OPTIONS RE-SET (FORWARDS)

After the events of yesterday (and tomorrow) it’s probably a good idea to re-set the summer and make sure the song remains the same for roster changes. In our conversations leading up to the draft, we evaluated the roster based on obvious needs as they pertained to a Ralph Krueger coached hockey club. That’s changed, so will some of these players also see roles change?

It’s a very difficult question to answer, but I think we can have a lash at identifying some of the players whose arrows may have improved with Eakins arrival. From what we’ve been able to glean so far, the club will be more aggressive on the forecheck, will probably ride their best players more and will line match harder. I imagine zone starts for the offensive impact players may be part of the picture, so we’ll throw that in there too.

FORWARDS (SIGNED OR RFA)

C L R
NUGENT-HOPKINS (IR) HALL EBERLE
GAGNER PAAJARVI YAKUPOV
HORCOFF HARTIKAINEN HEMSKY
BELANGER SMYTH BROWN
LANDER RAJALA ARCOBELLO
ANDREW MILLER HAMILTON PITLICK

All kinds of things to talk about here.

  • Nugent-Hopkins won’t be 100% opening night, so center needs to have 5 legit options for Game 1. With Horcoff heading out, that means the club has only Sam Gagner (RFA) as a certain opening night option. MacT is on record as wanting to bring in two C’s, but I think we can see clear to include Anton Lander on the roster at the beginning of the year.
  • I think we’ve identified Boyd Gordon as a strong option (McCurdy) and he would certainly help with the uptempo forecheck, penalty kill and physical play (without taking penalties–an added bonus), but that’s only one guy. If the Oilers are serious about contending for the post-season, then they’ll need another legit option for the center position. Is we use a Vollman graph perhaps we can identify the right guy.
  • For our purposes–we have Nuge, Gagner for the skill lines when healthy and a checker in Gordon plus the kid in Lander–I’m looking for someone who fits the two-way role, and have chosen Vlad Sobotka-Nick Spaling. I don’t know what they’d cost but it shouldn’t be prohibitive and we’re talking in general terms anyway.

  • Next up the wingers, and for me I want Viktor Stalberg even more than before–because his cost has gone way down with Bickell’s Pisani run. I think Stalberg will be half the cost and the difference in production is minimal (the Vollman Sledgehammer below shows us the difference). Softer minutes, good production. That’s the guy I want, and if he fails we’ll move Paajarvi up. Stalberg also has terrific speed and that should help the forecheck.

  • So, in review, we’ve added Sobotka, Gordon, Stalberg and subtracted Horcoff, Belanger and Hemsky. I’d still like to replace Brown but hell man they gave up a good pick for him and if they set him free then it’s all for nothing. I’d take the top 4 lines here and then keep Lander and Arcobello from the 5line.
C L R
NUGENT-HOPKINS (IR) HALL EBERLE
GAGNER STALBERG YAKUPOV
SOBOTKA PAAJARVI HARTIKAINEN
GORDON SMYTH BROWN
LANDER RAJALA ARCOBELLO
ANDREW MILLER HAMILTON PITLICK

Now watch them sign Jones and Petrell tomorrow. Thoughts?

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71 Responses to "OPTIONS RE-SET (FORWARDS)"

  1. BlacqueJacque says:

    Doesn’t Eakins have a history with Stalberg?

  2. gd says:

    LT,

    I completely agree with you on Stalberg, and hopefully with Eakins being his first pro coach, that might give us the inside edge on him.

    Another Eakins connection guy is Antropov, who looks like he could be an affordable Horcoff replacement.

  3. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Doesn’t Eakins have a history with Stalberg?

    Yes. Stalberg played for Eakins on the Marlies.

  4. BlacqueJacque says:

    What do you think of Stalberg riding pine so much these playoffs? Reason for concern?

  5. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    What do you think of Stalberg riding pine so much these playoffs?Reason for concern?

    Not for me. Bolland’s offense is a concern, though.

