IT’S A WORKING MAN I AM

The procurement department has a new GM to work for, and that probably changes a thing or two in Oiler land. The club’s needs are still the same (#1D, veterans up front for the 3-4 line, a quality backup goalie) but the priority order may be a little different now.

As in, the draft picks may be in play for immediate help.

I’m hopeful MacT doesn’t trade Hall, Nuge, Yak, Schultz the younger, Ebs, Gagner, Petry, Hemsky, Smid, Dubnyk. That’s the heart of the cluster for me, with Klefbom a part of that next year and the first round pick a big item too.

DRAFT ’13

monahan

 Sean Monahan

The Oilers would pick 7th in the 2013 entry draft if the season ended today. If we’re guessing about the Oilers board, it might look like this:

  1. Seth Jones
  2. Jonathan Drouin
  3. Slava Barkov
  4. Nathan MacKinnon
  5. Sean Monahan
  6. Elias Lindholm

The choices for 7 are the Russian (Valeri Nichushkin), the Finn (Rasmus Ristolainen), the Q PF (Anthony Mantha) and the Oil King (Curtis Lazar). If Monahan falls, they grab him. Maybe they even trade up. Would #7 and #37 get you to #5? It might.

Jonathan Willis has an article up at the Cult of Hockey about trading Eberle before Yakupov.

  • Willis: None of this is meant as a slight against Jordan Eberle: Yakupov belongs to an elite class of players, players seen as the best 18-year olds in hockey in their draft years. Eberle’s a very good player, and the Oilers aren’t likely to go wrong hanging on to him. But if there’s a decision to be made, Yakupov is the player who should stay with the organization.

I agree with Jon about all of what he’s written here, but wouldn’t deal Eberle. Why? As clear as it is that the #1 overalls are elite young talents, Eberle has been able to keep up–in fact, until this season the best year in the group belonged to Eberle. His contract means he’s paid in full and there’s certainly a cap consideration, but for me Eberle is part of the heart of the cluster. The Oilers traded Paul Coffey seven years into the last run, I can’t imagine it makes sense to trade any of these kids after three.

According to this article the Oilers are after Yale captain Andrew Miller. The free agents are being checked off one by one.

I thought Lander and Hartikainen played well last night, hope they stay in the lineup. The moves made by MacT yesterday (calling up those two kids) give us an idea about the summer, I think. Oilers are going to be saying goodbye to some veterans.

MacT said he’d use one of the bonus buyouts this summer, I think it’s probably Belanger. Smyth I suspect they’ll take care of another way (if they choose to end the relationship) and Eager’s been hurt and costs less. Any thoughts on that?

Rita MacNeil passed away. She was my Mom’s favorite singer, and one of the nice things her son ever got to do for his Mom was fly her into Regina for a Rita concert. I booked a limo and had backstage passes (Mom said no to the limo and was too shy to go backstage–that’s a Rita MacNeil fan) but she had a wonderful time and Rita put on a great show.

Rest in peace, Rita MacNeil. Say hi to Mom in heaven. She knows all the words.

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140 Responses to "IT’S A WORKING MAN I AM"

  1. FPB94 says:

    Altough I know in the real world you often have to give something to get something (and often you don’t, see Shattenkirk, PAcioretty, etc).

    But I think it’s always a good exercise to go on the players bios and check up their age, go in the league leaders in scoring and realize they are usually a bit older, and that’l probably come along.

    IMO the worst thing they could be is impatient. A lot of good players are moved around for not much. I hope MacT can knows how to pilfer.

    They could have moved Khabibulin or Peckham when they had some value but didn’t: That’s how you get assets and turn them into an unwanted player draft time.

  2. kosiork says:

    In discussing the procurement division of these Edmonton Oilers, do you believe the pro scouting department is due for a shakeup? It seems the amateur guys are doing due diligence, as I seem them out in force at college/junior/high school games and the results seem positive thus far. But, as noted here and elsewhere, we can’t seem to identify current NHL’ers very well.

    Good Rita MacNeil story. She was my Grandma’s favorite as well. Though Grandma didn’t want to go to the concert, I bought her a tape. When Grandma died, we found that worn out tape in her drawer. I doubt it still works, but I kept it anyways…

  3. leadfarmer says:

    I seriously doubt anyone was willing to give more than a 3rd for Khabi or Whitney, a 6th for Jones, and conditional 7th for Peckham, so Tambellini decided just to keep them all.

  4. cc says:

    LT, Quick question.

    Is there any reason why you don’t consider Nurse to be a possibility for the Oilers. He’s seems to be on most people top 8, he’s a big (6’4), mean LHS d-man with offensive upside. Just curious …

    Good Rita song! Heaven’s got two great voice’s the past couple of days with Summerall and Rita.

  5. daryl says:

    “priority order may be a little different now”? As in, these are priorities instead of not doing anything?

  6. Clay says:

    I’m hopeful MacT doesn’t trade Hall, Nuge, Yak, Schultz the younger, Ebs, Gagner, Petry, Hemsky, Smid, Dubnyk.

    So if you’re playing GM this morning, how do you go about getting a legit #1 Dman without giving up anyting of quality? Do you believe that Klefbom/Schultz is the #1 pair of the future, they just need some time?

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “I’m hopeful MacT doesn’t trade Hall, Nuge, Yak, Schultz the younger, Ebs, Gagner, Petry, Hemsky, Smid, Dubnyk. That’s the heart of the cluster for me, with Klefbom a part of that next year and the first round pick a big item too.”

    I can sign on to this without reserve. However, as I’ve noted before, I have a profound worry that “bold” and “risk” might mean MacT is leering the wrong way toward a ghastly 1 for 3. To me the venerable idea of a 3 for 1 (some combo from the boxes: roster player, prospect, pick) doesn’t scream risk and bold.

    I sure hope the correction from risk averse to risk isn’t an over-correction.

    On the draft, I think there’s a legit chance we find our way to the top 5. If that is the case, I’d go Barkov, Monahan, Nichushkin.

    I also don’t think you trade this piece of the puzzle away.

    Ahh Rita. My mom loves her too. I could never stand her music though. As a kid it was simply horrible to listen to, full stop. Now, listening to it again it is still horrifically bad. But, now at least I can give an account of why it is awful.

    It’s not her voice — which is good, has a great range and an interesting character — that is the problem. It’s the god-awful production. It’s not that her music has been ripped from the barroom to the concert hall that is the problem, although I suspect it’s not helping. It’s that the rawness of the music — the stories it tells, the tradition instruments and arrangements it relies upon — is completely lost in a studio environment averse to mistakes, improvisation, cacophony and a distinct, minimal arrangement. Instead of a simple band supporting her, you’ve got this horrifically syrupy production taking too many pages out of the “new country” cookbook. It’s like listening to music through a “soft focus” lens. Just terrible.

  8. FPB94 says:

    I don’t see anything in Klefbom’s stats or career suggesting he might mass produce anything but Injury.

  9. Hambone678 says:

    Clay,

    Agreed. For a bottom-feeder team, that’s a long list of untouchables. I think MacT has to be prepared to trade quality for quality to meet the team’s needs. Gagner and Eberle have to be considered tradeable for a top pairing D-man.

  10. mps91 says:

    1. The Oil NEED to come out of this draft with a big and skilled centre. This draft is stocked with them, and it might be our last shot at this high a pick (fingers crossed). Monahan seems like the perfect fit in terms of size, playing style, and the personality the Oil look for when drafting.

    2. No need to panic and trade one of the cornerstone kids. If 3 years down the road we’re in the same spot then sure, pull the trigger. Till then we need to give MacT a shot at rounding out the roster.

  11. jimbones100 says:

    I have to disagree with your forward group. I agree that Eberle isn’t going anywhere. However Hemsky and Gagner are hurting more than helping the team this year. When you factor in the combined 10mil in salary those are the two players you move. As a result we have a 2nd line issue on this team not a 3rd line issue.

    Forwards to keep: Kid line, Yak, PRV, Lander, Harti, Horcoff.

    That means your first and third lines are set and you have one key player (Yak) for your second line. Horcoff, PRV, Harti is line 3 and Lander 4th line center.

  12. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT, you say “The choices for 7 are the Russian (Valeri Nichushkin), the Finn (Rasmus Ristolainen), the Q PF (Anthony Mantha) and the Oil King (Curtis Lazar). If Monahan falls, they grab him. Maybe they even trade up. Would #7 and #37 get you to #5? It might.”

    How again does Lazar enter this conversation?

    I am getting concerned that no matter how high our potential pick gets you continue to include Lazar as a nameamongst the available cluster. I get the appeal. He was a high value pick when we were pickingaround the playoff line, 15-20, and maybe a justified reach from 10-15. The Oilers are safely within the top 10 now and are shooting (like a falling hunk of space rock) for top 5 – Lazar is not on our first pick radar.

    When MacT talked about taking risks I understood that to mean you call the all-in bets when you are holding the A-K and you are convinced he has a pocket pair. It’s a coin flip but sometimes you have to have a race. I did NOT understand that you disregard everyone else’s opinion, convinced you are the smartest guy in the room and reach for a player like Lazar that early. Nothing tells me that our “Magnificent Bastard” would suggest such an option.

    If there is a “risk” pick to make it might be Nichushkin, and that is a risk that makes some sense because, as I’ve said before, this draft feels like the Jagr draft where amongst many very good options the BPA may actually be on the board longer than anyone realizes.

  13. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    FPB94,

    …you could say that about 90% of Oiler draft picks…..

  14. G Money says:

    If you’re going to make a “bold move” to bring back some quality players, then quality has to be going out the door.

    So how do we keep all of Yak, Ebs, Hemsky – three RW who have to play on the top 2 lines? That’s the very essence of an unbalanced roster. A bold move has to include one of them leaving (and believe me, I will be sad to see any of them go).

    After that, the decisions are easier but no less complicated.

    The other guy on the bubble for me is the Hobbit. I have defended keeping him since the beginning (giving away a <23 yr old player with his potential is foolish for a rebuilding team) – but now I"m just baffled.

    David Staples posted one of his early "Neilsen Numbers" columns a few days ago, from back when Gagner was in his early days. Both he and Hemsky were solid plusses in terms of their ability to keep the puck going the right way.

    Yet last night’s half-hearted clearing attempt that led to a Minny goal perfectly captures Gagner’s season this year.

    Someone please answer me this … Both Hemsky and to a lesser extent Gagner in the past have shown that they can hold their own against tough competition, and Hemsky in particular has been able to come out on the plus side against the toughest the other team has to offer.

    SO.WHY.DO.THEY.STINK.SO.BAD.DEFENSIVELY.THIS.YEAR????

    New system? Incompatibility? Terrible D leaves everyone out of position and confused?

