THE FRETBOARD

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.

  1. 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%
  2. 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%
  3. 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%
  4. 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%
  5. 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%
  6. 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%
  7. 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%
  8. 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%
  9. 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%
  10. 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%
  11. 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)

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Joensuu-Jones
  • Lander-Smyth-Brown
  • Arcobello, Ryan Hamilton (estimate)
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Larsen
  • Belov
  • Dubnyk-Labarbera

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?

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83 Responses to "THE FRETBOARD"

  1. Racki says:

    After hearing the shit Grabovski said about Toronto, I don’t know if I want any of that. Passion is great, but so is being a team player and doing what the team needs.

    But I have probably mention every post you make that I think the Oilers need a #2C…. so here’s another post! Oilers need a #2C. Just don’t feel Gagner is the guy (as much as I really like him). I think with Perron, the Oilers might need a bigger C even more. The free agent market is dry for that kind of player..

    But I still think we have the assets to make it happen.. Hemsky at half price, Sam Gagner, our 2014 1st rounder.. perhaps one of the D prospects… one of the lesser NHL D guys… any of this stuff can be used. A Big C is pretty damn hard to get, but it does happen from time to time.

  2. striatic says:

    “a checking winger (we’ll call him Daniel Winnik)”

    i’d love to get Winnik but i still don’t understand why ANA trades him without at least getting a LW back in return.

    the ducks are extremely shallow at that position.

  3. Young Oil says:

    I think right now the bottom 6 is most important. Jones and Smyth can’t be higher than the 4th line in order for this team to be competitive.

    I would love to grab a couple of the RFA’s from LA (Clifford and Muzzin are the most compelling to me), or try to Grab a couple bottom 6 players from NYR (Boyle, Kreider, and Palmieri could all help I think). Winnik would be a godsend.

    I don’t think a top 2 D is realistic for this year.

    However, I think what they do with Gagner will determine if they make the playoffs. I don’t think they can do it with him as #2C. However, if we deal him for another top 4 D (Kulikov maybe?), then sign Grabovski, or have him as part of an overpay for Dubinski, as well as tending to the bottom 6 with returns from trades involving Hemsky @2.5M, N. Schultz, and middling picks/prospects, then playoffs could be a reality.

  4. Kris11 says:

    Top 2D

  5. delooper says:

    I think centre is the position of most glaring need. The Oilers have plenty of talent on wing, and although their D does not have a plethora of top-end NHL talent they’ve got loads of talented AHL-ers that will force their way up eventually. But if the Oilers get an injury or two at centre, their season is pretty much over.

  6. Young Oil says:

    It just occurs to me, with Horcoff and Belanger gone, and Gordon coming in, who will be our C for the second unit PK? The plans better not be Gagner/Smyth/Lander…

    Also with RNH likely to be out to start the year, Lander is our #3C, assuming Gagner gets signed, or a replacement comes in.

    We need another C, badly.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Two way C and it’s not close.

    I’d like a true 1D, but D by committee can work much better than C by committee.

    Here’s speculative cloak and dagger scenario:

    Oilers and Grabbo have a deal in principle but have agreed to not make it public until after the Gagner deal is done (via arb or done before)

    They hold on to the news since is 89 sees they hired another C he’ll go to arb for sure so he can be FA next year.

    Oilers sign 89, one way or another, then Grabbo signing announced.

    Ha!

    That’s a large stretch, but you never know.

  8. admiralmark says:

    Top 2 D would solidify a playoff spot as long as none of the current top 6 not named Hemsky isnt the price. I just get the feeling Hemsky has waaaaaay too little value out there. How much proof do we need in this regard? And if this assumption is correct can we salvage Hemsky to play on the 3rd line at least until trade deadline? It amazes me the amount of love for Hemsky out there and yet the GM cant get squat for him?!

    I would put in order of need:
    1) Top 2 D man
    2) A 2nd line Center(Big/Tough) sorry Gagner will not be the 2nd line C on a Stanley Cup Contender.unless he’s surrounded by alot more Size then the Oil have.
    3) Bottom 6 still in need of an upgrade. With Smyth and Jones returning(Not an upgrade) I just dont see Jonesuu, Brown, and Lander in any way upgrading the bottom 6.

  9. BlacqueJacque says:

    I just arrived in Calgary and am impressed at how often their AM sports station is talking about the Oilers. Mostly, I suspect, because there’s not much to say about the Flames other than Johnny Gaudreau is standing out at dev camp. Between the Oilers and Devils (and it’s kinda funny, but most of the tall about the Devils is how unlucky and unhappy the fans must be now that their stars are gone and the goalie is fading. Anything to cheer themselves up with, I guess.)

    Back on topic, if Gagner loses his mind, I’ll take grabo. I get the feeling that the contract is going to suck.

