WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

I’m a fan of what the Edmonton Oilers are doing this summer. However, as with the entire Steve Tambellini era there’s a growing impatience with inertia. Is patience a virtue summer 2012?

The Oilers still have work to do. There are reasons for the current delay, chances are the club is both:

  • waiting to find out where their players of interest land (Doan possible, Carle too and I’m hoping Winnik).
  • waiting for other teams to make players available after those clubs acquire their big fish (Hjalmarsson).

However, business is being done and the NW division clubs are making hay. If you’ve followed this blog over the last week, you know I’m onside with the additions of Justin Schultz, Ryan Smyth, Yann Danis and Darcy Hordichuk (with an explanation).

The Oilers list that has been completed:

  1. A better Renney. Based on reports, the key moments in the Schultz negotiations came when the Ralph Krueger and Taylor Hall gave the “big picture” scenario. Krueger appears to be a major asset.
  2. Justin Schultz or similar. Huge item for the Oilers. Brilliant.
  3. Ryan Smyth or similar. Beauty result.
  4. A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall. Danis is a solid option.
  5. Crust. Hordichuk is perfectly suitable in this role, as I put forward in the RE series.

Still to do:

  1. A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall. Carle is still out there and of course trades are likely in this area. The Oilers COULD move forward “as is” if they are absolutely certain Ryan Whitney is healthy.
  2. An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc). Winnik is my bpa, suspect the Oilers will want to talk to Shane Doan.
  3. Get the rfa’s signed. Gagner, Dubnyk and Petry are they key fellows now, Oilers might be wise to use this current window to at least begin the process with these three valuable players.

So, is patience the right plan or is the better plan to jump in there and get something suitable for the final blue and the veteran mentor? Maybe it has something to do with my feeling about MacT being in the room, but for the first time in years I’m leaning toward staying patient.

Make the right move, not the first one.

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116 Responses to "WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH"

  1. Gret99zky says:

    Holy crap Florida signed JFJ. Tallon is a genius after all. ;)

    Seems like Tambi and Co. are waiting on trades only. Not seriously interested in an FA. And it takes two to tango.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I don’t know. I’d bet they have an iron or two in the free agent fire and that guys like Carle and even Doan are waiting a little while. Seems to me there’s a chance Edmonton adds a free agent here. That said, I agree Edmonton will make a trade this summer. A 3-for-1 trade. :-)

  3. voxwah says:

    LT, What do you think about adding Matt Carle as an UFA? I know he wouldn’t be cheap but if you could get him at 4.5-5 x 4 would it be a good idea?

    Might cost a bit more then someone we can get by trade but you get him without giving up any assets.

    The idea of trading Hemsky or Gagner seems to much like 1 step forward 1 step back.

    Plus once Khabibulins contract is off the books next year the dollars won’t even really matter that much.

    I guess the main question is how well he would fit in with the current group of d-men.

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    Stauffer and Matheson are now mentioning B. Morrow as a possibility for the Oilers. A good option for the two-way winger?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Voxwah: I think the Oilers might be consdering it, as Whitney’s health situation means this might be his last season as an Oiler (hope not). So, you add Carle and then if Whitney comes back strong that’s a nice problem to have.

  6. jonrmcleod says:

    What would the Oilers have to give up for S. Weber?

  7. Lowetide says:

    JonR: Morrow’s a guy I pass on, because his performance is fading at exactly the age where we would expect it to (33). Ryan Smyth’s don’t grow on trees.

  8. copperblueandwhite says:

    Jagr to Dallas for a bazillion $$ for one year…must be the Dallas retirement homes…hope we are making the Carle play…we still can’t win any faceoffs so the possession game will still suck…there sure isn’t much in the way of UFA goalies…Turco, Rollie, Auld..whew that’s pretty skint…Taylor Pyatt to the Rangers…gotta love Bettman, is he selling the Coyotes without players in the sweaters? Toto we’re still in Kansas!

  9. delooper says:

    Presumably something fairly precious to get Weber.

  10. Lowetide says:

    I would have been after Jagr like a fly on stink. One year of Hemmer-Jagr would have brought the house down!

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Oilers might be wise to use this current window to at least begin the process with these three valuable players.”

    That’s an excellent point. There are certainly enough cooks in the kitchen to have someone go and sit down with the RFA kids. Might as well sort them out while you are waiting for the UFA situation to sort itself out.

    … unless you are… waiting for a deal to sign someone for some reason? (maybe you want to package them in a trade and let the other team sort out their contract?)

  12. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    Morrow had some injury issues this season. Scored 33 goals the previous year.

  13. voxwah says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s what I was thinking. Worse case scenario is you have too many good NHL defensemen.

    Anyone seen Carle play lots? Is he a player that would fit well with the Oiler group?

  14. jonrmcleod says:

    LT: Did you listen to Tambellini on Oilers Now today?

  15. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    Morrow had some injury issues this season. Scored 33 goals the previous year.

    Lotta miles. $4.1M? Pass.

  16. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    But he won an Olympic gold medal! That has to be worth something!

  17. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    LT: Did you listen to Tambellini on Oilers Now today?

    No. I had a crazy day, didn’t get home until a little before 5 and was in meetings.

  18. bookje says:

    LT – So, did you want your Tambellini fan club pin in pewter or brass? Woodguy went with the brass (he said “it looks better with teak”).

  19. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    He said there might be a time when the team doesn’t need an enforcer like Hordichuk. He doesn’t think Suter or Parise are coming to Canada. Expects an extension for Todd Nelson to be confirmed shortly.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Bookje: lol. If he makes good decisions for a full year, I’ll change the name of this blog to Tamble-on.

    JonR: Interesting. I like Nelson, you can see he has a plan for those kids who come down to OKC and grinding them into useful players is a huge deal.

