DEUCES AND THREES

Twenty years from now, I expect we’ll all gather around the Al Gore (I wonder if this blog will still be going) and discuss the 2010-15 Oilers with great fondness. Reason? They have wonderful futures and we’ll likely forget most of the bad times (believe me, it happens).

Azorcan3Early in Bowman’s coaching tenure in St. Louis, (Glenn) Hall had watched Bowman set the psychological tone of his relationship with the team. It was, as (Jimmy Roberts) notes, a team that had many players who were older than him, who had been around the block. Bowman looked to the ceiling with his hands in his pockets and said:

  • “There are 20 guys in here who probably have twenty different ways to make out the lineup. I suppose you all have a better way to shuffle this deck and come up with a winning hand. (pause). But let me tell you this, gentlemen: You can’t shuffle deuces and threes.”

(the above passages come from the brilliant book A Life In Hockey: Scotty Bowman).

The Oilers have problems everywhere, but you can make a case that given an entire season, the club could cobble together two magnificent scoring lines from the 7 men named Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Perron and Hemsky (and we should add in Arcobello, but more on that later). If that group of seven can post career average (Yakupov doesn’t have a career average but you get the point) numbers the offense should be there (the first 16 games aside).

What then, are we to make of the bottom 6F’s under the MacT watch? The Oilers have been shuffling deuces and threes for years now, is it any better? Bowman’s deuces and threes were minor league veterans and once he owned them (that little speech and measuring out ice time meant Bowman owned their hockey souls) the Blues were a much improved team.

Are the Oilers on the right track? How can they improve the group below the skilled men?

THIRD AND FOURTH LINES (ENTERING LAST NIGHT)

tomei4

  • C Boyd Gordon (237 minutes, 174EV 46PK 17PP)
  • C Will Acton (116 minutes, 81EV, 35SH)
  • L Ryan Smyth (111 minutes 89EV, 19SH)
  • L Ryan Jones (91 minutes 81EV 9SH)
  • L Luke Gazdic (80 minutes all at evens)
  • L Jesse Joensuu (45 minutes, 39 EV 4PP)
  • L Ben Eager (43 minutes, all at evens)
  • R Tyler Pitlick (29 minutes, all at evens)
  • L Ryan Hamilton (20 minutes, 16 EV, 2 and 2)
  • C Anton Lander (14 minutes, 11 EV 3PK)

RESULTS (5×5/60 from btn)

  1. Will Acton 2.22
  2. Tyler Pitlick 2.05
  3. Ryan Smyth 2.00
  4. Ryan Jones 1.50
  5. Luke Gazdic 1.50
  6. Ben Eager 1.40
  7. Boyd Gordon 0.70
  8. Jesse Joensuu 0.00
  9. Anton Lander 0.00
  10. Ryan Hamilton 0.00

These are all before last night. Anyway, question: do you see a LOCK for the bottom 6F for next season beyond Gordon? The 3rd and 4th line guys are really important–we’re seeing that–and I watched the Expos of my youth give back the edge that was Raines, Dawson, Carter and Parrish by employing terrible secondary talents like Doug Flynn. As much as the Nuge is going to push the river, as much as Hall will do the same, rolling that 4line gives plenty back.

I’d gladly give up the playoffs for a bottom 9 so tight you can bounce a dime off their ass. As it were.

tomei12Mark Arcobello. Nice. He’s shooting lights out now–this is beyond anything we could have expected and if Arcobello can do this for 150 games he’s going to be a guy the Oilers can count on. Even a month ago when we discussed him it was more a ‘feel good’ and ‘don’t bet against him’ story. Now?

  • MacT at TC: I liked him last year, I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game. It all boils down to your ability to make plays with the puck. When he played with Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma City this year earlier, his production was excellent. It was actually on par with Nuge. I’m not saying that he’s Nuge, but it was on par with Ryan. So I think that we’ll get him to training camp. When we signed him again to a contract I had a conversation with him and told him that he would get a look at training camp. He hasn’t played in an exhibition game or didn’t last year, so we’ll get a look and the rest will be up to him to prove to the coaching staff that he’s got enough game to warrant a bigger look as training camp goes by. I promised him that opportunity and we’re going to give it to him.

The guy is having a great rookie season in the NHL (16, 2-10-12) and I don’t think they’re going to be able to keep him out of the top 9F even when Hall and Joensuu return. So, why try? The list of bottom 6F’s above doesn’t exactly shine, so let’s write Arcobello in for next season.

TOP 9F 2014-15

  1. RNH-Hall-Eberle
  2. Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  3. Gordon-healthy Joensuu or other-Arcobello

Look good? Bad? Indifferent? You can move Gagner to RW and Arcobello to 2line C if you wish, I believe that’s jumping the gun by quite a bit (Gagner is coming off injury and looks sluggish, but he’s had 6 scoring seasons in the NHL and a safe bet for offense again this season).

The problem (imo) is that if you’re going to run a top 9 like the one above, you’d need a legit 4line, not the one they’re running this season. A 4line like the Dowd-Devereaux-Laraque line or any Reasoner-on-Oiler line, and you could run that 9.

Arcobello could be a value contract on next year’s roster, and if you need to change over some of the roster Joensuu can be moved out (although the glimpse seemed impressive). They have small men on every line, but there’s all kinds of passing and scoring skill there. I’d love to throw Hemsky there but can’t imagine it comes together.

Maybe the Oilers can use Acton-Joensuu-Pitlick as 4line? We have lots of time to talk about it, but one thing has changed drastically: Mark Arcobello is in the conversation for 2014-15.

Thoughts?

tomei10Three of my favorite players are struggling, and last night they were all on the same line. Ryan Smyth has an excuse–this was his first game back–and Sam Gagner is coming back too (now three games in) so there’s some slack there as well. Our man Nail is really fighting it, but he looked more involved (in a good way last night). I saw him as having calmer feet than recent days, he made a nice pass to Ryan Smyth after grabbing an errant pass, and he was getting himself open (in terrible shooting positions) on the PP. It isn’t going to get instantly better, but he seemed to be allowing the game to develop in front of him as opposed to forcing everything last night (to my eye).

War, Inc. movie image Marisa Tomei

Linus Omark has been recalled, I’m not sure if there’s an injury (Jones? Eberle?) or the club plans a small trade today (something’s brewing, my Oiler spidey senses are tingling). Yakupov is -13 this morning, they may want to give him another look from the gondola.

Anyway, Omark. He’s going to be playing the Lightning (Omark is their favorite player) if all things go according to Hoyle and he has some things that can help this team. Far from a perfect player, used wisely (soft minutes, offensive zone start) he can help do the chores on the toughest thing in hockey–goal scoring. I might plunk him onto that 2line with Gagner and Smyth to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle (Gagner was gifted with Omark in previous seasons). Eakins could put him on the 1line if Hemsky doesn’t want to play there, but to my eye 83 did very good things with Nuge-Eberle last night.

If Omark does play tomorrow night, he’ll be the 8th Oilers draft since 2007 to play on the big club this season:

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 14, 4-8-12
  2. Jordan Eberle 16, 3-8-11
  3. Taylor Hall 9, 3-5-8
  4. Nail Yakupov 14, 1-2-3
  5. Tyler Pitlick 3, 1-0-1
  6. Sam Gagner 3, 0-0-0
  7. Anton Lander 1, 0-0-0

We’re 16 games in, and this group has scored 12 goals. I would say it’s borderline impossible for this to continue, there’s too much firepower on this list.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

tomei33Happy, happy show today on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus. We’ll talk about last night’s game (joy!) and about Michael’s recent look into shot distances and what they might tell us about scoring chances/shot quality.
  • Nathan Dempsey from The Hockey Program. We’ll talk about playing defense at all levels.
  • Rob Vollman from Hockey Prospectus. Injuries and their impact, and why some teams that should be doing well are not doing well.
  • Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. Oiler win, Dubnyk’s season, Omark’s arrival and use, what to do about that 2nd line.