  10. TheOtherJohn says:

    No problem with top 6 forwards. Does not have any size but it is highly skilled. Like Boyd Gordon but the rest of the bottom 6 is less than overwhelming (could be as godawful as last year, actually). Put another way, excepting Smytty who should have retired and Jones on 4th line, we have a bunch of 13/14 or OKC forwards. Maybe the Finn, or Tom Lynn’s client Hamilton or Lander will be able to jump to the show but not based on what they’ve shown to date. Acton’s son career high in scoring is 39 pts in Tier II junior. Gordon, a pure checker, scored 81 in the Dub. Think MacT also thinks he’s way light up front too. Strongly suspect he’d love to replace MPS, get a Winnik type and get a 4C/W

    On the back end JSchu should be getting the full bore “Keith Yandle” special 3rd pairing minutes and all the PP he can handle. We are short 1 Top 4 D and have 6 or 7 bottom pairing D. And Klefbom. Wish that wasn’t the case but it is. Only 2 FA that could potentially fill top 4 role is Hainsey or Gilbert. Or a trade but what exactly do we have to trade? We can only trade Hemsky once, right.

    So summer ain’t over, some teams still need to better their team still but don’t think we need to print playoff tickets off of the Oiler roster as it stands.

  11. russ99 says:

    2-way C because most 2-way Cs can also play 2-way W.

    Would really prefer one of each since Jones/Joensuu doesn’t instill fear in opposing star forwards, and Lander should really be injury replacement not a starting C, at least not yet, or only until RNH gets healthy.

    D not so much since Klefbom and Belov should be knocking on the door by opening day (if not have the door kicked in by then) and Marincin should follow by the spring, if we don’t stupidly deal him away chasing players we don’t really need.

  12. steveb12344 says:

    For me, the most important item is another quality 2-way C. I agree with most that Lander must be at best number 5 on The Oiler C depth chart on opening night. I’m not sold that Gags can’t be a very good 2C for a long time to come. Turning him into a coke machine just doesn’t have the same appeal to me.

    As far as the D goes, I think we’re in better shape than most people think. IMO Belov would really have to stink to not make the club, and i doubt that happens. You have to think that MacT values his new Euro/Russian pipeline qute a bit. The optics of signing him just to send him back without giving him a chance would look bad to future prospects, as well as strain our newfound relationship with the young Russians in the system. I’d say Belov will see a fair bit of opportunity out of the gate.

    As far as Klefbom, I could see him starting in the A if everything stays as is. Though I am sure he would be first callup option and wouldn’t be down long. I think they may even move a D soon for a winger, or at the least wait until the season starts so if Klef Bombs than they will still be covered. I think if another D does come in than another will be leaving at the same time as they really do need to leave at least a little window for our up and coming D in the future.

  13. Ca$h-Money! says:

    1. I was under the impression Perron could play C in addition to LW. Does he play C and shift Gagner to wing?

    2. 21 players filed for arbitration, 9 of them between LA and WPG. Interesting. What about Muzzin from LA? I watched a few games and he looked spectacular on the offensive side of the puck, no idea what the numbers say about him.

    3. I feel for NJ. No more Kovalchuck, star forwards are Elias and highly-paid Travis Zajac (5.75million). Top defensive pairing is Zidlicky and Salvadore. Better pray Larsson lives up to his potential, and soon. Schneider too.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Cash: Perron has played C in the past but is most comfortable on the wing. One thing MacT’s teams always had when he coached was wingers who could slide into the middle and vice versa.

  15. FastOil says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    I just arrived in Calgary and am impressed at how often their AM sports station is talking about the Oilers.Mostly, I suspect, because there’s not much to say about the Flames other than Johnny Gaudreau is standing out at dev camp.Between the Oilers and Devils (and it’s kinda funny, but most of the tall about the Devils is how unlucky and unhappy the fans must be now that their stars are gone and the goalie is fading.Anything to cheer themselves up with, I guess.)

    Back on topic, if Gagner loses his mind, I’ll take grabo.I get the feeling that the contract is going to suck.

    If he wants too much what to do but trade him. He deserves market value but has done nothing in his fairly lengthy career to be elite so that treatment he doesn’t deserve and would not be fair to those on the team that have already passed him.

    Fill core holes MacT and take the pressure off.

  16. theres oil in virginia says:

    I agree with WG, and I hope his conspiracy theory is correct. Someone who can win a faceoff in the top 6 would be nice (necessary?).

  17. prairieschooner says:

    Do we have enough D to package a couple for a 3rd line 2 way centre.
    Not Marincin or Gernat

  18. striatic says:

    Woodguy: Oilers and Grabbo have a deal in principle but have agreed to not make it public until after the Gagner deal is done (via arb or done before)

    i don’t see why Grabovski agrees to do that.

    to be honest i don’t see why he signs here so long as the Oilers have Gagner taking 2nd line minutes he probably feels that he should be getting.

  19. Young Oil says:

    Lowetide,

    Do you think there are any players out there on cap strapped teams (Philly, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Boston, etc) that could be acquired for conditional late round picks, much like Jokinen being dealt to Pittsburgh last year? Even something similar to the Horcoff deal could really help our bottom 6.

