BARONS RECALL THREE

The end of the lockout signals good times for Edmonton Oiler fans, but for the OKC Barons and their fans (and thay have a loyal and informed following) losing Hall, Eberle and Schultz on the same day is a royal kick in the knack knickers.

Imagine being Todd Nelson today. Hmmm. Powerplay. Well we don’t have Hall or Eberle or the Nuge but once they get it back to the point Just—its going to be a period of transition. The Barons may also lose Teemu Hartikainen and or Magnus Paajarvi, Chris VandeVelde and or Anton Lander, and Colten Teubert in the next couple of days–but will get most of them back by NHL opening night.

Coach Ralph Krueger has gone on record saying they’ll have 15 forwards, 8 defenders and a pair of goalies in camp. We talked about his earlier in the week, the post is here and a guess about the roster might look like this:

PROJECTED TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

  1. G Devan Dubnyk
  2. G Nikolai Khabibulin
  3. D Ladislav Smid
  4. D Jeff Petry
  5. D Nick Schultz
  6. D Justin Schultz
  7. D Ryan Whitney
  8. D Corey Potter
  9. D Theo Peckham
  10. D Andy Sutton (IR)
  11. D Colten Teubert
  12. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  13. C Sam Gagner
  14. C Shawn Horcoff
  15. C Eric Belanger
  16. C Chris VandeVelde
  17. L Taylor Hall
  18. L Teemu Hartikainen
  19. L Ryan Smyth
  20. L Ben Eager
  21. L Darcy Hordichuk
  22. R Ales Hemsky
  23. R Jordan Eberle
  24. R Nail Yakupov
  25. R Ryan Jones
  26. R Lennart Petrell
  27. W Magnus Paajarvi

I’ve added Teubert, VandeVelde, Hartikainen and Paajarvi from the farm, and crossed off the injured men, so that’s 25. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Yann Danis, Taylor Fedun, Anton Lander or Mark Arcobello called up, but likely at the expense of one of Teubert, VV, Harski and Magnum PS.

We should also be prepared for one or more players to have injuries or conditioning issues, although modern hockey players are exceptionally well prepared and fit.

hemsky55

Since we have to wait another day or two for deals and signings (and I do think the Oilers will bring in a couple of items for OKC, along with shopping for a legit NHL defender. History tells us that the Oilers won’t address the D sufficiently) lets look at possible lines and pairings.

First, there’s been a lot of play in regard to a Krueger quote from yesterday about the line of Nuge-Hall-Eberle:

  • Krueger: “That’s something we have to consider since they were playing in Oklahoma City.”

I recall his earlier statement (from last summer) saying he liked “pairings” on the forward lines with Nuge-Ebs, Gagner-Hemsky and Horcoff-Smyth (iirc) being the pairings listed at that time. This would allow Hall to slide up and back as needed or depending on which line was rolling. I’ll guess the opening night lineup based on the kid line being intact:

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Hartikainen-Hemsky
  • Horcoff-Smyth-Yakupov
  • Belanger-Eager-Petrell
  • extras: Hordichuk, VandeVelde
  • Smid-Petry
  • Schultz-Schultz
  • Whitney-Potter
  • Pechkam
  • Dubnyk
  • Khabibulin

Which means Paajarvi gets the boot back to OKC unless they’re comfortable with MP sitting some games. Maybe one of the veterans can’t play and Paajarvi wins a job in a short training camp, but this TC doesn’t lend itself to that kind of breakout story. We’ll see. I’d take him over Petrell, Eager, Hordichuk for sure on this roster and he’s a hair ahead of Hartikainen by my estimation (I just think Paajarvi’s a better hockey player, full stop) but  that and $5 will get you a cup of coffee.

OKC roster (taking a shot)

  • Arcobello-Cornet-Paajarvi
  • Green-Rajala-Pitlick
  • Lander-Byers-Hamilton
  • House-Martindale-Lizon
  • Deck-Fedun
  • Marincin-Teubert
  • Zahn-Plante
  • Henry
  • Danis
  • Roy

They’re going to get killed.

Bowie has a new album coming out in March. What a wonderful surprise.

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54 Responses to "BARONS RECALL THREE"

  1. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’d be tempted to airlift in the entire Nordic line for the first three games and give some of the bulk at the bottom an extra week of kinder-Krueger. Hitting the ground running as a unit has to be worth a quarter step out of the blocks.