Calls, questions, emails welcome at @Lowetide on twitter and 10-1260 via text. See you on the radio!

 

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145 Responses to "DEUCES AND THREES"

  1. Ben says:

    Just read on an NHL insider’s twitter page there are rumblings the Rangers will acquire Alan Hemsky?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ben:
    Just read on an NHL insider’s twitter page there are rumblings the Rangers will acquire Alan Hemsky?

    I knew Ales had a brother Petr, but Alan? Hah, those crazy Hemsky’s pop out of nowhere! :-)

  3. cc says:

    I think the Oilers can have some really nice things here with their forward crew.

    My projection for next year:
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Gagner-Yakupov (I wouldn’t be surprised if Yak was traded in the off-season though. Not saying I agree with it, but if he’s unwilling to sign an extension similar to the top line. It might make sense to move him then. He will straighten out by the end of the year and his slump will be forgotten.)
    ————————————
    Moss(UFA)-Gordon-Arcobello
    Joensuu-Gazdic-Lander-Pitlick-Return for Hemsky (JT Miller would be a good fit though can play any forward position and is a little gritty. If the Oilers pay for 1/2 of Hemsky’s contract I think he fits salary wise for NYR.) I think the 3/4th lines are strong. The 4th line would be cheap all players signed for under 1 million and outside of Gazdic they have players that can play up a line.

  4. pboy says:

    Ben,

    Ales Hemsky has a pro hockey playing brother?

    jk

  5. sliderule says:

    I was impressed with Arco when I was watching all those grainy feeds from OKC during the lockout.

    When the oil brought him up for one game and he played not great but ok I was disappointed when they sent him down.They really didn’t give him a fair shot.You have to hand it to Mact for giving it to him.

    When I saw Lowe sitting with Mact and Mess I get worried.I know that Lowe was responsible for sending out Brodziak ,Stoll and Cogliano for pennies on the dollar.We like to blame Tambo but it was the puppet master who pulled the trigger on those deals.

    If he just leaves it to Mact I am confident we will get a return from whomever we send out.

  6. godot10 says:

    Too bad nobody ever told Tambellini when he went to the professional scouts for their advice on a player that they didn’t actually do any scouting. And that if you wanted to check a player out, to do it himself, and maybe grab Six Rings and take him along.

    The Oilers office is like one big retirement home for Fellowship of the Six Rings.

  7. Doomoil says:

    Listening to Hervey last night on Gregor’s show, I liked his honesty about his dealings with the media and wish we could get a MacT interview where he specifically calls out the MSM on their dishonest coverage of Hemsky.

    Not a peep from Terry Jones when Hemsky makes a brilliant blocked shot and then pass to start Hopkins on the breakout but whoops, a grenade from Eberle and a very good sliding play to keep the puck in the zone and here comes the fat man laying 100% of the blame on Hemmer.

  8. Ben says:

    pboy,

    “Your an idiot.” :)

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “I expect we’ll all gather around the Al Gore (I wonder if this blog will still be going) and discuss the 2010-15 Oilers with great fondness.”

    Don’t tempt the gods like this LT. Of course, you’ll still be here calming the waters, providing the best space on the Gore to enjoy some company.

    I can’t wait for the Sail On Draisaitl post after he retires from 17 years of Oiler glory!

    ———–
    “do you see a LOCK for the bottom 6F for next season beyond Gordon? ”

    I think — barring injury — Joensuu has to be considered a lock. His contract carries over to next year and the team seems to really like him.

    In order of possibility these fellows might also return:

    Gazdic: this is the Brown role LT talked about in the Summer. The team obviously wants one of these guys and they seem to like Gazdic fine. That keeps them from chasing white elephants.

    Pitlick: injury keeps him from fulfilling his potential, but if he can get healthy and keep his head above water in the AHL for the rest of the year… he starts with the Oil on the 4th line next year.

    Lander: I think if they haven’t traded him by the deadline, we see a modest one-way contract and Lander gets the 4th line C spot.

    ———–
    “Mark Arcobello.”

    He’s been a revelation. Thanks Gord!

    I think he is demonstrating how many AHLers just need that magic convergence of opportunity and puck luck to prove their NHL status. I think he makes it on the team all year and gets a renewal before FA day. One-way 2 year 1.5M AAV.

    ————
    “Acton-Joensuu-Pitlick”

    I’m thinking it’s going to be Lander-Joensuu-Pitlick

    which is a real 4th line. But, where does Draisaitl play? Do you put him on the wing to start? Do you leave him in Jr? hmmmm….

    ———–
    “Linus Omark”

    It’s about damn time. I hope he wasn’t called up to warm the bench and gets to play. Against Tampa too… Maybe MacT has a sense of humor?!

    Also, looking through Linus’ tweets I found this:

    Linus Omark ‏@Limpanomark 24 Jul 12
    Bruce Springsteen this weekend!! #excited

    This is a great sign. What was his RE LT? Did he get a song?

  10. Doomoil says:

    Since it seems our goalies are set in having awful counting stats all year, i really hope the game Thursday is a 5-5 tie that goes to the shootout and Omark is the first over the boards.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ben:
    Just read on an NHL insider’s twitter page there are rumblings the Rangers will acquire Alan Hemsky?

    I’m trying to remember who Smid’s brother was….

    Miroslav Smid or something…

    I love that sports journalism… where you really just have to get the names right for the most part (tall order, right?), the prevailing attitude is invariably “ahhh… close enough.”

  12. goldenchild says:

    Doomoil: Listening to Hervey last night on Gregor’s show, I liked his honesty about his dealings with the media and wish we could get a MacT interview where he specifically calls out the MSM on their dishonest coverage of Hemsky.Not a peep from Terry Jones when Hemsky makes a brilliant blocked shot and then pass to start Hopkins on the breakout but whoops, a grenade from Eberle and a very good sliding play to keep the puck in the zone and here comes the fat man laying 100% of the blame on Hemmer.

    The sharks smell blood in the water, it was the same in the summer when they thought they finally had him gone now they see it being close again. Its amazing near as I can figure it, Hemskys greatest sin was he was the best player on a really bad team and wasnt a top 15 player. Oh and his shoulder broke because he was probably to brave for his own good. What an asshole. At this point I know he will be traded, I just hope its to a city that appreciates what a fun player he is.

    And agree it was crickets on the great block shot that lead to Feduns goal, crickets on the 1st PP where he set up Nuge 2 or 3 times for chances that almost always go in, but Eberle puts him in a tough spot on an outlet pass, a Fla player sprawls on ice to block 83s chip and Dubynk again can’t make a save and its that Fn Hemsky guy is killing this team. Sure he is you god damn liars.

    Hes not a perfect player and it looks like he probably wont produce at his peak levels ever again but man the guy does a lot of wonderful things out there and is always a threat for magic.

    LT you ever invite one of these long time Hemsky haters on the show to discuss why the coverage is so one sided?

    On Nail, I agree it looks like it will be small steps to get him on track but the payoff will be incredible, you gotta stick with him and give him opportunities to succeed. Its funny we waited about a decade for a player of his talent and now because we have 2 others everyone is ready to send him off for 20 cents on the dollar. Pure folly.

  13. TartanArmy says:

    At some point, somethings gotta give. A couple of winning streaks (i mean more than a few games) and this team could be back in the playoff hunt. My question is does this group inspire confidence if no significant changes are made? For me….no. Before it’s too late, i think you make the moves now and change the chemistry of the team. Yes, that may mean some of the young guns being shipped out, but it’s gotta be done soon while there’s still a chance to salvage the season. The key, imo, is Yakupov. He’s not doing a heck of a lot to help this team, and whoever you move him for could have an instant impact. Look at the Pajaarvi/Perron trade as an example.

