“GM’s face the challenge of being too much of a hurry sometimes when they’re young.” Bryan Murray in the book BEHIND THE MOVES frames the issue for Craig MacTavish right now. The Oilers new GM has been on the job less than a year, and has done some impressive things. I’d rate the Perron trade, the Gordon signing and the decision to keep Ales Hemsky as clear wins, and there were other moves designed to improve the number of actual NHL players on the roster that could work out longer term.
- Signed D Anton Belov. A solid, low-risk move that has paid off in a regular top 6 NHL defenseman. Plus arrow.
- Signed C Mark Arcobello. This didn’t seem like a big move at the time, but it has paid dividends. Plus arrow.
- Traded C Shawn Horcoff for D Phil Larsen and a pick. I didn’t like dealing him, but offloading the cap number set up the summer. Plus arrow.
- Signed D Andrew Ference. Hasn’t paid off as a hockey signing so far, we don’t really know if he’s impacting “the room.” Neutral arrow.
- Signed G Jason LaBarbera. Hasn’t paid off as a hockey signing so far, hasn’t helped Dubey. Down arrow.
- Signed C Boyd Gordon. A wildly successful signing. Top drawer. Bold plus arrow.
- Signed L Jesse Joensuu. It looked good early, we haven’t really seen him though. Neutral arrow.
- Signed C Will Acton. I know this won’t be popular, but he’s served the purpose, PK’s and has 2 goals. Plus arrow.
- Signed L Ryan Hamilton. We haven’t seen enough to say. Looks slow. Neutral arrow.
- Signed G Richard Bachman. We haven’t seen enough to say. That may change after last night. Neutral arrow.
- Signed R Ryan Jones. Jones hasn’t been much of a factor either way. Neutral arrow.
- Signed D Brad Hunt. Haven’t seen him since TC. Neutral arrow.
- Traded L Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 2nd rd pick to St. Louis for L David Perron. A long, deep, majestic home run that cuts through the October night like a missile and remains in the mind’s eye. Maybe forever. Bold plus arrow.
- Signed D Denis Grebeshkov. Identical to the Belov signing, although we have fewer sorties. Neutral arrow.
- Claimed L Steve MacIntyre on waivers. Hasn’t taken a regular season at bat. Neutral arrow.
- Clained L Luke Gazdic. He’s occupied a 4line spot, scored a goal and hasn’t cost too many. Neutral arrow.
- Traded R Mike Brown to San Jose for a 4th round pick in 2014. Gold. Plus arrow.
Craig MacTavish is a thinking man, and doubt he’s made a deal so far that didn’t receive a thorough examination. The problem for him now is that teams aren’t going to deal what he needs without taking a very large pile of currency the other way. I don’t know that you can win an October trade from 14th place in the conference, but I sure as hell know you can lose one.
The transactions above married themselves to the needs list. It’s interesting to see how all of them fit together–the Horcoff trade brings the Gordon signing, the Paajarvi trade opens up the Joensuu signing, et cetera. Not every move made will work out, but we’re a few weeks into the season and it’s interesting to look back:
THE MACT LIST
Top 4 defender(signed Ference) Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′s(Got it done late) 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, Bachman a backup option) Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etc(Perron, perfect fit) Find a 3line R(Joensuu, Hamilton, Jones, Pitlick, now Lander)
Find a 3line C(Gordon an ideal fit) Find a 4line C(Acton)
Better blue depth(Belov, Grebeshkov, Larsen, a long list)
Most Oiler fans believe the team needs a starting goaltender, and all Oiler fans would welcome a 30-minute a night, complete defenseman. Those things come only at a massive cost, and if we’re talking about acquiring those men it’s probably going to cost you a supreme slice of the future.
I would like to see a trade that helps the current team, but not at the cost of the future. Not now, not in November nor December either. If this is the Oilers fate–an improved team that the Hockey Gods mock, then so be it.
I’d rather miss the playoffs than trade Yakupov for a maybe goalie or a sometimes blue. The future belongs to the Oilers. No need to flush it.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN1260 at 10 this morning. Plenty of Oiler talk, scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. Patience, Yakupov, MacTavish, the powerplay.
- Neal Livingston from Tend The Farm. Pitlick, Lander, roster moves, Church outfits.n
- Brad Slater to talk NFL football. Seahawks in action tonight, we’ll talk about it.
- Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Senators are 4-5-2. What’s wrong?
- Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue. Perron, Bachman, if they trade what will go?
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on Twitter. It’ll be interesting!