PETER CHIARELLI’S STATE OF THE UNION, PART 2

We conclude our look at Bob McKenzie’s interview with the final five minutes—five incredible minutes of verbal.

  • Peter Chiarelli: “I can tell you I expect (Sekera) to be in our top four, Klefbom will be in our top four, Justin Schultz will be, I would hope he would be in our top four. Nikita Nikitin, who had a disappointing season last year, who was brought in to play in the top four. We’ve got some guys we acquired, Griffin Reinhart who I believe is a terrific player. I think he needs a little time to get up and running before I can anoint him in the top four. We have Eric Gryba who I think is a real strong shutdown D, we can probably shuttle him up at certain points. We’ve got three legitimate, we don’t have a workhorse right now.”

I wrote about this passage over at ON, but wanted also to place it here for future reference. I think it’s reasonable to suggest (without reading PC’s quote) going into the day it made the most sense to run Sekera—Fayne and Klefbom—Schultz until further notice. After reading this from Chiarelli, I’m changing my guess to Klefbom—Sekera and then Nikitin—Schultz. The only reason I can see to do it? Chiarelli is putting Nikitin back in his original spot and if it doesn’t work out then management will re-visit who recommended him and continue the forensics (code for “fire the culprit). I would respectfully suggest Mark Fayne is extremely likely to be in the top four D at even strength and lead the team in PK TOI. We wait.

  • Peter Chiarelli on Justin Schultz: “He’s a player that I don’t have really strong knowledge of. Saw him in college. Saw him in the lockout in the American League. Saw him in bits and pieces with Edmonton, maybe a little more this past year, whether it’s video or otherwise. He’s got a lot of assets, like puck skills, passing, skating. He’s been labelled sometimes as a rover and that’s more negative than positive in my mind, but the fact that he’s up the ice with the forwards is a good thing. That’s something that we would preach here. It’s about defending, about being the proper position and if you’re not strong enough to defend, let’s talk about positional defending, stick defending. He has to get better at that.”

I honestly can’t see this ending well. Schultz is going to require a $5 million contract (or more, and for term) next summer and the Oilers (everyone knows this) will be loading up the truck in the Brent Seabrook sweepstakes. The line about “he has to get better at that” is a tell imo, because Justin Schultz ISN’T good at that, and yet the pay day is coming. Better to walk the contract, allow another team to sign him at $3.5 million a year and we can begin talking about the player without a massive contract on the horizon.

  • Peter Chiarelli (on his believing Griffin Reinhart being an NHL defenseman right now): “That’s fair. There’s a little bit of lead time that he has to get up and running. He has to make our team. We’ve got 8 or 9 D who are challenging. I believe he is, yeah. What I saw from him in the Memorial Cup. I know his year last year wasn’t great and there’s reasons behind that and that really is—not excuses—but there are reasons that explain it. But what I saw in the Memorial Cup is that you’ve got a player here who can dominate, that can lug the puck, and that can make plays. And for a bigger sized man, he can move well, and I would expect him to be in the top 4 at some point.”

I thought Reinhart was a stud at the Memorial Cup too, but that isn’t the NHL. I think Chiarelli, Bob Green and the men who make these decisions for the Oilers had an itch they were eventually going to scratch and the Islanders cashed in on that itch this summer. I believe Reinhart has the pedigree to be an excellent NHL defenseman and further—this is a big item—the man who traded for him is going to give him a push. If you’re writing in the Oilers lineup for 2015-16, suspect you should make room for Reinhart (and Sekera moving to RH side to make room).

The pairings opening night? Allow me to call it now:

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nikitin—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Fayne

Nothing means anything until Todd McLellan speaks. Still, a lot of the treasury went to Griffin Reinhart’s procurement and we have to factor that in to the future. And, possibly, the present.

  • Peter Chiarelli on Ference, moving down the line-up and whether he can continue as captain: “Well, what, I mean is that’s a quantum leap to go from ‘moving down’ to ‘can you be a captain?’ He may move down the line-up. I thought he was over-played in higher pairs. What Todd and I will do is we’ll discuss the captaincy, the assistant captains, as the pre-season goes on. I’ve had discussions with Andrew about that. I’ve got a good relationship with Andrew from before in Boston. We can be very frank with each other and we have been. So if we do make that change, I know Andrew would be a complete professional about that. He helped us win in Boston and I can still see him helping us win in Edmonton.”

I have a difficult time figuring out the Oilers pairings and Chiarelli’s comments to McKenzie overall confused the issue, but the Ference take matches what we’ve discussed in the past. Ference, in my opinion, is going to mentor the kids and may start as part of the 7-8 (Ference-Gryba) pairing. I also think we should be aware of the possibility of a pre-season trade involving last year’s veterans.

  • Peter Chiarelli on his relationship with Craig MacTavish: “The relationship is growing, I mean it’s an awkward thing to start. We had a couple of meetings to start at the start of my tenure. I appreciate his feelings, I think what he’s done in the NHL is very good, and is very good experience and experience counts for a a lot in this business. He’s a very good person, from what I’ve known before and gotten to know more. He’s had success here, maybe he’s had some failure but he’s had success here, and knows what it takes to succeed in Edmonton. He has a good hockey mind. So, if we can make it work and we will make it work he’s an asset to the organization. He’s VP of hockey operations, so he’s going to oversee a lot of development in Bakersfield. He’s going to be my No. 2 guy.”

Awkward relationship invites awkward answer, and we are here. Let me ask you: If your boss delivered an answer like this to the media about you, would you update the resume? That’s a very halting answer.

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113 Responses to "PETER CHIARELLI’S STATE OF THE UNION, PART 2"

  1. Khlhfs says:

    There’s been a lot of talk about acquiring Seabrook on this site which I get is due to his playoff success. But if we’re looking at a work horse on the back end to throw an obscene amount of money at then why isn’t anyone talking about Erik Johnson?

  2. oliveoilers says:

    Chia to MacT: You picked ’em, you develop them.

    This is last chance saloon for MacT and possibly Howson.

    Shame, because with MacT, there IS something there, whether as a scout or GM of a junior team. It’s the glasses.