    I agree with him on Hordichuk, maybe next year they can give the job to a guy lwho can play more minutes

  21. franksterra says:

    So you’re good with MPS/Harski as #2 LW? I’m on the fence. We can wait and see how things pan out, or we can go Hard Target on someone like Kulemin for that spot, and let Smytty and Harski/MPS duke it out for 3rd line LW. I like Winnik, but assuming 3rd line LW is Ryan’s spot to lose right now, is Winnik a pricey 4th liner? He’ll want some term too I would think.

    The D is weak-ish so that puzzle seems easier to solve. The top nine forwards are a different, and more interesting, story.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Frank: Nope. Ryan Smyth is my #2LW until someone takes it away. Fair is fair. Having said that, I do expect Hartikainen to do it this fall. But he should earn it

  23. jonrmcleod says:

    Could the Oilers acquire Weber without giving up one of the Fab Four? What about a package like Gagner, Klefbom, and next years #1 pick? Would the Oilers and/or Preds do that deal?

  24. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod: or

    Sure. Gagner, Petry, Klefbom, #1 in 2013 and #1 in 2014. Now, I wouldn’t make that trade but you could do it without using any of the fab four.

  25. justDOit says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Could the Oilers acquire Weber without giving up one of the Fab Four? What about a package like Gagner, Klefbom, and next years #1 pick? Would the Oilers and/or Preds do that deal?

    It might be possible to get him without giving up one of the F4, but he’s UFA after next season. If you do a conditional trade contingent upon him signing, then his trade value would go up. And then there’s the 10 year/$100M contract he would command.

    And with UFA coming up for him, he can pick his team, which would presumable be a Cup contender. I don’t think the Oilers have shown to be that team, yet.

  26. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: Sure. Gagner, Petry, Klefbom, #1 in 2013 and #1 in 2014. Now, I wouldn’t make that trade but you could do it without using any of the fab four.

    I’d rather give them Hall then all that, and I’m not giving them Hall. You can play it out all you want, but the Weber scenarios all start to smell funny if you take them far enough.

  27. jonrmcleod says:

    justDOit,

    Yeah, I wouldn’t do it if he didn’t sign an extension. It would be tough to give up the kind of package it would take to get a guy like Weber. Probably the Oilers need to show considerable improvement this season before the top dogs are willing to sign on.

  28. Rondo says:

    I was reading up on Daniel Winnik, fans were annoyed with him, he was not physical with his size didn’t have many penalties . He played with a lot with Gabriel Landeskog still didn’t have many points.

    On the plus side he was an excellent penalty killer and had good puck control.

    Seems like a many teams are looking at him as a possibility.

  29. stevezie says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I don’t even bother with the trade unless he’s signed to an extension. If he’s signed though, that’s not a bad deal. I think they could get more shopping him though, and I’m not sure I’d want to pay it. We just don’t have the depth.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    I was reading up on Daniel Winnik,fans were annoyed with him,he was not physical with his size didn’t have many penalties . He played witha lot with Gabriel Landeskog still didn’t have many points.

    On the plus side he was an excellentpenalty killer and had good puck control.

    Seems like amany teams are looking at him as a possibility.

    Not taking penalties is a really good thing.

  31. justDOit says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I’m hoping that LowBellTavish stick to the game plan, even if it does seem to be excruciatingly slow. I would rather grow Dmen in the mould of Weber and profit from their success than sell the farm, strap the cap, and hope that they lead to a Cup while they’re still on their game.

  32. jonrmcleod says:

    justDOit,

    Yeah, it would be tough to give up a guy like Klefbom. Some scouts think he’ll be better than Ryan Murray. It’s always tempting, though, to go for it now. But most Oiler fans seem to be pretty patient.

  33. Ribs says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Could the Oilers acquire Weber without giving up one of the Fab Four? What about a package like Gagner, Klefbom, and next years #1 pick? Would the Oilers and/or Preds do that deal?

    This is the kind of deal I could see. You can add a 2nd rounder and/or other picks if needed (I think LT’s additions are too much). Of course, any deal for Weber comes with him signing to something.

  34. Rondo says:

    Lowetide,

    I guess they were saying that because he is not physical.

  35. bsmart says:

    I still like Franson but need to give up some assets. I think maybe Peckham or Potter and a pick would do it. Would be a good depth move add size and a top 4 defender. I like Yandle however I would not give the moon for this guy. A 2nd rndr and PRV max. I am only giving PRV as I think he is not going to drive the net or develop a better shot. Thus offense wont develop.

  36. Rondo says:

    My top 2 players that Oilers should take a shot at are both Russian.

    1. Fedor Tyutin

    2. N. Kulemin

    Both maybe available , however it all depends on price.

  37. bsmart says:

    Lowetide: Sure. Gagner, Petry, Klefbom, #1 in 2013 and #1 in 2014. Now, I wouldn’t make that trade but you could do it without using any of the fab four.

    And i would have to be guaranteed an extension of 5+ years

  38. voxwah says:

    Think Nashville would take Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch for Weber?

  39. El Duderino says:

    Geez you guys, quit already with this stupid Weber talk. The cost to get him in a trade would simply be too great. “Rapacious” comes to mind.

  40. Mr DeBakey says:

    Carle too and I’m hoping Winnik

    Forget Winnick already
    They’ve too many forwards as it is

    I’d be astounded
    with a capital A

  41. bsmart says:

    voxwah,

    If tambi could pull that off he would have his own statue at the new rink

  42. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Carle too and I’m hoping Winnik

    Forget Winnick already
    They’ve too many forwards as it is

    I’d be astounded
    with a capital A

    No. “Hey, we’ve got a lot of forwards” is a ridiculous reason to pass on Winnik.

  43. anonymous says:

    Great summer so far, seems like easy moves for management though. I know
    they went all out with Schultz but I’m not sure that wasn’t in the bag anyway. I would have went after Jokinen at that contract though and opened up room for a bigger trade.