  20. Young Oil says:

    striatic: i don’t see why Grabovski agrees to do that.

    to be honest i don’t see why he signs here so long as the Oilers have Gagner taking 2nd line minutes he probably feels that he should be getting.

    Maybe Gagner could be a sign and trade?

  21. Lowetide says:

    Young Oil:
    Lowetide,

    Do you think there are any players out there on cap strapped teams (Philly, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Boston, etc) that could be acquired for conditional late round picks, much like Jokinen being dealt to Pittsburgh last year? Even something similar to the Horcoff deal could really help our bottom 6.

    Hard to say. Those kinds of deals would probably have been made by now (allowing the cash strapped team to spend) but you never know.

  22. Ducey says:

    If Wil Acton is on this team there will have been a plane crash. Why not just bring back VDV?

    And Grabovski is not being signed. MacT said the circus in the dressing room last year was going to change. He is not bringing in a headcase.

  23. denny33 says:

    Racki,

    I agree.

    We need a real number two centre….not even close.

    Other teams willing to chip in money so we resign Gagner. Most loved player in the game.

    I would be shocked if Klefbom doesn’t not start with the oilers.

    Worst possible year to deal Hemsky with his ridiculous contract. However, if Hemsky can be packaged for a centre man, that will be ideal.

    Strongly feel we have the core D with Schultz, Klefbom and Nurse. Puck movers. Just need to let them develop. We need time because our bottom six forwards still are brutal…Jones, Smyth….really?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    If Wil Acton is on this team there will have been a plane crash. Why not just bring back VDV?

    And Grabovski is not being signed.MacT said the circus in the dressing room last year was going to change.He is not bringing in a headcase.

    I’d guess they have moved on from VandeVelde, although there’s still time to sign him.

  25. Lois Lowe says:

    From MacT’s comments on Kelfbom, I got the impression that the Oilers are trying to bring him along slowly and would have to really impress to start in the NHL. MacT talked about how Klef needed to go through each step to becoming a pro, one of them will be earning a job and ice time it seems.

    It’s hard when the Oilers do reasonable things that accord with my judgement. I think they call this feeling…what is the opposite of shame?

  26. dessert1111 says:

    The roster as is needs a centre for sure and a winger. If Hemsky is dealt, it’ll need 2 3rd line wingers.

    A top 2 defender would be nice but I doubt it happens. Best bet is to target teams with cap constraints.

    If they could add a centre with offensive ability, this roster might shape up better for 3 scoring lines and a 4th line that’s a tough minutes checking line. I think that would be ideal.

  27. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    Two way C and it’s not close.

    I’d like a true 1D, but D by committee can work much better than C by committee.

    Here’s speculative cloak and dagger scenario:

    Oilers and Grabbo have a deal in principle but have agreed to not make it public until after the Gagner deal is done (via arb or done before)

    They hold on to the news since is 89 sees they hired another C he’ll go to arb for sure so he can be FA next year.

    Oilers sign 89, one way or another, then Grabbo signing announced.

    Ha!

    That’s a large stretch, but you never know.

    Absolutely agree, 2-way C is most important.

    But I bet the solution won’t be Grabo because he’s too high-maintenance for McT and Eakins.

    I’m happy to be wrong if he’s not though.

  28. namflashback says:

    So with Kovalchuk retiring, maybe Lou could use Hemsky?

  29. PDO says:

    either the D or the C… depends what’s going the other way.

    If it’s Nick Schultz + Hemsky for a C (Ruutu?), unreal.

    If it’s Petry+ for a D… well, I’m not so sure. Too many moving parts.

    Best of luck to the Saskatchewan Roughriders this year.

  30. Maverick says:

    It’s a good thing Ralph isn’t coaching the team anymore, he could always slide Smyth as the 4C. Problem solved! (oh dear Gawd Nooo!!)

    Still lots for MacT to do. Pretty good summer though, if you think back to his comments at year end, he has had a busy off season so far.

    If I had to choose one area to address, I think it has to be upfront. That bottom 6 is still weak. Gordon is a good addition but Smyth, Lander, Brown, Jones, Double J (Joensuu) still not a strong bottom 6. Would love to have a hitter/banger who takes the body consistently in there somewhere. The two way center for sure, easier for a center to play winger than a winger to play center. If its me, I’m calling Manny Malhotra’s doctors about that eye. He would be an excellent addition at a low cost, high risk, high reward if that eye measures up.

    The defense seems a big question mark, but considering a couple things; the lockout hurt some guys, Petry didn’t play at all during the stoppage, Smid played top pairing big minutes, Whitney was terrible, J. Schultz hit the wall half-way during the season, N. Schultz has some heavy miles on him already, Fistric, Potter, Peckham, Meh. The system introduced by Eakins will be way better than Ralph’s and the group will be ready for the season, I think the defense is ok, not great but better.

  31. SinceTheWHADays says:

    delooper,

    Yes, yes, and yes.

  32. Numenius says:

    One nice thing if you have a lot of skilled wingers is that your C’s don’t have to be as skilled.

    As long as they can win face-offs, play defence, be competitive, possess the puck and pass it to the wingers, you’ll still score a lot of goals.

