IRREPLACEABLE YOU

In the moments after Peca-Pisani scored the most thrilling shorthanded goal in the game’s history, Edmonton Oilers fans knew they were watching something special. The 2006 spring edition of their hockey club had some real chem and many outstanding players. Fast forward almost 7 years and it’s been a lot of weird summer’s followed by dead winters. Highlights include the draft lottery and each season’s entry draft, beyond that watching the kids grow up and waiting to shiv the Flames/Stars/Canucks has been the sport ’round here.

The perception I have of this team at this time is that the Jacks and Kings are here and the club needs to find the right 6′s and 7′s and 9′s. Ales Hemsky, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz are the Kings, with Sam Gagner, Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid and Devan Dubnyk representing the Jacks.

Add in the new Marty Reasoner, a second generation Pisani and a couple of Jason Smith’s and its almost Saturday Night. Right?

A few items came up in a Jason Gregor yesterday in an EJ article. The title “Edmonton must add quality role players to contend” is right in the wheelhouse for the conversation we’re having today, but some of Jason’s conclusions are outside the narrow view I’ve framed above. Jason writes:

  • The Oilers have to add some size, or at least some players who can be excellent complementary players with an edge, such as David Clarkson, Brad Marchand, Kyle Clifford, Dave Bolland or even a skilled pest like Alex Burrows.
  • Tambellini must start shaping this team for the future. He’ll likely have to make at least two extremely difficult decisions when he trades some of his skilled forwards for players with less flash, but who will be better pieces to what the Oilers hope becomes a championship puzzle.

The overall thrust of Jason’s article agrees with what I’ve presented, but the specifics are interesting. Do the Oilers need to add players with an “edge” and “size” and do they have to trade Sam Gagner or Ales Hemsky to make it happen? It’s an interesting question. We agree that there’s work to do, but Jason feels a very specific item is missing, where I’d suggest the Oilers just need more actual NHL players (whether they wait for their group to mature or airlift them in is another matter). Are the Oilers one or two Raffi Torres’ away? Or would they be better served by adding a Pisani? What about a Peca?

My feeling is that the Oilers need to improve their overall depth, the bottom 6F’s and the overall quality of the defense. How does the future of this team compare to the best Oiler team in recent history?

THROUGH THE PAST, DARKLY

pisani1

FORWARDS

  • Line 1: 2006- Horcoff (22-51-73); Smyth (36-30-66); Hemsky (19-58-77). This was an outstanding line, and they continued their exceptional work through the playoffs, combining to score 20 goals in the 24 post-season contests. The line was skilled, but they were also a ‘bust your ass’ line, and Smyth was a gritty bugger at that age. Horcoff could stand in there too, and Hemsky remained strong despite all kinds of abuse. I do not count any of the three as a “Torres” however.
  • Line 1: 2013- RNH (1-6-7); Hall (3-12-15); Eberle (5-6-11). These guys are really starting to boot stomp the good opposition, not just the sisters of the poor. Man. I don’t want to get ahead of the script here but if this team were to make a post-season I truly believe the opposition coach would lose sleep over them. They are magical with their ‘dog chasing its tail’ passing routine and get chances galore. I’ve watched this team since Jim Harrison, don’t recall such a young trio doing this since the golden era. As with the 2006 1line, I don’t count a Torres in the trio, but Hall has a mean streak and Nuge has a dogged determination.

 

  • Line 2: 2006- Jarret Stoll (22-46-68); Sergei Samsonov (23-30-53); Radek Dvorak (8-20-28). Lots of good things here. Stoll was a solid faceoff man who also had a big shot so could help on the PP. Samsonov scored some wild and weird goals for the Oilers but they counted them all, and Dvorak was probably my favorite player on the line. He was a 2-way type–a Pisani–on a skill line. This was once again a veteran group who gave the team offense without leaving too much on the table for the next swinging Dick with a pool cue.
  • Line 2: 2013- Sam Gagner (4-11-15); Nail Yakupov (5-4-9); Ales Hemsky (7-3-10). This line–like the current 1line–are a better skill group than the 2006 edition. I like all three as offensive players better than the 2006 group, but their soft underbelly is the chores on defense. That’s a concern now, but should be cleaned up with Yakupov’s maturity and Gagner’s growth as a player. This is a classic argument. In baseball terms, do you want the guy with hair on his ass who can hit 30 dingers but make more errors than league average, or do you go with the 15-homer guy whose nickname is “scoop” for the leather? Stoll’s faceoff ability and PP shot against Gagner’s splendid passing ability with the man advantage? I do not count a classic 2-way Dvorak player in this group, and that is one area that Jason was probably referncing in his article (along with faceoffs).

Halfway through the forwards, and I’m not seeing a need for ‘edge’ but can see that experience, a 2-way player to re-set and play safety and some faceoff ability are missing from the current group. We’ve talked about faceoffs being overrated recently, so will give points only for a 2-way winger and experience in this area. 2 points Jason, but I get them too, as actual NHL players are exactly what we’re talking about here.

  • Line 3: 2006- Peca (9-14-23); Torres (27-14-41); Pisani (18-19-37). This was the key line during the 2006 spring run, as Fernando found his inner Lafleur and Peca was just lights out defensively (he became known as “beer trip” that spring because you could go for a whiz or a beer without fear of a GA). Torres too, with his predatory hits and timely goals was a big part of the run. He was a baby then. This is where the ‘edge’ or ‘grit’ arrived in the 2006 lineup, Torres was scary that spring and I do believe his hit against Michalek changed the San Jose series.
  • Line 3: 2013- Horcoff (1-1-2); Smyth (1-3-4); Hartikainen (0-2-2). Horcoff (now 34) and Smyth (soon 37) are on the back 9 and that’s for sure. However, despite wear you can see this season their value on the Oilers–Horcoff haters are having a helluva time finding the storyline, and Smyth, while flawed, is still a solid contributor and an absolute dream as a mentor (despite the recent rash of penalties). Hartikainen offers the team some of that ‘edge’ we’re talking about, and he has enough skill to at least get his 500 at-bats at the NHL level to see how things roll.

The points Gregor made in his article are obvious here: Torres was a better mousetrap than Hartikainen and Smyth 2013 is not Pisani when channeling Lafleur. I’d take Peca over this Horcoff too, but there’s nothing wrong with this Horcoff except age and wear. One quick note: I don’t think anyone can play the game Torres did in 2006 without suspension, so we have to temper our definition of grit or edge.

  • Line 4: 2006- Rem Murray (1-1-2); Ethan Moreau (11-16-27);  Georges Laraque (2-10-12); Brad Winchester (0-1-1);  Todd Harvey (5-2-7); Toby Petersen (0-0-0). Pouliot got the kissing disease so the club had to sign Murray and to my eye he wasn’t helping. Moreau was still a solid, gritty player and he did play up in the order many times. Laraque didn’t play as much in the post-season (beginning of the end for him) and Winchester played sparingly but scored the big goal in Detroit. Harvey isn’t my favorite player-type, suspect he must phave had some value and Petersen was an emergency recall during the long trip to summer. Sometimes I think this club would have won the Stanley if they’d kept Reasoner, and that’s the God’s honest truth. Sigh. There is a lot of truculence here, from Moreau and Winchester to the fighter Laraque. Much more than the current group.
  • Line 4: 2013- Belanger (0-1-1); Jones (DNP); Petrell (0-1-1); Paajarvi (2-0-2); Lander (0-1-1); Eager (0-0-0); Hordichuk (0-0-0); Arcobello (0-0-0); VandeVelde (0-0-0). Belanger has been solid to good this year, this is the guy we thought he was after the free agent signing. Petrell doesn’t reach Moreau’s level, but he is a good penalty killer; he doesn’t bring enough outside the special team skill to be considered a plus player. Jones would be a decent match for Moreau, but Ethan rifles was a much better actual player in 2006. Paajarvi is imo better than the prospects from 2006, but really needs to step up and grab the opportunity that is currently available. Eager shows Moreau flashes but maddeningly does the strangest damn things.

