The Hill of Difficulty

In Guy Flaming’s latest article he tells us that Steve Tambellini and his men are between a rock and a hard place for this coming draft.

Flaming says that the Oilers face “a no-win situation, at least when it comes to the critics (fans and the media) just waiting to pounce on them for making yet another draft day blunder.”

He further suggests that if the Oilers choose a big power-forward fans and media will suggest the Oilers passed on “best player available” in a smaller package. Should they go with the smaller man, then fans will suggest the Oilers passed on a chance to get bigger up front.

I disagree. Most fans (and media) understand very well that the Oilers pick at #10 this draft won’t have an impact on the top 6F next season or even the next (10-11) year. Sam Gagner was taken at #6, has played two NHL seasons, and still isn’t a guy who is helping the team win hockey games at this time.

Most fans also understand the odds are against undersized defenders but that the kid in question (Ryan Ellis) is probably worth it. Why? There’s just too much. He’s not just a good puck mover, he’s an elite level player in junior. He led the OHL in assists, finished in the top 10 overall in scoring and was one of three players on his team to finish over +50.

The advantage of drafting a bigger player (like Zack Kassian) is that he can probably be useful even if he doesn’t develop offensively from this point on. He could end up being Ethan Moreau, whereas the smaller man has to be able to deliver offense (and remain healthy) in order to help his major league team win (when he arrives). I realize that’s a simplistic description of the equation but it’s still true that size matters when it comes to possible NHL recruits.

My feeling about the Oilers is that fans are not at all concerned with the scouting department. Although the Niinimaki draft (he’s the fellow in photo) was a blunder and the 2003 draft hurt (partly due to injuries), the Oilers have many of their former picks who are delivering at the NHL level. Among them are Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani and others. Younger fellows like Gagner and Cogliano are also coming along. The Oilers of recent years have not been bleeding at the draft table, they’ve been getting killed at the trade table. That’s where Steve Tambellini must bet wisely.

I’d like to see them be decisive–the one time the Oilers opted to trade up at a recent 1st round they bagged Hemsky–and if they’re listening to me my selection would be Scott Glennie.

But they’re not, and Zack Kassian is on his way to Edmonton.

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82 Responses to "The Hill of Difficulty"

  1. Nelson88 says:

    I would not be shocked if this is year they trade up to top 6 and role the dice on getting another “franchise” player. The 10th and Nilsson (for example) type of deal might get it done for one of the traditional also rans that are looking at accelerating their compete level rather than take another high(er) pick.

  2. george says:

    I’ll bet a large sum of money that the oilers will be involved in some major draft day fireworks….i’ll bet an equal sum that Kassian will not be selected by us at #10.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Nelson and George: I’d be very happy with a trade up to lottery country, but imo Nilsson won’t get it done. It’ll need to be more.

    I do think they’re looking long and hard at Kassian. He’s got some nice things and it’s not absolutely certain a guy like Glennie is going to score.

    The kid on blue is the better bet if the top 9 goes as planned. We need to hope for a Thomas Hickey.

  4. PDO says:

    I don’t think the Oilers will be big players on draft day really.

    They’ll likely stay at 10 (do they even have the pieces to move up? 40th OV.. and then it’s kinda-propsects, and I can’t see them moving Eberle). I think most of the big money guys stay, but we see a few of the medium guys sent out…. Tambs made it clear he wants guys who either score, hit, or both, so lets say we see Nilsson, Pisani and Staios dealt.

    Nothing major.

    Jagr is a done deal imo, so that happens July 1.

    No idea what we get for those 3, but I don’t expect a lot of changes outside of adding Jagr and seeing what you can parlay the bottom of the roster into.

  5. Quinn says:

    The problem with most casual fans and the prospect evaluation is that they look at Datsyuk and Zetterberg as the examples of good drafting (which they are) and not as good luck (which they also are). So, unless you are the Wings’ scouting department or in a town that doesn’t care, the fans are always angry with ‘the one that got away.’

    The best examples I can think of are the comment boards I have been reading the last three weeks, and the number of times Parise’s name comes up or any other number of possibilities that the Oil passed on.

    I appreciate your faith in humanity LT, but when it comes to the draft and fan opinions, you gotta believe in original sin and absolute depravity (props to my men Augustine of Hippo and John Calvin).

