What if Craig MacTavish contemplated shaking the Oilers young roster to its foundation last spring. What if, having thought about it, he decided to proceed with caution, to stay the course with the youth movement. What if he said “we’ll bring in a coach with a stern hand, teach these kids about the ‘what you leave’ part of the game and then push into the front lines, battle hardened after Christmas”? If he proceeded with the season in that way, how do you think he would react to what this team put canvas?
- Scotty Bowman, 1968: “There are 20 guys in here who probably have twenty different ways to make out the lineup. I suppose you all have a better way to shuffle this deck and come up with a winning hand. (pause). But let me tell you this, gentlemen: You can’t shuffle deuces and threes.”
We can reasonably assume Sam Gagner is gone from this team, but is he the only member of the team’s young cluster heading out of town? I think the club may have been able to manage it had they saved Hemsky, but at this point the top 6F (Hall, Perron, Nuge, tall 2-way C, Eberle, Yakupov) doesn’t have anyone pushing them from below. And that’s a problem. The club might be able to deal Gagner for a solution that fits better at center, but I’m not sure how that deal would look—additions to 89 would have to be included. How much does a Martin Hanzal go for these days?
WE’VE GOT TRANSACTIONS!!!!!
A flurry (since this is a hockey blog, should it be spelled Fleury?) of transactions by the Oilers yesterday.
- Oilers signed college defenseman Jordan Oesterle. I wrote about him last night, surely you remember.
- Oilers recalled Will Acton. Not popular with Oiler fans, I’m not sure why. He played with dregs and had predictable results at the start of the year.
- Barons signed D Graeme Craig. HUGE (6.05, 202) defender. Big men who can skate well get drafted.
- Oilers and or Barons signed F Josh Winquist. 6.0, 190 and he was a point a game player at 19. 47 goals as an overager, you never know.
- Greg Chase is also on the way to OKC.
- Jujhar Khaira is too.
- Andrew Ference and Luke Gazdic are done for the season
Anton Lander and Tyler Pitlick should get plenty of work.
That’s Gerry Odrowski. He played on the original Seals and was a brilliant penalty killer. Oakland had all kinds of interesting players over the years. My favorites were Bill & Ernie Hicke, Bobby Sheehan, Carol Vadnais, Ivan Boldirev, Joey Johnston, Reggie Leach, Stan Weir. My favorite? Gilles Meloche. Most of the stories in the 1970s that involved the Seals went “despite stopping 45 shots, Gilles Meloche and the Seals lost 3-1 to Montreal.”
Maybe Ben Scrivens should call Gilles.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10 this morning on the Lowdown, TSN 1260. No April Fool’s, but some good fun! Scheduled to appear:
- Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. We’ll talk about Dallas Eakins assertion that the Oilers are not an offensive team.
- Neal Livingston, Tend the Farm. We were both surprised that Arco signed. Barons did about 30 other things yesterday.
- Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation. He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore!
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. How will Chase and Khaira do in OKC? Craig and Wingquist? Who ARE they?
10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter. Here we go!