It’s funny, I find myself thinking “well, he was a MacT type” during this little exercise and we have to remember that the key was don’t give up anything–especially for the 4line. That DQ’s Eager and Hordichuk  imo, with VandeVelde being a current example of a player EDM employs because he comes with a ‘low event’ rep. There’s more promise on the current 4line, I’ll say that much.

pronger1

 THE BLUE

  • Pairing 1: 2006- Chris Pronger (12-44-56); Jason Smith (4-13-17). Chris Pronger 2006 is the best defenseman to play in the uniform in the team’s history. Full stop. Smith was pretty damn good too, reliable and able to handle the physical game. Chris Pronger blocked out the sun, chance wise. Pronger was furious and mean. He was a prick. I don’t know that the Oilers will ever have one like him again, and don’t think we should worry about replacing him since its a lost cause.
  • Pairing 1: 2013: Smid (0-2-2); Petry (0-0-0). This pairing has been disconnected recently, but for our purposes let’s go ahead and discuss them as the top pairing. I don’t think they are a de facto #1 group, but they certainly managed well last season when placed together and I do believe they’ll get it together this season. They are young enough to have a nice run as a top 4 pairing, but they are not mean.

You might feel this is an unfair comparison, but remember what we’re doing: the idea is that the Oilers are set at the top positions and that the bottom 6F and depth defensemen are the problem. The 2006 Oilers are screaming at us: improve your top pairing! And they’re right.

  • Pairing 2: 2006- Jaro Spacek (12-31-43); Steve Staios (8-20-28). Spacek was an inspired acquisition (why they let him walk knowing Pronger was out the door is beyond me) and Staios had a really nice spring–including some impressive PP time iirc. The depth displayed on that 2006 spring team is a lesson for the ages. If you’re wondering about anyone in your top 4D you don’t have the depth. You’re screwed.
  • Pairing 2: 2013- Schultz the elder (0-1-1); Schultz the younger (4-3-7). Schultz the younger may be an impact player and that changes the conversation. As it stands today, he is an outstanding rookie and we’ll see about how high he climbs. Schultz the elder is a serviceable veteran perhaps best suited to a third pairing tandem on a good, playoff team.

I think the Oilers might be looking to improve their 4-6D depth, but they might want to aim higher based on the makeup of the SCF 06 team.

  • Pairing 3: 2006- Marc Andre Bergeron (15-20-35); Dick Tarnstrom (6-8-14); Matt Greene (0-2-2). This is the soft underbelly of the 2006 team, this is where it was lost. I don’t think there’s an argument against that statement. Bergeron was a pure chaos blue, and Greene was green as green can be, with Tarnstrom just good enough to get into trouble if used too much. The Oilers made some grand moves at the 2006 deadline, but dealing Greene for a veteran would have been a very nice addition. Double sigh.
  • Pairing 3: 2013- Whitney (0-3-3); Fistric (0-2-2); Potter (0-0-0). Whitney’s injury makes the situation more difficult to assess, but I think the current bottom pairing is solid in terms of experience and range of skills, but wanting in actual ability. Is Potter more chaos than Bergeron in 2006 spring? Is Whitney more wonky than Tarnstrom?

I would take this year’s group on the third pairing, and the addition of Fistric means more truculence. But does it give them team an actual NHL player, the item I’ve suggested? We’ll have to see him over a season or more.

roloson

GOAL

  • 2006: Dwayne Roloson (43, 2.73 .908); Jussi Markkanen (37, 3.13 .880); Ty Conklin (18, 2.80, .880). Man. Roloson was such a key in getting into the playoffs and then winning series in Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim. I’ll go to my grave thinking good thoughts about Dwayne Roloson.
  • 2013: Devan Dubnyk (13, 2.76 .918); Nikolai Khabibulin (2, 1.84 .936); Yann Danis (1, 0.00 1). I’m onside with Dubnyk as the starter and the other two have been outstanding, so goaltending isn’t a concern for me with the club currently. Dubnyk has earned the job and is playing well in the role.

I think goaltending is solid on both teams, after the 2006 deadline. Previous to that it was crazy how many points were left on the table and Roloson was a Godsend that deadline. Which group would I favor? Well, one of them got the Oilers to G7 SCF so we’ll take that one until further notice.

SUMMARY

Quoting Jason Gregor in his article: General manager Steve Tambellini has to find the right pieces to surround his five young stars. The current Oilers roster has loads of talent and potential, but the harsh reality is Tambellini needs to incorporate some diversity into the top three lines.

I can agree with Jason on this point, but would add to it. The Oilers are making bets on guys like Lennart Petrell, Corey Potter, Darcy Hordichuk and Ben Eager. These are either expansion team calibre options or a little better. They need to aim higher. Previous to this, the reasons were things like rebuild and that free agents wouldn’t come here without an overpay.

I would suggest this: add all the truculence and size and grit and mean spiritedness you want, but for the love of God make sure they’re actual NHL players.

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104 Responses to "IRREPLACEABLE YOU"

  1. OilClog says:

    I like Samwise, but he goes everyday of the week before the mighty Hemmer is moved.

    MPS keeps playing his ass off, paying dividends and still getting taken out back.. It’s baffling.. unless they’re doing it for contract leverage for the long term of things. They can’t be that blind.

    Finding another Jaro and Eliminating Whitney from the D corps would give the team a whole different look on the back end of things.

    Grabbing a Jones off waivers the other day makes all the sense in the world.. For when the trades come and we move more pieces for a single return we need a few plugs for the bottom end, would of made a world of sense.

    And could we get Schultz out of washington.. Just for shits and giggles?

  2. leadfarmer says:

    I think you got the wrong smith, I dont think Steve made his way here.

  3. Lowetide says:

    lol. I went from memory and had Steve Staios with Pronger, but he played more with Smith after the trade deadline (or at least he did based on the boxscores I checked).

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Pronger is the difference between these two teams. One great defenseman is all a team needs to be ok. 30 minutes of stability provided on defense and transition game. Look at Nashville right now they have a great goalie and great defenseman and a patched up team of forwards and they are surviving.

  5. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Pronger is the difference between these two teams.One great defenseman is all a team needs to beok.30 minutes of stability provided on defense and transition game. Look at Nashville right now they have a great goalie and great defenseman and a patched up team of forwards and they are surviving.

    Well, they also had Spacek, J Smith and Staios. That’s an amazing top 4D. But I agree Pronger was the MVP.

  6. leadfarmer says:

    My point is everyone seems to complaining about the bottom 6 and trying to get another 3rd pairing defenseman. What this team needs is a number 1 defenseman that eats almost 30 minutes a night. This will push everyone down the depth chart. You will notice the rest of the team transitions better with better passing from the D which keeps the other team from being too aggressive. 4th line does not make a stanley cup champion. Depth within the organization does.

  7. 48 percent body fat says:

    If it comes to moving Sam or Ales, I agree Ales is more dominating, but we have much more depth at RW, Sam seems to be better with the young group, he is also aged in the young group and is just finding his own. How often do you get at 23 year old with 400 games played. I want to keep them both.

    Also take a look at stats. Pretty sure if Sam goes ppg this year that puts him on pace with the sisters. It was the sisters 5th nhl year (6th pro), and Sams 6th pro year (but one year younger).

  8. Hayek says:

    The only thing I would add is not to panic. This team is not ready for a cup run yet, so making short term moves at the expense of the future will have long term consequences. Giving up a 3rd rounder for a 3rd pairing defenceman was a huge mistake (especially since he is UFA at the end of the season).

    Oilers are not a legimate contender this season, and possibly not the next. This is the time management should be looking for pieces that can help the team 2-3 years down the road. Whether is is acquiring more picks, or young players/prospects, now is the time to do it if we are serious about competing 2 years from now.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t plug holes now, but not at the expense of the future. Use the waiver wire, trade depreciating assets such as Whitney, and get a return before he is UFA. If we are serious about winning a cup, or being a championship team, there needs to be extreme restraint now from making foolish moves. Since Tambellini may be on thin ice if the team misses the playoffs, he is at risk for hurting this team’s future 2 years from now and beyond.

  9. bookje says:

    Paul coffee was a pretty good D-man and I think it’s debatable that Pronger was better. Certainly he had a wider skill set , but Coffee got over 1500 points in his career.

    Which Smith was anywhere as good as these two ? Jason Smith??? Seriously? He was a tough defenseman and played with tremendous heart, but top calibre, not really.

    Danis stopped all of his shots in his one game, but has been very sub-par in the AHL. There needs to be an upgrade in that position, never mind the backup position for next year.