  6. PDO says:

    BTW, LT, if there isn’t a hickey..

    The groups are basically 1-9 and 10-15ish, generally?

    … *ducks* ..

    Would this be a good draft to trade down in?

  7. bookie says:

    I am in the camp of not much will happen on draft day, and if draft day comes and nothing happens, I will say “I called it” and if the Oilers trade up and make a splash…I wont say anything at all…

  8. Gerta Rauss says:

    Hey…what about trading down at the draft..?

    Swapping picks for a lower 1st round pick and picking up Halak has been mentioned(just as 1 example)

    Tambellini walks out of the draft with a 1st round pick and a roster player…PR problems solved.

  9. rickibear says:

    ellis #10
    Carl Klingberg #40 6’3″ 205 lbs
    Team Sweden U18–WJC18–6–2–2–4

    His .30 PT/GM in the SEL is just behind:
    Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson .34Pt/GM
    Jacob Josefson .32Pt/GM

    From Eliteprospect:
    Klingberg is a lightning fast skater with great acceleration as well as top speed. He has good size and strength and uses this to his advantage. Work ethic is good and so is his attitude. Furthermore, he has good hockey sense and technical skills and is able to set up as well as finish play. Has the potential to become a high scoring player in the future

    Do this at the draft and everyone shuts up.

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    Your weekend post on Kris Foucault quoted an RLR report.

    In that same piece, RLR said about 6.1 d-man Calvin de Haan ” [he] makes the smoothest, most intelligent passes..we’ve seen all year”. It goes on to compare de Haan very favourably to Ellis.

    Just say no to Ellis

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    I think the Oilers would be foolish not to select Jordon Schroeder if he’s available at 10. Nazem Kadri should be on the radar as well.

    For defenceman, Ellis or that russian kid in the Q would be reasonable alternatives if the two forwards are gone.

    Scott Glennie rounds up 5th on my list. The talk is that his upside is limited, and he’s more likely to be a Ruslan Fedatenko (sp?) than otherwise.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    And drafting Zach Kassian would be a move Kevin Lowe would make.

    This team would be pushing for division had Parise or Getzlaf been selected.

    The marginal benefit of drafting elite talent is considerably more than the marginal benefit of plucking guys like Kyle Brodziak in the 7th round or Liam Reddox who can be more easily replaced in the free agent market.

  13. Gerta Rauss says:

    3-2 Caps 6:00 left in the 3rd

    rocket from Ovechkin on the PP

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    4-2 Caps
    Ovechkin with another highlight reel

    I wish we had a hockey team.

  15. oilerdago says:

    If anything, it would not surprise me to see us move down in the draft then move up. I’m not convinced other teams want what we’re most willing to trade (any one of 12/27/78/18/24) at the draft as a good value.

    If we stay where we are and take Ellis I think that helps us later to trade from strength to fill needs.

    We move down and take Kassian and get something else, great, it gives us 3rd line size down the road and that’s fine too. This draft is about addressing future needs.

    The one I’m not convinced of is if Jagr really helps this team next season. Seems like another solution in search of a problem.

  16. PDO says:

    So uhh…

    Can we start comparing Ovechkin to Messier yet?

  17. Lowetide says:

    This team would also be pushing for the division if they’d gotten good return in the trade market.

    If you look at where they drafted Hemsky (13th, he now ranks 3rd from the 2001 draft year in terms of points behind Kovalchuk and Spezza), Cogliano (25th, he now ranks 4th from the 2005 draft in terms of points behind Crosby, Kopitar and Stastny), there is a story to tell in terms of draft success.

    The club has also drafted once in the lottery since 2001 and delivered Gagner.

    It’s a track record that has some nice things. Not top drawer, but certainly delivering talent. The 2003 draft looks terrible but part of that is the Pouliot injury list since draft day.

    Did Getzlaf’s numbers dwarf Pouliot’s in their final season of junior?

  18. PDO says:

    That Crosby kid is pretty good too.

  19. jon k says:

    LT: I think you give the fanbase too much credit.

    I think Guy is getting it right, even if we don’t focus on the size versus skill debate. The Oilers are in the unfavourable position of being right after the impact dropoff.

