#2 PROSPECT: D OSCAR KLEFBOM

Oscar Klefbom is viewed as most “NHL ready” of the high end blue prospects by the Oiler organization, but was unable to make the big club during training camp. His time in Oklahoma City should give him the experience needed (smaller ice, quicker decisions) to begin a long, strong NHL career in 2014.

 PREVIOUSLY NUMBER TWO ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2004: G Jeff Deslauriers
  • December 2005: C Marc-Antoine Pouliot
  • December 2006: C Rob Schremp
  • December 2007: C Andrew Cogliano
  • December 2008: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2009: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2010: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2011: C Anton Lander
  • December 2012: D Justin Schultz

 WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

Oscar Klefbom

  • Redline Report: Klefbom is a real Red Line favorite. He’s certainly the most overlooked of the top prospects, but is the best pure passer of the bunch, and his skating ranks only behind Murphy. He already makes pro style passes — crisp and with touch — and excels at breaking the trap with tremendous stretch passes through the neutral zone, showing great vision. He was also the natural leader on Sweden’s national under-18 team. All this comes wrapped in a 6-3, 196-pound package, and Klefbom has really stepped up the physical aspect of his game over the last 12 months. At Red Line, we believe he might ultimately become the best all-around balance of offensive upside and physical strength in this year’s class.

PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING

  • Summer 2011: 2
  • Winter 2011: 3
  • Summer 2012: 3
  • Winter 2012: 3
  • Summer 2013: 3
  • Winter 2013: 2

Oscar_Klefbom_062812_(1_of_1)_thumb

 WHAT THEY’RE SAYING THIS SEASON

  • MacT in spring:Klefbom is a guy everybody is anxiously awaiting to come into our lineup. It’s always dangerous to have too high of expectations for a young player, but he’s a very complete player for such a young player, so I think he’s going to really help back there”
  • More MacT in spring: “It’s never a bad thing to get a little of experience in the American Hockey League, but he’s very, very close because he did play last year against men (in the Swedish Elite League) for a short period of time before he got hurt.”
  • More More MacT in spring: “In the course of what I was doing this year early, I took a trip to Farjestad to watch Oscar. I went in there with one of our Swedish scouts, Pelle Eklund, and it was one of those games where I walked in, sat down, watched warm-up, Oscar came on the ice. The team that they were playing, Modo at the time, dumped the puck in the corner. Oscar pivoted and went back hard and fast for the puck. He fought off a pretty physical forecheck, turned to the back of the net, made a movement of the puck, a simple play, a direct pass up to the wall. That player subsequently turned the puck over. Oscar closed the gap in a hurry in the corner, used his stick, finished his check, knocked the guy off the puck, spun the other side of the net and moved the puck out. I turned to Pelle at the time and said, we can pretty much pack up our briefcase right now and get outta here, I’ve seen enough. I’m always a little bit skeptical when I hear very positive things without having seen them myself. I wanted to spend that trip, get over, take a look at Oscar and we have high hopes that he’ll be a part of our team very quickly. Whether he needs some time, we like to think that all players are benefited from some sort of time in the American Hockey League. Oscar, having played with men this year, might be an exception, but that will be determined at training camp for him.”
  • Corey Pronman: ”NHL GM on newly signed Oscar Klefbom. “Physically mature, great skater. Projects to play against best players and some offense.”
  • Todd Nelson: “Oscar is a defenseman’s defenseman. He really prides himself on playing good defensive hockey. He skates well. He’s a strong kid. He’s able to move the puck. He’s got a lot of skill. He just needs to play hockey games.”

Klefbom_Smiling_Draftday_thumb

2013-14

Klefbom is a top flight 2-way defensive prospect who fits the modern game. Good skater, physical and willing to jump into the play. Decision making has improved since draft day, injuries are a concern. Klefbom’s SEL totals (67, 3-4-7) and current AHL numbers (12, 0-1-1 -4) suggest he’s not going to get a lot of powerplay time, but the issues Edmonton is facing in their own end currently are listed on his resume. Good speed, good decisions, good passer. It’s only a matter of time, according to the scouts.

ETA KLEFBOM

Klefbom was thought to be close entering training camp, but the organization sent him down and haven’t sent for him yet. Based on several reports, it’s likely he’ll spend most or all of his debut North American season in the minors:

  • Todd Nelson: “Here in the minors we learn to play defensive hockey, how to play away from the puck, something he does pretty well. He’s a good skater. He can handle the puck. He has all those skills. He has that mindset of playing defense. That’s a big plus. He just needs some experience.”
  • MacT today (Nov 14): “I thought Klefbom would be ready to play at NHL level at beginning of the season, I was wrong about that.”
  • Jonathan Willis: Klefbom recorded his first career AHL point with the primary assist on Joel Broda’s second period goal. After the game, Todd Nelson was impressed by his ability to win puck battles along the board and said that’s something Klefbom can bring with him to the next level when he makes the jump. Klefbom also excelled at making breakout passes tonight.

I asked Jonathan Willis (who is in Oklahoma City covering the Barons this season for the Cult of Hockey) to give us his overall view of Klefbom as a player and how far he is from the NHL.

  • Willis: Klefbom has generally played quite well. He skates well, engages physically and moves the puck exceptionally for a defensive defenceman. The problem is that he’s still awfully raw. He doesn’t think the game like an NHL defenceman; he’ll get there but he needs time. How much time? At this point I’d pencil him in for third pairing minutes in the NHL next season and leave him with Todd Nelson for the rest of this year. He’s killing penalties and learning both sides of the ice in Oklahoma; it’s better for him to make those mistakes down here than at the NHL level where it’s going to cost the team and open the player up to high levels of criticism.

