THE HEART OF THE ORDER

After last week’s state of the union from MacT to season ticket holders, we can make sweeping statements about the coming season with some authority. I kid. There are some things we can probably surmise though, and one of them is that Shawn Horcoff’s time as captain is coming to an end. He might pass it along to the new captain opening night, or he might be traded or retire or maybe the Oilers will have co-captains or several captains (another gift from Jacques Lemaire, who singlehandedly ruined the entire idea of a captain by passing it out monthly in Minnesota–it became an employee of the month award!).

I think it’ll be Taylor Hall. It doesn’t have to be–Jordan Eberle would be an excellent choice, or maybe they’d like to give it to another of the under 25 set. No matter, I think it’ll happen before Labor Day. –

Last week on the radio show, I mentioned the book ‘Road to Hockeytown’ by Jim Devellano. It’s a great book for Oiler fans because (imo) it says ‘you are here’ and then in great detail passes along the decisions and years and careers that it took in order to get to the promised land. When I read the book (have many times) it occurs to me that I may not see an Oiler Stanley in my lifetime. I’ve seen 5, so can’t imagine anyone will feel sorry for me, but as a fan looking back can only sustain you for so long.

Sooner or later, the current team becomes the focus. A passage from that book is a nice way to frame the issue.

road to hockeytown

As always, you’ll have to click on it to read the entire passage. The Wings were disappointed that Pat Lafontaine had been selected in front of them (by Bill Torrey) but Yzerman turned out to be the best of the lot (in fairness, Lafontaine was an absolute killer until the concussions ended his career). From that day forward–1983 draft–it took Detroit FOURTEEEN YEARS to win their next Stanley. FOURTEEN YEARS!

So, when we argue over when the rebuild started, it’s kind of crazy. History will tell us–already has–that the rebuild started the day Pronger headed for the coast and the Oilers decided it would be okay to run a defense by replacing 44, Jaro Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom with Ladislav Smid, Jan Hejda and Daniel Tjarnqvist.

The good days started the day Stu MacGregor told the scouts, Oil Change and the fanbase the club would select Taylor Hall. I don’t know where this train is headed, but the trip started that day. A great day.

REDLINE REPORT’S LATEST TOP 10

2013 entry

And because it’s my blog, here’s my top 10:

TOP 10 (SECOND DRAFT) 2013

  1. L Jonathan Drouin: Moves up to #1, impact offensive player might be the best this decade. Willis convinced me.
  2. D Seth Jones: I know defensemen are hard to predict, but there’s just too much talent to rank him lower.
  3. C Nathan MacKinnon: Huge Memorial Cup moves him up 1 slot, still undecided about this area of the draft. Impact prospects!
  4. C Sasha Barkov: This is such a deep draft, I think he’s got a chance to be something special.
  5. C Elias Lindholm: Overlooked talent, Stu MacGregor never mentioned him during the first round of 2013 draft talk with media. Counter trey?
  6. L Valeri Nichushkin: Last guy on the board who could be an impact offensive player in the NHL. This is an insanely deep draft.
  7. C Sean Monahan: I believe he is the Oilers target, the key tumbler for new GM MacT in terms of building up the middle.
  8. D Rasmus Ristolainen: I stubbornly believe he’s the second best D option despite growing evidence to the contrary.
  9. C-L Max Domi: A nice kick at the end puts him here. Talented hockey player. Who knew?
  10. D Nikita Zadorov: Huge defender with speed, I don’t see the offense everyone is talking about but he can move and blocks out the sun.

Redline has Nurse and Erne on the top 10 and exclude Ristolainen and Zadorov. I’ll have my final list draft week.–

MOONRISE KINGDOM

 

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35 Responses to "THE HEART OF THE ORDER"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    I’m still convinced that MacKinnon is the best choice for #1.

  2. SoxandOil says:

    I can’t wait for the combine that way we can get some accurate heights and weights.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hall makes the most sense for the Captaincy. It will be a good day indeed.

    Here’s hoping the team finds a graceful way to “change the guard.”

    On the Draft as on the UFA market… they both share the danger of wide-eying small sample sizes.

    I really hope EDM can look long term and not get dazzled by playoff-performances.

  4. mumbai max says:

    The real drama begins when Nichuskin drops to 7, which seems highly likely. Your list is not a mock draft, just BPA I assume. Someone from 8-30 is going to want to overpay to get him. I would be very happy with the elusive gritty top 6 winger or reliable top 4 D out of a trade down. This is a great position for MacT. If there is an overypay in an area of need he takes it, if not he takes Nitushkin who may turn out to be the steal of the draft due to the ‘Russian Factor’. Yes, I know we do not need more wingers, but we can always use more elite players. I think this would put Eberle in play.
    Ebs brings back a top 2 D. We come away from the draft with Ebs out Nitushkin in, PLUS a top 2 D.