  14. Brackenburied says:

    My bet is Arco to centre, Gags out, O’Mark in. Gagner took a rap to the jaw last night that clearly hurt like stink. Eakins probably sees that and the overall tentativeness and thinks a rest is in order.

  15. Doomoil says:

    Brackenburied:
    My bet is Arco to centre, Gags out, O’Mark in.Gagner took a rap to the jaw last night that clearly hurt like stink.Eakins probably sees that and the overall tentativeness and thinks a rest is in order.

    Gagner gasses after about 4 hard steps right now. Something is clearly not right with him. We know he’s all about conditioning so I would have to assume he just can’t breathe properly and it is affecting him much more than anticipated at actual game speed.

  16. Martin Lundén (dohfOs) says:

    I’d go with 4-93-14, 57-26-83, 23-89-64, 94-27-6 (in no particular order). It won’t happen (would be too good to be true). I don’t care that a line with both 64 & 23 (& even 89, but he’ll shape up) would be considered a defensive liability. Oilers have plenty of liabilities w/ 20, 41, 55 & 28.

    But I, much like Brackenburied, believe Gagner is hurt which is why the mgmt finally decided to give Omark a go. Please Omark, take this chance!

  17. Brackenburied says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I can’t wait for the Sail On Draisaitl post after he retires from 17 years of Oiler glory!

    You think that Peter Draisaitl will coach the Oilers for 17 years??

  18. russ99 says:

    The thing with the bottom six, is other than Gordon, Arcobello and maybe Joensuu, we’re no better that we were with last year’s bottom six, and Arco and Joensuu are 4th liners on a contender.

    Gazdic is a press box guy for when we need a facepuncher.

    I don’t get why management continues to try to turn you know what into gasoline with this group, and I hope MacT completes the job at the deadline and next summer.

    We need two third line shutdown wingers, another center (unless Lander has an Arcobello-like jump) and a big guy with skill for the 4th line, who’s better than Gazdic.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BTW, did anyone notice any serious staches last night?

    Maybe I missed them or it’s too early for the growth?

    ——–
    Looking at Larsen’s goal again… let’s all marvel at RNH’s puck protection and passing. He’s a beaut. And wow… did Larsen get up the ice fast…. this clip shows how far and how fast he traveled.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=477024&catid=4

    that is NHL caliber.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Martin Lundén (dohfOs):
    I’d go with 4-93-14, 57-26-83, 23-89-64, 94-27-6 (in no particular order). It won’t happen (would be too good to be true). I don’t care that a line with both 64 & 23 (& even 89, but he’ll shape up) would be considered a defensive liability. Oilers have plenty of liabilities w/ 20, 41, 55 & 28.

    But I, much like Brackenburied, believe Gagner is hurt which is why the mgmt finally decided to give Omark a go. Please Omark, take this chance!

    I like your lines a lot but is that for this year? If so, absolutely!

    If for next year, I think 94 is retired and a few more new bodies are in.

  21. Doomoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    BTW, did anyone notice any serious staches last night?

    Maybe I missed them or it’s too early for the growth?

    ——–
    Looking at Larsen’s goal again… let’s all marvel at RNH’s puck protection and passing. He’s a beaut. And wow… did Larsen get up the ice fast…. this clip shows how far and how fast he traveled.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=477024&catid=4

    that is NHL caliber.

    You could notice Eberle’s for sure. I get the feeling that he could morph in to Brent Burns for a playoff run.

  22. nycoil says:

    Love a little Marisa Tomei in the morning. Thank you, Lowetide.
    The latest out of New York City: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/06/hartnett-rangers-could-be-ready-to-roll-dice-on-yakupov-blockbuster/

  23. kosiork says:

    Love that Scotty Bowman story. Makes a wonderful point with our current group of guys.

    With regards to your question about where the blog will be in twenty years, I envision Oilers’ fans contributing money to keep you preserved (something like Richard Nixon on Futurama) in order to have this blog in near perpetuity. I think losing this blog would be a death blow for many dedicated Oiler people.

    Thanks for what you do.

  24. TeeVee says:

    Lowetide: I knew Ales had a brother Petr, but Alan? Hah, those crazy Hemsky’s pop out of nowhere!

    That’s like Fidel Castro’s brother, Dennis.

  25. nycoil says:

    Also heard Kypreos suggesting Yak for Del Zotto last night. If that’s the trade then I will lose all faith in the Oilers. Del Zotto is easily one of the most overrated puck-moving d-men in the league. Plays small, skates fast. Not unlike Justin Schultz with a little less chaos. Girardi is solid defensively and would help the blue for sure, but he is a UFA this summer, and reminds me a bit of Gator back in the day: definitely nice to have, but not at the expense of Yak City!

    I can’t see a major trade with the Blueshirts going well. Fingers crossed that all that is going on is tire-kicking and the deal winds up being something like a Ryan Jones and a 4th for Brian Boyle-type situation (pure baseless hope on my part).

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Eakins’ presser.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=477019&catid=4

    I love that he can’t just answer a simple question without some kind of snark… right off the hop he’s giving the press the gears.

  27. Brackenburied says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Eakins’ presser.http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=477019&catid=4I love that he can’t just answer a simple question without some kind of snark… right off the hop he’s giving the press the gears.

    Quick question, are there more people at the PC then there were at the game last night?

  28. Doomoil says:

    Here’s an absolutely glorious post from Willis over at ON:

    “Just a personal observation here. I know it’s fashionable to slam smaller players that aren’t overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

    But I can’t help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

    I can’t help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun’s goal last night.

    I couldn’t help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was – not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren’t turning into goals.

    I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

    But for the most part, I don’t get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they’re terribly lacking in heart?”

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil:
    Love a little Marisa Tomei in the morning. Thank you, Lowetide.
    The latest out of New York City: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/06/hartnett-rangers-could-be-ready-to-roll-dice-on-yakupov-blockbuster/

    These out-of-town reports are highly ignorable. I don’t doubt that the sides are talking and that there is probably interest on both sides… but the blue skying out-of-town offers for Yak are hilarious.

    Dreger created an insane context.

  30. Brackenburied says:

    Does a Hemsky/Girardi one for one make sense? I love Hemsky and hope he retires an Oiler but a trade seems inevitable. Don’t know much about Girardi. Both are UFAs next year and both potentially solve a problem for each team.

  31. LMHF#1 says:

    Matheson pitching Kreider for Yakupov…UGH

    Chris Kreider has never scored in a serious way. How exactly is he supposed to magically find that?

    ————

    When it comes to Arcobello, we have to decide whether he’s Scott Fraser or Martin St. Louis. Somewhere in between I’m sure, but if someone wants to give you a starting goalie or a better defenceman, of course you listen. I’m sure they don’t, but who knows…Cory Conacher right? Interesting conversation with him in the intermission – he’s played against Markstrom and noticed something in his positioning – goes out and scores two. Good to have an observant player, but someone get him tapes of other goalies!

  32. Brackenburied says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: These out-of-town reports are highly ignorable. I don’t doubt that the sides are talking and that there is probably interest on both sides… but the blue skying out-of-town offers for Yak are hilarious. Dreger created an insane context.

    I chuckled that the author feels the Rangers may lift the untradeable tag from a poor performing defencemen that’s a UFA next summer. You think? Also, untradeable is kind of a poor choice of word. SMac is untradeable, Nuge is untouchable.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Doomoil: You could notice Eberle’s for sure. I get the feeling that he could morph in to Brent Burns for a playoff run.

    Must have missed it… mind you the feed wasn’t great. I’ll be looking extra carefully in the next game.

    Doomoil:
    Here’s an absolutely glorious post from Willis over at ON:

    “Just a personal observation here. I know it’s fashionable to slam smaller players that aren’t overtly physical as gritless, gutless wimps.

    But I can’t help noticing that Sam Gagner has come back early from a broken jaw, and the last few years has done things like fight to avenge a dirty hit.