  3. wheatnoil says:

    Kind of sounds like MacT’s job was not exactly Chiarelli’s idea. Perhaps it was suggested and he agreed, since it helps to have someone who knows the organization close by and all, but it didn’t seem like he had a clear idea of what exactly MacT would be doing. He did mention pro scouting in addition to Bakersfield.

  4. speeds says:

    LT: what are your thoughts on Chiarelli’s first summer on the job, both on its own and as compared to MacT’s first summer?

  5. wheatnoil says:

    On Schultz… this is a guy who led the team in ice-time last year. He wasn’t just Top 4… he was #1D. So, I think the fact that Chiarelli hesitated at all with Schultz (“Justin Schultz will be, I would hope he would be…”) tells you that he has some reservation.

    As you mentioned in your ON post, LT, Fayne did play 3rd pairing minutes last year. So adding him to the Top 4 while subtracting Schultz would actually be a pretty massive statement. Essentially flipping the depth chart upside down. That may be how it plays out (or it may not) but it makes sense that Chiarelli would hedge his statements… which is what he did all through the interview.

  6. kinger_OIL says:

    – Chia, like any capable professional sport GM is a half-truths/fibbing/promoting/positioning/ representing/lying/ hyping/pontificating/cajoing/laying it on thick/typifying/working you over, PLAYAH when being interviewed by the press.

    – Take it all with big chunks of salt: it reminds me of an old truisim: “How can you tell when a car salesman is lying”? “As soon as he opens his mouth”

    – Chia is a capable GM

    – There’s something in that chat with Bob for everyone, lest one considers the intended audience

  7. John Chambers says:

    Khlhfs,

    Erik Johnson would absolutely be the right answer in terms of age and Chiarelli’s predilection toward size. He’s also a former #1 OV pick 🙂

    Does an American in his prime want to play in YEG? Not usually, but with McD and this cluster … I still think probably not.

  8. spoiler says:

    wheatnoil:
    On Schultz… this is a guy who led the team in ice-time last year. He wasn’t just Top 4… he was #1D. So, I think the fact that Chiarelli hesitated at all with Schultz (“Justin Schultz will be, I would hope he would be…”) tells you that he has some reservation.

    As you mentioned in your ON post, LT, Fayne did play 3rd pairing minutes last year. So adding him to the Top 4 while subtracting Schultz would actually be a pretty massive statement. Essentially flipping the depth chart upside down. That may be how it plays out (or it may not) but it makes sense that Chiarelli would hedge his statements… which is what he did all through the interview.

    Yeah, the “full knowledge” comment by Chiarelli was BS. He knows enough that Ference played too much up the batting order, but he doesn’t have “full knowledge” of Schultz. Not to mention both MacT and TMac have lots of Schultzy viewings.

    I think what he’s indicating with that comment is I want to wait and see if last year was an anomaly, did coaching have an effect, he hasn’t played 300 games yet, did he improve his strength this summer, etc.

  9. slopitch says:

    I think Chai is presenting the MacT situation like it is. It would have to be awkward replacing a guy who isn’t fired. That relationship takes time. If MacT is gone this time next year I won’t be surprised but I do think he’ll stay. His ties are strong to this organization.

    I still see a trade in the coming weeks… Schultz, 1st, Ference for a dman is my guess.

    Chai doesn’t like the D. He didn’t say it directly but thats the message I picked up.

  10. spoiler says:

    slopitch,

    I agree. I think Chia wants to make a trade right now. But whether one will materialize is another story.

  11. G Money says:

    Ottawa wins in BC Place for the first time since 1990.

    But it doesn’t matter, because BC was the more physical team.

  12. sliderule says:

    Katz to Chia “you can’t fire mact as he was nice to me when I as an oiler owner wannabe .

    Katz to Chia “that Bucky guy was nice to me to so he is also an oiler for life”

    Chia to Katz “I am on it”

  13. slopitch says:

    Spoiler: fair. We are too used to GMs who don’t deliver. Here’s to hoping.

    Iginla for Ference would be sacrilegious right?!? lol

    Really like the Erik Johnson suggestion. Would cost Yak.

  14. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    LT: what are your thoughts on Chiarelli’s first summer on the job, both on its own and as compared to MacT’s first summer?

    I really like the Talbot add, the Sekera add and of course getting McDavid changes everything. I do think (despite the Scott Cullen-rated post that suggested good value) the Reinhart add was an overpay and with Nurse close an unnecessary risk. So, a mixed bag and I am admittedly devastated he didn’t go get another defender/buy out Nikitin.

    I do think he’s a clear upgrade on the past and suspect he’ll clean house (management and players) next summer.

  15. stevezie says:

    I don’t know about MacT, but with Nikita and really eith Schultz the gist was, “this is not my guy, do not attach my name to him.”

  16. Walter Sobchak says:

    I honestly don’t get the Seabrook talk? I think it ranks right up with the Weber talk….

    Both would have been great two years ago but now would be a blunder of a signing IMO

    However, I do like the Predator defensive roster and if there is one team that you could make a deal with I’d target this team.

    A lot of talk here about what to do with Yakupov and where might Draisaitl might play , but what happens if both players have breakout years on the wing?

    I think Eberle is in the conversation to be moved as much as Yakupov is and might be a player that yields a better player.

    For what it’s worth, I would be targeting Seth Jones not Seabrook.

  17. Dennis L says:

    Chiarelli was a professional in this interview. If you didn’t know his history, you would still know that he knows what he is doing, and has been doing this for a while.

    He didn’t “challenge” anyone with a dissection of their faults, but rather identified players’ strengths or positive histories while indicating a curiosity respecting the future of some. This applies specifically to Schultz, Ference, and Nikitin, obviously. His answers were very “trust, but verify”. If we’re judging this interview relative to the recent past, he didn’t degrade anyone’s future trade value, and made sure to point out that, however imperfect the defence is, each player has their own strengths or good pasts (that he will later emphasize when he’s trying madly to trade them).

    I think he showed a sufficient level of credible-sounding, honesty-like statements, without laying open the book. I’m encouraged that there is paddling going on under the public surface to further improve things.

  18. rickithebear says:

    Chia’s best move as a GM.
    Sign Colin Campbell’s son.

