Reading the Tea Leaves

The Edmonton Oilers have another first overall pick on the horizon. This one is different. This one feels unsettled, unfinished.

I suggested over at ON the other day that Nail Yakupov was not an automatic. There are little things, like NY’s agent saying the Oilers hadn’t been in touch, and Ryan Murray being invited (or so) to the grown up Team Canada.

I believe the Oilers are looking at adding a defensive stud to go with their three gifted forwards, and they may feel this is their last best chance to add an impact defender.

I believe that defender is Ryan Murray.

The other thing is EDM doesn’t shop Moscow successfully, never has. The Oilers once got talked into Alexei Mikhnov but that ended badly and they are well aware of the pratfalls possible when a smaller market team goes bear hunting.

And if you look at the evidence, read the tea leaves, there is a story emerging:

  • Sliderule in yesterday’s BB post:It appears the Oil are going to try to trade down or select Murray. Stauffer today was comparing Murray to Suter.As he had just finished interviewing Tambo he might be reflecting Oiler thinking. I think they will regret passing on a elite prospect like Yak to take D.
  • Steve Tambellini to Jim Matheson: “if we can get a good (established) player and a good draft pick and we feel great about it, we’d do it. But maybe by the time we get out of the meetings, we decide that player X is by far the best player. If so, we’re taking the pick. Stu (head scout MacGregor) hasn’t told us that yet (if Yakupov or anybody else is his No. 1), but we really try to make sure everybody gets to speak with passion on the players they like or dislike. You don’t want it pre-determined. The scouts work too hard at that.”

Folks, it’s not a huge step from “if we get an established player and a good draft pick” to “we didn’t feel we could risk trading down to #3 because our intel suggested Columbus had Murray #1 as well.”

That’s just me thinking out loud, but as mentioned in the ON item there’s the thread of a story here. Stu MacGregor has an impressive track record, I’d say outstanding (although most observers seem to be less impressed).

If the Edmonton Oilers draft Ryan Murray #1 overall and Stu MacGregor tells me it’s the right thing to do, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

What say you?

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103 Responses to "Reading the Tea Leaves"

  1. DBO says:

    Could Tambellini be an evil genius? The last 2 years he has made it plainly clear that he would have to be blown away. By hinting that he might consider it, I think some teams will be more inclined to send him offers. And I think the Oil would have to consider a good young player and the 3/4/5th pick. I wonder if Justin Shultz makes the pick more interesting, since if we sign him before the draft it alleviates the immediate need for a dman (giving Yakupov more of a chance). if we don’t sign Shultz then that may force Tambo’s hand (which is stupid, but hey, it’s the Oil)

    Wait. Wait. It’s Tambellini, I can’t honestly say he’ll do the right thing. Dammit.

  2. Seabb says:

    Lowetide:

    If Tambo believes that we can get Justin Schultz (and I mean really believes. As in it is in the bag), does that shed any light on the iffy-bad Gilbert trade? Does it make more sense then?

  3. Woodguy says:

    If they don’t get an offer that “blows them away” they have to pick Yakupov.

    I pray to god that Schenn and #5 doesn’t “blow them away” Lowe inviting Schenn, the 5th or 6th best Dman on a bad team, to Team Canada speaks volumes.

    Everyone has Yakupov first with a bullet, except the Oilers.

    We all know what happens when you think you’re the smartest guy in the room.

    You end up taking Jesse Niinimaki 15th overall instead of Gordon, Grebs, Paille, Babchuck, Bergenheim, etc.

    At the very least draft him then look to trade him after the draft if you don’t get the offer you want before you have pick.

    High end offensive skill is always at a premium in the NHL.

    Eschewing it to take a Dman that *might* work out in a few years is just not good asset management.

    You don’t trade $50 for $40.

    The OIlers do it all the time though.

    Steve Tambellini – GM of recommendations

  4. DBO says:

    Willis has two good posts up on Dmen. One at ON about Shultz and one at Cult of Hockey about the Pens wanting to blow up their D. He surmises that we aren’t a good fit for the Pens, but in my fantasy world all of our D problems can be solved with two moves.

    1. Sign Shultz. It makes sense for both.

    2. Deal for Michalek (3 years at $4 mill) for a RH stay at home type. The Pens need to move dollars in 2013/14 (Crosby and Staal need new deals) so we could possibly convince them to take Bulin for his last year since his dollars are gone when they need them. And if we added a prospect or Omark and a pick (which scares me cause I think Omark on the Pens would be a 50 pt guy) then they may go for it.

    Giving us

    Smid-Petry
    Shu;tz-Shultz
    Whitney-Michalek

    That is a playoff D, for the first time in a long time.

  5. Jesse says:

    Now, I am relatively new to becoming actively invested in the various scouting projections of the top-30, but things like this (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/04/20/red-line-report-we-dont-see-a-true-1-blue-liner-emerging-out-of-this-years-crop/) combined with the fact that Yakupov has been head and shoulders above the rest for a long time makes me really nervous about the Oilers taking Murray 1st OV. That doesn’t seem to be maximizing the glorious opportunity that they’ve been given this year by winning the lottery. Especially when some scouting reports don’t even have Murray at #2.

  6. sliderule says:

    I think we are all going to be really disappointed in this draft.

    Tambo to me almost looked unhappy when they won the lotto.The plan was to pick second or third and pick the guy Stu liked Murray.Picking him at two or three couldn’t be second guessed because after Yak it’s a tossup.

    The picking of Murray and Schenn for the WC team like Woodguy suggests speaks volumes.It wouldn’t surprise me if an offer from Toronto was already on the table.

    How to sell this to the fans is going to give Tambo a headache..You can expect the Oiler media guys to be beating the drum for how great Murray and Schenn are if they show anything at the WC .

  7. jfry says:

    this is bush league drama LT. that same quote says that if there is a definitve number one that stu (your boy) likes that they’ll take said player. this is like speculating on where luongo will go or what colour the ogopogo’s belly is.

    i had it on good authority (e4) that this was a numbers blog.