    So we have a win/win. Trade down for the overpay, or keep the elite Russian allowing some other assets to free up to bring back what we need.

    Of course none of this is likely to happen, because at least one team will do something crazy. Let’s just hope it is not us!

  5. jake70 says:

    OT, not sure if mentioned on previous thread. Just seeing on Sportsnet a feature on the 1988 Oilers, their 25th anniversary (May 26/1988) of that Cup win, Gretzky’s last. What a team.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/simpson-no-oilers-cup-as-special-as-1988/

  6. gcw_rocks says:

    MacKinnon should be number 1. If he falls, whomever get him is very very lucky.

    Here’s to hoping someone above the Oilers takes a reach on Zadorov, Ristolainen, or Nurse!

    Or, MacT can actually trade up ( as opposed to the Kevin Lowe style all talk, but no action) and snag a big fish.

  7. sliderule says:

    So Redline has Domi in top ten.

    Ross McLean on the pipeline show sure doesn’t agree.He said he is a hot dog and his -10 in m cup
    Is indicative of his concern for defence.

    Ross said the player that helped himself the most at cup was Horvat.

  8. gcw_rocks says:

    Took a look through the Dellow piece on Eberle. Question for those who watched more games than me. In Renney’s last year, Eberle seemed to me to spend his PP time parked just to the side of the net (within 10 feet). This season, Krueger seemed to be using Eberle more on the point on the PP with his 4 forwards, 1 d-man structure. This would push Eberle’s shooting distance back 10-20 feet if that’s true. Which would undoubtedly drop his PP shooting percentage quite a bit. Apples and oranges!

  9. RexLibris says:

    Drawing up a top ten in this year’s draft is a tough job. BPA is almost impossible because most everyone is going to value certain qualities to varying degrees and they all have high-end aspects of their game in the top four. Going by team’s order is probably a little easier, or rather less-difficult, as you can ballpark roster needs or aversions (eg: Nashville needs non-Russian offense).

    With regards to Zadorov, I think when people speak of the offense they are projecting his frame and shot from the point as well, perhaps, as an ability to move the puck up the ice quickly to a forward. He’s an intriguing prospect and frankly, the team that gets him in the #10-ish slot will get better value for their pick than the Islanders did last year taking Reinhart at #4.

    If the Oilers trade up to get Barkov it’ll likely cost them a winger like Eberle and return a supporting blueline like Jonathan Blum. If they trade down, heaven help us. Trade out? I’d like Sean Couturier. He’d be like getting Monahan fast-tracked to the Oilers’ immediate needs.

  10. RexLibris says:

    mumbai max:

    Of course none of this is likely to happen, because at least one team will do something crazy. Let’s just hope it is not us!

    Enter Jay Feaster and John Weisbrod. They may not go too off-the-wall with their first pick, but rest assured they will go walkabout with one of their other two. Heck, maybe MacTavish can trade the Anaheim 2nd rounder and Omark (“best-player-not-in-the-NHL”) for that St. Louis pick? I can dream can’t I?

  11. G Money says:

    Barkov is injured? If it’s a shoulder injury, he’s a lock to be picked by the Oilers.

  12. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Barkov is injured?If it’s a shoulder injury, he’s a lock to be picked by the Oilers.

    It is a shoulder injury.

    Guy is a lock!

  13. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Took a look through the Dellow piece on Eberle. Question for those who watched more games than me.In Renney’s last year, Eberle seemed to me to spend his PP time parked just to the side of the net (within 10 feet).This season, Krueger seemed to be using Eberle more on the point on the PP with his 4 forwards, 1 d-man structure.This would push Eberle’s shooting distance back 10-20 feet if that’s true.Which would undoubtedly drop his PP shooting percentage quite a bit.Apples and oranges!

    RK for the most part used the same set up as Renney.

    14 would play the point, but shaded down to just outside the dot often if the ice was open.

    That’s what I remember.

    I could be wrong.

  14. rich says:

    @ Rexlibris

    If Barkov is the goal and Nashville is the team we’re going to target, you’ve correctly ID’d the way to get that pick – send away one of the crown jewels as that’s what they’ll require. Some of the EA Sports GM’s around here who think Poile is dumb enough to take Hemsky or another of our flawed vets plus #7 are smoking the drapes.

    Personally, I wouldn’t do that deal – even if Blum is thrown into the mix. Blum has struggled under Trotz – and probably needs a change in scenery to recover his game but with Nashville hiring Housely (Horacheck was fired last week), they may be looking at that route to get more out of their defensive prospects.

    Someone else mentioned Florida last week – I think as a trade target. Their need to unload some long-term cap space might make a deal that does not have to include one of our crown jewels (Ebs, Hall, Nuge, Yak) possible. Don’t know for sure as I’m not as familiar with them. Would be surprised though if MacT didn’t make a call to them.