  44. rickithebear says:

    weber was without suter for 12 games in 2010.
    Weber went 12GM 1G 2A -9.

    He was – 9 in 12 games.

    Run!

  45. Ducey says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Stauffer and Matheson are now mentioning B. Morrow as a possibility for the Oilers. A good option for the two-way winger?

    NTC. If he stays in DAL he can hang out with people his own age.

  46. bookje says:

    Lowetide,

    Tamble-on, lol, that’s great. I would wait for the Stanley to make the change though.

  47. Ducey says:

    bookje:
    Lowetide,

    Tamble-on, lol, that’s great.I would wait for the Stanley to make the change though.

    You can’t change your name! Who are you, Ron Artest?

  48. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: You can’t change your name!Who are you, Ron Artest?

    WORLD B FREE!!!!!

  49. jb says:

    Agree with LT, Morrow’s a poor idea for sure… He’s been on the outs with Dallas fans for a while now for the declining play, then there’s the injuries..

    Also agree that the Weber trade talk is pointless… I think most Oiler fans would have an issue paying Suter his money as a UFA, yet people wanna give up huge assets just to sign the guy to the same money? Pass. I think if you follow the Preds closely it’s pretty easy to make an argument that Suter is the better player anyway..

  50. DSF says:

    Let’s be honest here.

    The 29th place team in the league has just hired its 3rd coach under Tambellini, won the lottery and had a very nice prospect fall in their laps.

    Other than that, they’ve re-signed a couple of players who helped them get to 29th.

    That’s chimp work.

    Unless Tambellini brings in an actual NHL goaltender, TWO top pairing defensemen and a big scoring 2nd line centre, this is pretty much the same team that failed massively last season save for the addition of a couple of rookies.

    Yakupov and Schultz are very nice additions but expecting them to vault the team up the standings is a little over the top.

  51. jb says:

    Uh oh… Are Canucks fans feeling threatened already? I thought we were about 2 years away from that?

  52. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think they’ll need to add a goalie this summer, Danis can fill in when NK goes off the rails. Edmonton SHOULD NOT spend a lot of money on goaltending. Not now, not ever.

    Blue needs a guy who can play minutes and the forwards need a mentor for that bottom two lines. But those guys can be picked up between now and September. I like the work so far, add two more items, sign the rfa’s and this team should pass a few in the WC in 12-13.

  53. Gret99zky says:

    If the GM ices the same team as last year we are in big trouble.

    Surely, the New Coach has passed that message along.

    Big help on D, a NK replacement, and a Vet up front. Anything less will be another lottery pick.

    But fans may not be happy with the price Tambi will have to pay to fill those gaps. (Gagner, Petry, MPS, Klefbom, #1 pick, for example)

    I bet management can sell another year of this roster to the fans.

  54. Dipstick says:

    Lowetide: WORLD B FREE!!!!!

    The artist formerly known as Lowetide. Has a ring to it. No?

  55. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers can’t ice the same team as last season. They have added Yakupov to the skill group and it sounds like Hartikainen is part of the group too. That means Smyth moves down to the bottom 6–a very good idea–and so the top 6F might be:

    1. Nuge
    2. Gagner
    3. Hall
    4. Hartikainen
    5. Eberle
    6. Yakupov

    That’s 2 new players in the top 6,/

    Bottom 6:

    1. Horcoff
    2. Belanger
    3. Smyth
    4. Eager
    5. Hemsky
    6. Jones
    7. Petrell
    8. Hordichuk

    So you run Horcoff-Smyth with Hemsky (I’d add Winnik to the group and have Hemsky play in the top 6 until Hartikainen proves it) and then the 4line is Belanger with Jones and one of Eager, Petrell or Hordichuk.

    Different team. Why? Yakupov, Hartikainen, and coach Krueger believes he can get another foot on Belanger’s fastball. Which should mean Horcoff isn’t blowing chunks from the workload.

  56. Archie says:

    voxwah,

    He’s another N.Schultz, not much better with more of a offensive side, but softer. Will be wanting a big payday and IMO the Oilers should wait for some of their prospects then a D that is not much of a upgrade if that.

    I see nothing wrong with what ST is doing, It’s looking pretty good, just some people believe the process should be rushed for the sake of making the playoffs. Sell the farm or load up with bad contracts that could hurt the team in the long run. Rather be patience and build a team that will be around for a long time.

  57. Archie says:

    Lowetide: Not taking penalties is a really good thing.

    To be effective he has to play a physical game and I gather he hasn’t. I still like him though, but Jones would have to go.

  58. Gret99zky says:

    I’m all for cheering the guys we got. I did it last year.

    Can’t wait to see Yakupov gets some at bats and a healthy Hemsky.

    But I don’t see the playoffs yet. I’d be happy finishing out of the lottery.

    All the injuries and slumps and flu bugs and regular voodoo shit that happens to this team is bound to rear its ugly head.

    We need more depth at C and D, IMO.

    You are right about the goalie thing. It’s NK or Danis or bust.

  59. JorgeR04 says:

    I really wish fairytales came true, because the addition of Ryan Sutter would sure make our D solid.

  60. slopitch says:

    So we won’t vault up the standings without Suter, Carle and a big #2C. Lol right. Tell that to Don Maloney…

    I think they have to remain patient though. The improvement will mostly come from within but it might take 2 years. No need to overpay on July 3rd. They should have the assets to move when the right pieces become available. The price of Weber for example goes down until next year assuming Nashville can’t resign him. Why offer now? Continually add and upgrade parts.

    Tambo deserves credit for Schultz. 29 teams all tried and he came out on top. Plus he has MacT telling him what to do now ;)

  61. JorgeR04 says:

    Apparently Detroit is offering a 13 year, $90 Million contract. Couldn’t we survive with 14 year, $105 Million contract?

  62. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear:
    weber was without suter for 12 games in 2010.
    Weber went 12GM 1G 2A -9.

