NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!

TSN 1260′s Jason Gregor reported this afternoon that RNH’s progress is to the point where he took part in contact drills today, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Gregor: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took part in contact drills today, and it looks very likely that he could return next Thursday vs. the Habs. There is a slim chance we’ll see him sooner, but unless he suffers a setback, I think we will see him no later than next Thursday. His return will be a huge boost for the Oilers.

When the Nuge returns, coach Dallas Eakins will have to make a decision. Does he move Taylor Hall back to the wing:

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Arcobello-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Joensuu-Hemsky
  • Acton-Gazdic-Smyth

Or does he keep Hall in the middle:

  • Hall-Perron-Eberle
  • Nuge-Joensuu-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Acton-Gazdic-Brown

What say you? I like the strength up the middle, and also like the look of the veteran 3line in the second edition above. Finally, both of the lines put Nail Yakupov in a more offensively attractive position and for me that’s a massive item for this club.

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116 Responses to "NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!"

  1. Zipdot says:

    NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    just posted this at ON, any thoughts:

    Hall-Omark-Hemsky
    Arco-Perron-Eberle
    RNH-Joensuu-Yakupov (soft parade)
    Gordon-Smyth-Brown/Gazdic

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    Why have you split up Hall & Hemsky?

    Also
    Why are you showing Hall, Perron, Joensuu & Gazdic at Center?

  4. supernova says:

    I like both editions.

    Nuge in the Line up is big as it pushes a less adequate option out,

    Arco played decent but I feel he is better suited in a less key role maybe he becomes a change of pace option on the bottom 2 lines and when someone isnt performing he moves up.

  5. Radman says:

    First and foremost Eakins needs to ask Hall. Not sure I would push it if the experiment is messing him up.

    If Hall is in, I would like to see him stay at C until Gagner is back (or things come off the rails). Might as well make it a meaningful experiment and give it some time, otherwise you are left forever wondering.

    Would like to see Eakins move Yak up into the top six and 94 down, likely to the fourth line.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Looks like Nelson gets the OKC boys in their first game tomorrow against the checkers:

    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=schedule

    Interesting to see if Manny’s still got it and how Nelson shapes his lines.

    Am I right in understanding the AHL doesn’t partake in a pre-season?

  7. TheOtherJohn says:

    I’d stick with Hall at centre till Gagner back. Smytty will be a boat anchor on 3L.

  8. Racki says:

    I would rather see the lines with Hall in the middle still. I haven’t gotten my line-randomizer out just yet, so I’ll just say that these lines work for me for now.

    Bumps Arco out of the lineup. He’s not terrible, but his impact is quite low. Also gives potentially a solid all-vet line.

    Romulus: barf any suggestions that include Linus Omark. Can’t we all just let him go already? :P Top line, no less. Ungh.

    Edit: Actually re: LT’s 2nd group of lines.. don’t like Perron and Hall together. Didn’t notice that. But I’d rather see them split up.. big shooter on each line… Hall on one, Perron 2, Yak 3…

  9. VanOil says:

    The last two coaches have mentioned pairs rather than lines. Pairs I have seen with chemistry this year are;

    Hall-Hemsky
    Eberle-Perron
    Gagner-Yakupov
    Gordon-Joensuu

    Historically RNH goes well with Eberle and It currently looks like Smyth is not capable of full time top 9 minutes.

    What 3 lines to make of with these 4 pairs I don’t know. It looks like Ebs and Perron are capable of carrying Arcobello until Gagner returns. I trust Yak to be able to improve his play with Gordon and Joensuu but needs more minutes than that. Perhaps ROM is right Omark with Hall and Hemsky with Gordon on the 4th plus what ever line has a D zone face off.

  10. RexLibris says:

    I have tickets to that Thursday game (Montreal), so I called ahead and got them to prep Nugent-Hopkins for the game.

    You’re welcome.

  11. Ice Sage says:

    You called it, LT – the tea leaves of this regime are a little more sensible reading.
    Surviving contact is great but I’ll consider the Nugge Golden when his shot is back on target.

  12. thejonrmcleod says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’d like to see RNH with Perron and Eberle.

  13. HiddenDarts says:

    I say move Hall to wing. Arco deserves some more games, for God’s sake!

    I recognize I’m the Lone Ranger on this opinion, but have a little heart, fellas!

  14. TheGreatMutato says:

    The lines with Hall remaining at center look interesting but I’m curious as to why Tough-Actin’-Will-Acton gets the remaining gig over Arcobello.

  15. Racki says:

    Trying to make lines, but damn this is harder than it should be for a few reasons…

    While I’m not as hard on Smyth as some, I don’t think I can watch Smytty on the top line all year. So who goes there? Perron? Maybe…. but the other thing I’m having problems with is I don’t want to see Perron and Hall together (this might sound strange.. but I think their shooters mentality should be split up). Lastly, I really think Hall should stick at center. He’ll be fairly good at it in the long run… once he stops taking high risk chances with 4-2 leads (there’s a difference between keeping the foot on the gas and driving 100mph around tight corners on mountain roads).

    Best I can figure is keeping Hall Smytty and Hemsky together. They won’t really be the top line so much, but the Oil would have 3 fairly even scoring lines:

    Smytty-Hall-Hemsky
    Perron-Nuge-Eberle
    Joensuu-Gordon-Yakupov

    Smytty really is a boat anchor at this point… damn it if the Oil can’t improve on LW somehow without moving Hall back to LW.