  2. Lowetide says:

    We’ll get a much better view of the immediate future when they recall everyone. I don’t think three forwards are coming up, which seems a shame.

  3. russ99 says:

    I hope they can add another bottom 6 guy and either farm out or pressbox Petrell. He was one of Renney’s system guys, and doesn’t add enough offense or consistently play a defensive game to stick with the talent we have now.

    Personally, I’d prefer MPS playing 8 minutes a night developing into a potential 3rd line defense-first winger to Petrell being there just because of his contract.

    Would love a big experienced two-way winger (UFA Erik Fehr could do in a pinch) over either of them.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    One great corollary of this lockout: No longer worried about anything to do with the Oilers. IMO they’re too talented now to go anywhere but to the top with a rocket.

    Someone needs to make a Kreuger avatar with him wearing a Freddie hat lol. I reckon he’s going to be a great coach.

    Watching the AHL felt a lot like watching Travis Bickle’s 1976 Saturday afternoon entertainment. Speaking of, Oilers could do a lot worse than to start double audio on their broadcasts, especially if the team starts losing again. It’s too confusing for the fans to get upset, because everyone thinks they’re in the first stages of Schizophrenia.

    It should help keep fans stupefied and in awe, Kevin Pendergrast(who almost certainly reads this blog regularly).

  5. jonrmcleod says:

    Please adjust the Oilers’ goal differential projection due to Kristian Hulelius retiring.

  6. dessert1111 says:

    I am wondering what you think about the guys they’re calling up to round out training camp. Are these guys being given an actual shot to make the team, or is the team already made and they are just extra bodies? If that’s true, then I agree with Teubert and VandeVelde being the guys — VVD is a good 4th line player for the Barons, but they aren’t going to miss him as much as the other centres. Teubert was a healthy scratch last weekend.

    If they are looking for guys to legitimately challenge for roster spots, based on what I’ve seen in OKC all year, Arcobello and Fedun look more NHL-ready. I don’t care if they’re smaller, if they can keep the puck out of their net better and help put the puck into the opponent’s net more that who I would want on the team. To be clear though I don’t think any of the players I just mentioned have more than a very meagre change to make an NHL team and I think all would be better off in OKC. The experience of training camp might be good for them though — seemed to help Fedun last year.

    Regarding Paajarvi, man did he look good in more of a feature role, but I think the only way to justify keeping him in OKC is to help his offense come along. If that is a plan, by all means. But I agree that he is a better play right now than all of Petrell, Hordichuk and Eager, and quite possibly Belanger and Hartikainen, so in that respect I think he should be 3RW. Petrell shouldn’t be on the team if he hasn’t improved from last year but if he is I guess he can be a 13th forward who you don’t mind sitting. Hordichuk isn’t going anywhere at 14F, unfortunately.

    Lastly I think Lander would do better to hold his head above water in the NHL than VVD would at this point, but there is a legitimate development concern with him and would be fine if VVD was extended the camp invite over him.

    OKC IS going to get destroyed, unless about 7 players turn significant corners right away.

  7. jonrmcleod says:

    dessert1111,

    I spend a while trying to figure out who WD was. Now I see that the W is actually two V’s.

    And, yes, I did misspell Huselius above.

  8. Truth says:

    russ99,

    I don’t think I could stomach “Fehr” on the back of an Oilers jersey right now. Not yet anyway.

    I do hope they make a trade for a big winger that plays physical. At this point I think everyone is in agreement that PRV must develop into a third line two-way player to make the Oilers. Unfortunately, he’s softer than Liberace at the playboy mansion and this team is already one of the least physical teams in the league (sorry, I just remembered that one). Therefore, as I have been saying all along, Ryane Clowe needs to become an Oiler. I don’t know what it would take, but I would definitely consider including Hemsky, PRV, both, and more if need be.

    The Oilers “star” third liner Shawn Horcoff won’t even lay a hit. It’s time for a little nastiness on this roster. PRV is not what the Oilers need. Not now, and not in the future. He may turn out to be a good NHL player on a different team, why not use the potential of that to acquire something the Oilers actually need.

  9. crude says:

    Truth,

    Totally agree on Clowe – he’s exactly the guy I would be after if I were Tambo.

