What Would It Look Like? (The Prospects)

If we accept that Steve Tambellini has slammed the door on the old days (elevating Sam Gagner because the fans needed “something to believe in”, etc) then what would that look like? Where can we expect the prospects to land in a world where the organization has a longer view?

It begins with options. The Oilers can sign MPS and either keep him with the big club, send him to Oklahoma City or back to the SEL. They can send Eberle to the AHL or keep him with the big club. They can sign Tyler Seguin/Taylor Hall and send them back to junior or keep them with the big club.

I think the smartest option is to let the coaching staff decide which players are NHL ready. This could mean that Paarjavi-Svensson makes the grade and that Eberle (a year older) and Seguin (barely 18) are sent away. However, if you’re going to create a universe in which effort and skill are rewarded and the club option doesn’t dictate the timeline (another item the Oilers have used a lot over the years) then it only makes sense that you keep the best players available.

The best option for the 2010-11 Edmonton Oilers is probably to send them all back to the farm (AHL, SEL, junior) and come back a year from now. If Eberle is leading the AHL in scoring after 6 weeks then hire the man, but backing up the depth chart makes certain he’s ready and gives the team more options when the Mandelbaums’ handy work begins taking its toll.

Let’s start by making a “possible roster” for the Oklahoma City club (let’s call them the Blazers).

  1. G Devan Dubnyk
  2. G Bryan Pitton
  3. D Chris Armstrong*
  4. D Jake Taylor*
  5. D Taylor Chorney
  6. D Theo Peckham
  7. D Dean Arsene
  8. D Alex Plante
  9. D Johan Motin
  10. D Jeff Petry
  11. D Matt Nickerson
  12. D Josef Hrabal
  13. C Ryan Potulny
  14. C Ryan O’Marra
  15. C Chris Vande Velde
  16. C Geoff Paukovich
  17. C Milan Kytnar
  18. C Linus Omark
  19. L Magnus Paarjavi-Svensson
  20. L Teemu Hartikainen (if signed)
  21. L JF Jacques
  22. L Charles Linglet
  23. L Slava Trukhno
  24. L Bryan Lerg
  25. L Philippe Cornet
  26. R Jordan Eberle
  27. R Liam Reddox
  28. R Ryan Stone
  29. R Colin McDonald

Some of these guys would be claimed on waivers, others would be sent to Sweden and on it goes. However, this gives us a nice group to start with and would give the parent Oilers club all kinds of options with regard to callup. I threw in a couple of AHL level veterans on the blue (Taylor, Armstrong) in order to give the roster a more realistic look.

If those players are on the AHL roster (and in Sweden, etc) then what does the NHL roster look like and how many holes does Steve Tambellini need to fill?

  1. G Nikolai Khabibulin
  2. G Jeff Deslauriers
  3. D Sheldon Souray (likely gone)
  4. D Ryan Whitney
  5. D Tom Gilbert
  6. D Ladislav Smid
  7. #5D
  8. #6D
  9. #7D
  10. C Shawn Horcoff
  11. C Sam Gagner
  12. ##RH C for FO and PK
  13. C Andrew Colgiano
  14. L Dustin Penner
  15. L Patrick O’Sullivan
  16. L Ethan Moreau
  17. L Ryan Jones
  18. R Ales Hemsky
  19. R Gilbert Brule
  20. R Marc Pouliot
  21. R Robert Nilsson
  22. R Zack Stortini
  23. ###Knuckle-dragger
  24. WILD CARD: Seguin/Hall

I usually forget someone so please point out the name if you see the omission. It is pretty much a healthy roster from this past season, with Pisani gone and the defense backed up a lot (which is the wise move).

This morning, I made a list of things “to do” for Tambellini (flush some of the smaller F’s, RH C, big winger, flush Souray, etc) and it looks like we can one more item to his list:

  • several NHL defensemen to replace Staios, Johnson and Strudwick while forcing Peckham, Chorney and others to earn it. 

It is likely the Oilers will elevate one of the kids from the Springfield blue, but is it reasonable? Have they earned it? Based on Steve Tambellini’s own suggestions yesterday, can we reasonably assume Taylor Chorney is ready for the NHL? How much more “NHL ready” is Taylor Chorney than someone like Magnus Paarjavi-Svensson? Jordan Eberle? Linus Omark?

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