Hello hello, Nation people. It’s your old friend Baggedmilk back with another edition of the Monday Mailbag to fill your brain bank with all kinds of free knowledge. This week, we’re breaking down Bob Nicholson’s comments regarding Rieder, free agency, the Oilers’ core, and more. If you have a question for the Mailbag, you can always hit me up through email or on Twitter. Until then, enjoy the reprieve from work and/or life. Enjoy.
Oct 23, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Washington Capitals defensemen Michal Kempny (6) trips Edmonton Oilers forward Tobias Rieder (22) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1) Devon asks – How could I not ask what everyone thinks about Bob Nicholson’s comments regarding Tobias Rieder?
Jason Gregor:
When you have nine breakfast/luncheons in a live mic situation your odds of saying something you regret increase significantly. He shouldn’t have said it. I’m not going to try and read more into it. Dumb comment. He shouldn’t be talking about players. He isn’t the GM. Bad decision.
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Dustin Nielson:
It’s a really bad look on Nicholson. The real concern for me would be if he actually believes what he said about Rieder scoring 10 to 12 goals probably pushing them into the playoffs. If he truly believes that I’d be worried as Oilers fans.
Robin Brownlee:
Stupid thing to say publicly. Just another trigger, something to jump on, for fans who are already ticked off.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
He targetted an individual player and that’s never for okay. There’s no doubt he regrets saying it and it’s caused a media firestorm which is not what this organization needed while in the middle of a GM search. I think what he was trying to say is that the Oilers have struggled to get goals from players not named McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, or Chiasson and if guys like Rieder, Lucic, or Brodziak had better seasons the team might have been a playoff team. My view on Bob Nicholson hasn’t really changed after this. It was a slip of the tongue but with that being said, this fan base has every right to be pissed off at the organization. They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
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Christian Pagnani:
I didn’t think it was a big deal initially because I figured it was lost in translation via Twitter, but it was even worse than I thought. It’s bad. The more I think about it the worse it is.
Chris the Intern:
I’m dumbfounded by it. It was completely inappropriate and unprofessional and Nicholson should be ashamed of himself.
Baggedmilk:
They were ridiculous and he should be embarrassed. For a guy that talks about character a lot, these comments made it pretty clear that he doesn’t have much of it.
2) Lance asks – Do you think Bob Nicholson’s comments will affect the way future UFAs view the Oilers as a possible destination? Personally, if I was a free agent, I wouldn’t want to play in a place where the CEO could possibly take shots during a public meeting.
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Jason Gregor:
That could be a good thing. You rarely build a winner via free agency, and often you end up overpaying, but players will still sign here. They will look to see who is the coach, who are the teammates and what opportunity will they have. Having a chance to play with McDavid or Draisaitl is very intriguing. That is more important than who is the team president. If the team is good these situations won’t be occurring. It was a dumb comment, no question. But it doesn’t erase the fact Rieder hasn’t scored a goal and for the past three months seems allergic to going to the blue paint. Nicholson made an ignorant comment and Rieder has been awful. Both can occur at the same time and one doesn’t change the other.
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Dustin Nielson:
I don’t think free agents would be lining up to join the Oilers anyway so I doubt this comment damages things that much. The one area it may impact is other clients of Darren Ferris.
Robin Brownlee:
Doesn’t help, but really doesn’t hurt as much as some would suggest. Didn’t need these comments as evidence Edmonton is a bit of a tire fire right now. Win games. That impacts the ability to attract free agents more than anything.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
No, I really don’t. The Oilers have been a mess of an organization for over a decade and I don’t think one comment about a guy who hasn’t scored a single goal will make any sort of difference when it comes to free agents. Also, the expectation is that the team will have a new POHO/GM to court potential free agents this summer and I think those new hires will have a bigger effect than Nicholson when it comes to recruiting.
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Christian Pagnani:
Yes and no. Maybe Darren Farris hesitates when Edmonton makes an offer for one of his free agents, but if they offer the best fit I doubt free agents will care what Bob Nicholson said.
Chris the Intern:
Absolutely. I’m pretty sure it’s hard enough to get free agents to come to Edmonton. McDavid is obviously the big catch, but there’s nothing else here that will attract anybody. Why would someone want to come to this disaster?