  6. striatic says:

    i’d like to see the Oilers sign Tyler Bozak as a Horcoff replacement this summer.

    also connected to Eakins via the Marlies.

    could see something like:

    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Gagner-Stalberg-Yakupov
    Bozak-PRV-Hemsky
    Lander-Smyth-Brown

  7. striatic says:

    BlacqueJacque: What do you think of Stalberg riding pine so much these playoffs?

    i think that’s more about Bickell playing incredibly and taking his minutes, than Stalberg playing poorly and losing them.

  8. Oil In Enemy Territory says:

    LT,

    Do you think it is reasonable to expect 3rd or 4th players back for Horcoff or Hemsky? Or are we just more likely to get some depth players?

  9. BlacqueJacque says:

    Wow, crazy, anyone hear about this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

    I’ve been out of the loop. Why isn’t this on the news more?

  10. striatic says:

    http://striatic.net/jing/2013-06-09_1741.png

    Bozak doesn’t look as good as Gordon by this metric, but he is certainly an improvement on Horcoff and the guy gets points.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Oil In Enemy Territory:
    LT,

    Do you think it is reasonable to expect 3rd or 4th players back for Horcoff or Hemsky? Or are we just more likely to get some depth players?

    I think the Oilers will get a player very much like Shawn Horcoff in return for Horcoff. Grabovski, that kind of thing. Or they could deal Horcoff plus to San Jose for Brent Burns, but there’s money coming back of that I’m sure.

    Hemsky is different. They might get a prospect, pick or a player for him.

  12. gd says:

    Spaling looks interesting to me. Nashville’s only depth is at C, especially if they draft Barkov. I would assume Legwand and Fisher are stuck there for sentimental reasons, so I would think Spaling and/or Gaustad would be available. Does Hemsky with some withheld salary get Spaling?

  13. Lowetide says:

    gd:
    Spaling looks interesting to me. Nashville’s only depth is at C, especially if they draft Barkov. I would assume Legwand and Fisher are stuck there for sentimental reasons, so I would think Spaling and/or Gaustad would be available. Does Hemsky with some withheld salary get Spaling?

    I’ll have more on this tomorrow but yes.

  14. jfry says:

    are we really a better team with these changes? it seems to me stallberg isn’t hemskey. gordon is maybe horcoff, etc.

    most of the progression in this article is just “the kids getting a year old”. which was sort of the tambo philosophy

    count me as one who is against stalberg. he has an insane zone start and in previous years (and this year) his underlying numbers don’t suggest he’s a fit for a 3rd line shut down role. when chi played power vs power he was always removed from toews’ line, like he’s being removed from the playoff lineup currently. i think he’s the wrong target.

    i’m not comparing him to colin fraser, but sometimes we find the beauty in other players when we seem them on a good team. when they’re on ours, not so much. when projecting some upside, i think it’s much harder to do with someone like stalberg, where it’s all “speculative” since we want him to play a role on our team he’s never done at the NHL level.

    someone like gordon, or winnick are much easier to project, because they have a resume of success in the area that we’re looking to fill.

    i feel like the desire to get stalberg is a cultural thing that being an oiler’s fan over the last few years has added to our psyche, where we’re looking for the “upside” in prospects instead of “actual NHL players”. even in our UFA and trade options.

    i think it’s almost better to list the players in to different categories:

    sure thing (we know what the player can accomplish day in and day out, for the most part):
    - hall
    - gagner
    - eberle
    - hemsky
    - horcoff

    looking good:
    - nuge
    - yakcity

    speculative (or no previous history of success at the NHL level in the role we imagine for him):
    - stalberg
    - mps
    - lander
    - smyth (because of age)
    - harti

    inability to do what we want at the NHL level:
    - everyone else

    looking at it this way, we’re taking out two known quantities and adding in only 1 (gordon) who we know can do the job asked. that seems like too much guess work and assumption when building a team. to my mind we need to improve the top two categories, which is players we know can do what is asked of them. right now, we’re deleting two (horc and hemskey) and adding only 1 (gordon).

    but don’t worry, the kids will be better!!!

  15. Lowetide says:

    Jfry: Stalberg won’t be playing a shutdown role, he’ll be playing a soft minutes role with Gagner-Yakupov. Also, you mention Gordon but I don’t see Sobotka listed.