    He was – 9 in 12 games.

    Run!

    From 2007-2012 Weber and Suter played 2900minutes together when the score was tied or within 1.

    The percentage of shots (and therefore scoring chances) that they had were:

    Together .527
    Weber apart from Suter (716min) .500
    Suter apart from Weber (826 min) .492

    Looks like the sum is greater than the parts. Not an uncommon phenomenon.

    Looks like its a dead heat.

    They are both good given that they put up these numbers against the best in the NHL.

  63. Ducey says:

    JorgeR04:
    Apparently Detroit is offering a 13 year, $90 Million contract.Couldn’t we survive with 14 year, $105 Million contract?

    LT will disagree, but MAP isn’t worth that.

  64. Rondo says:

    JorgeR04,

    Tough decision great money , great organization, horrible place to live.

  65. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    I don’t think they’ll need to add a goalie this summer, Danis can fill in when NK goes off the rails. Edmonton SHOULD NOT spend a lot of money on goaltending. Not now, not ever.

    Blue needs a guy who can play minutes and the forwards need a mentor for that bottom two lines. But those guys can be picked up between now and September. I like the work so far, add two more items, sign the rfa’s and this team should pass a few in the WC in 12-13.

    Which few?

    I can certainly see Phoenix imploding as the rats leave the ship and Anaheim seems to be running in pace.

    Maybe Dallas.

    Minnesota, Colorado and Calgary have all made some good moves.

  66. Bar_Qu says:

    Chasing the Suters and Webers of the NHL is a fool’s game. Adding reliable positive Corsi D who can be had for Ryan Jones + in a trade is the way to go (though I think Jones will shine ever more brightly this season when more of the focus is on the F4, so I’m not in favor of losing him, but if he gets what we need, better than losing Gagner). The 3 for 1 trade is a must since the Oil sit at 39 contracts with 7 RFAs and need to keep clear of the 50 contract trap (which they would nearly hit if they signed 2 or 3 guys before fall. Please, please, please let it happen).

    Really good teams platoon def all the time, and with all the good D bubbling under there is no need for that kind of D contract to land in Edm anytime in the next 5 yrs.

  67. BONVIE says:

    There is such a fine line between being the young skilled team with potential, but losing most nights, and being the team that can be competitive. I believe the oilers are there now and it has nothing to do with the pieces being added but the buck stops with the young core who is one year more experienced and has learned the lessons of last season. They have went through one more off season of watching the rest of the NHL play hockey in April and have another year of becoming hungry to become winners.

    I believe there is more than enough goal scoring this year.

    I do like your idea about a big center though, but don’t feel is necesarry to improve their results in the standings. I also really like Gagner.

    Defense is still a big issue I will give you this one. The key is Whitney I think he needs to be replaced. The Edmonton defense showed in small increments of games when healthy that they can play good defense. I definitely agree that they lacked depth, as one or two injuries should not tank your season. Good defense have about 4 or 5 good defenseman that can play with call ups or your depth defense and still get the job done with two or more of your starting 6 D injured. I don’t mind Edmonton’s depth at the bottom as much as I really think they lack dependable veterans on defense besides Smid, N. Shultz maybe (Petry but this is basically year one of being a permanent NHLer) that can be able to be paired with young guys. If Whitney returns healthy he could be but after last season until I see him play a few games I think of him as more of a Sutton that doesn’t play within his limitations. I really like Peckham and hope they can use him on the bottom pair but he is not a dependable veteran that they can throw out with the call up of the week when the injuries hit and play him higher up in the line up. I think if Whitney does not have mobility he has to be replaced with a solid NHLer, you need those dependable veterans, because you can count on at least one of your good d-man to be injured at any time. I really like Edmontons young D from 6-12 but don’t expect to throw any of those guys with Potter or Peckham and expect good results.

    The numbers have shown that Dubynk has already given them the goaltending to get into the playoffs, he will be a bit more consistent this year and needs to play 60+ games. The losses are coming on Khabi’s watch.

    I see Edmonton making the playoffs, and anything can happen once you make the playoffs.
    DSF,

    DSF:
    Let’s be honest here.

    The 29th place team in the league has just hired its 3rd coach under Tambellini, won the lottery and had a very nice prospect fall in their laps.

    Other than that, they’ve re-signed a couple of players who helped them get to 29th.

    That’s chimp work.

    Unless Tambellini brings in an actual NHL goaltender, TWO top pairing defensemen and a big scoring 2nd line centre, this is pretty much the same team that failed massively last season save for the addition of a couple of rookies.

    Yakupov and Schultz are very nice additions but expecting them to vault the team up the standings is a little over the top.

  68. uni says:

    DSF,

    Minnie especially seem to be an up and coming team. Cheap effective young D, some good older veteran players, and a whack of high quality prospects coming into the system who’ve all been stewing under for a bit. That’s the way to do a rebuild, with clever moves and wise asset management to augment the draft. Wasn’t a fan of Chuck Fletcher, but his team is in a good position right now and in 2-3 years might be challenging for the division.

    The Suter money is ridiculous. 6.2 I can see, but 7 million for 13 years is just downright silly money and term. I wonder how Zetterberg, Datsyuk and company will feel about that contract. I mean ten million is a lot of money to leave on the table, but if you’re serious about your team winning and having cap flexibility can’t you work out a front loaded / big signing bonus contract to balance it out a bit? Meh, I’d probably just take the money and run haha.

  69. Bos8 says:

    Yep, all this great improvement and the pressure is on the two kids to get the team to the promised land.

    Sorry, the Oilers still don’t do FOs. The screaming need is for a dominating Center.

    Instead, we got a Rieder II, who was actually outplayed by Rieder I in the second half. Rieder I coming from the hockey hotbead, Germany.

    Still don’t have Centers but we’re knee deeper in small, skilled RWs.

    Oh, but there’s Pitlick – Sorry RW.