    I can’t help noticing that Ales Hemsky throwing himself into a shot block and then making a pass from his knees started the rush that led to Taylor Fedun’s goal last night.

    I couldn’t help noticing Linus Omark gritting through a vicious hit to the head, then multiple leg injuries and keep playing. It was funny talking to the guy after the game, with ice-packs strapped at various places, and listening to him explain how frustrated he was – not that he was taking a beating, but that he was generating chances and they weren’t turning into goals.

    I get that the Oilers are lopsided in favour of guys that lack size and perhaps cheat a little too frequently for offence. I get that sticking a Wayne Simmonds-type in the lineup rather than an Ales Hemsky-type would add an extra dimension that the team is currently lacking.

    But for the most part, I don’t get the attacks on the character of these guys. Yes, Gagner and Omark and Hemsky are all on the small side, and all can be frustrating to watch at times. But do we really believe they’re terribly lacking in heart?”

    JW is swimming up stream in the media here.

    I said it the night of the Flyers catastrophe vs. the Caps. Most of the EDM media and fans would rather be the Flyers in that situation. They aren’t hockey fans. They are fans of “nastiness” (to use Matty’s favorite word).

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LMHF#1: Matheson pitching Kreider for Yakupov…UGH
    Chris Kreider has never scored in a serious way. How exactly is he supposed to magically find that?

    Sather “MIGHT” consider trading Kreider for Yakupov… might consider it…

    Thanks for coming out Matty!!!

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+York+Rangers+Chris/9129214/story.html

    My favorite part of this article is the radical and strange topic change from a trade with the Rangers to Fedun. Smooth.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    McCurdy with some interesting thoughts on the Omark situation:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/06/edmonton-oilers-recall-linus-omark-but-why-now/

    Something I hadn’t considered…. they plan on putting him back on waivers (to possibly get picked up… has it been 30 days?

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: My favorite part of this article is the radical and strange topic change from a trade with the Rangers to Fedun. Smooth.

    No doubt this is Lowe’s cool hand at work: Pulling the various levers in the Oileruniverse to help pave the way for the eventual FLEECING which any trade involving Yakupov’s going to be.

    Then: Another young gun demands to leave town, another fleecing, etc etc, and Oiler’s magical 3x 1st picks remain orange colored.

  37. Colonel Obvious says:

    Yakupov for Kreider is obviously terrible and should be ignored. It will never happen. An interesting thought experiment, however, is to consider what would have to be added to make it a reasonable deal for the Oilers.

    Yakupov for Kreider and Hagelin? I think the Oilers would have to think about that. If you look at the Rangers roster there is no way for the Oilers to get value back without getting Hagelin but Hagelin alone is still a bad deal even thought he’s a much better player than Kreider. The only Rangers D I want is McDonagh and that is never going to happen. There is no deal to be made here.

    The only conceivable deal that works for the Oilers is with the Flyers and involves Couturier but I’d want more than just Couturier for Yakupov and the Flyers aren’t giving away Simmonds or Coburn. So this isn’t happening either.

    As for Hemsky for Girardi. That’s a pointless trade for the Oilers since the Oilers right now have no depth at all at forward and Girardi is, at best, a better version of Smid. The Oilers don’t need more players like that. They need more guys like Larsen.

  38. TheGreatMutato says:

    So happy to see Taylor Fedun have a decent game. Not a ton of ice time but a strong performance given his role. He’s always been an easy guy to root for; plus those university players always seem to give the best interviews.

  39. JorgeR04 says:

    Off Topic:

    Did anyone ever see an article about Ryan Whitney being shopped via mass e-mail? I just heard about this and would love to read the original article.

  40. Colonel Obvious says:

    On another note, did sportsnet hire Dellow?

  41. PerryK says:

    The MSM is really getting ridiculous.

    Rishaug has found a target in Dallas Eakins and he is relentless. Mocking the coach for comments taken out of context. Calling him on his deployment of personnel, time management, and strategy! He seems to be stirring up the “unwashed” to rebel against the Coach. This coming from a never was Junior player that clearly does not understand the game at all!

    It appears to me that he needs to be put back in his place. Where are Mac T or Lowe? If you guys are catching any of this, please do what needs to be done with this idiot!

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I wonder if we should broach the Larsen vs. j. Schultz question.

    both ought to be fighting for the 3RD spot with PP time.

    I’d be very comfortable platooning them even when the original top 6 are healthy… any thoughts?

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    On another note, did sportsnet hire Dellow?

    Yes. but it’s unclear if he is actually a SportsNet employee or just a freelancer publishing a few items for them…

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/author/tyler-dello/

    The Oilers should hire him 4 years ago.

  44. nycoil says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Thank you for this. As a Rangers partial season ticket holder, I’ve been saying Hagelin is the underrated one, Kreider the overrated. I also say Yak for McDonagh is a pipe dream. McDonagh on that contract is not going anywhere unless we send RNH to Broadway, and of course, we shouldn’t do that. Girardi is considerably better than Smid ,in my opinion, though, and would be a clear upgrade on our blueline, even with a few early struggles. (Petry-Girardi, Smid-Ference, J Schultz-Belov/Larsen with N Schultz moving on would be a nice upgrade. But I love Hemsky and would hate to make that trade).

    Overall, I don’t see a good deal to be made for the Oilers unless it’s a couple of lesser pieces for a Brian Boyle-type to upgrade our 4th line. The Rangers are full of hyped up players like MDZ and Kreider that bring a lot of question marks with them. That, and Sather is still a shark when it comes to trades. Caveat Emptor when going shopping in Manhattan.

  45. Colonel Obvious says:

    Apparently the Canadians are being assholes to Subban again.

    I would trade almost anything for Subban.

  46. commonfan14 says:

    sliderule: I know that Lowe was responsible for sending out Brodziak ,Stoll and Cogliano for pennies on the dollar.

    Plenty of things to get mad at Lowe for – no need to make up stuff about the Stoll and Cogliano trades.

  47. LMHF#1 says:

    I’m more interested in the fact that MacTavish/Lowe were scouting the Capitals last night (at least I hope it was the Caps).

    Lots of players to look at on that squad. Just hope they don’t overpay for a Mike Green type.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dellow has a post up… blog back online (for now)

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6407

  49. slopitch says:

    I wonder if they could push for something like Girardi+Kreider for Hemsky+Klefbom. If Yak is moved, the return has to be stunning.

  50. nycoil says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 2m
    BTW, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish attended PHI/CAR last night. Now, we can start some new rumours.

  51. G Money says:

    PerryK:
    The MSM is really getting ridiculous.

    Rishaug has found a target in Dallas Eakins and he is relentless. Mocking the coach for comments taken out of context. Calling him on his deployment of personnel, time management, and strategy! He seems to be stirring up the “unwashed” to rebel against the Coach.

    That’s the nature of the MSM. They take the result and built a narrative to suit.

    That’s why the team (and by extension the coach) are good when they win (even if they got badly outplayed).

    The team (and by extension the coach) are crap, even if they’re doing a lot of things right, and getting burned by a some specific issues e.g. goaltending, brain cramps, etc.

    I’m not sure if it’s because they simply don’t have the ability to look deeper into the game, or if it’s just pandering (it’s what the great unwashed want to hear so that’s what they get).

    But nowadays the team is in the shitter, so by extension the players and the coach are going to take a ton of crap (justified or otherwise) from the MSM. It’s the downside reality of playing in a hockey-mad place.

    Nowadays, I get my analysis from LT and the posters on this blog, and my breaking news from the Twitters. I have no use for the MSM – I work across from the courthouse in downtown Calgary, if I want to go listen to raving lunatics, they’re a dime a dozen on the street corners around here.

  52. russ99 says:

    PerryK,

    C’mon, that’s a breakthrough for the MSM. Usually they’d pull the company line, stay the course.

    And while Eakins isn’t a primary target for blame, he’s not blameless either.