  16. blackdog says:

    Striatic – Bozak is not a very good hockey player. He rides Kessel’s coattails and was probably the Leafs’ third best centre this year.

    He is a great faceoff man but he can’t defend well and does not create any offence of his own.

    Think Matt Stajan. He’s a vanilla player. Someone will pay him because they won’t look beyond his numbers but I’ve seen the Leafs play a ton this year and I’d probably take Horcoff over him. Seriously.

  17. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    I think we need a more defensive player on the left wing to cover for Sam “what’s that area behind me” Gagner and Nail “Loose Cannon” Yakupov.

    Hmm, I like that. Loose cannon. Good nickname. Too bad hockey players are as original with nicknames as Kia is with car designs. He’s probably “Naily”" or “Yakky”.

  18. blackdog says:

    Stallberg or Bickell would be a great add but Bickell is going to get paid a ridiculous amount of money. Pass.

    Stallberg was a big part of Chicago’s success this year. Like Saad he’s struggled a bit when it comes to scoring these playoffs but he’s be a great fit with the Oilers. Big , fast, chips in offence, can slide up the lineup when needed.

  19. gd says:

    jfry,

    To me Stalberg represents what should be a reasonable value UFA who might fit better on the Oilers than any other team as he seems like he can move from 1st to 2nd to 3rd line with Hall, Ebs, Yak, MPS depending on cirumstances. Bickell was also going to be a great fit, but this playoff has probably put him to where he will get $500K a year too much and that is what we need to start avoiding. The kids should get better, just because of their age and pedigree, and to me the Oilers have to start getting productivity and value from the $1.5M to $3M second tier guys, which will allow them to not rush youngsters and have a middle six that doesn’t bleed.

    The choosing Belanger over Gordon represents one of ST and the pro scouts worse mistakes of the past two years and it would be great to rectify that mistake this summer.

  20. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    I think we need a more defensive player on the left wing to cover for Sam “what’s that area behind me” Gagner and Nail “Loose Cannon” Yakupov.

    Hmm, I like that.Loose cannon.Good nickname.Too bad hockey players are as original with nicknames as Kia is with car designs.He’s probably “Naily”” or “Yakky”.

    If you need a more defensive player, you have him in Paajarvi. The beauty of Stalberg isn’t that he’s the centerpiece of the summer, it’s that he’s inexpensive enough for the Oilers to spend both assets and dollars on that exact thing.

    The centerpiece.

  21. Benhur says:

    If you can get Bickell…get him. Exactly what we need a coke machine that can score and play with the top lines.
    Stalberg is not bad but if they have the money … say Hemsky’s 5 mil/ year for a 3 year contract…get Bickell here FAST!
    We’ve been crying for a power forward for how long…now’s the opportunity….UFA!!!

  22. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    So that leaves Stalberg on the third line to be defensively responsible?

  23. Benhur says:

    gd,

    Bickell has 8G, 5A, 13 Pts. in playoffs, Stalberg has 0 G, 3 A, 3 Pts. Bickell is the power forward we need…not a 3rd liner like Stalberg. Move Hemsky out, Horc out and Bickell and Stalberg in…but definitley Bickell is the key guy. We really need a power forward to play with our smallish skill guys.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Benhur:
    gd,

    Bickell has 8G, 5A, 13 Pts. in playoffs, Stalberg has 0 G, 3 A, 3 Pts.Bickell is the power forward we need…not a 3rd liner like Stalberg. Move Hemsky out, Horc out and Bickell and Stalberg in…but definitley Bickell is the key guy. We really need a power forward to play with our smallish skill guys.

    Small sample size. It can cost millions. Just ask Kevin Lowe, 2006 summer.

  25. zilong says:

    @TreenasOil: Oilers talking multiplayer deal with Flyers Flyers interested in Petry As per Garfield

    Courturier?

  26. fuzzy muppet says:

    Bra and panties ALERT!

    Mact has talked to the Habs re:Eberle

    Garfield says expect a “wow” trade!

