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Monday Mailbag – What should Jeff Jackson’s plan be for the rest of the season?

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Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
3 months ago
Happy holiday Monday, dearest Internet friends, and welcome to a fresh edition of the Mailbag to help get your week started and keep you updated on all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re discussing goalie trades, firing coaches, Jeff Jackson’s game plan, and much more. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk , and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
1) Kev asks – How likely do you think it is that the Oilers can pull off a goalie trade now that Jack Campbell is in Bako or do you think they’ll wait a while to see if Soup can find his game?
Jason Gregor:
Campbell contract is very difficult to trade during the season. If the trade involves Campbell, I’d say there is a 5% chance. If it is a trade that doesn’t involve him then I’d say 30% chance they can make it happen.
Robin Brownlee:
No idea. I had a completely different answer written before the announcement about the sacking of Woodcroft and Manson broke and I still can’t get my head around that. Anything is possible.
Zach Laing:
In order for the LA Kings to move on from the final two years of Cal Petersen’s contract worth $5-million in a three-way trade, it cost them a 28-year-old right-shot defenceman, another right-shot defensive prospect, who was a second-round pick, a second-round pick, and retaining $2-million on Ivan Provorov’s contract, which had two years left. They’ll wait to see if he can find his game, but there’s almost no way he’s an Oiler beyond this year.
Baggedmilk:
Campbell contract is an anchor and getting rid of it will be super expensive. I’d put a goalie trade at like 25% but I’m obviously guessing.
Nov 2, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Dallas Stars goaltender Scott Wedgewood (41) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Connor Brown (28) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
2) Ed M. asks – As of Friday morning, I’m officially calling this season over — time to start looking at the draft and the 24/25 season. So the question is, what do the Oil do with Connor Brown when he is deemed able to play? It seems like a self-destructive move to allow him to play another game with the Oil and waste all that cap space next year.
Jason Gregor:
Giving up on a season after 12 games with this roster isn’t realistic and, no offence, it is foolish. Zero chance the Oilers are throwing in the towel this early. If you think the season is over then the Oilers will be sellers at the deadline, and they can move out some salary, and then have space for Brown’s bonuses to go on this year’s cap and there won’t be bonus overages next season. You didn’t look at all the cap implications and how they can have little to no overages next year.
Robin Brownlee:
Season over after 13 games? No. When Brown is ready to play, you play him.
Zach Laing:
Brown will get his games, and the Oilers should be fine. Saturday night was their own reminder that they can play and they’re due to continue scoring like that. That being said, if the Oilers were as cutthroat as they should be, they would cut ties with Brown before he plays another. Teams like the Vegas Golden Knights have shown little to no loyalty to players on their route to the Stanley Cup last yar.
Baggedmilk:
I totally understand your logic here, but I really doubt the Oilers are going to punt the year after 13 games even though that’s how we feel as fans. Connor Brown will play more than 10 games.
May 14, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft looks on from the players bench during the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights in game six of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
3) Cliff asks – The Oilers record is what it is, and nothing can change what’s been done. At what point do we think the playoffs are out of reach? Are we close?
Jason Gregor:
They need 95 points to get in. So that means 40-20-10 the rest of the way. A lower winning% then they had last year in their final 62 games. They need to start winning (hello captain obvious) soon. They need to be at least 4-4 in next eight to start the road back. If not, then I think odds are incredibly low they can make it.
Robin Brownlee:
It’s over now if the Oilers can’t improve on winning more than three times in every 13-game segment. History suggests they’ll need 92-96 points to get a playoff spot, so they need 85-89 points from the next 69 games. They had 95 points in their final 69 games last season. Can Kris Knoblauch and Paul Coffey get them there?
Zach Laing:
You’re never out until you’re out, but as Gregor said above, they’re going to need to play at least .500 hockey through the rest of the month to stay in this. Ideally, in these final nine games, they go 6-3 — that will alleviate some tension.
Baggedmilk:
Ugh, I hate this question. I will never give up hope that this team can catch fire and go on a heater.
Apr 17, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft during the first period against the Los Angeles Kings in game one of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place.
4) Aaron asks – Coaches are always the first to go during seasons like this, but is it fair for Jay Woodcroft to take the fall for the Oilers’ start?
Jason Gregor:
Life isn’t always fair, so there is a chance, especially if they extend their losing streak. I don’t believe he is the only issue, far from it, but the one flaw he has is never holding any of his top minute eaters accountable, by having them miss a few shifts. The players are the main culprits, as they are the ones making the bad reads, plays, but unfairly in times like this the coach often pays the price if losing continues.
Robin Brownlee:
It’s not fair, but that comes with the gig.
Zach Laing:
No, it wasn’t the right call, but it’s the one they made and nothing I say will change that. The truth of the mater is that this team would’ve been able to rebound with Woodcroft behind the bench, and Saturday night was the perfect spring board for it. Alas…
Baggedmilk:
Unfortunately, the NHL is a results driven league and it doesn’t really matter if firing Woody is fair or not. I don’t think it’s the right call, but he will ultimately be the one to pay the price.
5) Gary asks – Pretend that you are Jeff Jackson for a moment and tell me what is your course of action for the remainder of this season? What’s the game plan?
Jason Gregor:
I don’t believe there is one plan. IT can change based on how the season goes. If they keep losing he will need to make a change, but if they start playing up to their potential then he can be patient and start looking to add pieces. No one envisioned this start, so they are now looking at options they likely didn’t expect when the season began in early October.
Robin Brownlee:
I fire Woodcroft, then hire a coach in Knoblauch who has no NHL experience as a head coach and bring in 62-year-old Paul Coffey as an assistant to rep the Boys on the Bus era. Sure.
Zcah Laing:
I don’t let Ken Holland make another move, and pay the price it takes to move Jack Campbell’s contract for a bonafide NHL goaltender. Juuse Saros, Carter Hart, John Gibson, MacKenzie Blackwood… you catch my drift.
Baggedmilk:
Don’t be scared to make moves if you feel they’re the right thing to do. Patience is fine to a point, but let’s not Steve Tambellini this thing, if you know what I mean.

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