    If Gagner and Hemsky had done nothing more than saw off their +/- (shots, goals) this year, like they’ve done in the past, the Oilers would be a playoff team, and the weaknesses would be fewer and the needs less pressing.

    SO.WHY.DO.THEY.STINK.SO.BAD.DEFENSIVELY.THIS.YEAR????

    That will be one of the big conundrum’s for MacT to solve.

  15. supernova says:

    MacT said he’d use one of the bonus buyouts this summer, I think it’s probably Belanger. Smyth I suspect they’ll take care of another way (if they choose to end the relationship) and Eager’s been hurt and costs less. Any thoughts on that?

    A CBA question,

    could they not just boyout all 3 of these players and save the compliance buyouts?

    don’t know that saving them is necessary but it might come in handy?

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Doug McLachlan: this draft feels like the Jagr draft where amongst many very good options the BPA may actually be on the board longer than anyone realizes.

    Interesting draft year. I’d guess Jagr suffered mostly from not playing in the WHL and OHL more than anything… nothing changes!

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl1990e.html

    the only guy on that list that might challenge Jagr 23 years out is Brodeur for a re-draft BPA.

  17. Clarkenstein says:

    Kevin Lowe’s apology…. no Kevin you said it because you meant it. If you’re serious about wanting this organization to win… and I’m sure you are… then resign at season’s end. You’ve pissed in the cornflakes and nobody wants to eat them now.

  18. Clarkenstein says:

    …also, thanks for the Rita song Al… that should be a Canadian anthem. Love it.

  19. Bag of Pucks says:

    A good rule of thumb for Kevin Lowe?

    If you want people to think you’re smart and capable, stop saying stupid things.

    And KLowe apologists, please stop giving him a free pass on this because “he simply let his emotions get the best of him and this is who he is.”

    Controlling your emotions and treating others with respect is at the very core of maturity and professionalism. If Kevin Lowe isn’t capable of avoiding these bullying outbursts, he’s shouldn’t be in a position of authority anywhere, never mind this hockey team. He has embarrassed this city far too many times with his childish behavior.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Truth Movement: http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=239720

    Best part of that video is the pride of place granted to that commemorative Rangers photo above his left shoulder.

    This team sure has PR down!

  21. HugThePost says:

    Fortunately, Lowe isn’t in any real position of importance in the grand scheme of things. He doesn’t educate or provide care for our children. He isn’t involved in forming legislation. He doesn’t provide care for the sick or injured. All he is is a shill for a business in the entertainment industry. I suspect more will speak with the $$ about how they feel about his comments.

    But having said that…..fans will still watch and cheer, even us 2nd Class ones who don’t pay the freight, and all will be forgiven if MacT delivers a winner.

    Lowe will just continue to be everyone’s crazy uncle who sits in the corner at family gatherings, telling racist/ sexist jokes and demanding his drink be topped up.

  22. Hammers says:

    Belanger is a definite buy out . 1 of the 2 . I would save other buy out for a year and it may be Horc even though I have allways liked the guy . The others like Eager you can live with or do the 2/3rd deal .Hartski & Lander are up and should play with Magnus now on 3rd line . Put Hall back on 1st line Horc centering Gags & Yak . 4th could be Belanger Pettrell & Brown . Krueger needs to think next year right now.

  23. ashley says:

    TheOtherJohn/Godot,

    Sorry for the delayed reply regarding 1OV picks being traded.

    Admittedly, I didn’t do a search, and your list is more than I had recalled.

    However, a fair number of those 1OV players turned out marginal by pedigree, or had attitude/chemistry issues so I can see why they were traded.

    I don’t think any of our 1OV picks will be marginal, and there certainly isn’t any attitude/chemistry problem. So I would never trade any one of them. If we had picked Ryan Murray on the other hand…..

    Also, I don’t know why RNH doesn’t get more love though. It’s not just that we need a center and he is a pretty good one. He is subtle and very clever out there. He is astute defensively, and has anticipation/hockey sense beyond his years. His stats are having an off year, but that will come. I think he may end up the best of the three, but Yak is going to make him earn that.

  24. FrankenOil says:

    Since we are that usual point in the year where the Oilers are destined or the lottery, I have a few thoughts/musings:

    1) I hope the Oilers trade down and hopefully pick up a pick in the 2nd or 3rd round if they fall out of the top 5 (Barkov, Monahana, MacK, Drouin, Jones). I would think if they want Lazar, Gauthier, Domi (I know he’s small but the kid is skilled) and Horvath, one of those four could be around in the 15-20 slot.

    2)There are a lot off interesting LHD from the WHL with 2nd round grades that are intriguing: Shea Theodore, Eric Roy and Mirco Muller. If the Oilers could walk out of the top 2 rounds with Lazar/Horvat/Domil/Gautheir, Jarry/Comrie/Fucale, and Roy/Theodore/Muller then that would be a hell of a haul.

    3) If they can pick up an extra top 100 selection, use one of their 3 non-first round picks on Anton Slepyshev and hope for a home run.

    4)Try to acquire some more latter round picks and use them on US High School kids destined for College or raw Euro kids in order to take advantage of the longer signing period and development window. This also allows to space out the signing windows so we don’t have to sign 7 kids from one draft class in a summer.

  25. godot10 says:

    I would forget about whale hunting for a #1 D. Get two quality top 4 D. 2 quality D play 45 minutes vs. 25 minutes for a #1 D. A established #1 D costs too much in terms of what one has to trade to get it, and will be on a contract that is not value for money. One has to draft and develop them, or trade for them before they become #1 D’s. Find two legit top 4 D, one of which has upside potential.

    Vancouver does pretty well with 5D defensemen who are all #2′s and #3′s.

    Petry, Smid, 2 new top 4 guys, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Potter, Klefbom, and maybe one of Fistric or Peckham.

    Whale-hunting is dumb. The problem with the Oilers is the quality of the depth players. Petry and Justin Schultz have upside potential to be Canuck-type #2′s.

    Aside: Gagner may have cost himself a million per season in the last two weeks.

  26. slopitch says:

    I would shop Gagner over the offseason. Hall has reiterated many times how he likes playing with Nuge and Eberle. Anaheim could acquire Pronger without moving Getzlaf or Perry. Dont put your premier youth in play.

    I’d never trade YakCity.

    As for that 1st round pick. I think you have to keep it. We’ve seen guys like Coutourier and Hamilton slip to the 8 range in recent years and Jeff Skinner was also there prior to that. I don’t think they can afford to move that pick unless the return is #1D.

    I’d like to see the Oilers push for Couturier and Gustaffson from Phi. Couturier is a 6″4 2way C which we dearly need. Gustaffson starts 42% of his faceoffs in the ozone and ends up 56%. That’s crazy good. Has a low PDO so his stats should be better too.

    Oh and I’d buy out Belanger and Eager. No contracts for Petrell, Hordichuk or Smithson.

  27. pboy says:

    My best Kreskin imitation.

    Hall – New C with size – Yakupov
    New LW with size – RNH – Eberle
    MPS – Horcoff – Harti
    Petrell – Lander – Brown

    Smid – Petry
    Schultz – Schultz
    New D – New D
    Potter (with Klefbom waiting in the wings)

    Jones, Whitney, Fistric and Khabi not re-signed.
    Hemsky, Gagner and the 2nd round pick all dealt at the draft.

    The Oilers spend a lot of energy chasing after one of the compliance buy-out players but don’t get him. I’m thinking about Vinny Lecavalier here.

    We miss the playoffs again but show improvement. Ralph doesn’t get a 3rd year.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    @HugthePost

    Fortunately, your crazy uncle doesn’t represent your city with the local media and on the national stage.

    Part of the covenant a sports team makes with its citizenry, is to represent those citizens with class. It’s about more than winning. It’s also about professionalism, sportsmanship, charity, and likely of the highest importance, setting an example for the kids. This is precisely why the Oilers feel entitled to come with hat in hand for arena funding, because they’ve pitched themselves as part of the social fabric.

    Whether it’s Ralph Klein throwing pennies at the homeless or Lowe going off on a reporter asking a reasonable question given the circumstances, we have a tendency in E-town to find grounds to apologize for these louts. Ralph was early stage Alzheimers. Possibly Lowe is as well?

    Kevin Lowe did not represent this city with class on Monday, and whether it’s his petulance towards Bryan Burke, Mike Comrie, or the local media, the continued outbursts would seem to indicate a pattern of behavior and not a one off that should be given a free pass.

    Lowe can apologize all he wants. As long as he continues to act this way, that apology is meaningless, as it’s simply a matter of time before the other shoe drops and he embarrasses himself and this city yet again.

  29. Beaker says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    @HugthePost

    Fortunately, your crazy uncle doesn’t represent your city with the local media and on the national stage.

    Part of the covenant a sports team makes with its citizenry, is to represent those citizens with class. It’s about more than winning. It’s also about professionalism, sportsmanship, charity, and likely of the highest importance, setting an example for the kids. This is precisely why the Oilers feel entitled to come with hat in hand for arena funding, because they’ve pitched themselves as part of the social fabric.

    Whether it’s Ralph Klein throwing pennies at the homeless or Lowe going off on a reporter asking a reasonable question given the circumstances, we have a tendency in E-town to find grounds to apologize for these louts. Ralph was early stage Alzheimers. Possibly Lowe is as well?

    Kevin Lowe did not represent this city with class on Monday, and whether it’s his petulance towards Bryan Burke, Mike Comrie, or the local media, the continued outbursts would seem to indicate a pattern of behavior and not a one off that should be given a free pass.

    Lowe can apologize all he wants. As long as he continues to act this way, that apology is meaningless, as it’s simply a matter of time before the other shoe drops and he embarrasses himself and this city yet again.

    Totally not an apologist for the guy but if you are going to say he should be treated according to his actions you should probably include all the guys actions in the community. If I’m not mistaken both he and his wife have done a lot of work in this community in a number of different capacities for a long long time.

  30. Captain Obvious says:

    godot10:
    I would forget about whale hunting for a #1 D.Get two quality top 4 D.2 quality D play 45 minutes vs. 25 minutes for a #1 D.A established #1 D costs too much in terms of what one has to trade to get it, and will be on a contract that is not value for money.One has to draft and develop them, or trade for them before they become #1 D’s.Find two legit top 4 D, one of which has upside potential.

    Vancouver does pretty well with 5D defensemen who are all #2′s and #3′s.

    Petry, Smid, 2 new top 4 guys, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Potter, Klefbom, and maybe one of Fistric or Peckham.

    Whale-hunting is dumb.The problem with the Oilers is the quality of the depth players.Petry and Justin Schultz have upside potential to be Canuck-type #2′s.

    Aside: Gagner may have cost himself a million per season in the last two weeks.