    There’s a lot of equal talent from 10-15 and I think the team would do well to deal down and grab another second in the process.

    Other than that, I don’t see Glennie or Kassian coming to Edmonton unless we draft down. Both are reaches at ten at this point.

  20. Traktor says:

    Mark me down as a fan of Kassian.

    PJO Said: “And drafting Zach Kassian would be a move Kevin Lowe would make.”

    Have you even seen him play? I bet you haven’t so why do you make such concrete statements?

    Kassian will have you looking stupid just like Souray did.


    As for Ellis – I agree with LT – his numbers are just too good to pass up. He very could end up a bust but if you draft 3 Ryan Ellis’ at least 1 out of the 3 will end up a superstar.

  21. Traktor says:

    “This team would also be pushing for the division if they’d gotten good return in the trade market.”

    I think most reasonable people would look at the situation and realize that Lowe fleeced St Louis and then Anaheim fleeced Edmonton. Lowe basically walked in the casino on Tuesday and won 500 dollars and then he went back to the Casino and lost 500 dollars.

    It seems fairly obvious that Lowe came out even but unfortunately all people aren’t reasonable and all they could comprehend is that Lowe lost 500 dollars.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  22. Lowetide says:

    jon k: Well I’m not worried about the part of the fanbase that is irrational. The group that we can describe as the “Shawn Horcoff is a 4th liner” bunch are never going to argue a point beyond simplistic levels.

    It’s the people who understand the world isn’t merely black or white that I’m talking about here.

  23. blackadder says:

    I don’t necessarily agree that the team needs more size – I think lack of heart and grit is the problem with the Oilers. If the top six were full of players with the size of Dustin Penner, but the heart of Dustin Penner (at least, what he’s demonstrated so far) we’d be just as far from contending as we are with our current crop of players.

    To me, the worst thing to do in the first few rounds of the draft is make a choice best on size. In 2003, from what I recall, we let Parise go to NJ because we were drafting for “size”. The result, a lot of big players (Jacques, Pouliot, Stortini, Rohlfs, Macdonald) that show no signs of being anything better than third or fourth line contributors. The Rangers also decided to go that route in 2003 – anyone know where Hugh Jessiman is playing right now? Had we been looking at heart instead of size, one of Zach Parise or Mike Richards would be Oilers right now.

  24. jon k says:

    Traktor: How do you figure Kassian is a good pick?

    From what I’ve seen his skating is not even close to NHL calibre at this point. He’s also putting up quite a few of his points shooting from the PP half-boards on less than impressive plays. Lastly, a guy his size getting lots of ice time on a young team like the Petes I think needs to show more offensive ability and production to justify a top ten selection.

    Any team picking him before 15 I think will be sorely disappointed considering all the talent that’s available at 10-15 this year.

  25. PDO says:


    I’d say he went in with $500. Won $2000.

    Then came out with $650.

    Yeah, if you look at what we dealt St. Louis, we did good.

    … but if you consider the fact that Pronger had injury concerns, people didn’t think he could play in the “new” NHL, he had the playoff loser rep, and the contract went from “market value at best” to “killer contract” …

    Well, then you can see why he screwed the pooch.

    … and that’s not even getting into the abortion that the Ryan Smyth trade was, and all the UFA’s he kept on that team that could’ve been dealt for assets that day.

  26. PunjabiOil says:

    It seems fairly obvious that Lowe came out even but unfortunately all people aren’t reasonable and all they could comprehend is that Lowe lost 500 dollars.That’s like giving credit to hundreds of of NBA players who couldn’t take care of their finances, and ended up in the same position they were before they made their millions.

    Only apologists would argue the St. Louis and Anaheim situations were alike. When St. Louis moved Pronger, it was because of the uncertainty with the cap, and a lackluster season. Credit Lowe for making the move, but he was in a much more position of strength when moving a guy who has just come off from a Conn Smythe-esque playoff run, locked for another 4 years in a world of elevating cap level. The same off-season where Jovonovski landed a contract paying more than Pronger.

    Lowe was insistent of getting 5 assets as opposed to getting players. Luongo was available that off-season, as was Havlat.

    That type of move set the Oilers back a few years, and here we are having Kevin Lowe’s Oilers missing the playoffs 5 times in 7 years.