  8. neojanus says:

    Unless Tambellini stiffs a desperate team out of a stellar d-man, just pick Yakupov for crying out loud. Don’t take Murray with the first…

    Just… guh.

  9. jfry says:

    by the way… the ogopogo’s belly is mint green (e5)

  10. Jordan says:

    This is a weak draft year. Big part of that is the lack of top-end NA Forward talent in the draft. There are some nice D-men available, and some Euros who play the NA game well. But all of the Euros playing the NA game have been hurt this year. So each of them has red flagging there that (considering the Oilers’ recent history) should impact how highly the Org rates them.

    We’ve lost a lot of good players and prospects to injury over the last decade+. Comrie, Lynch, Pouliot, Jacques, Horcoff… and the jury is out on Hemsky, Hall, and RNH.

    Taking players with injury history even at the junior level is risky.

    Then you’ve got the Dmen, who its really hard to get a read on because there are questions about how much their team is proping them up, keeping them down, or how well their game will translate. THere are significant injuries with most of these players too.

    So where do you put your money?

    There’s lots of people around here who are preaching the voice of wisdom.

    I’m going to preach the voice of Crazy.

    Don’t take Yakupov. Don’t take Murray. Take Forsberg, with a trade down, work to get another top 10 pick, for whichever of the high-end D that slips, and take Sammuelson in the 2nd.

    This team is DYING for players with enough skill to play with our hockey brains, and enough size and strength to work the boards and provide net presence. Take a couple in Filip and Hank, put in a lotto ticket on a Dman turning into stud, and start trying to build a team that can win.

    Maybe Yakupov will be the better player. Maybe Murray will turn out to be the next Ryan Sutter. Maybe Forsberg is overhyped, and samuelsons playoff numbers are just a refelction of player with Lazar. But maybe that’s not the case, and Yak is the next Brule, Murray’s another Schenn, and both Forsberg and Samuelson are the skilled size this team actually NEEDS.

    BPA is a balance of potential and likelyhood of attainment. The Oilers don’t need cleanup hitters right now. They already have those. They need guys who can field and reliably get on base.

    Maybe I’m crazy. But the Oilers sure aren’t building a winner with their current MO. Maybe crazy is exactly what they need.

  11. regwald says:

    Jordan,

    Okay, as much as I am tired of his rhetoric, I am will throw out the Cherry viewpoint here. Are you proposing we take two Eurpeans (Swedes at that) to improve our team size and toughness ? LOL

    I have watched Sammuelson in the playoffs 3 times now and I sure do like his grit and size. Don’t mind the thought process and yes it comes across as a bit crazy, but I don’t mind it at all !

  12. Ducey says:

    All thats clear is that they have not made any decisions and want to speak with their scouts. They have proven to be very deliberate in their decision making. To speculate about what they might decide seems a little premature.

    They don’t know, so how could they tip off fat Bob or slim Jim?

  13. jfry says:

    i saw all of sweden’s games at the wjc (small sample size) but collberg was heads and tails above forsberg and received way more ice time on quality lines. forsberg put up junk numbers in a secondary league — i do not get the love for this guy. it reminds me of when brett lindros went super high in the draft because he had a familiar last name.

    we always say that the person who gets the best player in a trade wins…there’s a consensus that there’s only one blue chip player so i’m not sure why we’d avoid him? the trade would have to be for a superior player…not assets.

    everyone seems to be forgetting that we have zero depth on the wings and almost half of our 50 contracts are tied up in dmen.

  14. Zack says:

    Personally, what I see in Nail Yakupov, I believe he will be a close equivalent to Taylor Hall 2.0 with your stereotypical “Russian mold” if we draft this guy. Fans will love him and although his personality/character may be quite a bit different in the kids we already have I think he’ll become a fine fit.

    Like Woodguy mentioned, I think if we really want to get the most out of a trade, that his value would increase after playing a season or two with a team in the NHL. I trust in Stu and his team but how can you pass up a guy with this type of potential? It would be ridiculous.

    I think the media is skewing the story a little bit. Yeah, ST commented on the first overall pick when asked and the fact that Ryan Murray is at worlds but what if he’s there just to make sure that Yakupov is the right guy 100%? Everyone is making it sound like Murray is there to make sure they want to select him, hands down, 100%. With the way Lowe worded his one interview with Gregor (I think it was) I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Yakupov.

  15. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think trading down is a mistake-the Oilers have shown that they are not the smartest guy in the room-just take the Russian kid unless the Preds are offering up Weber for the first pick.

    Just spitballing-did anyone else notice that Marc Methot was selected to team Canada-I was surprised to see that he played last year as well.I remember Methot’s name came up around the trade deadline wrt players the Oilers might be interested in. Just sayin’.

  16. Traktor says:

    I think LT might have a point.

    The thing with drafting Yakupov is Tambellini would likely need to trade Hemsky or Gagner to get that defensive help and they don’t have the value to bring us back something to be proud of.

    I think Jordan is right that Edmonton could use Forsberg (assuming he develops) as much as Yakupov. BPA is great and all but it assumes two things that aren’t true:

    1. You can trade for needs. Players like Ryan Murray, Landeskog, Forsberg, Lucic, Subban ect don’t get traded. You need to draft those players.

    2. You don’t know what your team will look like in 2-3 years. This might make sense when drafting after the first round but when you are drafting a top 5 pick they are likely going to play right from the start or maximum 1 year away.

  17. bookje says:

    If the Edmonton Oilers draft Ryan Murray #1 overall and Stu MacGregor tells me it’s the right thing to do, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I am as well – though there will be some question if it was Stu or someone else who actually labelled Murray as #1.

  18. Ribs says:

    Traktor: 1. You can trade for needs. Players like Ryan Murray, Landeskog, Forsberg, Lucic, Subban ect don’t get traded. You need to draft those players.

    Hmm… I don’t know. We’ve seen a lot of highly ranked young guys move around lately. E. Johnson went #1 and he’s been traded. The other Johnson now moved as well. Schenn, Voracek, Turris, Johansen, Hodgson, all moved lately.

