Well. THAT was quite a weekend. The Edmonton Oilers were extremely busy Friday through Sunday and madeover much of the roster–especially the blueline. The club has much work to do, and little in the way of inhouse solutions.
- July 4: Acquired D Philip Larson and a pick for C Shawn Horcoff
- July 5: Signed D Andrew Ference
- July 5: Signed C Boyd Gordon
- July 5: Signed G Jason LaBarbera
- July 5: Signed W Jesse Joensu
- July 5: Signed L Ryan Hamilton
- July 5: Signed C Will Acton
- July 6: Signed R Ryan Jones
- July 6: Signed G Richard Bachman
- July 6: Acquired D Lee Moffiee from San Jose for the rights to D Kyle Bigos
- July 7: Signed D Brad Hunt
In four days, MacT added 2 goalies, 4 defensemen, 2 centermen and 3 wingers for Horcoff, Bigos and cash money. It isn’t enough, he needs to add a center to this group and has stated often a big winger is needed, and of course they might not be done upgrading the blue. Meanwhile, Hemsky is being shopped and they need to sign Gagner and Paajarvi (their rfa’s).
- MacT: There’s a couple significant pieces we’d like to add — a top-six forward doesn’t have to be a prolific scorer but would be a good complement to the other five forwards. Somebody who has a lot more size. There’s still a few significant holes, in my mind. We’ve got a couple significant pieces we can try to move to fill some of those holes. We’re hopeful we can do that. The one thing we didn’t address enough of here is the toughness aspect.”
Yesterday, we looked at possible solutions to those problems MacT is talking about in that quote, and there are a few UFA’s and some possible trade targets available. I’m struck by how very important these moves will be for MacTavish and his hockey team. Acquire Braydon Coburn, Tomas Vanek and the Russian Grabovski and the roster sets up handsomely. On the other hand, no addition on defense, a middling solution for the wing and a replacement level or below option at center and we’re back in the second division for another year.
I do wonder if they’d take a look at Vanek. If you’re willing to sign David Clarkson at crazy money, why not chase Vanek? Those guys rarely shake loose, and if you can get him the top 6F would be Hall, Vanek, Eberle and Yakupov on the wing with Nuge and Gagner at center. When did the Oilers have that kind of firepower on two lines? It was a long damn time ago.
THE BIG QUESTION
How long does it take for an intelligent man, well versed in talent evaluation and framing the issue, to learn the art of the deal? I think he did well in the Horcoff trade in that no money returned, but saving money is one thing–spending it wisely on the big trade that is coming is quite another. It gets back to what we discussed before: mere weeks into the GM job, the Oilers are about to make a decision that will very likely impact the roster for three or more seasons and impact it in a major (5M+) way. How long did Tambellini live with the Khabibulin contract? The entire time he was GM, basically.
Godspeed, Craig MacTavish.
CURRENT OPENING NIGHT ROSTER?
- L1: Nuge-Hall-Eberle
- L2: Gagner-Hemsky-Yakupov
- L3: Gordon-Paajarvi-Joensu
- L4: Lander-Smyth-Jones
- EX: Brown
- D1: Smid-Petry
- D2: Ference-J Schultz
- D3: N Schultz-Larsen
- EX: Belov, Potter
- G: Dubnyk, LaBarbera
Playoff team? No. Too many holes, not enough NHL players. Replace Lander, the last three wingers here and add a top 4D while moving out Schultz the elder and now we’re cooking with petrol (not Petrell). Dealing Hemsky is a want not a need but that’s going to happen.
THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
We’ve got a lot to talk about this morning (10) on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. MacT’s first week in free agency and what’s left to do.
- Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report and New England Hockey Journal. What did the Oilers get in Ference, and what happened to the Bruins and Seguin?
- Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. What’s it all about, Alfie? and acquiring Bobby Ryan.
- Andrew Bucholtz from 55 Yard Line. Eskimos looked very good in Guelph, can they sustain it? And what the hell Green Riders?
10-1260 on the text thingy and @Lowetide_ on twitter, plus you can say stuff here. Hope you tune in!!!!!