  53. Hammers says:

    Why all the talk on trades . All McT & Lowe are doing is there jobs . If they didn’t see other teams play we would complain that there doing nothing . As much chance as a trade with Philly as Rangers . The first thing you learn in trades is you must give to receive and you get nothing for nothing . If Hemsky goes for another upcoming UFA player I will understand but not like it .If Yak goes in a blockbuster trade I will be surprised but based on the return ok with it .For me after Gretz anyone can be traded and at any point in there careers .As long as we get the type of pieces we need .

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tom Gazzola @TomGazzola
    Same lines as yesterday’s game for Oil at practice this afternoon. Linus Omark wearing yellow jersey as is Taylor Hall & Jesse Joensuu.

  55. TheGreatMutato says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Oh wow – how depressing is it to read the comments from the sportsnet readers on an article by Tyler Dellow? Perhaps his blog can remain as an exercise in preserving sanity? That’d be nice.

    Hammers:
    Why all the talk on trades . All McT & Lowe are doing is there jobs .

    True. And perhaps they wanted to switch gears a bit and watch two NHL teams compete. Sorry Oilers, you know I love you.

  56. kooler says:

    Put Omark in for once….he deserves a shot, know anybody else scoring 4 goals in a game. He can take Yaks spot on the PP, he seems to be hitting the top shelf. Omark, if he is for real would complete a skilled top 9.

    Move JJ (if healthy) up and down the 2 and 3 depending on the type of game.

    Lets test a real 4 line scenario when the team is healthy.

    93-4-57
    26-83-14
    89-23-64 Granted not a great D line.
    27-6/94/28/68/51

  57. nycoil says:

    Per Renaud Lavoie, Jordin Tootoo on waivers. Odds on the OIlers picking him up? Because Oilers.

  58. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Dellow has a post up… blog back online (for now)
    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6407

    ***********************************************************

    Great post – thanks.

    People don’t like Rishaug….interesting.

    Meanwhile – Dallas Eakins continues to do some very interesting things…..and some that walk the line to being bizarre…

  59. TheBusDriver86 says:

    Why would omark be wearing the yelyellow no contact jersey after just being called up? Any precedent for this?

  60. Bos8 says:

    Omark the saviour, top scorer in OKC, riding in with a -8.

    As to the yellow, it’s because they ran out of bubble wrap.

  61. stevezie says:

    I’m really enjoying how happy we are over Omark’s call-up when we all agree he is a flawed player an no sure-thing. We’re not celebrating Omark, we’re cheering reasonable behaviour.

  62. stevezie says:

    nycoil,

    Tootoo has been a good hockey player in the past, and would be an unspeakably large upgrade on Eager. I think so anyway, I haven’t seen much of him in Detroit. I hate his contract though and think we need to alter the top 9, not the fourth line.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Yes. but it’s unclear if he is actually a SportsNet employee or just a freelancer publishing a few items for them…

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/author/tyler-dello/

    If he is a Sportsnet employee now, he’ll definitely be deserving of a jibe or two after all the potshots he’s taken at the MSM over the years.

  64. Bos8 says:

    Irony would be O’Mark, Gagner and Yak on a line. If nothing else use that as a bad example..

  65. Colonel Obvious says:

    denny33,

    Why is it interesting that people don’t like Rishaug? People don’t like him because he makes petty criticisms of players and people he doesn’t like based on nothing that approaches either evidence or reason.

    I mean today he was criticizing Eakins for calling a timeout after the second goal and making a big deal about it. The most charitable interpretation of this is that he has nothing to say and so has to invent minutia with which to quibble. However, there was so much to talk about after last night’s game regarding the actual play (both good and bad) how is it possible that he has nothing to say?

    These people are either hopelessly incompetent or moral cretins. Those are your only two choices.

  66. bookje says:

    Sounds like Omark will be bumping Yakupov who will sit next game

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “I need to be strong on the puck in the D zone and shoot more.” – Omark on keys to his success with today’s call-up to the #Oilers
    4m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “I knew if I played good down there I’d get called up and now I’m here so we’ll see.” – Omark, 12 pts in 12 gms with #OKCBarons

    looks like Omark is playing!

  68. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Puff piece on Chase. No mention on why he didn’t play last night (that my skimming found)

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=690250

  69. misfit says:

    I like Tootoo a heck of a lot more than I do any of the current 4th line tough-guys we have on the roster, and if we didn’t already have 3 of them, I’d actually be in favour of picking him up. Gazdik can’t skate and Eager doesn’t bring it consistently enough. MacIntyre simply can’t play hockey. Tootoo can actually play a little and is relentless in his efforts. With that said, he’s still in the same tier of player and we definitely don’t need 4 of 50 (we’d be at 49 if we claimed him) contract spots allocated to this role.

    The NYR stuff? Lord, I hope not. Does anyone think we’d ever win a trade with Slats? And Kreider “off the table”? Good, he’s not worth Yakupov in the first place.

  70. Gi JQE says:

    I’m I the only one who believes giardi would be the best defensemen in our own end if we acquired him? We always talk about selling low being a mistake… Giardi was solid for nyr last couple years pushing 30 minutes a game many nights…. If he could be had for fifty cents on the dollar… Go for it ! And then sign the guy.

    But maybe I am missing something? Which is entirely possible !

  71. icecastles says:

    denny33: and some that walk the line to being bizarre

    This might be a more defensible point if you actually make one. What are the interesting decisions? What are the bizarre ones?

  72. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    misfit,

    Maybe I’m in the minority here, but Sather has been, in my opinion, a largely ineffectual GM that is perched at the top of the list of lunkheaded signings in the last decade (ok…maybe he’s bumping shoulders with Holmgren). His peer down the road, Lamoriello, has been showcasing how to run an organization and win with a lot less utensils in the drawer. Other than his tenure in the early Oilers, what’s to like or revere on his resume as a NHL GM? I’m certainly not in fear of his ability to fleece and out assess his counterparts. Having said this, I’m not convinced a deal is percolating or imminent unless the tilt is in Oilers favor.

  73. G Money says:

    A new knee ligament has been discovered:

    http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/new-human-body-part-discovered

    Anyone want to start a pool as to whether an Oiler player will be the first NHL player to be diagnosed with an injury to said newly discovered ligament?

  74. G Money says:

    While I’m posting links, here is an advanced stats article for artvandelay:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/why-we-need-to-save-corgis-from-extinction

  75. rich says:

    I’d be very cautious of calling Tootoo and upgrade on our 4th liners. Spent a great deal of his last year in Nashville in Trotz doghouse because of a lack of attention to the defensive side of the game. Also, he had grown tired of being the designated enforcer because of concerns that he’d run into too many punches and has a real muffin for a shot.

    Tootoo 5 years ago, sure. Tootoo today? No thanks.

  76. dangilitis says:

    “When I was very little, I wanted to be Kevin Lowe,” Fedun said. “When I was four years old, I’d come down the stairs to play hockey (basement) and announce myself as Kevin Lowe. It’s interesting he’s still here.”

    From the Fedun interview.

    I didn’t hear it, so I assume he meant it in a “golly, gee” kind of manner. But if you read it straight, doesn’t it sound like he’s also an intellectual Oilers fan at heart?

  77. misfit says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    It’s not so much his ability as a GM, but the man is a hell of a salesman (how else does a guy accomplish so little and still keep one of the most coveted jobs in the NHL for as long as he has?). I do believe he could talk a rookie GM into believing his deuces and threes are worth trading a Jack for.

  78. RexLibris says:

    bookje:
    Sounds like Omark will be bumping Yakupov who will sit next game

    Gregor wondering if Yakupov could go to the AHL due to his age. I’ve scanned the CBA but haven’t found anything clearly describing whether he is AHL eligible.

    I’ve argued that this would be a good thing for Yakupov right now, to get his confidence back and better work on the systems under Nelson.

    I would much prefer the Oilers turn Yakupov into the player he can be than trade him this early.