  16. striatic says:

    Ice Sage:
    You called it, LT – the tea leaves of this regime are a little more sensible reading.
    Surviving contact is great but I’ll consider the Nugge Golden when his shot is back on target.

    Nuge’s shot was looking very good in practice a month ago. He seemed ready to go even then, saying he felt better than last year and demonstrating improved capabilities in practice.

    I think the very real risk is re-injury. Need to not rush him back just because he feels 90-100% right now. You can feel great and perform to maximum capability without being fully healed.

  17. Pablo Aimar says:

    Hall-Gordon-Hemsky
    Joensuu-RNH-Yakupov
    Perron-Arcobello-Eberle
    Smyth-Acton-Whomever

    Hall and Hemsky should stay together and Gordon might have enough offense to stick with them. Move Hall back to the wing. Once Gagner gets back those 3 lines look pretty good.

  18. Ribs says:

    I’d probably try….

    Hall-Joensuu-Hemsky

    If you’re trying Smyth there, you might as well give Penner Lite a shot. It will help if Hall doesn’t have to play the entire game with Nuge in the lineup.

    Nuge-Perron-Eberle

    Just makes sense to me. Very intelligent line.

    Gordon-Smyth-Yakupov

    Sort of resembles Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky, which seemed to work pretty well some time ago.

    Other guys

    They is what they is.

  19. delooper says:

    I’ll channel my inner Eakins and say, “whether Hall stays at centre or we keep Arcobello, that’s a decision that’s up to Arcobello.” Meaning if he plays well enough, the Oilers keep him up and move Hall to wing. If not, he gets moved down to OKC. The next couple of games will be big for Arcobello.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

  21. Racki says:

    Ribs:
    Gordon-Smyth-Yakupov

    Sort of resembles Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky, which seemed to work pretty well some time ago.

    Only problem is Smyth doesn’t really resemble Smyth so much anymore. I think he still has the creativity, just he’s got cement in the skates.

    Lowetide:
    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    If they are patient with him, that move isn’t such a bad thing. But if they’re frustrated because they feel they traded a beautiful oak table for IKEA furniture with no instructions, then they’re likely making a mistake here.

  22. theres oil in virginia says:

    HiddenDarts:
    I say move Hall to wing. Arco deserves some more games, for God’s sake!

    I recognize I’m the Lone Ranger on this opinion, but have a little heart, fellas!

    Well then I’ll be Tonto. After finally getting a chance to watch the game, I think Arco and Acton acquitted themselves quite nicely. Maybe tougher competition will expose them, but I’m interested to find out.

  23. MrEd says:

    IMO:
    Hall is a straight line player (he said it himself). He doesn’t have the vision to play centre, at least not yet.

    Hall and Ebs are a pair.
    Nuge and Yak are a pair.
    Perron and Gagner are a pair.

    Use the rest to plug the holes.

  24. delooper says:

    Lowetide:
    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    It’s as if no NHL coach can understand him. He’s got a great set of tools, but the instruction manual is written in Japanese.

  25. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki:
    While I’m not as hard on Smyth as some, I don’t think I can watch Smytty on the top line all year.

    Other than the latter part of the 2nd period, where he had a total meltdown, I thought Smyth played quite well.

  26. Lowetide says:

    delooper: It’s as if no NHL coach can understand him.He’s got a great set of tools, but the instruction manual is written in Japanese.

    He was fine here, Renney lost him in year two but Paajarvi had a nice season in 12-13 for the Oilers. I hope the Oil get him back.

  27. Ice Sage says:

    Racki: Only problem is Smyth doesn’t really resemble Smyth so much anymore. I think he still has the creativity, just he’s got cement in the skates.

    If they are patient with him, that move isn’t such a bad thing. But if they’re frustrated with trading a beautiful OAK table for an IKEA table with no instructions, then they’re likely making a mistake here.

    Nice Swedish reference there! I’m not surprised that MP can’t crack that lineup – he took time to adjust to Edmonton, too. Nice to see the Oilers ‘winning’ some trades and getting useful pickups / free agents.

  28. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia: Other than the latter part of the 2nd period, where he had a total meltdown, I thought Smyth played quite well.

    Yah I don’t think he’s bad.. I just mean that I can’t see him being able to keep up with Hall and Hemsky all year. Those guys have wheels that don’t quit. It’ll be pretty hard on Smytty. I think Smytty’s hockey sense is still sharp though. Around the net, I think he’s still a good asset. I’m fine with seeing him with Hall/Hemsky for a while, but I do wish the two had someone with like-speed to play with.

  29. Big Dan says:

    Another question is who would you start on Saturday – Labarbera or Dubnyk? I used to think Dubnyk, playing on loser teams his whole life, had the “Tommy Salo” syndrome (before he fell apart the last year & 1/2 after his divorce and Olympic debacle). He’d look solid for most of the game but just couldn’t make the clutch save when you needed it.

    That was until Dubnyk’s self-depreciating comments about letting the team down after Game #1. Salo always annoyed me because he kept losing the Oilers games in 2004 but would always pass the buck. He always thought he played well and needed coddling. Dubnyk’s a good egg and I expect him to rebound. 4-3 win.

    As for the lines, put Hall back on the wing with Hemsky and Nuge. Hall doesn’t like C and he’s not strong enough defensively to play C. But keep him with Hemsky – they have great chemistry. But he’s not Mark Messier; he’s a disaster at C.