    MPS? Sorry, we moved him from RW and the ungrateful sod is struggling.

    But we’ll move Yak to LW – He won’t struggle.

    Anyone notice a trend here?

  70. striatic says:

    team needs a proven 2nd line LW and a proven first pairing LD

    LT likes Winnik and Carle.

    they work but i don’t think the cap stability exists to take either right now.

    i think Tambellini is right in that trades, not UFAs are the way forward now.

  71. Dave Casselman says:

    Even if Uncle Stevey doesn’t deliver on LT’s ‘To Do List,’ the Oil will be a better club. Possibly a much better club. Sometimes quite amazing what a difference a year can make. (Think of the development curve of 11, 17, 9, and yeah, even 99 back in the day.)

    The club may not even make a push for the playoffs this coming year, but when they do, they’ll make it, (probably in 13-14,) and they’ll be the club that absolutely nobody wants to play. And when they lose, maybe even first round, they’ll have learned something, namely how to win the Cup within another year, max 2.

  72. spoiler says:

    When they signed Danis last year, we all nodded our appreciation. Here was a good depth goalie with NHL experience who could fill in for Khabby if the wheels came off the wagon. Well the wheels came off the wagon… And?

    I pray to the hockey gords, though that either the GM or the coach will eventually find the losses unacceptable.

    I like Danis and the difficult role he has not only accepted but excelled doing it. I like that the environment down in OKC is such that he wanted to come back. I’d like to see him get a shot when Khabby blows up. Surely he’s easy enough to IR.

  73. bookje says:

    Dave Casselman:
    Sometimes quite amazing what a difference a year can make. (Think of the development curve of 11, 17, 9, and yeah, even 99 back in the day.)

    Gretzky went from 137 points in his first year to 212 in his third year. I am pretty sure that if Hall gets 212 points this year, the team will make the playoffs.

    Note that the Edmonton Oilers got 212 goals in total in 2011/12.

  74. Cactus says:

    spoiler,

    I also like Danis. Best goalie in the AHL last year. Given all the goalie signings that have gone on, I think he’s also the best bet for Edmonton right now. I can’t think of a UFA that is appreciably better who wouldn’t cost more than 1 year or an overpay.

    He will get time if Khabby struggles much. Tambellini knows the next person to lose their job is him, so he won’t risk it. Krueger has every incentive to start strong and show he belongs in the fraternity of NHL coaches.

    The incentive structure is there, for all you game theorists!

  75. DSF says:

    uni,

    With a couple more deft moves, Minny could challenge for the division as soon as this coming season.

    You mentioned their under rated defense and prospects but also take a look at their centre depth.

    Mikko Koivu
    Mikael Granlund
    Kyle Brodziak
    Torrey Mitchell
    Zenon Konopka
    Charlie Coyle
    Zack Phillips

    That’s just scary.

    One would assume Coyle and Phillips will be moved to the wing so they’ve got those bases covered too.

    They’ve also been building a big, nasty roster with the likes of Konopka, Matt Kassian and Darrel Powe.

    Yikes.

  76. bookje says:

    Danis was the right choice. A solid netminder who can come in if anything happens at the NHL level (and maybe just if they want to give him a run).

  77. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Why are most (including ST) avoiding addressing up the middle? Is it so F’d that it’s impossible to begin the repair job this year?
    Aren’t they fine on the wings? It’s alot easier to fill holes on the wings through call ups, waiver claims etc.
    Of course this requires trusting ST in the traders market.

  78. DSF says:

    Bos8:
    Yep, all this great improvement and the pressure is on the two kids to get the team to the promised land.

    Sorry, the Oilers still don’t do FOs.The screaming need is for a dominating Center.

    Instead, we got a Rieder II, who was actually outplayed by Rieder I in the second half. Rieder I coming from the hockey hotbead, Germany.

    Still don’t have Centers but we’re knee deeper in small, skilled RWs.

    Oh, but there’s Pitlick – Sorry RW.

    MPS?Sorry, we moved him from RW and the ungrateful sod is struggling.

    But we’ll move Yak to LW – He won’t struggle.

    Anyone notice a trend here?

    Too many small, skilled wingers?

    What do I win?

  79. Bos8 says:

    Well, if the top six are as listed plus Harti, he’d better spread out. That’s an awful lot of vanilla to account for.

    Paper power – as in look good on paper if the other team lets them skate.

    To improve a team you have to address the weaknesses. Now Schultz will upgrade one D position a year from now. (First year adjusting to the League)

    The Oilers are still weak down the middle.

  80. stevezie says:

    Oh man do I agree that goaltending is no longer a major concern. I think Dub has earned a shot, but more than that- Danis is a viable alternative to a bad Khabibulin! The guy was the AHL goalie of the year last year! If Markstrom or Bernier had won that award everyone would be saying that they’re clearly ready for the show.

    Now Danis might have hit his ceiling, but the best goalie in the AHL is good enough to be a backup in the NHL. If we agree Dubnyk is good enough to play fifty games (don’t we?), then I feel comfortable gambling that one of Khabi or Danis will be good enough to back him up.

    Bar_Qu,

    I agree with this too! The proposed Suter contracts sound more risk than reward. The proposed price for Weber is more trouble than it is worth. It sounds like the only option is to get a guy before he turns good, keep him for as long as possible, and make peace with the fact when he hits UFA the smart move might be letting him go.

    Platoon and hope someone rises.

  81. Bos8 says:

    DSF: W

    You get to make snark comments when Hall and Yak get injured.

  82. GordM says:

    bookje,

    IMO depends how one looks at it…another angle:

    137 to 212 is a 55% improvement.

    That improvement for Hall would equal an 83 point season.

    Manageable?

    Do we make the playoffs if Hall gets 83 pts?

  83. DSF says:

    Bos8: You get to make snark comments when Hall and Yak get injured.

    Oh, they will.

