Barring a trade or waiver selection (Edmonton plucked Luke Gazdic a year ago right about now) the Oilers head north out of balance—continuing their streak that goes back to the beginning of the century. Even in 2005-06, the train left the station without a reasonable NHL goalie. If you’re an Oiler fan, it is beyond galling that the Edmonton Oilers can’t get ready on time. Oilers management, in what can only be described as a unique quirk, display a diabolical willingness to avoid massive areas of weakness in the name of hope. It’s another ‘God willing and the creek don’t rise’ opening night roster in the hinterland.
CURRENT OILERS (23 plus IR)
|LEFT WING||CENTER||RIGHT WING|
|TAYLOR HALL||RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS||JORDAN EBERLE|
|BENOIT POULIOT||LEON DRAISAITL||NAIL YAKUPOV|
|DAVID PERRON||MARK ARCOBELLO
|MATT HENDRICKS||BOYD GORDON
|LUKE GAZDIC (IR LIKELY)||WILL ACTON|
|LEFT DEFENSE||RIGHT DEFENSE|
|OSCAR KLEFBOM||JEFF PETRY|
|ANDREW FERENCE||JUSTIN SCHULTZ|
|DARNELL NURSE||BRAD HUNT
This is a roster that has recovered mightily over the last 15 months from the Tambellini scorched earth era. You can see logic and reason, bets good and better, and holes where the cold and snow will ravage the good work of summer. This is the most pro-MacT blog in the Oilogosphere, and I think the man needs one more summer to get this set. Sign Petry, find the Reasoner, make sure the defense and goaltending is as tight as Watts-Wyman and let the jacks and kings hammer on a drum.
They need another summer.
I think the Oilers finish 10th in the conference and 20th overall, owing to the Hall’s and Nuge’s, a maturing head coach and a mature coach added, and the moves made this summer in bringing in Pouliot, Fayne et al. Here we go!
Not a lot on waivers today. Jerry D’Amigo is a two-way winger who is undersized and played for Dallas Eakins as a Marlie. If they plucked him it would be for that fourth line winger role Joenssu currently holds. D’Amigo does have a reputation as a solid penalty killer, that might be a reason for some team to take him. Stephane Veilleux is well known to Oilers fans as a Minnesota Wild checker, and he would bring a physical element to the team. Cody Almond is a center with size, but appears to be a project without the puck and possesses limited offensive potential. Zac Dalpe made the AHL All-Rookie team a few years back, but has been unable to sustain the numbers in the ensuing seasons. It’s doubtful anyone takes him, but that 2010-11 season (and playoff) was something. Chris Mueller is a 28-year old center who has been knocking on the door for ages and can probably play. There are guys drawing paychecks in the NHL with the same talent, but these fringe guys have to find someone who believes in them enough to get a full shot—Mueller waits.
There should be more waivers this morning, including (possibly) Kyle Brodziak. That damn Jonathan Willis—who does not sleep—already has the story here.
CRAIG MACTAVISH GETS IT
- MacT: “If you take the time to listen to them, which everybody does, you can’t help but come away from those conversations realizing that, hey, there is something to these possession numbers that correlates to success and points. We identify good possession players and then we try to obviously cross-reference all that stuff with scouting and all the other more traditional measures. At least in the past it could lead you to identifying some value, some unrecognized value in certain players, but now I think everybody has got somebody looking in those areas.”
You may ask yourself ‘then why did he send down Marincin?’ and I think the answer is the Oilers value culture and discipline and rewarding hard work more than they do winning at this point in time. It’s a young group, lessons good and bad are being learned. I don’t agree with the Marincin demotion, and can’t understand why the Oilers have chosen to have less than true balance on opening night. Then again, I’ve never understood this team’s curious ability to avoid balance on their opening night roster. Baffling.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal breaks down the roster and has instant reaction to the waiver situation. He’s followed by Jeff Hauser from Radio Hauser and NFL talk—the Seahawks are freaky. At 11, Guy Flaming from the Pipeline Show talks Oil Kings and the 2015 draft (Craig Button’s list is out) and we talk to Kent Wilson of Flames Nation about the Calgary NHL team and their outlook for 2014-15.
@Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260 via text. See you on the radio!