We’re into September now, leaves are turning and the mosquito population has lost their annual battle with cool nights and the dragon fly.
We began the summer with a list of things we wished the Oilers to do:
- A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall.
- A better Renney.
- Justin Schultz or similar.
- A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall.
- An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc).
- Ryan Smyth or similar.
- Get the rfa’s signed.
Here’s what the Oilers did:
- A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall. Ryan Whitney would appear to be the solution. Robin Brownlee’s recent Oilers Nation article is a positive, but the blue remains a major area of concern–as it has been since Chris Pronger left Dodge City.
- A better Renney.Ralph Krueger has good curb appeal. We wait.
- Justin Schultz or similar. Home run of majestic proportions. I expect we’ll look back on this signing with great fondness.
- A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall. Reasonable varies from person to person, but I’m on board with the AHL goalie of the Year (Yann Danis) as a suitable backup to Dubnyk.
- An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc). Interesting options here. Ryan Jones might be the solution, but Krueger mentioned that Shawn Horcoff might play some wing, and that brings up a possible veteran checking line (say Belanger-Horcoff-Smyth). Stay tuned.
- Ryan Smyth or similar. As with the Schultz signing, this is a perfect fit for this team. Ryan Smyth must look like an old leather boot next to these new high quality custom fits, but this is an NHL player of value.
- Get the rfa’s signed.Got it all done, although I do wonder about the terms on some of the deals.
The Oilers also took the time to sign their first two impact forwards, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. Lots of verbal from all quarters over the last couple of days on the subject, but the real questions are:
- Can the Oilers sign all four kids up front to this contract and survive?
- Does the Eberle contract mean he’s the one among the four who is likely untradeable?
I believe the answer to both questions is yes, your opinion matters and I hope you share it.
NATION RADIO hits the air at Noon today, Team 1260. Emails welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can leave comments below. Twitter is likely the best spot, @ItsNationRadio and @Lowetide_ works.
Scheduled to appear:
- David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about the Hall-Eberle signings, estimating point totals and the CBA negotiations.
- Gus Katsaros from McKeens and Leafs Nation. We’ll talk about the Leafs 12-13 season, projecting numbers for individual players and the best way to develop draft picks.
- Robert Cleave from Jets Nation and Flames Nation. We’ll discuss the Bogosian injury and recovery timeline, along with the Jets prospects for the second season in 12-13.
- Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. We’ll discuss the Flames in 12-13 (Kent did an exceptional job sussing things out here) and chat about NHL Numbers
There are a couple of other irons in the fire, hope you can join us.