    I endorse this message. You have to get the #1 before he is a #1. You have to get Subban while Montreal is lowballing him. Now its too late. Gutting the team for the privilege to pay Weber is a bad idea. Instead target a number of underappreciated players with real value.

  31. rickithebear says:

    #1 Dman?
    What is that?
    I presume a big minutes Dman that can improve our team in all 3 phases EV, PK,PP

    Our top Even Dmen for Points and GA who faced 1st comp.
    Petry .66p/60 2.16
    Fistric .46p/60 1.59
    Smid .26p/60 2.15

    PP
    J.Schultz 5.87P/60 7.83 GD/60
    Whitney 4.47P/60 7.45GD/60
    Full time last year.
    Potter 4.00P/60 #1 GD/60 11-12 and 12-13
    Petry 3.25p/60 #2 GD

    PK
    Fistric 3.79GA/60
    Petry 3.88GA/60
    N. Schultz 4.06GA/60
    Smid 4.59 GA/60
    potter 5.69 GA/60

    So what I Can see is we want a Dman who can
    Even: 17+ min versus 1st Comp .46P/60 2.15GA/60 or less (Better than petry)
    PP: who replaces whitney’s (better # than petry) 3.25P/60 6.50 GD/60
    Pk: who replaces N. schultz’s (better than smid) 4.59 GA

    And the answers is

    E. Karlsson OTT
    J. Petry EDM

    holly crap!
    What is petry going to ask.

    that magic #1 is already on our team.
    he is not good enough to get PP time this year.

  32. ashley says:

    godot10,

    godot10:
    I would forget about whale hunting for a #1 D.Get two quality top 4 D.2 quality D play 45 minutes vs. 25 minutes for a #1 D.A established #1 D costs too much in terms of what one has to trade to get it, and will be on a contract that is not value for money.One has to draft and develop them, or trade for them before they become #1 D’s.Find two legit top 4 D, one of which has upside potential.

    Vancouver does pretty well with 5D defensemen who are all #2′s and #3′s.

    Petry, Smid, 2 new top 4 guys, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Potter, Klefbom, and maybe one of Fistric or Peckham.

    Whale-hunting is dumb.The problem with the Oilers is the quality of the depth players.Petry and Justin Schultz have upside potential to be Canuck-type #2′s.

    Aside: Gagner may have cost himself a million per season in the last two weeks.

    Agreed. While we have been dreaming about a wow trade for an elite 1D, Smid and Petry have quietly become a very solid and reliable top pairing. It all falls apart after that. J Schultz will fill some of the gap, hopefully by next year. So we should be in the market for a good second pairing defenceman in the 2-3 million range. Hopefully we will get this on the free agent market.

    Maybe it’s the Pronger effect. Nobody is ever going to come in here and do what Pronger did though. Not even Weber. It’s time to let go of 2006…

  33. Beaker says:

    ashley,

    just because Smid and Petry play as out top pairing right now does not make them top pairing guys. They are a great second pairing.

  34. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Kevin Lowe’s apology…. no Kevin you said it because you meant it. If you’re serious about wanting this organization to win… and I’m sure you are… then resign at season’s end. You’ve pissed in the cornflakes and nobody wants to eat them now.

    That’s the neat thing about pissing in cornflakes. When you bumble through the new improved cornflakes launch people forget the offensive part is the cornflakes.

    In context Lowe’s apology was sufficient. Retaining Lowe is not sufficient.

    Mckinnon: “….How are fans going to be reassured that the group that left the mess that Tambellini couldn’t quite clean up is now going to be cleaned up by the guys who left the mess to begin with?”

    MacT: ….”what we say today has very little bearing on how I’m going to be EVALUATED as I go forward and I look forward to the challenge of the job. I’m going to help turn this team around. That’s all I can tell you.”

    [Not Kevin Lowe: "I’ll just add a piece to that, John. You know, fair question. We're serious about that EVALUATION process. We hear the fans out there in Oil Country loud and clear and the press isn't shy to help us with that. And we also consult our season ticket-holders year round and more intensively in annual sessions".]

    Kevin Lowe: ”I’ll just add a piece to that, John. You know, fair question. We have two types of fans. We have paying customers, and we have people that watch the game. But certainly the people who go to the games and support, we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message”

  35. Jonathan Willis says:

    leadfarmer,

    Direct quote from Tambellini:

    ” I could have moved people for mid-round picks, maybe a little higher in a couple of other circumstances, but that wasn’t my goal coming into this trade deadline.”

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    Beaker: Totally not an apologist for the guy but if you are going to say he should be treated according to his actions you should probably include all the guys actions in the community.If I’m not mistaken both he and his wife have done a lot of work in this community in a number of different capacities for a long long time.

    Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I don’t think being charitable gives someone the excuse to abuse the public trust and act like an ass.

    The real problem here is ownership’s inability and/or unwillingness to rein this in. With EIG, there was likely simply too many of them to act in a concerted manner to properly discipline Lowe. Katz seems too starstruck, though to be fair, someone must’ve prompted that lame video. Maybe that’s evidence of a step in the right direction.

  37. mustang says:

    I think bold would be moving MPS and/or Gagner, I doubt it would be one of the fab 5 unless something blows MacT’s socks off, I have no idea what would do that.

  38. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    HugThePost:
    Fortunately, Lowe isn’t in any real position of importance in the grand scheme of things.He doesn’t educate or provide care for our children.He isn’t involved in forming legislation.He doesn’t provide care for the sick or injured.All he is is a shill for a business in the entertainment industry.I suspect more will speak with the $$ about how they feel about his comments.

    But having said that…..fans will still watch and cheer, even us 2nd Class ones who don’t pay the freight, and all will be forgiven if MacT delivers a winner.

    Lowe will just continue to be everyone’s crazy uncle who sits in the corner at family gatherings, telling racist/ sexist jokes and demanding his drink be topped up.

    Dang. Watching the current premier’s inept attempt at homegenizing universities ['cuz it worked so well with the school system] combing our bars for crazy uncles to ship to Edmonton is looking better and better.

  39. FrankenOil says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    So his goal was to add a 4th line DC to a team screaming for re-enforcements?

  40. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    “With EIG, there was likely simply too many of them to act in a concerted manner to properly discipline Lowe”
    Bag of Pucks,

    With EIG there were too many to decide whether to extend him or send him walking. That led directly to the Vanek swing for the fences.

    EDIT: GM’s on extension watch need to be watched like prisoners on their way to execution. Their escape attempts are dangerous. It’s not a good place to be and EIG unravelled at that point.

  41. oilersfan says:

    JW has Tambellini spoken since his dismissal or is that old news?

    also, one other concerning item coming from Tencer and Stauffer lately is that the Oilers plan to use one of the seconds on a goalie. I wonder if that goalie ever makes the NHL if it will be before Hall’s contract is up?? if they want a goalie, trade the pick to a team with a proven backup not for some kid who likely won’t work out, and if he does, will take 7 years to do so.

  42. LoDog says:

    FPB94: I don’t see anything in Klefbom’s stats or career suggesting he might mass produce anything but Injury.

    If you just look at Brodin’s stats you would say the same thing but he is doing pretty dam fine with the wild at 19.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Truth Movement: shown that they can hold their own against tough competition, and Hemsky in particular has been able to come out on the plus side against the toughest the other team has to offer.
    SO.WHY.DO.THEY.STINK.SO.BAD.DEFENSIVELY.THIS.YEAR????
    New system? Incompatibility? Terrible D leaves everyone out of position and confused?

    I love how the only visible picture in the background is one of the Rangers hoisting the cup.

    The Oilers are such a bush operation.

    Did no one in the room or editing room notice that?

    First thing I keyed on.

    Hilarious.

    Standard.

    Bush.

  44. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    If you’re going to make a “bold move” to bring back some quality players, then quality has to be going out the door.

    So how do we keep all of Yak, Ebs, Hemsky – three RW who have to play on the top 2 lines?That’s the very essence of an unbalanced roster. A bold move has to include one of them leaving (and believe me, I will be sad to see any of them go).

    After that, the decisions are easier but no less complicated.

    The other guy on the bubble for me is the Hobbit.I have defended keeping him since the beginning (giving away a <23 yr old player with his potential is foolish for a rebuilding team) – but now I”m just baffled.

    David Staples posted one of his early “Neilsen Numbers” columns a few days ago, from back when Gagner was in his early days. Both he and Hemsky were solid plusses in terms of their ability to keep the puck going the right way.

    Yet last night’s half-hearted clearing attempt that led to a Minny goal perfectly captures Gagner’s season this year.

    Someone please answer me this … Both Hemsky and to a lesser extent Gagner in the past have shown that they can hold their own against tough competition, and Hemsky in particular has been able to come out on the plus side against the toughest the other team has to offer.

    SO.WHY.DO.THEY.STINK.SO.BAD.DEFENSIVELY.THIS.YEAR????

    New system?Incompatibility?Terrible D leaves everyone out of position and confused?

    If Gagner and Hemsky had done nothing more than saw off their +/- (shots, goals) this year, like they’ve done in the past, the Oilers would be a playoff team, and the weaknesses would be fewer and the needs less pressing.

    SO.WHY.DO.THEY.STINK.SO.BAD.DEFENSIVELY.THIS.YEAR????

    That will be one of the big conundrum’s for MacT to solve.

    A bunch of the Oilogoshpere has been trying to figure it out too.

    Tyler’s post here: http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5588 is a good start.

    I also posted two things in a different thread. I’ll repost them now:

    WOODGUY says:
    April 15, 2013 at 7:50 am
    Tyler had a great post about this on Feb 25th.

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5588

    Perhaps if we grovel and beg, he’ll update the data for more games.

    In it, he discovered that 89/83 had about as many shot attempts against per shift as 14/93.

    Where the huge disparity was in shot attempts for per shift.

    The two key areas was how often 89/83 got 0 CF/shift and 2 CF/shit compared to 14/93. Their 1 CF/shift was almost identical (NOTE: CF is corsi for,i.e. shot attempt)

    0 CF PER SHIFT
    89/83 64.5%
    93/14 51.8%

    2 CF PER SHIFT
    89/83 7%
    93/14 14%

    I think these two numbers are where the big dive in CF happen for 89 and each has a different explanation.

    0 CF/SHIFT – I think this can be attributed to “cheating for offense” lack of break out. I’ve often bitched that 89 doesn’t stay as low as 93 when the D get the puck to make it an easy first pass.

    93 gets low and often makes another pass in the dzone to transition north, or skates it out himself.
    89 tends to jailbreak with his line mates and force the D to have to make an amazing pass to continue to have possession in the neutral zone.

    This also often causes an “off the glass and out” moment as if anyone other than 6, 19 and sometimes 2 has the puck, that pass isn’t going to end well.

