THE CRANES ARE FLYING

Let’s go back to the beginning of the off season and have another look. We know Peter Chiarelli will be bringing in a starting goalie, and our list (the one we gave MacT) was fairly straight forward.

SUMMER SHOPPING LIST

  1. Win the Lottery.
  2. A No.1 goaltender.
  3. A veteran top-pairing defenseman.
  4. A replacement for Jeff Petry.
  5. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game.

That’s Chiarelli’s list now, and the No. 1 item (incredibly) has been accomplished. The rest of this list is enormous—it’s doubtful PC can get everything done before September—but that No. 1 G should help a lot. Let’s go to the Vollman.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, DEFENSE 2014-15

oilers blue final 2014-15

Todd McLellan has Mark Fayne, who was Stone Alone in death valley most nights this season. Getting Fayne some help would be job two (after the G) for Chiarelli and that player isn’t on the roster. The Oscar Klefbom—Justin Schultz pairing is the most likely to return and should be successful at 5×5—at least in terms of possession—if they’re gifted monster ZS’s as they were a year ago.

Todd McLellan ran a tough minutes shut-down pairing in San Jose (Vlasic—Braun) and Chiarelli might be trying to get Andy Greene for his new coach as we speak. If MacLellan gets a chance to see these men in TC, he might be able to find a role for:

  • Martin Marincin. I’ll go to my grave believing MM said or did something the coaching/management staff didn’t like and the Oilers, being a losing organization, may cut off their nose to spite their face. If McLellan, who has in fact successfully deployed defensemen who aren’t physical types, gets a chance to use Marincin during 2015-16 my guess is we see the big man here through the rest of the decade in a top 6D role.
  • Andrew Ference. The captain had the most difficult ZS’s on the team among defenders and was unable to push the river, despite playing secondary opposition. My bet is he ends up as a third-pairing/pressbox option and is given far less severe ZS’s plus easier opposition. He should look better in that role and of course would be better off with a useful partner.

I don’t think Niki Nikitin can help, but there are others who do believe it. The Oilers would be far better off without Schultz, Ference and Nikitin (that’s big money, over $10 million, on defensemen who aren’t helping enough) but that isn’t an option currently. If McLellan finds a role for Marincin—and I honestly don’t think that’s a difficult item—and can hide one of Ference or Nikitin (I’ll take Ference, at least he’ll show up ready in TC), then we may see less bleeding by the blue.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, FORWARDS 2014-15

oilers forward final 2014-15

The Oilers have some splendid forwards, McLellan is going to run Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Poulior, Purcell the same way as Eakins/Nelson did (or similar), as long as those men are back in the fall. He’ll also be able to run McDavid with the pack, and in San Jose he didn’t appear to use a Boyd Gordon hell-line trio.

POSSIBLE CONCLUSIONS

I think there are some things we can gather from these graphs, especially when applying Chiarelli and McLellan to the group. We know Craig MacTavish suggested small progress before he was replaced, but Chiarelli may (suspect he does) see some opportunity to improve this roster markedly in some important spots. If Boyd Gordon no longer plays tough opposition with poor ZS’s, will his offense improve? Yes, but I don’t think he’ll help in this area. Can Anton Lander fill that 4line role if the ZS’s aren’t severe? Yes, I think he can. So, McLellan might be able to run a center depth chart of Nuge-McDavid-Soderberg-Lander if Chiarelli can secure the former Bruin. That would allow the team to deal Gordon in a trade for the new Jeff Petry.

  • Win the Lottery.
  • A No.1 goaltender, possibly Cam Talbot.
  • A shut down partner for Mark Fayne, possibly Andy Greene.
  • A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game (Carl Soderberg)
  • A replacement for Jeff Petry (using Boyd Gordon and other assets).

I think we can get a good goalie to Edmonton without breaking the bank but the defensemen (I’m picking Andy Greene here, and betting the Petry replacement is Marincin) who can help and grow with the group  is going to cost some of these assets:

  • Nail Yakupov
  • No. 33, 57 overall picks in 2015
  • first-round pick in 2016
  • second-round pick in 2016

The Oilers are McDavid’s team the moment he’s drafted (another reason No. 16 and No. 33 are so important). Young D like Nurse and Klefbom will mature in front of that group, becoming the Keith—Seabrook portion of the plan. The Chiarelli list then, is slightly more involved than the MacT list and we can agree it might take more than the summer.

