OILERS CLAIM GAZDIC

As we discussed yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers have claimed forward Luke Gazdic via waivers. He was the player who avoided Steve MacIntyre and may have won an NHL job with that one move. 6.03, 240 and has 27 goals in 256 AHL games. I don’t think there’s any other way to frame this: the Edmonton Oilers are going to be a very physical team and the possession talk of summer has given way to something else this fall. The Sam Gagner injury may have long reaching impact on the Edmonton Oilers beyond the injury itself.

The Oilers at this point project as a team that will feature mostly physical men in the forward group 11-14.

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT 23 MAN ROSTER

 

  • L1: Hall-Smyth-Hemsky
  • L2: Arcobello-Perron-Eberle
  • L3: Gordon-Joensuu-Yakupov
  • L4: Acton-Luke Gazdic-Brown
  • extras: L Ben Eager, L Steve MacIntyre
  • D1: Smid-Petry
  • D2: Ference-J Schultz
  • D3: N Schultz-Belov
  • extra: D Denis Grebeshkov
  • SG: Devan Dubnyk
  • BG: Jason LaBarbera
  • IR: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C Sam Gagner, D Denis Grebeshkov, D Corey Potter

HEALTHY 23 MAN ROSTER

  • L1: Nuge-Halle-Eberle
  • L2: Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • L3: Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
  • L4: Acton-Gazdic-Joensuu
  • extras: L MacIntyre, R Brown
  • D1: Smid-Petry
  • D2: Ference-J Schultz
  • D3: N Schultz-Belov
  • extra: D Denis Grebeshkov
  • SG: Devan Dubnyk
  • BG: Jason LaBarbera

It’s very difficult to marry today’s roster move with possession. I count 4 enforcer/physical/non-possession types on the current roster, and three on a healthy roster. If the Oilers planned on a puck possession team, I think they changed their minds.

 

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53 Responses to "OILERS CLAIM GAZDIC"

  1. Kris11 says:

    Booooo!

    How do we dump Eager, SMac, Brown, et al.?

  2. Kris11 says:

    I’m serious, does this mean Eager goes?

  3. Maestro Fresh Mess says:

    I imagine it means SMac goes once healthy. Eager maybe one more game to prove himself. Larsen and Hamilton waived.

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Silly move. With Adam Hall or Luke Adam available on waivers, why not take a shot on them, given they’d help this team more than another face-puncher. Especially when you’re near the 50 contract limit as well.

    Ill-advised, silly move by the rookie GM – completely reactionary.

    By itself, probably won’t be a big deal. The opportunity cost and lack of critical thinking, however, is a concern.

  5. PunjabiOil says:

    Gazdic had a goal against them the other night. Curious if MC79′s theory that GM’s are biased to acquire a guy that has played well against them, is actually true?

    The other possibility is MacIntyre is out long-term.

  6. DBO says:

    so the 4th line will be the wasteland of face punchers. hope we run 3 lines all game.

  7. iwin76 says:

    This is unbelievable. What happened to every player being more than a non-factor at best? What happened to possession play? FFS, We have 1 decent (natural) centre on the roster and we use a claim to get our 4th useless hockey player of the same job description (punch faces, get scored on).

  8. BlacqueJacque says:

    Man, I knew you guys would see through MacT eventually, I just never imagined it’d be this soon.

    *brings a tear to my eye*

    Next up, Lowetide will stop referring to him as the smartest man in the room.

    I could cry.

  9. gr8one says:

    This absolutely makes my blood boil…we have just god awful depth at C and really solid pickups to address that like Adam Hall, Luke Adam, and Cory Emmerton could be had and we go after another face punching winger…c’mon MacT this is Klowe and Tambi shenanigans.

    Just awful. We now have Eager, Brown, Smack and Gazdic taking up space on the 50 man roster and virtually no wiggle room to address what we really need. GRRRRRR!!

    I actually don’t mind this Gazdic pick up on it’s own if we didn’t already have the three aforementioned players because after seeing him play the other night it looks like he might actually be able to play a semi regular shift and not get blown away like Smack…but for the love of god management take off your damned blinders and address the area we actually need addressing.

    Blegh.

  10. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Gadzooks.

  11. DBO says:

    cam janssen on waivers. lol. bring us to 50 cpnbtracts

  12. Gi JQE says:

    So disappointed with MacT…. Just brutal acquisition.