    So I think the drop off here is due to the dzone play.

    The 2 CF/shift disparity can be summed with the ability to retain possession in the ozone.
    This is where many fans and MSM stand up and scream WE’RE TOO SMALL!!! Ignoring the fact that little 93 and little 14 retain possession at elite NHL levels. (4 helps that ton, no question)
    The difference by eye is that 4-93-14 are constantly moving in the ozone. This makes is much, much more difficult to check them and get the puck. The edge work all 3 have tends to make most D who chase them look silly. They cycle the puck as effectively as 3 hulking Penners.

    I see 91-89-83 much more stationary and therefore easier to check. This is where size does matter.

    Winning a puck battle standing still certainly favours the larger man, or one with “strong, muscular thighs” 91-89-83 are none of those things.

    There was one game where 91-89-83 were moving around the ozone like 4-93-14 and it was like watching Globetrotters. Unfortunately, its not something they seem to do often.

    That’s one way to look at it.

    I post more as the day goes on.

  45. FastOil says:

    My only concern with MacT is his stated impatience. As long as he doesn’t force things, keeps talking around the league, he can be one of those GM’s that knows what he wants to do and is ready when those good deals and opportunities come up every once in a while.

    It’s more a matter of being ready to go, not trying to make it happen when it’s not there and overpaying to get someone you want.

    The real help needed immediately is farther down the food chain anyway. I am in the camp that thinks 4 really good and 2 stable D are as useful as a stud #1 and weaker group because of the salary, especially when the inevitable injuries happen – depth.

  46. gcw_rocks says:

    Re: College free agents:

    http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/03/20/nhl-college-free-agent-tracker-updated-march-20/

    Two prime targets for the Oilers in college free agency are gone.

    Antoine Laganiere (Yale) — RW — reportedly signed by Anaheim Ducks on April 15 – At 6-4, 215, he has power-forward style and a work ethic that fits that particular role. upside is probably 3rd line RW

    Eric Hartzell (Quinnipiac) — G – signed by Pittsburgh Penguins on April 14 – One of the top free agent goalies coming out of college hockey

    Sigh…

  47. rickithebear says:

    Now if we are looking for:
    Even minute eating tough comp Dman with good GA results and high P/60.
    Who is highly productive on PP.

    Karlsson
    Keith
    Hamilton
    Petry
    Suter
    Weber

  48. Woodguy says:

    Another re-post:

    Line mates question.

    Here are Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and 4 most common Dmen for the last 4 years.

    The + or – next to the name is the increase or decrease in CF% the player had with Gagner (i.e. Hemsky this year is 47.7%CF without Gagner and 41.2% with Gagner, so he’s listed at -6.5%)

    I was going to do top 3 wingers, but there is a big drop off in TOI together in almost every year from 3rd to 4th that only posting 3 made more sense.

    NOTE: The quality of comp plays a role here, but a quick look at BTN shows that the role is fairly consistent. 3rd level comp for the most part, last year was close to 2nd level. Same role every year.
    Some of the increase that we see in CF for players playing with Gagner in most years (except this
    year) can be partially attributed to seeing easier comp with Gagner than without. Don’t forget that.

    Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 12/13 41.8%CF
    Hemsky -6.5
    Paajarvi -4.3
    Yak +4.1

    Petry -1.7
    Smid -3.5
    J.Shultz -7.3
    N.Shultz -3.9

    Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 11/12 48.9%CF
    Hemsky +1.9
    Hall +3.9
    Eberle +1.6

    Petry even
    Smid +4.2
    Potter -3.6
    Whitney -0.8

    Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 10/11 CH 48.1%
    Paajarvi +0.2
    Omark -0.7
    Hall +1.2

    Gilbert +2.7
    Smid +0.8
    Foster +2.2
    Peckham +4.1

    Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 09/10 CF 48.2%
    Penner +0.5
    Nilsson -1.3
    Cogliano +3.0

    Vis +4.5
    Gilbert +5.9
    Smid +2.6
    Grebs +2.9

    Like I stated earlier, I think that a certain amount of the increase in CF% for players playing with Gagner than without is due to easier comp with Gagner.

    I think that showing all 4 years certainly marks this one as the “one off”

    I think a good chunk of it is difficulty with the new system, but it doesn’t let him off the hook as others are working the system well. (gifted line)

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: I love how the only visible picture in the background is one of the Rangers hoisting the cup.

    The Oilers are such a bush operation.

    Did no one in the room or editing room notice that?

    First thing I keyed on.

    Hilarious.

    Standard.

    Bush.

    It’s bush league, but is it also possible that Lowe has created a culture wherein no one feels empowered to challenge him on anything?

    I could certainly visualize a situation where some hapless PR flack has to run this shoot, knowing Lowe’s none too pleased with having to do it, and is not going to say anything in the slightest that might tick him off.

    For example, “I think the prominent Rangers photo above your shoulder might send the wrong message here?”

    Response. “That was my 6th ring. Sixth! Do you know who I am? I am the living embodiment of Bobby Orr and Sam Pollock’s DNA. I wake up in the morning and I piss hockey excellence. My brain is so big, my hair had to leave to afford it more room.”

  50. gcw_rocks says:

    I don’t see how you make a “bold move” without putting at least one of Eberle, Gagner, Hemsky, MPS, or the 2013 1st round pick in play. Klefbom, coming off an injury is probably safe.

    For me, I would look and Gagner and Hemsky. I don’t think you can have a string bean like RNH backed up by a smurf like Gagner, and if I have to pick one of the, I keep RNH. And if picking between yak, Eberle and Hemsky, I move Hemsky.

    Gagner, coming off a 65-70 point (per 82) season should be able to get you a top defender or a big winger. Hemsky plus a defensive prospect like Musil should get you another key piece.

    Losing Gagner creates a hole, but I would target Grabo to fill it in the short term. His NTC is limited to providing a 10 team no go list, so you could move him when Monahan or Lazar is ready.

  51. art vandelay says:

    The plan for the New/Old Oiler suits:
    1. Collect Top Picks
    2. ?????
    3. Win Stanley Cup

  52. Woodguy says:

    I also talked to a guy who does some consulting for some NHL teams and asked him about the OIlers system.

    His response was that RK is asking the C’s to do much more than Renney did.

    The key difference in the system (besides the up ice pressure by the D requiring the F to bust ass to cover) is the C’s stay lower and the F’s fly the zone quicker in RK’s system.

    This is making the 1st pass much, much longer for the D or C to the winger The success of this pass is low and the Oilers possession through the neutral zone is terrible as a result.

    RNH and Horcoff seem to stay lower than Gagner and often take the pass themselves from the D, this helps bridge the big gap to where the wingers are.

    It a system designed to really stretch the opposing D, but on the NHL sized ice, with these players, I don’t think it works worth a shit.

    Its way easier to run this on international ice as the flying forwards have more room to receive the stretch pass.

    In the NHL the opposing D are on the flying forwards and breaking it up almost every time.

    My guy also told me that no other NHL team is running this system.

    I think we can figure out why.

    I would prefer to see one forward fly and one stay lower (even as low as high in dzone) to give more outlet pass options and to also move through the neutral zone with numbers in order to maintain possession into the ozone.

  53. VanOil says:

    Woodguy,

    You are quoted by Zona in his explanation of Why Oilers Suck Defensively. I think his system critique has merit.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/4/17/4230198/oilers-struggles-centre-systemic-slumps-ralph-malph

    I am a big proponent of 10ft passes in both zones. Ralph is a rookie coach and has the shown the capacity to learn, change, adapt. Hopefully he continues to develop right along with the players.

    I would like to see Ralph in more of an NFL head coaching style setup where he sets out the game plan and the personal decisions but leaves the play by play tactical decisions to a strategy guy.

  54. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Another re-post:Line mates question.Here are Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and 4 most common Dmen for the last 4 years.The + or – next to the name is the increase or decrease in CF% the player had with Gagner (i.e. Hemsky this year is 47.7%CF without Gagner and 41.2% with Gagner, so he’s listed at -6.5%)I was going to do top 3 wingers, but there is a big drop off in TOI together in almost every year from 3rd to 4th that only posting 3 made more sense.NOTE: The quality of comp plays a role here, but a quick look at BTN shows that the role is fairly consistent. 3rd level comp for the most part, last year was close to 2nd level. Same role every year.Some of the increase that we see in CF for players playing with Gagner in most years (except thisyear) can be partially attributed to seeing easier comp with Gagner than without. Don’t forget that.Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 12/13 41.8%CFHemsky -6.5Paajarvi -4.3Yak +4.1Petry -1.7Smid -3.5J.Shultz -7.3N.Shultz -3.9Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 11/12 48.9%CFHemsky +1.9Hall +3.9Eberle +1.6Petry evenSmid +4.2Potter -3.6Whitney -0.8Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 10/11 CH 48.1%Paajarvi +0.2Omark -0.7Hall +1.2Gilbert +2.7Smid +0.8Foster +2.2Peckham +4.1Gagner’s 3 most common wingers and Dmen 09/10 CF 48.2%Penner +0.5Nilsson -1.3Cogliano +3.0Vis +4.5Gilbert +5.9Smid +2.6Grebs +2.9Like I stated earlier, I think that a certain amount of the increase in CF% for players playing with Gagner than without is due to easier comp with Gagner.I think that showing all 4 years certainly marks this one as the “one off”I think a good chunk of it is difficulty with the new system, but it doesn’t let him off the hook as others are working the system well. (gifted line)

    WG

    Somebody else mentioned this in a prior thread, sorry can’t remember whom, but what about “contract effect”? Ie, an extra propensity to cheat for offense this year. When I read it, it struck me as a valid possibility.

  55. Woodguy says:

    art vandelay:
    The plan for the New/Old Oiler suits:
    1. Collect Top Picks
    2. ?????
    3. Win Stanley Cup

    But we’re finally at the ?????? part!

    Exciting!

  56. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: WG

    Somebody else mentioned this in a prior thread, sorry can’t remember whom, but what about “contract effect”?Ie, an extra propensity to cheat for offense this year. When I read it, it struck me as a valid possibility.

    I think its always the way he’s played.

    The system really doesn’t support it.

    He doesn’t go from 48% possession to 41% possession with essentially the same mates without a serious change in system imo.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Yes. Lose Gagner(he’s good, but small and won’t be very good for more than 5-6 more years); Hemsky(overrated to a degree that’s unfathomable/unbelievable)…

    Then get rid of Horcoff/Smyth(not that they will but I’d lose these losers asap and not care a jot what their replacements were).

    A third tier fan.