    The best realistic way to fill the C slot then would seem to be to find a big C like this that can move at least up to 2nd line C in a pinch.

    That said, and I’m not saying this even meets that “best realistic” standard, do the Oilers bring back Smithson in the role for one year if they can’t find anything better in trade or free agency? He’s awful offensively I know. But he can win a face-off.

  33. Ryan says:

    I agree with Delooper in that the Oilers depth at c is not good at the moment.

    RNH – one arm, IR
    Gagner – Not signed
    Gordon – great, but one c is not enough
    Lander – should be emergency call up, not starting roster.

    Gordon’s arms are going to fall off if we don’t find another guy who can play 2 way and take a draw. Heck, I’d even take smithson at this point if he’s still unsigned looking at our depth chart.

    Our bottom six is still porridge with the exception of Gordon.

    Hopefully Smyth spends his summer training at Ken Holland’s fountain of youth in Detroit.

  34. Kert says:

    Numenius: The best realistic way to fill the C slot then would seem to be to find a big C like this that can move at least up to 2nd line C in a pinch.

    Nik Antropov?

  35. Benhur says:

    Brendon Morrow would be a perfect fit on the 3rd line. He still can score at age 34 and brings tons of physicallity and leadership ( ex-Captain of Dallas). He has been on winning teams and is an in your face MF!
    Sign him to a one year contract and he’ll be a plug and play…everready killerbunnie.

  36. theres oil in virginia says:

    Blues just added Derek Roy for $4M. What are they doing? I thought they were shedding salary to sign RFAs.

  37. Hammers says:

    OK . If Hemsky gets traded what do we gain ??? . Maybe a 4th line center + 3rd or 2nd if lucky . Keep Hemsky on 3rd line to trade at deadline and you may get a 1st plus a player ( You never know) . Use some cap space for ??? ( there’s a bunch out there that will upgrade L/W and you may get them on a 1 year contract. Top 6 is resolved and keep Hemmer, you have 2/3rds of a good line with a winger who can move up if injuries occur. All of a sudden you have 3 lines that may get some goals with Smyth , Lander & Jones on the 4th .

  38. Rebilled says:

    2WayC

    If Belov turns out, I don’t mind our D as compared to our centres. Whitney is thankfully gone. Ference is added. Jultz is a year older. So are Petry and Smid.

    Especially because of THE NUGE coming off shoulder surgery.

    and THE LANDERS speed.

    and THE GORDON is the commissioner in Batman.

    How much does THE BATMAN want to spend towards the cap?

    is my question.

  39. justDOit says:

    Hammers,

    And you could see him injured and worthless. Ask me how my shares in Smith-Corona are doing…

  40. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Blues just added Derek Roy for $4M.What are they doing?I thought they were shedding salary to sign RFAs.

    After moving Perron, the Blues have $13M in cap space to sign Pietrangelo and Chis Stewart.

    While that shouldn’t be a problem, it’ll be interesting to see how they deploy the SEVEN NHL quality centres they have on the roster.

    I would imagine Oshie and Sobotka move to wing.

    Nice problem to have.

  41. FPB94 says:

    I don’t know why Joensuu is/would be so highly regarded. He was (at best) a plugger on a putrid team for awhile now (NYI).

    Seems to me like he’s the finnish JFJ.

  42. oilersfan says:

    How much cap space do the oilers have left if they pay gagner five million?

  43. Lowetide says:

    FPB94:
    I don’t know why Joensuu is/would be so highly regarded. He was (at best) a plugger on a putrid team for awhile now (NYI).

    Seems to me like he’s the finnish JFJ.

    The Oilers depth chart (as I see it) at LW is:

    1. Hall
    2. Perron
    3. Joensuu
    4. Smyth
    5. Ryan Hamilton

    However, if you want to put Smyth 3rd that’s fine with me. I don’t really think there’s a lot of difference, but they bothered to sign Joensuu to a 2-year deal so they like him.

  44. Numenius says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Blues just added Derek Roy for $4M.What are they doing?I thought they were shedding salary to sign RFAs.

    They added Roy before the Perron trade. That’s why they had to do the Perron trade.

  45. theres oil in virginia says:

    Numenius: They added Roy before the Perron trade. That’s why they had to do the Perron trade.

    Aah, I see. I got my order of operations mixed up. Five days ago and I already forgot! Thanks.

  46. Woodguy says:

    striatic: i don’t see why Grabovski agrees to do that.

    to be honest i don’t see why he signs here so long as the Oilers have Gagner taking 2nd line minutes he probably feels that he should be getting.

    If they sign Grabbo, it will to be play 2C.

    MacT has mused aloud about 89 playing RW.