    Emmerton. Adams. And more options to come that would help this team win. Faith in out management fading already. Does any other team have as many useless goons as we do? sMac. Eager. Brown. Gadzic. Abney.

  13. Lowetide says:

    The hope–hope–is that this is MacIntyre’s replacement and they are going to put waiver claims in on some of the truly impressive waiver wire talent available today. I’ll have a post up on that soon.

  14. Yeti says:

    What happened to the puck possession game? I guess it’s a case of here today, goon tomorrow.

  15. Lois Lowe says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Man, I knew you guys would see through MacT eventually, I just never imagined it’d be this soon.

    *brings a tear to my eye*

    Next up, Lowetide will stop referring to him as the smartest man in the room.

    I could cry.

    LT already gave that title to Eakins.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Gi JQE:
    So disappointed with MacT…. Just brutal acquisition.

    Emmerton. Adams. And more options to come that would help this team win. Faith in out management fading already. Does any other team have as many useless goons as we do? sMac. Eager. Brown. Gadzic. Abney.

    Emmerton is on waivers today. We’ll know about him tomorrow morning.

  17. gr8one says:

    gr8one:
    This absolutely makes my blood boil…we have just god awful depth at C and really solid pickups to address that like Adam Hall, Luke Adam, and Cory Emmerton could be had and we go after another face punching winger…c’mon MacT this is Klowe and Tambi shenanigans.

    Just awful. We now have Eager, Brown, Smack and Gazdic taking up space on the 50 man roster and virtually no wiggle room to address what we really need. GRRRRRR!!

    I actually don’t mind this Gazdic pick up on it’s own if we didn’t already have the three aforementioned players because after seeing him play the other night it looks like he might actually be able to play a semi regular shift and not get blown away like Smack…but for the love of god management take off your damned blinders and address the area we actually need addressing.

    Blegh.

    Oh yeah…and that’s not even mentioning we could have acquired Colborne for a bag of pucks….my gawd!!!

  18. hodgkins says:

    So where are we at in terms of number of players on contract?]

    Also, I don’t understand how something so obvious (the need for a center) continues to be ingnored by the management team. Anybody have any idea what they are thinking when they see these guys pop up on the waiver wire? How could anybody think, “nah, we’re good with our 1 guy who’s played center in the NHL”?

    Hopefully they have something up their sleeves this afternoon, but history tells me otherwise.

  19. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    but they are at 49 on the roster. only 1 spot left. issue in past has been lack of flexibility to make these moves. unless we have the unicorn deal of the 3 for 1 looming, we are handcuffed.

  20. RMGS says:

    Once the team committed to a face-punching fourth line rotation (could have been earlier tha we think), replacing SMac was inevitable. At least his replacement is less bad.

    I’d argue Coach Eakins will still play the possession game, just that it’ll be limited to 9 forwards who better be fit as hell. The fourth line rotation will play 5-7 minutes and run the opposition’s better players and face-punch as necessary.

    That said, those top-nine forwards better stay healthy…

  21. Lowetide says:

    DBO:
    Lowetide,

    but they are at 49 on the roster. only 1 spot left. issue in past has been lack of flexibility to make these moves. unless we have the unicorn deal of the 3 for 1 looming, we are handcuffed.

    Trades can be made. I think today tells us:

    1. They really do believe in Will Acton
    2. The fanbase really does not believe in Will Acton
    3. They really are going to give the chance to Mark Arcobello
    4. The fanbase has no confidence in Mark Arcobello
    5. They didn’t think much of Adam or Hall
    6. They really really really want someone who’ll beat up people

  22. gr8one says:

    I could see Larson potentially getting claimed by another team and opening another spot…but man this feels terrible.

    I guess I’m just so bothered by it because management finally seemed to have their heads out of their mules and now it seems like same old same old.

  23. jp says:

    The upside to this move is that Gazdic is a better hockey player than MacIntyre, though still likely not an NHL hockey player.

    The downside – well, there are many with the players that the Oilers didn’t pick up. But the downside if this is a simple Gazdic for MacIntyre move, is that they might actually play Gazdic more than the 3 min they would have played MacIntyre. Keeping both is almost unfathomable.

