DIAMOND MINE

Toni Rajala is an interesting prospect. We all KNOW the Oilers have no room, but he keeps DOING things. Consider this: in 44 AHL games, Rajala has 139 shots on goal. That’s an average of 3.16 per game. Since the Barons had so many terrific players this year (especially before the lockout ended) let’s have a look at the shots per game total among the gunners:

  1. Hall 3.19
  2. Rajala 3.16
  3. Eberle 2.74
  4. Nugent-Hopkins 2.63
  5. Paajarvi 2.26
  6. Hartikainen 2.00

Amazing run by the little Finn. Is his last 39 games, he’s 15-25-40. But he’s a winger and there’s no way to make room. Probably. (Rajala photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).

hall plus

On today’s Lowetide at High Noon, Dennis King was a guest and had an interesting idea. Dennis suggested a good way to look at MacT as GM is to filter it through how MacT managed his roster assignments during his coaching career. Gagner is a little like Mike Comrie in that he was an offensive player on the way to a huge raise but the organization (implied MacT) didn’t feel that paying him major dollars was wise. That does fit the Gagner scenario, although we can argue the direct comp between Comrie and Gagner.

Should Gagner be dealt (for defensive help) Dennis suggested Taylor Hall could move to center, giving the club instant depth. So, at a guess, the F’s might look like this sans Gagner:

  • Hall-Paajarvi-Eberle
  • Nuge-Hartikainen-Yakupov
  • Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky

Hartikainen might not make it, but maybe the Oilers sign Stalberg or Raffi or draft that Russian or maybe Rajala is for real.

Thoughts? Merit?

OKC plays tonight, a win and they are in the playoffs.

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87 Responses to "DIAMOND MINE"

  1. spoiler says:

    Well, all good, except Hall is not a centre… No coach has wanted him there as it seems to defeat the purpose of Hall by giving him the extra defensive responsibility and keeping him in the Dzone deeper and longer.

    Strikes me as similar to moving Ovechkin to C. And no one asks for that.

  2. Ducey says:

    Can we get Corey Perry and a 1st round pick this time?

  3. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Well, all good, except Hall is not a centre… No coach has wanted him there as it seems to defeat the purpose of Hall by giving him the extra defensive responsibility and keeping him in the Dzone deeper and longer.

    Strikes me as similar to moving Ovechkin to C.And no one asks for that.

    Well, then we’re back to trading Gagner but creating a hole elsewhere. I understand dealing Gagner for blue, but who replaces Gagner?

  4. TheOtherJohn says:

    Realize there is an element of whale hunting o it but would love to add a 25 TOI Stud on back end. My preferred choice: OEL. To have a shot at him, Maloney needs a shitpile. Ebs++ or YAK+++. I like YAK more & he’s cheaper. But if I’m Maloney & I need to find goals, Ebs & a D man would be very very intriguing. VERY.

    It would be a blockbuster and Gags is a reasonable facsimile of Ebs. Not as good but decent replacement. Without defensive responsibilities. Like Dennis’ idea re Hall at 1C

    Have no clue why they don’t see what Rajala can do up here

  5. Ducey says:

    1) play Bulin, sit out Hall and Smid, and play the heck out of Whitney and Peckham – lose last 5
    2) pick Barkov in draft – slot in as #2 C
    3) trade Gagner for a D
    4) trade Hemsky for something(s) of use – Lucic maybe :)
    5) take a good run at a Clarkson during free agency.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: MacT is coming in impatient for results. A rookie in an important role (replacing Gagner and his offense) is not a good bet imo.

  7. Doug McLachlan says:

    spoiler,

    Completly agree.

    LT, I understand the Hall-Messier comparison requires (for some reason) a conversion to center. It doesn’. Hall is an elite winger. Many of us agree that Gagner isn’t the guy – or is 3 inches and 30 lbs away from being the guy. That does not translate into making Hall that guy. He needs a defensive conscious who can get him the puck in full flight or full chaos – let’s call this player RNH.

    So we need a center for the 2nd line – we can work on it.

  8. OilLeak says:

    Lowetide: Well, then we’re back to trading Gagner but creating a hole elsewhere. I understand dealing Gagner for blue, but who replaces Gagner?

    Double offer sheet the Jets (Bogosian, Burmistrov) as Zona suggested in one of his posts at the coppernblue ad hope Burmistrov shakes loose. Jets are a bit down on Burmistrov for whatever reason, but he’s a positive puck possession player, problem solved!

  9. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    spoiler,

    Completly agree.