  79. Numenius says:

    That’s great that Omark’s getting his chance.

    So who’s going to score now for the Barons? Offence was already pretty thin.

  80. dangilitis says:

    “The conversation with Yak was simple. I see him trying to hard to be better defensively and to learn this defensive system that we’re trying to implement. I thought he made a couple of good plays defensively yesterday. I saw the process go through his head on the ice. That was encouraging for me.”

    Eakins also made sure to talk about recent rumours surrounding Yakupov potentially being dealt and wanted to ensure the Russian forward knew that there was no truth to them.

    “I wanted to also let him know that these reports in the media, the people that are making trades for him are absolutely, 100% untrue. This kid is not going anywhere.

    “Guys like Joe Thornton. The kid here, Stamkos. Those guys struggled early in their careers and, boy, they turned out to be pretty good players. Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, look in my eyes and let him know that we’re attached at the hip. We’re going to make him a better player. It’s okay to struggle.”

    From the Oilers website. Well, if they trade Yak they might as well fire Eakins as well, because for him to be so blatantly vocal about this and then to be undermined by a trade at this juncture would be unusual, even for Oilers management

  81. Kris11 says:

    I would give Yak some AHL games: build confidence, slow the game down, learn positional game in transition and DZone in an easier league.

    I think the AHL helped the Nuge.

  82. G Money says:

    dangilitis: “Guys like Joe Thornton. The kid here, Stamkos. Those guys struggled early in their careers and, boy, they turned out to be pretty good players. Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, look in my eyes and let him know that we’re attached at the hip. We’re going to make him a better player. It’s okay to struggle.”

    That’s a fantastic quote, and confirms that Eakins has his head screwed on straight and knows what needs to be said. This may be part what we heard earlier about Eakins, and his players willing to go through the wall for him – but only after they got used to him.

    A conversation like that would go a long way to giving Yak confidence, comfort and time to break out of his slump and become the gamebreaker he’s going to be.

  83. Andy P says:

    stevezie:
    nycoil,

    Tootoo has been a good hockey player in the past, and would be an unspeakably large upgrade on Eager. I think so anyway, I haven’t seen much of him in Detroit. I hate his contract though and think we need to alter the top 9, not the fourth line.

    Tootoo wasn’t good enough for OKC. I suppose that qualifies him for the Oil?

  84. nycoil says:

    Andy P,

    Just so we are clear, I was not in anyway advocating for the Oilers to put in a claim. I was merely relaying the fact he is on the waiver wire, and the Oilers have claimed two 4th line face-puncher/agitator types already this year in Gazdic and Macintyre off waivers; there may be a pattern.

    Also, I think you may be confusing Jonathan Cheechoo with Jordin Tootoo. As far as I know, Tootoo has never played in the Oilers’ organization at any level.

  85. stevezie says:

    Andy P,

    How do you figure Tootoo wasn’t good enough for the OKC?

    Why are you supposing I want him on the Oil? I said I don’t want his contract and he doesn’t suit our current needs.

    I stand by him being better than Eager though. Tootoo played some good hockey for Nashville.

  86. ashley says:

    Nice W yesterday. I hate to say it, but the defensive coverage looks great without JSchultz. Less odd man rushes, good control on the backend. He’s still learning, of course. He’ll be a valuable player for us.

    I know I got run out of a thread or two a few years ago for saying this, but I’m going to try again: Is Dubnyk the guy you see starting in game 7 SCF? Or the playoffs for that matter? He’s not young anymore, and he has a fair amount of experience. This is probably as good as it gets. It’s not terrible (the start of this season excepted, which has been terrible), but if he isn’t the guy we want to take to the dance, then why not call it now, and do something about it? And by now, I mean offseason, or trade deadline.

    He’d be a high quality backup for sure. Or maybe he’s be part of a package going the other way. I just don’t know how many more years I can take of him reflexively falling to his knees every time a puck might be heading his way. It worked before anyone figured him out, largely because of his size. Now the league seems to have figured him out. Shoot high.

    Omark in. Perhaps he should buy Arco a beer for showing the brass, media, and whoever else out there trots out the size BS that skill players can impact the game independent of their size. Heavier? No. Taller? No. Puck in the net? Yes.

  87. DeadmanWaking says:

    Colonel Obvious: These people are either hopelessly incompetent or moral cretins. Those are your only two choices.

    You should be Kernel Obvious or perhaps Caramel Obvious. Actually, that second option has a sticky lair of mystery about it that I really like.

    ***

    I see just now that cult-4 is no more. Perhaps I annoyed Bruce with that after a while.

    What Bruce doesn’t know (as I’ve never confessed this) is how violently that little detail throws me back to Microsoft FrontPage circa 1997–and so much more of its toxic ilk to follow. These are programs trying so damn hard to help you out, that you couldn’t permanently attach your intended URL to your project to save your life.

    The prudent among us learned to live in a constant state of abject humiliation.

    Those of us with more backbone–we who refused to sit down and have the very tools of our creative potency constantly beaking at us about our servitude to the Microsoft borg ship–disgustedly debarked the garbage scow unto distant shores.

    By 2005, our hard won independence from the Evil Empire began to pay off. Meanwhile, for about an eight year stretch, we were second class citizens in the rat race for easy gigs.

    The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown

    I mean seriously, imagine the ethos involved in foisting a piece of software upon billions of people where a decade later the primary Google search result is a web site at considerable risk of being sued by the CDC for cribbing look and feel.

    ***

    Speaking of Bruce, he coughed one up with “knotted the score” but then made a fine recovery on the play a few paragraphs down with “puck hawk”. More please.

    ***

    Random thought of the day:

    An unmarried man is a man for whom “undo” mainly concerns clasps and buckles.

    Not sure why that came to me all of a sudden.

    ***

    Before I’m wetting my whistle on a consistent basis, I need to get half a dozen books into my hopper. Not every book serves every occasion. I’m now at one plus two halves plus one on deck plus four in the hole.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    How about these deals? Do they fly with the teams involved? Is that lineup good enough to win with Klefbom and Nurse still waiting in the wings?

    Eberle & Musil for Kreider & Girardi
    Sam Gagner, Dubnyk & a 2nd rounder for Craig Anderson & Curtis Lazar

    Hall/Nuge/Yakupov
    Krieder/Arco/Hemsky
    Perron/Gordon/Lazar
    Joensu/Acton/Pitlick

    Petry/Ference
    Belov/Girardi
    J Schultz/Larsen
    Fedun

    Anderson
    Bachman

  89. Doomoil says:

    Andy P: Tootoo wasn’t good enough for OKC. I suppose that qualifies him for the Oil?

    Are you thinking of Cheechoo?

  90. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Musil is nothing and Girardi is an UFA so that is effectively Eberle for Kreider and a couple of second round picks which is obviously terrible.

    Conversely, Dubnyk is nothing so that is Gagner for Anderson and a second round pick for Lazar which the Oilers would obviously do and the Senators would obviously not. Gagner and Dubnyk for Anderson might be worth talking about in the hypothetical but MacT isn’t going to trade Gagner in practice.

  91. hunter1909 says:

    I can barely wait until Eberle+Yakupov get run out of town, then Hall demands to leave and RNH gets his legs broken, with the long IR needed etc etc.

    Some of you Oiler fans astonish me. You don’t understand anything about winning(obviously) and have picked up the management bacillus of coveting grinders+role players above and beyond the dynamite skill players who routinely buried the Oilers in the 90′s and early 00′s etc.

    Management bacillus. I like that.

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Musil is nothing and Girardi is an UFA so that is effectively Eberle for Kreider and a couple of second round picks which is obviously terrible.

    Conversely, Dubnyk is nothing so that is Gagner for Anderson and a second round pick for Lazar which the Oilers would obviously do and the Senators would obviously not.Gagner and Dubnyk for Anderson might be worth talking about in the hypothetical but MacT isn’t going to trade Gagner in practice.