  19. Water Fire says:

    Dennis L:
    Chiarelli was a professional in this interview. If you didn’t know his history, you would still know that he knows what he is doing, and has been doing this for a while.

    He didn’t “challenge” anyone with a dissection of their faults, but rather identified players’ strengths or positive histories while indicating a curiosity respecting the future of some. This applies specifically to Schultz, Ference, and Nikitin, obviously. His answers were very “trust, but verify”. If we’re judging this interview relative to the recent past, he didn’t degrade anyone’s future trade value, and made sure to point out that, however imperfect the defence is, each player has their own strengths or good pasts (that he will later emphasize when he’s trying madly to trade them).

    I think he showed a sufficient level of credible-sounding, honesty-like statements, without laying open the book. I’m encouraged that there is paddling going on under the public surface to further improve things.

    This is how I took him as well. I didn’t see much subterfuge, more an honest guy who doesn’t advertently or inadvertently throw people under the bus publicly or shoot himself in the foot with his closed small peer group. New turf for Oiler fans.

    It’s still clear he is not on board with a lot of the roster. And he shouldn’t be, they haven’t been very good.

  20. John Chambers says:

    slopitch,

    To my surprise Erik Johnson is a UFA after this season.

    I think the plan should be to evaluate which player among Byfuglien, Johnson, Seabrook, or other of this caliber (maybe OEL) are being shopped because their respective teams are out of the picture next February after the AS break. It’s doubtful Seabrook will be available, but that to me would be the time to use our 1st rounder to grab the best D possible.

  21. LadiesloveSmid says:

    you think Colorado will let Johnson go? or that he’d sign in Edmonton over Colorado or somewhere else in the US?

    I doubt it. COL’s D depth is Johnson-Barrie so.

  22. striatic says:

    Dennis L: he didn’t degrade anyone’s future trade value

    MacT had a problem in this regard, though it is easier for management to say nice things in the summer, before the frustration of a losing season sets in.

  23. Bruce McCurdy says:

    striatic: MacT had a problem in this regard, though it is easier for management to say nice things in the summer, before the frustration of a losing season sets in.

    Nice things like “if you have to ask the question”?

  24. spoiler says:

    The only place I can find Slepyshev listed at 218 lbs is Eliteprospects, who may have changed their listing based on Chia’s comments. Neither the Oilers site nor his old KHL site has him over 200lbs, and he was drafted at about 180.

    That’s a heckuva jump in weight if it’s true. About 24 lbs in a year!

  25. Mr. D. says:

    I have no doubt that a defensive trade is in the works. I think it will be Schultz for?????

  26. striatic says:

    spoiler: That’s a heckuva jump in weight if it’s true. About 24 lbs in a year!

    Maybe he meant to say “208 pounds” which seems much more in the range.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    striatic: Maybe he meant to say “208 pounds” which seems much more in the range.

    I heard 217 on the webcast

  28. striatic says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nice things like “if you have to ask the question”?

    Chiarelli is already miles ahead of that bone-headedness for sure. I’m saying that Chiarelli is clearing a very low bar here and what he says during the stress of a struggling season will tell the full story about his ability to bite his tongue.

  29. AsiaOil says:

    I actually think our defense is “in house” but needs 2-3 years. Nurse, GR and Klef are horses – plus Sekera who will be a bridge to that future. We’ve also got a bunch of cheap bottom pair guys ready soon. Even offense may have a solution in Joey Leggs who could be a 3rd pair offensive specialist who can put up points and be sheltered. You just keep drafting and developing those guys and turn them over when they expect to get paid (you let someone else do that). So the problem is the next 2 years and we need another bridge contract dman whose deal expires with the CMD contract. That’s NOT Seabrook whose contract would just tie our hands going forward.

  30. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Anton Slepyshev
    Left Wing – EDM
    Number: 42
    Height: 6′ 2″
    Weight: 194
    Shoots: Left
    Born: 13 May 1994 (Age 21)
    Birthplace: Penza, Russia

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8477415

    So the Oilers have shifted from exaggerating height/weight to understating it?

  31. matt says:

    Nothing in there about Nikitin’s injuries playing a role last year. Pump and dump.

  32. Lowetide says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel:
    Anton Slepyshev
    Left Wing– EDM
    Number: 42
    Height: 6′ 2″
    Weight: 194
    Shoots: Left
    Born: 13 May 1994(Age 21)
    Birthplace: Penza, Russia

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8477415

    So the Oilers have shifted from exaggerating height/weight to understating it?

    Connor McDavid was 6.075 and 188 at the combine but the NHL combine numbers, normally accurate, had him 6.075 and 195. No one is telling the truth anymore

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2488519-nhl-combine-2015-full-results-measurements-highlights-and-top-prospects

  33. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Lowetide,

    Just to keep things ‘even-Steven’, I always overstate my height, and understate my weight.

  34. Dennis L says:

    The pt.1 thread was bugging me, but it helped to crystallize a thought for me: we seem willing to be flexible in our thinking re: where our d-men slot in, who they’re paired with, and their deployment, all with an eye toward both their individual development and the mix on the blueline.

    But the last thread’s discussion re: Eberle seemed premised on the notion that Eberle is always and forever our 1RW.

    In short, my point is this: just because Eberle many not be Chiarelli’s (or some posters’) ideal 1RW based on the “style” or “desired mix” criteria doesn’t mean he needs to be the one shipped out to fix that mix. The right mix can be found in other ways. Both camps from the last thread can be right: Eberle can be both a valued offensive contributor AND not the right 1RW for the desired mix.

    In the inteview, Chiarelli mentioned a speculative unicorn hunt (re: his comments on the scoring talent possibly available to the 3rd line). Eberle does not have to be anchored into the 1RW slot. Slotting in heavier players into the top 6 could allow for Eberle to be the outscoring punch on a unicorn line with 2 other heavier players… since we’re dreaming of unicorns here.

    This of course assumes some big things (for one, young, biggish or “heavier” players like Drai, Slepy, Yaks 1 and 2, working out, or being moved along), but it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities.

    And lastly, just because I have to get this off my chest: the problem with this team has not primarily been the forwards. Yes, they haven’t been great, but the goalering and the defence has stunk far more pungently than the forwards. Fix the foundation, then we can worry about the decor.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

    We’re arguing the price of gas in 2018. Relax.