  19. Ribs says:

    In Stu We Trust.

  20. Magnus says:

    I enjoy what you bring to the Oilersphere LT, but sometimes you get notions in your head with little to no evidence supporting them and run rampant with them. It may be you’re trying to attract more readers, but I still see this as a huge non-story a la an Eric Francis piece. Every scout or scouting site I’ve read has Yakupov as the best prospect by far. And I’ve read nothing to suggest MacGregor prefers Murray over Yakupov… lots of speculation by others yes, but not one comment where he has stated he prefers any prospect over the others. If the team is stupid enough to trade down or otherwise pass on Yakupov for Murray, I think Tambo and MacGregor will be singing their own pink slips and deservedly so.
    You always take the best player available and that’s not Murray. Let’s ignore the legitimate arguments against taking defencemen that high, even if you looked at Murray and placed him in any of the NHL drafts from the past 10 years – ignoring hindsight and looking at each player’s draft season – I would not pick Murray #1 in any draft in the last decade. He’s just not that high-end a player. He wouldn’t even be in the top 5 in most of those years. At the #1 spot, I couldn’t see a team choosing a defenceman of Murray’s size without some decent offensive talent, and I don’t see that from Murray. At this point I see him as a smaller Jay Bouwmeester, which is good, but not the type of potential other players in the draft have. Drafting for need, which is what you seem to be suggesting is going to take place, usually ends up in failure.

  21. art vandelay says:

    Impressive track record?
    Give me the 1st pick several years in a row – and toss in a couple of 7ths along the way – and I’m pretty sure I could get an NHL team to 2d last overall.
    Outside the studs, the Oilers are still basically a team of eternal prospects and duds.

  22. FPB94 says:

    IMO You’d probably have more chance to trade the pick into a stud, then Murray turning into one.

    Subban + 3rd
    for
    Gagner + 1st

    Seems likely.

  23. godot10 says:

    All those so-called brilliant scouts let Couturier slide last year because they had seen him for too long.

    Like with Couturier, Murray has been around so long, that people beginning picking at his weaknesses, while they are still at the stage of not noticing the other top prospects weaknesses.

    I will be fine if it is Yakupov or if it is Murray.

    If the Oilers want Murray, I think they have to draft him at #1, because I think Columbus will be taking him at #2.

  24. oilersfan says:

    FPB – would the Habs do that?

    As an Oilersfan i would….gives us a stud d and we can take Galchenuk to replace gagner, giving us a bigger second line winger (bigger than gagner, 6’1 200).

  25. Ducey says:

    godot10,

    I agree. We know Nail is #1, but if he is just a little bit better than the next bunch of guys then is there really that much mischief if the Oilers were to take Murray at 3 and get another pick/ player that more than makes up the difference.

    Would it have been that big of a mistake last years to have traded down to Couturier or Landeskog and got another asset in the process?

    I think a lot of teams think this (that they can get someone good in the top 5) and its why they don’t offer much for #1.

  26. bookje says:

    art vandelay:
    Impressive track record?
    Give me the 1st pick several years in a row – and toss in a couple of 7ths along the way – and I’m pretty sure I could get an NHL team to 2d last overall.
    Outside the studs, the Oilers are still basically a team of eternal prospects and duds.

    Yes, we all know, the Oilers suck, now back to other business…

  27. Traktor says:

    FPB94:
    IMO You’d probably have more chance to trade the pick into a stud, then Murray turning into one.

    Subban + 3rd
    for
    Gagner + 1st

    Seems likely.

    I would do that but I don’t think Montreal would even consider it. I would even toss in Edmonton’s 31st.

  28. FPB94 says:

    Traktor – Oilersfan: I believe a lot of people got tired of Subban in MTL. Intern (teammates and fans).

    While I think he’s going to turn out just fine, this is the type of stuff MTL does.

    I believe they’l ask for more. But that would be the type of deal they would make.

    I don’t believe Geoff Molson (Owner) will let it slide that we’d possibly get out of the draft with a defesemen. (Murray).

    If EDM’s pick (In the case he does pick) is a F, and they know CBJ will do the same, they’l do everything to grab Grigorenko or Yakupov.

  29. Bar_Qu says:

    Traktor,

    Shoot throw in Omark too. Its not like he’s worth anything to the org. I think an overpay to get Subban would be a good trade.

    FPB makes a good point too about Subban wearing out his welcome in some quarters of MTL. I don’t thinks its fair, but no less fair than what’s been done to Omark.

  30. FPB94 says:

    Basically. People want an instant rebuild over here (Philly style).

    Drafting a defensemen will make people flip over.

    I say I agree with the quick rebuild, as not much seperated that 15th place finish with the 6th place, aside from some bad luck and injuries.

    Some added offensive firepower could do the trick.

  31. Traktor says:

    Ribs: Hmm… I don’t know. We’ve seen a lot of highly ranked young guys move around lately. E. Johnson went #1 and he’s been traded. The other Johnson now moved as well. Schenn, Voracek, Turris, Johansen, Hodgson, all moved lately.

    J. Johnson had some warts.. kind of like Pitakanen. Johansen wasn’t traded, Hodgson and Turris don’t fit the mold that I’m talking about, neither does Voracek.

    Point noted on Schenn and EJ. I’ll also add Wayne Simmonds and Chris Stewart.

    I still don’t think trading for a Murray-type or Forsberg-type is a realistic option though.

  32. Traktor says:

    FPB94:
    Traktor – Oilersfan: I believe a lot of people got tired of Subban in MTL. Intern (teammates and fans).

    While I think he’s going to turn out just fine, this is the type of stuff MTL does.

    I believe they’l ask for more. But that would be the type of deal they would make.

    I don’t believe Geoff Molson(Owner) will let it slide that we’d possibly get out of the draft with a defesemen. (Murray).

    If EDM’s pick (In the case he does pick) is a F, and they know CBJ will do the same, they’l do everything to grab Grigorenko or Yakupov.