  10. Bob Arctor says:

    Bowie’s new song Where Are We Now?
    Hopefully he tours….

  11. raventalon40 says:

    This is going to sound pretty sad, but I was pretty excited for a second because I thought the headline read “BACONS READY THREE.”

    This is what happens when you skip breakfast.

  12. Jonathan Willis says:

    RE: The OKC roster.

    Do you really think Cornet gets that top-line job? I know his ECHL numbers are solid, but man was he awful during his AHL games. It’s a weak system, but even Hamilton should be ahead of him, IMO. They could do something like this:

    L1: Green – Arcobello – Rajala
    L2: Hamilton – Lander – Pitlick
    L3: Byers – VandeVelde – House
    L4: Cornet – Martindale – Lizon

    Lots less than ideal, obviously, but it gives Nelson the veteran defensive unit he seems to like on L3 (possibly playing L2, tough matchup minutes), a top line with two good scorers and Rajala, and gets Cornet down to L4 where he belongs. That second line is a mess – an alternative might be to move Byers up and hope he rediscovers his scoring tough while bumping Hamilton down and hoping he can handle the checking assignments.

    I never thought I’d say this, but: this team could use Antti Tyrvainen.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    Before getting to the roster, when it comes to Holmstron, he should have been one of the most penalized players (non-enforcer) of the modern generation. If he’d played for anybody but Detroit, he would have been. Such a scam they have going.

    Anyway, steal Arnott before the Canucks get him, then grab Lubomir and play him 20/night when Hemsky’s on the ice. Short season, big chance to get success early and change things before these guys get really sick of coming to the rink to get beat.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    And, just thinking about this now, if VandeVelde stays up Nelson could always try something like this:

    L1: Green – Arcobello – Rajala
    L2: Paajarvi – Lander – Pitlick
    L3: Byers – House – Hamilton
    L4: Cornet – Martindale – Lizon

    Nelson’s also shown some preference for getting Martindale on a scoring line when he’s in the lineup, so he could do that, use Lander on the checking line, and bump House to L4. Personally, I think House has a better job of filling the L3 centre role than Martindale does the L2 job, but it’s an option.

  15. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Jan-Levine/Rangers-and-the-2013-14-Cap-eg-the-MDZRedden-Questions/89/48289

    Interesting post from Jan Levine over at HockeyBuzz re: Rangers and the Redden situation.

    And a quote from the blog attributed to Lebrun..I haven’t found the Lebrun article in it’s entirety, if someone finds it pleae post the whole thing:

    The interesting detail, and one that came up a lot in questions when the deal info first came out that gets answered here is that any player bought out under these circumstances CANNOT be re-acquired by that same team during the upcoming season, not by waivers, not by trade and not by free-agent signing

  16. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/21219/trades-cheat-deals-and-more-cba-details

    And here is the Lebrun article.

    Another interesting item(and I know it’s old news by now) is that the NHL is going to allow a 7 day window for UFAs to talk to clubs prior to July 1-I like that addition, makes a lot of sense.
    He also talks about clubs being able to retain salary in trades-another addition I like.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Seems like everyone is excited and full of ideas re the Oilers, so keeping with that in mind Lowetide could institute “Rob Schremp/MacT Thursdays” where fans can get together to argue the finer points of these former Oilers…along with special “Jani Rita/Jason Soules Night”, where old timey fans can further vent spleen re the bad old days.

  18. OilClog says:

    I have dreams.. maybe nightmares.. about the days of Marchment, Richardson, Mironov, Smith days.. Boris use to lower such a boom.

  19. Zipdot says:

    Jonathan Willis: Do you really think Cornet gets that top-line job? I know his ECHL numbers are solid, but man was he awful during his AHL games.

    a top line with two good scorers and Rajala, and gets Cornet down to L4 where he belongs..

    Why the hate for Cornet? He’s a really good player, I don’t understand. I’ve watched him quite a bit on the Barons.

  20. Jordan says:

    OilClog,

    I miss Sean Brown. What a beast.

  21. Rondo says:

    LT,

    I’ve been following a discussion going on at Oilers Nation.( HARSKI: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS) regarding trading Jordan Eberle for Adam Larsson.

    Where would you stand on this trade.?

  22. Jordan says:

    Rondo,

    FLAME WARS ON!!!