    LT, I understand the Hall-Messier comparison requires (for some reason) a conversion to center. It doesn’. Hall is an elite winger. Many of us agree that Gagner isn’t the guy – or is 3 inches and 30 lbs away from being the guy. That does not translate into making Hall that guy. He needs a defensive conscious who can get him the puck in full flight or full chaos – let’s call this player RNH.

    So we need a center for the 2nd line – we can work on it.

    I don’t believe the Oilers need to move Hall, just running a Dennis suggestion up the flagpole. I’d prefer they keep Gagner but the one year contract last year makes it difficult for the money.

  10. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Well, then we’re back to trading Gagner but creating a hole elsewhere. I understand dealing Gagner for blue, but who replaces Gagner?

    Well if Samwise is going to be replaced I would rather it be with an actual Centre. I thought the people around these parts weren’t too happy about Smitty being used at C, including the times when he was the younger Smytty.

    What do you do if you trade Gagner, move Hall over and the experiment doesn’t work?

    Why didn’t the Flames move Iginla to C when they had no centre for him?

    Natural wingers don’t usually find themselves converted to C, and it certainly shouldn’t be relied upon as a plan.

    And people forget Messier was originally a C, training as an NHL C at wing… similar to Horcoff later. This is not the case with Hall.

  11. Barcs says:

    Hi, first post. Love the site.

    Seems to me it’s Hall’s decision, so he also controls the direction of the club. I think if he’s comfortable playing C, you try it and see the results. If he isn’t, he stays on the wing and we have to look elsewhere for the 2C.

    As an aside, seems to me most of the truly elite speeds in the NHL play on the wing (Gaborik, Grabner off the top of my head). I question if Hall’s speed is used best at C coming back, or on wing to get the jump and push the D man back.

  12. OilLeak says:

    OilLeak: Double offer sheet the Jets (Bogosian, Burmistrov) as Zona suggested in one of his posts at the coppernblue ad hope Burmistrov shakes loose.Jets are a bit down on Burmistrov for whatever reason, but he’s a positive puck possession player, problem solved!

    Burmistrov – Paajarvi – Yakupov would make an interesting second line.

  13. eidy says:

    I like the idea of Burmistrov. They have Little as a RFA as well and he is playing 1C. Schiefele will likely be with the team next year as well

    RFA will be expensive for WPG with Little, Wheeler, and Bogosian all eligible

  14. hunter1909 says:

    They have to trade one/both of Hemsky/Gagner.

    In my opinion, Hemsky’s got to go. Nice complimentary player, underrated by the rest and possibly overrated by Oiler fans.

    Hemsky was ruined, being forced to play on mediocre Oiler teams. Guy enters the zone very very well, ends up skating behind the net, then emerges without any clear idea what to do with the puck. Still a good player, but not anywhere near the level of the kids. It’s got to be said.

    Eberle/Yakupov has to be the NHL’s top RW duo, if not now then in 1-2 seasons. Only a fool deals either of them.

    Gagner you keep if you don’t need to manage a cap. Using his Dad as a comparison, he’s just about to start playing the best hockey of his career for the next 5-6 years. Sam has his faults sure, but with a Lucic(LOL) type on the wing, a lot of those faults are compensated for.

    Yak could turn out better than Hall. Yak is a supreme talent. Trade Yak, and spend the next 10 years crying. Lot’s and lots of crying.

    The fab four need to spend the next 3-4 years together, at least. Only then will anyone know which one might be the best option to trade.

  15. godot10 says:

    Switching Hall from LW to centre is like shooting yourself in the foot. Why would anyone want to take the soon-to-be-best left wing in hockey, and make a somewhat lousy soft minutes 2nd line centre out of him.

    Hall at wing is a weapon of terror. At centre, the Oilers would neuter themselves.

  16. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Switching Hall from LW to centre is like shooting yourself in the foot.Why would anyone want to take the soon-to-be-best left wing in hockey, and make a somewhat lousy soft minutes 2nd line centre out of him.

    Hall at wing is a weapon of terror.At centre, the Oilers would neuter themselves.

    If they give Hall soft minutes, he’d kill no matter the position.

    VandeVelde (Pitlick).

  17. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    Ducey: MacT is coming in impatient for results. A rookie in an important role (replacing Gagner and his offense) is not a good bet imo.