  36. spoiler says:

    Lowetide,

    And a line rarely has more than one player with an element of thuggishness. Eberle’s line, as it stands from last year, already has that player in Pouliot.

    What is needed is a Pouliot to play 2RW on McDavid’s line. And I think a lot of us have been saying something similar all off-season.

    Add that player and I think the top 6 mix is fine. Maybe Korpse is that guy, but I don’t see him being more than a stopgap.

    From Chia’s comments, I think Lander is in greater danger than Eberle. Although that might besolved by moving him to the wing and playing Leon in the middle.

  37. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Just because Chiarelli says he wants a “heavier” team doesnt mean that every single player on it needs to be 6’3 215. Change the balance? Yes. Change out every smaller player? No way.

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide,

    From Chia’s comments, I think Lander is in greater danger than Eberle. Although that might besolved by moving him to the wing and playing Leon in the middle.

    From where I sit Lander plays “heavier” than about 90% of Oilers forwards. Goes to the greasy areas and thrives in them.

  39. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide,

    And a line rarely has more than one player with an element of thuggishness.Eberle’s line, as it stands from last year, already has that player in Pouliot.

    What is needed is a Pouliot to play 2RW on McDavid’s line.And I think a lot of us have been saying something similar all off-season.

    Add that player and I think the top 6 mix is fine.Maybe Korpse is that guy, but I don’t see him being more than a stopgap.

    From Chia’s comments, I think Lander is in greater danger than Eberle. Although that might besolved by moving him to the wing and playing Leon in the middle.

    Yes. the Letestu signing meant Lander’s skills, or some of them, were duplicated and of course we have Leon who stands out in a photo of the other C’s. Suspect a lot of exits over the next 12 months will break someone’s heart who visits this blog.

  40. Showerhead says:

    Lowetide:

    We’re arguing the price of gas in 2018. Relax.

    What a perfectly apt description. I couldn’t agree more.

    Also, if I may: NYCOil, wherever you are, you wrote the motivational speech of the summer yesterday. Thank you.

  41. eidy says:

    re Fayne: I thought it more likely it was an oversight that he wasn’t mentioned by PC. Still suspect he is in the top 4

  42. oliveoilers says:

    Reading more than few posts from the previous thread that state disgruntlement with the discourse today.

    I feel that I must apologise for my part in rail-roading the thread into a debate about Eberle, but I felt strongly that something unfair was happening or being presented with regards to young Ebs.

    I thought we were having a spirited debate, with little of the juvenile name calling – it actually, to my eye, remained very civil with both sides stating their cases. For this, I give big props to Bag of Pucks. There have been far worse threads on here.

    It was raining heavily here all day, so I had idle time on my hands.

    I see now that this wasn’t the case: I obviously annoyed some of you, particularly the guy who will “never get that 5 minutes back”. I think I’m going to take a break for a while and check in periodically.

    I don’t think that I’ve ever come on here and basically said “what a shit thread”. I think I’ve just sighed to myself and just not commented.

    Have a good one, peeps.

  43. spoiler says:

    oliveoilers,

    Your contribution to discussion is valued, at least by me, so I would definitely appreciate it if you reconsidered stepping back.

  44. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: From where I sit Lander plays “heavier” than about 90% of Oilers forwards.Goes to the greasy areas and thrives in them.

    That comment from Chia about being lighter up the middle than he likes has me a bit concerned.

  45. godot10 says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide,

    And a line rarely has more than one player with an element of thuggishness.Eberle’s line, as it stands from last year, already has that player in Pouliot.

    What is needed is a Pouliot to play 2RW on McDavid’s line.And I think a lot of us have been saying something similar all off-season.

    Add that player and I think the top 6 mix is fine.Maybe Korpse is that guy, but I don’t see him being more than a stopgap.

    From Chia’s comments, I think Lander is in greater danger than Eberle. Although that might besolved by moving him to the wing and playing Leon in the middle.

    Tyler Pitlick can shoot. He can bang. He is big. And he can skate. He probably doesn’t have to handle the puck if he is playing with McDavid and Hall. He only has to get in position to shoot it. He is fast enough to participate in a Hall-McDavid forecheck and cycle.

    Our big cursed looks-like-a-player-but-who-always-disappoints right winger may finally be in the right place and the right time.

  46. Snowman says:

    spoiler,

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. He means the D in my opinion.

    He’s already talked about having Mcdavid and Nuge as 1-2 Cs for years to come and he loves Drai. Talks about him positively on a regular basis.

  47. spoiler says:

    Snowman,

    It was in response to a question about the Cs IIRC.

  48. wheatnoil says:

    oliveoilers,

    Personally, I thought it was a well argued thread on both sides. No one was trolling and intelligent points were made.

  49. Pouzar says:

    oliveoilers,

    Loved your posts on the last thread. Keep posting.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Just because Chiarelli says he wants a “heavier” team doesnt mean that every single player on it needs to 6’3 215. Change the balance? Yes. Change out every smaller player? No way.

    Who do you trade among the forwards then to address the balance issue?

    If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

    Finally, when a player has obvious weaknesses (lack of size/physicality, weak on the wall, poor on the backcheck), why is the player considered so untouchable? The goal is to always be improving at every position. When it comes to this particular player, it seems that ‘ like’ supersedes logic.

    I get it. He’s a likeable player. But he’s not untouchable. No one should be outside McDavid.

  51. godot10 says:

    spoiler: That comment from Chia about being lighter up the middle than he likes has me a bit concerned.

    Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid are about the same size as than Bergeron and Krejci

  52. wheatnoil says:

    spoiler: That comment from Chia about being lighter up the middle than he likes has me a bit concerned.

    He then went on to alude to how that might change in the next couple years, which seemed by the context of the interview to refer to Draisaitl, which makes a great deal of sense.

    I was left wondering if Lander would get squeezed out, but the reality is that he or Letestu can easily slide to the wing. Also, as pointed out above, once Chiarelli sees Lander play, I can’t help but think he’d be a ‘Chiarelli player’.

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    spoiler:
    oliveoilers,

    Your contribution to discussion is valued, at least by me, so I would definitely appreciate it if you reconsidered stepping back.