    FYI – that’s a terrible trade. All the risk is on Edmonton. Eberle’s already a ppg player in E-town. Larsson may develop into a #2 shutdown Dman.

    It’s a bad trade for the Oilers, especially with Eberle being locked up at a reasonable contract for the next few years.

  23. Gerta Rauss says:

    There may come a time when we need to trade 1 of the 4 horseman for help on the backend or Center,( and redistribute salary away from the wing) but now is not the time imo.

  24. Lucinius says:

    What’s with all the trade talk regarding one of the young ones? It seems every thread, wherever I am, there’s someone trying to trade Hall, Eberle, RNH or Yakupov. I mean, seriously!? RNH won’t get traded for obvious reasons (he’ s a center with talent!), Hall and Eberle won’t get trade for at least 5-6 years (locked up at reasonable amounts with ‘proven’ ability and likely further growth) and Yakupov won’t get traded until the Oilers at least know what they have with him.

    If there’s trade bait, its (unfortunately, imo) likely to be some combo of Gagner, Hemsky, Jones, Harski, MPS, VVD, Tuebert, Marincin, Musil.

    Of those the only ones I’d be neutral or pro trading are VVD and Tuebert. The rest either have enough potential to fill a need on the Oilers, or already do, and thus its asinine to trade them without good cause.

  25. hags9k says:

    No disrespect LT, I like your lineup for the most part, but I’ll come unglued if they put Yak with Horc and have Hartikainen in the top 6 instead. For me that’s Reasoner/Peterson on the PP again. Ralph, buddy, life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.

  26. Bar_Qu says:

    Bad news, Tom Awad of the Vukota system, is picking the Oil to end up 23rd. I am inclined to think we are too optimistic about our forwards compensating for the defense.

    Vukota here

  27. Marc says:

    Apparently the Canucks are thinking about inviting Cam Barker to their camp

    http://canucksarmy.com/2013/1/7/a-cam-barking-mad-roster-move

    Please let this happen
    Please let this happen
    Please let this happen

  28. Kris11 says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Bar Qu,

    I’d say the hope is that the young D: Smid, Petry, and J. Schultz turn out to be really excellent this year, better than league average top 3 (and that Whitney can be a good third pairing guy), and healthy. That is unlikely, but not outside the boundaries of reason. That is why I say there is a one chance in three of making the playoffs (especially in a short season with small sample sizes). The other Schultz is a good top4-third pairing tweener.

    I’d have thought an RE would be 20th overall with a reasonable chance at anything from 13th to 27th. (Remember, in a shortened season, deviations from RE are more likely to be more varied than in a longer season.)

  29. jonrmcleod says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Well, Tyler D. seems to be giving the Oilers a shot at making the playoffs.

  30. Bar_Qu says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Bar_Qu,

    Well, Tyler D. seems to be giving the Oilers a shot at making the playoffs.

    But Dellow is always such an optimist that we need to exclude him prima facie. ;-)

    I would simply find it funny to have the Oil finish 17th overall, fire Tambo for the finish and then draw the first lotto ball in the revamped system. Simply to see heads explode in frustration.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Bad news, Tom Awad of the Vukota system, is picking the Oil to end up 23rd. I am inclined to think we are too optimistic about our forwards compensating for the defense.

    Vukota here

    Lots of teams right together in that 30, in fact they all look tied for about 3rd.

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    They did fudge it a bit by including so many ties.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu:
    They did fudge it a bit by including so many ties.

    I don’t really see how we can conclude anything from those. Honestly.

    Jon: reCornet: I think Cornet would be considered the better option, no? Byers hasn’t shown a lot of skill imo and Hamilton should earn the push (and will play more so the opportunity is there). Cornet scored 20+ and was an All-Star in this league a year ago, that’s a better resume than Byers or Hamilton imo.

  34. Matt.N says:

    Anyone heard if Nail is on the plane? His twitter feed is all russian.

  35. jp says:

    Lowetide: I don’t really see how we can conclude anything from those. Honestly.

    Jon: reCornet: I think Cornet would be considered the better option, no? Byers hasn’t shown a lot of skill imo and Hamilton should earn the push (and will play more so the opportunity is there). Cornet scored 20+ and was an All-Star in this league a year ago, that’s a better resume than Byers or Hamilton imo.