  24. Southern Oil says:

    Trying to find some silver lining – do you think this means RNH is healthier than we currently believe? Picking up Gazdic when we are 2C down, is just missing the boat.

  25. hodgkins says:

    Southern Oil,

    It seems so incredibly obvious doesn’t it? What are we missing?

  26. gr8one says:

    Lowetide: Trades can be made. I think today tells us:

    1. They really do believe in Will Acton
    2. The fanbase really does not believe in Will Acton
    3. They really are going to give the chance to Mark Arcobello
    4. The fanbase has no confidence in Mark Arcobello
    5. They didn’t think much of Adam or Hall
    6. They really really really want someone who’ll beat up people

    LT…the thing is, even if Acton and Arco play well(and it’s a dice roll that one will be good let along both)…they are already the bottom of the barrel of our C’s, its not just about bringing in someone as an upgrade on them but about having options if they can’t carry the load or in the event of another “errant” stick takes one out…it just doesn’t make sense on any level not to address it in some way.

  27. LostBoy says:

    I guess I didn’t really see Larsen and Hamilton getting waived coming. What’s the deal with Larsen? Is Grebeshkov nearly ready to come off IR? It’s the only thing that makes sense, unless there’s an addition coming.

    Not sure how I feel about Ference as the placeholder captain. It keeps the peace, but it also keeps the whole grownups vs the kids thing. The comparable rebuilds generally picked their young leader fairly early on.

  28. Lois Lowe says:

    I think the Ference captaincy gives the new Oilers their Lee Fogolin-type. The only comparable rebuild for Oilers management is the original Boys on the Bus.

  29. wheatnoil says:

    The Sam Gagner injury may have long reaching impact on the Edmonton Oilers beyond the injury itself.

    LT,

    I don’t disagree that the Gagner injury played into this, as well as the Toronto-Buffalo line brawl. However, McKenzie tweeted that the Oilers were looking for a nuclear heavyweight even before those incidents. Those events might have pressed the issue, but they didn’t create it.

    I think we’ve learned two things:
    1) For whatever reason, MacT sees a specific need for a super-facepuncher, and that facepunchers-lite (like Brown) are not enough.
    2) MacT will address this need by scouring the waiver wire for the best available of person of this player type.
    3) Based on verbal from Eakins, the head coach does not see the same level of need for this player type.
    4) This may be the first real disconnect between GM and Head Coach. We’ll find out when we see how much Gazdic plays.

  30. steveb12344 says:

    Step back from the ledge guys… I’TS THE 4TH FREAKIN LINE!!

    I don’t think that whoever they employ on the 4th line will have any effect on the puck possession of the other 3 lines, or for the most part the D-men either.

    Eakins has made it clear that he will shorten his bench and or mix his lines when necessary. I would guess that he will use his 4th liners very sparingly, and situationally. I think that the true facepunchers will see very little ice time, and spend most of the time on the bench watching the Halls and the Hemskys of the team taking their spot on their lines.

    There is a reason why Eakins wants his stars to be in top physical condition. It’s so he can ride his top players, and keep the goons on the bench when the situation dictates.

  31. Lowetide says:

    gr8one: LT…the thing is, even if Acton and Arco play well(and it’s a dice roll that one will be good let along both)…they are already the bottom of the barrel of our C’s, its not just about bringing in someone as an upgrade on them but about having options if they can’t carry the load or in the event of another “errant” stick takes one out…it just doesn’t make sense on any level not to address it in some way.

    Well all you’re trying to do with Arcobello is to get to Nugent-Hopkins. This isn’t a long term thing. No team can lose 1-2 C’s and not have a gaping hole. The frustration comes with their solutions–Oiler fans don’t believe the club has made wise decisions.

    I’m unsure of Acton–we’ll see–but in regard to Arcobello I’m quite satisfied they passed on acquiring Colborne. Adam and Hall imo were better quality, but the Oilers have made their choice.

  32. wheatnoil says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I think the Ference captaincy gives the new Oilers their Lee Fogolin-type. The only comparable rebuild for Oilers management is the original Boys on the Bus.

    I think Ference staked his claim to captaincy as soon as he blew the doors off the VO2 max test. If you want to preach fitness and compete, best to have your captain fully on board. I don’t mind the decision actually. It’s a reasonable choice. Edmonton boy, Stanley Cup winner, veteran, by all accounts a natural leader in the dressing room… and he’ll be run out of town in the years 3 & 4 of his contract. Perfect!