    And Multi-player deal with flyers around petry!!

    It’s Bull, but this summer will be very entertaining….

  27. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Convincing article, but I’m not so sure of the factual quality. Is Eakins that intense? His players loved him. That doesn’t strike me as a ball buster. As for holding players accountable, in particular the young kids, Krueger’s problem wasn’t the kids. He got great results from Hall, Gagner, Yakupov, and Paajarvi. He got good performances out of Eberle, Nuge (both with injuries) and fair results from Lander and Harski. It’s the vets who let him down, they and the abysmal defence. That said, the article rightly points out our incredibly bad shots for and against, as well as possession issues.

  28. BlacqueJacque says:

    zilong:
    @TreenasOil: Oilers talking multiplayer deal with Flyers Flyers interested in Petry As per Garfield

    Courturier?

    Thought we didn’t post that or Ek around here.

    Garfield says Petry and Ebs, but Odie is telling me it’s Yak and Magnus. Jon gives it a J9 that we are trading the seventh for Luongo.

  29. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Small sample size. It can cost millions. Just ask Kevin Lowe, 2006 summer.

    To be fair to BIckell he was 4th on CHI (behind only Toews, Kane and Hossa) with 2.30pts/60 in the regular season, which would have been good for 3rd on the Oilers behind only Hall 3.15, and essentially tied with Eberle 2.31.

    In the playoffs he scoring at 3.21pts/60 which is almost a full point about his regular season rate, but his regular season rate was pretty good.

    I’m sure there is some team mate effects in there as he gets to play with the vaunt, but he plays well with the vaunt.

    Also,

    I think Clark MaCarthur will end up in Edmonton as 2 LW. Good Alberta boy from Lloyminster.

    Not bit at 6’0 191lbs, but plays a MacT type game.

    Fell out of favour with Carlyle, but played the toughs they year before for Wilson and outshot the toughest comp.

    Perfect type player to add some defensive stability to the 2nd line with the ability to score 20 goals/year.

    Would probably score more playing with Yak and Gagner (although I think 89 is gone for a Dman)

  30. steveb12344 says:

    Woodguy,

    When MacT said had had a core of 6 that he wanted to build the team around, I kinda figured the 6th was Gags. If not, then who?

    Klef, Maggie, Smid? Although Craig showed us yesterday that he’s not afraid to change his mind.

    I still think, barring a very tasty offer for 89. He will likely re-up and possibly even be the next Captain.

  31. zilong says:

    BlacqueJacque: Thought we didn’t post that or Ek around here.

    Garfield says Petry and Ebs, but Odie is telling me it’s Yak and Magnus.Jon gives it a J9 that we are trading the seventh for Luongo.

    …coming from a guy who posts links on Edward Snowden.

    Snagging Courturier has been brought up a lot around here lately; I saw the tweet and relayed it. Fuzzy Britches has been discussed enough on this site to get a nickname.

    Of course if Lowetide says the word it won’t happen again.

  32. Captain Obvious says:

    I’m loving the names in this thread. MacArthur, Couturier, Sobotka are all high on my personal wish list. Won’t happen but it is fun to dream.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Fussy Britches references and posts are fine. She basically told me all of the July 1, 2011 free agent signings about 20 minutes before they broke. Seriously. I had them all, there was once name that was wrong (don’t remember which) but the rest she was 20 minutes ahead.

    IT was GREAT! She’s connected somehow. Don’t know who and how, but she has someone telling her things from the inside.

  34. Doug McLachlan says:

    Given a choice between Couturier and B.Schenn do we all agree on who we prefer? Could either step into Gagner’s slot?

  35. Lowetide says:

    Konopka. She posted Konopka had signed, then Barker, then Hordichuk, then the Sutton trade and then the Belanger signing. I went to the pizza place to get pizza for my kids, and then the Potter item came in on the radio when I returned. Seriously.

    It was great!

  36. zilong says:

    Lowetide:
    Fussy Britches references and posts are fine. She basically told me all of the July 1, 2011 free agent signings about 20 minutes before they broke. Seriously. I had them all, there was once name that was wrong (don’t remember which) but the rest she was 20 minutes ahead.

