Craig MacTavish has a lot of good things on the roster he inherits from Steve Tambellini. Like him or not, ST’s ability to win the lottery came in pretty damn handy. The draft–especially this summer–remains important, but increasingly the club is going to need NHL players in a quick hurry. That’s the tough part: adding without ripping apart the good things on this roster.
I believe they have the right man, but actions speak louder than words. The words by the way, border on perfect:
- MacT: “The most valuable thing a manager can do is bring good players through the door of the dressing room. You have to tap into all your resources, but the bottom line is getting good quality people and players to walk through that door.”
Craig MacTavish is a pretty smart guy, and one suspects the club will look to improve in the following areas without sending away any of the kids central to the cluster:
- 20+ minutes defenseman who can play big minutes on at least one of the special teams
- find a way (either by trading up or staying in place) to add another “impact” draft prospect with a nice range of skills..
- an established two-way winger for the second or third line by trade, free agency or picking up a “compliance buyout” type contract on the cheap
- a reasonable backup goaltending option
- a center for depth
The foundation is this:
- Goal: Dubnyk
- Defense: Smid-Petry, -J Schultz
- Center: Nuge, Gagner, Horcoff
- Left Wing: Hall, Paajarvi, Hartikainen
- Right Wing: Eberle, Yakupov, Hemsky
Let’s say the Oilers add (from each category above):
- Mark Streit
- Sean Monahan
- From Horton to Stalberg to Torres, there’s a pretty long list. I’ll pick Stalberg for our purposes.
- I’ll pick Khudobin out of Boston.
- Let’s pick Boyd Gordon.
- Goal: Dubnyk, Khudobin
- Defense: Smid-Petry, Streit-J Schultz, N Schultz-Klefbom, Potter
- Center: Nuge, Gagner, Horcoff, Gordon, Lander
- Left Wing: Hall, Paajarvi, Stalberg, Hartikainen, Smyth
- Right Wing: Eberle, Yakupov, Hemsky, Brown
It isn’t perfect, there’s still plenty of work to do and still not enough depth to keep Klefbom on the farm. However, there’s improvement in goal, on defense, at center and on left wing.
And the depth is strong enough everywhere but defense–with that position at least having the advantage of a season’s experience for Schultz the younger.
What say you? Enough? Not enough?