(cover photo by Rob Ferguson, others by Lisa McRitchie. All rights reserved).

In selecting Oscar Klefbom as the second best prospect for winter 2013, it’s with the knowledge that his ‘range of skills’ is extremely unlikely to include much offense when he arrives in the NHL. I believe he’ll clear the Smid-level contributions but will not play in all three disciplines as an NHL player. In this way, he trails Darnell Nurse and two others on the list in terms of range, but his defensive ability earns him this rank.

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94 Responses to "#2 PROSPECT: D OSCAR KLEFBOM"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “December 2011: C Anton Lander”

    Wow. that high, huh?

    Interesting list:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/12/winter-2011-top-20-prospects.html

  2. Lowetide says:

    #25 might end up being better than almost all of them

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/12/21-30-the-rest.html

  3. Hockeyman 99 says:

    I firmly believe he is our better Smid

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    #25 might end up being better than almost all of them

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/12/21-30-the-rest.html

    Hmmm… I don’t know… I don’t think he clears the top 5 (I don’t care if Hartikainen plays the rest of his career in the K, I still think he’ll be a better player long term; the two other question marks I think are better — Lander and Marincin).

    For me he’s ahead of

    Bunz, Hamilton, Musil, Davidson, Tuoh, Martindale

    (any of whom could catch him)

    Saws off with

    Gernat, Pitlick, Simpson, Rajala (I know… same as Harti)

    The rest are flushed.

  5. Hockeyman 99 says:

    I also think MacT agrees with Willis’s idea that he is a 3rd pair D next year and that is essentially what Smid was so he is expendable do to his Cap #.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Hmmm… I don’t know… I don’t think he clears the top 5 (I don’t care if Hartikainen plays the rest of his career in the K, I still think he’ll be a better player long term; the two other question marks I think are better — Lander and Marincin).

    For me he’s ahead of

    Bunz, Hamilton, Musil, Davidson, Tuoh, Martindale

    (any of whom could catch him)

    Saws off with

    Gernat, Pitlick, Simpson, Rajala (I know… same as Harti)

    The rest are flushed.

    Seems reasonable. We (I) get excited about these kids in junior/college/Euro 18 and 19 year old seasons and then the rubber hits the road at 20. Fedun’s an older gent too, so there’s less upside. I think there’s one name in that ‘saw off’ group who is going to surprise in a big way.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Seems reasonable. We (I) get excited about these kids in junior/college/Euro 18 and 19 year old seasons and then the rubber hits the road at 20. Fedun’s an older gent too, so there’s less upside. I think there’s one name in that ‘saw off’ group who is going to surprise in a big way.

    Does his dad hold the career shooting % title?

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Blain is another funny one… 14 seems high in hindsight, it’s so hard to put yourself back into a moment that’s past.

    ———-
    BTW who the hell is this guy

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8473557

    are we holding his NHL rights for some unknown reason… seems like unnecessary paperwork at this point, no?

    looks like he had a pretty good season last year:

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=9592

  9. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Does his dad hold the career shooting % title?

    Depending on what league you’re talking about, yes. :-)

  10. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Blain is another funny one… 14 seems high in hindsight, it’s so hard to put yourself back into a moment that’s past.

    ———-
    BTW who the hell is this guy

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8473557

    are we holding his NHL rights for some unknown reason… seems like unnecessary paperwork at this point, no?

    looks like he had a pretty good season last year:

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=9592

    There used to be a secondary ‘negotiating’ list about 80 deep. Maybe they still have it.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Depending on what league you’re talking about

    Funny thing about that list, the guy right under him is Charlie Simmer.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/shot_pct_career.html

    Also, 3 coaches in the top 10 (if you include Craig)

  12. OilClog says:

    I’ll believe he’s our new Smid when he’s crushing faces against the boards, with a nasty snarl on his face, swearing in 4 languages combined. Not until then.

  13. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=691567&navid=nhl:topheads

    Kadri 3 games

    What about the next head target he engaged in? You think they’ll follow up with another suspension? They should, and they should probably use the first incident as a history to increase the second one. I’d give him two for the first because he has no history of these incidents, and 5 for the second. It was a disgusting display. Aren’t league reviews mandatory in the case of a 5 min major plus game misconduct?

  14. Ripoux says:

    Nurse with 2 assists, including 1 on the PP tonight. Still a period to go. Hounds continue to power along leading 5-2.

  15. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Funny thing about that list, the guy right under him is Charlie Simmer.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/shot_pct_career.html

    Also, 3 coaches in the top 10 (if you include Craig)

    That’s a heck of a list. Rick Middleton should be in the HOF. What a player.

  16. B.C.B says:

    Can you guess who would be a better player?

    6’3″ 209 lbs left shooting defenseman that was selected 9th overall
    League GP G A Pts PIM
    age 16 Season CZE 4 0 0 0 0
    age 17 Season CZE 45 1 1 2 51
    age 18 Season CZE 39 1 3 4 14
    age 19 Season AHL 71 3 25 28 48

    or

    6’3″ 204 lbs left shooting defenseman that was selected 19th overall
    League GP G A Pts PIM
    age 16 season J18 Elit 19 6 10 16 1
    age 17 season SHL 23 1 1 2 2
    age 18 season SHL 33 2 0 2 4
    age 19 season SHL 11 0 3 3 2

    ???