  58. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I also talked to a guy who does some consulting for some NHL teams and asked him about the OIlers system.His response was that RK is asking the C’s to do much more than Renney did.The key difference in the system (besides the up ice pressure by the D requiring the F to bust ass to cover) is the C’s stay lower and the F’s fly the zone quicker in RK’s system.This is making the 1st pass much, much longer for the D or C to the winger The success of this pass is low and the Oilers possession through the neutral zone is terrible as a result.RNH and Horcoff seem to stay lower than Gagner and often take the pass themselves from the D, this helps bridge the big gap to where the wingers are.It a system designed to really stretch the opposing D, but on the NHL sized ice, with these players, I don’t think it works worth a shit.Its way easier to run this on international ice as the flying forwards have more room to receive the stretch pass.In the NHL the opposing D are on the flying forwards and breaking it up almost every time.My guy also told me that no other NHL team is running this system.I think we can figure out why.I would prefer to see one forward fly and one stay lower (even as low as high in dzone) to give more outlet pass options and to also move through the neutral zone with numbers in order to maintain possession into the ozone.

    I think “the Krueger System” is supposed to be One Forward Flying (the winger on the opposite side of the ice from the puck), but it seems to me that everyone wants to be that One Forward Flying, stranding the D.

    Certainly the Oil struggle most against trap teams, who have the personnel back to guard against any stretch pass. They need to be running a different breakout against these teams rather than a One-Size-Fits-All strategy.

    The Krueger System, whether it be due to poor personnel, no Training Camp or little practice time… has definitely been a NIghtmare on Gretzky Street though.

  59. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I think its always the way he’s played.The system really doesn’t support it.He doesn’t go from 48% possession to 41% possession with essentially the same mates without a serious change in system imo.

    Change in mentality perverts the system it is employed within.

  60. G Money says:

    Woodguy:

    I think we can figure out why.

    Thanks for your detailed and highly astute analysis of the situation.

    After I posted my pained “WHY WHY WHY”, I did end up reading Zona’s post on C&B soon after. God ain’t listening to us Oiler fans, but I guess bloggers are!

    About halfway through the season I had a few postings where I thought RK would be the one to go before Tambo, just because of the defensive backsliding not only for the centre’s, but also the D (Smid & Petry for example look a whole lot more lost out there than last year).

    I backed off on that line of thought because “blaming the coach” is a way-too-easy answer for what ails us, and besides, Krueger is so much easier to like then Tambo.

    But this analysis does put “The System” back in the cross-hairs.

    As an aside, given how the system as described requires long pinpoint passes from the D, might that explain why Whitney was given so much playing time even though a blind man wearing rose-coloured shades could see how terrible he was defensively? His one big strength is that headman pass.

  61. rich says:

    @ Woodguy:

    Thanks again for reposting those comments regarding 83/89 and the statistical support/background for the shot differential.

    There’s a lot of gold in that info that I’m sure will be fodder for conversation this spring and summer in determining how much of the issues are on the players versus the coaches.

    A lot of people right now have been giving RK a pass (short training camp, new players, new coach – he should be given a chance to prove if it can work).

    But one thing I wonder is if in the process of implementing the system, has RK tried to make lemonade out of lemons? If the guys aren’t capable (can’t make the pass) versus not being disciplined enough – how long do you continue to stick with it before making some adjustments to the team you have?

    Of course with this group, you can argue nothing makes up for the lack of speed on the 3rd and 4th lines, but that’s not the issue with the 2nd line.

  62. BlueNoteNorth says:

    LT

    I doubt Gagner is on HowLoweMacT’s untouchable list. Six years in the league and he is still lost in the d zone. Moreoever, when you play with Hall on your wing and you don’t dominate, the problem is you. I recall Craig Simpson’s rather blunt assessment: If Gagner is your 2C you are simply not good enough. Given Gagner’s bump in points this year and his acceptable performance in the o zone, plus his RFA (albeit for only 1 more year) this will be his peak market value. Move him.

    I would have Paajarvi on my protected list. Given his already good defensive skills plus some emerging willingness to go to the net, I think he is the perfect 3rd line winger. Perhaps the next Pisani?

    As for compliance buyouts, Belanger is a given. There is no market for someone who has gone over the cliff. I would be surprised if they bought out Eagar though. Cap space is the key here and Eagar only costs you $0.175M cap hit if buried. If new acquisitions put the Oilers in cap trouble in 2013-14, then Smyth is likely the better choice. HowLoweMacT already have experience in moving him out, so what’s one more time.

    As much as a Horcoff buyout frees up the most cap room, I don’t see him going anywhere in 2013-14. He will anchor the third line hopefully with Paajarvi and Hartikainen and get them settled, as he did with Hall and Eberle. The other compliance buyout might be kept for Horcoff in 2014-15. Even with Hemsky’s (and Smyth’s) salary off the books that year, plus some likely cap increase, they could be maxed out with Nugent-Hopkins, J Schultz, Petry and Dubnyk all needing to be re-signed. Oilers will need to save at least $3M cap room in 2013-14 to cover the following year and keep Horcoff in his last contract year.

    What to do with Hemsky? He’s a talent, but if Eberle and Yakupov slot in as the first two right wings and they try to work Hartikainen into the third that leaves Hemsky available. Injuries plus $5M will scare off many teams. Perhaps they start the season with Hartikainen on the 4th line and move Hemsky at the trade deadline if playoffs are out of reach.

    Lots of options. Interesting few months ahead.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LoDog: If you just look at Brodin’s stats you would say the same thing but he is doing pretty dam fine with the wild at 19.

    I understand the temptation to go in this direction and there is a fair amount to push one there (same age, played together, etc). However, I would seriously caution against it for the following reasons:

    1) Pedigree. Brodin was after all taken 9 spots ahead of Klefbom. that means a lot of smart people looked at the two players and thought the better of Brodin.

    2) Development is rarely straight and rarely the same across players.

    3) Klefbom has had major setbacks due to injury, Brodin too, but not nearly to the same extent.

    I’m by no means saying Klefbom isn’t a beauty of a prospect. But I am saying that we should probably cool our optimism off on him being an impact player anytime soon and take what what others have done before with a grain of salt.

  64. RickDeckard says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Counterpoint: klefbom was a wjhc all star playing on the same pairing as brodin. Look at who has been named to the wjhc all star teams on defense lately.

  65. oilersfan says:

    can someone tell me, what if CF when discussing CF/shift? thanks

  66. fifthcartel says:

    Justin Schultz named AHL defenceman of the year.

  67. cabbiesmacker says:

    jimbones100:
    I have to disagree with your forward group. I agree that Eberle isn’t going anywhere. However Hemsky and Gagner are hurting more than helping the team this year. When you factor in the combined 10mil in salary those are the two players you move. As a result we have a 2nd line issue on this team not a 3rd line issue.

    Forwards to keep:Kid line, Yak, PRV, Lander, Harti, Horcoff.

    That means your first and third lines are set and you have one key player (Yak) for your second line.Horcoff, PRV, Harti is line 3 and Lander 4th line center.

    Agree wholeheartedly. An Eberle trade is nothing short of ludicrous to even contemplate. Whether he stays as 1C or 2C doesn’t matter. As was asked a few months back, “Something wrong with having six talented players on your top two lines?”

    Things picked up noticeably last night when 4-93-14 were put back together. Why fight it?

    Trade Eberle and then lets see what happens when Hemsky gets dinged and/or although Yak suffers a sophomore jinx next season. I’m not even sure who’d be called RW depth right now.

    Neither of 56 or 91 are ready to assume the 2 LW role and it’ll speak to improved depth if they’re the 3 and 4 next year.

    Hemsky is the most likely “wannabe” trade but he has less value than Gagner. Therefore …adios Sammy while your value is high.

    Not all the deserved’s are going to be bought out so I hope things look like this for 13/14

    4 – 93 – 14/64

    XX – XX – 14/64

    91 – 10 – 83

    94 – meh – meh

  68. Ice Sage says:

    Sail on, Cape Breton Diva.

    This Oiler crew is now so steeped in losing that it will take an amputation to sharpen up the culture – that means trading a young core player or 2.

    In order of expendability: Gagner – Paajarvi – Eberle – Yak – RNH – JSchultz – Hall.

    All others have less-than-market value.

    This year’s draft pick isn’t going to help unless he’s McKinnon or Jones.

    “We rise again”

  69. VanOil says:

    BlueNoteNorth:
    Craig Simpson’s rather blunt assessment: If Gagner is your 2C you are simply not good enough.

    Here is another way to look at it. Luck and our poor play should land us a high end prospect at Center. This won’t help us much for next year because of the learning curve. But 2 years from now Sam Gagner at 25 in the prime of his career as a 3d line Center is more than good enough. As long as his contract is slightly better than our current 3d line centers I say stick with the devil you know.

    Scott Howson hints Gagner dose the hardest thing (put up points) and seems to suggest he is part of the core. He also shows some love for Germat which is interesting given he is still unsigned.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/4/17/what-has-scott-howson-learned

  70. cabbiesmacker says:

    Truth Movement:
    Here’s Lowe’s mea culpa. http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=239720

    I used to do business with a fella that had a picture on his office wall of a chimpanzee leaning against a couch. The chimp is wearing denim overalls and in the shot from behind the ass of his overalls is completely torn and mangled. The caption read “Just had a little chat with the boss”

    I am assuming Lowe had a “little chat” with his.

    Nice reading job KL. You clearly did not write the apology therefor it is not sincere. You’re better than this dude.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RickDeckard:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Counterpoint: klefbom was a wjhc all star playing on the same pairing as brodin. Look at who has been named to the wjhc all star teams on defense lately.

    But all that confirms is that Klefbom is one hell of a good prospect. It doesn’t mean he can walk into an NHL job and keep his head above water next year. And, Brodin’s seeming ability to do so will have no impact on Klefbom’s.

    Couple other thoughts, if MIN’s D depth were better does Brodin play over 20mins a night in his rookie season? Is that the right model?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see Klefbom discover NA hockey, and hockey in general again after the injury, in the AHL for the better part of a year and then find himself on the 3rd pairing in 14-15?

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    fifthcartel:
    Justin Schultz named AHL defenceman of the year.

    And Yak is chasing Huber… who knows maybe we get the Calder?

    Nah…

    because Oilers.

  73. Nostradumbass says:

    I’m not sure there are any issues regarding the Oilers core group that can’t be solved by time.

    Anybody watch RNH in the World Juniors? He was a defensive wizard, he was mean and agressive and dominated the puck. I find it hard to believe that somebody like RNH won’t spend the next couple of off seasons adding muscle.

    I had the privelege of meeting Eberle and Hall last summer and the single impression I took away was how small both of them all. They’re built like teenagers. Again experience and 5-10 lbs will due wonders to both their games.

    We asked a college kid to take our #1 D man minutes and can’t figure out why he struggles.

    The Oilers simply haven’t done a proper job of procuring veteran talent to support the growth of our young core.