  10. Melman says:

    LT I’ve always been convinced that they were certain Spacek would resign and that belief played a big part in them not getting an actual NHL defenseman as part of the return for Pronger (who got totally stiffed by not winning the Conn Smyth – One of the most dominant playoff performances ever. Period.) Maddeningly, the D has been lacking ever since.

    Spacek said he wanted to go back to the East: who really knows, but i don’t think it was a question of $

  11. Roughneck says:

    Is Seth jones at 19 a real nhler?

    The flames need a bit of everything including a goalie. Would they give
    up Michael ferland? He intrigues me. Tough , large, mean and scores some.
    Maybe they will waive him lol. (Kidding) he’s playing in stoon for Lorne Molleken.

  12. striatic says:

    48 percent body fat: What this team needs is a number 1 defenseman that eats almost 30 minutes a night.

    who?

    for what?

    these guys don’t grow on trees.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    LT I’ve always been convinced that they were certain Spacek would resign and that belief played a big part in them not getting an actual NHL defenseman as part of the return for Pronger (who got totally stiffed by not winning the Conn Smyth – One of the most dominant playoff performances ever. Period.)Maddeningly, the D has been lacking ever since.

    Spacek said he wanted to go back to the East: who really knows, but i don’t think it was a question of $

    It makes sense. The Oilers turned an enormous portion of their blueline over that summer and then replaced it with kids. Kids and Tjarnqvist. And it was so buggered up MacT missed a perfectly good hockey player in Hedja.

  14. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    Paul coffee was a pretty good D-man and I think it’s debatable that Pronger was better.Certainly he had a wider skill set ,but Coffee got over 1500 points in his career.

    Which Smith was anywhere as good as these two ?Jason Smith??? Seriously?He was a tough defenseman and played with tremendous heart, but top calibre, not really.

    Danis stopped all of his shots in his one game, but has been very sub-par in the AHL.There needs to be an upgrade in that position, never mind the backup position for next year.

    Coffey was outstanding, loved watching him play. Pronger was a better defenseman. As for Jason Smith, I don’t know anyone who would put him at the top of the Oilers D list, but I’d put him somewhere in the top 20. jmo.

  15. striatic says:

    “Eats almost 30 minutes a night”

    there are only 18 D that play more than 25. many of them are minus players.

    pick one and tell me how we get him.

    Name Team Pos GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW OT S S% TOI/G Sft/G FO%

    1 Jack Johnson CBJ D 15 1 6 7 -8 6 1 0 0 0 36 2.8 27:35 27.5 0.0
    2 Ryan Suter MIN D 15 0 8 8 -5 8 0 0 0 0 25 0.0 27:24 32.3 0.0
    3 Drew Doughty LAK D 13 0 6 6 -11 12 0 0 0 0 27 0.0 27:11 33.5 0.0
    4 Erik Karlsson OTT D 14 6 4 10 +6 8 2 1 2 0 63 9.5 27:03 28.5 0.0
    5 Dion Phaneuf TOR D 15 2 4 6 -5 22 1 0 0 0 30 6.7 26:51 33.1 0.0
    6 Shea Weber NSH D 15 1 2 3 +0 13 0 0 0 0 38 2.6 26:34 30.1 0.0
    7 Mike Green WSH D 14 2 5 7 +3 6 0 0 0 0 33 6.1 26:33 27.1 0.0
    8 Dustin Byfuglien WPG D 9 3 4 7 +0 6 3 0 0 0 30 10.0 26:16 28.1 0.0
    9 Alex Pietrangelo STL D 15 3 9 12 -2 6 2 0 0 0 27 11.1 25:56 32.7 0.0
    10 Brian Campbell FLA D 14 4 4 8 -8 6 4 0 2 0 23 17.4 25:44 28.7 0.0
    11 Mark Streit NYI D 15 3 4 7 -9 6 2 0 0 0 25 12.0 25:39 28.3 0.0
    12 Paul Martin PIT D 16 2 7 9 -2 8 1 0 1 0 14 14.3 25:37 26.9 0.0
    13 Kris Letang PIT D 13 3 8 11 +5 2 0 0 0 0 33 9.1 25:37 26.4 0.0
    14 Jay Bouwmeester CGY D 13 3 4 7 -1 10 0 0 0 0 26 11.5 25:26 29.9 0.0
    15 Andrew MacDonald NYI D 15 0 1 1 -9 4 0 0 0 0 15 0.0 25:19 29.0 0.0
    16 Zdeno Chara BOS D 13 2 4 6 +3 14 1 0 1 0 31 6.5 25:15 29.8 0.0
    17 Dennis Wideman CGY D 13 3 7 10 +0 4 2 0 0 0 36 8.3 25:07 29.2 0.0
    18 Oliver Ekman-Larsson PHX D 15 3 5 8 +1 12 0 0 1 0 34 8.8 25:03 29.7 0.0

  16. Melman says:

    Hayek,

    I disagree about the Fistric pick-up. At some point you have to give something to get something and with the D prospects currently in the system, giving up a 3rd rounder for a former 1st rounder with 250+ games is a good move. The alternative is to wait forever and hope a guy on the scrap heap floats by, folks are already screaming that ST doesn’t make enough trades as is.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Hartikainen: “Everything looks OK. It feels good. I can shoot, I can pass and I don’t feel anything on the ice. I think I’m good to go, but we’ll see tomorrow.”


    “We’re still a few games away,” said Jones. “I’ve got to be 100 percent before I’m going to be out there. It’s a fast-paced game and with his injury, I don’t want to be a step behind. Progress has been going good. It’s about what we’ve been expecting all along, and maybe a bit sooner than what we were expecting originally.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=656222

  18. Melman says:

    striatic,

    MPS, Omark and Teddy Peachman for Pietrangelo!!!

  19. striatic says:

    Melman: MPS, Omark and Teddy Peachman for Pietrangelo!!!

    ha.

    ha ha ha.

    ha ha.

    ha.

    *shoots self in face*

  20. 48 percent body fat says:

    striatic,

    I didnt make that statement, however I do agree that we need one. Where you find one is another question. Sam or Ales wont fetch you one either. And if Sam is moved we have no one to replace him.

    You make a trade that fills a hole but leaves another. Sorry If you make a trade for a number one dman you have to move one of the RW’s.

    In the oilers organization we have the following capable top 6 right now. LW x 1, C x 2, RW x 3. Your trade from an area of depth not create another hole.

  21. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Thanks for this post LT. 2006 spring was my first time following the NHL and the Oilers. Totally random for a then-18 year old Brit to start following ice hockey, but i did, and out of pure luck decided to follow a team that scraped into the playoffs and reach game 7 of the finals. Been a hockey nut ever since.

    Anyway, that 06 team was just beautiful. Brought a huge smile to my face just reading all the names. Also makes me mad when i read people say that they were one of the worst teams to make the finals. Screw that, all bias aside that was a stunningly well crafted team where everyone hit their peak at the right time. Fernando & Roli were my particular heroes, though Hemsky ultimately became my favourite Oiler.

    Man, i sound like a giddy school girl.

  22. striatic says:

    48 percent body fat: I didnt make that statement, however I do agree that we need one.

    i don’t know how you ended up misquoted there. sorry.

    so you need to move Hemsky +, which is something i agree with even though i think Hemsky is very valuable. issue is his contract, which only a playoff bound team would want and any playoff bound team isn’t going to be shedding at 25 minutes + defenseman.

    the other options are moving Eberle or Yakupov – two things that will never happen.

    i’ve maintained for a while that “The Plan” is to land local boys Phaneuf and/or Bouwmeester as UFAs in summer 2014 and build for a playoff run at that time and only at that time. i’m not sure how great a plan this is, but it feels like the the sort of thing Oilers management would concoct.

  23. tcho says:

    Why not try 91 with 89-83? He’s got the wheels, and maybe the fact that he cheats for defence helps that line.

  24. Captain Happy says:

    striatic:
    “Eats almost 30 minutes a night”

    there are only 18 D that play more than 25. many of them are minus players.

    pick one and tell me how we get him.