  15. Rondo says:

    rich,

    Maybe you offer Nashville your #7 pick 2013 and your 1st round pick 2014 for Barkov

  16. slopitch says:

    I thought RK ran the PP for Renney and kept the responsibility when he became coach. The difference is that maybe they’d rather use Yakapov as the trigger man?

    To me Drouin is Pat Kane and Mackinnon is Toews. It’s nice to have both but if your building a team, you take Toews.

  17. misfit says:

    mumbai max,

    I actually see it quite a bit differently. If Nichushkin falls (and I fully expect him to), teams below us may just expect him to continue to fall farther. Nichushkin comes with a lot of risk (real or imagined) on his own, and trading up for a guy like that just adds risk to risk. If anything, Nichushkin’s expected fall might make the teams above us more open to trading back because the extra assets gained in the trade would help to negate some of that risk, but I don’t see it as an opportunity to add value to our draft position.

  18. rich says:

    Rondo,

    Nashville badly lacks for skill and size at forward. They’ve not had a pick this high in a very long time and Barkov (or for that matter, Druin or MacKinnon) are exactly what they need. Getting Filip Forsberg for an aging Erat was a great move by Poile and adding a high end skill forward to go with them will help their re-build.

    Poile and Trotz are getting some heat right now for the way they imploded this year and have just been forced to do something they loathe – get rid of an assistant coach (Horachek) who’d been here a very long time. If they’re going to trade out, they are going to want something that helps immediately…and that means one of our elite talents not more picks who won’t be as skilled as the one they are letting go.

    With all the losing we’ve gone thru and with all our real needs, not sure I’d want to push back the timetable for winning with yet another pick.

  19. dessert1111 says:

    I hope Calgary takes Monahan so the Oilers are “forced” to take Nichuskin.

    The top four in this draft class looks superb. The Oilers just had to win those last two games…

    Does Hemsky get you from 4-7?

    I would go MacKinnon, Drouin, Barkov, Jones, Nichuskin, Lindhom, Monahan, in that order. Jones doesn’t look as impressive to me as I’ve expected with all the hype. All the recent D prospects to go in the top few picks haven’t seemed to warrant their draft selection. Hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps this case is similar?

  20. Vaclav says:

    So, when we argue over when the rebuild started, it’s kind of crazy. History will tell us–already has–that the rebuild started the day Pronger headed for the coast and the Oilers decided it would be okay to run a defense by replacing 44, Jaro Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom with Ladislav Smid, Jan Hejda and Daniel Tjarnqvist.

    To be fair, LT, the organization did attempt to go all-in on a 6’9″ Slovakian defender in the summer of 2006 that likely would have changed their fortunes. I’m not sure Daniel Tjarnqvist was option A.

  21. gogliano says:

    Trades in the top 10 that happened after the deadline and before/during the draft in the last 5 years:

    2012: The Carolina Hurricanes’ 8OV went to the Pittsburgh Penguins; the trade sent Jordan Staal to Carolina in exchange for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the 8th overall pick. Recall J. Staal had already burned bridges in PIT.

    2011: The Washington Capitals’ 9th OV went to the Chicago Blackhawks for Troy Brouwer.

    2010: No relevant trades.

    2009: No relevant trades.

    2008: (1) The New York Islanders’ 5th overall went to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 7th-overall pick and either the 60th-overall pick and a third-round pick in 2009 or the 68th-overall pick and a second-round pick in 2009 in exchange for this pick.

    (2) The NYI then shipped the 7th OV to the Nashville Predators and received the 9th-overall pick and the 40th-overall pick.

    MacT might be talking about willingness to move the pick but probabilities still favor staying put in the 7th slot. And it is pretty unlikely we can get the 4th OV or better. It very rarely happens and I’m sure it isn’t for a lack of effort.

  22. speeds says:

    gogliano,

    The Brouwer pick was 26th overall, not 9th.

    Varlamov was traded to COL for a 1st and a 2nd, the 11th overall pick in 2012 (F.Forsberg) and I think the 2nd was 54th, moved to DAL as part of the trade that acquired Ribiero.

  23. Rondo says:

    gogliano,

    I’t sounds like they will take a shot at Barkov, but as you say these type of deals rarely happen.

  24. Puckberger says:

    Looking at Lindholms highlights I cant see why the Oil wouldnt be interested,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=m4x9D3uRqEU

    Funny thing is this kid maybe shorter than Monahan but almost has him by almost ten pounds

    I find it very curious that Mac T had him omitted from his list of centers he wanted …….seemed like an obvious ploy, Big Bob Stauff seems to be buying it but I am not. I still want Monohan tho , but Ill glady settle for Lindholm

  25. cabbiesmacker says:

    Laddy Smid should be the next Oilers captain and imo it isn’t even a discussion. TOI, injury games missed, self sacrificing play in his own end, and a voice you hear above others in the lockerroom.