    Trading any of Eberle, RNH or Yak is a ludricrous strategy

    As is having any rookie start the year on the club next year

  74. cabbiesmacker says:

    I guess it would have been too much to ask for #99 to come back as GM??

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Gallery+Masters+cheerleader+celebrities/8233628/story.html

  75. rickithebear says:

    WG:

    we have the worst D pair in the Game:
    The schultz’s:
    16.25Min of 3.46GA/60
    they give up .94G/Gm

    Smid -Petry
    16.93 min of 2.00GA/60
    they give up .56G/60

    Fistric With
    Whitey 6.5 games 2.23GA/60 .46G/GM
    Petry 4.66 games 1.03 GA/60 .21G/gm
    Potter 3.5 games 2.75 GA/60 .57G/gm
    J & N Schultz 2.8 Gagmes 0G/GM

    we recieved 2g games or less from Dubnyk 70% of the time.
    More than 1/2 the goals come from one pair.
    We had the same problem with Gilbert.

    We need a strong physical even precense to pair with J. Schultz for 13 even 3rd comp minutes.
    to reduce the G/Gm. allowing us to maintain his PP affect.
    We should retain
    Smid, Petry, Fistric they are top 35 tough comp GA dmen.
    J schultz is 3rd most productive Dman on PP. Behind Subban and Weircoch.

    really i would be
    Smid-Petry
    XXX-XXX
    Fistric- J. Schultz.

  76. BlueNoteNorth says:

    VanOil,

    Oilers will not want to pay 2C salary for Gagner and play him at 3C in a year or two. With only next year as an RFA, he will need to be signed for several years. They might have trouble agreeing on value. Howson might have been pumping the tires for a trade.

    If Gagner takes over Horcoff’s current shut down / toughs 3C role, he will still face the problems he has now – defence – but with less skilled wingers. Not sure I like that scenario.

  77. Bag of Pucks says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    I guess it would have been too much to ask for #99 to come back as GM??

    Doesn’t have the qualifications. 4 rings < 6 rings

  78. leadfarmer says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    No because Brodin deserves it.

    Woodguy,

    phase 2 is surround them with other good players. Our managament forgot that part

  79. 42 percent body fat says:

    they’re still shitty

  80. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Agreed that the Shultz should have been the 3rd pairing.

    Kevin Lowe putting a rookie in a position to fail is the hallmark of the last 7 years.

    Even Gilbert and Sutton as 2nd pairing would have helped this team.

  81. rickithebear says:

    Look at Horcoff’s comp.
    He is 3rd comp D zone draw Forward now.

    Since Smyth , Horc and Gagner are in the top 7 for the position on Pk
    itwill be hard to replace them.
    Gagner is currently facing the kid lines 1st comp D zones.
    -
    We need
    Boyd Gordon C 1st Comp
    E. Fehr RW 1st Comp
    Bickell LW 3rd comp

  82. VanOil says:

    BlueNoteNorth,

    I was looking at more of 3 scoring lines scenario. Nuge is going to handle the best the other team has to offer. Gagner would only have to be better than the other teams 3d Center, which he likely will be. He is also OK on the PK giving the top two centers a breather. But yes it all comes down to price. As long as he dose not get a no movement clause, and Tambellini set a good precedence, he can moved if his role is diminished on the Oilers below what his salary is worth.

    Basically I figure anything 4.5M per year or less is OK for Gagner, 2nd line centers are hard to come by we should keep him until we can grow our own, then decide. If he gets to play Center for Yak for the next two years his trade value will remain very high. If he figures out by 25 how to defend 5v5 he would be a useful peace supporting the kids younger then him if we have the cap room.

  83. Clay says:

    Truth Movement:
    Here’s Lowe’s mea culpa. http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=239720

    Like someone said in the comments from LT’s presser thread (sorry for not giving credit), but what a politician says first is the truth, second comes the politics. We all know what you meant, Kevin, and you confirmed a lot of our suspicions about you as well.

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    leadfarmer: No because Brodin deserves it.

    Since when do just deserts have anything to do with any system of merit where voting is involved. Sortition would produce a far more just result than the current system.

  85. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan:
    can someone tell me, what if CF when discussing CF/shift? thanks

    CF% = Corsi For %

    Corsi = shot attempts including missed shots and blocked shots

    Over 50% is the goal (milage may vary depending how a line is deployed and line mates)

    Under 45% is usually considered “not at NHL level”, again must be used with context.

  86. hockeyguy10 says:

    Woodguy: I also talked to a guy who does some consulting for some NHL teams and asked him about the OIlers system.His response was that RK is asking the C’s to do much more than Renney did.The key difference in the system (besides the up ice pressure by the D requiring the F to bust ass to cover) is the C’s stay lower and the F’s fly the zone quicker in RK’s system.This is making the 1st pass much, much longer for the D or C to the winger The success of this pass is low and the Oilers possession through the neutral zone is terrible as a result.RNH and Horcoff seem to stay lower than Gagner and often take the pass themselves from the D, this helps bridge the big gap to where the wingers are.It a system designed to really stretch the opposing D, but on the NHL sized ice, with these players, I don’t think it works worth a shit.Its way easier to run this on international ice as the flying forwards have more room to receive the stretch pass.In the NHL the opposing D are on the flying forwards and breaking it up almost every time.My guy also told me that no other NHL team is running this system.I think we can figure out why.I would prefer to see one forward fly and one stay lower (even as low as high in dzone) to give more outlet pass options and to also move through the neutral zone with numbers in order to maintain possession into the ozone.

    By my eye the 4,93,14 line mostly plays with only one winger flying the zone at a time. Also they seem a lot more effective with zone exits when it is Hall and Nuge staying low as opposed to Nuge and Eberle.

  87. rickithebear says:

    Everyone might want to look at forward production:
    with out Horc start feb to March 10 and last 6 games and the rest

    W/O horc
    Hall 14Gm 2G 8A -8
    RNH 17GM 1G 4A -8
    Eberle 17GM 3G 8A -10
    Gagner 17GM 4G 9A -1
    Smyth 16GM 2g 4A Even
    Yakupov 17Gm 2G 5A -8
    MP 14GM 4G 0A +5

    Last 6 Games
    Horc 1G 2A +1
    Hall 0G 2A -4
    RNH 0G 1A -4
    Eberle 0G 0A -8
    Gagner 0G 2A -4
    Smyth 0G 1A -4
    Yakupov 2G 3A Even
    MP 2G 0A -4

    Rest of Games
    Hall 19GM 11G 20A +14
    RNH 16GM 2G 15A +11
    Eberle 19GM 9G 8A +10
    Gagner 19GM 8G 5A -3
    Yakupov 21Gm 7G 6A Even
    Smyth 19GM 0G 3A -2
    MP 17GM 1G 3A -7
    When we get some real depth on the team we will be effective.

  88. refmaksy says:

    LT, great story about sending your mom to see Rita, that’s really an awesome story. Here’s to Rita, and here’s to the Mom’s! Although I still have to phone my mom and remind her when the Oilers are playing the Flames!

    Maksy.

  89. hunter1909 says:

    Whatever is Tambo doing right now? He’s sacked, right? So, he’s going to start talking eventually…right? Right?

    PS @ Woodguy: You gave up your season tix a while ago. How do you like your new KLowe classification as a 2nd tier fan?

  90. godot10 says:

    Re: Krueger’s system

    The Oilers went into this season assuming there wouldn’t be a season. They didn’t acquire any Whitney insurance. The didn’t buyout Khabibulin. They re-signed Petrell. i.e. They didn’t fix anyof the holes in the roster. AND they didn’t hire an experienced NHL assistant coach to challenge/assist Krueger on his system’s play. Steve Smith is still a relatively new coach. And Buchberger is Lowe’s watcher.

    But then, I’m fairly certain Krueger wanted to expose the deficiencies in the roster while he had the chance, understanding the dysfunctional nature of the management structure. A calculated risk that after recruiting Justin Schultz, and being the 4th coach in 5 years. Krueger really didn’t protect anyone of the roster. For the most part, the younger players thrived, and the veterans dived.

    So in essence, Krueger forced the management issue and the management change. He’s moved Lowe off his “spot”, and forced Lowe and MacT to move into the direct line of fire.

    True, MacT was already here as GM-in-waiting.

    But now, Krueger has “fixed” the management accountability problem, and now he will live or die on his own merits, rather than on Tambellini’s ability to find him better players. He is now fully in the line of fire now, but he used his grace period to shake up the boardrooms upstairs.

  91. godot10 says:

    hunter1909:
    Whatever is Tambo doing right now? He’s sacked, right? So, he’s going to start talking eventually…right? Right?

    It might take him a year to assess the situation of his firing! -).

  92. Beaker says:

    Bag of Pucks: Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I don’t think being charitable gives someone the excuse to abuse the public trust and act like an ass.

    The real problem here is ownership’s inability and/or unwillingness to rein this in. With EIG, there was likely simply too many of them to act in a concerted manner to properly discipline Lowe. Katz seems too starstruck, though to be fair, someone must’ve prompted that lame video. Maybe that’s evidence of a step in the right direction.

    Again im not trying to be a lowe apologist,. Im just saying one act or even string of acts does not sum up an entire man.

    I honestly think the comments in question are more based on dumbassery that maliciousness

  93. hunter1909 says:

    Beaker: Again im not trying to be a lowe apologist,. Im just saying one act or even string of acts does not sum up an entire man.

    With respect, Lowe’s an absolute asshole. He’s been castigating the fans forever. He has a sense of entitlement as big as Texas.

    You can see it just from his expression in that presser…like he’s pissed at even having to explain himself to the ringless peons.

  94. Woodguy says:

    hockeyguy10: By my eye the 4,93,14 line mostly plays with only one winger flying the zone at a time. Also they seem a lot more effective with zone exits when it is Hall and Nuge staying low as opposed to Nuge and Eberle.

    Agreed.

    Hall is by far the Oilers’ best possession guy and I think a lot of that stems from the high percentage of time he carries the puck through the neutral zone and into the ozone.

    That line must have a much higher rate of zone entries with possession than the other lines by a significant margin.

    I bet only Hemsky is close.

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Agreed.

    Hall is by far the Oilers’ best possession guy and I think a lot of that stems from the high percentage of time he carries the puck through the neutral zone and into the ozone.

    That line must have a much higher rate of zone entries with possession than the other lines by a significant margin.

    I bet only Hemsky is close.

    good bet!

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/28/edmonton-oilers-zone-entries-part-2-which-players-drive-the-bus/

    “Ales Hemsky and Nail Yakupov are the only players not on the top line more likely to carry the puck in than to dump and chase.”