    Ok, well first of all. I don’t think you just write off guys as nothing cos they’re UFAs. Deals can be made contingent on the acquiring team negotiating a contract extension and hypotheticals can be viewed in that light. The key with the UFA status is it’s a motivator for teams to part with the player if the impending salary doesn’t fit with their cap structure. Assuming the Oil can sign Girardi to an extension, it’s a Top 4 D and Top 9 forward (with the much needed size and grit) for a Top 6 forward + a solid D prospect (could see the prospect having to be better than Musil) .

    With the Ottawa deal, you have to give to get. Even after acquiring Ryan, the Sens are supposedly looking for more secondary scoring and Gagner could be viewed as an offensive injection (warts and all). Sens get the instant offensive upgrade and a capable backup with Lehner envisioned as their eventual starter anyway. Oil get immediate upgrade in net and solid two way forward prospect that projects as Top 9 forward. 2nd rounder primes the pump. Lest we forget, Anderson is no spring chicken as well so the Oilers are giving up a Top 6 forward for a goalie bandaid plus a prospect.

  93. art vandelay says:

    The local chumps beat the worst team in the NHL other than themselves and Oiler fan forgets that there were no takers for Alice Hemsky this summer. Not one.
    He was the least-shitty player on a shit team for a decade. Doesn’t mean he’s anything but – at best – a no-hit, no-shoot, perimeter-playing, injury-prone 2nd-line Euro winger on an expanion team elsewhere.
    It is not Terry Jones’ fault that Hemsky blows.

  94. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909:
    I can barely wait until Eberle+Yakupov get run out of town, then Hall demands to leave and RNH gets his legs broken, with the long IR needed etc etc.

    Some of you Oiler fans astonish me. You don’t understand anything about winning(obviously) and have picked up the management bacillus of coveting grinders+role players above and beyond the dynamite skill players who routinely buried the Oilers in the 90′s and early 00′s etc.

    Management bacillus. I like that.

    Hunter, how long can you continue to watch this team pass it around the periphery before you arrive at the conclusion that the roster needs to be balanced with some size & grit?

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I endorse the name change.

  96. Doomoil says:

    art vandelay,

    Haha, you called him Alice. I get it.

  97. lance says:

    art vandelay,

    You had two or three posts this week with which I was almost starting to agree.

    Seems I’m better now. Thank you. I was starting to scare myself.

  98. LMHF#1 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hunter, how long can you continue to watch this team pass it around the periphery before you arrive at the conclusion that the roster needs to be balanced with some size & grit?

    I’d love it if they could control the puck. It led to a bunch of shooting chances last game.

  99. stevezie says:

    nycoil: I think you may be confusing Jonathan Cheechoo with Jordin Tootoo.

    Now Andy, why on earth would you confuse those two? (I can’t find the appropriate Seinfeld clip, but we all know it, right?)

  100. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hunter, how long can you continue to watch this team pass it around the periphery before you arrive at the conclusion that the roster needs to be balanced with some size & grit?

    Well with respect….that’s not my fucking problem, is it? That’s the problem for the idiots running this franchise. What I do understand is, you never trade away scoring talent, ever. Not before you win the cup, that is.

    art vandelay:
    The local chumps beat the worst team in the NHL other than themselves and Oiler fan forgets that there were no takers for Alice Hemsky this summer. Not one.
    He was the least-shitty player on a shit team for a decade. Doesn’t mean he’s anything but – at best – a no-hit, no-shoot, perimeter-playing, injury-prone 2nd-line Euro winger on an expanion team elsewhere.
    It is not Terry Jones’ fault that Hemsky blows.

    Post dynasty Oiler fans have been reared on Kevin Lowe’s Guyana style koolaid. They cheer when management tells them to, and form a mob when it’s time to say goodbye to all and any sundry player whom management deigns as either suspicious, or simply redundant.

    The fact that management usually, not occasionally shits the bed has collectively been erased. Fuck knows how, but it has.

  101. Logan91 says:

    hunter1909,

    Kevin Lowes Stanley Cup rings have given him some sort of special power to make all the weak minded fans forget about his failure. Some kind of dark side Jedi mind trick.

  102. hunter1909 says:

    Logan91,

    Now that he’s back in the proverbial fold, I really want to hear about Mark Messier beating the shit out of Kevin Lowe.

    One for the fans. To see who is Lord of the Rings, and all that.

  103. Bag of Pucks says:

    LMHF#1: I’d love it if they could control the puck. It led to a bunch of shooting chances last game.

    Yes, the smurfs looked great last night against….the Florida Panthers.

    The team’s W/L record and thus the roster makeup speaks for itself.

    Size doesn’t have to come at the expense of the ability to control the puck.

  104. Logan91 says:

    hunter1909,

    BATTLE ROYALE!

    Jeez, the boys finally win a game last night and everyone is still down in the gutters.

  105. bendelson says:

    No love for Gordon today? He had one helluva game last night.

    Did anybody even notice his game outside of his three apples?
    Does anybody care?

    Too busy complaining about everything else?

  106. hunter1909 says:

    bendelson: Too busy complaining about everything else?

    Pretty well. I kind of like Gordon, but it’s easy to forget about him with the team’s putridity.

    What astonishes is, the fact these fuckwits keep bringing in Toby Peterson 8.0 or whatever level we’ve reached, whining about size in the scorers and now Yakupov’s going to go in order to make room for Arcobello???

    I’m pretty okay with it, I’m just going to troll the oilers from here on in anyway, lol.

  107. Jordan says:

    art vandelay,

    Hi Art!

    This team is not good. However, I think we are starting to see some significant trends:

    Justin Schultz & Nail Yakupov don’t help this team win now.
    Dubnyk isn’t such a good goalie that he can always bail his team mates out when they don’t cover their D-zone responsibilities
    Even veterans like Smyth make bad mistakes on this team that lead to goals against.
    Bad decisions with the puck and without the puck are costing this team wins.
    Even with all the injuries, there are still a lot of skilled hockey players on the Oilers. (Dare we dream of 4 scoring lines?)

    This team really misses its injured players, but… if the coach doesn’t revise his ideal 4th line as a tough 4th line, getting them back won’t make that big a difference. This is a team built for speed and transistion – they need to wear other teams out by out-playing the opposition – more transitions back and forth, not hits (the hockey rope-a-dope). They can’t do that with a 4th that’s slow and lacking puck skills. COnsidering there’s only 1 guy on that line who can PK now… it won’t impact the PK, so drop them all once this team is healthy, and play firewagon hockey. 4 scoring lines & outscore the opposition 6-5 every night.

  108. denny33 says:

    icecastles,

    This might be a more defensible point if you actually make one. What are the interesting decisions? What are the bizarre ones?

    ******************************************************************************************

    You didn’t read the link did you?

  109. bendelson says:

    hunter1909,

    There was a shift with 6 min left where he crashed the net with Smytty, went down in a tangled mess and still worked his ass to get back, won possession behind the Oilers net, then worked hard to move the puck out of the zone.

    Simple boring stuff I know.

    I hope his teammates noticed.

  110. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    You should almost never trade value for pending UFA’s with the idea of signing them unless you get them at a significant discount from free agent prices.

    Paying market value for unrestricted free agents is already subject to the winner’s curse. Adding a quality player to this premium is extremely foolhardy.

    So trading Eberle for Kreider and Girardi is effectively trading Eberle for Kreider. Even if you end up re-signing Girardi that is something you could have done anyway.* The only value is the savings you get in comparison to the two prices.

    *Some will say, rightfully, that you can’t assume a player would sign as a free agent. This is true, however if a player would be willing to re-sign in season then it stands to reason they would also be willing to sign in the offseason. The only thing that matters is the difference between the contracts. Even if re-signing a Girardi acquired in trade would save you $1 million a year (a highly dubious assumption) that means you have effectively traded Eberle for Kreider+ 1 million dollars which remains a bad trade.