    Montreal does some wacky things and Subban might have too much flair for his own good but Montreal has been talking about getting bigger for years, especially at center. Montreal would be better drafting at 3 and then trading Subban for a better player than Gagner.

    I would love to be wrong though.

  33. Ribs says:

    Traktor,

    Hah, whoops on Johansen. Not sure who I was thinking of there.

    Who would you consider a Forsberg type?

  34. Traktor says:

    Ribs:
    Traktor,

    Who would you consider a Forsberg type?

    I think Forsberg will bring the same things as Landeskog.. probably not as good defensively though.

    As for potential trade targets for a player like that.. Nino Niederreiter? There might even be an opportunity to trade for him since he put up a JFJ type of rookie season.

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    Reading an article on TSN got me thinking that perhaps Tim Thomas (who sort of started his career here) could be brought in if we’re able to clear out Khabibulin. Thomas-Dubnyk would be a proper tandem should Boston be inclined to move his salary.

  36. Oilcountry says:

    the only way i trade this pick is if were getting johansen or niederreiter and a flip of picks.If Tambellini trades the pick i think it will be the beginning of the end for him, this is going to be a very hard trade for him to win ask milbury how the loungo for depietro trade worked out for him.

  37. gogliano says:

    godot10:

    All those so-called brilliant scouts let Couturier slide last year because they had seen him for too long.

    Like with Couturier, Murray has been around so long, that people beginning picking at his weaknesses, while they are still at the stage of not noticing the other top prospects weaknesses.

    I will be fine if it is Yakupov or if it is Murray.

    If the Oilers want Murray, I think they have to draft him at #1, because I think Columbus will be taking him at #2.

    Yakupov has been at the top a very long time. Why haven’t scouts started finding warts that would question his status as the clear #1?

    It is very hard to conceive of a scenario where the Oilers trade down and win the trade ex ante, without assuming other GMs will pay more than they historically do in this sort of situation. If the Oilers really want to turn the #1 into a top pairing D they need to forget about maybes like Murray and try and snag a current NHL player. Otherwise take the one clear impact player in this draft.

    Though I agree with Traktor that it is hard to trade for the best pieces I think the gap between Yak and the rest is big enough that you say we’ll win via the wing if that is the way it shakes out. And, of course, press as hard as possible for Schultz.

  38. delooper says:

    For so long the Oilers have had nothing but really awful choices and people seemed pretty resigned to them. Now they’ve had a few years of *good* problems — too many good young players, a surplus of great draft positions, etc, and people are fretting. So they’ve got new issues to deal with.

    I think Tambellini is good for his word on this one. They’ll take Yakupov unless someone really knocks their socks off with an offer. And if they get that socks-knocked-off deal, we’ll all be really happy with it. Socks-knocked-off is going to mean a top-pairing defensemen in his prime or near it, or a pair of really solid 2nd line D. I suspect the latter would appeal more as they need to keep their future budget under control.

    Regardless, having Yakupov on the team will give the forward corps more pop and sizzle. They’ll pretty much have to migrate towards a proper Detroit model with no knuckle-draggers unless they can make some pretty slick trades. If they really go with the knuckle-dragger presence, they’ve got some serious lineup issues to address. To me that direction seems too costly and fraught with danger. But if they purge a few of the knuckle-draggers they have less serious problems to address. Basically, they just need to stabilize the defense a little more. I bet Dubnyk pans out fine once he’s got a proper team in front of him.

  39. spoiler says:

    More from TSN on Tambo’s Tea Leaves:

    After winning the draft lottery, Tambellini said, “”We articulated a plan two years ago that we felt we had to develop and draft our own. We knew that in our market that we weren’t going to attract the A-plus free agents just to come without us being a good hockey club. We know that this is our only way to really, as a core, to get better.”

    And then more recently from the National Post:

    “If I have an option to get a solid pick and someone to help the current club, I have to strongly look at that,” Tambellini told the National Post.

    Strongly look? He’d better make sure he has some fiery eye glow when he makes those phone calls.

  40. Woodguy says:

    Magnus,

    And I’ve read nothing to suggest MacGregor prefers Murray over Yakupov… lots of speculation by others yes, but not one comment where he has stated he prefers any prospect over the others.

    Stu was on Stauffer’s show and was asked if there is a clear #1 this year.

    Stu said no, there are 4-5 years who could be #1.

    This could just be for public consumption, but its different than what he said in the past two drafts.

    Tambellini was on Stauffer’s show as well.

    He defended his record by pointed out the Oilers are much more skilled than they were 3 years ago.

    They are more skilled because Eberle turned out to be a steal at 22 and they drafted 1st overall twice because they are a terrible team.

    He’s added nothing outside of good picks and al his pro acqusitions are meh to poor.

    Clarity.

  41. spoiler says:

    Is it safe to say that really the decision to trade the #1 pick comes down to Stu? Somebody has to put a value on what they would be trading.

  42. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Stu was on Stauffer’s show and was asked if there is a clear #1 this year.
    Stu said no, there are 4-5 years who could be #1.
    This could just be for public consumption, but its different than what he said in the past two drafts.

  43. Lowetide says:

    jfry:
    this is bush league drama LT.

    You don’t remember my “Horcoff to the minors” snit, do you? :-)

  44. Lowetide says:

    Magnus:
    I enjoy what you bring to the Oilersphere LT, but sometimes you get notions in your head with little to no evidence supporting them and run rampant with them. It may be you’re trying to attract more readers, but I still see this as a huge non-story a la an Eric Francis piece.

    Attracting more readers? All readers are welcome, but I don’t do a lot to attract new ones. I keep forgetting to post these on twitter, so new readers come via other blogs mostly.

  45. Dave Casselman says:

    Speculation is fun, especially when we’ve been out of the playoffs for 6 consecutive years. However, as someone mentioned, it’s maybe a tad early. B’wana Steve and his merry men haven’t yet made a decision, how could they while the playoffs rage on? Even someone as inept as Stevie knows that the best offers will come only when the draft is at hand, and only then will they make a decision. (And by the draft the team will also know about Shultz.) All this said, Stevie and the boys seem to be making certain the natives know that a trade of some sort is a distinct possibility. (Possibly to prevent a tomahawk or two directed his way.)

