Based on the latest information, we’re probably looking at Sam Gagner being back in the lineup sometime before the end of the month. The story from Joanne Ireland is here. The story for the Oilers when 89 returns: more depth.
POSSIBLE LINEUP WHEN 89 RETURNS (C-L-R)
- Ference-J Schultz
- Belov-N Schultz
- Dubnyk, LaBarbera
That’s what I’d do, of course there might be a goalie coming in (Dubnyk, Marincin and next year’s 1st? What does that get you?). I wonder how far away from the playoffs MacT will let this go. My suspicion is not far.
It’s kind of a scary moment for the fanbase, because this moment in time is both frustrating (on-ice performance) and alarming (national media saying “there isn’t anything the Edmonton Oilers aren’t at least looking at or considering”). If you’re thinking “fix the goaltending, add a top defender and a physical winger, dammit!” you might get what you’re asking for in one fell swoop!
And then it dawns on you: the price to be paid.
There are men in life who do, and those who watch. Craig MacTavish is a doer–he was as coach, and he is as a GM–and there’s very little doubt in my mind he’s going to do something to improve this team. Faced with another flushed season–even this early–I’d bet a 2-4 something gets done sooner than later. MacTavish wasn’t happy with the goaltending in the summer, wasn’t happy with the size/skill combination up front–put simply, he didn’t get Schneider and he didn’t get Clarkson.
I think we’re looking at a trade with Philly–they’re crazy, desperate and have a daredevil approach to trades. They’re also showing up as a trade partner in all kinds of places. Couturier, Coburn, Simmonds–you’re not getting one or more of those names without an outstanding young player heading the other way. There is also talk of Ryan Miller and Tomas Vanek coming to town.
I think the Oilers will get a goalie too, but it’s important to remember all the trade talk goes away with a strong performance or two. If the Oilers get a couple of wins on this road trip, we may see nothing. I think MacT must be convinced the goalie situation needs to be addressed at this point, we’ll find out a lot about the future if Dubnyk plays tonight.
If the Oilers are looking at bringing in some of these big names, some great talent is heading out of town. RW is the strongest area for the team, with defense and minor league defense being areas of strength. You’d have to think Yakupov or Eberle, Smid or Petry, Klefbom or Marincin and the 1st rd pick next summer are in play (if MacT’s talking at this level).
A strong game tonight and another on Saturday puts this talk to bed, in my opinion. However, there’s enough smoke here to believe Craig MacTavish is willing to deal some of the young cluster in an effort to rejoin the season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10 this morning, TSN1260. We’ll set the scene for the Oilers game and football tonight. Scheduled to appear:
- Harrison Mooney from the Vancouver Sun, Puck Daddy and Pass it to Bulis. We’ll talk Pacific Division, Canucks so far and what’s happening in Edmonton.
- Jesse Reynolds from Revenge of the Birds. We’ll talk about the Thursday nighter from the AZ point of view.
- Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk goaltending, possible trades, and the best way to get out of this mess.
- Paul Almeida from Azorcan Global. We’ll talk WJ’s and soccer trips to Europe.
- Brad Slater will come on to talk Seahawks.
Text 10-1260 or @Lowetide_ on twitter. This is going to be an interesting 72 hours.