  17. sliderule says:

    If the oilers continue on their present path Mact will bring up Klefbom and Marincin for a 10 to 20 game test .
    Klefbom played better than Brodin at WJC and I think that’s a better reflection of his ability than either Willis or Nelson’s assessment as I trust neither.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule: Klefbom played better than Brodin at WJC and I think that’s a better reflection of his ability than either Willis or Nelson’s assessment as I trust neither.

    Is this sarcasm?

  19. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B:
    Can you guess who would be a better player?

    6’3″ 209 lbs left shooting defenseman that was selected 9th overallLeagueGPGAPtsPIM
    age 16 SeasonCZE40000
    age 17 SeasonCZE4511251
    age 18 SeasonCZE3913414
    age 19 SeasonAHL713252848

    or

    6’3″ 204 lbs left shooting defenseman that was selected 19th overallLeagueGPGAPtsPIM
    age 16 seasonJ18 Elit19610161
    age 17 seasonSHL231122
    age 18 seasonSHL332024
    age 19 seasonSHL110332

    ???

    By all accounts Klef can pass much better than Smid

  20. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    No you are the sarcastic one.

  21. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B,

    And if you’re going to play this game, you need to include this guy:

    Age 16 SEL 3 0 0 0
    Age 17 SEL 42 0 4 4
    Age 18 SEL 49 0 8 8

  22. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Woodguy,

    And that is what is missing in Smids game. He gets pinned down in his own end and skates into the corner on rushes because he can’t handle and pass the puck at NHL speed. It also creates problems for his partner as he’s not able to make those little passes in his own end to get away from pressure and other teams know this and pressure even more making the problem worse.

  23. Woodguy says:

    He skates well, engages physically and moves the puck exceptionally for a defensive defenceman.

    The Oilers need this in a very bad way this year.

    By eye a key reason they continue to get out shot is that they are reverting to dumping the puck out of the zone.

    I think they’re playing a little scared of making a mistake in their own zone so lofty dumps and off the glass have taken over from an organized break out.

    A calming presence who can make a good first pass is pure gold for this team right now. However rookies are rarely calm. Swedish rookies might be different.

    I’ve been missing Shultz the Younger for this reason as well.

    For all his defensive miscues, and jamming the puck blindly up the boards to avoid checks in his own zone, he does take control and make a nice pass a lot as well.

    My guess is that we have to wait for a LHD injury or Shultz the Elder to be traded before we see Klef up here.

    Which is fine.

  24. B.C.B says:

    Woodguy,

    Here is an article by ‘Redline’ before Smid’s draft. The money quote:
    “Smid, a very sound positional defender with good size and passing skills, has been dropping due to some poor decision making at the offensive end and a weak shot.”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/woodlief/2004-06-20-woodlief-draft-d_x.htm

    I was under the impression that Smid was billed as a ‘raw’ 4 tool Dman: missing the shot. Maybe I am being too hard on Klefbom but if he turns out as good as Smid that is still a big win. If he brings more offense that makes it a bigger win. Smid had a points per game at roughly 0.137, or just north of 11 points per 82 game season. How many more points would be reason for to Klefbom get per season than Smid?

  25. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Woodguy,

    Hopefully he earns his way like Arcobello.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Woodguy,

    And that is what is missing in Smids game. He gets pinned down in his own end and skates into the corner on rushes because he can’t handle and pass the puck at NHL speed. It also creates problems for his partner as he’s not able to make those little passes in his own end to get away from pressure and other teams know this and pressure even more making the problem worse.

    The year he played with Vis it really looked like he was getting it.

    Button hooks to relieve pressure, skating before passing, hitting a guy on the fly.

    It all seemed to leave with Vis and he went back to skating himself into the boards.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule: NADIR’S RAIDERS

    Ok… so you’re taking your own impressions of a very small sample size from year’s ago as more authoritative than two people currently watching every move he makes now?

    That, or you simply think they are both dissemblers.

  28. Hockeyman 99 says:

    B.C.B,

    I couldn’t care less about the points. We need to improve our transition game and hopefully he can do that better than Laddy once he gets to Edm.

  29. B.C.B says:

    Woodguy,

    Yes, I understand Brodin is great. I hope Klefbom is great too. I just think Smid is pretty good, and should be a reasonable comparison for Klefbom until we season at least one season with the Swede having better offensive numbers than the Czech. Then I will change my mind.

    PS: I do think I was being obvious in my first post . . . but sometimes I am not as clear as I was trying to be.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: What about the next head target he engaged in?You think they’ll follow up with another suspension?They should, and they should probably use the first incident as a history to increase the second one.I’d give him two for the first because he has no history of these incidents, and 5 for the second.It was a disgusting display.Aren’t league reviews mandatory in the case of a 5 min major plus game misconduct?

    It’s more than I honestly thought he would get. In the video you can hear Shanahan really wants to take Kadri’s side, but the evidence is simply overwhelming.

    At TSN Naylor and O’Neill rip it apart and go after Backstrom for flopping. Classic toronto media coverage. These guys are embedded.

  31. stevezie says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    I didn’t originally have a problem with the second hit. After seeing a replay, Kadri did elevate for no reason, other than that I didn’t think it was charging, boarding, elbowing or interference. I’m fine with the game ejection.

  32. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You got it

  33. Pablo Aimar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Same as the clowns here in Edmonton then. Although embedded is perhaps understating it.