    Here, lets take my conspiracy theory to its logical end:

    -Agree with Grabbo on deal, but wait
    -Sign 89 to 5 year contract
    -Announce Grabbo signing
    -July 24 arrives and the Oilers trade Eberle, Petry, Klefbom and 2014 1st for Weber

    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Sam Gagner ($4.750m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($5.500m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m)
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m)
    Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Anton Lander ($0.900m) / Ryan Hamilton ($0.600m)
    Mike Brown ($0.737m)
    DEFENSEMEN
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Philip Larsen ($1.025m)
    Anton Belov ($1.525m) / Corey Potter ($0.775m)
    Shea Weber ($7.857m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m)
    Jason Labarbera ($1.000m)
    OTHER
    Buried: Ben Eager ($0.175m)
    RETAINED SALARY TRANSACTIONS (4.977% of upper limit)
    Ales Hemsky ($2.500m—50.0%) Nick Schultz ($0.700m—20.0%)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $67,131,310; BONUSES: $9,150,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,991,190

    Also,

    4 LAK Kings have filed for arb.

    Maybe you can pry Lewis out of there, they can’t afford them all and re-signing Muzzin and Martinez are probably the priorities.

    Trevor Lewis was 3RW (and defacto 5C in terms of faceoffs taken) on LAK this past year.

    Not great on the dot, but he played tougher comp and this past year was on 1PK with Stoll.

    Was 7/12 CorQC this past year (Fraser was 12/12). Last year was 12/18 CorQC.

    RHS too.

    I’d take him as 3RW.

    26 years old. 6’1, 200lbs

    Was making $750K last year….

  47. stevezie says:

    Well we have a glut of 4th line wingers and #6/7 D-men, but only 3 NHL Centres, so I’d say C is the top priority.

    Last year we all saw what happens when you don’t have enough NHL centres.

    If he can effectively play wing on a good third line as well he kills two birds.

    Really, we have too many recently signed bodies on wing to expect another “pure” winger to be added. A C/W good enough to get moved up to line three in case of third periods and injuries is the solution.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Bah! Its screwed up by D pairing:

    Smid-Weber
    Ference-J.Shultz
    Belov-Larsen
    Potter

    Also assumed retaining $2.5MM from Hemsky contract and $700K from N.Shultz

    Maybe get back a better 3RW, push Jones to 4RW and Hamilton starts in OKC.

    WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT I know that the waiver implications will put Bachman in OKC but it would not surprise me if he exits camp looking like the organization’s true number two net minder.

    Darryl Dobbs is pretty high on him and I’ve come to trust his instincts.

  50. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: I’d guess they have moved on from VandeVelde, although there’s still time to sign him.

    Yeah, I guess I did not express myself properly.

    Acton was outscored by VDV in college. VDV has comparable stats in the AHL. No one would suggest that VDV would be a good fit for 4 C. If Acton is there, even over some moop like Smithson, then this team is going to have a gaping hole of a 4th line.

    As stated by others the need for some semblance of real centre is desperately needed.

    I suggested Luke Adam the other day. A guy like that was a second round pick, has some NHL experience and would come cheap. He would be an upgrade on VDV, Acton, or Lander. Plus he would allow Lander to spend some more development time on he farm.

  51. stevezie says:

    It’s really a shame because there are a lot of good 3W, but Joensuu and Jones have their spots. I like either of those guys on my 4th, but third? Boy I hope we keep Hemsky.

    Considering the injury to RNH the need for a better-than4th-line C is clear, but fortunately MacT had an excellent seat for the “What happens when you don’t have enough Cs” demonstration last year, as well as the even more salient “What happens to GMs who let that happen” presentation of this spring.

  52. Lowetide says:

    WG if that weber trade happens this blog will meltdown.

  53. G Money says:

    All unsigned free agents:

    3L = Mason Raymond
    3R = Peter Mueller or Damien Brunner
    4C = Kyle Wellwood

    (and by implication, 4L = Smyth, 4R = Jones, Hemsky for picks or prospects … 3/4 lines of Raymond-Gordon-Mueller and Smyth-Wellwood-Jones … that’s change we can believe in)

    I’m going to post this 8 times a day with the hope that it becomes truth by repetition.

  54. stevezie says:

    G Money,

    You’re not wrong, but they didn’t sign Joensuu to have him start the year as thirteenth forward. I doubt they have retained Brown to send him to the farm (we’re an 8-D team right now, aren’t we?)

  55. Rosco says:

    What ever happened to the Zach Smith and a pick for Hemsky deal that was rumored to be out there? I think that’s all MacT has left to compete this off-season. A Hemsky for the low grade centre and a pick sort… Like it or not our defence is probably set as the Oil seem to be waiting on Klefbom, and if he progresses as planned, then they may believe their top four is already here in Klef, Smid, Schultz Jr. and Petry.

    Smid Petry
    Ference Schultz Jr.
    Schultz Sr. Larsen
    Belov Potter

    That’s not great but it should be better than last years version.

  56. G Money says:

    stevezie:
    G Money,

    You’re not wrong, but they didn’t sign Joensuuto have him start the year as thirteenth forward. I doubt they have retained Brown to send him to the farm (we’re an 8-D team right now, aren’t we?)