    Anyway, the talk of Schenn in a package is ludicrous unless it included pick 5 and six other guys, one of which would have to be Gardiner.

    They’re dealing from immense strength. If they were to receive an offer that blows them away, then and only then should they consider trading away a potential annual 40+ goal scorer who just may have the further potential to do it for, oh, 10 or more consecutive years.

    Don’t free the Yak! Draft him.

  46. Ducey says:

    This could just be for public consumption, but its different than what he said in the past two drafts.

    Not at this stage, its not. This time last year he was talking about a number of people. It wasn’t until much closer to the draft that we started to hear about one or two people being the #1.

    Given that they still have not apparently met to discuss, some of the players are still playing (and being assessed), and there has not been a draft combine to judge fire in the eyes, I would be pretty surprised if he (or the team) has even made up his mind at this point.

  47. SoxandOil says:

    For what I’ve heard (being very connected with the twitters and interwebs) is that this draft is Nail at 1st and grab bag for 2nd through 9. Some of the 2nd tier players are higher then others (ie: Grig, Murray) but the player you may get at 6th may not be that far off from the player at 3rd. Whereas the difference between 1st and 5th sounds huge (if my interfriends are correct).

    Edmonton won the lottery (read that again, maybe 2 or 3 times), if you win the lottery take the damn prize, don’t trade it away unless you can get MORE in return.

    That said Draft Yak and trade some roster players and prospects for another 1st round pick in the 5-8 range.

  48. jake70 says:

    LT, or anyone. I always hear “weak dreaft” or “good draft this year”. What is this based on?? Is there some reliable model that allows you to superimpose player X from a draft onto another draft year to see where player X would likely be slotted? The scouting services rank the players…based on xyz criteria….so can this be done when slotting different players into different draft years?

  49. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    This could just be for public consumption, but its different than what he said in the past two drafts.

    Not at this stage, its not. This time last year he was talking about a number of people. It wasn’t until much closer to the draft that we started to hear about one or two people being the #1.

    Given that they still have not apparently met to discuss,some of the players are still playing (and being assessed), and there has not been a draft combine to judge fire in the eyes,I would be pretty surprised if he (or the team) has even made up his mind at this point.

    Last year there were serious questions by many who handicap the draft whether or not Landeskog, Huberdeau or Larsson should be first.

    There were many questions about RNH.

    This year EVERYONE who handicaps the draft says there is a clear #1 and everyone else.

    Except Stu.

  50. cabbiesmacker says:

    Jordan:

    I’m going to preach the voice of Crazy.

    Don’t take Yakupov.Don’t take Murray.Take Forsberg, with a trade down, work to get another top 10 pick, for whichever of the high-end D that slips, and take Sammuelson in the 2nd.

    I don’t hate the Forsberg idea necessarily but Samuelsson with #32 would be a lot early.

  51. cabbiesmacker says:

    IF ST goes the Murray way I hope Yakupov pots 50 goals in year one. I really really do.

    Murray didn’t look good vs the Czechs ffs let alone the Ruskies. Him being on the world’s roster is a joke. I guess he’s all Eric Lindros now.

    Lowe Expectations. If he looks decent over there Lowe will have him signed to a 15 x $6 before his plane lands back in Canada.

    Our new HC will want Dumba anyways. It’s a Red Deer thing.

  52. SoxandOil says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree with everything you said except for the last sentence. I’m sure Stu made up his mind long ago about the best overall player in this years draft. He would never admit the player until after the draft though, what would he gain by doing so? If there was any debate as to who the number 1 pick is then they wouldn’t be considering trading down.

  53. Lowetide says:

    SoxandOil:
    Woodguy,

    I agree with everything you said except for the last sentence. I’m sure Stu made up his mind long ago about the best overall player in this years draft. He would never admit the player until after the draft though, what would he gain by doing so? If there was any debate as to who the number 1 pick is then they wouldn’t be considering trading down.

    That’s what I’m saying. Exactly

  54. sliderule says:

    The question was asked as to why this was considered a weak draft

    The forwards in this draft other than Yak are much weaker .The 2011 draft had three forwards in top 10 with over a 100pts and Couturier with 96.last year Yak had 101 and would have had over 100 this year if he had played a full schedule.This year no forward has over 100 in fact Forsberg is scoring less than MPS in a league lower than SEL .

    The 2011 defense wasn’t too shabby as Larsson and Hamilton would be considered equal or better than this years top D.

  55. anonymous says:

    I for one would die a little bit inside watching Yak put up Stamkos like numbers somewhere else for the sake of getting ” magic beans”. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  56. ASkoreyko says:

    Just sign Schultz and draft Yak. Saw this over on HF, but Justin has Edmonton as his favorite place to visit. Could it be after all these years of supposed FA’s not wanting to sign in Edmonton for the city we might actually attract a FA that actually likes! the city itself? Regardless of hockey?

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=38

    No better way for this kid to pump up his stats then making nice stretch passes to all the young guys for 2 years.

  57. TheOtherJohn says:

    Have no difficulty moving Nail for a stud. None.  Would really hate to see Lowe/Bellini, smartest guys in room, trade a 35-40  goal scorer for a guy who develops into the 2nd pairing and a D man ready in 4 years. That’s beyond freaking stupid

    Even money trade is Schenn and #5 for Nail

    “Stu really liked Schenn in his draft year”, “Stevie Y really likes him” “Toronto can be an unforgiving place to play” “Kevin has 6 rings”

    Which will lead to high comedy at GM’s meetings for next 3 years. Oilers traded for Toronto’s #5-6-7 D man and a player ready in 3-4 years. “how do those bleeping guys keep their bleepin jobs

    Ottawa is 2 goals from second round and Lowe/Bellini have fandom believing rebuild is a 5-6 year exercise. Astonishing!! Seriously, only in Edmonton would this bullshit be treated with anything but complete and utter contempt.