  33. stevezie says:

    What is everyone getting excited about? All this does is undo the Mac injury; it isn’t a new mistake.

  34. Lois Lowe says:

    The masses seem to be sharpening their knives for Petry next. It makes sense because he is the Oilers most complete defenceman.

  35. VOR says:

    I have to point out that if they want a face smasher Luke Gazdic is an odd choice for the
    Oilers. He can and will fight but he is not SMac. He isn’t a goon and he isn’t a fighting specialist. He is more of a 4th line energy guy if he is ever going to be any kind of NHL player at all, which seems a bit unlikely.. He is the sort of guy you pick up to help you be team tough at the AHL level.

  36. Young Oil says:

    Just a few questions:

    1. Who is our 7th D if Larsen is in OKC and Grebeshkov/Potter are likely on the IR? Also, Larsen clearly outplayed Grebeshkov, and is young with some upside, and is an RFA on a less expensive contract.

    2. Because we are on 49 contracts, does this mean we can only do one waiver claim at a time, and we have to wait to see if we get the player before making another claim?

    3. Why the hell are we wasting 3 roster spots (Abney, Macintyre, Gazdic) on guys who can’t play hockey?

    I loved MacT’s moves at the beginning of the summer, but since then it has been one bad move after another. Failing to address weaknesses and making ridiculously stupid roster decisions is going to cost his team a playoff spot, there’s no doubt in my mind.

  37. goldenchild says:

    This is just gross, so many useful actual NHL players and this is what they think is there biggest need. WTF is going on here? the last 2 weeks have given me the exact opposite feeling for Mactavish that I had all summer.

  38. stevezie says:

    VOR:
    I have to point out that if they want a face smasher Luke Gazdic is an odd choice for the
    Oilers. He can and will fight but he is not SMac. He isn’t a goon and he isn’t a fighting specialist. He is more of a 4th line energy guy if he is ever going to be any kind of NHL player at all, which seems a bit unlikely.. He is the sort of guy you pick up to help you be team tough at the AHL level.

    This makes him sound better than SMac to me.

  39. wheatnoil says:

    wheatnoil:
    I think we’ve learned two things:

    We’ve also learned that I can’t count.

  40. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 6m
    Lightning send Jonathan Drouin back to junior.

  41. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Ryan Pyette ‏@RyanatLFPress 3m
    It’s been confirmed. Bo Horvat will be back with the London Knights.
    Retweeted by CanucksArmy

  42. rickithebear says:

    Our bottom 4 fwd minutes last year
    10G -33.

    Gazdic ahl numbers suggest 6G 6A.
    Can he skate?

    Does Eager-Acton-Gazdic/Brown get 10 goals and better than -33.

    I have been looking wowy sinc eit was introduced to this site.
    I allways look at a player and how they do with players and without minimum 85 minutes.

    Eager has played with 17 forwards. there GD versus with others.
    C. fraser 669 min is +.360gD/60 with Eager.
    -.162 W/O AND +.209 W/
    Kopecky 331 MIN +.750 GD/60
    Burish 329 min +.060
    Burmistrov 284 +.450
    Lander 199 min -.120
    Petrell 172 min -.036
    Antropov 163 min +.325
    Belanger 158 min +.310
    Thorburn 157 min +.385
    C. Adams 134 min -.130
    J. Mayer 122 min + .020
    R. Jones 106 min +.605
    P. Sharp 105 min -.095
    P. kane 97 min +.450
    Bolland 96 min +.460
    Versteeg 90 min +.650
    Wellwood 85 min +.130

    of the 17 forwrds 13 were better with him than without.

    Guys who make other players get better results with them are actual NHL players.

    Howfucking bad were petrel, Lander, Brown?

  43. Colonel Obvious says:

    I’m with Steviezie. This is awful but it is the same awful as before. The fourth line remains a giant sinkhole.

    So the bloom is off the rose a little bit. Still this team is a million times better than last year and I am the most optimistic I have ever been about the Oilers even with this terribleness.

  44. Bushed says:

    Dallas fans say Gazdic is an energy player who got 4 points in pre-season and would have made their team any other year. Good team guy and energy player.