CHIARELLI’S LIST

  1. Draft McDavid
  2. Find a quality goalie option (Talbot, etc)
  3. Acquire a legit partner for Fayne (Andy Greene, suspect this costs Yakupov)
  4. Sign a more offensive two-way C (Soderberg)
  5. Sign a veteran Pisani (Justin Williams)
  6. Ignore MacT re: Marincin
  7. Offload Gordon (unless McLellan decides to use a shut down, severe ZS line)

PROJECTED 2015-16 ROSTER

  • Hall—McDavid—Eberle
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Justin Williams
  • Draisaitl—Soderberg—Purcell
  • Hendricks—Lander—Klinkhammer
  • Greene—Fayne
  • Klefbom—Schultz
  • Marincin—Ference/Nikitin
  • Talbot—Scrivens

Lots of change and not one damn chance he’ll get it done in one summer. One team I think we should pay close attention to:  Boston Bruins. Joe Haggerty has a column in which he quotes Joe Haggerty on things like Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. If there’s any possibility that Hamilton is available, one guesses Chiarelli will be aggressive.

I think our man Nail, Marincin, one of this year’s second-round picks and next year’s second-round selection are all in play for Talbot and a veteran defenseman. If the club gets a puck mover, we might see Martin Marincin in that role with Fayne, but only if Peter Chiarelli looks beyond the advice from the incumbent management group.

Yesterday, we saw the club re-sign Andrew Miller and Brad Hunt, moves that come under the Chiarelli regime but are certainly MacT moves. At some point this summer, we’ll see Martin Marincin either traded, re-signed, or moving off to Europe. The window is tight and you can see how a player can get lost in the flood, but Peter Chiarelli can’t afford to be robbing Todd McLellan of potentially useful players.

Martin Marincin is such a player.

ABOUT NAIL

Peter Chiarelli will have to give in order to get, and as mentioned above I believe Nail Yakupov is in a tough spot. If Chiarelli can deal our Russian to a team badly in need of a feature winger (New Jersey) and get something of value (Andy Greene) it sets up the team to be better—especially if they can attract a free-agent Pisani like Justin Williams.

The Oilers have two things (young, exceptional talent and $) that have value and they are going to trade some of them in an effort to address weakness. As we get closer to the draft, I think Nail becomes more and more vulnerable. We can see it now, in that first round, a player like Svechnikov may be NHL-ready a year from now.

The Oilers need to trade a young impact talent, and I fear the answer is Nail Yakupov.

rudakava

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Busy show, this morning at 10 on TSN1260. Fluid guest list, confirmed so far:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Draft, free agency, trades. Oil.
  • Grant McCagg, head scout for McKeens Hockey. A variety of questions, you’re welcome to chime in.
  • Chris O’Leary, Edmonton Journal. Oh, those Eskimos were getting hurt on Sunday.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Talk soon.

 

 

 

 

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220 Responses to "THE CRANES ARE FLYING"

« Older Comments
  1. BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1) says:

    Well, this is disappointing:

    Follow

    Darren DregerVerified account
    ‏@DarrenDreger
    Todd Nelson drawing interest from Grand Rapids, Wilkes Barre and Charlotte. Could be done with the Oilers. More on TSN’s Insider Trading.

  2. commonfan14 says:

    Ducey: The 2016 pick could be 1,2,or 3 if the Oilers don’t make the playoffs. They are having three lotteries next year.
    I agree with LT.

    None of the lotteries will be good odds at all though if the team jumps even a few places in the standings. Plus I think we’re done winning lotteries for a while.

  3. commonfan14 says:

    Lowetide: That 2016 pick could be No. 1 overall.

    I really think we need to stop thinking this way.

    Not saying it’ll be easy for any of us – we’re all addicted. But it’s time.

  4. Woodguy says:

    To be clear:

    I love Yak, but I think he’s limited.

    All world shot, plus passer, …. crickets.

    That being said, I only trade him for a young RHD who projects to be a 1st pairing guy.

    I know you have to add to make that happen and I bet many GM’s will still value Jultz because 30 teams wanted him at one point and fame is very important in the NHL…..especially with guys like Shero.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    commonfan14: I really think we need to stop thinking this way.