    IT was GREAT! She’s connected somehow. Don’t know who and how, but she has someone telling her things from the inside.

    Looking at her avatar, I imagine her britches are more ‘fuzzy’ than ‘fussy.’ Haha.

  37. dangilitis says:

    LT, what about:

    Nuge-Hall-Eberle
    Weiss-Gagner-Yakupov (or Gagner-Clowe/MacArthur-Yakupov)
    Gordon-Paajarvi-Boyes
    Kruger-Smyth-Hartikainen

    I do think the new system (e.g. any system not involving Kreuger’s floating wingers) will help Gagner and that he is capable of some 2-way play like he had the season before, and I guess that 2nd line can also be sheltered more with better line matching, but adding 3 centers could push Gags to the wing (off-wing, mind you, unless Yak and him switched).

    For C: Are you worried about Weiss becoming the new Hemsky (e.g. injury prone?), or Gomez sucking, or are you just being realistic? What if the Oilers offered LAK (short on natural RW) Hemsky at 3 million next year for Stoll at the same price (and let Toffoli into the 3rd C position)? If Chicago re-signs Bickell, then Kruger is also up for grabs. I know the sledgehammer doesn’t favour Cullen, but he looked good against the Oil last year and could be a consolation prize if they can’t land any of the above for the 3/4 line center. He would also not cost any assets while Spaling would (this would be a stop gap solution given Cullen’s age).

    Harti has done nothing in the NHL to earn 3rd line minutes and I don’t think I am ready to trust him in a checking role against tough matchups. What do you think of Boyes instead? I know he was given OZ starts up the ying yang but his but his numbers weren’t that far off from Taveres and Moulson. He could also slip up to the 2nd line if Yak struggles (when London bridge falls down) or they need a different look or an injury.

    Why do you like Stalberg so much? He is so sheltered and on a great team. 2nd line LW is a lot to ask of him, because then you are expecting him to produce. Wouldn’t MacArthur or Clowe be a better fit, or again, are you being realistic and hoping that Stalberg will fly under the radar while the others will fetch more?

  38. BlacqueJacque says:

    zilong,

    Ummm so the actual worldwide news with evidence isn’t cool (I know, I’m late to the party but getting a web page more complex than this to load at this camp takes five minutes), but a rumour monger who was right on one day two years ago and striking out since (to the best of my knowledge) is?

  39. Lowetide says:

    Dangilitis: I’m saving all of the money for the blue (tomorrow). I’d be fine with Weiss, but for me the cool thing about Sobotka is that he could easily slide down to 3-4 line when Nuge is back. That was the appeal for me.

    I think maybe Stalberg doesn’t excite people like Bickell does, but my guess is Bickell may end up costing well over $3.5M/4.

  40. LostBoy says:

    You know, we already have a 6’3″, 208 lb, blazing fast Swedish winger who scored goals at a slightly better clip than Stalberg this season. And ours hasn’t yet sat in the pressbox while Daniel f-wording Carcillo plays an impactful 6.5 minutes in his place.

    If Viktor Stalberg is the answer, you’re probably asking the wrong question. Give Mags the job. Among Mags’ faults, it’s sometimes opined, is cheating for defense. Viktor Stalberg, it must be said, does not have this particular fault.

    Yeah, he’ll likely be fairly cheap. But, y’know, there’s a reason for that.

    The only thing that makes me even slightly lukewarm to the idea is that he has a past relationship with Eakins in his formative AHL days. But either get a genuine impact PF for the job, or give it to Paajarvi. Among Paajarvi’s biggest problems is he’s been jerked around all over the place and never given a clear mandate to run with the horses in the top six. Assuming Paajarvi isn’t traded as part of the tumult, Stalberg really isn’t going to add much that a Paajarvi with a little confidence installed in him couldn’t.

  41. BlacqueJacque says:

    zilong,

    Just FYI I only posted that because I can’t get better news here and don’t really want to discuss that with the guys at work who are as apt to believe Alex Jones as they are to an actual newspaper.