    Perron can play center (so can Eberle) – those two need to stay together. If Marco Bello can keep playing like he did in Game #1, I’d keep him as their pivot.

    If Arcobello starts to struggle, move Eberle to center and Yakupov to their RW. We need to give Yakupov more ice and Eberle said in an interview this summer (at a Fort McMurray tournament) that he has played center before and wouldn’t mind doing it again.

    Option #2 if Arcobello falls off, call up Omark until Gagner returns – Linus should have got his game back by then. That being said, I get the impression Arcobello is a very smart player who will only get better every game (except against cheap shot teams like Vancouver). I have a feeling he might stick as the 4C once Nuge and Gagner are back. He won the 2nd line job over Omark at training camp fair and square and showed in Game #1 he deserves it.

    Everybody’s loving Joensuu right now but keep him off the top two lines. He’s a perfect 3rd liner but he doesn’t have the offensive talent to keep up. Play him a lot against the big lines with Gordon. He could be that agitator we’ve been looking for.

    You know, I was shocked at how well Will Acton played. Maybe it was just because it was his first game but he seems to be very smart, competitive and hard working. Perhaps Boyd Gordon can move to RW (he can play both positions). That’d might be a good ‘tough minutes’ line; albeit little offense. We need to see if Acton can keep it up.

    Park Ryan Smyth back onto the 4th line with the goons. Ralph Krueger had it right when he did that. You know, I agree with some other posters that disagree with all of the daggers fired at Krueger now. He even admitted he didn’t have good assistant coaches and needed an x-and-o guy. He’s more of a motivational/ mentoring coach= which would have worked had he had a Rick Bowness type alongside. Horrible 3rd line, horrible 4th line, horrible D – somehow he was supposed to play the kids 40 minutes a night and hide all the weak links. That would be impossible and he played with the cards he was dealt.

    Is Dallas Eakins better? Probably. But this love-in for Eakins and sudden hate-on for Krueger seems premature.

  30. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide:
    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    Paajarvi is buried in STL.

    Their LW depth:

    Alex Steen

    Jaden Schwartz

    Brendan Morrow

    And, with 7 bonafide NHL centres, one or two of Oshie and Sobotka will be shifted to wing.

  31. oilswell says:

    Lowetide: Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    They said they’d “get him” to play through the opposition. They didn’t say they’d “ask him nicely and capitulate if he declines”. To me it is not at all astounding but rather an expected part of the process.

  32. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki,
    I agree; he won’t hold up to it all year. Hopefully, he won’t need to. I think he looked good on the rush too. He’s never been a puck wizard, but he made good, simple plays for the most part. I definitely saw no reason for him to be demoted.

    Dubnyk on the other hand… It sucks for the goalie that his mistakes almost always cost goals against, but such is life as a goalie.

    I wonder how many more games like that we’ll see from Hall. The toe-drags, the blind cross-ice passes, the taking on a defenseman (and losing) when there are better options…time to grow up.

  33. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Sobotka playing LW tonight.

  34. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Racki,
    I agree; he won’t hold up to it all year.Hopefully, he won’t need to.I think he looked good on the rush too.He’s never been a puck wizard, but he made good, simple plays for the most part.I definitely saw no reason for him to be demoted.

    Dubnyk on the other hand… It sucks for the goalie that his mistakes almost always cost goals against, but such is life as a goalie.

    I wonder how many more games like that we’ll see from Hall.The toe-drags, the blind cross-ice passes, the taking on a defenseman (and losing) when there are better options…time to grow up.

    Re: Hall, I think with him he just needs a quick dose of reality now and then. I think we’ll see a better Hall Saturday, even. The thing is, Hall should be taking chances in a game, but he shouldn’t be doing things like firing the puck across the neutral-zone (telegraphed, no less) while protecting a lead. Again, I like that the Oilers keep the foot on the gas, but they still can’t be making high-risk plays when they’re holding a small lead.

    As for Duby… yah, he does make mistakes that seem to translate into goals, but I think MOST games he makes up for it by stopping shots he has no business stopping. Last game I think was more of an anomaly. One of the worst games by him in quite a while.. so I don’t think we can expect many like that.

  35. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki,
    WARNING: The following is pure speculation.
    Hall had two two-on-ones, he shot both times, took on defenders at least three times and lost all three, and forced passes to push the offense. I think he may be trying to do to much!

    He made some good plays, too. I’m not laying the goat-horns on him. (Dubnyk won’t let go of them.)

  36. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki,
    That may be the worst game I’ve ever seen Dubnyk play. I’ve seen him steal games too, I think he’ll be fine. However, there’s no way to sugar coat it: he lost the Oilers that game.

  37. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Racki,
    WARNING: The following is pure speculation.
    Hall had two two-on-ones, he shot both times, took on defenders at least three times and lost all three, and forced passes to push the offense.I think he may be trying to do to much!

    He made some good plays, too.I’m not laying the goat-horns on him.(Dubnyk won’t let go of them.)

    I don’t think that’s really speculation… that’s just in Hall’s DNA to try and carry the team. He wants to win bad, but I think sometimes he has to make the smarter safer play. I really don’t see any problems with what he did last game as long as he uses it to learn from. Next game, instead of firing it from one side of the ice to the other, carry it in if he can, or dump it in and go get it.

    theres oil in virginia:
    Racki,
    That may be the worst game I’ve ever seen Dubnyk play.I’ve seen him steal games too, I think he’ll be fine.However, there’s no way to sugar coat it: he lost the Oilers that game.

