = .33 gpg
    Chiasson: ($650k): 11g in 19gp = .58 gpg

    So how can guys like Serevalli say the Oilers gave away their top scoring wingers?

  • Goaltender Interference

    Thoughts on reconnecting with fans:

    1. Better on-ice product. It’s a gift to be able to watch McDavid every night but he needs a better group to support him.

    2. Better in-game experience. Read anything Gregor or other commenters have written on this. Crowd scenes and a one new video every season isn’t enough.

    3. Lower ticket prices. I literally couldn’t sell my tickets for more than half what I paid for them last season. Pricing is way above street value right now.

    4. Take the fine. The officiating against the Oilers is proveably awful. Yet team management says nothing and through that silence condones it. The fans are pissed off – why isn’t team management?

    5. More community presence by team management. Players are out there doing various amounts of good work – where are Chia, Lowe, MacT or Katz?

    6. Fans are disgruntled. How about a few PUBLIC forums where management shuts up and listens?

    Just my thoughts.

    • Goaltender Interference

      Also one more thought along with the ticket pricing point – if your team has a horrible season … don’t increase your ticket prices!!!

      This is not rocket science.