I wonder how many pieces Edmonton needs to add in order to compete–I mean really compete–for an NHL playoff spot. Is it two? Four? Eight?
I’m of the opinion that at some point this thing is going to fly and once it does the Oilers will lay waste to much of the western conference. However, at some point the management needs to begin forming this group into a balanced roster with depth and quality in all three zones and disciplines. You can’t lose for ten seasons and keep your job, can you?
If we take the 2010 draft as the starting point–and I understand there was 500 miles of bad road before that time–then the Oilers are still in the early stages of the rebuild. Two drafts, two number one picks. If we decided to make a list of players who were absolutely going to be part of the future, how long would it be?
- Forwards: Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Gagner, Paajarvi
- Defense: Smid, Petry
- Goal: Dubnyk
Is that fair? Now, adding in worthwhile veterans (Hemsky, Schultz) and overpaid/injured veterans who may still have something left (Horcoff, Whitney) there are still some needs while the kids find their way to the NHL and then to helping the outscoring. Klefbom and Marincin and other defensemen are still developing, and guys like Lander and Hartikainen are working their way through the minors–so counting on them as long term fixtures or short term solutions isn’t wise.
What if they added the following this summer:
- Goal: Josh Harding
- Defense: Andrej Sekera, Jason Garrison
- Forwards: Nikolai Kulemin, Ryan Smyth, Nail Yakupov
I understand all of these would come at a cost, but let’s not worry about that right now. Would this roster be good enough to make the post season:
- GOAL: DUBNYK, HARDING
- DEFENSE: SMID, PETRY, SEKERA, GARRISON, SCHULTZ, WHITNEY, SUTTON
- CENTER: NUGE, GAGNER, HORCOFF, BELANGER
- LEFT WING: HALL, SMYTH, KULEMIN, JONES OR EAGER
- RIGHT WING: HEMSKY, EBERLE, YAKUPOV, PAAJARVI
Is THAT enough? ARE the Oilers 6 players away from being a playoff contender? Is it more? Less? Does it matter? I think any reasonable person would agree that adding that many players successfully to this roster is far too much to expect in one year and of course we’re cheating because we’ve haven’t subtracted anything to acquire the six.
Hall could go super nova, the new coach might turn them into a trap team and the club might address goaltending and blue at least a little bit. However, as we sit idling in the driveway this morning, this team has miles to go. There’s every chance “entry draft ’13″ will be as familiar to us as the last three.
This scorched earth thing really does put you back.
Your questions are always welcome, please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @ItsNationRadio or Lowetide_ I also grab questions from the comments below and most of the time they’re the gems so please keep them coming. Scheduled to appear:
- David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll discuss the arena, the draft, advanced stats and the coaching situation.
- Kent Wilson, Nations Overlord. We’ll talk about positives and negatives re: Brent Sutter, Flames at the draft and their summer plans and try to find a good home for Miikka Kiprusoff.
- Corey Graham from Team 1260′s Oil Kings broadcasts. We’ll talk about the Oil Kings miracle run, the kids we might expect to see at the draft, which players will return and expectations for 12-13.
- Jim Byers from the OKC Barons radio broadcast. Jim is a gentleman and a fine broadcaster, he’s given us lots of his time this season and we’ll review a strong effort by the Barons in 11-12 and look to the future.
- Kirk Luedekefrom Redline Report. Kirk will give us a nice look at the New England kids and we’ll talk about a player Kirk mentioned one year ago on our show as being a solid prospect–and that player is extremely likely to be taken this time around.
- Peter Loubardias is a legendary broadcaster with an encyclopedic knowledge of junior hockey and the draft. We’ll discuss the Memorial Cup, the 2012 draft and the SC finals.
Team 1260 at noon Edmonton time, love your input and the archived broadcast will be up at Oilers Nation tomorrow.