    Name Team PosGPGAP+/-PIMPPSHGWOTSS%TOI/GSft/GFO%

    1Jack JohnsonCBJ D15167-861000362.827:3527.50.0
    2Ryan SuterMIND15088-580000250.027:2432.30.0
    3Drew DoughtyLAK D13066-11120000270.027:1133.50.0
    4Erik KarlssonOTTD146410+682120639.527:0328.50.0
    5Dion PhaneufTOR D15246-5221000306.726:5133.10.0
    6Shea WeberNSH D15123+0130000382.626:3430.10.0
    7Mike GreenWSH D14257+360000336.126:3327.10.0
    8Dustin ByfuglienWPG D9347+0630003010.026:1628.10.0
    9Alex PietrangeloSTL D153912-2620002711.125:5632.70.0
    10Brian CampbellFLAD14448-8640202317.425:4428.70.0
    11Mark StreitNYID15347-9620002512.025:3928.30.0
    12Paul MartinPITD16279-2810101414.325:3726.90.0
    13Kris LetangPITD133811+520000339.125:3726.40.0
    14Jay BouwmeesterCGYD13347-11000002611.525:2629.90.0
    15Andrew MacDonaldNYID15011-940000150.025:1929.00.0
    16Zdeno CharaBOSD13246+3141010316.525:1529.80.0
    17Dennis WidemanCGYD133710+042000368.325:0729.20.0
    18Oliver Ekman-LarssonPHXD15358+1120010348.825:0329.70.0

    Interesting that 11 of the 18 defensemen you listed have already been traded at least once.

    How you “get them” is through competent management making shrewd trades.

    The real issue going forward is going to be the ability of Lowe to find a #1D (assuming Jr. develops into a #2) and fitting him under the cap.

    It appears all of Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, Yakupov, Gagner and Jr. will be commanding top dollar before the Oilers are ready to contend so either one or more of them moves along or the Oilers try and win with a sub par defensive corp.

    Other than the Carolina Cinderellas, teams that win the cup almost with exception feature a true #1D.

  25. striatic says:

    tcho: Why not try 91 with 89-83? He’s got the wheels, and maybe the fact that he cheats for defence helps that line.

    with any previous year’s Hemsky i’d say no, but with this year’s repaired shoulder shoot from the hip Hemsky i think it makes a lot of sense.

  26. Numenius says:

    In my view, it would be ideal to get Jaromir Jagr or someone like him to provide size, grit, maturity, smarts, and class to mentor the kids. He’s a solid veteran who commands serious respect and who could help the kids develop the right sort of mature winning attitude. Smyth, Horcoff, and Belanger are ok, but they don’t (cough, cough) command enough respect. Isn’t Jagr’s contract over at the end of the year? He’s said he’d be interested in playing in Canada.

  27. Lowetide says:

    tcho:
    Why not try 91 with 89-83? He’s got the wheels, and maybe the fact that he cheats for defence helps that line.

    The worry for me would be puck retrieval. Once they had the thing it’s lights out, but getting it could prove difficult. I suspect we’ll see Hartikainen tomorrow, but if not we might get a look at that combination against LAK.

  28. DBO says:

    MPS on a line with Gagner and Hemsky at practise today, with Yak saddled with Smyth and Belanger. Yak will get his PP chances, and Magnus gets a chance to be the second lines Dvorak. I think that is the most we can expect and hope for. I agree with LT in that sometimes you need that two way guy, and MPS has a chance to be a Dvorak/Pisani type of player. Whether it is 2nd or 3rd line, he is improving and I am hoping Ralph runs with those lines for a few games, then add Jones to the 4th and you suddenly have some actual NHL players in the lineup, not to mention Horc returning. if our bottom 6 looks like this then we have a playoff shot I think:

    Smyth-Horc-Yak
    Harsky-Belanger-Jones

  29. carefreephil says:

    I don’t think we need to hold the 2006 team as the gold standard for where this team should be. They caught lightning in a bottle at the end of the season and barely squeezed in. They had a +4 goal differential and there was talk at the beginning of that season if peca and pronger had lost their previous forms. I hope that all of this pain delivers a team that is more dominant and consistent then the 2006 edition.

  30. dwillms says:

    leadfarmer:
    What this team needs is a number 1 defenseman that eats almost 30 minutes a night.

    Right now, the only d-men off the top of my head in the league that would even be in the same conversation as 2006 Pronger would be Chara, Weber, Suter & Karlsson. Guys with the chance to move up to that level in 2-3 years being Pietrangelo, Ekman-Larsson & Hedman.

    All of them would be untouchable, leaving 23 other teams looking for the same thing. From the small sample we’ve seen so far, I believe J. Schultz gives us as good a chance of any team to become that player.

    Three player-types I’d throw out there as modern replacements for the 06 guys(not saying we would be able to acquire these specific guys, just as examples):

    Ryane Clowe (06 Smyth)
    Kyle Brodziak (06 Peca)
    Andrej Sekera (06 Spacek)

  31. DBO says:

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    MPS_Gagner-hemsky
    Smyth-Horcoff-Yakupov
    Harsky-Belanger-Jones

    I can live with that lineup. “size” on each line (MPS is big just not physical), and you spot in Petrell or Eager if needed, but at this point they are not NHL level players so should only be subs if needed. Hope Tambo cleans some of the defensemen out and allows us to keep Harsky and MPS up with the big club. They are better then their replacements, and if it means losing Peckham to waivers then so be it,. We always seem to overvalue out own prospects. And at this point Peckham is not better then some of our AHL guys, so send him down or move him out. No dawdling dammit!

  32. Lowetide says:

    carefreephil:
    I don’t think we need to hold the 2006 team as the gold standard for where this team should be. They caught lightning in a bottle at the end of the season and barely squeezed in. They had a +4 goal differential and there was talk at the beginning of that season if peca and pronger had lost their previous forms. I hope that all of this pain delivers a team that is more dominant and consistent then the 2006 edition.

    All that team needed was a goalie. If they’d had Roloson from the start of the year things would have been a lot different. Seriously.

  33. Numenius says:

    Might as well throw out one more idea: Klefbom for Bouwmeester. (as long as Bouwmeester would be willing to re-sign after next year)

    Would Calgary do it? They need to rebuild; Klefbom is a heck of a prospect.

    Would Edmonton do it? It’s a risk, but Klefbom seems like an injury magnet. Best trade him now while his value is as high as it is.

  34. "Steve Smith" says:

    I think part of the question is when we’re looking to win. Because for my money, when healthy our bottom 6 is good enough right now, today (I’m counting our bottom six as Horcoff, Belanger, MPS, Smyth, Hartikainen, and Eager or Jones). If we’re looking to win this year, I don’t know that we need to upgrade the bottom six.

    But if we’re looking to win in a couple of years, we have to replace Smyth and – more difficult – at least one of Horcoff or Belanger, and very probably both. I don’t think Lander’s there in two years. I don’t think Vande Velde’s ever there.

    On the other hand, if we’re trying to win this year, our bottom six is good enough but our defence is woefully inadequate. Smid and Petry have been a little questionable this year, but I think they can fairly be called a good second pairing at worst. Justin Schultz is going to be fantastic, but the WOWY numbers from the last thread convince me that he’s not there yet. Nick Schultz is, as you said and as was obvious at the time the Wild traded him, a third pairing guy. Whitney, Potter, and probably Peckham don’t belong in the NHL. A Chris Pronger (circa 2006) at the top of the order would probably make the whole corps accurate, but I don’t see one of them coming.

    I assume that we’re not looking to win this year (if we are, we’re doing a piss-poor job of it), so I think we can let Justin Schultz grow into the role of our number one D, and hope that Smid and Petry stay on track to be two more parts of the top 4 (and that Smid is re-signed). Then we need one more top four guy, and a bottom pair – maybe Fistric’s half of that latter issue. Maybe Klefbom grows into one of those roles, but maybe he doesn’t.

    But if the aim is to win, say, two years from now, we need to figure out who’s going to replace Horcoff, Belanger, and Smyth, and we need to find at least one more top 4 NHL defenceman (even if it’s from within), and then a couple of bottom-pairing guys. But I’m right with you in that I don’t give a shit if they’re truculent.

  35. "Steve Smith" says:

    Also, and I’ve been wondering this for a while, what does “PRV” actually stand for? Is the pronunciation of the three letters just supposed to approximate the pronunciation of “Pajaarvi”, or does it actually stand for something? I’m afraid that I missed the memo on this one.