  27. Traktor says:

    Jon K: I agree with your assessment but scouting is all about projection.

    You see some NFL players get drafted and they can’t even catch a football. But they have absolutely would class speed and if they can ever learn how to catch the ball.. watch out.

    Kassian has great hands and is one of the toughest players in the draft. That’s a great foundation to build upon.

    I’m not saying we should take him at 10 but he definitely has the potential to cover the bet.

    PDO: Or you could mention that Lowe acquired Hejda for a 7th.

    Or Grebs for Bergeron and a 3rd.

    Compile all his trades and he’s definitely on top.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    I think Ryan Ellis is the pick I would make, if available. He’s simply too good to pass on.

    I’m excited about this draft; there are a bunch of excellent, excellent players available at #10.

  29. oilerdago says:

    LT: When you say the Oilers have been getting killed at the draft table, I would take a little issue with you on that.

    Before the lockout, the team could not afford it's best (Weight, Guerin) and had to move them. Put things in balance and no question, we come out behind trying to replace "A" talent w/B's/C's/D's.

    Since the lockout it's been hits & misses. Pronger, Peca, Roli, Samsonov (hits). Some for 1 year, Roli though for 3.5 (no question that was a long-term hit).

    Since the SCF I won't argue the two glaring misses: Pronger and Symth, but Smyth's may not be as bad in the long run given his age and injury history because we did not get stuck with the contract.

    But there have been some good ones (Grebs for MAB, Glencross for Tarnstrom, Visnovsky for Greene/Stoll is probably a net neutral).

    The Lupol-Pitkanen-Cole-O'Sullivan is too early to tell (imo).

    So, while they've been hurt on the big names, I'd say it's very hard not to get hurt on those but look at it all in balance.

    To me it's the Pronger deal, the mistake of the Penner contract and the impatience of management to be willing to do a long term re-build (a la a Chicago, Pitts) that have hurt this team more than anything.

    Just my opinion.

  30. oil dude says:

    I would be disappointed if we drafted Kassian (or Kadri) at 10th, seems too high considering all the other exciting prospects that could be available there.

    Ellis – More points than top 3 pick Duchene!
    Kulikov – PPG defensman.
    Moore – Skates like Boumeester.
    Schroeder – Top 5 pick if he’s 6’0 180.
    Glennie – Size, speed, skill.

    Stauffer suggested the Oilers could draft a defenceman this year after drafting Eberle, Gagner, and Cogliano in the last few years. Personally I’d happy with any of the above.

  31. Traktor says:

    “Only apologists would argue the St. Louis and Anaheim situations were alike.”

    Both involved Chris Pronger getting traded under less than desirable conditions.

    Only someone with an agenda or missing brain cells would fail to see the resemblance.

    Identical? No. But fairly close.

  32. Traktor says:

    What’s funny is if Lowe was still the GM and there was no Steve Tambellini then I bet LT would be giving the gears to Lowe for not signing Omark.


    Everyone has their vice though.

  33. Garnet says:

    I think if you look at Lowe’s trading track record he had a habit of trading guys in haste: Bergeron, Smyth, Pronger. Frankly I’m starting to think that his attachment to the Oilers may be such that as soon as a player decided he doesn’t want to stay in Edmonton, he wanted you gone. Yes, he was old-school enough to think that being traded was punishment. The Pronger trade is, as noted, the rough equivalent of what we subjected St. Louis to, and Bergeron for Grebs is a win. It’s the Smyth deal that hurts, because I’ve never heard that Lowe really offered him around; he got an offer from the Island that he liked okay, and that was that.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Nah. I’ve said in the past that the Oilers should bring Omark over to see what they have. However, the Oilers have other, more established options at his position and having a look-see is way different than making room.

    Omark might be something, and maybe the agent was right in forcing the issue. However, Omark’s skill set (undersized skill player) is duplicated on the Oilers roster with Gagner, O’Sullivan and others.

    Are we certain Omark can play in the NHL? Is that a risk worth taking?

  35. Traktor says:

    “Are we certain Omark can play in the NHL? Is that a risk worth taking?”

    Worst case he burns a million against the cap.

    Best case he scores 70 points and wins the Calder.

    Instead were going to shell out 6 million to Jagr in hopes he can net 70 points.