  34. justDOit says:

    Pablo Aimar,

    Inserted?

  35. Old School G says:

    Rom,

    I spoke out of line in LT’s previous post earlier today. I questioned MacT’s hockey intelligence in regards to building a balanced roster and you called me on it. I had not yet had a chance to watch MacT’s presser. I have since had the chance to listen to both MacT and Eakins answer some really tough questions and am back to being cautiously confident in their direction for this team; I feel bad about what I suggested and thank you for calling me on it.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Old School G:
    Rom,

    I spoke out of line in LT’s previous post earlier today. I questioned MacT’s hockey intelligence in regards to building a balanced roster and you called me on it. I had not yet had a chance to watch MacT’s presser. I have since had the chance to listen to both MacT and Eakins answer some really tough questions and am back to being cautiously confident in their direction for this team; I feel bad about what I suggested and thank you for calling me on it.

    Ha!

    we’re all pissed or resigned around here… venting is pretty much necessary. I wouldn’t worry about it. You’ll have plenty of reasons to challenge MacT’s hockey intelligence going forward (all GMs do things to give one pause and MacT is still as WG says, a “rookie”).

    He’s made a lot of mistakes… one being — as he acknowledged today — he clearly thought it would be easier to get to the balance you were saying he’d thought he’d reached.

  37. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: At TSN Naylor and O’Neill rip it apart and go after Backstrom for flopping. Classic toronto media coverage. These guys are embedded.

    The guy is out with a concussion, is he not? Disgraceful.

    stevezie:
    theres oil in virginia,
    I didn’t originally have a problem with the second hit. After seeing a replay, Kadri did elevate for no reason, other than that I didn’t think it was charging, boarding, elbowing or interference. I’m fine with the game ejection.

    He elevated, if his skates didn’t leave the ice then they very nearly did, and targeted the head. I saw it as a textbook example of what the league says they want out of the game. If it was Andy Sutton delivering that hit, I suspect that he’s sitting out 10 games.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Continuing a thought…

    Let’s break MacT’s immediate future into 5 segments and try to set goals for success for each one:

    1. Try not to die segment (Today through Olympic Break, Feb 9th-25th)
    –Don’t trade the future.
    –Look to securing key RFAs/UFAs (Petry, Belov, Schultz, Arco)
    –Add pieces if they become available. watch waiver wire. dump anything useless that you can (like the brown trade)
    –Keep key prospects in positions to succeed (ie., Klef, Marincin on the farm)

    2. Abandon dead wood, cautious building for future (End of Olympic Break to Trade Deadline, March 5th)
    –Trade off UFAs and extra contracts for draft picks (prime possible targets: N. Schultz, Hemsky, Bryz, Jones, Potter, Smyth)
    –Look to secure RFAs
    –Add pieces if they become available
    –Cup of coffee time for possible prospects (Pitlick, Marincin, Klef, Fedun, Davidson, etc.)

    3. Finish strong, leave a good taste (Trade deadline to end of Reg. Season — last game April 12th)
    –Sign key free agents
    –Cup of coffee

    4. Draft the future (End of Season to Draft Day, June 27–28)
    –draft Draisaitl
    –trade picks and players for picks and players

    5. Free Agent Frenzy (Draft day through Free agent days, July 1st through the Summer)
    –scout and sign talent
    –exploit College and Euro players

    Any thoughts?

  39. spoiler says:

    And COL’s unsustainably sky-high SV% begins it’s descent back to earth, courtesy of the Blues.

  40. Lois Lowe says:

    To my eye, Schultz the Elder and Ference are the ones who really struggle to make the first pass. At least Smid could skate the puck out from time to time.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    1 hour ago
    @GMillerTSN: My Mom asked two tough questions at dinner tonight in Edmonton: “What’s wrong with the Oilers?” and “What exactly did Rob Ford say today?”

  42. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    1 hour ago
    @GMillerTSN: My Mom asked two tough questions at dinner tonight in Edmonton: “What’s wrong with the Oilers?” and “What exactly did Rob Ford say today?”

    You can’t answer either one of those without cursing.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:
    And COL’s unsustainably sky-high SV% begins it’s descent back to earth, courtesy of the Blues.

    Any idea when Magnus is coming back?

  44. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    1 hour ago
    @GMillerTSN: My Mom asked two tough questions at dinner tonight in Edmonton: “What’s wrong with the Oilers?” and “What exactly did Rob Ford say today?”

    theres oil in virginia: You can’t answer either one of those without cursing.

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 1m

    In Toronto the “P” word is P_ _ _ _ in Edmonton the “P” word is Patience!

    Oil Country ‏@loc8ingoil 2m
    @Bob_Stauffer

    pathetic is more like it

  45. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I appreciated MacT stepping up today and providing some perspective and transparency on the state of affairs. It was needed. However, I was left disappointed. I believe in MacT and consider him intelligent, level headed, humble, decisive and generally transparent. What I didn’t like is the degree of ‘sheltering’ that permeated his answers.

    I understand he wanted to convey support and stability but he really needed to be more straight.

    Eakins will get time. Fine. I agree. But, state he is a rookie coach drinking from a firehouse and needs to gain his footing for success. He has made mistakes but is adaptable and smart and will rise to the occasion. Not that he is on point in his messaging. That’s rubbish.