    Ok. Then throw Barkov on the wing. When he is ready, you trade Gagner. The Oilers can afford to hang onto Gagner for a year or two. Maybe it will only take 50 games for Barkov to step up. He is playing against men and has the size.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This is pretty Toronto specific (sorry), but was anyone else amused to hear Cherry wax-poetic about “Hurricane Hazel” only to have Ron mumble something about “well, not lately” and move on…

    I’m guessing most non-GTAers would miss what that was about:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/04/19/decision_in_hazel_mccallion_conflictofinterest_case_expected_next_month.html

  19. Ducey says:

    It seems MPS might be a good center, no?

    Big body, skates well, can pass a little, plays excellent defence…

  20. jake70 says:

    Toni Rajala – NIce to see a young Oilers forward pick actually doing things in the AHL. May it keep going.

  21. BlacqueJacque says:

    LT, after Hall we are thin on the left. Razor thin. MPS is great on the sexond/third unit but not a high scoring threat top line guy. Hall is not going to pivot a line, IMO.

    As for Rajala, I thought he had the best performance at 2010 rookie camp. Still, surprised to see him do so well.

  22. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide: If they give Hall soft minutes, he’d kill no matter the position.

    VandeVelde (Pitlick).

    Official box scoring has it as VandeVelde (Hamilton, Tuebert).

  23. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius: Official box scoring has it as VandeVelde (Hamilton, Tuebert).

    weird, their OKC twitter has the assists Pitlick and Teubert.

  24. speeds says:

    Here’s an out of the blue idea:

    something structured around Gagner for Erixon

  25. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Here’s an out of the blue idea:

    something structured around Gagner for Erixon

    Good speed?

  26. godot10 says:

    I’ve argued before that the issue of Gagner is NOT an urgent one. He is 23. In two years he will be 25. He will be playing with extremely talented wingers in a soft minutes role for the next two years. His production has been fairly consistent.

    So if you sign him to 4 x $4.5 million, he will likely always be a tradeable asset.

    It is not like he is 31 and declining.

    If somebody giftwraps a 2nd line centre or a legit top 4 D for Gagner, than move him, but one can be patient waiting until the opportunity arises, or until the guy they draft this summer is ready.

  27. dessert1111 says:

    Mistake in the box score. It’s Pitlick’s assist, not Hamilton’s, the OKC announcers talked about the mix-up.

    If they manage to draft Barkov, I would be tempted to risk putting him at 2C for next year and trading Gagner and Hemsky for a top 4 D. He has played against men and fared well, though of course he has to adjust to the small ice. If they’re converting a winger, Paajarvi is the obvious choice imo. He’s learning to use his size, is fast as hell and defensively responsible. He seems like a much more logical choice than Hall and I’m not sure why the people who want to move a winger don’t talk about him more.

  28. striatic says:

    so. replacing Gagner.

    whereas the Oilers have no real position of strength with which to acquire a Centre, and whereas if they did they would be better served to attempt to acquire a 1st pairing defenseman instead, here are the free agent offerings this summer ..

    UFA Cs under 30:

    Tyler Bozak
    Derek Roy
    Boyd Gordon
    Roman Cervenka
    Kyle Wellwood
    Maxime Lapierre

    RFA Cs [of note] under 30:

    Sam Gagner
    Bryan Little
    Patrik Berglund
    Artem Anisimov
    Cody Hodgson
    Alex Burmistrov
    Kyle Palmeieri
    Marcus Johansson
    Derek Stepan
    Adam Henrique

    the idea of the double offer sheet against Winnipeg is intriguing, but beyond that i’m not seeing many offer sheet scenarios that would be better than simply signing Gagner and playing him, even assuming the offer isn’t matched or that sacrificing the draft picks would be worth it…

    signing Bozak is also an interesting option but i don’t think he’d sign in Edmonton. the guys who might aren’t improvements over Gagner.

    i’m thinking more and more that Edmonton has no real choice except to sign and play Gagner. at this point Hemsky doesn’t bring back a C better than Gagner and there is no other position of “strength” to trade from right now. the UFA and RFA field is weak and so the clearest route forward is to simply sign Gagner.

    although maybe you’re trying to sign Gagner and then trade him for a slightly better Centre by bundling him with Hemsky or PRV or something.

    i don’t think it is possible to sign and move Gagner for D though, simply because the FA options to replace Gagner’s minutes are slim.

  29. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    I’ve argued before that the issue of Gagner is NOT an urgent one. He is 23. In two years he will be 25.He will be playing with extremely talented wingers in a soft minutes role for the next two years.His production has been fairly consistent.

    So if you sign him to 4 x $4.5 million, he will likely always be a tradeable asset.

