Craig MacTavish held his Annual General Meeting with season ticket holders this week, and it was a truly unique event. MacT is such a great communicator, and that added to the fact that Steve Tambellini was not (not trying to be a jerk, it’s a fact) a great communicator means Oiler fans have a new pipeline to the team and its plans.
MacT’s comments about Oscar Klefbom do two things:
- Indicates to us that Klefbom is well clear of the group (Marincin, etc) coming up behind. We should probably assume Klefbom is going to play his rookie NHL season in 2013-14. That might be 25 games or 40 or 75, but it sounds like he’s inside the top 8 or so as we sit.
- MacT said this about his observation of Klefbom: Oscar pivoted and went back hard and fast for the puck. He fought off a pretty physical forecheck, turned to the back of the net, made a movement of the puck, a simple play, a direct pass up to the wall. That player subsequently turned the puck over. Oscar closed the gap in a hurry in the corner, used his stick, finished his check, knocked the guy off the puck, spun the other side of the net and moved the puck out. I turned to Pelle at the time and said, we can pretty much pack up our briefcase right now and get outta here, I’ve seen enough.” I think it’s important to note that he’s talking about speed, mobility, all of the things he mentioned in his initial press conference but in the defensive zone. Sometimes when we talk about mobile defensemen, we as a group tend to think of offensive player types. I like the fact that MacT talks about closing gaps, and that tells me we’re looking for Eric Brewer’s and similar players who can use that footspeed on the defensive side of the game. I’d suggest that looking at things in this manner explains the reported interest in the big Russian Zadorov and the apparent lack of interest in Kyle Bigos.
MacT also talked about the 7th overall selection, and I do think it’s a major item for the summer. Let’s start with what he said:
- MacT: “Well, we’ve talked to a number of teams about that seventh pick and moving that pick in either direction. I think that’s something that we’re very amenable to. If we do move that pick back and get an asset that we feel can come in and help the current group, we’d be more than happy to have any of those discussions, and have had many of those discussions with a lot of the managers at this point. In terms of moving up, I’ve had a couple discussions with managers about moving up.”
It made me think of a trade from one year ago, that went like this:
- Pittsburgh trades C Jordan Staal to Carolina for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and Carolina’s 1st round choice (Derrick Pouliot) in 2012 Entry Draft, June 22, 2012
This is probably a template for the “bold move” the new GM mentioned at his opening press conference earlier this spring. Pittsburgh had some cap problems, and needed a replacement for the outgoing Staal plus some supreme value to make up the difference. I’ve used Fedor Tyutin as a defensive example, perhaps Jakub Voracek is an example at forward. I’m not suggesting the Oilers trade Jeff Petry, the 7th overall and Martin Marincin for Tyutin, but do believe it’s reasonable for us to expect MacT can put together an attractive package for one or both of those players using the 7th overall pick in the same way Carolina did one year ago.
Solsbury Hill is a song about dreams, and about making drastic, sweeping changes in approach. I believe we are closer to that 3-for-1 trade than we’ve been at any time since Chris Pronger moved his furniture to Edmonton. Feels like Christmas.