    The sheltering of the players must stop. Give Yak some rope. He’s a legitimate rookie. But the others are now professionals. Young yes. Still learning? Yes. But what has been displayed isn’t close to good enough. It needs to be and will be expected to be better. Call it what it is, brutal play with terrible results. Its not about being ‘frustrated’ or liking what you’re seeing. That isn’t the message i want. i need to hear this team will be better and will stand toe to toe with their competitive peers and the fuse to tolerate these results is getting exceptionally short. I had a similar feeling on the sheltering when they went with Ference as captain with the rationale being the ‘kids’ weren’t ready yet. That’s a cop out in my opinion. To do such things just sets the stage for the dynamic I see today and the pervasive lack of accountability. If Hall is going to lead this team, do it all-in and get on with it. He’s not a punk anymore. Don’t skirt the expectation. I’m not a fan of Burke but his message under similar circumstances would have been quite different and I dare say so would the team dynamics and on ice results. Today’s presser was a wax job. I expect more by now. No excuses, no ‘political’ messaging and no more damn sheltering. Time to kick the bar up a couple rungs and dial up the heat.

  46. Logan91 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Continuing a thought…

    Let’s break MacT’s immediate future into 5 segments and try to set goals for success for each one:

    1. Try not to die segment (Today through Olympic Break, Feb 9th-25th)
    –Don’t trade the future.
    –Look to securing key RFAs/UFAs (Petry, Belov, Schultz, Arco)
    –Add pieces if they become available. watch waiver wire. dump anything useless that you can (like the brown trade)
    –Keep key prospects in positions to succeed (ie., Klef, Marincin on the farm)

    2. Abandon dead wood, cautious building for future (End of Olympic Break to Trade Deadline, March 5th)
    –Trade off UFAs and extra contracts for draft picks (prime possible targets: N. Schultz, Hemsky, Bryz, Jones, Potter, Smyth)
    –Look to secure RFAs
    –Add pieces if they become available
    –Cup of coffee time for possible prospects (Pitlick, Marincin, Klef, Fedun, Davidson, etc.)

    3. Finish strong, leave a good taste (Trade deadline to end of Reg. Season — last game April 12th)
    –Sign key free agents
    –Cup of coffee

    4. Draft the future (End of Season to Draft Day, June 27–28)
    –draft Draisaitl
    –trade picks and players for picks and players

    5. Free Agent Frenzy (Draft day through Free agent days, July 1st through the Summer)
    –scout and sign talent
    –exploit College and Euro players

    Any thoughts?

    You really like Leon, don’t you? :)

  47. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Any idea when Magnus is coming back?

    I suspect the Blues are using their IR like a taxi squad, so I expect him to be injured till another winger is injured.

  48. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Before we go anywhere with this we need to figure out who MacT’s 9 core guys are. There’s the obvious of course but who do you figure makes up MacT’s core group?

  49. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    It’s hurting to watch Sequin elevating his game and leading the Stars. Just another haymaker to the twig and berries when we’re down. I look forward to happier times.

  50. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    So if MacTavish trades the 2014 1st, does your allegiance alter depending on the draft? ;)

    Personally, I’m torn on the idea of that kind of move. Rebuilding is done through the draft, but so is sustainable team management. They are already without a 2nd, and while this isn’t the deepest draft in the world, I’m loathe to start sending those potential prospects away this early.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: Today’s presser was a wax job.

    Brazilian?

    Hey-Oh!!

    Logan91: You really like Leon, don’t you?

    Very, very much so.

    spoiler: I suspect the Blues are using their IR like a taxi squad, so I expect him to be injured till another winger is injured.

    Sounds right. He was basically only in the lineup (IIRC) to cover for Max Lap’s suspension, right?

    But, it still sounded like he may have been pretty badly hurt… and I still care about the guy.

    Old School G:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Before we go anywhere with this we need to figure out who MacT’s 9 core guys are. There’s the obvious of course but who do you figure makes up MacT’s core group?

    Iet’s play!

    my guess at MacT’s order of preference:

    1. Hall
    2. Bumagin*
    3. Ebs
    4. Yak
    5. Nurse
    6. J. Schultz
    7. Gagner
    8. Klefbom
    9. Petry

    *should read RNH.

    It’s possible he has Ference in there for Petry (certainly the contract says so) and I wonder how high he has Marincin (definitely not protected… but it’s possible he has him higher than I think he does).

  52. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You know, I’m not sure Gagner makes that batting order.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    So if MacTavish trades the 2014 1st, does your allegiance alter depending on the draft?

    Personally, I’m torn on the idea of that kind of move. Rebuilding is done through the draft, but so is sustainable team management. They are already without a 2nd, and while this isn’t the deepest draft in the world, I’m loathe to start sending those potential prospects away this early.

    I think you don’t trade 1st rounders basically ever, unless you are getting some really, damn good final piece to the puzzle.

    And if you are in the top 10… you are basically throwing your foot away and trying to walk for the next decade without it.

    One thing to consider is the 2015 draft. It is going to be a deep draft (so they say), however, this year’s pick is probably going to be a top 10 pick and next year might be in the mid to late teens (so we think).

    I don’t know if that is a wash or what in terms of value (higher in a weaker draft or lower in a stronger one?)… but it is something to consider… teams may value the 2015 pick more and we may value it less.

  54. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Brazilian?

    Hey-Oh!!

    You are a card, sir.

    Well, done!

    Seguin gets a hat trick against the Flames early in the 3rd.

  55. hunter1909 says:

    Klefbom offers nothing but more sucking on a gas pipe with injuries and loss of development. Healthy he’d be a great prospect. Defencemen with injuries remind me too much of Colton Teubert.

