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)
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.
Now watch them sign Jones and Petrell tomorrow. Thoughts?