We’ve arrived finally at the Olympic break, and there are a few things we can count on. The Oilers will be drafting in the top 2 at the Entry Draft (unless they trade the pick), we know the answer to the George Bush question (“is our children learning?”) and the answer is “not the Oiler kids!” and we know that Daryl Katz is very upset and this summer Steve Tambellini will huff and puff and bbbbbblooooowwwwwwww the house down.
Listening to Bob Stauffer lately I get the feeling we can write the spring/summer Oiler script:
- Buyout O’Sullivan/Nilsson at one-third their contracts (because of age)
- One of Gilbert/Grebs is gone
- One of Souray/Lubo is gone
- Cogliano is gone
- Eberle will be here soon
- Pisani goes at the deadline, Staios does not
So we’re getting a bit of a view about Tambellini’s plan. I think we’ll see a kid line (Eberle-Hall-someone) in the fall and Gagner with be on a line with Penner. I believe the club will find a shooter for Hemsky’s line (Kovalchuk? Jagr?) and will take a long look at MPS.
What isn’t clear? We have no idea if they’ll address the glaring weaknesses that are faceoffs, penalty kill and veteran leadership down the middle and on the wings. However, based on the number of times Bob Stauffer has stated the buyout option on O’Sullivan and Nilsson I’d bet money one of them goes away via that option this summer.
The Edmonton Oilers playbook has always been “expect the unexpected” and I think we might need to add a facepalm.
EDIT TO ADD: Garrioch has an item on the Oilers today. Bottom of the page, final entry.