    If Gagner and Nilsson “don’t help us win games” then why are we so against making them earn their roster spots?

    “the Oilers have other, more established options at his position”

    The only thing that has been established is our kids haven’t established anything. Can Cogs play wing? Who knows. Is Nilsson even going to have a career in the NHL? 50/50 sound fair? Is Gagner going to help us next year?

    The only thing established is a cloud of uncertainty.

    You want the best team? Throw 7 guys in the ring to fight for 3 jobs.

  36. Hugh says:

    one comment about Lowe’s trade history that seems to be forgotten is the comrie trade. We could have had corey perry + a pick at least. I’d say that was a big miss (esp with the bizarre request for Comrie to pay his way out of town). Definitely one of the wierdest trades i’ve seen.

  37. Traktor says:

    “I think if you look at Lowe’s trading track record he had a habit of trading guys in haste: Bergeron”

    Am I missing something here?

    MacT basically forced Lowe’s hand when he removed Bergeron off the PP in favor of Toby Peetes.

  38. Lowetide says:

    If Omark came over and fought for a job then it’s all good imo. My understanding is that the agent was asking for more than the normal two-way deal.

  39. doritogrande says:

    I said it over in the article you mentioned LT, but I’ll repeat it here for those who don’t read Flaming’s blog.

    It’s not that Ryan Ellis won’t be a player, I just can’t see him being a player for his first organization. I’d much rather pick him up on the cheap five years down the road when he’s still “developing” from a franchise (Ex: Montreal) that’s had enough of his defensive lapses.

    Just my opinion.

    Of the players projected to go in the 8-12 range, my order of preference is as such: Kadri, Kulikov, Shroeder, Glennie, Moore. We’re going to get a great, but not elite prospect who is likely to take another two years before he’s pushing for a roster spot. And in the #10 slot, that’s right where it should be. Too many people are expecting our first rounders to immediately step into the lineup. Gagner was a generational talent in this aspect. If I see Eberle starting the season in the NHL, Tambellini hasn’t done his job with free agents well enough IMO.

  40. Jonathan Willis says:

    Wait, wait – when did Bergeron for Grebeshkov become a bad thing again?

  41. Bank Shot says:

    Wait, wait – when did Bergeron for Grebeshkov become a bad thing again?It wasn’t a popular move in the sphere at the time. Consensus was that Greene was holding MAB back.

  42. Vic Ferrari says:

    I suspect that Bergeron was more of a coach issue. Chimera the same.

    Bergeron had conflicts with Nolan as well, and that’s not easy to do. I never heard about anything in Anaheim, but Carlyle is a hardass and Bergeron is stubborn, so I imagine it didn’t go well. He seems to have settled down a bit in Minnesota, I don’t know if Lemaire just communicates better, or if Bergeron started to realize that maybe, just maybe, it was him.

    In any case a good year in Minny, lead the D in even strength +/-, and it was earned, he had the best underlying numbers as well.

    The link that I learned that from speculated this was because he played mostly against weaker opposition. I suspect they are right. And I think that the Wild had a good set of bottom six forwards last year, that makes a big difference.

    I always took to MAB’s defence because there was a big chunk of Oiler fandom who had made him their whipping boy. And really, he was and is a useful player in his role, and was on a reasonable contract.

    Grebeshkov is similar, though there is a lot of the same element of risk in their games. I don’t feel comfortable with him out there against good players either.

    Hopefully the Grebeshkov contract is a good one for the Oilers. They need more players with a reasonable chance of outperforming their contracts, methinks.

  43. godot10 says:

    Trading up in the draft?

    Say the #10, Omark, and Staios for Tampa’s #2,

  44. godot10 says:

    i.e. Tampa has Harju’s rights.

    Pitch the trade to Tampa as Harju-Omark as the next Sedin twins.

  45. Nicola says:

    If no trade is made at the draft to move up and both Ellis and Cowan are on the board who do the Oilers take? If this is the case they will have stones thrown at them from both sides as I would not envy Tamballini. Myself I would go with Ellis as this type of player does not come along too often. Also he looked exceptionally good at the world juniors. He really reminds me of Brian Campbell and Dan Boyle.

  46. Jonathan Willis says:

    It wasn’t a popular move in the sphere at the time. Consensus was that Greene was holding MAB back.