    Trust everyone here recognized that 4 teams left in Western conference staffed with absolutely first rate goaltending. The Oilers? A 25 year old goalie that has a very nice last 20 games and someone Tambi signed for too much $$ over too long a term. 

    Pattern? Yup, no bleeping clue how to assemble a roster……

    Sent from my iPad

  58. gogliano says:

    The Schultz thing really does make a lot of sense if he either (a) wants to maximize his money or (b) have a chance to join the core of a team with elite young talent. I’m hoping he gets some calls from Hall/RNH/Eberle about trying to build a winner here because he’d easily slot into the top 4 and set himself up for a nice contract in two years.

    It seems at least possible that the Oil think they have enough of a shot that it might be delaying their decisionmaking for the draft (hopefully meaning whether they’ll deal the #1 for a real player rather than for Murray).

  59. spoiler says:

    anonymous:
    I for one would die a little bit inside watching Yak put up Stamkos like numbers somewhere else for the sake of getting ” magic beans”. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    No offense, but at this point in time Yakupov is a Magic Bean. Well, okay, maybe more of a macadamia nut in a handful of dried edamames.

  60. Magnus says:

    Woodguy:
    Magnus,

    And I’ve read nothing to suggest MacGregor prefers Murray over Yakupov… lots of speculation by others yes, but not one comment where he has stated he prefers any prospect over the others.

    Stu was on Stauffer’s show and was asked if there is a clear #1 this year.

    Stu said no, there are 4-5 years who could be #1.

    This could just be for public consumption, but its different than what he said in the past two drafts.

    Tambellini was on Stauffer’s show as well.

    He defended his record by pointed out the Oilers are much more skilled than they were 3 years ago.

    They are more skilled because Eberle turned out to be a steal at 22 and they drafted 1st overall twice because they are a terrible team.

    He’s added nothing outside of good picks and al his pro acqusitions are meh to poor.

    Clarity.

    Yeah, I just chalk that up to not wanting to reveal anything. Both MacGregor and Tambo said similar things the past couple of drafts and afterwards admitted that Hall and Hopkins were who they were drafting all along…

  61. Gerta Rauss says:

    2-0 Oil Kings over Moose Jaw just started the 2nd period.

    Pelss and Gernat with the goals.

    Channel 301 with Shaw(in BC) game is on right now.

  62. anonymous says:

    spoiler: No offense, but at this point in time Yakupov is a Magic Bean.Well, okay, maybe more of a macadamia nut in a handful of dried edamames.

    True, but with upside that doesn’t come around often . He could be better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle. I would rather find out with Yakupov playing for the oilers, for better or worse.

  63. spoiler says:

    Three goofy goals already this game. The DJ should be playing Hello Mudda or My Friend the Witchdoctor.

  64. Lowetide says:

    anonymous: True, but with upside that doesn’t come around often .He could be better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle.I would rather find out with Yakupov playing for the oilers, for better or worse.

    I hadn’t read that. Better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle? I had not read that anywhere to be honest.

  65. spoiler says:

    anonymous: True, but with upside that doesn’t come around often .He could be better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle.I would rather find out with Yakupov playing for the oilers, for better or worse.

    And Murray might be the second coming of Niedermayer. Grigs might be Malkin. They’re all beans at this point.

  66. anonymous says:

    Lowetide: I hadn’t read that. Better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle? I had not read that anywhere to be honest.

    Just meant as a first overall it could happen.

  67. Magnus says:

    godot10:
    All those so-called brilliant scouts let Couturier slide last year because they had seen him for too long.

    Like with Couturier, Murray has been around so long, that people beginning picking at his weaknesses, while they are still at the stage of not noticing the other top prospects weaknesses.

    I will be fine if it is Yakupov or if it is Murray.

    If the Oilers want Murray, I think they have to draft him at #1, because I think Columbus will be taking him at #2.

    The difference is Couturier put up big numbers and played well at the WJC. Murray has done neither. Couturier had size and skill. Murray is not a big guy and hasn’t put up much in the way of offense. He was on track for around 47 points if he had played a full season. Pretty good for his draft year, but its hard to predict with defencmen whether they will develop offensively or not.
    Also, as was stated earlier, Yakupov has been on the radar as long as Murray and probably under even more of a microscope.

  68. anonymous says:

    spoiler: And Murray might be the second coming of Niedermayer.Grigs might be Malkin.They’re all beans at this point.

    I guess I’m partial. Also in Ontario and watched him play, a lot more hype on him here maybe?

  69. Lowetide says:

    anonymous: .

    Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I think Yakupov has been rated as well above the rest of the group this season, very interesting to see how the draft rolls out.

  70. anonymous says:

    Lowetide: Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I think Yakupov has been rated as well above the rest of the group this season, very interesting to see how the draft rolls out.

    Well should make for a good season of oil change.

  71. DSF says:

    spoiler: And Murray might be the second coming of Niedermayer.Grigs might be Malkin.They’re all beans.

    This.

    The amount of hand wringing here is reaching epic proportions.

    No one expected 22nd overall pick Jordan Eberle to be the sublime player that he is (although I did call it).

    No one.

    Claude Giroux (the NHL MVP IMO) was also selected 22nd overall.

    Sam Gagner scored 118 points in his last season of junior and has turned into Kyle Wellwood.

    Yakupov could turn into Claude Giroux or Sam Gagner.

    Lots of things happen on the way to Grandma’s house.

    I think I’d take Yakupov in this draft because no other player stands out as a sure fire bet but, given how weak and unfocused this draft is, Giroux may be lurking as a much later pick.

  72. spoiler says:

    anonymous: I guess I’m partial. Also in Ontario and watched him play, a lot more hype on him here maybe?

    Lol, I hear ya. Nobody here has had the looksees at all the top prospects that the scouts have, so we’re all kinda flailing around with incomplete numbers.

    I’m not particularly a big fan of drafting BPA, because the theory relies on two things: that we know who the BPA after the draft will be at the draft. (Or that there will be distinct differences in helping a team win). And the second is that all positions and all ages have equal trade value.