  36. Lowetide says:

    SS: I think it is as you expect, PRV being Paajarvi short hand for the modernists. I like the OKC broadcasts on radio because Doug Sauter calls him Pavarrrreee. Man. You can see it coming to…”and that was a nice backcheck there by………………………………………………………………………………………………………Panavareereee, Pavareee.”

  37. bookje says:

    Lowetide: Coffey was outstanding, loved watching him play. Pronger was a better defenseman. As for Jason Smith, I don’t know anyone who would put him at the top of the Oilers D list, but I’d put him somewhere in the top 20. jmo.

    I mis-read what you wrote – I thought you were suggesting Jason Smith was the second best Oiler D-man ever. You didn’t write that, I just read that – I haven’t been sleeping well with this tooth abscess.

  38. Lowetide says:

    bookje: I mis-read what you wrote – I thought you were suggesting Jason Smith was the second best Oiler D-man ever. You didn’t write that, I just read that – I haven’t been sleeping well with this tooth abscess.

    Tooth abscess? Oh, you mean Lee Fogolin. :-)

  39. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Also, and I’ve been wondering this for a while, what does “PRV” actually stand for?Is the pronunciation of the three letters just supposed to approximate the pronunciation of “Pajaarvi”, or does it actually stand for something?I’m afraid that I missed the memo on this one.

    I think its because Paajarvi? Pijarvi? Peeyarvee? Paajaaravi? Pääjärvi? or however it is spelled is just too damn hard for North American’s to remember – that many A’s confounded by the dots, further confounded by the y-sounding J just makes it impossible. Silly Europeans with their complex names and soft hockey.

    Anyway, somone figured out that P.R.V. sounds like Pääjärvi and the rest of us being too lazy to learn it or to look it up on Google have just adopted it because it’s easy and easy is good.

  40. striatic says:

    Numenius: Might as well throw out one more idea: Klefbom for Bouwmeester. (as long as Bouwmeester would be willing to re-sign after next year)
    Would Calgary do it? They need to rebuild; Klefbom is a heck of a prospect.
    Would Edmonton do it? It’s a risk, but Klefbom seems like an injury magnet. Best trade him now while his value is as high as it is.

    i guess the argument is that he will get you to the playoffs this year and next?

    seems better to make the trade next year at the deadline for “less than Klefbom”, or wait him out until he’s UFA.

    i think buying a playoff run this year would be a mistake that would lead to unnecessary payments like sending Klefbom away. this summer or next year’s trade deadline, sure.

    this year is bad timing.

  41. delooper says:

    My guess is management is unwilling to trade any of the kings and jacks. They’ll perhaps deal prospects and veterans in an attempt to pick up some budding solid d-men or centremen, and hope there’s another Justin Schultz type signing in the summer.

    That plan is subject to change if there’s heaps of injury problems by mid-way through the season but I suspect that’s the plan. Among the kings and jacks, there’s very few players you’d want to let go — like Yakupov, he’s someone that could be like what Taylor Hall is now in a couple years. Gagner they’d probably only be willing to let go of if they could more than fill the hole in centre some other way. Hemsky is one of the few top-flight veterans the Oilers have, it would be insanity to trade him now. Plus, he’s such a gem of a player.

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Harvey isn’t my favorite player-type, suspect he must phave had some value”

    Todd Harvey has infinite value. His name is Todd Harvey, which is inexplicably hilarious and lends itself to being cited in varied circumstances for no apparent reason.

    “Todd Harvey” is mythical… like Bob Sacamano

    Also, during the 06 run, Todd Harvey grew a moustache and wore a brown suit when scratched. He will always get praise from me for that.

    Lowetide,

    “They are young enough to have a nice run as a top 4 pairing, but they are not mean.”

    While not exactly “mean” in the 06 Torres sense… Smid, I think, comes pretty close to what being “mean” looks like in the new NHL. He blocks shots, throws hits and takes “instigating with a visor” penalties to defend his teammates.

  43. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide,

    It took me a while to get used to Sauter – he’s a little clunky for broadcast – but I have to admit that by the 10-game mark or so I was really warming to him. Definitely an old-school type, but a smart man. Coached Ralph Krueger in the WHL, too.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Harvey isn’t my favorite player-type, suspect he must phave had some value”

    Todd Harvey has infinite value. His name is Todd Harvey, which is inexplicably hilarious and lends itself to being cited in varied circumstances for no apparent reason.

    “Todd Harvey” is mythical… like Bob Sacamano

    Also, during the 06 run, Todd Harvey grew a moustache and wore a brown suit when scratched. He will always get praise from me for that.

    Lowetide,

    “They are young enough to have a nice run as a top 4 pairing, but they are not mean.”

    While not exactly “mean” in the 06 Torres sense… Smid, I think, comes pretty close to what being “mean” looks like in the new NHL. He blocks shots, throws hits and takes “instigating with a visor” penalties to defend his teammates.

    Raffi Torres would never have been caught off guard by assclown Avery and Torres would never had Avery feed him his chiclets.

  45. Henry says:

    If you don’t trade Gagner or Hemsky (you don’t) do you trade a first at this point to get over the hump? I really don’t know.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    Lowetide,

    It took me a while to get used to Sauter – he’s a little clunky for broadcast – but I have to admit that by the 10-game mark or so I was really warming to him. Definitely an old-school type, but a smart man. Coached Ralph Krueger in the WHL, too.

    Yeah, he’s a hoot love listening. Byers is outstanding btw. I don’t know why he’s in the AHL that guy should be celebrating his 20th year with an NHL team as their broadcaster.

  47. Numenius says:

    striatic: i guess the argument is that he will get you to the playoffs this year and next?

    seems better to make the trade next year at the deadline for “less than Klefbom”, or wait him out until he’s UFA.

    i think buying a playoff run this year would be a mistake that would lead to unnecessary payments like sending Klefbom away. this summer or next year’s trade deadline, sure.

    this year is bad timing.

    I’m happy not making the playoffs this year, the thought would be to make sure we get him and to provide some strong support and mentorship for the existing D. I’d think J. Schultz would get much less banged up and would learn a ton, for example, if he were playing with Bouwmeester. If there’s a good chance Calgary would trade him before the deadline next year or he’d even sign as UFA with us, though, I’d be happy with that too.

  48. Captain Obvious says:

    There aren’t enough words to proclaim how wrong and wrongheaded Gregor is about this. Diversity isn’t an end in and of itself. If the Oilers trade talent for grit they will lose 100% of the time. The Oilers need to get better they don’t need to get bigger or grittier. If they get better and bigger that’s fine but under no circumstances should they trade one r more of their good players for a 40 point a year big man (which is what Gregor wants)/

    In more important questions, did lowetide just make a pun quoting St. Paul?

  49. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed that Byers is exceptional. He’d be an above-average play-by-play guy in the NHL.

  50. leadfarmer says:

    striatic,

    Yakupov, Eberle, Hall. One of them will have to go in the long run.

  51. leadfarmer says:

    Before people kill me for saying that please note that I dont want them to go but some changes will need to be done cause:
    Big 3 at 18 mil
    Yak (6 mil) Gagner (4.5) Hemsky (5 mil) is 34 million total for top 6.

  52. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Before people kill me for saying that please note that I dont want them to go but some changes will need to be done cause:
    Big 3 at 18 mil
    Yak (6 mil) Gagner (4.5) Hemsky (5 mil) is 34 million total for top 6.

    Oilers will eventually trade away a forward. I won’t like it though, and they can really help themselves with wise, value contracts like Petry’s.

  53. leadfarmer says:

    striatic,

    Thank you for those regular season stats, but many #1 defenseman play upwards of 30 min in the playoffs

  54. striatic says:

    Lowetide: Oilers will eventually trade away a forward. I won’t like it though, and they can really help themselves with wise, value contracts like Petry’s.

    Hemsky will eventually need to leave and i think selling high on him at this year’s deadline to get a value contract back is the best time to move him.

    i applauded the contract management gave him last year and will applaud again if they move it this year.

  55. VanOil says:

    In looking at this from a 2013-14 prospective. I see little need for a trade that sacrifices any of our current talent.

    For these reasons: Talent trumps Truculence and Grit can be learned and developed.