    I remember the move being unpopular (I didn’t like it much myself at the time, although I don’t recall anyone blaming Greene), but I thought that after Grebeshkov’s rookie year we’d come around to the Oilers’ POV and realized that Frank Musil does no wrong.

  47. Vic Ferrari says:

    On Greene, I just don’t get the love. That was a brutal contract by Lombardi IMO. I mean I’m sure he’s improved and will continue to do so, but he’ll never cover the bet imo.

    There are a raft of good, experienced, defensive D men available in the summer lately. And usually they come at a reasonable price (the Commodore signing was crazy-big money, but besides that).

    I really hope that Matheson is just spitballing, the Oilers have enough bad contracts on the books.

  48. Ribs says:

    Pierre McGuire: Monster Hunter.

    Coming to a division near you?

  49. NBOilerFan says:

    I have been an Oiler fan since 84′ and I never knew anything about prospects outside of the AHL nor knew much about the Oilers draft picks (except usually hearing there names a day or two after the draft) until I found HFBoards, which in turn lead me to hockey’s future.

    I still know very little about prospects, though thanks to my exposure to sites like this one. I use to just leave that stuff up to Lowe and the scouting department and didn’t really concern myself with prospects, until they made the AHL.

    So I’m probably a bit closer to one of those “casual’ Oiler fans that were referred to. I grew up kinda understanding the sentiment about drafting for needs. Especially if you have little to no prospects in that area.

    But as far as I can remember, my opinion on drafting has always been… you draft the best available player, period! I could never imagine passing over a potentially better player, just to get a player that fits the current needs.

    I can’t imagine anyone not understanding or realizing that these lids are usually at least 2-3 years away from making the show (if ever) so why draft for needs, they are likely to be different by then anyway.

    You draft the best player, and he hopefully pans out and becomes either a good/great Oiler player or a good/great trading chip… to fill a need.

  50. ian says:

    I think godot10 made an interesting suggestion especially if Omark is truly more of the same size and skill wise.
    Before I saw his suggestion i was wondering why other teams would look to trade up to the 10-15 slot? If the Oilers were trading at say 20 what would we give up to get into 10-15?

  51. NBOilerFan says:

    … meant to say;

    I still know very little about prospects, though thanks to my exposure to sites like this one, I’m now learning.

  52. Smytty777 says:

    How expensive would it be to get into the 8 slot currently held by Dallas? They could use more scoring and another veteran d-man, maybe one of Nilsson/Pouliot/Staios, our 10th and one of the Oilers two third round picks.

    Tambellini is saying we have too many contracts so this is a way to get rid of one of them while moving up into the area where you could potentially draft a big impact player. (One of Parjaavi, Schenn, Kane, Cowen or Ekman-Larsson) depending on how it plays out.

  53. misfit says:

    We also traded up in the 1st to get Nash.

  54. Sean says:

    I’d like to see the Oilers move up in the draft or move their pick plus a player or 2 for a difference maker*. This team has too many contracts and too many average ones. If I’m making the calls I’m worrying less about size and more about ditching salary and landing another Hemsky or Hemsky+.

    Nilsson for a pick
    Omark/10 overall for an upgraded pick
    Give a dump truck of money and Katz’ house to Gaborik (and move Moreau and/or Gilbert if needbe)

    *Given the cap going down and our salary cap issues the former is much more preferable.

  55. bookie says:

    McGuire is seriously being considered for a GM spot? Isnt’ this the guy who suggested that we traded Pronger and Pitkanen for Cole.

  56. Sean says:

    Smythy777 – Dallas hasnt had a pick this good since the Oilers used to have their way with them (thats a while). My guess is they’re wanting to keep it.

    FWIW I’ve heard there is a dropoff after 7 so moving top 7 would be ideal.

  57. Smytty777 says:

    Sean, I agree with the top 7 thing, but is there anyone in the top 7 that might consider moving their pick? I figure if you get to the 8 spot, maybe there is another Hickey pick and you wind up with one of the top 7 guys.

  58. gogliano says:

    I doubt it would happen, but I’d also love it if the Oilers targeted the 2nd pick overall. My guess is the 2nd overall is easier to trade PR wise–Snow probably cannot trade Tavares given the impact it has had on fan interest, whereas I doubt Tampa has the same attachment to Hedman–and the player chosen might be the best player in the draft. Tampa Bay is also crazy and don’t know what they are doing.