    It is not like he is 31 and declining.

    If somebody giftwraps a 2nd line centre or a legit top 4 D for Gagner, than move him, but one can be patient waiting until the opportunity arises, or until the guy they draft this summer is ready.

    This.

  30. mike.c33 says:

    Gagner is 43 14-21-35 -6 this season. His point totals compare favorably to Matt Duchene (43 16-23-39 -12).

    Point totals adjusted for 48 game season:
    Gagner: 48 15-23-38 -7
    Duchene: 48 17-25-42 -13

    Point totals adjusted for 82 game season:
    Gagner: 82 26-40-66 -11
    Duchene: 82 30-43-73 -22

    Duchene will get paid 3.75 million in 2013-14. Can Gagner be inked to a similar deal?

  31. mike.c33 says:

    striatic,

    I think you forgot about Marcus Kruger?
    Capgeek says his contract expires this year.

  32. JohnnyOilfan says:

    LT, even if the plan is to move hall to Centre and move gagner out for a Dan, if barkov or Monahan are there when the oil picks, they have to grab either one. Next year they can come and play the wings ala Seguin. Easier for centers to play wing rather than the other way. Improves our depth down the middle.

  33. OilLeak says:

    mike.c33,

    Gagner has a longer track of offensive output and will be a UFA in a years time, not a comparable at all.

  34. striatic says:

    mike.c33,

    i missed including him with the RFAs, since there are a lot of middling sub-30 RFAs.

    Kruger just isn’t good enough to replace Gagner, if the point is to improve up the middle.

    Chicago doesn’t have the most cap space so a significant overpay for Kruger would probably land him but if the point is to improve up the middle, Marcus Kruger seems .. less than an answer.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Cheechoo (Arcobello, Rajala). I’m beginning to like this Rajala guy. :-)

  36. striatic says:

    2014 has more in the way of UFA potential.

    while the top flight under 30 Cs are likely to resign with their current teams.. basically Malkin and Bergeron .. the Oilers might have a shot with a guy like Pavelski, especially if the Sharks fall apart next year.

  37. dessert1111 says:

    Lowetide:
    Cheechoo (Arcobello, Rajala). I’m beginning to like this Rajala guy.

    Arco now third in league scoring (his shot deflected by Cheechoo).

    Davidson went down pretty awkwardly. Had to be helped off the ice after being face down on the ice for close to a minute.

  38. RickDeckard says:

    Lowetide,

    He’s kind of OK at this hockey thing.

  39. striatic says:

    if only Hemsky had a better season this year.

    the Oilers could have really used sustained improvement from him. i think they waited too long to pull the trigger on moving him, there was a time earlier this season where i think they could have landed a decent return for him.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Cheechoo (Cornet, Rajala)

  41. Lowetide says:

    Stretch (Marincin)

  42. Ducey says:

    PHI wins. Oilers back into 7th last.

  43. mike.c33 says:

    Matt Duchene:

    DOB: 1991/01/16 H: 5’ 11” W: 200lbs
    2009-10 81 GP 24G-31A-55P +1 (rookie year)
    2010-11 80 GP 27G-40A-67P -8
    2011-12 58 GP 14G-14A-28P -11 (contract year)
    2012-13 (to date) 43 GP 16G-23A-39P -12

    Sam Gagner:

    DOB: 1989/08/10 H: 5’ 11” W: 195 lbs
    2007-08 79 GP 13G-36A-49P -21 (rookie year)
    2008-09 76 GP 16G-25A-41P -1
    2009-10 68 GP 15G-26A-41P -8 (1st contract year)
    2010-11 68 GP 15G-27A-42P -17
    2011-12 75 GP 18G-29A-47P 5 (2nd contract year)
    2012-13 (to date) 43 GP 14G-21A-35P -6 (3rd contract year)

    There is minimal age difference between Duchene and Gagner (16 months) and they are the same height and weight. In 3 of the four years Duchene and Gagner were in the NHL together, Duchene had greater point totals and suffered several lower body injuries in 2010-11 (which probably negatively impacted his 2nd contract). Duchene is better at faceoffs (54.6% overall compared to Gagner’s 43.2% overall).

    Seems like Duchene has an edge on Gagner.

  44. speeds says:

    Lowetide: Good speed?

    I haven’t seen Erixon play in the NHL, his scouting reports suggest an above average skater.

    I think my take is generally similar to most here, in that I’d probably prefer to sign Gagner but with the caveat that I don’t know what he wants in a contract, and I don’t know what he’s worth on the trade market.

