The big additions are probably in place (one hopes that Edmonton would be interesting in a quality D, C or W if they shake loose late) and Oiler fans have lots to look forward to this fall.
- L David Perron: 82, 20-28-48 during his NHL career, extremely likely to play with skill and he has nice possession stats. You absolutely never know for sure, but this is a very nice bet. Chances of making the team: 100%
- D Andrew Ference: Helps lend quality and depth to the blueline and I think there’s a chance we see him on the J Schultz pairing. Calm feet, a lot of experience. Sweet Baby Jesus it’s back. Chances of making the team: 100%
- C Boyd Gordon: Plays 3line minutes because of the large amount of shadow and PK work, Gordon’s good for what’s ailed Edmonton forever. A ‘perfect fit’ for a team badly in need of experience and strength up the middle. Chances of making the team: 100%
- G Jason LaBarbera: Veteran backup goalie with solid numbers and apparently a good working relationship with Dubnyk. This could be an underrated signing. Chances of making the team: 100%
- R Ryan Jones: A major opportunity to play big minutes and earn another contract staring him in the face as we speak. Jones struggled with injury this past season but has had seasons of 17 and 18 goals from the bottom 6F. That kind of production got him this contract. Chances of making the team: 100%
- L Jesse Joensuu: Big winger with scoring potential and some two-way ability, I think he makes this team just by showing up. The Petrell/Harski Finnish replacement and a very interesting player. Chances of making the team: 100%
- D Anton Belov: Puck moving defender, I get the feeling the organization feels he is a legit option for the top 6. You never know, I think he has a real chance but isn’t a sure bet for the roster. Chances of making the team: 70%
- D Philip Larsen: Easily forgotten in all the activity since, Larsen gives the Oilers nice depth along the RH side and will make Corey Potter sweat during training camp. And of course he might make the team. Chances of making the team: 50%
- L Ryan Hamilton: Big, tough winger with some skill, his skills line up nicely with Oiler needs. I spoke to his agent Tom Lynn this morning on the LDWLT and Hamilton has a nice opportunity with the Oilers. Played 10 games with Toronto a year ago. Chances of making the team: 40%
- C Will Acton: Defensive center who can score enough to be an AHL regular but one doubts he’ll be an NHL option beyond emergency level. Chances of making the team: 10%
- G Richard Backman: Solid signing but one imagines he’ll be an injury callup this season unless he blows the doors off in pre-season. #3 goalies usually get playing time during the year and are not strong opening night candidates. Chances of making the team: 0
FROM THE SYSTEM
It looks to me as though Anton Lander may have this team made–certainly he’s in with a strong training camp unless Edmonton adds at the position–and I do believe Mark Arcobello will break camp with the big club if things remain status quo. Oscar Klefbom will get a long look in the fall and could push someone out of a job and into another town.
ARE THEY DONE?
I don’t think so. The Oilers could use:
- a top 2D (they were chasing Coburn before and during the draft)
- a center (Grabovski would be the obvious example)
- a checking winger (we’ll call him Daniel Winnik)
….and they have Hemsky available. Tyler Dellow mentioned on the show today that he felt there was a chance Hemsky returns, but for me the club has enough holes (and Hemsky should have enough value) for something to get done. Plus they still have some cap room. We should also remember MacT mentioned the other day he’d like to add one more defenseman (and I think that’s probably a very good one–they don’t need any more depth at this point).
2013-14 projected (new players in italics)
- Arcobello, Ryan Hamilton (estimate)
- Ference-J Schultz
- N Schultz-Larsen
I don’t think the Oilers can get all three of those things done, but if they added one of them? This could be a playoff team.
The question: which player do the Oilers need more? Top 2D? Two-way C? Two-way W?