    Concern 1 is – is it wise to not sign a proven NHL-quality forward because you signed and want to bet your entire 3rd or 4th lines effectiveness on an as-yet-unproven – or more accurately, a so-far-less-than-mediocre – winger? Admittedly, he is a Finn and that means a lot, but Petrell.

    Brown is a Tambo signing, so MacT should draw on all the meanness they teach you in Heartlessness 505 in MBA school* and send him to the PB or the farm. I actually am OK with Brown as a 13F, he tries hard. NHL quality? Not so much…

    * I have an MBA too, in fact, one of my former employees, a diehard Flames fan!, was MacT’s thesis advisor for his MBA, so I feel I can say whatever the hell I want about MBAs

  57. PDO says:

    Eberle, Petry, Klefbom and a 2014 1st is a ridiculous over pay.

    Chris Pronger went for much less. Weber is a lot of things, but is he Chris Pronger? He’s certainly not significantly better.

    Also, Weber’s contract is not friendly.

    Eberle and Petry is probably the most I’d lay on the table.

  58. stevezie says:

    G Money,

    I completely agree with you, but as Mick himself said in an interview in 1962, “Alea iacta est”

  59. Jordan says:

    Woodguy,

    I really liked your first post about Grabovski, because it made sense – it was a deal for a good player the team could use. As a one year to help him establish value and help the team’s depth, it makes a lot of sense.

    Then you go and suggest trading all the for Weber?

    Really?!

    Look, I’m all about seeing this team get good players, but that’s not a good trade. The team as a whole gets thinner, we lose TWO players on value contracts (and a 3rd coming in Klefbom) AND potentially give up the best player in the trade in Eberle (the risk is small, but possible that he develops into a better player than he currently is).

    I agree that 1D is a position of need, but I don’t agree that the team should give up that much for him. PDO is absolutely right about this – huge overpay. I’d even say that considering the value of Petry’s contract, him and Eberle is an overpay. If they want Eberle, they can have him and a 1st. If they want Petry, the can have him, a 1st, and one of Marincin, Gernat or Musil, and if they want a sweetener, they can have hemsky at half price.

    Throw everything at Weber is not a solution. It’s the call of Ahab, which only leads to ruin.

    I feel really foolish and frustrated to have gotten so worked up over something that will likely never happen. GAH!

  60. G Money says:

    Jordan: It’s the call of Ahab, which only leads to ruin.

    Not to get all pendantic(tm) on you, but I believe correct form would require you to say something like the following:

    As the whale said to Ahab in Melonville’s Moby Dick, “You can’t always believe what you read on the internet” to which Ahab replied “we are all made of stars”.

    Or something like that.

  61. Jordan says:

    G Money,

    Nope – said exactly what I meant. Best of luck expanding your meme though.

  62. G Money says:

    Jordan: Nope – said exactly what I meant. Best of luck expanding your meme though.

    I feel really foolish and frustrated to have gotten so worked up over something that will likely never happen. GAH!

  63. rickithebear says:

    Weber for petry sets us back 5years.
    Weber & petry face first comp and have the same EVGA.
    Holy f………
    Weber does not PK
    Petry is top 20
    Weber pp and petry,s one year would match
    problem is that gets them the #3 PP damn position.
    based on results.

    But in MSM fairy hockey world, weber is perfect for the oilers.

    WG:
    You cannot let your kid post under you.
    cause this thought process does not fit the WG, I know.
    I respect your ideas. Just not the process some times.

    Weber? It cannot be you.

  64. rickithebear says:

    PDO:
    Weber is a slightly above average EVGA 1st comp damn,who does not PK, and is not a top 10 pp dman llike (j. Schultz)

    7 million cap hit demon are always good in three facets of the game. No PK. Is a joke.

  65. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Sorry, Woodguy, you lost me with that one.

    Weber’s contract alone is an overpay. To throw four Grade A (or so) assets to acquire it would be suicidal.

  66. PerryK says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree that we need another C. I think that is our greatest need.

    How about a trade with Colorado? O’Reilly for Hemsky? It is a bit of an overpay for O’Reilly ($6.5 Million next year!). But the cap hit is only $5 MM. Or Hemsky for Paul Stastny? His contract is over after this year ($6.6MM). He would probably be signed cheaper for the next contract. He is only 27.

    There just isn’t any room for the 3 existing centers …….and McKinnon! Their RW is terrible. Probably if worked right we would end up with an extra asset for taking on one of these onerous contracts.

  67. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Gagner

    I still think a deal involving Philadelphia is going to happen….this is my thinking

    Gagner – Smid

    for

    B.Scheen – B. Colburn and A.Meszaros

    Philadelphia

    Gets massive cap relief and can send down Bourdon to start the season until they place Pronger back on the LTIR

    getting them under the 23 man roster and under the cap.

    A defensmen they are rumored to want and a winger with consistent scoring for the top two lines

    Edmonton

    Edmonton promptly buys out Meszaros

    Gets a top two defense men with term

    A second line center with term and huge upside.

    money left over to find one more W.

    It’s a long shot but makes a little sense for both sides.

  68. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG if that weber trade happens this blog will meltdown.