    As for treena and Ek, I just find that discussion quality tends to fall off a cliff once they’re in the equation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to speculate but … Well, forget I said anything. This isn’t my blog.

  42. zilong says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Given a choice between Couturier and B.Schenn do we all agree on who we prefer?Could either step into Gagner’s slot?

    I’d prefer Couturier, and it’s not really close for me. He plays harder competition (0.95 vs 0.53 Corsi Rel QofC), has tougher zone starts (32% vs 53%), and pushes the puck forward much better (45% vs 53% off zone finishes), all with a positive Corsi Rel (1.60 vs Schenn’s is 3.5).

    TOIs were similar (513 vs 582), but Couturier was trusted with heavy PK minutes (109, 3rd most on team among F’s) as a 19 turning 20yo. Schenn clocked 2 min.

    Schenn had twice as much time on the PP (114 vs 68), padding his stats with 2PPG and 8PPA. Couturier had 0PPG and 4PPA, which is similar taking into consideration PPTOI.

    Even strength, Couturier scored 4G 7A in 331min with a down year in S% (5.3%) to Schenn’s 6G 10A in 466min with average S% (10.1%). P/60 that’s 1.99 vs 2.06, and if you correct for bad puck luck in shooting %, Couturier’s even strength P/60 goes up to 2.72, while playing tougher competition and starting out in his own zone more often.

    Oh yeah, and he’s a year younger.

  43. Doug McLachlan says:

    zilong,

    So you are saying its a toss-up :-)

    As for my second question, is Courturier up to filling Gagner’s roll as a number 2 center as of today?

  44. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide,

    Ha I am glad you like to build from the back end out, and I will be interested to see how you do it without giving up too much assets. Might I suggest a Nick Schultz + prospect (even if its Marincin) for Tyutin, then signing Clitsome to take Schultz the elder’s place on the 3rd line? N Schultz is decent price as a 2nd liner, but I don’t believe he is capable of this and is thus an overpaid 3rd pairing D man right now (Clitsome shouldn’t cost nearly as much).

  45. zilong says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    zilong,

    As for my second question, is Courturier up to filling Gagner’s roll as a number 2 center as of today?

    Sorry, missed it!

    To compare Gagner and Couturier (keeping in mind they are on different teams, etc, etc)…

    Gagner Corsi Rel QofC 0.00 (so weaker opposiiton), off zone starts 51% (so easier), off zone finishes 52% (does not gain as much ground as Couturier), with a negative Corsi Rel (-4.30).

    TOI: 686 ES, 127 PP, 77 PK.

    4PPG 11PPA (Gagner better)
    ES: 10G 11A, S% 12.4% up from career average of 10.6%. Works out to 1.84 P/60 ES.

    Couturier is 3y4m younger. Flyers list Couturier at 6’3″ 197lbs. Oilers list Gagner at 5’11″ 199lbs (hehe… the camera must take away 20lbs… and 2 inches).

    Different players, and I really like Gagner, but I think Couturier is better now, never mind in 3 years. With more minutes, more PP min, easier comp, easier starts, and back to average S%, I’d bet Couturier would produce nice boxcars. .

  46. zilong says:

    zilong,

    noticed I used ES TOI instead of Tot TOI in my post comparing SC and BS.

    zilong:

    TOIs were similar (513 vs 582), but Couturier was trusted with heavy PK minutes (109, 3rd most on team among F’s) as a 19 turning 20yo. Schenn clocked 2 min.

    Even strength, Couturier scored 4G 7A in 331min with a down year in S% (5.3%) to Schenn’s 6G 10A in 466min with average S% (10.1%).P/60 that’s 1.99 vs 2.06, and if you correct for bad puck luck in shooting %, Couturier’s even strength P/60 goes up to 2.72, while playing tougher competition and starting out in his own zone more often.

    To correct…

    Tot TOIs were (701 vs 711).

    Even strength P/60 was 1.26 vs 1.61. If you regress SC’s S% to his average it’s 1.72.

    Sorry for that.

