This is an interesting day in Oilers history. I imagine Craig MacTavish has been involved in some talks with Dallas Eakins in the last 24 hours about what might be available via trade or waivers, but so far they haven’t pulled the trigger. Why?
Let’s take as an example Joe Colborne. He’s a big center (6.05, 213) with some skating issues. He’s not Jack Valiquette slow but Colborne’s wheels don’t turn quickly. He’s a player Dallas Eakins coached for a couple of years with the Marlies and would be well known to him.
JOE COLBORNE AHL
- Age 20: 75, 20-22-42 .560
- Age 21: 65, 16-23-39 .600
- Age 22: 65, 14-28-42 .646
MARK ARCOBELLO AHL
- Age 22: 26, 11-11-22 .846
- Age 23: 73, 17-26-43 .589
- Age 24: 74, 22-46-68 .919
Arcobello is a much smaller player (listed at 5.09, 165 so chances are he’s 5.07, 150 based on the NHL’s rounding up on these things) but he’s also more skilled. The question we have to ask ourselves this morning is this: do we have clear evidence that Joe Colborne is a better hockey player than Mark Arcobello? He’s bigger, slower and less likely to impact a game offensively. I’m fine with the Oilers giving Arcobello this opportunity IF Colborne is the best available replacement.
- MacT in summer: “[Mark] Arcobello will get a good look, Andrew Miller, Will Acton, Anton Lander. I’m sure we’ll be able to offset Nuge’s absence in the short term.”
Today, the Oilers have a chance to pick up some interesting players on waivers (Hall, Adam) and then review some more interesting names that’ll hit the wire today. A trade also seems possible. For me, I’m hopeful the club will address that 4line situation, but have no quarrel with passing on Joe Colborne. Luke Adam and Adam Hall? They are more intriguing names.
ACTON OVER ADAM HALL?
- Dallas Eakins: “One day he asked if he could sit in on the penalty-killing meeting. Before long, he was on the penalty kill. He’s like a smell that just won’t go away.”
I can make an argument for it. Although Acton isn’t going to set the offensive world on fire, he’s a younger hire than Hall and if he can do that 4line job that’s one fewer issue to deal with a year from now. A solid 4line C who can win faceoffs and penalty kill has value, and those player types often end up posting 10-15 points a year. Hall can do the job, but even if he comes over and does it well, so what? He’s too old to contribute to the cluster for long.
Edmonton needs to solve these problems with solutions that have sustain, not hire another Belanger.
The one thing hiring Hall does do? It gives the club one more year to wait on Lander. If he’s the long term solution, then buying Adam Hall cheap makes a lot of sense. If Acton has a chance to win this thing longer term, I’m fine with staying the course.
I’ve seen a lot of anger recently (here and there) about Will Acton being on the team, but I don’t think that’s a huge concern. If Acton can’t do the job, he’s going to be sent down. Does anyone seriously believe they’d keep Will Acton on the team if he was failing in the role required of him? If this ends up being Marc Sullivan 2.0 then I’ve badly misjudged Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins. Neither can afford to ice anything less than their best available roster.
And that’s why today is an interesting day in Oilers history.
(photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).