    Me too! Seemed civil to me.

  54. speeds says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Just because Chiarelli says he wants a “heavier” team doesnt mean that every single player on it needs to 6’3 215. Change the balance? Yes. Change out every smaller player? No way.

    If it bothered him that much, would he have traded Gordon for a similarly sized F along with signing Letestu? Maybe, I suppose, if he thought they were that big of upgrades, but you’d think that if he were that concerned with size he might have addressed it with those 2 lineup spots?

  55. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

    We’re arguing the price of gas in 2018. Relax.

    If the Avs offered Landeskog for Eberle straight up, would you pull the trigger?

    What about Nick Bjugstad?

    Anthony Mantha with DET adding a pick?

  56. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Who do you trade among the forwards then to address the balance issue?

    If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

    Finally, when a player has obvious weaknesses (lack of size/physicality, weak on the wall, poor on the backcheck), why is the player considered so untouchable? The goal is to always be improving at every position. When it comes to this particular player, it seems that ‘ like’ supersedes logic.

    I get it. He’s a likeable player. But he’s not untouchable. No one should be outside McDavid.

    Take away the rookie year, and the two dementor seasons, and Eberle is even (+4 in Renney’s 2nd season, and -4 in Krueger’s all-Western-Conference season).

    The witch is dead (well on a beach in San Diego…hope the seagulls target their droppings well).

  57. Lowetide says:

    Olive: Screw that. Keep posting. I would like to say that

    1. It’s okay to discuss trading any player and it shouldn’t be taken as a slight or personal attack. I know Eberle is very popular but there are reasons he comes up in trade discussions and they are legit. Doesn’t mean he’s going to be dealt for reasons well argued in the previous thread.
    2. I hope we don’t get to the point where we’re chasing each other around threads with cheap shots (haven’t seen it lately but it did occur in the Before time, in the long long ago).

  58. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: If the Avs offered Landeskog for Eberle straight up, would you pull the trigger?

    What about Nick Bjugstad?

    Anthony Mantha with DET adding a pick?

    I’d like to see what Todd McLellan thinks after a year with this team. I think there’s wisdom in taking a good long look at these young men through a winner’s eye

  59. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    It’s hard for me to summon up the energy to parse a new management team when the story fundamentally begins with “win lottery”.

    If the Oilers have a better season under TMac with CMD than under MacT without CMD, it proves nothing, about anyone or anything (beyond win_lottery = good). For the first time in a long time, I’m expect I’ll be investing more energy in actual shift charts than off-season management verbal.

    ———

    If one looks at Drai through Staples’ Baby-Jesus cup window (three seasons, tops) how much of that short road with so much to learn (from NHL hopeful to vital cog in Stanley Cup winner) rightfully involves additional seasoning below the NHL level?

    I could happily replace the entire interview with a six word exchange.

    Host: Do you believe in windows?

    Chia: [Yes|No]

  60. GCW_69 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: From where I sit Lander plays “heavier” than about 90% of Oilers forwards.Goes to the greasy areas and thrives in them.

    This! Lander personifies the kind of hockey that Chiarelli talks about. Tough on the boards, tenacious in front of the net, feisty in his own zone. Why would he get traded? Videos of Lander in front of the net on the powerplay are probably first up in the video lessons for training camp.

  61. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Finally, when a player has obvious weaknesses (lack of size/physicality, weak on the wall, poor on the backcheck), why is the player considered so untouchable?

    Of the top 5 most common teammates in TOI (Nuge, Hall, Schultz, Klefbom, Pouliot)
    all 5 had a Corsi North of 50% and all were better WITH Eberle than WITHOUT.
    The most notable being Pouliot, a known positive possession player, who was 53.9% WITH Eberle and 45.5% without.

    The little sh!t makes others better. End of.

  62. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Bag of Pucks: If the Avs offered Landeskog for Eberle straight up, would you pull the trigger?

    What about Nick Bjugstad?

    Anthony Mantha with DET adding a pick?

    Landeskog, absolutely. Colorado would never do that.

    Bjugstad is at his best at centre, and only proven to be a 40P guy there so far.

    Mantha had 37P in 78 AHL GP, 0.47PPG. Yakimov had 28 in 57, 0.49PPG.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: I’d like to see what Todd McLellan thinks after a year with this team. I think there’s wisdom in taking a good long look at these young men through a winner’s eye

    I agree with this.

    McClellan may be able to work out some the warts with players like Yak, Schultz, Eberle, etc.

    Chia may be coming in with a bias toward heavy play and bigger players but some of our smaller skill players may surprise him. Nuge in particular is a player I hope he doesn’t undervalue. In another year or so, RNH is going to be the NHL’s equivalent of the swiss army knife. Lander too may age like fine wine. Wouldn’t it be something if he became the poor man’s Bergeron?

    That said, if FLA offered Bjugstad for Ebs, I would pounce on that in a heartbeat and laugh all the way to the bank. Kid is the total package. Size, skill, grit, leadership, toughness, heart. He’s a horse.

  64. Jaxon says:

    Lowetide: Connor McDavid was 6.075 and 188 at the combine but the NHL combine numbers, normally accurate, had him 6.075 and 195. No one is telling the truth anymore

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2488519-nhl-combine-2015-full-results-measurements-highlights-and-top-prospects

    This Globe and Mail article about McDavid training with Gary Roberts supports his new weight (actually 197lbs, not 195lbs):

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/how-a-fitness-guru-helped-transform-hockey-prodigy-connor-mcdavid/article26297428/

    “Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 when Edmonton’s orientation camp began on July 1, he saw his weight jump to 197 this summer in less than a month while training with Roberts. Their formal sessions concluded in the last week of August.

    The workouts were so intense McDavid needed to consume 4,500 to 5,000 calories a day to maintain his energy. To do that, he ate whole organic foods, and had a serving of protein, carbohydrates, fat and fibre at each meal.”

  65. speeds says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

    Maybe, if it happens. If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: Of the top 5 most common teammates in TOI (Nuge, Hall, Schultz, Klefbom, Pouliot)
    all 5 had a Corsi North of 50% and all were better WITH Eberle than WITHOUT.
    The most notable being Pouliot, a known positive possession player, who was 53.9% WITH Eberle and 45.5% without.