  47. dangilitis says:

    LostBoy,

    Could Eakins help MPS like he helped Stalberg? Could hiring Eakins be the equivalent of upgrading MPS for a Eakins-improved MPS? To be fair, as well, MPS is not a reclamation project anymore and the fans have Neilson and MPS (great attitude in OKC), and to a lesser extent, RK, to thank for this.

  48. misfit says:

    I don’t really see how anyone could point to these Vollman charts and conclude that either Stalberg or Bickell are what we need, or that signing them would be a good idea. Both players had decent numbers, but got them as a result of an incredibly easy ride in terms of both zonestart and the quality of the competition they faced.

    Both players acheived positive results in their role, and an argument could be made that they could also get good results in a more difficult one, but both will be free agents expecting a contract based on their performance under the most ideal possible circumstances. No doubt Stalberg would come cheaper than Bickell, but arguably still at a contract higher than his value going forward on this team.

  49. VOR says:

    zilong,

    Not sure how you get Couturier being a better player than Gagner. This year Couturier was a worse minus, played far fewer minutes, can’t take draws and better than Gagner and arguably is worse at it, is far worse at generating offence at even strength, almost 40% worse on the PP, and this year with Gagner’s emergence as a penalty killer (and an astonishingly good one – admittedly still to small a sample but wouldn’t want to be he won’t be a truly great one) Couturier lost his only edge.

  50. JohnnyOilfan says:

    perhaps the new coach can teach the boys how to be a pro with their training and diets, but also in how to drop the mitts:

    Eakins vs Barnaby Round 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mli-P5tqpeI

    Eakins vs Barnaby Round 2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDUaY9j1M9w

  51. OilLeak says:

    VOR,

    Are you using GA/60 to evaluates Gagner on the pk? Or shots allowed? PK GA is subject to wild swings in a goalie’s PK sv% especially in a shortened season.

  52. Bank Shot says:

    IMO you can’t start Hartikainen higher then the 4th line/pressbox. He hasn’t shown he can play as an NHL regular let alone on a shutdown line.

    The Oilers need at least one RW that can check and kill penalties.

    Hemsky for Joel Ward.

  53. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    thanks for the Snowden link. we are too busy with work and distracted by consuming to give these injustices their due.

    >misfit,
    agreed on Stallberg. Oil can’t afford more players that need sheltering. top left of the Vollman is all we should target but those players aren’t so easy to come by. is there a way to project top-left players?

  54. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    MacArthur would be an excellent fit for the Oilers. Can flip between 2nd and 3rd line LW with MPS depending on who is hot at the moment, and players a decent two-way game from what I understand.

  55. russ99 says:

    We can’t expect Hartikainen (if he’s back) and Paajarvi to handle the responsibility of a NHL-playoff team caliber shutdown third line.

    Add another UFA RW and and LW/C to that third line, then we’re talking.

  56. Allan Mitchell says:

    Hi everyone,

    I believe I’ve been hacked. No way to get into my site (had to register under another name). I have a post ready to roll and will attempt to post it sometime today. Sincere apologies.

  57. theres oil in virginia says:

    Allan Mitchell,

    The site was down for at least 20-30 minutes this AM around 9 EDT (7 local?). Then it was slow for a while and now back to normal. Problem with the hosting?

  58. edmoil3 says:

    LOWETIDE YOU ARE MY FAVORITE WRITER/BLOGGER BUT IF YOU DONT START ARRANGING LW/C/RW IN YOUR LINES I WILL SNAP!

    THOSE LINES ARENT ”BOLD” ENOUGH YA KNOW HAHA

  59. leadfarmer says:

    Wonder how good Stalberg would be playing in front of our defense instead of Chicago’s stacked defense.

    Just reading through the tea leaves but I wonder if MacTs plan is to upgrade the 2c position, move Gagner to wing, and trade one of the wingers not named Hemsky. If Petry is moving, better have a much better defenseman coming back. Actually make that 2.

  60. leadfarmer says:

    edmoil3,

    I think LT is predicting a “Mac blender” for next year, where the wingers will play center and the centers will play wing. 1 year out of the lottery will do that to a team.