    There’s enough of a consensus on the Yak that he’s very probably the BPA, but the second issue is a serious one. I don’t believe that one can trade a top line winger for a #1C. I think even for a top end #2C might be a tough trade to find. What ages and contract situations are coming into play? And trading anything under the current CBA is already difficult.

    But I’m pretty much against drafting the need when the need is a defensemen. Just too long before they can impact wins.

  73. spoiler says:

    LT, the second pic…

    I had no idea the Russkies had their very own Disneyland¡

  74. Magnus says:

    DSF: This.

    The amount of hand wringing here is reaching epic proportions.

    No one expected 22nd overall pick Jordan Eberle to be the sublime player that he is (although I did call it).

    No one.

    Claude Giroux (the NHL MVP IMO) was also selected 22nd overall.

    Sam Gagner scored 118 points in his last season of junior and has turned into Kyle Wellwood.

    Yakupov could turn into Claude Giroux or Sam Gagner.

    Lots of things happen on the way to Grandma’s house.

    I think I’d take Yakupov in this draft because no other player stands out as a sure fire bet but, given how weak and unfocused this draft is, Giroux may be lurking as a much later pick.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the draft can be a crapshoot at the best of times. But given that reality, it would make sense to take the overwhelming choice for best player available. Don’t you think? I’m not in love with Yakupov one way or the other. But when every public scouting report says he’s number one and stands above the other players in the draft, then he’s the guy you take.

  75. anonymous says:

    spoiler,

    As oiler fans I think we are conditioned to accept trading good players for packages. I hope this isn’t what happens here. If it was for Weber or someone similar it’s a different story.

  76. gd says:

    ASkoreyko,

    I’ve lived here for 45 years and I love this city, but I have never met anyone who said Edmonton is their favourite city to visit. If ST can’t sell him on coming here to get 40 pts a year on our PP, then he really is a lost cause.

  77. spoiler says:

    Anon, agreed. This shouldn’t be two players and a poorer pick for our 1st type of trade.

  78. spoiler says:

    Nothing like a man in his mid 30s sporting a Mohawk. Then again, I’m in my mid 40s and have hair so long, it’s right out of Dazed and Confused, so I’ll shut up now.

  79. Lowetide says:

    Dazed and Confused. THAT was an accurate film.

  80. Gerta Rauss says:

    Gernat with his 2nd of the night makes it 4-1 with 10 min to go.Nice 1 timer from the half wall on the PP. Kid is a nice prospect.

  81. Ribs says:

    anonymous: Well should make for a good season of oil change.

    I thought the hanger at the end of the last episode was very well done. I hope they keep making those things forever.

  82. Ribs says:

    I wish someone would dub “Canada” with Calgary and Russia with Edmonton in this…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F36YNCae9yg

  83. DSF says:

    Magnus: I don’t think anyone is arguing that the draft can be a crapshoot at the best of times. But given that reality, it would make sense to take the overwhelming choice for best player available. Don’t you think? I’m not in love with Yakupov one way or the other. But when every public scouting report says he’s number one and stands above the other players in the draft, then he’s the guy you take.

    Hall had the same cache when he was drafted.

    Seguin is a better player.

    If a player like Huberdeau can rocket up the draft rankings the way he did, what would the draft have looked like 6 months later?

    It’s an art, not a science.

  84. DSF says:

    Ribs: I thought the hanger at the end of the last episode was very well done. I hope they keep making those things forever.

    Addicted to Leni Riefenstahl films.

    Tsk, tsk.

  85. Ribs says:

    “We lost the final to Sweden. I think beating Canada was our gold-medal game. We gave everything against Canada.”

    “I don’t say my coach is bad, but I was on the bench.”

    He may not speak the best English but his Russian is impeccable.

  86. sliderule says:

    I have been watching the Oil king game.

    Gernat with two very nice goals both on the PP.

    He got out positioned on one Moose jaw goal but generally played solid defense and showed very good strength.

    This is my first viewing other than hi lites and I am impressed

  87. Ribs says:

    DSF,

    It’s okay, I already cheer for the Oilers ;)

  88. speeds says:

    Lowetide: I hadn’t read that. Better than Hall, Hopkins and Eberle? I had not read that anywhere to be honest.

    Before injury at the WJHC:

    26GP 21G 32A for 53 pts, +21

    After injury:

    16GP 10G 6A for 16 pts, -6

    Small sample sizes, and all that, but I would be investigating that knee pretty closely if I were the Oilers. If he had been playing through a bothersome knee for the rest of the year, and is expected return to 100%/has returned to 100% by the combine, it’s a factor to consider.

    Before he was injured, my memory is that there were people suggesting he was trending better than either Hall or RNH were at that time in their draft year, but that’s just my memory.

  89. fuzzy muppet says:

    DSF: Hall had the same cache when he was drafted.

    Seguin is a better player.

    If a player like Huberdeau can rocket up the draft rankings the way he did, what would the draft have looked like 6 months later?

    It’s an art, not a science.

    Seguin: 155gp-40g-49a-89p
    Hall: 126gp-49g-46a-95p

    Boy that Seguin is soooo much better

  90. Ribs says:

    uh-oh…here come the fuzzy stats…

  91. fuzzy muppet says:

    speeds: Before injury at the WJHC:

    23GP 21G 32A for 53 pts, +21

    After injury:

    16GP 10G 6A for 16 pts, -6

    Small sample sizes, and all that, but I would be investigating that knee pretty closely if I were the Oilers.If he had been playing through a bothersome knee for the rest of the year, and is expected return to 100%/has returned to 100% by the combine, it’s a factor to consider.

    Before he was injured, my memory is that there were people suggesting he was trending better than either Hall or RNH, but that’s just my memory.

    Not to mention the fact that he scored at a better rate than last year while Galchenyuk(injured) wasn’t even on a line with him.

    He’s the pick. If they take anyone else it’s a monumental fail.