    Sounds like an Eager replacement to me.

  45. rickithebear says:

    Lander 0/9 were better
    Petrell 3/9 Horcoff, brown, Hordichuck
    Brown 8/11 did not improve Smyth, Boyce, Steckell.

    There are signs for brown!

  46. Andropod says:

    Gazdic > Smac.

    I once had this Bull Mastiff that reminds me a lot of SMac. Not at all bright, extremely fierce, incredibly strong, exceptionally loyal. His bark sounded like a howitzer and he put to death whatever came into his yard. I had him out with a yapping medium sized ex-feral dog that was his eyes and ears when he slept.

    The difference between Smac and the Mastiff was that the dog was fast. Sorry Smac. I love your good qualities but putting your knee into the boards was probably your last bad move.

  47. OilClog says:

    Eager is a hockey player, but Mario couldn’t turn Petrell, Belanger, Brown into anything more then dead weight either.

  48. jp says:

    rickithebear,

    Interesting, and definitely gives some hope for Eager.

    Bushed:
    Dallas fans say Gazdic is an energy player who got 4 points in pre-season and would have made their team any other year. Good team guy and energy player.

    Sounds like an Eager replacement to me.

    Yeah, this is an attempt I think to find Jordan Nolan or Kyle Clifford. The guy is clearly not ALL enforcer (110, 102 and 80 PIM the past 3 AHL seasons, got to 20 goals in his final Jr season). Maybe a Brown replacement too. Hopefully we never see SMac in a game.

  49. Oilanderp says:

    In 4 pre-season games, Gazdic had 2 pts and was +3 (11 pims), 5 shots on goal (20% shooting). Looking at his stats over the years it seems like he is trying to move from tough guy to agitator. He seems to be a young Eager without the hands. *sigh*

  50. Numenius says:

    Damn it. Why couldn’t it have been opposite day, like so many other times? Thanks for trying, LT. You sure called this one.

  51. Moose says:

    FWIW, I count 48 contracts from various sources. I know 49 is being thrown out there, but I think 48 is correct.

  52. striatic says:

    iwin76:
    This is unbelievable. What happened to every player being more than a non-factor at best? What happened to possession play? FFS, We have 1 decent (natural) centre on the roster and we use a claim to get our 4th useless hockey player of the same job description (punch faces, get scored on).

    in fairness, the bottom six, with a healthy team, is a MUCH improved offensive threat. Gordon, Smyth, Hemsky is a very threatening third line.

    the 4th line isn’t really an improvement but Joensuu adds something the Oilers haven’t even tried to put on their 4th line in a long time.

    the issue is that post injuries, MacT hasn’t even tried to maintain the bottom 6 scoring threat he’d built up through the summer.

  53. kinger_OIL says:

    First post in awhile: last one a few years ago, suggesting that Kruger wasn’t perhaps all that as a hire, seeing as he was fired as Swiss head coach: got killed for that questioning. When I was a kid playing hockey, whenever the Coach had his Son playing, said son wasn’t any good, and teams with son’s on team sucked (except the one kid on on one of my teams who was superstar who made the NHL…). Acton isn’t on any NHL roster except the Oilers. Larsen > Grebs. Grebs contract > Larsen. Best player didn’t make the team. Eakins is from the same school as Ron Wilson: Anyone I know who is involved in hockey says Eakins is a huge arrogant prick. We switched from one coach with no NHL experience to another coach with no NHL experience: both great talkers who impressed media and fans alike. Wait untill the first 6 game losing streak, and see how the players and press like Eakins… Dude is a meglomaniac, which would be ok if he was winner at the NHL level. No NHL team has kept the same assistant coaches after multiple years of not making the playoffs. Buchberger and Smith Smith would not be assistant coaches on any other team,. Yes it sucks that Gagner and RNH are injured, but Smyth as a first line-player, ins’t on any first (or second) line for any team in the NHL. No playoff team has 2 of 4 centres that haven’t been NHL before… DD is OK , but I haven’t seen him “steal a game”. By December, this OIL team could be done for a generation: stars tuned out, many games out of the playoff, and an awful bottom six…Also, MacT missed his strategy and negociating courses in his executive MBA. Enough said. This team is so close to being lost for another generation, it is scary.

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