  61. zilong says:

    VOR:
    zilong,

    Not sure how you get Couturier being a better player than Gagner. This year Couturier was a worse minus, played far fewer minutes, can’t take draws and better than Gagner and arguably is worse at it, is far worse at generating offence at even strength, almost 40% worse on the PP, and this year with Gagner’s emergence as a penalty killer (and an astonishingly good one – admittedly still to small a sample but wouldn’t want to be he won’t be a truly great one) Couturier lost his only edge.

    +/- Gagner -6, Couturier -8 (narrow margin, but consider the zone starts and QofComp!)

    No argument he played fewer minutes. Couturier could struggle with more or he good blossom or perform at the same clip. But that’s a question mark, not a win Gagner.

    Face offs: dead even at 43.9%. How would one argue he’s worse? I’d argue the opposite: Couturier was facing off against the opposition’s best. I’m completely guessing here, but I’d expect better players to have better faceoff %. Could be wrong. Rookies tend to struggle in the dot. The fact a 20yo matched a 23yo tells me Couturier projects better than Gagner in this area too.

    SC is not “far worse” at generating offense at ES. He suffered a bad year in a short season in S%. Give him an average S% and he is right there with SG, DESPITE killer zone starts and competition. Plus, I’d like to see what Hall/Nuge/Eberle could do in front of a 2nd line centre that can play ES against tough competition. Expect the team to be better.

    PP: sure I’ll give it to Gagner, but with Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yakupov, do we need another PP guy?

    PK: “emergence” could just as easily represent a good puck luck year. The stats are very interesting. Gagner: 3.13 GA/60 on, 6.50 GA/60 off (looks good!). 47.0 Saves/60 on, 46.9 Saves/60 off (no better than the others at easing pressure…At best he forced shots from low risk areas, at worst he got lucky!). Team Save % on 0.938.

    SC: 8.82 GA/60 on (terrible!), 2.69 GA/60 off (looks bad!!). 33.1 Saves/60 on (wow!), 37.3 Saves/60 off (he beat the team!). Team Save % on 0.789. Now either he was letting shots from the slot (more goals and fewer rebounds / shots) or it’s bad luck with a bad goalie (Bryz). Worth noting that Bryz’s save % on PK was 0.840 (so he was worse when SC was on). Not sure if there are stats out there on quality of shots allowed. Anyone?

    To sum up, by no means is it a blowout, by I’d take SC over SG.

  62. edmoil3 says:

    leadfarmer,

    HAHAH YA ITS POSSIBLE

    BUT HES BEEN ARRANGING HIS LINES LIKE THAT FOR YEARS AND I CANT DO IT ANYMORE

  63. sysadmin says:

    C-L-R. It’s the right thing to do.

  64. LMHF#1 says:

    So, here’s my issue with the Bickell discussion.

    Now that he’s having a good playoff, he’s “too expensive” and it is a small sample and all that.

    If he hadn’t had a good playoff, the same people were previously saying he’s not good enough and we shouldn’t sign the guy even though he’d probably come cheap.

    What’s the deal? The answer is never Bickell, no matter what the circumstances??? You can’t sign a player that plays well?

  65. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    The forward reset continues. HARTIKAINEN to the KHL.

  66. Bank Shot says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴:
    The forward reset continues. HARTIKAINEN to the KHL.

    Good. Oilers keep his rights and we don’t have to watch him develop(or fail to) in the NHL.

  67. prairieschooner says:

    As long as we do Day Month Year I am fine with Centre Wing Wing

  68. Lowetide says:

    prairieschooner:
    As long as we do Day Month Year I am fine with Centre Wing Wing

    Yes, this is a deal breaker no doubt. DD-MM-YR

  69. FastOil says:

    I would be wary of either Stalberg or Bickell. Given the Hawks run this year Schremp or Nilsson might have looked good. More expensive risk than reward lurking there. Couturier would be brilliant if they manage to move up and grab one of the offensive centres (assuming Gagner is going as a part of all this).

  70. gcw_rocks says:

    What about Rich Peverley from Boston? Rumour is that if the Bruins want to retain Horton, they will need to buy out or trade Peverley.

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