  84. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    Oh man do I agree that goaltending is no longer a major concern. I think Dub has earned a shot, but more than that- Danis is a viable alternative to a bad Khabibulin! The guy was the AHL goalie of the year last year! If Markstrom or Bernier had won that award everyone would be saying that they’re clearly ready for the show.

    Now Danis might have hit his ceiling, but the best goalie in the AHL is good enough to be a backup in the NHL. If we agree Dubnyk is good enough to play fifty games (don’t we?), then I feel comfortable gambling that one of Khabi or Danis will be good enough to back him up.

    Bar_Qu,

    I agree with this too! The proposed Suter contracts sound more risk than reward. The proposed price for Weber is more trouble than it is worth. It sounds like the only option is to get a guy before he turns good, keep him for as long as possible, and make peace with the fact when he hits UFA the smart move might be letting him go.

    Platoon and hope someone rises.

    The difference in your goaltending assesment is Florida has TWO NHL veteran goalies (and will likely be adding Luongo) and, of course, LA has Quick.

    You have to wonder why Danis is not playing in the NHL or are 29 other teams missing something?

  85. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    I can certainly see Phoenix imploding as the rats leave the ship and Anaheim seems to be running in pace.

    I was looking at the top 100 Dmen who posted a 50%+ (or very close) in shots while the game was tied or within 1 (most important game state)

    There were only 40 Dmen in the league last year if you look at top 2 pairings.

    If you look at guys who saw top pairing minutes there were only 30 Dmen. (other 30 were 3rd pairing)

    ANA now has 3 Dmen who played top pairing and come out on top or close against the best.

    Beauchemin – 1st pairing .505% $3.5MM
    Souray – 1st pairing .506% $3.6MM (+35 3 year contract)
    Allen – 1st pairing .493% $3.5MM

    I’m not a Bob Murray fan, but that’s pretty good.

    Souray may (will) fall apart, but Murray seem to be working it.

  86. Bos8 says:

    Funny, othe teams draft centers who if they don’t work out can become wingers. The Oilers draft wingers.

    Ahem

    But the meme BPA.

    Tough sailing with a starboard list.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say Galchenyuk is smoking Yakupov within two years.

  87. Woodguy says:

    DSF,

    Zenon Konopka
    Charlie Coyle
    Zack Phillips

    Really?

    Also,

    MIN D way too young at this point.

    They’ll be at or near the bottom of conference at this point.

    Things can change between now and TC though.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Bos8,

    Paper power – as in look good on paper if the other team lets them skate.

    If the D can get them the puck, they can skate.

  89. wordbird says:

    DSF:
    uni,

    With a couple more deft moves, Minny could challenge for the division as soon as this coming season.

    You mentioned their under rated defense and prospects but also take a look at their centre depth.

    Mikko Koivu
    Mikael Granlund
    Kyle Brodziak
    Torrey Mitchell
    Zenon Konopka
    Charlie Coyle
    Zack Phillips

    That’s just scary.

    Which is why i don’t understand why the Oil aren’t sending offers/invitations to the likes of Dominic Moore, Kyle Wellwood, Jochen Hecht. EXPERIENCE! DEPTH!

  90. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    DSF,

    Zenon Konopka
    Charlie Coyle
    Zack Phillips

    Really?

    Also,

    MIN D way too young at this point.

    They’ll be at or near the bottom of conference at this point.

    Things can change between now and TC though.

    Their youngest D is Jared Spurgeon who is 22, Scandella also 22 and Faulk will be 24 when the season starts.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Brodin makes the team out of camp.

    Also of note, Minnesota is among the finalists for Suter and Parise.

  91. Bos8 says:

    Woodguy: Bos8, Paper power – as in look good on paper if the other team lets them skate.If the D can get them the puck, they can skate.

    Granted

    But the other team’s coach

    How do you stop the Oilers?

    Plug up the passing lanes and hit those wingers every chance you get. You can mug them, judging by second half last year, penalties are few and far between.

    And for God’s sake trade Hemsky “He doesn’t deserve another year of Horcoff Hell”

  92. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    DSF,

    I can certainly see Phoenix imploding as the rats leave the ship and Anaheim seems to be running in pace.

    I was looking at the top 100 Dmen who posted a 50%+ (or very close)in shots while the game was tied or within 1 (most important game state)

    There were only 40 Dmen in the league last year if you look at top 2 pairings.

    If you look at guys who saw top pairing minutes there were only 30 Dmen. (other 30 were 3rd pairing)

    ANA now has 3 Dmen who played top pairing and come out on top or close against the best.

    Beauchemin – 1st pairing .505% $3.5MM
    Souray – 1st pairing .506% $3.6MM (+35 3 year contract)
    Allen – 1st pairing .493% $3.5MM

    I’m not a Bob Murray fan, but that’s pretty good.

    Souray may (will) fall apart, but Murray seem to be working it.

    A Bobby Ryan trade could have a huge impact if it happens.

  93. OilClog says:

    Minnesota can sign all the big burly tough guys in the world, it’s not going to change anything for them. Teams will not be running the Oilers like they have been.. Why? Because when you end up being the player that puts this team on the powerplay.. Your days of playing will be numbered. This is going to be one of the most feared offences(if not already)in the league soon enough. With what Kruger did with the PP, continues on with the 5×5.. Good luck to the slow big body teams, hope you can keep up.

    I still think George might be given a look a camp, if he’s willing to protect and fight like he says. I’d pay him to play 30games a yr on the 4th pounding Minnesota tough guys in the face. Just one Laraque fight in Oilers silks again would be great to see!

  94. Zack says:

    This is your free agency and it’s ending one minute at a time, ST.

  95. OilClog says:

    Bos8,

    How do you stop Renneys Oilers. Just show up

    How do you stop Freddie Kruger’s Oilers. Pray for it to end

  96. Ribs says:

    The latest Free Agent madness from TSN…

    Unrestricted free agent defenceman Ryan Suter has reportedly been offered a 13-year, $90 million contract by the Detroit Red Wings.