    The little sh!t makes others better. End of.

    He doesn’t make his goalies better.

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    speeds: Maybe, if it happens.If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

    Nowhere to go but up?

  68. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Size, skill, grit, leadership, toughness, heart. He’s a horse.

    You forgot “goalie whisperer”.

  69. AsiaOil says:

    Sure I can come up with a scenario that sees Eberle here long term with RNH and CMD as centers – but the top 6 would need a thug with skill on 2RW and Taylor Hall to be way more of a victimizer than the victim he has so often been up to this point in his career. Really is time for that guy to start showing some of the “Mooseness” that he supposedly has.

  70. spoiler says:

    Jaxon,

    My four favorite foods!

  71. Lowetide says:

    AsiaOil:
    Sure I can come up with a scenario that sees Eberle here long term with RNH and CMD as centers – but the top 6 would need a thug with skill on 2RW and Taylor Hall to be way more of a victimizer than the victim he has so often been up to this point in his career. Really is time for that guy to start showing some of the Mooseness” that he supposedly has.

    Another reason I wouldn’t trade Eberle: Hall’s health.

  72. AsiaOil says:

    Lowetide: Another reason I wouldn’t trade Eberle: Hall’s health.

    I would not shop Eberle either – but if someone asked and agreed to an overpay that addressed a greater team need – you would consider it seriously. Eberle is good, useful, but hardly untouchable.

  73. Lowetide says:

    AsiaOil: I would not shop Eberle either – but if someone asked and agreed to an overpay that addressed a greater team need – you would consider it seriously. Eberle is good, useful, but hardly untouchable.

    Oh God yes. I would include the entire roster at this point. McDavid changed that, too.

  74. spoiler says:

    Lowetide,

    It would take a Kings ransom to get Nurse out of me.

  75. Snowman says:

    The entire roster… there are a few pieces that I would have to get a ridiculous overpay to consider moving.

    Nuge, Nurse, Leon, Klefbom (I might add Reinhart to this list because he’s unkown totally at this point) would take just a hilarious over pay at this point in time to get.

    Mcdavid is untouchable.

    The rest of the “Hall Core” would take a serious need being filled. (I don’t consider MOAR BIGGAR a serious need.. if you get tough skill that can play than sure).

  76. speeds says:

    I am not sure what it would take for me to move Nurse, were I the GM, but I have to say I’m not as confident as some seem to be that he’s a probable first pair D, although I certainly hope that’s the case.

  77. spoiler says:

    speeds,

    He might be a little shy offensively to be a 1D but the number of Dmen in the league that can skate as well as Nurse probably don’t add up to half a dozen. Combine that with his size and strength… I’d say he’s a lock to be a 2D with possible #1 potential.

  78. PerryK says:

    Lowetide:
    Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

    We’re arguing the price of gas in 2018. Relax.

    I agree (mostly)! However, if you`re looking for the coveted balanced Unicorn lines, does it make some sense to try:

    Hall – McD – Purcell
    Pou – RNH – Yak
    Lander – Drai – Ebs

    Of course, placing Purcell there felt really weird! However until we can replace him with a suitable candidate……

  79. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Who do you trade among the forwards then to address the balance issue?

    If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

    Finally, when a player has obvious weaknesses (lack of size/physicality, weak on the wall, poor on the backcheck), why is the player considered so untouchable? The goal is to always be improving at every position. When it comes to this particular player, it seems that ‘ like’ supersedes logic.

    I get it. He’s a likeable player. But he’s not untouchable. No one should be outside McDavid.

    1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

    2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

    3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years on end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

    For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

    4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu) and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

  80. stush18 says:

    Bootstrap Effexor,

    speeds:
    I am not sure what it would take for me to move Nurse, were I the GM, but I have to say I’m not as confident as some seem to be that he’s a probable first pair D, although I certainly hope that’s the case.

    I have to agree. The running around worries me. He covers mistakes with his athleticism, not intelligence.

    Hopefully he he settles down, which I’m sure he will.

  81. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: 1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

    2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

    3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years on end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

    For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

    4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu)and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

    Bruce, if you’re going to bring this kind of reasoning and logic to the argument then it really takes all the fun out it for the rest of us.

  82. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: 1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

    2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

    3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years one end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

    For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

    4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu)and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

    Sound reasoning as always Bruce.

    One thing we never had under Lowebellini is an HC willing to actually use and parse EV and PP mins as carrot and stick to eliminate bad habits.

    This is my biggest hope with Chia/TMac that a new culture of accountability across the whole 200ft starts to take hold. The days are gone when players can be one dimensional. On the best teams, everyone plays well defensively.

    Lord knows they’ve got the mother of all carrots now. You want to play on Connor’s line? Show me what you can do on the backcheck.

  83. Gordies Elbow says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks, for one of the best posts I’ve read in quite a while. Your contributions here keep this one of the best blogs on the old Al Gore, and are somewhat worthy of Stan Weir.

  84. Hammers says:

    Gretz proved anyone is tradeable no matter the reason and he didn’t win another cup . Lindros got his wish and Quebec got some great pieces, enough to win in Colorado . All I’m trying to say is McD is no guarantee of a cup as it’s all about the team and I say anyone can be traded . It should never be about today’s roster but about the best roster .the right group is what’s needed .

  85. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I forgot to mention earlier, NYC Oil had another terrific report on Game 2 in Penticton that we published on CoH earlier today.

  86. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Sound reasoning as always Bruce.

    One thing we never had under Lowebellini is an HC willing to actually use and parse EV and PP mins as carrot and stick to eliminate bad habits.

    This is my biggest hope with Chia/TMac that a new culture of accountability across the whole 200ft starts to take hold. The days are gone when players can be one dimensional. On the best teams, everyone plays well defensively.

    Lord knows they’ve got the mother of all carrots now. You want to play on Connor’s line? Show me what you can do on the backcheck.

    My biggest hope too, that when the games start to mean something and the Oilers aren’t perennially in garbage time by the middle of the second period / middle of December, some of these guys will take the 200-foot game a little more seriously on a full-time basis. I have high hopes for McLellan, who already knows and has had success with both Hall and Eberle. I expect to see improvements from those guys as well as the young bucks, and by extension from the team as a whole.