    Ha!

    Just trying to keep it lively.

    Dog days of summer and all.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Jordan,

    You and PDO are right, its a ridiculous overpay.

    I’m just making shit up and I didn’t think that one through, just threw it on the page.

  70. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Sorry, Woodguy, you lost me with that one.

    Weber’s contract alone is an overpay. To throw four Grade A (or so) assets to acquire it would be suicidal.

    Ok, how about Eberle, Petry and a 1st?

    The two times Pronger was traded after Edmonton, he went for 2 roster players and two 1st picks (2008 1st was conditonal, but they also got a 2nd)

    2006-Jul-03 Traded from Edmonton Oilers to Anaheim Ducks for Ladislav Smid, Joffrey Lupul, round 1 pick in the 2007 draft (Nick Ross), round 1 pick in the 2008 draft (Jordan Eberle) and round 2 pick in the 2008 draft (Travis Hamonic)

    2009-Jun-26 Traded from Anaheim Ducks with Ryan Dingle to Philadelphia Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, future considerations, round 1 pick in the 2009 draft (John Moore) and round 1 pick in the 2010 draft (Emerson Etem)

  71. Lucinius says:

    Woodguy,

    The problem, I think, with your trade proposal, Woodguy, is that you’re using assets that are relatively far more valuable than those that were used to trade for Pronger in either scenario. Eberle alone is better than Lupul and Sbisa or Lupul and Smid at the time of the trades. Smid was what? A rookie with decent, but not great potential and Lupul.. well, was Lupul.

    To get a comparable from the Oilers to those trades, I’d think this would be closer;

    Weber for; Hemsky, Marincin, and a 1st round pick in 2014 and 2015.

    Reclamation scoring winger with some injury issues and a ‘never quite lived up to expectations’ reputation (albeit older in Hemsky, so might have to throw in something like Musil, or another pick in the 2nd round area) and a young defenseman with promise but nothing to indicate whether or not they’d find success at the NHL level.

    And personally? I wouldn’t do that deal.

    I’d much rather do something like shipping Gagner, Nick Schultz, Musil and the 2014 1st round pick to Columbus for Tyutin and Ryan Johansen (but only if the Oilers inked Grabovski) with the Oilers possibly retaining some cap from N. Schultz or using Hemsky instead of Gagner if Columbus wants (and keeping half his cap).

  72. Capt'n böökje says:

    WG – or shoul I say KEvin Lowe, aka Captain Ahab!!!!

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lucinius: I’d much rather do something like shipping Gagner, Nick Schultz, Musil and the 2014 1st round pick to Columbus for Tyutin and Ryan Johansen (but only if the Oilers inked Grabovski) with the Oilers possibly retaining some cap from N. Schultz or using Hemsky instead of Gagner if Columbus wants (and keeping half his cap).

    Yes Please!!!

  74. Woodguy says:

    Lucinius,

    While I agree with you that my 1st proposal was awful, yours of:

    To get a comparable from the Oilers to those trades, I’d think this would be closer;
    Weber for; Hemsky, Marincin, and a 1st round pick in 2014 and 2015.

    Is ridiculously shy of the value needed to get a 1LD who is one of the best in the league and is under contract for 12 (12!) years.

    Equating 1 year of Hemsky at $5M with what Lupul was at the time of the EDM trade (23 year old 28 goal scorer on an ELC) is not even close.

    Smid was a 1st round pick who hadn’t played in the NHL yet, but was highly rated (Klef) a 1st a, 2nd and a conditional 1st.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Capt’n böökje:
    WG – or shoul I say KEvin Lowe, aka Captain Ahab!!!!

    AVAST!!!

    I’ll sacrifice yer young talent in pursuit of the whale!

  76. Truth says:

    Ideally a Couturier or B. Schenn. Philly has 4 centers that could potentially play top 2 line minutes. I’d play Couturier on the third line or even on the second with Gagner on the wing.

    What’s the draw to Grabovski? From what I recall he is a less physical, smaller, more perimeter, undicsciplined, bad for the room version of Gagner. He whines to the media when he doesn’t get playing time, and is known to get in feuds with teammates. I must be missing something that makes him on option to play third line C (which he already whined about being relegated to in Toronto) or as a replacement to Gagner, when Gagner is clearly the better option.

  77. Lucinius says:

    Woodguy,

    Fair enough. Of course, it could be argued that the Weber contract is actually a deterrent, not a bonus; high cap hit in a lower cap world in an NHL time frame where there are, arguably, more #1 D-men of that caliber around the league than of Pronger’s caliber when those trades took place.

    Also, obviously, if you were to trade Hemsky it’d be a extend and trade type of situation where you retain a portion of the cap.

    And.. Hemsky was the only winger I could think of in Edmonton that remotely fit the place of Lupul. Eberle, quite frankly, is leagues beyond what Lupul had done at the point he was acquired by Edmonton or from Edmonton — not to mention a far better reputation and standing in the NHL amongst the players and GMs.