    I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily advocating moving Gagner generally, or moving Gagner for Erixon specifically, but here’s a few thoughts on Erixon:

    - former first round pick, he’s had good apparent results in the AHL, good early results in the NHL. I understand why people are hesitant to trade players for “magic beans” in the terms of unknown, unproven prospects/draft picks, but Erixon is further along than what I think most people generally mean when they say that.

    - Bob Stauffer has been saying the Oilers are looking for a puckmoving left shot D. Erixon fits that bill, from everything I’ve read.

    - Scott Howson traded for Erixon, so we have some reason to believe at least one person in EDM’s head office might be interested in trading for Erixon

    - By age, Erixon fits the core.

    -As a counter to what Godot10 is arguing (and again, I largely agree with him so I guess this is a counter to the position I tend to take as well), if Erixon cements himself as a stone cold top 4/top 2 D in the next year, you may not be able to get him for Gagner (assuming you can get him for Gagner now, who knows?) if you don’t trade for him this summer.

  45. VanOil says:

    If we claim the Oilers were beat by Calgary’s AHL team last Saturday who are the Barons playing tonight? ECHL+? You can only beat the team in front of you and they are.

  46. khlhfss says:

    godot10,

    The oilers have really only played Hall at center for one game a couple years ago where he was slotted between Penner and Hemsky. That line dominated that game. What reason do you have to assert that Hall would make a less than adequate top 6 center?

  47. Ducey says:

    Remember when Leland Irving was going to be a star? Now he is 25 and putting up an .890 in the AHL.

  48. denny33 says:

    OilLeak,

    For the love of God…..Jets would match Bogo offer in nano seconds and the small, diminitive Burmistrov is the last thing the oilers need.

    No offer sheet ideas please….

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Friedman discussing shots on goal, toronto and winning %… noting the massive anomaly in Toronto and Healy seems to think it doesn’t matter.

  50. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    Only urgent if you want to stop losing….

    3rd period 3min left in the game last night -loses d-zone draw to O’Reilly- and skates -forward- without a care in the world.

    Does not even race towards blue line ….coasts just between dot and blueline. Oblivious, without a care in the world as to what his opposition centre is doing….

    Even in beer leagues the guys on the bench will KILL you for that…

    Avs almost score. They do draw a penalty.

    Sam has 2-3 shifts per game where it looks like we are on the PK.

    Sam will not be here next year…

  51. Lowetide says:

    Marincin (eager, Hordichuk) 1-1-2 for Marincin

  52. Lucinius says:

    I do like Marincin… lot of potential upside on that kid when (if?) he can smooth out the chaos.

  53. Ducey says:

    I have

    Lucinius:
    I do like Marincin… lot of potential upside on that kid when (if?) he can smooth out the chaos.

    He is leading the team in +/- at +21 – as a rookie. Is there that much chaos? (I have never seen him play)

  54. Lucinius says:

    Ducey,

    There is some, yes. He can be pretty up/down on his defensive zone coverage.

    Part of his plus/minus this year benefited from playing with J. Schultz earlier in the AHL season, as well.

  55. BlacqueJacque says:

    Well, so my $26.50 at the Rush game has provided me with more entertainment so far than the ~$1200 I’ve spent on Oilers games the past two seasons.

    This is some seriously entertaining and hogh-skilled sports. With a crowd that’s into it and a team/organization that is going balls-out to get fans excited.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Pitlick (VandeVelde)

  57. cabbiesmacker says:

    Oilers will have taken steps if neither 91 and 56 are counted on to play a second line role. Neither have the offensive chops yet.

    If Gagner and Hemsky are kept the biggest F need is a LW to play top 6.

    Think Gagner would sign another one year? Gives time for the drafted C to mature a little.

  58. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Well, so my $26.50 at the Rush game has provided me with more entertainment so far than the ~$1200 I’ve spent on Oilers games the past two seasons.

    This is some seriously entertaining and hogh-skilled sports.With a crowd that’s into it and a team/organization that is going balls-out to get fans excited.

    They were focused from game one. Impressive group.

  59. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide:
    Pitlick (VandeVelde)

    Official scoresheet reads VandeVelde (Green, Cornet)

    Edit: Or not. I totally missed the new goal and failed to hit refresh and thought you meant the earlier goal.

    Whoops?

  60. Lowetide says:

    Pitlcik 7, 2-3-5 to end the season (with a game left) after what looked like a major injury. Still a pulse.