    Yup, no argument from me on that. Well.. I never pin a game on one player… so I’ll just say he heavily contributed to the loss.

  38. Spydyr says:

    Lowetide:
    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    Why?He is as soft as butter in July.Hitch likes players who bring it.Trying to send him a message perhaps.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Spydyr: Why?He is as soft as butter in July.Hitch likes players who bring it.Trying to send him a message perhaps.

    Why trade for him then? I expect they are sending him a message, but that’s a helluva player. 3-0 STL so it isn’t like they can’t afford to do it.

  40. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki,
    All-in-all, I was pretty happy with that line (HHS). They moved the puck well. Actually, I was pretty happy with that game as a whole. Just way too many soft goals.

    Did you catch Justin Schultz looking at the scoreboard when Kane came in and tripped him back to reality? Wake up kid! You’re in the game, not on the bench. It was hilarious, but I hope I never see it again.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Paajarvi HS in St. Louis. I’m astounded. Seriously.

    Jesus H. Gord!!

    And I thought these articles:

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hockey/professional/blues-want-more-out-of-left-winger-paajarvi/article_8d62cb24-97ba-5b98-afe8-c307c5fea225.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/27/mixed-reviews-for-magnus-paajarvi-with-st-louis-blues/

    were just blowing smoke with a little bit of blue skying thrown in… I figured all the noise was just part of some “tough talk” routine by the Blues… but as the evidence mounts (and I want to be cautious here… this is only one HS) it looks like they may be regretting that trade by the day.

    Love to find a way to get him back here. love it.

  42. jake70 says:

    By reports, it seems Nuge has looked pretty good in practice (yes, practice, I’m talkin bout practice).

  43. Spydyr says:

    Lowetide: Why trade for him then? I expect they are sending him a message, but that’s a helluva player. 3-0 STL so it isn’t like they can’t afford to do it.

    Maybe they thought he would play with more grit.I always hoped he would.

  44. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide: Why trade for him then? I expect they are sending him a message, but that’s a helluva player. 3-0 STL so it isn’t like they can’t afford to do it.

    Moving Perron was a salary dump.

    They needed the cap space for Pietrangelo and Chris Stewart.

    Worth noting that two of the young players Paajarvi will have to battle for ice time, Oshie and Sobotka, have both scored tonight.

  45. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Racki,
    Did you catch Justin Schultz looking at the scoreboard when Kane came in and tripped him back to reality?Wake up kid! You’re in the game, not on the bench.It was hilarious, but I hope I never see it again.

    Oh yah, I caught that right away, but even if I didn’t, Mark Lee (and whoever was doing color… I forget..) was all over it anyways. Terrible goof up, but that’s kind of Justin Schultz in a nutshell sometimes. lol He’s a great player, but really a lot of times he looks a little lackadaisical. And I don’t mean that to be critical.. just some players look like they aren’t even trying, but are great players (Pronger was very known for that).

  46. Racki says:

    Spydyr: Maybe they thought he would play with more grit.I always hoped he would.

    They did. Someone did an interview with Hitchcock (Gregor??) and he commented on how they watched his last 20 games. He said that they were surprised by his offensive ability, but were surprised too that he wasn’t playing that hard-to-the-net style game in pre-season. So it sounds like he’s got to get back to the basics.

  47. jake70 says:

    “He’s got such good speed, but like ‘Hitch’ is saying, he needs to adjust and start playing that game that we play here,” Berglund said. “It’s not always very pretty, but we’re doing a good job at it and that’s obviously something that he needs to buy in on.

    Somewhere Perron is smiling.

  48. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki,
    I’m thinking that the same quality that allows Schultzy to make good plays with the puck when under pressure also causes moments like that. He never feels the pressure, even when he really should. He’s unflappable! I’d bet Eakins is flapping him this week, though.

  49. Spydyr says:

    Racki: They did. Someone did an interview with Hitchcock (Gregor??) and he commented on how they watched his last 20 games. He said that they were surprised by his offensive ability, but were surprised too that he wasn’t playing that hard-to-the-net style game in pre-season. So it sounds like he’s got to get back to the basics.

    I thought the Oilers should have sat him down with old tapes of Glen Anderson and tell him to go to the net like that.He has the size and the speed just not the balls.

  50. dessert1111 says:

    Looks like arco has about 2 more games to prove himself. For what it’s worth, I think the best option for the team is hall back to center and Smyth on a line with less minutes. I don’t like hall at center — I think there is a pretty substantial drop off in his play from wing to center, and though he will likely improve over time, his is more dangerous on the wing. But I am a believer in arco — if he can just take a small step up, I think he can stick till gagner is back, and who knows after that, there are always injuries.

  51. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Racki,
    I’m thinking that the same quality that allows Schultzy to make good plays with the puck when under pressure also causes moments like that.He never feels the pressure, even when he really should.He’s unflappable!I’d bet Eakins is flapping him this week, though.

    Damn.. hit the nail on the head. Couldn’t have put it better, myself. Ice in his veins.. but somehow that is a double-edged sword, it seems. I think the good very much outweighs the bad though, so not worried.. but just funny how that is.