  96. BlueNoteNorth says:

    VanOil,

    Agree that the ceiling for Gagner is $4.5M. The average 2C salary is around $4M (Pavelski is in that range) while the upper quartile is $5M ( Kessler, O’Reilly).

    My preference would be to move Gagner for other parts and acquire a veteran 2C – even an overpay for a few years. That would allow any centre drafted this year the time to develop in the minors. The Oilers are close to having the luxury of not needing to rush high picks to stock the big club. Hope they stay the course.

    With a solid first line in place and some options for an exceptional third line (Paajarvi and Horcoff with Hemsky or Hartikainen), it is the second line (and obviously the 4th) imo that needs attention. Gagner as the 2C for several more years would not further the development of either Yakupov or Eberle on RW. Perhaps adding a veteran LW alone would be enough, but I would prefer a vet C and LW with Yakupov for the next few years.

  97. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Best part of that video is the pride of place granted to that commemorative Rangers photo above his left shoulder.

    I like his cozy sweater look myself. Isn’t that a typewriter keyboard?

    Also, he’s still a nasty looking piece of work. A very nasty piece of work. I’m usually careful what I say around this type.

  98. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909: I like his cozy sweater look myself. Isn’t that a typewriter keyboard?

    “cozy” yes. “Cosby” no (unfortunately):

    http://www.thecosbysweaterproject.com

  99. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909: Also, he’s still a nasty looking piece of work. A very nasty piece of work. I’m usually careful what I say around this type.

    “Don’t bare your teeth in fight country” as my friend used to say.

  100. leadfarmer says:

    godot10,

    I think he is wondering why his office got moved to the basement and who took his stapler.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHHZBmF8mk4

  101. bookje says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: “Don’t bare your teeth in fight country” as my friend used to say.

    I once dragged a buddy out of a situation where he was getting in the face of a guy with cauliflower ears. He was pretty angry with me until I explained how and why guys get cauliflower ears. This was before MMA was a widely known thing.

  102. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    With the way the Oilers are playing I honestly think the Oilers will be picking 3rd or 4th

    If the Oiler could secure at least two picks these would be my choices in order of a combination of BPA and need.

    1) Barkov
    2) Nichushkin whom I think will fall to the top ten.

    If Nuchuskin is gone then I would look at

    1) Horvat
    2) Rychel

    It’s crucial that the Oiler to get at least two picks in the top 15. The Oilers desperately need a C and LW with size and skill.

    As for trade’s I would start with the first 12 teams at the top of the cap and work those teams over the coals.

    My guess is you might get some very good players at very little cost in player movement.

    This whole Yakupov or Eberle talk has got to stop, it’s not going to take that kid of a player to get what the Oilers require.

    You might even be able to pull a Gardiner out of Toronto with very little in the way of going back.

  103. sliderule says:

    Unless MacT can talk RK into changing his defensive zone coverage all the changes that are to come will be for nought.
    The oilers system because it requires so many player decisions leaves our slot uncovered.
    In one comical play Smyth chased Granlund (his cover) all the way up to the blue lost him and granlund skated into low slot and scored.
    In Minnys box and one they would have stayed in their slot coverage and not lost coverage.
    There is a reason oilers don’t get many shots from slot as most of the other teams play a zone until they recover the puck.Guard the slot is the mantra.
    We could end up selling the farm chasing a number one or two defender and find that the problem is at least as much our system as players

  104. Obiwan Eberle says:

    Andrew Miller signed with the Oil…. 1year entry level contract.

    guess that takes care of our size issue ;)

  105. Beaker says:

    hunter1909,

    I dont know the guy personally so i cant say either way. he might be the biggest asshole in the world. Im just saying one event doesnt define a mans entirety. Of course that doesnt mean that one outburst such as the press conference is automatically an outlier.

  106. dessert1111 says:

    Re: draft picks, drafting top 7 should guarantee a prospect who is highly regarded across the board. Any of those top 6 + the Russian is what I’d do. I hope they don’t trade it.

    Can Gagner + a pick/prospect get a top 4 defenseman?

    Can Hemsky get a different type of winger who can play top 9/top 6?

    Those are the types of trades I hope to see made. Maybe to confuse us all Linus Omark gets another shot and scores 20 goals.

  107. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: Agreed.Hall is by far the Oilers’ best possession guy and I think a lot of that stems from the high percentage of time he carries the puck through the neutral zone and into the ozone.That line must have a much higher rate of zone entries with possession than the other lines by a significant margin.I bet only Hemsky is close.

    Did they Retrieve the pocession or get put on to take the rush from another poor line who defended a rush.
    Did you notice that or just that he rushed the puck up.

    Chicken Egg

  108. rickithebear says:

    Damn it! i was suppose to be able to put a just kidding.

  109. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: I also talked to a guy who does some consulting for some NHL teams and asked him about the OIlers system.His response was that RK is asking the C’s to do much more than Renney did.The key difference in the system (besides the up ice pressure by the D requiring the F to bust ass to cover) is the C’s stay lower and the F’s fly the zone quicker in RK’s system.This is making the 1st pass much, much longer for the D or C to the winger The success of this pass is low and the Oilers possession through the neutral zone is terrible as a result.RNH and Horcoff seem to stay lower than Gagner and often take the pass themselves from the D, this helps bridge the big gap to where the wingers are.It a system designed to really stretch the opposing D, but on the NHL sized ice, with these players, I don’t think it works worth a shit.Its way easier to run this on international ice as the flying forwards have more room to receive the stretch pass.In the NHL the opposing D are on the flying forwards and breaking it up almost every time.My guy also told me that no other NHL team is running this system.I think we can figure out why.I would prefer to see one forward fly and one stay lower (even as low as high in dzone) to give more outlet pass options and to also move through the neutral zone with numbers in order to maintain possession into the ozone.

    Nice!

    What i hate is teams eliminate the slot fed to forward and press side boards. leading to rim to other side.
    the result is thier winger has less distance to travel for pocession.
    Leading to free lane upper circle to slot.
    While our wingers are constantly put in back check position.

  110. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Obiwan Eberle:
    Andrew Miller signed with the Oil…. 1year entry level contract.

    guess that takes care of our size issue

    He’s growing 2″ every 7mins… he’ll be uncontainable by the time he plays for the oil. How can we afford to clothe him?

    Good grief! No more continuously growing giants, please!

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/324618958235922433

    https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/324620718576898048

  111. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje: I once dragged a buddy out of a situation where he was getting in the face of a guy with cauliflower ears.He was pretty angry with me until I explained how and why guys get cauliflower ears. This was before MMA was a widely known thing.

    Your friend obviously never learned the lesson of the youthful and brash Picard: never pick a fight with Nausicaans:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGuOUDIiZB8

  112. BONVIE says:

    leadfarmer,

    Either way pretty damning, in the fact he did not take what he could get from depreciating assets, and to consider that he recently chose to go with these players including Smithson which is somewhere in the ball park of Jones and Eager.

  113. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909:
    Whatever is Tambo doing right now? He’s sacked, right? So, he’s going to start talking eventually…right? Right?

    PS @ Woodguy: You gave up your season tix a while ago. How do you like your new KLowe classification as a 2nd tier fan?

    I gave up my tickets because Laforge threatened to move the team if the didn’t get a free rink.

    When Lowe was talking about the 2 types of fans thing, Lowe was speaking but I think I saw Laforge’s lips move.

    Kevin Lowe just isn’t a sophisticated enough thinker and too emotional to pull off trolling your own fanbase like Laforge does at every turn.

  114. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Derek has a thing about exactly that in his piece at Copper n Blue that I linked to.

    Did you read it?

  115. Clay says:

    The addition of Andrew Miller instantly makes the Oilers top 6 look much bigger.

  116. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think the comments re: Krueger’s system for Dzone coverage are interesting particularly in light of some of the comments made at the presser on Monday.

    If it’s true that the Oilers’ are the only team using this system, it sort of jibes with one aspect of this team that I’ve always seen as frustrating which is this org clinging to this belief that not only must the Oilers win, but they have to do so playing a more entertaining or unique brand of hockey than anyone else.

    Om Monday, both MacT and Lowe alluded to the issues that have arisen with the team escaping its own illustrious past. I suspect most of those comments are related to the somewhat cyclical nature of talent acquisition (an easy fallback excuse for the GM to be fair), but one wonders if they’re also of the belief that talent must be shoehorned into an Oiler system of uptempo hockey as opposed to the more quick path of success which is tailoring your system to the talent you have? Bill Belichik and the NE Patriots are a perfect example of a team that consistently tailors its system to the talent to ensure competitive advantage year to year.

    In the midst of the 80′s dynasty, there was a lot of hype around the Oilers and specifically how Slats had introduced European inspired drills and tactics that led to a substantially different style of team play. I think enough time has passed now that we can see some of those claims were overrated. The Oilers happened to ascend during an era of firewagon offensive hockey and they were stocked with supremely gifted and creative talent that thought the offensive game at another level beyond most of the opposition. I would suggest they were more innovative because of generational talent than because of any blueprint that Slats introduced. Gretzky to Kurri was going to work regardless of the drills in practice.

    Is it possible one of the reasons this team has struggled so mightily is they’re shackled to this belief Oiler hockey needs to be at the cutting edge of innovative tactics, when the reality is they might benefit mightily from dumbing the system down to accommodate the experience level of their young squad?

    I watch a LOT of hockey and one thing that has really stood out for me in recent years is how DUMB the Oilers seem to be in terms of their adherence to structured play in their own zone. They seem to consistently make mental and positional errors that result in high shot totals, particularly high quality shots from the slot, much moreso than other teams in the league.

    If the Oil’s system play IS failing them, MacT’s strong endorsement of Ralph might be the first sign he’s not well suited for the GM chair. Or, he may just be saying what he has to keep the team on an even keel with a handful of games left?

  117. krakman says:

    If the d zone system is as bad as people say, wouldn’t this be an easy thing for Mact to remedy? I mean he was a good coach so he should spot something like that pretty easily and have a chat with the coach.

  118. denny33 says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Agreed Doug.

    Most lists have Lazar in the 20′s….

    Lazar’s name just being mentioned is so bizarre… add to that the absence of highly regarded Darnell Nurse…

    Button and CS have Nurse at #6 and #9 …..

  119. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    Great question….

    That play you refer to last night was so typical of Sam’s season in his own end….

    Really prefer both parties move on….I have no doubt Sam will score some goals. Just not sure he won’t allow more. ( Phil Housley )

    As an aside – Justin Schultz is LOST in his own end. LOST.