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: It’s hurting to watch Sequin elevating his game and leading the Stars. Just another haymaker to the twig and berries when we’re down. I look forward to happier times.

    I really like Seguin last night. He stripped the puck off one of the Oiler players and scored a deceptively excellent goal.

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You know, I’m not sure Gagner makes that batting order.

    He doesn’t make mine… but I think he makes MacT’s. He’s referred to his “character” a number of times and gave him the NMC.

    ———-
    Moroz with an assist tonight so far.

  57. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Someone else said this earlier today, but would you trade that 1st for Larsson on NJ?

  58. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B:
    Woodguy,

    Yes, I understand Brodin is great.I hope Klefbom is great too. I just think Smid is pretty good, and should be a reasonable comparison for Klefbom until we season at least one season with the Swede having better offensive numbers than the Czech.Then I will change my mind.

    PS:I do think I was being obvious in my first post . . . but sometimes I am not as clear as I was trying to be.

    Just having fun with it.

    MacT is moving out the guys who can’t move the puck and moving in guys who can.

    Getting one who can move the puck while also being able to break up the cycle is a missing ingredient.

    As far as I can tell only Petry does that with any regularity and Ference is over his head at 1LD.

    Hey look!

    The Oilers defense corps are all slotted above their established NHL proficiency level!

    I haven’t seen that since everyday from Oct 2007 until today!

    There’s the real problem MacT needs to overcome and Dmen mature slowly.

  59. Woodguy says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You know, I’m not sure Gagner makes that batting order.

    MacT loves Gagner to death.

    GM’s should never fall in love with their own players.

    His allegiance to Gagner may be his undoing if the Oilers 2nd line becomes the permanent home of being outshot and outscored by middling NHL players.

    And by permanent I mean in the future, not permanent like what has happened for the last 7 years.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Damn your moderating eyes!

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Someone else said this earlier today, but would you trade that 1st for Larsson on NJ?

    I watch so few NJD games that I really couldn’t say authoritatively one way or the other. A quick glance at this year and last:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&s=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=N.J&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+11+12+13+14+15+16#

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&s=30&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=N.J&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+11+12+13+14+15+16

    Show some nice things, but I really don’t know what his ceiling is… to make it worth while he has to be well clear of Petry and J. Schultz on the right side long term. I’m not in a position to know if he can be.

  62. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think you don’t trade 1st rounders basically ever, unless you are getting some really, damn good final piece to the puzzle.

    And if you are in the top 10… you are basically throwing your foot away and trying to walk for the next decade without it.

    One thing to consider is the 2015 draft. It is going to be a deep draft (so they say), however, this year’s pick is probably going to be a top 10 pick and next year might be in the mid to late teens (so we think).

    I don’t know if that is a wash or what in terms of value (higher in a weaker draft or lower in a stronger one?)… but it is something to consider… teams may value the 2015 pick more and we may value it less.

    The relative value of a high end 18 year old and a mid-high 21 year old with NHL experience may be fairly equal due to lack of variance with the 21 year old compared to the 18 year old and the ability to be on a NHL roster and contribute today.

    If the Oilers first isn’t top two (I would set the line that its outside the top 2 at -250 or more) then the player is probably 3 years away from contributing in a soft minutes role.

    Taylor Hall is only 3 years from UFA then and Eberle 2 years.

    This team needs help now.

  63. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    We’re right there the only difference I have is Marincin for Petry, but could go either way like you say. Ference is protected for the next few years, I don’t mind that.

    Is Broissot the backup for the big club next year?

    So now MacT has a second group of quality players outside of the untouchables on the current roster. Perron, Hemsky, Gordon, Belov, Larsen, NSchultz to name a few. His real job now is figuring out which players from this secondary list he should keep. I think this is the true make or break for him.

    What’s your take?

  64. spoiler says:

    Kyle Platzer is taking on the Kingston Frontenacs on Sportsnet One tomorrow at 5pm. By himself. Nice prelude to the Sharknado slaughters the Drops.

    I’m not going to mention any of the draft prospects playing because we’re trading our 1st for a Dman on an ELC, or good value 2nd contract. Apparently.

  65. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: MacT loves Gagner to death.

    GM’s should never fall in love with their own players.

    His allegiance to Gagner may be his undoing if the Oilers 2nd line becomes the permanent home of being outshot and outscored by middling NHL players.

    And by permanent I mean in the future, not permanent like what has happened for the last 7 years.

    Gagner is really the player that should be traded for a Dman. After all, that’s the draft year we should have recognized REBUILD! and drafted the slowest developing skater. McDonagh was the best available that year in his slot. I’m being a little bit facetious here, but only a bit.

  66. RexLibris says:

    Seguin gets his 4th tonight against the Flames.

  67. fifthcartel says:

    Versteeg to Chicago eh.

  68. spoiler says:

    I hereby nominate SHARKNADO for consideration as the title for tomorrow’s game day blog.

  69. spoiler says:

    fifthcartel:
    Versteeg to Chicago eh.

    Just confirmed on Sportsnet Connected.

  70. RexLibris says:

    I’ve been hesitant to embrace the “trade Gagner (Gagne, Ganger, etc)” movement.

    However, with the (albeit early) emergence of Arcobello I would make that deal now.

    I’ve been wondering if something like Gagner and our 1st would be fair value for Simmonds and Coburn? Gagner for Kulikov? He has been here for so long it is difficult to get a read on his perceived value around the league.