    Also, I picked Marincin over Klefbom because while Klefbom is a first rounder and higher potential ceiling than Marincin, Klefbom’s injury history and higher considered potential ceiling (offensive and arguably defensive) to that of Smid whereas Marincin, despite being a second rounder, projects more into the same kind of level as Smid had been, if in slightly different areas.

  78. Lucinius says:

    Truth,

    Grabovski goes the tougher areas than Gagner, and actually has a lot of spirit, poise, jam, crust.. whatever our current coach wants to call it — and better defensively than Gagner as a trade-off for being a downgrade offensively. He could also be cheaper/signed to a better deal than Gagner, the way this thing with Gagner is going.

    Oh, and he doesn’t fall over at the slightest gust of wind like Gagner. I like Gagner.. but the kid is atrocious defensively, cheats for offense and for all his ‘battle’ level.. he often merely ends up on his ass at the slightest push near the boards due to horrific balance or something.

  79. Woodguy says:

    Truth,

    What’s the draw to Grabovski?

    He doesn’t cost any assets to acquire and has a history of success against tougher comp.

    From what I recall he is a less physical, smaller, more perimeter, undicsciplined, bad for the room version of Gagner. He whines to the media when he doesn’t get playing time, and is known to get in feuds with teammates.

    Evidence.

  80. Obiwan Eberle says:

    Woodguy,

    He’s not Gags….the masses grow tired of the “Samwise” critiques.

    Now they want to be able to include Horcoff’s contract gripes, Sam’s size and Don Cherry’s xenophobic rhetoric all rolled into one.

    Grabs is perfect

  81. Truth says:

    Woodguy:

    Evidence.

    Well first of all, he was bought out. That should say something. He had 5.4 x 4, and the Leafs are horrendous at center.

    In saying that, I’m definitely no expert on him. His talents I judge totally by eye and his character issues based on what’s been brought up about his quarrels in Montreal with Kostitsyn and his comments about playing time in Toronto, among a few other things. That’s the reason I asked. I know Maple Leafs fans were really high on him, but that means absolutely nothing. I have watched quite a few leafs games (on TV) and came away very unimpressed with Grabovski, maybe it’s my hatred for the team. I’ll happily be proven wrong if he does come to Edmonton.

    I’d be looking for a heavier body that plays physical with the potential to pot a few goals. IMO, Grabovski to replace Gagner is lateral (except Gagner much younger with more potential and has great character), and Grabo as a center with Gagner and Nuge on the team is definitely not making the Oilers harder to play against. 5’11″ 200 lbs Gagner is the biggest of the top 3 centers, is that an issue.

  82. Woodguy says:

    Truth,

    Well first of all, he was bought out. That should say something. He had 5.4 x 4, and the Leafs are horrendous at center.

    The smarter Leaf fans have taken to wearing sack clothe and smearing their face with ashes since the buyout.

    He was their best for the last 3 years and its not close. Terrible decision by Nonis and Carlyle.

    Grabbo is a Real NHL C who can put up points against other Reak NH C’s while drawing even in shots.

    The OIlers have exactly 0 C’s with that quality today.

    RNH will get there, Sam kinda was there 2 years ago, but fell off the face of the earth last year.

  83. gcw_rocks says:

    If Joensuu is playing on the third line this season, the Oilers won’t be making the playoffs. No way, they don’t have the defence to make up for the bleeding the forward group is going to allow.

    Woodguy is bang on, imo, when he points at Grabo as an/the answer for the Oilers. I would go a different root after signing him through.

    I would trade Gagner and a depth defenceman to Florida for Kulikov and either Goc or Bjugstad. Florida’s RW depth is pathetic and they have the cap space. How good would Gagner look playing with Barkov and Huberdeau or Mathais and Huberdeau? One of the posters on c.n’b suggested signing Cleary on a short term deal as well, or you could pursue Kulimen out of Toronto.

    I would look to trade Hemsky to Jersey for Gelinas or Merrill (top up to make the deal work as necessary) then flip a defensive prospect(s) for a good third line winger.

    That would leave you with:

    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Mikhail Grabovski ($5.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m)
    Nikolai Kulemin/Cleary($2.800m) or similar / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Nick Bjugstad ($1.100m) / Goc ($1.700m)
    Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Anton Lander ($0.900m)/Gomez/Wellwood / Ryan Jones ($1.500m)
    Mike Brown ($0.737m)

    DEFENSEMEN
    Dmitry Kulikov ($2.500m) / Jeff Petry ($1.750m)
    Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Anton Belov ($1.525m)
    Philip Larsen ($1.025m) / Corey Potter ($0.775m)

    GOALTENDERS
    Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m)
    Jason Labarbera ($1.000m)

    OTHER
    Buried: Ben Eager ($0.175m)
    Buried: Jesse Joensuu ($0.025m)
    RETAINED SALARY TRANSACTIONS (3.110% of upper limit)
    Ales Hemsky ($2.000m—40.0%)
    -—-
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,449,167; BONUSES: $9,350,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $3,673,333

    I would rather that team than the one with Weber.

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