    I love him. (Justin) Don’t want to trade him…but he is playing a different game out there…

  120. prairieschooner says:

    Tambi was hired to be fired.He was given the job to get the team through the most painful part of the rebuild so that it could be turned over to MacT and so reunite the band.
    Klowe resorted to his agressive attitude because he had no answer to the questions being asked.
    He did the same thing in his fight with Burkey over Bobby Ryan.
    It is an indication that he may not be the right guy for the job.
    If he was asked tough questions in a job interview and responded that way do you think he would get the job?
    Luckily for him he does not seem to held accountable for the Oilers going 7 years without a playoff appearance.

  121. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Re: Krueger’s system

    The Oilers went into this season assuming there wouldn’t be a season.They didn’t acquire any Whitney insurance.The didn’t buyout Khabibulin.They re-signed Petrell.i.e. They didn’t fix anyof the holes in the roster.AND they didn’t hire an experienced NHL assistant coach to challenge/assist Krueger on his system’s play.Steve Smith is still a relatively new coach.And Buchberger is Lowe’s watcher.

    But then, I’m fairly certain Krueger wanted to expose the deficiencies in the roster while he had the chance, understanding the dysfunctional nature of the management structure.A calculated risk that after recruiting Justin Schultz, and being the 4th coach in 5 years.Krueger really didn’t protect anyone of the roster. For the most part, the younger players thrived, and the veterans dived.

    So in essence, Krueger forced the management issue and the management change.He’s moved Lowe off his “spot”, and forced Lowe and MacT to move into the direct line of fire.

    True, MacT was already here as GM-in-waiting.

    But now, Krueger has “fixed” the management accountability problem, and now he will live or die onhis own merits, rather than on Tambellini’s ability to find him better players.He is now fully in the line of fire now, but he used his grace period to shake up the boardrooms upstairs.

    So RK is an evil master mind?

    I think a more plausible explanation is that his system, that would work much better on wide international sized ice (more room for flying forwards to get the 40ft pass) isn’t working like he thought.

    I’m sure the players and lack of TC have something to do with it, but its not designed well for smaller ice. Not enough room in neutral zone to rely on stretch passes all the time.

    89′s line seems to never have the puck in the neutral zone and is always fighting (and most often losing) puck battles.

    Its like his system is causing a lot of puck battles in the netural zone instead of entering the neutral zone with speed to gain the ozone.

    Takes the Oilers best attributes, puck skill and speed, and nullifies it by forcing them to become more reliant on winning battles.

    4 and 93 are usually low enough for 93 to get the first pass and make the 2nd to 4 behind or near the blue line, then he carries it in.

    The other lines haven’t been able to do that.

    I don’t they they (4-93) are coached to do that, they just do it because it works.

    The other lines need to be coached that, and it doesn’t look like they are.

  122. asiaoil says:

    krakman:
    If the d zone system is as bad as people say, wouldn’t this be an easy thing for Mact to remedy? I mean he was a good coach so he should spot something like that pretty easily and have a chat with the coach.

    How about hiring a defense coach with a little more going on than you’re average broccoli? Coaching IS a huge problem as Kruger has essentially zero support from Smith and Bucky. The only reason either of these guys has a job is their friendship with mgmt. This team needs assistants who can TEACH our young dmen and forwards while the HC works on systems and strategy. If they keep Smith and Bucky and don’t allow Kruger to hire his own assistants (like most programs) then Kruger will have difficulty lasting through next season. His job is hard enough without those handicaps.

  123. oilersfan says:

    most people here aren’t talking about Nurse because dmen are hit and miss, and take forever to develop. Not to mention with Klefbom, marincin, musil and Gernat coming who is to say Nurse is any better?? A team only needs 6 dmen but 12 forwards to play every night. The Oilers, for all their skill, with 5 of their top 6, have a below average group of forwards with big holes wrt size and skill. this year the Oilers have a chance at barkov or Monahan, two high end skill forwards with size. I wouldn’t even be looking at a dman. rather, I take one of barkov or Monahan and trade the 2014 pick for a dman who a cap team needs to trade who is NHL ready now.

  124. hockeyguy10 says:

    denny33: G Money, Great question….That play you refer to last night was so typical of Sam’s season in his own end….Really prefer both parties move on….I have no doubt Sam will score some goals. Just not sure he won’t allow more. ( Phil Housley )As an aside – Justin Schultz is LOST in his own end. LOST.I love him. (Justin) Don’t want to trade him…but he is playing a different game out there…

    It’s been a long season for Schultz. I think he is as mentally tired as he is physically tired.

  125. cabbiesmacker says:

    Beaker: Again im not trying to be a lowe apologist,. Im just saying one act or even string of acts does not sum up an entire man.

    I honestly think the comments in question are more based on dumbassery that maliciousness

    I’ve talked hockey with both Lowe and MacT a number of times and imo only Lowe is far more approachable, genuine, and sincere. Quite frankly I thought, and still do, that MacT is an arrogant, entitled, prick. Yeah the guy has some great lines talking to the media. So what?

    Kevin Lowe will take the time to talk to the average Joe about hockey pretty much anytime and won’t be condescending while doing it. Tough to get that from MacT. He knows more than anyone else.e.g. his opinions on advanced stats of any kind.

    That said both Lowe and MacT have a damn long ways to go to get anywhere near the level of pompous pricktitude exhibited by Mr Laforge. I can’t even hear Mr “I brought you cheerleaders” voice without wanting to punch something.

  126. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: rickithebear, Derek has a thing about exactly that in his piece at Copper n Blue that I linked to.Did you read it?

    No!
    But I just Did!
    We are all seeing the same thing!
    I see spoiler refers to it as Off wing fly.

    Then states both seem to want to fly.

    But that structure is counter to any system of play..
    Every game has strong side and weak fill.

    By suggestion, you need players with real good game read.
    it only makes sense that the offside should do a slight cheat. Still in position to react to the dreaded rim.

    But further out, to counter if the strong side zone break is successful.
    An interresting system for offensive pressure. and less crowded nuetral.

    But even a slight cheat is major disaster.

    the guy i most feel for is Smyth. You see him. being the sole retrieval guy. does not cheat. often has pocession. usually no linemates for transition. Delay’s then moves the puck up.

    Play the guy with gagner and Eberle FFS!

  127. denny33 says:

    rickithebear,

    Saw Fehr in Winnipeg last year. Can’t skate. Great kid. Great hands.

    Cement skates..

  128. Zelepukin says:

    Clay:
    The addition of Andrew Miller instantly makes the Oilers top 6 look much bigger.

    I’m guessing sarcasm? He is listed as 5’10″ which probably means he is actually 5’9″.

  129. denny33 says:

    oilersfan,

    Well, Nurse is in the top 10 of what some people are calling a ‘generational draft’…besides Klefbom – nobody outside of Edmonton is aware of those other Oiler ‘ prospects’

    Also, you have how many 1st rounders ( 3 of them 1st overall ) at the forward position…

    Maybe time to get a D-man in the 1st round?

    Petry and Smid are our 1st pairing …..

  130. Bag of Pucks says:

    No offense to either poster as they’re both delivering insights in a big way (much moreso than I), but am I the only one who finds it tough to read both Deadman Waking and Rickithebear posts – for diametrically opposed reasons?

    DW is Norman Mailer-esque for me. They can be good reads but you’ve got to be in the mood for it and copious amounts of caffeine helps.

    Reading Rickithebear is like listening to a symphony played by an autistic savant. Still amazing to me in this age of ubiquitous spell check software that people are still foisting their illiteracy on others.

  131. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Fixed with a web translator his prose can be:

    No! But did, I just!
    All seeing the same thing, we are!
    To it as off wing fly I see spoiler refers.

    Then states both seem to fly want to.

    But counter to any system of play, that structure is..
    Strong side and weak fill, every game has.

    By suggestion, with real good game read you need players.
    Do a slight cheat, it only makes sense that the offside should.
    To react to the dreaded rim still in position.

    But further out, successful, to counter if the strong side zone break is.
    For offensive pressure an interresting system. And less crowded nuetral.

    But major disaster, even a slight cheat is.

    Smyth, the guy I most feel for is. You see him. Being the sole retrieval guy. Cheats not. Pocession, often has. For transition usually no linemates. Delay’s then moves the puck up.

    With gagner and Eberle play the guy. For Forces sake.

    Ricki! Don’t give in to spell checkers. That leads to the Dark Side.

  132. FastOil says:

    Some things never change. Why sign Miller when they will NEVER play him regularly in the NHL? He is 24 he’s not going to “fill out” and he’s smaller than “too small” Omark. Even for OKC they should be looking for players that resemble NHL players. Maybe could call one up now and again that wouldn’t get destroyed, or find a late bloomer.

    It seems the Oilers are such fanboys of Lucic and St Louis they cannot help themselves from hunting for the next of each. Coke Machine Hobbit Coke Machine Hobbit. Try shooting down the middle guys, that’s where most of the players who’ll make the NHL at some level will be.

  133. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Didn’t see that!

    Cool!

  134. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    But further out, to counter if the strong side zone break is successful.
    An interresting system for offensive pressure. and less crowded nuetral.

    Agreed, but they never get the puck there with speed.

    D can’t make the pass or the C isn’t in the right spot to take a 10ft pass and make a quick 25ft pass.

    Need a TC and better D and lower F and C to make it work on smaller ice imo

  135. Lowetide says:

    did everyone see MacT’s item about 20 years ago coming in over the line and still having 5 opp? Obvious of course but so cool that we’ve got a brain as frontman.

  136. Clay says:

    Zelepukin: I’m guessing sarcasm? He is listed as 5’10″ which probably means he is actually 5’9″.

    You know, if you’re subconscious of you’re hight, just find someone to hang out with who’s shorter…

  137. rickithebear says:

    Bag of Pucks: Reading Rickithebear is like listening to a symphony played by an autistic savant. Still amazing to me in this age of ubiquitous spell check software that people are still foisting their illiteracy on others.

    AQ quotient of 36.
    My written form, is what it is.
    Luckily for me I had a father who drove motor skill development from age 3 and a desire to try many sports:
    Soccer, Hardball, Softball, Hockey, Football, Skiing: Downhill, Crosscountry, Telemark, Wrestling, Swimming, Golf, Tennis.
    Skateboarding @ 10 (early 70′s in Saskatchewan.
    Never forget Skatebaoders Mag w/ tom stewarts first Half pipe and copying it.
    He fostered my drive for Knowledge of subjects in 2 year cycles.
    He set up both a Physical and Mental latch with rotation.

    When i found my true sport.
    Movement recognition was off the chart.

  138. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear: AQ quotient of 36.
    My written form, is what it is.

    Interesting stuff.

    Thanks for sharing that.

    I think if you don’t use as many exclamation points and space out your sentences, they will be easier for everyone to read and understand what you are saying.

    You have lots of good stuff to share.

    Still doesn’t mean that non-goalies influence SV%.
    :)

    You need to allow for luck in your thoughts about the numbers.

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