  52. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki:
    I think the good very much outweighs the bad though

    No doubt about that! I’m happy with some moments of Bonehead Schultzy as long as he continues to have moments of Leonardo Da Schultzy!

  53. alice13 says:

    Every time I see that pic two words come to mind: Don Wheaton

    Okay, four words.

  54. VanOil says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    Hall-Gordon-Hemsky
    Joensuu-RNH-Yakupov
    Perron-Arcobello-Eberle
    Smyth-Acton-Whomever

    Hall and Hemsky should stay together and Gordon might have enough offense to stick with them. Move Hall back to the wing. Once Gagner gets back those 3 lines look pretty good.

    I like this line up best so far.

    I would love to get MPS back. Please Hitchcock for the love of Edmonton and to repent for all the dyer winning hockey you have inflicted on the world either wave him or trade him back to the Oil for Musil and future considerations.

  55. SlapBet says:

    Anyone up for reaquiring magnus?? Give them Potter and a 5th. Very strong player for our 3rd/4th line amd already has chemistry with the team and a low cap…

  56. Spydyr says:

    SlapBet:
    Anyone up for reaquiring magnus?? Give them Potter and a 5th. Very strong player for our 3rd/4th line amd already has chemistry with the team and a low cap…

    Sure if he replaces Smyth who goes to the press box.Pretty sure you cannot trade injured players though.

  57. gd says:

    Nurse with 2 assists and second star.

  58. Hammers says:

    Posted mine before but Hall back to the wing with RNH & Yak 2nd ) Arco / Perron / Eberle the 3rd Gordon / Hemsky & Joensuu 4tth Acton / Smyth / your choice per game . My wish was back by the 12th anything sooner is great .

  59. SlapBet says:

    Spydyr,

    Correct. This will happen after recovery from his back injury. ..others might suggest Fedun in potters ppace for an immediate trade..but I think fedun is being over looked by all.

  60. Andropod says:

    Addressing the team’s weaknesses: Nuge slides in for Hall, who slides in for Smythe, who slides in for Brown, who becomes 13F. .

  61. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    SlapBet:
    Anyone up for reaquiring magnus?? Give them Potter and a 5th. Very strong player for our 3rd/4th line amd already has chemistry with the team and a low cap…

    STL needs Potter like a fish needs a bicycle.

    Pietrangelo

    Jaybo

    Shattenkirk

    Jackman

    Polak

    Leopold

    Cole

    Schmaltz

    Hakinpaa

    Edmunson

    Fairchild

    A healthy Potter would likely be 11th or 12th on their depth chart.

  62. SlapBet says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    They obviously don’t need a winger. We can’t trade a center. Any trade is with a defender and a draft pick. Remember, we are trading for someone not good enough for their team, and we are trading soneone not good enough for our team along with a pick. Aldo, the two players are not high end prospects..I think this trade can be made…

  63. CDK says:

    Some of my favorite Ryan Smyth memories……..Watching J.S. Giguere lose his mind after Smitty got away with Goalie interference……………Smitty tackling Marty Turco in the playoffs……….Smitty shoving his glove in another guys face while skating away and looking the other direction.

    Smitty is a black sheep. He sees and plays the game in his own way. Putting him next to a speedy 21 year old will make him look slow but that’s not what his game is about. The NHL is a cheaters league. Part of the game is breaking the rules you can get away with to use to your own advantage and finding ways to aggravate the other team. Smitty is a guru on the subject.

  64. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    SlapBet:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    They obviously don’t need a winger. We can’t trade a center.Any trade is with a defender and a draft pick. Remember, we are trading for someone not good enough for their team, and we are trading soneone not good enough for our team along with a pick. Aldo, the two players are not high end prospects..I think this trade can be made…

    I’m sure the Blues could find something better than an (injured) AHL defenseman and a 5th round pick if they decide to move him.

    Paajarvi, with all his warts, could likely get them a second round pick.

  65. matt says:

    It’s too soon to tell. There were three problems with the first game: Dubnyk, Smyth, Hall. Dubnyk will recover and moving Hall to wing on that line fixes the other two problems. But we don’t know if those are real problems or just the first game of the season. If, for example, game 2 shows problems with the Arcobello line and Hall/Smyth figure each other out, it would complicate where to put Nuge.

    *If* the decision is made to bring Nuge back based on what we know now, then I think the victim ought to be Acton. Not that I have an issue with his play.

    If the Arcobello line was a “chance machine”, then don’t touch it yet. If it ain’t broke…..

    Smyth looked fine pre-season. Give him a longer test. Ditto Hall.

    So:

    Arco/Perron/Eberle
    Nuge/Joensuu/Yakupov
    Hall/Smyth/Hemsky
    Gordon/Gazdic/(Brown/Omark/Jones)

  66. fifthcartel says:

    I don’t think Hitch can make Paajarvi into the player he wants. He’s just not that kind of player.

  67. Andropod says:

    CDK,

    But, Nuge @C >Hall
    Hall @ LW1 > Smythe
    Smythe @ LW4 > Brown.

    Leave everyone else as-is.

  68. theres oil in virginia says:

    Flames blew a 3-goal lead and lost to Caps in SO.

  69. delooper says:

    Racki: Damn.. hit the nail on the head. Couldn’t have put it better, myself. Ice in his veins.. but somehow that is a double-edged sword, it seems. I think the good very much outweighs the bad though, so not worried.. but just funny how that is.