  92. stevezie says:

    DSF: Hall had the same cache when he was drafted.

    Seguin is a better player.

    If a player like Huberdeau can rocket up the draft rankings the way he did, what would the draft have looked like 6 months later?

    It’s an art, not a science.

    Even the biggest Seguin fan could admit it was really, really close between Hall and Seguin though, right? It doesn’t look to me like it’s even almost that close this year. We’ll see.

  93. DSF says:

    stevezie: Even the biggest Seguin fan could admit it was really, really close between Hall and Seguin though, right? It doesn’t look to me like it’s even almost that close this year. We’ll see.

    Plus/minus is crude but +34 can’t be ignored.

    Considering Seguin’s limited role and ice time in his rookie season, it’s not nearly as close as it appears.

    And, of course, Hall is likely to spend significant time on the IRL.

  94. gogliano says:

    With Yakupov I also think you have to include that 101 point season. A lot of the uncertainties with prospects comes with their draft season being their best season by a fair margin. But Yakupovs n – 1 season was so good that it is pretty difficult to see him not panning out as an elite player unless he runs into injury trouble.

    With RNH there was at least some concern that his breakout season was just a jump in production at the right moment but without sustain. Certainly felt like a less safe pick than Taylor Hall who everyone knew was destined for better-than-Seguin-even-though-Zdeno-Chara-and-the-rest-of-the-Bruins-help-Seguin’s-plus-minus-stats-by-a-lot status.

    Certainty at the draft table is a pretty huge deal and I think Yakupov’s two seasons of triple digit pace brings about as much certainty as you can get. Except for the Oilersesque injury concerns, of course.

  95. Maverick says:

    If I was in charge the pick is Yakupov in a heart beat. He is head and shoulders the BPA. But knowing the Oilers as we do is there another option? My second choice, if not drafting Yakupov would a trade with Toronto be a second alternative? The Oilers 1st for Luke Schenn and Toronto’s 5th so we can draft Galchenyuk. Getting Luke Schenn and drafting another defenseman makes no sense but using 5th to get a bigger second line centre would solve to issues and makes Gagner expendable in two years when Galchenyuk is ready.

    I still would pick Yakupov and fix the roster another way but if there was another option this would be my choice.

  96. Ca$h-Money! says:

    1st Line: Skinny Center who looks pre-pubescent and has great vision, with a winger with great chemistry and an accurate shot.

    2nd Line: Bull-in-a-china shop winger moved to center, with a winger with a similar style who is a little different than the other stars.

    QUICK: Did I just describe the 2012-2013 Edmonton Oilers or the 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers?

  97. stevezie says:

    DSF,

    Closer than the apparent gap between Nail and his trailers though, right?

  98. cabbiesmacker says:

    Maverick:
    My second choice, if not drafting Yakupov would a trade with Toronto be a second alternative?The Oilers 1st for Luke Schenn and Toronto’s 5th so we can draft Galchenyuk.

    Allow me to make this perfectly clear.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDr0mPuyQc&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg2u_De8j5o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgI2ZQVyrBo&feature=related

  99. godot10 says:

    Maverick:
    If I was in charge the pick is Yakupov in a heart beat.He is head and shoulders the BPA. But knowing the Oilers as we do is there another option? My second choice, if not drafting Yakupov would a trade with Toronto be a second alternative?The Oilers 1st for Luke Schenn and Toronto’s 5th so we can draft Galchenyuk.Getting Luke Schenn and drafting another defenseman makes no sense but using 5th to get a bigger second line centre would solve to issues and makes Gagner expendable in two years when Galchenyuk is ready.

    I still would pick Yakupov and fix the roster another way but if there was another option this would be my choice.

    Teubert is probably a better defenseman than Schenn in one more year, at 25% of the cost.

    After 4 seasons, Schenn is still a poor and extremely overpaid 3rd pairing defenseman. There is no value there because he is being paid nearly $4 million per season for four more years.

  100. DSF says:

    godot10: Teubert is probably a better defenseman than Schenn in one more year, at 25% of the cost.

    After 4 seasons, Schenn is still a poor and extremely overpaid 3rd pairing defenseman.There is no value there because he is being paid nearly $4 million per season for four more years.

    Luke Schenn is 22 years old.

    Remember what Smid looked like 4 years ago?

    While I agree $4M is based on projection rather than production, suggesting there is not a player there is a stretch.

    His 22 points, all but 2 of them at evens, suggest otherwise.

    (he outscored Petry at evens)

    The fact that he was selected to play for Canada at the Worlds also should tell you what knowledgeable hockey people think of him.

  101. russ99 says:

    If some team offers us the moon for the first pick, I’d go with it.

    Otherwise, take Yakupov and improve the defense by trading some of our other young talent.

    Murray won’t help us make the playoffs next year, nor likely the year after that.

    Drafting Murray #1 would not only kick the rebuild down the road another year, but show how clueless and/or xenophobic towards European talent this management team is.

  102. boopronger says:

    DSF,

    So we cant prorate Gagners numbers over a full season but if Seguin played more minutes he would automatically get more points, and in the future Hall is spending significant time on the IRL. I thought you were against ifs, but your post if full of em.

  103. godot10 says:

    DSF: Luke Schenn is 22 years old.

    Remember what Smid looked like 4 years ago?

    While I agree $4M is based on projection rather than production, suggesting there is not a player there is a stretch.

    His 22 points, all but 2 of them at evens, suggest otherwise.

    (he outscored Petry at evens)

    The fact that he was selected to play for Canada at the Worlds also should tell you what knowledgeable hockey people think of him.

    I don’t see your Canucks offering Tanev for Schenn.

    Luke Schenn already has Keth Ballard’s albatross contract. There is no value in an unproven player already being paid for four more year like a proven sure thing.

    Smid was earning 25% of what Schenn was earning.

    If Schenn only had 1 year left on his contract, then he would be worth the risk of taking on (but not in a trade down from the first, which has to be pretty much a sure thing).

    There is NO value in Schenn with his contract. He is worth less than nothing.

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