    Sweet baby Nuge sore shoulder and all is hardly being pushed around this year. Next year he will be 5 to 10lbs heavier and more experienced at draws. And again the following year. Hall and Ebs are just fine top line wingers. Hall scares the hell out of other teams already and Ebs showed some real grit driving to the net last week, getting leveled and popping backup.

    That feisty wee bastard Nail might be smaller than most Dman he runs into but given the speed he hits them with means the force he hits with, like the force he shoots with and passes with are immense. He will get better defensively, he might not win the selke but he is too skilled and to passionate about the game not to become an all around super star. While Gagner is not perfect I can’t see any 2nd line Centers that would be available that have a better mix of age, point production, upside and experience. Young Coke Machines tend to suck, Old ones are expensive and break down. Hemsky is as good as it gets as a second line winger. Chemistry is lacking but by next year who knows, but it stands a chance if the 3 of them have an off season with some practice time to work things out.

    For 2013-14 the Nordic line have a real shot at being an NHL 3d/4th line. They are defensively responsible, are developing a gritty cycle game and have the size and speed to draw penalties. One of them is always a threat to have a ‘Pisani’ year where everything they touch goes in. All 3 can contribute to special teams and the wingers can move up the line up to fill in during injuries. Chemistry is great.

    That would leave a 2013-14 4th line as Smyth, Horcoff and Jones. That’s an real bonafide NHL 4th line with grit, wisdom and experience.

    For defense the wild card for 2013-14 is Kelfbom is he NHL ready. With out the injury I figure he would be a lock to make the team. I also assume Whiteny is wished good luck in future endeavors.

    Schlutz Jr. Klefbom could become a dominant pair in the NHL. Sure it might take a year or two but this is a wow pairing.

    Petry Smid can be a very passable NHL second pair.

    Schlutz Sr mentoring Fedum, Fistric and steping up if Kelfbom falls down is an OK bottom pair.

    All in all I see no reason for whale hunting or sacrificing Gagner, Hemskey or PRV whale hunting. Truculence is a sound bite for idiots with poor fashion sense, grit and learning how to win is coming. Sure draft a center or two and maybe even make a Belanger type free agent signing on the front end or an old reliable on the back end but no need to give up good players to get mystical qualities. Grit and Chemistry are more likely to learned than bought in my opinion, this young team has the ability to learn these things.

  56. striatic says:

    leadfarmer: Thank you for those regular season stats, but many #1 defenseman play upwards of 30 min in the playoffs

    a grand total of two defensemen averaged upwards of 30 minutes in last year’s playoffs.

    1 Duncan Keith CHI D 30:15
    2 Brent Seabrook CHI D 30:01

  57. Lowetide says:

    I’ll take either. :-)

  58. VanOil says:

    Captain Obvious:
    If the Oilers trade talent for grit they will lose 100% of the time.The Oilers need to get better they don’t need to get bigger or grittier.

    Well said. The now Sainted Brian Burke’s Leafs might be wining currently but do you think there is a GM in the league that would trade the skill he passed up in Seguin and Hamilton for all the truculence you could fit in a bus going the other way. I don’t

  59. godot10 says:

    Numenius:
    Might as well throw out one more idea: Klefbom for Bouwmeester. (as long as Bouwmeester would be willing to re-sign after next year)

    Would Calgary do it? They need to rebuild; Klefbom is a heck of a prospect.

    Would Edmonton do it? It’s a risk, but Klefbom seems like an injury magnet. Best trade him now while his value is as high as it is.

    The better option is Klefbom AND Bouwmeester. Patience. Bouwmeester is unrestricted after next season.

    The cluster (attracting all the media attention) should be a prime attraction for Bouwmeester, along with Krueger “flow” system.

  60. striatic says:

    godot10: The better option is Klefbom AND Bouwmeester. Patience. Bouwmeester is unrestricted after next season.

    exactly.

    i wouldn’t be adverse to picking him up next season’s deadline for picks if Calgary is bottom feeding and Edmonton is playoff bound, instead of waiting for summer.

    but for Klefbom or a first round pick? no way. better to wait.

  61. speeds says:

    leadfarmer:
    Before people kill me for saying that please note that I dont want them to go but some changes will need to be done cause:
    Big 3 at 18 mil
    Yak (6 mil) Gagner (4.5) Hemsky (5 mil) is 34 million total for top 6.

    Lowetide: Oilers will eventually trade away a forward. I won’t like it though, and they can really help themselves with wise, value contracts like Petry’s.

    Why does that mean changes need to be made?

    Next year the top 7 paid F’s might carry cap hits something like:

    6.00 – Hall
    6.00 – Eberle
    5.50 – Horcoff
    5.00 – Hemsky
    4.50 – Gagner (as per the estimate you have listed)
    3.75 – RNH
    3.75 – Yakupov

    A total of 34.5 mil for 7 F’s, and EDM will still fit under a cap of 64.3 mil.

    If in 3 years that looks like:

    6.00 – Hall
    6.00 – Eberle
    6.00 – RNH
    6.00 – Yakupov
    5.00 – Hemsky (estimated extension)
    4.50 – Gagner (as per the estimate you have listed)
    3.00 – new 3rd line C

    That would be a total of 36.5 mil for 7 F’s, with the unknown future cap increase likely more than making up for the additional 2 mil in cap charges.

  62. godot10 says:

    As long as Hemsky is willing to sign 2-year deals, he can be an Oilers for quite awhile. It basically is his choice.

    Ditto for Gagner. Gagner will have to choose between term or money. The Oilers can give him money on short term deal, or term on a deal closer to $4 million per season than $5.

    Basically, it also might be either/or…whomever choses a value two year deal first gets to stay.

  63. leadfarmer says:

    striatic,

    I said upwards of, not more than. 8 defenseman played more than 27 minutes, 20 more than 25 minutes. Previous year 9 played 27 min. In 2007 12 defenseman played 27 min or more.

    In 2006. Chris Pronger played 31 minutes per game for us, while Lidstrom played even more against the Oil in that epic defeat.

  64. Captain Happy says:

    6.00 – Hall
    6.00 – Eberle
    6.00 – RNH
    6.00 – Yakupov
    5.00 – Hemsky (estimated extension)
    4.50 – Gagner (as per the estimate you have listed)
    3.00 – new 3rd line C

    $34.5 M

    3LW $2.5M
    3RW $2.5M

    4C $1.5M
    4LW $1.5M
    4RW $1.5M

    13F $1M

    Total F $44.5M

    Smid $4M
    Petry $4M
    #3 D $3M
    #4D $3M
    #5D $1.5M
    #6D $1.5M
    #7D $1M

    Total D $18M

    Dubnyk $4M
    Backup $1.5M

    Total $68M

    Given that the players’ share of HRR will be 50% at that juncture, it would take a massive increase in HRR for the cap to exceed $68M.

    You have to bear in mind that the cap next season will be artificially high and was based on bargaining not HRR.

    I would think the cap in 2014/15 is more likely to be in the $63-64M range.

    If the Oilers are able to get 2 or 3 players on ELCs performing well at the NHL level, they may be able to squeak under the cap but not by much.

  65. carefreephil says:

    Lowetide,

    After the 2006 trade deadline Roloson went 8–7–4, hardly dominant. I sound like a “hater”, I’m not. I still think we have higher sights to set.

  66. Lowetide says:

    carefreephil:
    Lowetide,

    After the 2006 trade deadline Roloson went 8–7–4, hardly dominant. I sound like a “hater”, I’m not. I still think we have higher sights to set.

    Sure. However, if you followed the 2005-06 Oilers closely it was impossible to ignore: the goaltending stunk.

  67. Bar_Qu says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    bookje,

    I started hearing the proper pronunciation of Pajaarvi as “pee-AHR-vee”, so it seemed natural to go with a PRV abbreviation, in part because I couldn’t stand the MPS (which I now struggle to remember the abbreviation of, so it was likely more mild irritation than actual hate or I would remember it better).

    This team is solid on D if the Tom Gilbert trade didn’t happen. I don’t complain about that one (much) anymore since it is water under the bridge, but it bugs me more than the summer of Pronger. There was another Nick Schultz available for less than was given up, for heaven’s sake Keaton Ellerby was had for a 5th midseason and I know he wanted a change of scenery even as early as late last season. He is at least a younger version of Schultz the Elder.

    And the notion of needing a Pronger to make it to SCF is silly. Not every SCF has one (note: not EVERY, many do) and a good defense by committee makes it possible, especially with solid F lines and reasonable goaltending.