    Anderson was the Closest thing to a kamikaze pilot the NHL has ever seen.

  70. godot10 says:

    Brendan Morrow broke down a lot when he was younger. He is now old. He will keep on breaking down. He is also a lot slower than he used to be.

    Paajarvi is a coaching project. Nelson gave him a real schooling on how to play forward. Krueger seemed really able to connect with him about what kind of game he needed to play, but he still had a long ways to go.

    Hitchcock is a talker. I think he’ll get through to Paajarvi. Krueger was a more positive coach. More carrots than sticks. More positive reinforcement than negative. I think Hitchcock is a bit more stick than carrot.

  71. godot10 says:

    Hall has almost got beheaded twice already because his unfamiliarity with the centre position. He had just learned how to protect himself last year on wing. The players with high flying elbows are coming at him from angles he is not used to.

    But it all depends on whether Arcobello makes progress quickly, or whether the move back has to wait till both Nugent-Hopkins and Gagner are back.

  72. CDK says:

    Andropod,

    A healthy Nuge solves the Arcobello problem. No amount of talent is enough to cover up being 5′ 8” and 166 pounds in todays NHL.

    I say swap Nuge for Arcobello and keep everything else the same until Gags is back.

  73. VanOil says:

    Here is a line up that a Bold GM could assemble

    RNH-Perron-Erberle
    Gagner-Hall-Yak
    Gordon-Joensuu-Hemsky
    Malhotra-Paajarvi-Smyth/Gazdic

    The 4th line becomes a parking spot for guys that can play up the line up not a parking spot of knuckle draggers.

  74. steveb12344 says:

    theres oil in virginia: Flames blew a 3-goal lead and lost to Caps in SO.

    Yes, and Cory Schnieder lost 3-0 in his Devils debut against The Pens.

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    steveb12344: Yes, and Cory Schnieder lost 3-0 in his Devils debut against The Pens.

    And Clarkson has yet to play.

  76. russ99 says:

    I sure hope we’re not rushing Nuge back to cover up organizational ineptitude at player procurement and the prioritization of goons over actual hockey players due to a perceived “softness” that acquiring Ference, Gordon, Joensuu and Perron has obviously minimized… just sayin.

    As for lines, you gotta move Hall back. He’s not the same player at center.

    I’d also not split the “Flash Line” (or pick another name – they’re not kids anymore) of RNH, Hall and Eberle since we have plenty of good wingers to give us secondary scoring on the few nights they have an off game.

    I’d go with:

    Hall – RHN – Eberle
    Perron – Gordon – Yakupov
    Arcobello – Acton – Hemsky
    Brown – Smyth – Gazdic

    Smyth at 4th line center 5 minutes a night until Gagner comes back or we finally add an NHL center isn’t the worst thing we can do – that would be giving Smyth 12 – 15 first line gassed minutes.

    BTW: I’m watching the Sharks/Canucks game and Luongo seems to be having trouble with angles, leaving huge gaps open so we may be able to sneak a bunch past him on Saturday.

  77. russ99 says:

    Argh – how could I forget Joensuu??

    That third line (above) should be Joensuu – Acton – Hemsky.

  78. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Florida making a statement tonight. Gilbert and Thomas with good games. Look out.

  79. russ99 says:

    Fixall with Rexall,

    Watched that one too – man I love Center Ice, especially when it’s free.

    Tim Thomas had a fantastic game.

    Gilbert is Gilbert. Made some nice entry passes, got an assist, ended up +2 on the night but looked lost in the crease and behind the net as usual.

    Whitney looked more solid and he didn’t seem as immobile as with the Oilers last year. Barkov looked pretty good too, but his goal was a bit flukey.

    Still that was the title game of the epically bad hockey sweater cup. When 4-6 players bunched up it looked like I threw up my peas and carrots. And they’ll look even worse when they play in Florida – with the Panthers bright orange home jerseys and the big swatches of flourescent pea green on the shoulders of the Stars road jerseys.

  80. jp says:

    Great to hear Nuge is close to returning (as long as he’s fully healthy).

    SlapBet:
    Anyone up for reaquiring magnus?? Give them Potter and a 5th. Very strong player for our 3rd/4th line amd already has chemistry with the team and a low cap…

    Reacquiring Paajarvi would be amazing, but you’re not going to get him for garbage. He’s worth way more than that, and there’s no way the Blues would send him back to Edmonton for less than full value (which would amount to them admitting they made a bad trade in the first place). I’d love to see Paajarvi back, but I think it’s extremely unlikely.

  81. Spydyr says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    Florida making a statement tonight. Gilbert and Thomas with good games. Look out.

    I’m sure the whole NHL is shaking in their boots over Gilbert.

  82. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Spydyr,

    Signed for nothing. Low salary. Extreme value. Florida is a threat already.

  83. Nostradumbass says:

    The minute you have to ask a player to take the puck to the net you have a problem

    MacT robbed the Blues blind in that deal

  84. Hammers says:

    jp:
    Great to hear Nuge is close to returning (as long as he’s fully healthy).

    Reacquiring Paajarvi would be amazing, but you’re not going to get him for garbage. He’s worth way more than that, and there’s no way the Blues would send him back to Edmonton for less than full value (which would amount to them admitting they made a bad trade in the first place). I’d love to see Paajarvi back, but I think it’s extremely unlikely.