    The least Chiarelli can do is give him 40-60 games if not the full season to work his magic before reaching decision time on what we currently perceive as a core player.

  87. flyfish1168 says:

    Lots of talk about a heavy team. I’m ok with heavy but speed is just as important or more. Hawks are not the heaviest team or is the Canadians and phlegms. But all have an abundance of team speed to forecheck and play the 200 foot game. The Kings and Sharks had lots of problems with the more speedy teams.

  88. RexLibris says:

    Penticton update:

    Last night Ryan Culkin, one of the Flames veteran AHL defensive prospects was injured last night against the Oilers and will now miss 6-8 weeks to rehab his shoulder.

    Sam Bennett will be a healthy scratch tomorrow against the Canucks.

  89. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thsnks! Had no idea this was happening.

  90. spoiler says:

    McDavid missing tomorrow’s game per TSN.

  91. rickithebear says:

    Mcdavids weight: the russians talk about natural mass cycles.
    I had two jumps of 6% weight in two summers.
    This may be a avg mass spurt for him.

    Olive. Eberle is an option when we need to pay Mcdavid.
    More value with2-3 years left on contract.
    I allways struggle with the balance of evg versus goals generated by cap space.
    I enjoy people who make you think and chase the numbers.

  92. Edmonton_fan says:

    “and knows what it takes to succeed in Edmonton”…

    Glowing reference for klowe since bloggers attack non-stop.

  93. Adam Wu says:

    speeds: Maybe, if it happens.If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

    G has gone from Scrivens-Fasth to Talbot-Scrivens. Talbot is highly likely to be superior to Fasth, and Scrivens is lower in the depth chart and following his statistically worse year ever. Regression to mean plus reduced responsibility = highly likely to be improved.

    Thus, G is extremely likely to be improved.

    On D, Sekera is either equal to or better than Petry. Fayne should be the same. Klefbom will have developed one more year, and though a sophomore slump is possible, one would think that it is at least >50% that he’ll be better. Schultz will either be better or the same, we just don’t know how much better. He is highly unlikely to be worse. Nikitin is coming off his worst statistical year ever. Improved health plus regression to mean plus this being a contract year for plus him being in what should be the plateau phase of his career means he should have at least a 50% chance of being better and can’t really get any worse. Plus, at some point in the season, Nurse is likely to surpass him on the depth chart and take his place. Ference will be worse, but at some point in the year Nurse/Reinhart will likely pass him on the depth chart and take his place. The bottom of the roster/injury callups have gone from Marincin/Hunt/Aulie/Davidson to Gryba/Nurse/Reinhart/Davidson, an ungrade at every spot except maybe Marincin vs Gryba, assuming Davidson improves from where he was last year.

    So the D starts the year looking similar to how it was last year, BUT with vastly greater potential and likelihood to improve as the year progresses compared to last year’s D.

    So I would say, highly likely that the D WILL indeed be improved from last year by the time the season is halfway through.

  94. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide: Another reason I wouldn’t trade Eberle: Hall’s health.

    Eberle was our leading scorer the 3 seasons hall did not play 90% of the games.

  95. hunter1909 says:

    oliveoilers: Reading more than few posts from the previous thread that state disgruntlement with the discourse today.
    I feel that I must apologise for my part in rail-roading the thread into a debate about Eberle, but I felt strongly that something unfair was happening or being presented with regards to young Ebs.
    I thought we were having a spirited debate, with little of the juvenile name calling – it actually, to my eye, remained very civil with both sides stating their cases. For this, I give big props to Bag of Pucks. There have been far worse threads on here.
    It was raining heavily here all day, so I had idle time on my hands.
    I see now that this wasn’t the case: I obviously annoyed some of you, particularly the guy who will “never get that 5 minutes back”. I think I’m going to take a break for a while and check in periodically.
    I don’t think that I’ve ever come on here and basically said “what a shit thread”. I think I’ve just sighed to myself and just not commented.
    Have a good one, peeps.

    Olive Oilers: Come back, you’re probably one of the most popular posters.

    Someone has to be here to explain the nuances between Championship League cups, and World Cup+European Cup international results.

  96. Yeti says:

    spoiler: That comment from Chia about being lighter up the middle than he likes has me a bit concerned.

    It’s a shame that Yakimov will be at least another year before offering help in that regard. He’ll be a fourth line colossus of Nizhnekamsk if and when he arrives.

  97. Yeti says:

    Lowetide: Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

    I think you should at least wait until he’s hit 50 points in a season before you make these kind of claims.

  98. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Been attending all the games and catching up with friends in between so I haven’t had a chance to read this blog in real time, but reading back on the discussions, I see we have traded Eberle out of town and made a long time poster uncomfortable enough to consider leaving.

    Yikes.

    How about the Oilers actually have a season with meaningful games beyond Halloween for once before we start to trade away our top ten offensive right winger because he isn’t moar bigger.

    I am not saying you don’t trade Eberle ever, but why now? The Oilers are an 80-85 point team this year in my opinion, and replacing Eberle with Wayne Simmonds does not change that.

    So let’s see where this all goes before we trade away our jacks and kings.

    Things break right and Hall-McDavid-Yakupov and Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle and Draisaitl-Lander-Slepyshev in two years could be a sublime top 9 with enough grit and determination to be a great squad. You don’t need JF Jacques or Mitch Moroz on every scoring line. You just don’t.

  99. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    P.S. I haven’t been able to thank you all individually but thank you again for reading my guest posts at the Cult of Hockey. It has been fun and I do appreciate it very much.

  100. spoiler says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    They were great reads so thank you!

  101. BONVIE says:

    Lowetide: I really like the Talbot add, the Sekera add and of course getting McDavid changes everything. I do think (despite the Scott Cullen-rated post that suggested good value) the Reinhart add was an overpay and with Nurse close an unnecessary risk. So, a mixed bag and I am admittedly devastated he didn’t go get another defender/buy out Nikitin.

    I do think he’s a clear upgrade on the past and suspect he’ll clean house (management and players) next summer.