    I agree Byers hasn’t looked like a guy who can score this season, but he does have a solid track record through his AHL career:
    06-07 78 17 30 47
    07-08 73 23 23 46
    08-09 9 4 3 7 (injured)
    09-10 74 25 26 51
    10-11 85 15 31 46 (got extra games due to trade)
    11-12 61 16 23 39

    Compare to Cornet last year:
    11-12 67 24 13 37

    There’s not a big difference in peak performance, Byers has a longer track record, and Cornet looked worse than Byers in his 8 0 0 0 stint with the Barons earlier this season. That said, it’s hard to envision the Byers we’ve seen this season putting up 45-50 points. Not sure how they’ll use either guy, but I think there’s at least hope that Byers might be an offensive contributor for the rest of the Barons season.

  36. dessert1111 says:

    LMHF#1:

    Anyway, steal Arnott before the Canucks get him, then grab Lubomir and play him 20/night when Hemsky’s on the ice. Short season, big chance to get success early and change things before these guys get really sick of coming to the rink to get beat.

    Arnott would obviously only be a stop-gap, but if the choice is Arnott or Petrell well I would choose Arnott.

  37. raventalon40 says:

    There’s guys low on other team’s depth charts as #7′s and #8′s who could easily play #5 or #6 roles on our team.

    Guys like Steve Montador in Chicago, Aaron Johnson in Boston, and Toni Lydman in Anaheim. I think these guys can be had for a very low price (Montador was worth a 7th round pick at the deadline) and at their age and experience would actually make a great third pair with Whitney until we knew whether his health would hold up, with the ability to pair with and tutor a younger Teubert or Peckham if injuries occur down the line.

  38. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide,

    Cornet also had a 31% shooting percentage through January last year, when he scored 21 of those goals and got the all-star nod. He had four the rest of the way.

  39. Jonathan Willis says:

    Zipdot,

    This year or last year?

    Because he was awful this year. I’d have to go back and look, but I don’t remember him having even one good game for the Barons in his 2012-13 recall.

  40. rich says:

    Don’t know that I would want Arnott around at this time, won’t use his size and doesn’t provide much energy in a bottom 6 role. We’ve got Symtty for the “great in the room” role.

    I do wonder if Lubo would come back though. What’s the harm in trading a 3rd or 4th to NYI for the rights to him for the balance of the year? Maybe it’s not worth that much and we could send a lower pick, but it might be worth it to shore up our defense for the balance of the year.

  41. Gerta Rauss says:

    rich,

    Lubo’s agent was quoted as saying it wasn’t an Islander thing, and that his decision would be the same for any NHL team-he wants to stay in Slovakia. Maybe he was just being polite and not burn any bridges, but I doubt we see him in the NHL this season.

  42. jp says:

    rich:
    Don’t know that I would want Arnott around at this time, won’t use his size and doesn’t provide much energy in a bottom 6 role.We’ve got Symtty for the “great in the room” role.

    I do wonder if Lubo would come back though.What’s the harm in trading a 3rd or 4th to NYI for the rights to him for the balance of the year?Maybe it’s not worth that much and we could send a lower pick, but it might be worth it to shore up our defense for the balance of the year.

    Arnott’s not perfect, but as Dessert said, he’d be a stopgap, and he’d be better than Petrell among others.

    Lubo would for sure be worth a 3rd or lower pick, even if it’s just for this year. Just a question of whether he’d come back to play – doesn’t sound likely.

  43. rich says:

    jp: Arnott’s not perfect, but as Dessert said, he’d be a stopgap, and he’d be better than Petrell among others

    One thing about Petrell is he can kill a penalty. At this point in his career, I’m really not sure what Arnott brings as a stopgap.

    Not saying that in and of itself is enough – I’d like more than that. But a few years ago, we got rid of all our forwards who were good at doing the PK and the Oil sank like a stone in that category.

    I do think that we need some vets in the lineup. Bu let’s get a vet who brings something when he’s on the ice. The last couple years he was in Nashville, Arnott wouldn’t go into corners and would only go to the front of the net on a PP. Same last year in St. Louis. We already have Ryan Smyth for that role.

  44. Marc says:

    DGB on lesser known elements of the CBA:

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/01/08/down-goes-brown-revealing-the-secrets-of-the-cbas-paperwork/

    My personal favourite:

    One page of the document includes a note in what appears to be Gary Bettman’s hand-writing that reads: “I have discovered a truly marvelous way to ensure the viability of the Phoenix Coyotes, which this margin is too narrow to contain.”