    Gilbert-Smid
    J Schultz-Petry
    Fistric-Ellerby-Whitney

    That is not a bad D corps for a young squad.

  68. Rebilled says:

    Lowetide,

    Roloson would have won us the Cup if not for getting hurt by that little bastard…

  69. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    I am guessing that Schultz Jr will want to be paid close to what the wonder kids are getting paid. Hey Cpt Happy can you add Schultz with 5 mil in there. Add another top 4 D for 4 mil. Change 4LW and RW to 1 mil. A good 5D gets paid more than 1.5. Increase that to 2.5. See what you get for a total.

  70. Captain Happy says:

    Bar_Qu,

    2012 Doughty

    2011 Chara

    2010 Keith Seabrook

    2009 Gonchar

    2008 Lidstrom

    2007 Pronger

    2006 Cinderellas

    2004 Boyle

    2003 Niederrmayer

    2002 Lidstrom

    2001 Borque

    2000 Niedermayer Stevens

    1999 Zubov Sydor

    1998 Lidstrom

    1997 Lidstrom

    1996 Ozolinsh?

    1995 Niedermayer Stevens

    1994 Leetch Zubov

    1993 Samuelsson

    1992 Schneider ?

    There’s 20 years for you.

    Pretty obvious that it’s tough to win a cup without a dominant #1D

  71. stevezie says:

    Captain Obvious:
    There aren’t enough words to proclaim how wrong and wrongheaded Gregor is about this.Diversity isn’t an end in and of itself.If the Oilers trade talent for grit they will lose 100% of the time.The Oilers need to get better they don’t need to get bigger or grittier.If they get better and bigger that’s fine but under no circumstances should they trade one r more of their good players for a 40 point a year big man (which is what Gregor wants)/

    In more important questions, did lowetide just make a pun quoting St. Paul?

    As is usually the case, I agree with almost everything you’re saying. Diversity is an end because teams with multiple “looks” are harder to coach against. (Consider that beautiful Capitals squad that lost to the Habs).
    It’s no different than the importance of biodiversity to an ecosystem- when everything is the same it is easier to kill.
    Of course this only applies if you’re getting diverse types of good. I’ve no interested in Colton Orr, but if Phoenix called and offered Hanzal for Gagner I would have to consider. Hanzal is strong, physical, great on faceoffs, good defensively…. he is a lot things we don’t have in our top 6. Sometimes you have to trade one kind of good for another.

  72. Captain Happy says:

    leadfarmer,

    I’m still not convince Schultz will be commanding that much coin but it certainly could happen.

    If it does, you have to think one of the other kids will have to go.

  73. stevezie says:

    “Peca-Pisani scored the most thrilling shorthanded goal in the game’s history,…”

    Wasn’t the team short-handed when Kurri once made a beautiful breakout pass to spring Gretzky before he rifled one over Vernon’s shoulder?

  74. jake70 says:

    stevezie:
    “Peca-Pisani scored the most thrilling shorthanded goal in the game’s history,…”

    Wasn’t the team short-handed when Kurri once made a beautiful breakout pass to spring Gretzky before he rifled one over Vernon’s shoulder?

    Or this one, man it seems like just yesterday I remember me and the guys at school the next day talking about this……….normal days’ work for the great one. Also, look where Kurri ends up, do that now and he becomes a punching bag.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF3oyoyKZcE

  75. hunter1909 says:

    I’m more of a Glenn Anderson goal to make it 3-1(with maybe 3 minutes left)in game 7 of the finals kind of fan.

    In 2006 I like Chris Pronger. Never thought a single defenceman could have that much impact on a(winning) playoff team.

    Now I’m all nostalgic for them hiring Mike Peca as a defensive coach.

  76. hunter1909 says:

    My fave non-Coffey Oiler defenceman watching clips today, is Kevin Lowe. Lowe was simply outstanding.
    Punch Imlach would have liked him too.

    Back in the day, Coffey blew everyone away, as an Oiler for sure…until he was run out of dodge by Slats, who among other things no doubt, questioned Coffey’s personal courage during negotiations lol.

    Yeah that’s it. This team needs Glenn Sather 2.0 I also reckon Kreuger is in with a good chance to become that.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Hunter: Lowe was a great defenseman, agree. He would not give up on a play.

  78. speeds says:

    Captain Happy,

    The cap next season is artificially set, but it’s not necessarily artificially high. The 2011/12 revenues were 3.28 billion, of which the players received 57%. That resulted in a cap for the 12/13 season which was set at 70.2 mil.

    James Mirtle posted an article on this awhile ago, before the final CBA details were available:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/analysis-breaking-down-the-nhls-new-cba/article6976187/

    That chart has a couple assumptions built in that have somewhat changed:

    (1) That revenue would be flat in 2013/14. I’ve read a number of articles that suggested the NHL business has recovered more quickly than most were projecting – if that’s true the 14/15 cap will be higher than the chart suggests.

    (2) Revenue growth would be 5%. That may or may not be true, it was something like 7% in the old CBA, if the business is recovering faster than expected perhaps it will be closer to the 7% vs. the 5% estimate used, who knows?

    EDM won’t have those 7 salaries at 36.5 until 15/16, but 14/15 could be interesting depending on what happens with the contracts of guys like 2, 5, 93, 83, 19, 89, and 40

  79. striatic says:

    leadfarmer: I said upwards of, not more than.

    i don’t think you know what “upwards of” means.

    very few guys can play 30 minutes even in playoff situations. like, they are so rare that there is almost no point in talking about getting one.

    Keith and Seabrook did it last year with the benefit of a crazy OT laden series.

    the only other guys who have done it or even come close in the previous decade are all retired, except Francois Beauchemin [playing alongside Pronger].

    Lidstrom, Pronger and Zubov are the only guys who have done it in the past 10 years.

    if the Oilers need a Hall of Fame #1 D in order to win, they are in major, major trouble.

    now, if we want to talk about generic “high minutes guys”, there are a lot more of those but since the first lockout you want to try to cap their minutes around 27 and you absolutely need defensive depth to complement them. it is just the nature of the game now.

  80. Captain Happy says:

    speeds,

    Yeah, I read that earlier.

    And there are a couple of variables no one can predict…the value of a new HNIC contract and whether or not Phoenix gets relocated.

    But, in any event, the Oilers are going to have cap issues one way or another if Schultz hits paydirt and they will still be wanting.

  81. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy:
    speeds,

    Yeah, I read that earlier.

    And there are a couple of variables no one can predict…the value of a new HNIC contract and whether or not Phoenix gets relocated.

    But, in any event, the Oilers are going to have cap issues one way or another if Schultz hits paydirt and they will still be wanting.

    Yes, quite right. And the Oilers with no impact D like Sandis Ozolinsh! :-)

  82. striatic says:

    also, it is amazing to think what NJD did last year in the playoffs with none of their D averaging more than 23 minutes per game. LA had no one over 26 minutes and owned the west.

    it is very nice to have those exceedingly rare warhorses that solve all defensive woes with one contract, but they are almost impossible to acquire and you certainly don’t need to have them in order to succeed.

  83. delooper says:

    striatic,

    The new gold of this salary-cap era is the “sleeper player”. The ones that bumble about through the regular season, have a low cap hit and are ready to crank it to 11 in the playoffs.

    Sort of the Glen Andersons of the modern era. That’s what you need.

  84. FPB94 says:

    The more i watch Pacioretty play the more I’d like to believe he’l be the next canadien captain and the club’s player of the decade; he’s exactly the type of guy I think would benefit the Oilers, (that or a younger Smyth), a guy with skill who’l win the battles.

    You never know how cheap they can come, last time I checked Neal was traded for Peanuts and Brad Boyes left to dry.

  85. Bar_Qu says:

    Captain Happy,

    I’d take this up with you, but I have a pressing argument with a cat to try to convince it to go vegan.

    I’ll get back to you when I’m done.

  86. FPB94 says:

    Captain Happy,

    Lawlz.

    Ulf Samuelsson compared to Pronger? Mathieu Shneider wasn’t top flight either, but him and Desjardins were a pretty good pair.

    Ozolinsh, Zubov, Boyle, Gonchar, a lot of these guys are offense first d-men who’s defense weren’t their strong suit. They were paired with a great defensive stalwarth (Foote, Orpik etc) and they did fine.