  26. Alpine says:

    Puckberger,

    The catch with Lindholm is that he may or may not have been playing mostly on the wing for Brynas. Therefore, they might not see him as a centre and don’t value him as highly if he’s a winger. Although personally, even if he’s playing wing he seems like a Landeskog type with a little more talent, which is an asset the Oilers could use for sure.

  27. misfit says:

    Rondo,

    I don’t know. Since the 2004 draft there have been 3 trades where a team in our range gave up a 2nd to move up into the 4-5 spot (Ladd, Schenn, Wilson). 3 in 10 years doesn’t seem all that rare to me.

    Trading up to get MacKinnon seems incredibly unlikely. Trading up for Barkov is possible, but also a longshot. If they want Monahan/Lindholm (looks like Monahan), then I’d say it’s a real possibility that they can make it happen. The only question is, would they be using our 2nd or Anaheim’s.

  28. Puckberger says:

    Rondo,

    Too heavy price tag IMO, if your subtracting next years 1st for a prospect as opposed to an effective roster player your putting yourselves at risk of having that pick being a lottery one…….

    Ill gladly package that pick for a stud on the back end………that sounded kind of dirty

  29. Puckberger says:

    Alpine,

    Ya Ive heard that , so who knows …… This Bo Horvat kid seems to be what the Dr ordered , we should all be honest here about what the Oil need …….

    They have far too much sizzle and not enough steak, have a look at playoff contenders, they aint built like the oilers

  30. jp says:

    Alpine:
    Puckberger,

    The catch with Lindholm is that he may or may not have been playing mostly on the wing for Brynas. Therefore, they might not see him as a centre and don’t value him as highly if he’s a winger. Although personally, even if he’s playing wing he seems like a Landeskog type with a little more talent, which is an asset the Oilers could use for sure.

    I checked yesterday, Lindholm played almost exclusively wing this year. He took 68 FO in 48 GP, 7th on the team. He did win 58% of those though. Looks like he’s the guy to step in when his C gets kicked out, but is certainly not a primary centerman.

    Sounds pretty fair that the Oilers aren’t including him on their list of top centers.

  31. spoiler says:

    jp: I checked yesterday, Lindholm played almost exclusively wing this year. He took 68 FO in 48 GP, 7th on the team. He did win 58% of those though. Looks like he’s the guy to step in when his C gets kicked out, but is certainly not a primary centerman.

    Sounds pretty fair that the Oilers aren’t including him on their list of top centers.

    I agree. I think the issue here is that the Oilers do not consider Lindholm to be a Centre.

  32. Gerta Rauss says:

    VOR posted this a couple days ago in the “great communicator” thread:

    Elias Lindholm isn’t playing center this year in the SEL because he was placed on a line with his cousin Calle Jarnkrok, who is also a center. Somebody had to play wing. When Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg played together Forsberg was a winger, didn’t mean he couldn’t play center. Lindholm played center at the WJC and played well. Apparently up until this year Lindholm had always been a center. Interestingly he shoots right but when moved to the wing he went to the left wing.

    I mentioned Forsberg specifically because Lindhom keeps getting compared to him by the Swedish Press. It probably isn’t fair or valid. Lindholm in no way has Forsberg’s wheels or that amazing shot. In fact, Lindholm is more playmaker than scorer. Where they are similar is that Lindholm is hard on the puck all over the ice. The kid really can play defense.

    Didn’t we just discuss how MacT likes players who can play center playing on the wings? We know he loves players who work very hard at not leaving anything for the opposition offense. That is Lindholm.

    That doesn’t change anything wrt the Oilers viewing him as a C or winger, but it does add some context.

  33. gogliano says:

    speeds:
    gogliano,

    The Brouwer pick was 26th overall, not 9th.

    Varlamov was traded to COL for a 1st and a 2nd, the 11th overall pick in 2012 (F.Forsberg) and I think the 2nd was 54th, moved to DAL as part of the trade that acquired Ribiero.

    Thanks, I accidentally hacked my cut and paste job. Also missed this from 2011 somehow: Jeff Carter for Jakub Voracek, a third-round pick in 2011 and 8th OV (Couturier).

    (I left the Varlamov pick out because it was for the #11 and not a top ten pick but close enough).

  34. Puckberger says:

    spoiler,

    Gerta Rauss,

    Flamers Nation just wrote an article today actually about Sir Issac Lindholm

    http://flamesnation.ca/2013/5/27/flames-first-roundn-targets-2013-elias-lindholm

  35. prairieschooner says:

    So no great appetite for the 6’5″ D man Darnell Nurse?
    If we can not get a centre wouldn’t the D man be a good pick up?
    I like the idea of trading future picks for current players.
    I am uneasy about trading our kids when we do not know what we are giving up

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