  45. EricRodgers_AHLBarons says:

    I’m going to completely throw a wrench in the lines up above (I’m late replying, I know), but Pelss is available this weekend from his suspension

  46. jp says:

    rich: One thing about Petrell is he can kill a penalty.At this point in his career, I’m really not sure what Arnott brings as a stopgap.

    Not saying that in and of itself is enough – I’d like more than that.But a few years ago, we got rid of all our forwards who were good at doing the PK and the Oil sank like a stone in that category.

    I do think that we need some vets in the lineup.Bu let’s get a vet who brings something when he’s on the ice.The last couple years he was in Nashville, Arnott wouldn’t go into corners and would only go to the front of the net on a PP.Same last year in St. Louis.We already have Ryan Smyth for that role.

    Fair point about the PK, but Arnott is clearly a better even strength/PP player than Petrell. I’m not saying the Oilers should necessarily target Arnott, but an effective Arnott for Petrell trade would definitely improve the team imo. You’re right that he’s not ideal, but at least in terms of UFAs there’s not a lot available.

  47. RickDeckard says:

    Marc,

    That’s a pretty difficult reference. I wonder how many people got that on the first take.

  48. jp says:

    Matt.N:
    Anyone heard if Nail is on the plane? His twitter feed is all russian.

    Not sure if he’s on a plane, but David Pagnotta says he’s coming: https://twitter.com/TheFourthPeriod/statuses/288382765899063296 (no idea if he’s a reliable source or not though)

    And if his trip is anything like RNH’s it might take some time: http://www.inews880.com/Channels/Reg/LocalSports/Story.aspx?ID=1857501

  49. Lowetide says:

    EricRodgers_AHLBarons:
    I’m going to completely throw a wrench in the lines up above (I’m late replying, I know), but Pelss is available this weekend from his suspension

    Pelss is a guy I think might push his way onto the roster in a big way. The Oilers love him.

  50. "Steve Smith" says:

    RickDeckard,

    I’d appreciate having it explained. I read DGB all the time, and I usually miss an average of a joke and a half per post.

  51. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    RickDeckard,

    I’d appreciate having it explained.I read DGB all the time, and I usually miss an average of a joke and a half per post.

    And you want to be my latex salesman.

  52. Marc says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    RickDeckard,

    I’d appreciate having it explained.I read DGB all the time, and I usually miss an average of a joke and a half per post.

    It’s a reference to Fermat’s Last Theorum. Fermat wrote in the margin of his copy of Diophantus’ Arithmetica ‘it is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second, into two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.’

    Mathmeticians tried and failed for centuries to come up with the proof, so many concluded that Fermat was just messing with them and hadn’t actually proved the theorum.

    There’s a great book by Simon Singh about how the theorum was actually proved by Andrew Wiles.

  53. dessert1111 says:

    jp: Fair point about the PK, but Arnott is clearly a better even strength/PP player than Petrell. I’m not saying the Oilers should necessarily target Arnott, but an effective Arnott for Petrell trade would definitely improve the team imo. You’re right that he’s not ideal, but at least in terms of UFAs there’s not a lot available.

    I’m also not a big fan of having a player on the roster who plays effectively in the third PK unit and is poor at even strength, the few minutes he plays. If the only contribution someone makes to the lineup is 2 minutes of PK a night and hurts the team otherwise, I think there must be better players attainable.

    With Petrell, it was his first year in North America last year so I’m going to assume that if he is being given a job this year that it’s because he has a real shot at improving his play from last year. Not only that, but many of the young guys have gone on record several times saying they want to PK more on the Oilers; for example, Hall did it in Junior effectively, Eberle wants to try, and although not perfect MPS had some great moments on the PK in OKC. This could/should be the year to introduce those guys on the third unit PK to help develop their overall game so in 2-3 years they are totally complete players.

    The only way Petrell in my opinion should be on the team is (A) if he has legitimately improved or (B) the Oilers want the option of tanking the season if things don’t start out right. I don’t want to see the Oilers lose but if there is one year to finish low it’s this one imo, short season and great draft to find 1 or 2 of the missing pieces to the team.

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