    Not saying it’ll be easy for any of us – we’re all addicted.But it’s time.

    I’m preparing myself to become too bored with draft picks, like when Sather used to toss them away to sucker GM’s hell bent on assisting him when playoffs loomed.

    THAT’s the way to perceive draft picks.

  6. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    “The Cranes Are Flying”

    Here, in the advent before the coming of our Hockey Messiah, all of us staring at a turning point– draft day, the demarcation of year 1 C.E., the Connor Era, after the golden Annuciation by Angel Gabriel Daly–this seems a most unusual movie reference to use.

    This movie typifies “we hoped for the best but it turned out like always.”

    There is no happy ending. No love or joy. Just a mechanical, dutiful abiding till the end of days.

    Hockey McJesus and the Holy Trinity of Chiarelli, McLellan, and Green are supposed to save us from this grey despairing purgatory.

  7. Lowetide says:

    commonfan14: I really think we need to stop thinking this way.

    Not saying it’ll be easy for any of us – we’re all addicted.But it’s time.

    The lottery rules have changed. The Oilers COULD win the lottery. It’s not about thinking a certain way, beyond looking at facts and proceeding in your own best interests.

  8. G Money says:

    Connor: 8. 2016 first-round pick
    9. 2015 No. 16 pick
    10. Nail

    The chances of the 2015 No. 16 pick and the 2016 1st round pick (post TMc and Chia Pete, barring a lottery win) winning the rookie scoring title are indistinguishably close to zero.

    Just a minor reminder.

    The idea that Yak has no hockey sense is fucking ridiculous. Some skills don’t translate from the CHL to the NHL. To suggest that scoring nearly 2 ppg in draft-1 won’t translate is ridiculous.

    There are easier explanations for Yaks performance to date.

    To be blunt about it: Dallas Eakins and the MacLowe Oilers fucked around, tormented, and scapegoated Yak to deflect the blame from their own extreme incompetence.

    Remember how someone said “they’d never seen a team treat an NHLer as badly as they treated Jeff Petry”, and how happy Petry was to be treated well by an organization when he got to Montreal?

    Petry didn’t have to put up with half of what Yakupov did. And that’s just the shit we saw from the outside. He wasn’t benched repeatedly, he didn’t have his name dragged through the mud in the media, he wasn’t dropped from the one area (PP) where he could truly help and where he could find his confidence and where the team desperately needed him, and he didn’t get ripped publicly and have his ice time dropped to nothing for every little mistake (while the Canadian golden children got a completely free ride all the while).

    And Petry wasn’t a 19 year old kid living 8,000 km from home.

    We (rightly) rip on the piss stain of a performance from MacT in assessing defensemen, and the shit stain performance in player motivation from Eakins. Those pale in comparison to the diarrhea stain that was their treatment of Yakupov.

  9. G Money says:

    G Money: We (rightly) rip on the piss stain of a performance from MacT in assessing defensemen, and the shit stain performance in player motivation from Eakins. Those pale in comparison to the diarrhea stain that was their treatment of Yakupov.

    Thank the fucking maker that the Oilers finally changed their goddamn underwear.

  10. skidplate says:

    G Money,

    Seems like a good time to post…………

    Oh, and I agree!!

  11. jm363561 says:

    Agree with everything except we do not need Soderberg. Anyone (other than Eakins and MacT) who saw Lander at the end of last season and, in particular, centring Sweden’s top line in the World Championships, can see two way talent, leadership, and a player who will take the fight into the trenches. Fourth liner, my ass.

  12. Магия 10 says:

    BOLD OVER (5-14-6-1):
    Well, this is disappointing:

    Follow

    Darren DregerVerified account
    ‏@DarrenDreger
    Todd Nelson drawing interest from Grand Rapids, Wilkes Barre and Charlotte. Could be done with the Oilers. More on TSN’s Insider Trading.

    If you were Todd Nelson would you rather coach for an org that might hire someone other than an experienced NHL coach next time? Or for one that one is taking a break from that for about a decade? Thought so.

  13. GCW_69 says:

    Best of luck Todd Nelson.

  14. Woodguy says:

    G Money: The chances of the 2015 No. 16 pick and the 2016 1st round pick (post TMc and Chia Pete, barring a lottery win) winning the rookie scoring title are indistinguishably close to zero.

    Just a minor reminder.