  61. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    Pitlcik 7, 2-3-5 to end the season (with a game left) after what looked like a major injury. Still a pulse.

    +4 with 17 shots in those 7 games too.

  62. jake70 says:

    The Leafs are in. Only the Oil have a longer playoff absence if I understand things correctly.

  63. spoiler says:

    I wish they would bring Cheechoo and Rajala up for two games. I would like to see how they match up. Have loved the little Finn from day 1 and Cheech has proven he can score at the AHL level… can he do it again at the NHL? He isn’t signed for next year, is he? If not bring him and The Raj up. Throw Smytty and Petrell on the IR if needs be.

  64. spoiler says:

    Ken Holland on Oakeward Hours tonight, LT, if you didn’t catch them mention it.

  65. Captain Happy says:

    jake70:
    The Leafs are in. Only the Oil have a longer playoff absence if I understand things correctly.

    Had.

    The Leafs last made the playoffs in 2004. 8 years but only 7 seasons due to the last lockout.

  66. Ryan says:

    I’m confused here boys. You guys are all very knowledgeable hockey fans which makes me wonder why we’re talking about MPS or Hall playing centre.

    I like Eberle more than Gagner, but I don’t hate the idea of trading Eberle (he’s paid in full and has more cache hence better return) then putting Gagner at RW.

    I know Gagner hasn’t looked great at RW in the past.

    What I do like is having more centres not less.

    With Gagner at 2 RW, it gives you options if one of your top 3 centres gets injured which pretty much always happens with the Oilers.

    Gagner could do spot duty on 1C/2C or even 3C if injuries occur which looks a whole lot better than having our 4C play 3C and VV at 4c.

    I also don’t mind the idea of keeping Hemsky despite having a terrible season this year. Most the reason for this is that his trade value is zip right now.

    In short, it would make a reasonable amount of sense to trade Eberle ?+ for a stud dman (love the OEL idea if it’s possible) and find a suitable vet 2c.

    If MacT is impatient as he proclaims, we’re going to need to see a big shakeup in our top nine.

    spoiler:
    Well, all good, except Hall is not a centre… No coach has wanted him there as it seems to defeat the purpose of Hall by giving him the extra defensive responsibility and keeping him in the Dzone deeper and longer.

    Strikes me as similar to moving Ovechkin to C.And no one asks for that.

  67. Professor Q says:

    jake70,

    Edmonton went to the Finals in ’06…

  68. jake70 says:

    With the Leafs in, the only team to not make the playoffs since Spring 2006 would be the Oilers? That’s what I was trying to say.

  69. PDO says:

    godot10:
    Switching Hall from LW to centre is like shooting yourself in the foot.Why would anyone want to take the soon-to-be-best left wing in hockey, and make a somewhat lousy soft minutes 2nd line centre out of him.

    Hall at wing is a weapon of terror.At centre, the Oilers would neuter themselves.

    This. This. This this and more of this.

  70. mike.c33 says:

    How about extending Gagner for one more year, signing Hartikainen and Paajarvi, drafting Lindholm, and starting Lindholm on the wing?

    Elias Lindholm, C/LW:

    DOB: 2/12/1994 H: 6′ 0″ W: 183 lbs

    2012-13 – Brynas IF – SEL – 48 GP 11G-19A-30P

    NHLe: 71 GP 13G-23A-26P

    2013-14 lineup:

    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Gagner-Lindholm-Yakupov
    Horcoff-Paajarvi-Hemsky
    Lander-Hartikainen-Brown
    Smyth

    There is virtually no change (one new player addition) from 2012-13 and probably no chance of making the playoffs, but trading the untouchables, Gagner, or the 2013 1st round pick is out of the question, right?

  71. fifthcartel says:

    My guess is they take a center in the draft, rather than move Hall to center. I think they probably considered it heavily last year, but with his production this year, I can’t see them wanting to mess with that.

    Marincin putting up 30 points in 70 games looks pretty solid. Any opinions on what he could project to?

  72. maudite says:

    No to Hall down the middle

    If I’m looking for a big move to translate forward depth to defense or center, I think you could win or at least draw with no one excluding Eberle going the other way.

    RNH HALL GAGNER
    xxx MPS YAK
    Horc Harti Hemsky
    xxx Smyth xxx

    Adjust the right wings as required and use Hemsky more on the PK end of things (he’s always seemed decent by my eye)

    I don’t think the drop in production relative the the cost difference of Gagner to Eberle would be that noticeable. Also, If issues arise you can always put Gagner back down the middle in soft minutes and PP time. I think getting a more effective second center or a top 4 dman given the roster makeup, likely benefits the team more so than Eberle (at that cap hit). I would definitely be drafting a center if all things are equal.

