How many difference makers does an NHL team really need? Seriously. You need a quality starter in net, four defensemen who can really play, three centers and enough wingers to ice two scoring lines. Sound right? The rest are sixes and sevens and nines. Fair?
There are two new names on this depth chart, and they are substantial. Can we agree, that given this lineup, and typical, run of the mill ‘replacement level’ players at the other spots, this team should contend for a playoff position? I think that is fair.
In yesterday’s comments thread, the idea of trading Darnell Nurse for an immediate upgrade (say Faulk) was met with a great deal of resistance—and I am not sure why. That kind of trade, often called the three-for-one, is exactly what Peter Chiarelli should be looking for this summer. I doubt Nurse is part of any trade, but others may be, some of them universal favorites.
If you could trade this year’s first round pick, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart for Faulk and Hamonic, would you? I think that is the kind of drastic action required by Chiarelli before fall.
If we use that roster above as a template, here is my list—greater to lesser—of assets Peter Chiarelli should at least consider trading. Note: I am not excluding the idea of trading Jordan Eberle, only suggesting the Oilers may be best served by trading prospects and less established players, for actual NHL players.
- 2016 first round selection (I assume top five overall)
- Darnell Nurse
- Brandon Davidson
- Mark Fayne
- Matt Hendricks
- Anton Slepyshev
- Griffin Reinhart
- Laurent Brossoit
- Ziyat Paigin
If you see anyone on this list that makes you wince, or have decided that an Eberle or a Yakupov or even a Nuge trade is the hill you die on, I urge you to reconsider. I think the best plan of action is to come out of the summer with a roster like the one above, and if trading Nuge gets you Faulk and you can sign a (very) capable two-way center, then make it so.
That said, I think Chiarelli should be able to add enough on defense without dealing Eberle, Nuge, Yakupov or Nurse. That first-round pick should be in play. Seriously.
- Connor McDavid: “The whole point of this was kind of to take some contact, I was cleared for contact right before the All-Star break, I didn’t have a chance to that with the guys (in Edmonton) so it’s a good chance down here to take some bumps and really battle hard and test it out and see how it feels.” Source
Well, there you go. Hammer Chiarelli until midnight, but that was the time line. As someone who saw Mike Grier, Ryan Smyth and others play through some pretty substantial injuries (I actually heard Grier scream in pain when his shoulder was knocked out of place, he returned to the bench, had it ‘re-set’ in time for the next shift), part of me is pleased with this kind of over-patience. As a fan I am mad as hell, but McDavid is a teenager and the next decade is fairly important!
McDavid has 32 more games, I expect he will score around 32 points. Can the Oilers match the total? They will need great goaltending, a healthy defense, but should have two scoring lines. The trade deadline looms, but Calgary is just two points ahead of Edmonton and beating them is a big damned deal for me. Can’t wait to see McDavid back on the ice.
Top prospects on Team White/Orr living up to the billing. Tkachuk, Nylander, Juolevi, Dubois all looking like top 10 picks.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 29, 2016
CHL TOP PROSPECTS
Always a fun game, I was impressed by several prospects (Dubois, McLeod, Laberge, Hart) and look forward to reading thoughts on the game from online scouts. Gents worth a follow (if you are interested) are Steve Kournianos, Corey Pronman and Brendan Ross.
Photo by Lisa Brown (Ben Betker)
The Oilers claimed Adam Clendening and sent Ben Betker to Norfolk during the break, suggesting Brad Hunt will be staying in the minors. Edmonton will recall Zack Kassian and possibly Griffin Reinhart after the break, but also have to activate Connor McDavid and Brandon Davidson. It would seem there is a math issue ahead, and one way to deal with it is a trade.
— Alex Thomas (@Alex_Thomas14) January 28, 2016
I would think the Oilers brought Clendening in to play, so here is a first lash at the pairings for games in the coming week:
With Gryba as the extra man, Reinhart in the minors. I don’t know when Klefbom is going to return, but one hopes it will be before the deadline. I would guess Peter Chiarelli would like to run February locked and loaded, full throttle, balls out, Stones Star Star leading up to the deadline. My goodness that defensive alignment needs Oscar.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy shoe, lots of fun guests as we head toward the last weekend of January (I don’t know why, but this January has been so damned long). TSN1260 at 10, scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Milos, No Country for Old Men whose teams make the playoffs.
- Dustin Nielson, TSN 1260. We chat about prospects, Raptors, Habs, and his time at hfboards when I was moderator. Should be fun!
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We will talk about the Top Prospects Game, who impressed and who did not impress.
- Paul Almeida, SSE. We will talk about McDavid’s return, the deadline, and how to improve the defense—that is a subject that gets little play on radio and online.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Friday, bitches!