    Obviously the 10th goes, and Omark sounds like a good addition for TB as well. Would still need to add real value, but if middling assets could get it done, it would good for the org to target a long-term difference maker.

  59. Sean says:

    Smythy777 – my guess is with the cap going down not many teams are looking to move topend picks because of the good chance of outperforming the cap hit in the entry level contract. Worth a shot though…

  60. spOILer says:

    Everyone knows from the recent May 1st Journal article that Jagr isn’t coming here next year, right? It’s the year after.

    Or is no one buying that story?

    Godot: Why would Tampa trade the #2 overall for Omark and Staios, especially if Tavares is still on the table?

  61. godot10 says:

    //Godot: Why would Tampa trade the #2 overall for Omark and Staios, especially if Tavares is still on the tabl//

    I said the #10 overall, Omark, and Staios to move up to #2.

    Tampa has the rights to Omark’s Swedish linemate, Harju, the guy he went to the KHL with. (pitch them as the new Sedin twins).

    Tampa needs a veteran mentor defenseman for all their young D. Staios takes a lot of crap on these boards for his current abilities, but he is a standup character guy.

  62. Traktor says:

    1000 dollars in Pennies is worth the same as 1000 dollars in twenties.

    Unfortunately you could have 1 million dollars in pennies and most restaurants wouldn’t serve you.

    Omark, Nilsson and Smid might might be legal tender but when you’re talking about Anton Hedman they’re basically Canadian Tire money.

  63. godot10 says:

    If a GM has faith in his scouts, he doesn’t draft the best player available, he moves up and down the draft board to get the players his scouts really want.

    Philadephia and New England are the best examples of this in the NFL.

    In the NHL, it is harder to do because it is an eighteen year old draft, and fewer teams trade.

    But if the Oilers think there are going to only be a bunch of midgets available at #10, they should probably move up or probably move down, unless they really like one of the midgets.

  64. godot10 says:

    //Omark, Nilsson and Smid might might be legal tender but when you’re talking about Anton Hedman they’re basically Canadian Tire money.//

    But as a GM, you at least check whether whoever is in charge in Tampa saw Harju and OMark together good.

  65. Traktor says:

    “But as a GM, you at least check whether whoever is in charge in Tampa saw Harju and OMark together good.”

    I agree that Edmonton at the very least has to dangle him to Tampa and see how far they’d go.

    If they saw him good then I’d say the best hope would be grabbing their 32nd overall.

  66. uni says:

    I agree you have to at least check but I don’t think anyone in Tampa is smoking that kind of weed.

    For Hedman you’re going to have to shell out #10, Nilsson, Cogliano, Omark as a starter, they won’t want a Staios money contract, but I think this will at least get you to the table; and you’re likely still going to have to up the ante with a Gilbert or Grebeskov I’d imagine.

  67. spOILer says:


    Yeah, but Stamkos/Tavares > Harju/Omark. No? I certainly wouldn't call it a Saw-off.

    Or are you saying only inquire if Tavares goes to the NYI?

    If he doesn't, Burke has a better pick to offer, and a reasonably priced Kaberle that's a far better Dman than Staios.

    Not to mention, TBL could use a Hedman as much as a Tavares, and would likely play him immediately, if he shows he can handle it.

  68. Black Gold says:

    (off topic)
    After blaming this season’s failures on MacT, can we blame Eberle’s drop off on Dale Derkatch?
    Onward to middling expectations!

  69. DBO says:

    FYI on the tampa Bay pick. The rumour on CBC was that the asking price from the Leafs for that pick was kaberle, Schenn and the leafs 1st round pick. Sorry but omark, Staios and the 10th is a far cry from the TO deal. i doubt TO would move Schenn, but even if it was Kaberle, 1st round and another good offensive prospect you gotta think they take that deal and not the Oil deal.

  70. Black Gold says:

    The rumour on CBC was that the asking price from the Leafs for that pick was kaberle, Schenn and the leafs 1st round pick.

    Would Vishnovski (or Souray), Gilbert (or Grebeshkov), and our first be comparable?