  73. maudite says:

    I know he’s not big enough but looking at that and pencil in Jussi (@ 3mil per) in your 2 or 3C slot and it really is hard to figure out why we passed on him.

  74. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    It’s not just that.

    I enjoy the pacing of the game (far less TV timeout bullshit, far fewer whistles/faceoffs), the enthusiasm of the crowd (more noise from 9,000 fans – half of whom don’t really know what’s going on, myself included – than from 16,000 watching the Oilers), and there’s something about watching guys who have day jobs and for them this is a hard-scrabble life earning a dream, rather than millionaire douchebags who feel entitled to everything (not that all the Oilers, or even many of them, come off that way, but sometimes even the kids…)

    I also like the meaningfulness of the games. 16 games in a season doesn’t leave a lot of room for coasting.

  75. BONVIE says:

    godot10:
    Switching Hall from LW to centre is like shooting yourself in the foot.Why would anyone want to take the soon-to-be-best left wing in hockey, and make a somewhat lousy soft minutes 2nd line centre out of him.

    Hall at wing is a weapon of terror.At centre, the Oilers would neuter themselves.

    Pretty much sums it up for me, the importance of a good winger on the wall who can chip it by the D-man and burn him with speed is irreplaceable and can totally change the way the opposing D play the blue line.

  76. BONVIE says:

    speeds: I haven’t seen Erixon play in the NHL, his scouting reports suggest an above average skater.

    I think my take is generally similar to most here, in that I’d probably prefer to sign Gagner but with the caveat that I don’t know what he wants in a contract, and I don’t know what he’s worth on the trade market.

    I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily advocating moving Gagner generally, or moving Gagner for Erixon specifically, but here’s a few thoughts on Erixon:

    - former first round pick, he’s had good apparent results in the AHL, good early results in the NHL.I understand why people are hesitant to trade players for “magic beans” in the terms of unknown, unproven prospects/draft picks, but Erixon is further along than what I think most people generally mean when they say that.

    - Bob Stauffer has been saying the Oilers are looking for a puckmoving left shot D.Erixon fits that bill, from everything I’ve read.

    - Scott Howson traded for Erixon, so we have some reason to believe at least one person in EDM’s head office might be interested in trading for Erixon

    - By age, Erixon fits the core.

    -As a counter to what Godot10 is arguing (and again, I largely agree with him so I guess this is a counter to the position I tend to take as well), if Erixon cements himself as a stone cold top 4/top 2 D in the next year, you may not be able to get him for Gagner (assuming you can get him for Gagner now, who knows?) if you don’t trade for him this summer.

    No Erixon please!!! We have about 3 D prospects that will hit their mark ahead of him.

  77. mumbai max says:

    Rajala and Omark can be good auxiliary trade pieces. They don’t need to actually play for us to be useful from an asset management perspective. It only makes sense to sign Omark and throw him into a deal. Letting him walk is just stupid. The kind of thing Lowe would do because he is a petulant jerk but surely not something Mactavish will do. You are probably not the only one who has noticed that Rajala has become a ppg player. He is the kind of guy that GM’s throw into trades to muddy the water.
    Ganger, Rajala and a 4th for Joe Blow for instance. Anyway I am keeping my fingers crossed for astute. Not sure i am ready for bold.

  78. russ99 says:

    It’s obvious that Horcoff, Smyth, Hemsky isn’t a viable alternative going forward. Loved that line back when all three were quality players, but that ship has sailed.

    I still think that there’s a place for the Rajalas and Omarks in the organization, giving us secondary production with complementary players on the 4th line- that is if we acquire a good big shutdown 3rd line.

  79. russ99 says:

    As for center, Stephen Weiss is a UFA at 30, and is coming off a subpar season due to a wrist injury.

    Maybe we could swing one of those 6th rounder for negotiating rights deals at the draft, then try to get Weiss signed before he hits UFA and/or sell Gagner to the highest bidder.

  80. Hammers says:

    There is better than 50/50 chance Gags is traded perhaps with a “D” like N.Schultz for a big upgrade on “D” or for a winger straight up . Don’t be surprised if McT thinks he can get 1 more year out of Horc as a 2nd line center with Yak & Magnus ( or new winger ) Some of this comes down to who we get on draft day .. As for Rajala everyone says his small but he seems to play big . There have been a few Fins like that .