    The idea that Yak has no hockey sense is fucking ridiculous.Some skills don’t translate from the CHL to the NHL.To suggest that scoring nearly 2 ppg in draft-1 won’t translate is ridiculous.

    There are easier explanations for Yaks performance to date.

    To be blunt about it: Dallas Eakins and the MacLowe Oilers fucked around, tormented, and scapegoated Yak to deflect the blame from their own extreme incompetence.

    Remember how someone said “they’d never seen a team treat an NHLer as badly as they treated Jeff Petry”, and how happy Petry was to be treated well by an organization when he got to Montreal?

    Petry didn’t have to put up with half of what Yakupov did.And that’s just the shit we saw from the outside.He wasn’t benched repeatedly, he didn’t have his name dragged through the mud in the media, he wasn’t dropped from the one area (PP) where he could truly help and where he could find his confidence and where the team desperately needed him, and he didn’t get ripped publicly and have his ice time dropped to nothing for every little mistake (while the Canadian golden children got a completely free ride all the while).

    And Petry wasn’t a 19 year old kid living 8,000 km from home.

    We (rightly) rip on the piss stain of a performance from MacT in assessing defensemen, and the shit stain performance in player motivation from Eakins.Those pale in comparison to the diarrhea stain that was their treatment of Yakupov.

    All the offensive zone starts you can eat and 4th line competition isn’t exactly the Baatan Death March.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy: All the offensive zone starts you can eat and 4th line competition isn’t exactly the Baatan Death March.

    Stick a very young Jimi Hendrix in a Toronto bar band; chances are he’s never going to be heard outside the Golden Horseshoe. Yaks as I seem to recall, aside from playing under the tender mercies of the ghastly Dallas Eakins, tended to play on some 4th line from Hell.

  16. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    And Petry wasn’t a 19 year old kid living 8,000 km from home.

    Yak lives with him Mom here in Edmonton during the hockey season.

  17. Really? says:

    G Money: The chances of the 2015 No. 16 pick and the 2016 1st round pick (post TMc and Chia Pete, barring a lottery win) winning the rookie scoring title are indistinguishably close to zero.

    Just a minor reminder.

    The idea that Yak has no hockey sense is fucking ridiculous.Some skills don’t translate from the CHL to the NHL.To suggest that scoring nearly 2 ppg in draft-1 won’t translate is ridiculous.

    There are easier explanations for Yaks performance to date.

    To be blunt about it: Dallas Eakins and the MacLowe Oilers fucked around, tormented, and scapegoated Yak to deflect the blame from their own extreme incompetence.

    Remember how someone said “they’d never seen a team treat an NHLer as badly as they treated Jeff Petry”, and how happy Petry was to be treated well by an organization when he got to Montreal?

    Petry didn’t have to put up with half of what Yakupov did.And that’s just the shit we saw from the outside.He wasn’t benched repeatedly, he didn’t have his name dragged through the mud in the media, he wasn’t dropped from the one area (PP) where he could truly help and where he could find his confidence and where the team desperately needed him, and he didn’t get ripped publicly and have his ice time dropped to nothing for every little mistake (while the Canadian golden children got a completely free ride all the while).

    And Petry wasn’t a 19 year old kid living 8,000 km from home.

    We (rightly) rip on the piss stain of a performance from MacT in assessing defensemen, and the shit stain performance in player motivation from Eakins.Those pale in comparison to the diarrhea stain that was their treatment of Yakupov.

    Can’t wait to hear you comment on a topic that you feel strongly about. By the way Yakupov should be traded while we can still get something for him. Has not shown NHL level skills.

  18. Shake_N_Bake says:

    Really?: By the way Yakupov should be traded while we can still get something for him. Has not shown NHL level skills.

    Absolutely. Get something while you can. Yak is now what he will be. You can talk potential all you want but Yak’s potential has been realized.

  19. hags9k says:

    Don’t trade Yak before seeing him with 97. That would be nuckin futs.

  20. hags9k says:

    Shake_N_Bake: Absolutely. Get something while you can. Yak is now what he will be. You can talk potential all you want but Yak’s potential has been realized.

    If Yak is with 97 all bets are off. They could blow the doors off. There’s always room for growth in young players. I want to see him with 4 and McDavid in camp and watch his passion and recognition for the oportunity take him to new heights.

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