    Flames lose 7-3.

  71. speeds says:

    Woodguy: The relative value of a high end 18 year old and a mid-high 21 year old with NHL experience may be fairly equal due to lack of variance with the 21 year old compared to the 18 year old and the ability to be on a NHL roster and contribute today.

    If the Oilers first isn’t top two (I would set the line that its outside the top 2 at -250 or more) then the player is probably 3 years away from contributing in a soft minutes role.

    Taylor Hall is only 3 years from UFA then and Eberle 2 years.
    This team needs help now.

    Yes, the team needs help now, but I thought the idea was to set up a competitive window for the next decade plus?

    I’m not saying they definitely should not trade the pick, depends what you get, but I don’t think they should move it now unless they can either lottery protect it (in which case the value drops) or until they have a better idea where it is.

    If you want to use draft picks to get a D, keep the top pick and offer sheet a D like Kulikov this summer.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: The relative value of a high end 18 year old and a mid-high 21 year old with NHL experience may be fairly equal due to lack of variance with the 21 year old compared to the 18 year old and the ability to be on a NHL roster and contribute today.

    If the Oilers first isn’t top two (I would set the line that its outside the top 2 at -250 or more) then the player is probably 3 years away from contributing in a soft minutes role.

    Taylor Hall is only 3 years from UFA then and Eberle 2 years.

    This team needs help now.

    I don’t disagree with any of this.

    I just want to make sure we place the bar pretty damn high for a 1st rounder, esp. a top 10, likely top 5 or 6 pick.

    I get that we need help now… but I’m adverse to trading the future in general and I really don’t want to get pennies on the dollar.

    MacT basically said it right today: he’d trade the pick, but so far hasn’t seen an offer to rises to the price. I want to keep the conversation running along those tracks and I’m really hoping the fear of losing more this year doesn’t inspire something rash.

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds: If you want to use draft picks to get a D, keep the top pick and offer sheet a D like Kulikov this summer.

    I like this.

  74. Nostradumbass says:

    RexLibris: I’ve been hesitant to embrace the “trade Gagner (Gagne, Ganger, etc)” movement. However, with the (albeit early) emergence of Arcobello I would make that deal now. I’ve been wondering if something like Gagner and our 1st would be fair value for Simmonds and Coburn? Gagner for Kulikov? He has been here for so long it is difficult to get a read on his perceived value around the league.Flames lose 7-3.

    Why are we all forgetting the “verbal no trade agreement” that exists as part of Gagner signing this summer?

    He’s not being moved this year and he has a a NTC/NMC clause that kicks in next year

    Doubt he’s waiving that year one of his new contract to go to Florida

  75. fuzzy muppet says:

    Let me drum up some controversy: taylor Hall just tweeted out his bday picks of him at dinner with 89, 14, 19, and 26.

    I dont see 64 anywhere. Maybe that locker room and so rosy with the “core”.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Old School G:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    We’re right there the only difference I have is Marincin for Petry, but could go either way like you say. Ference is protected for the next few years, I don’t mind that.

    Is Broissot the backup for the big club next year?

    So now MacT has a second group of quality players outside of the untouchables on the current roster. Perron, Hemsky, Gordon, Belov, Larsen, NSchultz to name a few. His real job now is figuring out which players from this secondary list he should keep. I think this is the true make or break for him.

    What’s your take?

    Your list has Marincin in for Petry, or you think MacT has him in for Petry?

    My list and my MacT list has Petry ahead, but we don’t know what Marincin can really be yet and I really like the kid.

    ————

    I think it would be highly unlikely for Brossoit to make the club next year. He’s a year younger than Bunz and 2 younger than Tuoh. Both Bunz and Tuoh are under contract next year (Tuoh probably comes to NA, probably to the ECHL).

    Of the random collection of Gs in the current system (Bachman, Brossoit, Bunz, Tuoh, Rimmer — not all under contract next year) I’d think Bachman has the best chance at playing with the big club in the backup capacity with the others fighting for AHL spots.

    Probably the G depth will look very, very different next October.

    ———
    I’d say MacT’s own acquisitions will be his most dear of the extra list: Belov, Perron, Gordon and maybe Larsen.

    N. Schultz is gone.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I like this.

    Me too, but they won’t use it.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Let me drum up some controversy:taylor Hall just tweeted out his bday picks ofhim at dinner with 89, 14, 19, and 26.

    I dont see 64 anywhere.Maybe that locker room and so rosy with the “core”.

    This is the last thing I would worry about.

    If they are pissy with him that’s one thing… but no one is under obligation to be buddies with anyone. yak beats his own drum.

    Frankly the best part there is seeing Arco out of with the boys.

    Having a picture of Whitney in your background is a little outdated… mind you they were pals.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Me too, but they won’t use it.

    Can we unpack that…

    Are they gun shy after the Vanek/Penner situation?

    If so, is it because they don’t want to upset the market, or because they think it is a bad tool, or both?

    at any rate, this is an interesting article:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/top-10-significant-nhl-offer-sheets/

  80. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Looks like FLA retained a hell of a lot of salary on this Versteeg deal

    http://www.capgeek.com/panthers/

  81. dangilitis says:

    From Edmonton Sun:

    “Everyone is an individual and you can’t control what everyone else is thinking,” said Hall. “But as far as the guys I’m playing on a line with (Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), I haven’t seen anything like that.