  97. Woodguy says:

    DSF: A Bobby Ryan trade could have a huge impact if it happens.

    If they manage to get a couple forwards, that would help.

  98. DSF says:

    OilClog:
    Minnesota can sign all the big burly tough guys in the world, it’s not going to change anything for them. Teams will not be running the Oilers like they have been.. Why? Because when you end up being the player that puts this team on the powerplay.. Your days of playing will be numbered. This is going to be one of the most feared offences(if not already)in the league soon enough. With what Kruger did with thePP, continues on with the 5×5.. Good luck to the slow big body teams, hope you can keep up.

    I still think George might be given a look a camp, if he’s willing to protect and fight like he says. I’d pay him to play 30games a yr on the 4th pounding Minnesota tough guys in the face. Just one Laraque fight in Oilers silks again would be great to see!

    Ooooo…truculence. :)

    Thing is, Minny is also adding a lot of skill.

    Granlund. Coyle and Phillips are all blue chip prospects.

  99. Bos8 says:

    OilClog: Bos8, How do you stop Renneys Oilers. Just show upHow do you stop Freddie Kruger’s Oilers. Pray for it to end

    Everyone’s a winner in preseason.

    All I can say is “That’s an awfully big soapbubble that everyone’s riding”.

    Can the Oilers at least upgrade a Jones?

    The Oilers – still selling the sizzle.

  100. spoiler says:

    The key is whether the Bra¡ntrust can benefit from the fallout if the two big signings and the possible movement of some big contracts thereafter… one of the Blueshirts or the Bullies Dmen would be nice.

    I don’t think they’re looking for a top pairing guy though. Nor do I think they’re looking for a depth veteran winger. I’m pretty sure they feel they have enough vet presence in the bottom 6 in Horcoff, Smyth, Belanger, Jones, Eager, and Hordichuk, none of which are raw rookies. I mean Belanger and Jones should be enough to shelter a young player on the 4th line.

    I think their only move will be for a mid pairing defenseman.

    As for next year, better goaltending will get them close but the key will be what kind of opposition can the kids handle. If the top 6 can’t handle the other teams’ top two lines, they will still suck on the road. That’s where they could use the vet improvement, on Smyth at L2. If that was Dustin Penner, or something similar…

    Till these top two lines can handle PvP they will remain on the outside looking in:

    HALL GAGN HEMS
    SMYT NUGE EBER
    PAAJ HORC YAKU
    HART BELA JONE

    Better D will help too, but the kids really need to take a step forward and not bleed against good opp.

  101. koobz says:

    $90 million / 13 years = $6.93 million per year. Not too bad, except you’re paying a 40 year old $7 million in the last year of his contract. But wait…

    Just some quick back of the envelope calculations:

    Assume inflation rate of 2%, assume league revenue grows annually by 10% (projecting this accurately is really the deal-breaker). Two things happen. First, the obvious inflation effect. Secondly, the salary cap is going up with league revenues. That number is going to represent a proportionally smaller chunk of the cap.

    Using a net present worth calculation and using 10% + 2% as the discount rate, you get a value of $46 million. Which works out to about $3.5 million / year.

    If Detroit believes he’s the next Lidstrom (generational, plays until he’s 40) then that’s not so bad.

  102. Bos8 says:

    spoiler: The key is whether the Bra¡ntrust can benefit from the fallout if the two big signings and the possible movement of some big contracts thereafter… one of the Blueshirts or the Bullies Dmen would be nice. I don’t think they’re looking for a top pairing guy though. Nor do I think they’re looking for a depth veteran winger. I’m pretty sure they feel they have enough vet presence in the bottom 6 in Horcoff, Smyth, Belanger, Jones, Eager, and Hordichuk, none of which are raw rookies. I mean Belanger and Jones should be enough to shelter a young player on the 4th line.I think their only move will be for a mid pairing defenseman.As for next year, better goaltending will get them close but the key will be what kind of opposition can the kids handle. If the top 6 can’t handle the other teams’ top two lines, they will still suck on the road. That’s where they could use the vet improvement, on Smyth at L2. If that was Dustin Penner, or something similar…Till these top two lines can handle PvP they will remain on the outside looking in:HALL GAGN HEMSSMYT NUGE EBERPAAJ HORC YAKUHART BELA JONEBetter D will help too, but the kids really need to take a step forward and not bleed against good opp.

    The Oilers still have Hordichuk and Eager. No room for MPS and Harti. Your one defensive winger is Petrell. Top six are vanilla, bottom six – no support for the D. Who stops the cycle?

    Happened all last winter – entire shifts in the OIlers end and the D totally wiped out from the overloaded hard work.

  103. uni says:

    DSF,

    Koivu and Brodziak are the only two real NHL centres they have right now, even if they are very good at what they do. The rest are still too young or unskilled to get them over the hump.

    There defence is very young and inexperience though they do a decent job, but they’re not there yet.

    If a few of their prospects pan out, and you’d think Granlund and Coyle will make some noise, and their young players in general continue to progress, they’ll be a threat in 2-3 seasons. No way they make much noise this season with the way their roster is structured. Well, FA and trades notwithstanding.

  104. Doug McLachlan says:

    We still need to see what shakes out once Parise and Suter sign but interesting days in Big D – love Mario Jr. but is he going to be up to that travel schedule?

    Vancouver will rebound with healthy twins and once Luongo is traded. Garrison is a fine pickup for now – not sure 6 years from now. Division Champs and probably Conference Champs.

    Colorado made a great addition with Paranteau. He should compliment Duchesne just as he did Tavares. Can they reclaim their surprise playoff status of a couple of years ago?

    Minnesota has a fresh crop of talent coming on line but while they will impress I think they fall short of the playoff bubble.