  81. godot10 says:

    mike.c33:
    Gagner is 43 14-21-35 -6 this season. His point totals compare favorably to Matt Duchene (43 16-23-39 -12).

    Point totals adjusted for 48 game season:
    Gagner: 48 15-23-38 -7
    Duchene: 48 17-25-42 -13

    Point totals adjusted for 82 game season:
    Gagner: 82 26-40-66 -11
    Duchene: 82 30-43-73 -22

    Duchene will get paid 3.75 million in 2013-14. Can Gagner be inked to a similar deal?

    That is Duchene’s 2nd contract, negotiated when he did not have arbitration rights, and are all restricted years. Duschene is 2 years younger.

    Gagner was earning only $2.25 million on the equivalent contract. He now has arbitration rights, and only one more restricted year. Anything beyond one year for Gagner is an unrestricted year.

    You are comparing apples and oranges.

  82. godot10 says:

    russ99:
    As for center, Stephen Weiss is a UFA at 30, and is coming off a subpar season due to a wrist injury.

    Maybe we could swing one of those 6th rounder for negotiating rights deals at the draft, then try to get Weiss signed before he hits UFA and/or sell Gagner to the highest bidder.

    Why sign the old soon to be declining Stephen Weiss to a full money for value contract that will be hard to trade when he is 33,

    when one may have the NEXT Stephen Weiss in a 23 year old Gagner, who you probably can sign for 4x$4.5, and who will retain his trade value over the life of that contract, since he will be playing non-tough minutes with two top tier wingers.

  83. godot10 says:

    i.e. Signing Stephen Weiss to a big UFA contract is akin to the signing Horcoff to that UFA free agent contract 4 years ago.

    You want to sign players who are likely to improve over the course of their contract, to keep and sustain the rebuild in Red Wing like fashion for decades, NOT sign UFA’s whose play is likely to decline over the course of their contract, and take and hold big chunks of cap space.

    Gagner is a far better risk/reward than Weiss.

  84. rickithebear says:

    russ99: I still think that there’s a place for the Rajalas and Omarks in the organization, giving us secondary production with complementary players on the 4th line- that is if we acquire a good big shutdown 3rd line.

    You answered what i would say.
    The key:
    rajalas last run:
    37GM 14G 27A 1.11PPG
    37GM 9EVG 20EVA .79EVPPG
    .79 X.45 X 1.08 X82 NHLE 32 EVP
    he projects to 32 EV points in a 3rd line role.
    Might want to look @ our even scoring last 3 years.
    10-11:
    Gagner 32P
    hall 31
    Hemsky 31
    Eberle 30
    Cogliano 27
    MP 25
    11-12
    Eberle 56
    Smyth 38
    Gagner 35
    Hall 32
    RNH 29
    Hemsky 27
    12-13
    Hall 60
    Eberle 41
    Gagner 34
    Yakupov 32
    RNH 26
    we really need even scoring!
    32P averages top 3 last 3 years.

  85. Lowetide says:

    rickiethebear: Interesting. I don’t think he’ll get a chance, though. Rajala needs to have an insane TC in the fall, like scoring every game. Even then, he might want to break someone’s ankle with a slash too.

  86. gcw_rocks says:

    I think there are options to fill Gagner’s role if you trade him. You can go after Burmistrov in Winnipeg (Musil as the starting point of an offer) and I think you could get Grabovski out of Toronto at a discount.

    IF you can get Grabovski at a distressed price (he has averaged 50+ points per 82 over the 4 seasons prior to this one playing on the second line. But, he is not a Caryle type player) and can move Gagner for a top defender, I think you have to do it. The other nice thing about Grabovski is that he only has a limited NTC, so when the centre we all assume they will draft this summer is ready, you should be able to trade Grabovski. And if you are as smart as Gillis, you pump Grabo’s tires right before you deal him to maximize the return while filling whatever hole you have then.

    To me, those chess moves result in a better team now and in the future.

  87. gcw_rocks says:

    LT, can Rajala play LW? If the Oilers draft a big guy like Barkov, I could see an outside chance of him playing with Barkov and Yakupov 2 years out. Yak doesn’t play small and Barkov brings the beef. If there is enough size on the third line to grind the defense I think it could work. Might need to bring in a heavier hitter than Lander though. You need one line with skill that can punish and wear down the defense.

    2014/15

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Rajala – Barkov – Yakupov
    MPS – Lander – Hartikainen

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