    “Is it hard playing in a market like this when you’re losing? For sure. But is it going to be a heck of a lot more fun when we do end up winning? Yeah. I think that’s the light at the end of the tunnel we’re looking forward to.”

    Hall says all the right things, but not the boring scripted Crosby stuff.
    I still remember how impressed I was after listening to his Oilers interview before being drafted.

    Lets hope they find that light sometime this year.

    First things first, there’s stubbornness and there’s arrogant stubbornness. The former is keeping the coach. The latter is bringing in Gazdic to help the coach. The former is helping shelter Yak. The latter is misusing Arcobello and breaking up 4-93-14. Let’s get back to the stubbornness that I can live with.

    I am hoping that the Flames gift Hall with a belated birthday gift of a multi-point performance, that we can at least use to silence what inevitable blasting he will receive at the hands of Dead cat bounce/DSF after tonight’s 4 goal performance from Seguin.

  82. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Looks like FLA retained a hell of a lot of salary on this Versteeg deal

    http://www.capgeek.com/panthers/

    Wow. Great trade for the Blackhawks. Getting a guy like Versteeg at only 2.2 M for basically free is highway robbery.

    This trade makes absolutely no sense for the Panthers. They get nothing and they don’t save that much money.

  83. Caramel Obvious says:

    If the Panthers are giving away players and keeping salary Brian Campbell sure would help.

  84. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    he isn’t helping them.

  85. Lois Lowe says:

    Nick Schultz is the highest paid defenceman on the Oilers. That might be why they are last in the Western Conference.

  86. art vandelay says:

    Remember when people ’round these parts were predicting Klefbomb in the top pair this year?
    Cause I do.

  87. tsunami says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Nick Schultz is the highest paid defenceman on the Oilers. That might be why they are last in the Western Conference.

    Bingo

  88. DeadmanWaking says:

    art vandelay: predicting

    It’s a great and valued human art form spouting the most optimistic possible thing that doesn’t get you instantly voted off the island. I wouldn’t call it “prediction” exactly.

    Then there are others who “predict” than any player over the age of 27 is on a permanent down slope, plus or minus some fluctuation, which diminishes in decade or so, if not sooner. I wouldn’t call that a prediction, either.

  89. Andy P says:

    Old School G: Romulus Apotheosis, Before we go anywhere with this we need to figure out who MacT’s 9 core guys are. There’s the obvious of course but who do you figure makes up MacT’s core group?

    How about Hall Nuge Eberle Gasgs Yak Jultz Petry Ference Gordon

  90. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree with you. Hemsky, Larsen, Marincin, NSchultz seem to be his bargaining chips.

    Now that I see the ‘bargaining chip’ players I’m not so sure they attract a whole lot of interest as they stand. Am I being too hard on our guys?

    We got Larsen for Horcoff albeit in the process of shedding salary, who would we get for say Nick Schultz?

    I have to think that MacT is 50/50 on tossing that first rounder in a package this year…unless Bryz plays out of his mind and his value goes waaaaay up, giving MacT either a “solid” goaltending option or becoming a player we can trade for value.

  91. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Old School G:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree with you.Hemsky, Larsen, Marincin, NSchultz seem to be his bargaining chips.

    Now that I see the ‘bargaining chip’ players I’m not so sure they attract a whole lot of interest as they stand. Am I being too hard on our guys?

    We got Larsen for Horcoff albeit in the process of shedding salary, who would we get for say Nick Schultz?

    I have to think that MacT is 50/50 on tossing that first rounder in a package this year…unless Bryz plays out of his mind and his value goes waaaaay up, giving MacT either a “solid” goaltending option or becoming a player we can trade for value.

    I don’t think you do those players in a “hockey trade” unless they are for minor pieces or involve a bigger piece or mixed with picks/prospects.

    The best way to flip marginal players for real players to is maximize the market. Flip them for picks when their value is highest (trade deadline), then flip the picks for players when the value of picks is highest (draft).

  92. nelson88 says:

    OilClog: I’ll believe he’s our new Smid when he’s crushing faces against the boards, with a nasty snarl on his face, swearing in 4 languages combined. Not until then.

    Given his injury history it is more likely we will get to watch Smid v2.0 and the next 3 years of Klefbom getting his head slammed into the boards for 200 or so games.

    I don’t believe his offensive ceiling is any higher than Smid’s. Most overrated prospect in the system in my opinion. Hope I’m wrong.

  93. rickithebear says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    I also think MacT agrees with Willis’s idea that he is a 3rd pair D next year and that is essentially what Smid was so he is expendable do to his Cap #.

    Smid who faced the other teams best last year by Shot chart Play.
    12-13
    All Shot 36G /479 SH 7.5%
    0-10FT 5G / 46 SHT 10.9%
    10-20 ft 10G / 104 sht 9.6%
    20-30 ft 6G / 90 sht 6.7%
    >30 15G / 239 6.3%
    6 of the 15 from 30-35FT

    Shea Weber
    12-13
    All Shot 43G /484 SH 7.1%
    0-10FT 5G / 41 SHT 12.2%
    10-20 ft 13G / 90 sht 14.4%
    20-30 ft 8G / 86 sht 9.3%
    >30 8G / 267 3%
    5 of 8 from 30-35ft

    Smid was a superior Dman than SHea weber from 35ft in.
    the real difference was goals given up from >35ft.

    We just traded this guy cause we have a new coach that turned an elite Dpair into crap.

    there is no way weber gets better results than smid on this team run by Eakins.

    it makes me sick!

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