I think most of us knew there was going to be significant changeover in the roster this coming season, but the actual number of Oilers, Barons, Thunder and prospects who exited the system was enormous–and the number of new names has been just as large.
As we get ready to continue the RE series (tomorrow), here’s a look at exactly what went down this summer.
- Shawn Horcoff: The captain left via trade, and signals a new era in Edmonton.
- Magnus Paajarvi: Moving on to St. Louis and a bright future.
- Ryan Whitney: His career is at a crossroads and he remains unemployed.
- Lennart Petrell: Finn was funn but not effective.
- Mark Fistric: Big man cost a fairly high pick but there was only lukewarm interest.
- Theo Peckham: Spent a winter in hell and got out of jail with a contract to play for Chicago.
- Teemu Hartikainen: Remains part of the organization, but is a distant bell and his return is in question.
- Eric Belanger: It was not good.
- Jarred Smithson: Still unemployed, could return.
- Yann Danis: Took about 5 minutes to get a new gig.
- Darcy Hordichuk: It never did work out.
- Chris VandeVelde: Big center lost his job when the club signed Will Acton.
- Nikolai Khabibulin: Landed in a good place on a one year deal.
- Phil Cornet: Oilers identified him as a ‘tweener’ although he did play in the show.
- Colten Teubert: It was not to be, I don’t think he ever really established himself this season.
- Alex Plante: He didn’t have the footspeed and mobility to play in the NHL.
- Kristians Pelss: RIP, young man.
- Antti Tyrvainen: Finn never got an NHL shot, but didn’t earn it either. Oilers retain rights.
- Tobias Rieder: Solid young prospect was dealt for a big forward.
- Niko Hovinen: Back to Europe, Oilers retain rights.
- David Perron: Skilled player, first shot scorer, skilled and gritty.
- Andrew Ference: The big addition to the blue line.
- Boyd Gordon: The ideal UFA option and they landed him. Wow!
- Jason LaBarbera: A solid backup goaltender.
- Denis Grebeshkov: A pure MacT signing, he’ll be grand if he can return to old form.
- Anton Belov: Looks like a lock for the NHL roster, despite the crowd.
- Jesse Joensuu: The new Hartikainen, he may or may not be better.
- Phil Larsen: Two-way defender has a tough battle making the big club this fall.
- Ryan Hamilton: PF signing could end up with an NHL job.
- Andrew Miller: Small 2-way C who may remind the GM of himself.
- Will Acton: Has an outside chance for NHL employment.
- Richard Bachman: Solid AHL option and probably a decent #3 NHL G.
- Brad Hunt: Interesting signing, I don’t think he’ll be an NHL player but you never know.
- Kale Kessy: Big enforcer type with some skill. I’d stop short of calling him a PF.
- Darnell Nurse: Impact junior defender comes from a draft aisle the Oilers rarely shop; he’s more a Flyer type. No complaints, he’s one of the very few players in the system who possesses size and higher end skill.
- Marco Roy: The advanced stats led Edmonton to this player. Incredible.
- Bogdan Yakmiov: Big C from Yak City.
- Anton Slepyshev: A high end skill player from the land of ice and snow.
- Jackson Houck: Has the skill set and the numbers Oilers have been looking for in a winger.
- Kyle Platzer: A hidden gem?
- Aidan Muir: Long shot.
- Evan Campbell: A long shot’s long shot.
- Ben Betker: A defensive defenseman.
- Greg Chase: Agitator with skill.
That’s a lot of change in one summer, and we haven’t even talked about the coaching staff/instructional additions. The Oilers are going through several changes, major and minor.
THE MACT LIST
Top 4 defendersigned Ference, that’s the big move this summer Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′sdone. Outstanding Get Paajarvi signed and then find a role that suits him (suspect it’s 3line). It was St. Louis instead. NHL goalie(LaBarbera was a nice option) Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etcPerron, a very nice fit Find a 3line RJoensu is the option I’ll pick, but it would be foolish to exclude Ryan Jones based on salary
Find a 3line CGordon an ideal fit
- Find a 4line C
- Deal Hemsky for immediate help (even if its a checker).
Deal Horcoff or slot him into the 3line job for which he is actually ideal.Continued to improve D depth. Decide on Lander/Belanger or other for 13F. Lander it is! Better blue depthMacT has done this with Belov and Larsen, plus Klefbom/Fedun/Marincin plus a late Gresbeshkov AHL #1/NHL #3 goalieBachman is an outstanding solution Sign Paul Rangershould have said ‘sign Marlies–Hamilton, Acton, coach
Suspect Lander is his 4line C and not dealing Hemsky may be the best thing he did all summer.
PROJECTED 2013-14 OILERS LINEUP
- Mike Brown
- Ference-J Schultz
- N Schultz-Larsen
Eight names in from last season (Perron, Gordon, Joensuu, Ference, Larsen, Belov, Grebeshkov, LaBarbera) and gone from last year’s regulars are Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Whitney, Magnus Paajarvi, Lennart Petrell, Mark Fistric, Eric Belanger, Jarred Smithson, Darcy Hordichuk and Nikolai Khabibulin. That’s 9, and I do think the blueline has been clearly upgraded (and depth improved) over the summer.
The C position looks flat year over year, I think it will be better because the new coach will ride his top 3C’s more than Krueger and of course we’re identifying some Krueger alignment errors as the summer wears along. I’m reading more and more about Eakins being a defense first coach, and would caution you to remember he didn’t have many horses with the Marlies–I suspect he’ll ride Hall hard this coming season, really all the kids. It’s going to be fun. RE back tomorrow for the blue.
This is the 25th anniversary of the Gretzky sale, we’ll spend some time on it but will also have some other things on today’s show (10am on Team 1260). Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports. 99 deal, HNIC–do they pay to get the Saturday night broadcast, or not–plus a few other items with Steve.
- Craig Ellingson, Edmonton Journal Sports Editor. The Journal has a truly brilliant site up to document the trade from all angles (it is here) and I’ll talk to Craig about the event and just how much time was devoted to the deal (then and now).
- David Staples from the Edmonton Journal. I’ll ask David about the modern team and the difficulty in living up to expectations of another decade of glory similar to the 1981-1990 run.
- Jill Horbay from FC Edmonton will be by to preview the Eddies big game this weekend at Clark Stadium.
- Jungle Jim Hunter. We’ll talk Sochi Olympics and what athletes are doing now to prepare.