Baggedmilk:
Of course it does. Edmonton isn’t a destination for a lot of guys anyway and when you add on the layer that the CEO, not the GM or coach, could throw you under the bus then why would you want to deal with that?
3) Seth asks – I was at one of the early week season ticket holder meetings and Bob Nicholson suggested that there’s a possibility that the Oilers may not have a GM by the NHL Draft. What are your thoughts on this revelation?
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Jason Gregor:
I wouldn’t advise it. I highly doubt that will occur. Him saying that is essentially him saying they will not rush the process. That is good. The GM won’t have much to do draft wise. Your head of amateur scouting makes the calls on draft picks. Why they need one is for trades. You will need a GM in pace as draft week and the week after the draft is where many bigger trades are made now. It would be a bad decision not to have the GM in place by the draft.
Dustin Nielson:
In a perfect world, you would like to have a GM by the draft but Keith Gretzky will end up running the draft anyway.
Robin Brownlee:
Not a revelation, really, as it’s always been a possibility. Most clubs aren’t allowing teams to talk to their people until after the season. Rushing it for the sake of the draft doesn’t make sense. It’s not ideal, but better to get the right person. Draft can be handled by Keith Gretzky and the scouts. That work is already done. It’s potential trades where not having the GM in place could be a problem.
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Tyler Yaremchuk:
I can see why that would happen. If they want to interview all potential candidates they might need to wait until the playoffs end to talk to everyone they want to. That would mean they’d have less than 20 days to interview any last-minute candidates. It’s not ideal and I really think the team should be doing everything they can to ensure they have a GM in place at least two weeks before the draft. Getting this hire right is crucial for the organization, but this upcoming offseason is also massive for the future of the team.
Christian Pagnani:
If it’s because they want to do a thorough search, great. If it’s because they want to appear like they’re looking at everyone, but end up with Keith Gretzky as their guy, less great.
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Chris the Intern:
If that means that K. Gretzky will be drafting then I don’t think it’s the end of the world. Having a new GM come in last minute before the draft probably wouldn’t change the picks we were going to make. My only concern is if we start to make trades during the draft without a GM. I wouldn’t really want to trust anyone making trades that won’t be here long-term, or a new GM who has no experience with the team yet.
Baggedmilk:
It would be very Oilersy, would it? Who knows, Seth, at this point I’m just strapped in and holding on for dear life.
4) Sarah asks – In your opinion, who are the members of the Oilers’ core? Depending who you ask, there are varying opinions on the subject and I’m wondering what everyone here thinks? Thanks in advance.
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Jason Gregor:
McDavid and Draisaitl are the two main ones. The rest are in a second level in my eyes, but none are untradeable if the deal made sense. The second level would be RNH, Klefbom, Nurse, Larsson and maybe Koskinen as he is their starter moving forward.
Dustin Nielson:
The Oilers core includes McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Klefbom and Nurse. With that being said McDavid and Draisaitl are the only untouchables. I could justify moving any of the other guys, moving Nuge would be really tough though and the price would have to be excellent.
Robin Brownlee:
McDavid. Draisaitl. RNH. Nurse. Klefbom.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I would say there are is defined as the players they would not look to trade this summer. Obviously, everyone (except McDavid) has a price tag, but I would say the Oilers core is McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Klefbom. I don’t think the organization should be too attached to anyone else. If a good offer comes along for anyone else, the team should seriously consider it.
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Christian Pagnani:
Connor McDavid is the Oilers core. Most likely Leon Draisaitl too, but I don’t think anyone other than McDavid is part of the ‘core’. Core means not trading under any circumstance.
Chris the Intern:
Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are the core three. Untradeable if you ask me. I’d like to add Darnell Nurse, but I don’t think he’s quite there.
Baggedmilk:
Connor, Leon, Nuge, Klefbom, and Nurse. Seem about right?
5) Blake asks – If the 2018-19 Oilers season was a movie, what would its title be?
Jason Gregor:
“At the top of the movie poster, it would say… “Brace yourself for Peter”
The movie… As Bad as it Gets.
Dustin Nielson:
Easy one, Dumb and Dumber.
Robin Brownlee:
Home Alone
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Gross Incompetence.
Christian Pagnani:
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Oilers: Far From Good.
Chris the Intern:
It’s kind of a funny story
Baggedmilk:

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