Craig MacTavish held a go-to-meeting with the fanbase last night, passing along ‘the plan’ for the summer and once again excited the fanbase. If titillation were a skill, he’d be Gretzky. A few items:
- Gagner is highest priority re-sign.
- Gagner could be youngest player in history to be UFA but his goal is for that not to happen. Wants to sign him long term.
- UFA market is to be approached “cautiously”.
- Players are often in decline at UFA stage
- Priority is a center with 7 overall pick
- MacKinnon, Barkov and Monahan the 3 centers he wants.
- He’s had many talks about moving up OR down with fellow GMs.
- “Very doubtful” he would move any of his “six core guys”
- Not interested in adding a tough guy who can’t play at a fairly high level.
- He’s very aware they need to get tougher.
- Dubnyk’s play was “adequate”
- Horcoff “being here too long may have had negative effect on his spirit” and “will determine over summer”
- High on Klefbom
That’s rapido notes, missed 4,000 other items. All items grabbed from twitter, my thanks to all who tweeted.
BALANCED TAKE OFF
My reading of last night’s discussion is that MacT has identified the Oilers weakness (in terms of personnel) as “up the middle”: C, D and G. He feels his 1-2 C’s (Nuge, Gagner) are fine but is not convinced of the rest of the group–including Shawn Horcoff. So, I think we should expect a Viktor Stalberg type for LW, but that 3 and 4 line is also going to see a lot of C’s who can also play wing. I’d guess that the incumbent wingers for the 3 and 4 lines will be Smyth, Paajarvi and Mike Brown, with Horc hanging by a thread as a 3 or 4 line center/winger.
MacT also wants to address C at the draft—Oilers took a center in the first round in 2002, 2003, 2004–and it sure sounds like they might be willing to deal up for Barkov or Monahan. A quick note on deception: I don’t for a minute discount MacT’s ability to talk up a player in hopes no one is noticing the player he doesn’t mention (no one in the organization has yet uttered the name Elias Lindholm).
He’s not convinced of the goalie Dubnyk, although he’ll certainly get another year to convince everyone. They clearly love Klefbom, don’t think we’ll see him in the minors for long if at all. They’ll be careful in free agency.
More and more, I’m convinced their targets are:
- A LW like Viktor Stalberg
- A D acquired via trade, high end (Tyutin?) if possible
- A solid backup goaltender (Bishop calibre)
- More than one Center (seriously. As many as three)
If we take the current lineup and make holes for the incoming we get this:
Gone are (possibly) Horcoff, Hemsky, Belanger, Ryan Jones (UFA), Lennart Petrell (UFA), Jerred Smithson (UFA). Guys like Hartikainen are candidates but not sure things. Who did I miss?
His comments on the blue tell me that Mark Fistric isn’t a slam dunk to return, and that beyond Smid-Petry-Justin Schultz no one is safe. Goal was well covered, Dubnyk hasn’t won the job despite the contract.
This morning at 10, Team 1260 will once again allow me on the radio. The Lowdown with Lowetide (Friday edition) will feature:
- Harrison Mooney from the Vancouver Sun, Pass it to Bulis and Puck Daddy. We’ll talk AV, Morgan Freeman and staying awake.
- Evan Daum from the Edmonton Journal. We’ll talk FC, Eskimos and the Memorial Cup.
- Craig Moonen from the Krush Performance. We’ll talk baseball and Oilers
- Andreas Morse from FC Edmonton will discuss the season so far, and have more big new from FC!
- Jungle Jim Hunter will talk about the AB Sports Hall of Fame and this year’s selections.
- Colin Priestner, well known artist in Edmonton and creator of “Stuff Edmontonians Say” will give us an overview of MacT’s words last night, and he also has a some major news to break on the show.