    Give them the 2015 2nd rd pick then they got 2 / 2nds for Perron.

  85. SlapBet says:

    Hammers,

    That’s a good way of looking at it…but that’s just not how the blues managment would see it. You can’t accumilate a trade that way…but just by itself, a 3rd round or a 2nd dependant on if he hits a certain criteria may be somewhat appealing to the blues since they don’t seem to keen on him

  86. Zelepukin says:

    I think everyone agrees that Smytty needs to fall back to at least the 3rd line, but I disagree with breaking up Hall and Hemsky after just one game. Hemsky looked more motivated than usual and did a lot of good things defensively.

    Nuge coming back before Gags, I’d suggest this:

    Joensuu – Hall – Hemsky
    Perron – Gordon – Eberle
    Smyth – RNH – Yakupov
    Brown – Acton – Gazdic

  87. Zelepukin says:

    If you believe in Eakins’ pairs theory then to me it looks like:

    Hall & Hemsky
    Perron & Ebs
    RNH & Yaks

    Hall & Hemsky are pinballs that cover a lot of ice and require a simpler, north/south player with speed.

    Perron & Ebs can work with both a playmaking center and a more defensive center.

    RNH & Yaks should technically compliment each other’s skillsets, with Nuge being one of the best passers in the game and Yaks being our best sniper but also weaker defensively.

  88. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Zelepukin,

    That’s how I have it too untill atleast RNH gets in the swing of things. It’s not a typical third line anyways.

  89. tsunami says:

    I know it’s off topic, but thought I give you guys a quick update on some players in Switzerland right now :

    Wellwood – 7gp – 1g + 2a – 3 points -2
    Schremp – 6gp – 1g – 1 point + 2

    Both playing for Zug and the club is less than pleased with their performance so far… Schremp even got demoted to lower league in order to get more ice time and hopefully some gain some confidence…

  90. Zelepukin says:

    tsunami: Both playing for Zug and the club is less than pleased with their performance so far… Schremp even got demoted to lower league in order to get more ice time and hopefully some gain some confidence…

    It goes to show that no matter how much people like to make a song and dance about any player’s performance in other leagues, it doesn’t mean crap until you can evaluate their play in the NHL.

    We’ve been lucky enough to have the supposed best defenseman in the KHL (Belov), the supposed best d-man prospect not in the NHL (Klefbom) and the highest scoring player in the Swiss league (Omark) in our system. These guys could easily be over-confident before coming to the NHL and then get a rude-awakening on how mediocre those leagues are in comparison.

    This is just my gut feeling but I sense there was a bit of that with Klefbom. He was getting a lot of media attention around how good he was and how odds were in his favour for him to make the team.

  91. jp says:

    Hammers: Give them the 2015 2nd rd pick then they got 2 /2nds for Perron.

    That works for me and is certainly plausible. Now let’s see if MacT and Armstrong do too. I still don’t think they move Paajarvi any time soon.

  92. Woodguy says:

    Spydyr: I’m sure the whole NHL is shaking in their boots over Gilbert.

    He played 24:41 got an assist and was +2.

    All for 900K a year.

    Ridiculous value.

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: He played 24:41 got an assist and was +2.

    All for 900K a year.

    Ridiculous value.

    he means something about toughness. you know, the way D are worthless unless they knock teeth out or something.

    Gilbert > Potter, Larsen, Grebs, N.Schultz and competitive against the other roster players.

  94. tsunami says:

    Zelepukin: It goes to show that no matter how much people like to make a song and dance about any player’s performance in other leagues, it doesn’t mean crap until you can evaluate their play in the NHL.

    We’ve been lucky enough to have the supposed best defenseman in the KHL (Belov), the supposed best d-man prospect not in the NHL (Klefbom) and the highest scoring player in the Swiss league (Omark) in our system. These guys could easily be over-confident before coming to the NHL and then get a rude-awakening on how mediocrethose leagues are in comparison.

    This is just my gut feeling but I sense there was a bit of that with Klefbom. He was getting a lot of media attention around how good he was and how odds were in his favour for him to make the team.

    Totally agree… Unless it’s a guy like Brunner, who absolutely dominated the Swiss league in the last 2 years… But even then you can’t be 100% sure it will translate to NHL success… But it is / was still a pretty good bet

    I think it works both ways… Pretty sure both Schremp and Wellwood are / were surprised by the level of play in Swiss top league…

    I believe it also demonstrates that Wellwood would not have been the answer to our C problems…

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A 2nd for Magnus would be pretty sweet. I could see that working for both sides under the right circumstances.

    BUT… I don’t think we at the right circumstances yet. We are closer now than I thought we were when those articles were published… but still a ways away I would guess.

    Even if Magnus gets HSed a few more times, I imagine at this early stage of the year, the Blues prefer the depth to an extra pick down the line.

    I doubt they waive him either. If they reach a point where they haven’t played him and they decide they’ll got their depth covered, they’ll push for a trade. Might be a while though.

  96. tsunami says:

    Maybe next year or at the deadline if things don’t evolve the way they are supposed to…

  97. Andropod says:

    Woodguy,

    Wasn’t Gilbert on our top pairing when we traded him?

  98. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: he means something about toughness. you know, the way D are worthless unless they knock teeth out or something.

    Gilbert > Potter, Larsen, Grebs, N.Schultz and competitive against the other roster players.

    Then why did the Oilers not sign him?