    Justin Schultz could well be one of those and more.

  87. Captain Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    I can see why someone would prefer Hanzal to Gagner. However, the problem is that it would probably take more than Gagner to get Hanzal. In which case you’ve given away the added value of Hanzal.

    As for your Habs–Capitals example, I guess I categorically disagree. The Habs didn’t find a secret to beating the Capitals because the Capitals were one dimensional. Rather, the Capitals completely dominated that series and the Habs only won because they got once in a decade goaltending. Even so it took the referees incorrectly disallowing a third period goal for the Canadians to advance.

    What happened in that series is one of the great tragedies of recent hockey history. The narrative that developed over why the Capitals lost incorrectly taught the hockey world that you couldn’t win playing offense first hockey.*

    *Though in comparison to the Bettman point this is a rather small factor. Awarding three points for a regulation win would transform hockey strategy and revitalize offensive hockey like nothing else. Well, that and regulating goalie equipment to prevent cheating. With Mike Smith in the net you might as well put a board up.

    Shrink the pads an inch or two, eliminate the cheater on the glove, three points for a regulation, win, realignment with divisional playoffs. That’s my commissioner platform.

  88. BlacqueJacque says:

    Meanwhile, three hours South of Edmonton…

    The Calgary Flames, while nominally 12th in the conference and just 3 points out of a playoff spot (and 2 points behind the good guys) are struggling in the goals for/against department. After tonight’s 4-0 loss to the desert dogs, the Flames are -12 (+39/-51) in goal differential. That’s good enough to place them in the bottom three of the league (though Florida is exploring depths of suck incomparable to anyone else, at -21 on the season.) For comparison, other teams that are seen as struggling and underperforming are the Avs and Wild, both at -6. The Oilers sit pretty, -3 on the season and with what one would consider “room to improve”. Kiprusoff’s absence is notable but will his arrival mean a run at the playoffs in Cowtown? More likely another mediocre draft pick.

    Schadenfreude. My favorite kind of freude.

  89. "Steve Smith" says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    (though Florida is exploring depths of suck incomparable to anyone else, at -21 on the season.)

    That can’t be right; you must have them confused with a team not managed by Dale Tallon.

  90. Woodguy says:

    Horcoff haters are having a helluva time finding the storyline

    Oilers were 4-2-1 when he went down and have gone 2-3-2 since.

    God I love small sample sizes.

    Also,

    Jbo won’t cost much to get next summer with an expiring contract. Wouldn’t even cost 91 or 58.

    Might cost Marincin or Gernat.

    Give him a test drive, let him test drive playing in his home town.

    Let his wife get comfortable being around family all the time :)

    Add to that Klef and Grebs.

    Jbo – Petry
    Smid – J.Shultz
    Klef – Grebs

    That would do for a start.

  91. Ducey says:

    By my reckoning the Oilers are in 11th, are on a one game winning streak and have played two good games in a row. It might be a little early to start trading guys to put together the Cup team.

  92. Ducey says:

    Woodguy,

    Honest question: Why is Grebeshkov better than Nick Schultz? Last I recall he lost a testicle and was traded to NSH. His box car numbers in the KHL are pretty underwhelming

  93. striatic says:

    Woodguy,

    i’m of exactly this thinking when it comes to acquiring Bouwmeester.

    the main problem i see is if Calgary decides to blow it up this year, he goes somewhere else and has success and decides to re-sign there.

    but if Feaster keeps his job and is mad enough to hold on to Bouwmeester, the Oilers should be able to bring him into the fold for pennies on the dollar come playoffs 2014.

    perhaps even this summer.

  94. striatic says:

    Woodguy: Jbo – Petry
    Smid – J.Shultz
    Klef – Grebs
    That would do for a start.

    i don’t think you can bet on that bottom pairing panning out.

    oilers still need to lure a solid, solid 3rd pairing UFA even if they do pick up a #1D type like Bouwmeester.

  95. BlacqueJacque says:

    What do you guys think of Boyd Gordon as an eventual Belanger/Horcoff replacement?

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=63&rs=t&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f5=PHX&f7=10-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

    Great zone start/finish, decent other advanced stats…

  96. Mr DeBakey says:

    Jbo – Petry
    Smid – J.Shultz
    Klef – Grebs
    That would do for a start.

    Honest question: Why is Grebeshkov better than Nick Schultz?

    Make it Smid them, he’s the UFA.
    Point is, adding Bouwmeester makes all of them better

  97. stevezie says:

    As long as we’re importing D from Russia, what about Kevin Dallman? Is he too old to be the next Mark Streit?

    Captain Obvious,

    One of the great tragedies in recent hockey history is* Capitals management deciding that they needed to drive that Mustang like a dumptruck in order to succeed. Unforgivably misguided.

    A better example from me might have been Detroit’s trading Coffee for Shanahan to butch up their team. (His impact might have been overstated considering Detroit was already record-settingly awesome before he got there- they might have won a few cups anyway.)

    It only worked because Shanahan wasn’t just big and tough, he was also really, really good. Goodness trumps everything.

    I guess my theory is based on the idea that no matter how good your rock is, it’s handy to have a set of scissors in your pocket in case your run into some paper. I fully admit that in practice a really great rock will smash right through mediocre or even pretty good paper.

    *Only after re-reading your post did I realize I stole your exact words,

  98. hags9k says:

    Hmmm. I thought diversity was an old old wooden ship used during the civil war era.

  99. striatic says:

    BlacqueJacque: What do you guys think of Boyd Gordon as an eventual Belanger/Horcoff replacement?

    does he come with Tippett?

  100. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    Woodguy,

    Honest question:Why is Grebeshkov better than Nick Schultz?Last I recall he lost a testicle and was traded to NSH.His box car numbers in the KHL are pretty underwhelming

    The Oilers’ game is based around quick transition and speed through the neutral zone.

    To do this properly your Dmen need to be able to make a good first pass.

    All of them.

    N.Shultz is a reasonable defensive Dman, but he can’t transition the puck.

    He”s fine on the 3rd pair, but playing behind the top 2 lines limits the offense.

    Some have mentioned that Grebs is disgruntaled after being traded, not positive about that.

    Does the KHL had out 2nd assists? I don’t think they do, but my memory is really bad lately.

  101. Woodguy says:

    striatic: i don’t think you can bet on that bottom pairing panning out.

    oilers still need to lure a solid, solid 3rd pairing UFA even if they do pick up a #1D type like Bouwmeester.

    Really?

    By all accounts Klef is as good, or close, as his old D partner Brodin who is playing well in his first NHL season. His team mates say he should be a calder favorite.

    Grebs would be 30 and an Actual NHL player.

    I think it might be one of the best 3rd pairings in the league.

  102. slopitch says:

    Fantastic read LT. I missed this post yesterday. Good comments here too.

    I agree that the top pairing is the biggest team need. While we wont get another Pronger, there is still potential to land a top paring guy that has the “Pronger effect” on the D core. Taking each D on our current team and bumping them down a position makes the D actually look good. And your right, our forwards are gonna compare well to any cup contender starting this year (next year for sure).

    As for possible D, I like JBo but I wouldnt pay a premium for him. When is Nashville able to move Weber? Not till this summer? He has 3 pts in 15 games and doesnt seem to be into it this year. I think he mentally checked out of Nashville this summer when he signed the offer sheet. With the Oilers having plenty of skill up top – we have the assets they’d want. I believe Weber is owed another 13 million dollar bonus this summer. After the lockout, Nashville is likely gonna be hurting financially. If there is someway that Katz could take his favorable arena deal and parlay that into Weber, that would be fine by this fan. And yes I know its a pipedream :)

  103. striatic says:

    Woodguy: Really?
    By all accounts Klef is as good, or close, as his old D partner Brodin who is playing well in his first NHL season. His team mates say he should be a calder favorite.
    Grebs would be 30 and an Actual NHL player.
    I think it might be one of the best 3rd pairings in the league.

    Grebs is not currently an actual NHL player.

    we’ve yet to see Klef after injury.

    if i had to bet, i’d bet that one of the two options will pan out, but not both.

    thus the need to acquire a proven quantity.

    if both klef and Grebs pan out? great! trade the proven quantity, or trade grebs.

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