    If we throw in a couple 8s, 9s or 10s, like Nilsson, Poo or Omark is it enough to get it done?

    Losing 2 of our top four would hurt but freeing up 8-9 million on the back end would sure make signing J-Bo easier. :)

    If you secure J-Bo’s rights and get him at a reasonable cap hit (ie. several $1M years on the back end) it doesn’t seem like that bad an idea.

    Maybe I should be doing something more productive than playing GM.

  71. Smarmy Boss says:

    Meh I don’t really care who the Oilers draft.

    I would like to see them take Gallimore in the 3rd round. That would make me happy.

  72. kris says:

    Tampa and The Isles need Hedman and Tavares for PR purposes. I doubt they’d do a deal even if they were getting good value in return or even if they got enough in return to make the playoffs next year.

    But then again Wang and Snowe might deal their livers for a glass of whiskey.

  73. spOILer says:

    Tough to think any first-rounder is going to be a for sure impact player the next year. Stamkos wasn’t but a couple of the defenseman were.

    As far as the Oil goes and pro-activeness on Draft Day… I don’t know how aggressive they need to be.

    While it appears that what this team lacks is the drafted elite player, the assets we’d have to give up seem to be too pricey, and would cripple our team now. Hemsky or Horcoff would have to be on their way out of town and likely one of Souray and Vish too.

    Are we willing to go into full re-build mode on the hope that either Tavares or Hedman will be franchise players down the road? Do we want to see this team suck another 5 years? Do we remember the criticism Pronger used to get for his play, before he became a Hart winner? Are we going ot have that kind of patience for Hedman or tavares in this ADD MTV immediate grat world?

    And even if we could trade a combo of our 1st and Hem/Horc and Sour/Vish for one of the top two picks… are either of those teams willing to take on that kind of salary right now. I think both NYO and TBL are perfectly happy to be in cheap rebuild mode.

    Now if for some reason (like midnight satanic rituals) Burke manages to pry the TBL pick out of them, TBL might be willing to trade TO’s pick to us for another cheap helpful body, because the first trade would mean their plan would be geared to the present and not the future. But I doubt even Burke can do it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Burke take a run at the Sedin sisters though, but I suspect they re-sign. I have a feeling there’s no extension there yet because Gillis has told them the size of the offer depends how far they go in the playoffs.

  74. spOILer says:

    Sorry for all the typos above.

  75. kris says:

    LT: Flamings article is messed up. The Oil brass aren’t exactly the Vienna Circle, but they’re not dumb enough to think that they can solve the current problem we have with a lack of grit through the draft. And even Joe Iphoneoilerscallinshowswhiledrunk knows a draft pick doesn’t help in the present and grit is a problem in the present.

    Odds are a trade, possibly a minor one, adds “grit.” Tambellini claims victory and picks well at 10.

  76. godot10 says:

    Phoenix Coyotes have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.

    Balsillie has filed a stalking horse offer to buy the team out of Chapter 11, paying off all the secured and unsecured creditors, and move the team to Hamilton.

    The only way Bettman can stop him now is to find someone with deeper pockets than Balsillie, or to default on creditors (of which the NHL itself is one).

  77. Traktor says:

    “Hemsky or Horcoff would have to be on their way out of town.”

    If we can hit two birds with one stone, even better.

  78. Dennis says:

    Is flaming the new press appointed apologist? Fuck, you talk about not being able to win? You can’t lose if you’ve got your ass covered both ways.

    Trak: the proof is in the pudding when it comes to Pronger.

  79. Traktor says:

    Dennis: What do you mean?

    By the way, your advice to pound the Jays under doesn’t look promising at this point.

  80. Quinn says:

    Sweet news about Balsillie. Unless he turns out to be some kind of Wirtz or Ballard, of course.

    This changes everything.

  81. Dennis says:

    Trak: the Jays have a bubble gum and popsicle sticks starting rotation and there at least three hitters hitting over their head.

    I wouldn’t consider that money lost just yet.

    As for Pronger, Lowe gives the finger to guys he hates and a golden parachute to the ones he loves. Have a guess how that;s turned out for us? All 1st round picks aren’t considered equal and it’s absolute fucking folly to trumpet first rounders gleaned from one of the best teams in hockey.

    The actual players he choose were Lupul and Smid and enough said.

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