    There is no way he brings more then N.Shultz and in the long run Larsen may be the better player.The rest you mentioned won’t be here when the team starts being a playoff contender.

  99. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: Then why did the Oilers not sign him?

    There is no way he brings more then N.Shultz and in the long run Larsen may be the better player.The rest you mentioned won’t be here when the team starts being a playoff contender.

    They made a mistake.

    MacT bet on Grebs (to name a player) instead of Gilbert. Tambo bet on N. Schultz instead of Gilbert. I think they both made a mistake.

  100. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: They made a mistake.

    MacT bet on Grebs (to name a player) instead of Gilbert. Tambo bet on N. Schultz instead of Gilbert. I think they both made a mistake.

    On the other hand they had him for many years and knew what thy were getting and passed.That seems more logical to me.

  101. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: On the other hand they had him for many years and knew what thy wee getting an passed.That seems more logical to me.

    The same logic that resigned Jones?

  102. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The same logic that resigned Jones?

    Exactly they should of passed on Jones also.

  103. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: Exactly they should of passed on Jones also.

    So, if they can make a mistake on Jones… the argument that they are in some infallible position re: Gilbert doesn’t hold.

    Then we are back to… simply assessing the merits of the players, their contracts, etc.

  104. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: So, if they can make a mistake on Jones… the argument that they are in some infallible position re: Gilbert doesn’t hold.

    Then we are back to… simply assessing the merits of the players, their contracts, etc.

    They should of spent the money they used on Jones to sign a center of Equal caliber and price.They knew the Nuge was out all summer.That was the mistake.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: They should of spent the money they used on Jones to sign a center of Equal caliber and price.They knew the Nuge was out all summer.That was the mistake.

    Are you saying absent center problems this team made the right decision to re-sign Jones?

  106. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Are you saying absent center problems this team made the right decision to re-sign Jones?

    No.Jones was a mistake.Thought I already said that.

  107. RMGS says:

    NUUUUGE!

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3m
    “It’s very exciting. It’s been a long recovery and I can’t wait to play on Monday.” @RNH_93, says his strength is back to 100%

  108. Spydyr says:

    RMGS:
    NUUUUGE!

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3m
    “It’s very exciting. It’s been a long recovery and I can’t wait to play on Monday.” @RNH_93, says his strength is back to 100%

    Beautiful just beautiful.

  109. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: No.Jones was a mistake.Thought I already said that.

    I see. It appeared your last comment was suggesting Jones was not the mistake but rather overlooking the hole at center.

    At any rate, my point is that just because the team has ample evidence of the value of a particular player, any player, doesn’t mean that they won’t over or under value a given player.

    I think we can agree on that.

    The disagree is about whether the team over or under values Gilbert vs. the other options and contract possibilities. Considering Gilbert’s NHL history and his loss of favor with NHL GMs, he was extraordinarily cheap for what he is and was willing to sign a one year deal. I think under those circumstances, he would have been a very good value bet for a GM.

  110. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I see. It appeared your last comment was suggesting Jones was not the mistake but rather overlooking the hole at center.

    At any rate, my point is that just because the team has ample evidence of the value of a particular player, any player, doesn’t mean that they won’t over or under value a given player.

    I think we can agree on that.

    The disagree is about whether the team over or under values Gilbert vs. the other options and contract possibilities. Considering Gilbert’s NHL history and his loss of favor with NHL GMs, he was extraordinarily cheap for what he is and was willing to sign a one year deal. I think under those circumstances, he would have been a very good value bet for a GM.

    Yes they got Gilbert for cheap no argument.My argument is they got Gilbert….lol

  111. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: Yes they got Gilbert for cheap no argument.My argument is they got Gilbert….lol

    I think that reaction is totally justifiable.

    Gilbert spent a long time here, mostly learning his craft. I don’t expect the fans that watched the sausage get made to have a rose-colored view of the player.

    It is also entirely possible that Oiler fans like myself over-value the player based on our own exposure to him.

  112. Spydyr says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think that reaction is totally justifiable.

    Gilbert spent a long time here, mostly learning his craft. I don’t expect the fans that watched the sausage get made to have a rose-colored view of the player.

    It is also entirely possible that Oiler fans like myself over-value the player based on our own exposure to him.

    An Oiler fan over valuing a player.Never happens .

  113. spoiler says:

    Considering how difficult it was for Gilbert to find work, I think there’s a definite possibility a lot of Oiler fans over-valued Gilbert.

    He was passed on every team in the league for a summer tryout and passed by every contender in the league, some with serious cap issues, for a PTO.

    Spydyr: No.Jones was a mistake.Thought I already said that.

    You’re right, you clearly did.

  114. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spydyr: An Oiler fan over valuing a player.Never happens .

    ha! nearly as often as oilers fan undervalue players! :)

    good reason to try to take account of other points of view and try to get as much bias out of one’s thinking.

    I think it is totally valid to note that NHL GMs soured one Gilbert for whatever reason. I’m just not convinced that’s enough of a reason to walk away from a value contract on what I still see as a useful player.

    At any rate, we’ll see this year if he can proof the nay-sayers wrong. I just hope he doesn’t enter into some victim narrative like Jones did.

  115. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: You’re right, you clearly did.

    Only to be strangely qualified and then qualified again.

  116. kooler says:

    How far away is a Kale Kessey from playing for the oil 4th? Grit player….he’s even put up points in the minors.

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