    I really don’t see how people can come to the conclusion that Reinhart was an overpay…I mean of course I’d rather have seen the GM use Yakapov instead of the Pittsburgh first but obviously the leagues hockey minds can see where Yakapov is currently at which is near bust. Rheinhart however is basically at the same calibre of Defenseman as Nurse, just a year more advanced, and right on track. Drafted a bit higher but in the same range, and listed about the same spot on the prospect lists. I mean it usually costs you two higher firsts plus to move up to that top 5 area, and that’s what we got here a top 5 pick.

    What some people often forget about when looking at Defenseman, is the number one check ” the most important thing is playing DEFENSE”.

  102. BONVIE says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I agree whole heartedly in the past I believed it was urgent that we get bigger and grittier each year, but Hall, Eberle, and Nugent are finally at the years that they are becoming men and are able to compete on the boards, and of course Pouliot was added last year… Three or four seasons ago I used to hope for a Gagner for Colin Wilson trade. Now I feel we have a similar but more skilled version of Wilson ready to impact the NHL now and his name is Leon Draisetel.

  103. rickithebear says:

    Sather stated the talbot trade was in place pre PC.

    No pitsburgh pick; No Barzal on the board; No reinhart.

    No Mcdavid! Do we get Tmac or Sekera?

    But hey!

    Rainbows and Lollipops,
    PC saw Seguin and knows what he gots!

    I lay the action on internal pressure re Seguin.

  104. rickithebear says:

    Bonvie:

    Defence?

    Never heard of it!

    Here.

  105. verdad2.0 says:

    Again, many on this board have to come to terms with just how dismal the prospects for this upcoming season actually are.
    Do the Oilers never learn anything? Does the curse of Lowe and MacTavish have to go on for ever? Remember Montreal has Petry , we have Schultz, ( pay him an unreasonable amount of money).
    I will predict the Oilers will not win a game in their first four games if they dress Nikitin and Schultz, let alone play them together.
    This is a disaster in the making that Chirarelli has chosen not to address.

    For the mindless abuse I take for suggesting that OEL is the real complement to MacDavid , and all resources have to be deployed to get him, one might think their would be a real consensus to at least have a functional defense to allow this team to approach competitiveness while it still retains MacDavid.

    Whether the OIlers trade Eberle or not is only relevant in the context of what they get back for him. We all know that he has value but many limitations that have contributed to the overall softness and entitlement of the Oilers over that last five years. ( Have we ever seen an aggressive play by Eberle in that period?)

    But Eberle ,per se, is not a key issue. NSF is. The lack of #1 defenseman is. The ticking time bomb of the MacDavid. And the daily insult of the quality of the Flames defense – another testament to Lowe/MacTavish incompetence and Chiarelli acquiescence to it.

    A long grim winter awaits.

  106. russ99 says:

    Kind of curious that fans that advocated dumping Schultz this offseason are putting words in Chiarelli’s mouth. Seems to me that he recognizes that Justin has unique skills to bring to the table on the offensive side and realizes the work he need to put in to get better on the defensive side.

    Besides, McLellan sets the lines, not the GM – and if he doesn’t then why bring in a coach of that caliber?

    Maybe we let the players play a little before painting some of them with a wide brush and calling doom on the season. I know it’s been a tough 8 years, but we need to have a little faith and patience in the quality people that are running things now.

  107. verdad2.0 says:

    russ99,

    In a normal situation that approach would be reasonable.
    Chiarelli was hired to change , not stretch out, the agony.

  108. G Money says:

    verdad2.0: For the mindless abuse I take for suggesting that OEL is the real complement to MacDavid

    Um, no, its not the abuse that is mindless. It is the nonstop repetition of demanding Chiarelli execute on an ‘option’ that has ZERO chance of going through is what you rightfully get abused for.

    Maloney is not trading OEL unless he gets McDavid, or unless the return is so large it cripples this organization for years, so continuing to (monotonously and unceasingly) beat that drum is astonishingly stupid. Please stop.

  109. G Money says:

    russ99: Besides, McLellan sets the lines, not the GM – and if he doesn’t then why bring in a coach of that caliber?
    Maybe we let the players play a little before painting some of them with a wide brush and calling doom on the season. I know it’s been a tough 8 years, but we need to have a little faith and patience in the quality people that are running things now.

    I think that’s exactly what Chia plans to do.

    That was one of the first things he said when it came to playing the ‘heavy’ game – he wanted the players coached that way.

    He went and tried for the best option – Hamilton – and failing that, he’s gone and added some heavyweights – Gryba and Reinhart are true heavies, and Sekera is the best available free agent with top notch possession.

    His summary of Schultz was actually pretty fair I thought – there’s a ton of skill there, but if Jultz continues to show he can’t, or refuses to, play actual defense, he can’t stay. So Chia’s going to see what he’s got before he plays his hand.

    As Bruce (and I for that matter) have been pointing out for a while, the Oiler offense last year was utter shit when Jultz was not on the ice. Even when RNH & co. were out there, even if they got OK zone starts.

    Just demanding that Schultz needs to be shown the door is a very dangerous course of action if the team doesn’t understand what’s happening with the offense when he is or isn’t on the ice.

    So they add key personnel, add an experienced aggressive-possession-style coach, then see what happens before they take any further steps.

    It’s the smart thing to do.

  110. verdad2.0 says:

    G Money,

    What is dangerous is ever relying on Schultz to actually play defense.
    See the last play of last season – nothing more emblematic of his inadequacies.

  111. verdad2.0 says:

    G Money,

    Ok, I’ll check in with you after game 4 of the season.
    We can see how much fun it will be to endure another season with an utterly dysfunctional and inadequate defense. Plus a GM unwilling to trade assets to fix it.

    Consider this – does anyone believe that the OIlers don’t have forwards that are capable of “competing” in the Western conference? Most would I think. But it doesn’t matter given that all other Western conference have functional to great defences So where do the Oilers finish? Why are games almost impossible for them to win?
    Fix the defense at all costs, short of MacDavid. Do it now

  112. Bruce McCurdy says:

    verdad2.0:

    A long grim winter awaits.

    It doesn’t matter because the world is coming to an end on September 27 when the Blood/Tetrad/Harvest/Supermoon happens. Why merely predict another lousy year for the Oilers when you can consider the bigger picture and go deep?

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