    Calgary has thrown money, and term and NTCs at everyone save the big Finn who left for the ‘Peg. Love Bartachi but think they drop to fourth in the division.

    Can the Oilers move up from the division basement. I would love to inject Gagner with four inches in height and fifty pounds of bad ass but that isn’t happening. Given that we don’t hear Tambo or Lowe or MacT discussing him as part of the core, I must conclude he isn’t part of it. I can’t fathom the yield he gets us on defence (though I’m sure we will be pleased) but I don’t look forward to the whole it creates at center. When the jump up the standings happens it will not be gradual but happen all at once. Don’t expect to see the jump this year but soon.

  105. Bos8 says:

    Oilers bottom six are a shambles. Horcoff, Belanger, Smyth, Jones, Hordichuk, Eager are not part of the solution. Go ahead, see if you can put together a trade for any one of them. Would you want them to build on? Expecting an up arrow from any one of them is really pushing the opti.

    It’s fashionable to beat on the D. Did they get any support last year? They’re supposed to clear the net, block shots and make great passes – all this while getting wiped out in the corners and up the boards.

  106. Rebilled says:

    Goalie Predictions for 2013

    2010 – Jeff Deslauriers W: 16 L: 28 Devan Dubnyk W: 4 L: 10 NK W: 7 L: 10
    2011 – Martin Gerber W: 3 L: 0 DD W: 12 L: 13 NK W:10 L:32
    2012 – Yann Danis 32 minutes DD W: 20 L: 20 NK W: 12 L: 20
    2013 – Yann Danis 10 minutes? DD W: 30 L: 20 NK W: 11 L: 25

  107. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler,

    I too “pray to the hockey gords”… but just to be safe, I also pray to the hockey waynes, marks, pauls, grants, jaris, etc.

  108. OilClog says:

    DSF,

    Sorry DSF, Minny’s skill is not 3 1′s, and Eberle.

  109. hags9k says:

    DSF,

    Keep in mind that while the roster hasn’t seen a ton of turnover, given the ages of our best players it is very reasonable to expect significant improvement.

    Oh and I’ll take our center depth all day over Minny’s.

    The likes of Kassian, Konopka etc. will soon learn that our nuclear deterrent is the PP.

  110. OilClog says:

    Bos8,

    You’re a bright glowing spot of positivity a room are you not. Last year the bottom 6 under performed. But can you say Jones really under performed his expectations, no. If Belanger, Eager would hit similar numbers things would of been much different. I believe some of these players will bounce back. You can believe what you like, it’s always awesome looking at the corner where the couple grumpy guys sit.

  111. OilClog says:

    hags9k:
    DSF,

    Keep in mind that while the roster hasn’t seen a ton of turnover, given the ages of our best players it is very reasonable to expect significant improvement.

    Oh and I’ll take our center depth all day over Minny’s.

    The likes of Kassian, Konopka etc. will soon learn that our nuclear deterrent is the PP.

    Oh it’s going to be such wonderful powerplay.

    Nuge, Hall, Yak
    Ebs n Hemsky on point.. Lol

    Nuge, Smyth, Ebs
    Hemsky, Schultz

    You could really just keep playing with this. Oiler powerplay bingo monopoly!

  112. hags9k says:

    Yup I’m getting goosebumps thinking about watching this team on the PP and on the rush. DROP THE PUCK.

    I’m seeing Schultz with Yak playing catch on the point with Nuge at the half boards and Hallsy on his goal line with Ebs lurking back door looking for the scraps or the seam pass from Nuge. Good grief. Hope Kipper has been stretching out the loins.

  113. Cactus says:

    Bos8: The Oilers still have Hordichuk and Eager.No room for MPS and Harti.Your one defensive winger is Petrell.Top six are vanilla, bottom six – no support for the D.Who stops the cycle?

    Happened all last winter – entire shifts in the OIlers end and the D totally wiped out from the overloaded hard work.

    Vanilla is a flavour of ice cream. It is not an argument. Please try again.

    Also, size up the middle is not a necessity for success. Here’s your homework:

    http://oilersnation.com/2012/4/20/size-up-the-middle-can-nugent-hopkins-gagner-co-exist

    You’re welcome to make a contrary argument – I know Jonathan is always eager for good debate. But if you do, bring the data. Vanilla is not a counter-point.

  114. Woodguy says:

    Everyone’s favorite Swedish Oilers fan dohfOs has a post up saying the Oilers are trying to get Klefbom to come over with a promise of a roster spot and ice time in the NHL.

    http://dohfos.tumblr.com/post/26485386072/klefbom-might-be-coming-over

  115. Jesse says:

    J Schultz and Klefbom coming into the fold at the same time seems like a move for two years ago, not for this stage of the rebuild. How would adding two rookies help things? Especially if they absolutely NEED to add one more capable top 4 option, where’s the room? Especially having Klefbom make the jump at 19 (he’s still 19 right?) without even any AHL experience. Gosh what a horrible decision that would make. Why rush him?

  116. Bos8 says:

    Cactus: Vanilla is a flavour of ice cream. It is not an argument. Please try again.Also, size up the middle is not a necessity for success. Here’s your homework:http://oilersnation.com/2012/4/20/size-up-the-middle-can-nugent-hopkins-gagner-co-existYou’re welcome to make a contrary argument – I know Jonathan is always eager for good debate. But if you do, bring the data. Vanilla is not a counter-point.

    Data – hmm
    I really don’t care about size, I care about skill set. Crosby and Gagner are roughly the same size. Peca was a little guy and so on.

    When you have a so called #2 center with a skill set of average or below – Huston we have a problem.

    The Oilers have a bunch of “One way Jose” types and yes, it’s not a hockey term either.

    Smyth and Horcoff can’t get there from here, etc. Who supports the D.

    I would like to see an upgrade in one spot. Yes, Schultz will be an upgrade, down the road. Can they at least upgrade from Jones?

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