  111. Numenius says:

    hunter1909:
    Logan91,

    Now that he’s back in the proverbial fold, I really want to hear about Mark Messier beating the shit out of Kevin Lowe.

    One for the fans. To see who is Lord of the Rings, and all that.

    We all know who the Lowerd of the Rings is.

    (Edit: Lowrd of the Rings? Lowered of the Rings? Lowered from his Rings?) :)

  112. VanOil says:

    Yakupov is here for the long term! Eakins announcement of this today is the best news of the season and the best thing he has done as a coach. http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/06/edmonton-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-yakupov-rumours-100-percent-untrue/

    As for other rampant trade speculation the Canadians would be fools to give up on Suban, fools. I would trade any Dman on the Oilers roster plus a prospect and next years first over all pick for him and I still don’t think Montreal would be that foolish.

  113. russ99 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    There’s other (and frankly better) ways to score than to push it around the boards and then in the 25% chance we control the puck after the dump/grind instead of the opponent skating it out of the defensive zone, shoot into traffic hoping that we have a player capable of crashing the net good enough to do something with it…

    Look at most of our goals last night: carry the puck in, use speed/passing to either get behind defenders or create open ice and get open shots on net. Why is that so hard?

    I’d love to see the Oilers actually utilize the ways they are better than the opposition to win games than to try and keep imitating Boston – without Boston’s roster.

  114. Logan91 says:

    VanOil:
    Yakupov is here for the long term! Eakins announcement of this today is the best news of the season and the best thing he has done as a coach. http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/06/edmonton-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-yakupov-rumours-100-percent-untrue/

    As for other rampant trade speculation the Canadians would be fools to give up on Suban, fools. I would trade any Dman on the Oilers roster plus a prospect and next years first over all pick for him and I still don’t think Montreal would be that foolish.

    When, and why have these Subban rumors start?

  115. G Money says:

    Logan91: Kevin Lowes Stanley Cup rings have given him some sort of special power to make all the weak minded fans forget about his failure.

    hunter1909: Post dynasty Oiler fans have been reared on Kevin Lowe’s Guyana style koolaid. They cheer when management tells them to, and form a mob when it’s time to say goodbye to all and any sundry player whom management deigns as either suspicious, or simply redundant.

    I’m very interested to hear who these Lowe fans are that you keep referring to? I think it has been two years or more since I heard anyone say something good about him. Straw man much?

  116. Logan91 says:

    G Money:
    I’m very interested to hear who these Lowe fans are that you keep referring to? I think it has been two years or more since I heard anyone say something good about him.Straw man much?

    I was just joking man…

  117. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    23 minutes ago
    @tsnscottcullen: On a team that gets outshot regularly, Jerred Smithson ought to feel right at home. http://t.co/T8kgw90WPi

    33 minutes ago
    @jonasTSN1050: Leafs sign Jerred Smithson for the remainder of the year. Smithson played in Florida and Edmonton last year. Previously with Nashville.

  118. Logan91 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not so much trade rumors as the Habs dicking around with him again:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435984

    Therrein is a weiner, but Subban has been known for making bad decisions at key times.

    Just trying to teach him a lesson, he needs to be better defensively if he wants to play at those key times.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    G Money: I’m very interested to hear who these Lowe fans are that you keep referring to? I think it has been two years or more since I heard anyone say something good about him. Straw man much?

    Reading comprehension.

    Since you obviously don’t understand, why not ask Sheldon Souray about his joint management/fan lynching prior to leaving Dodge?

    And there are many, many more examples.

  120. 8p0intgame says:

    hunter1909,

    If the Oilers don’t trade one of their “jacks and kings” for “nines and tens”, I don’t know how they are going to flush out the rest of the roster. I can’t think of any prospects in the organization that can play in the bottom six. I don’t think many free agents would sign with a team that has finished 30/30/29/23 and is most likely going to have another top ten pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, at least without a serious overpay in both dollars in term. In my opinion, the only UFAs that will sign here are older players looking for stable employment to play out the end of their careers. I don’t think anyone wants to trade any of Eberle, Gagner, Hall, RNH, J. Schultz, or Yakupov. I certainly don’t. BUT IF, for example, I could move Gagner for a 2C of equal character and playmaking skills and is better at faceoffs and stronger defensively, but scores two-thirds as many points, I would do it. Why? Because scoring goals is the only way to win a hockey game, but keeping the puck of your own net is the second most important part of the game. No one wants to trade good players for inferior ones; some of the proposed trades for Gagner and Eberle have frustrated me too, but, at this point, to win a Stanley Cup, we really need those nines and tens.

  121. G Money says:

    Logan91: I was just joking man…

    Damn you! Damn you and your understated sarcasm!

  122. hunter1909 says:

    8p0intgame,

    Gagner and Hemsky they can trade every day of the week including Yom Kippur.

  123. VanOil says:

    Logan91: When, and why have these Subban rumors start?

    TSN, and the Montreal press make the Oilers MSM press corps look tame. As I understand it PK did not play the most minutes on the team one night against St Louis therefore the Player wants to be traded, the coach hates him, he is bad for the team and that this is all part of the teams and or agents brilliant negotiating process on his next contract. It is all crazy, my favorite being a comment saying he is the biggest trouble maker in the locker room since Roy therefore must go.

  124. Andy P says:

    Thank you everyone who read and responded to my comment regarding Jordin Tootoo.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordin_Tootoo
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Cheechoo

    You rock!

  125. Andy P says:

    Numenius: We all know who the Lowerd of the Rings is.

    (Edit: Lowrd of the Rings? Lowered of the Rings? Lowered from his Rings?)

    lowered by his rings

  126. G Money says:

    Andy P: lowered by his rings

    I believe that the character Gustavo Fring in Breaking Bad was actually inspired by Kevin Lowe.

    Think about it.

    Gustavo ends in the sound ‘o’
    Kevin Lowe ends in the sound ‘o’

    F = the SIXTH letter of the alphabet
    Ring = duh

    So the next time you ask the question about Oilers management: “what they hell were they smoking?!?!”

    You’ll know the answer.

    Meth.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  127. 8p0intgame says:

    hunter1909,

    Personally, I am hoping a contending team will offer a late first round pick for Hemsky, because we lose him for nothing in the summer otherwise.

    My question for you is, without organizational depth AND without overpaying either second tier free agents or players on the verge of retirement in both dollars and term, how would you improve the roster?

  128. 8p0intgame says:

    G Money,

    You forgot Gustavo and Kevin Lowe have the same number of syllables.

  129. Brackenburied says:

    Andy P: lowered by his rings

    Numenius: We all know who the Lowerd of the Rings is.

    (Edit: Lowrd of the Rings? Lowered of the Rings? Lowered from his Rings?)

    Gollowem? “Yes, my precious, we know winning don’t we precious.”

  130. Brackenburied says:

    Brackenburied:
    Does a Hemsky/Girardi one for one make sense? I love Hemsky and hope he retires an Oiler but a trade seems inevitable.Don’t know much about Girardi.Both are UFAs next year and both potentially solve a problem for each team.

    Anyone??

  131. 8p0intgame says:

    Brackenburied,

    In theory, Girardi would push J. Schultz down to the third pairing…

    Smid-Girardi
    Belov-Petry
    Ference-J. Schultz
    N. Schultz

  132. Bag of Pucks says:

    russ99:
    Bag of Pucks,

    There’s other (and frankly better) ways to score than to push it around the boards and then in the 25% chance we control the puck after the dump/grind instead of the opponent skating it out of the defensive zone, shoot into traffic hoping that we have a player capable of crashing the net good enough to do something with it…

    Look at most of our goals last night: carry the puck in, use speed/passing to either get behind defenders or create open ice and get open shots on net. Why is that so hard?

    I’d love to see the Oilers actually utilize the ways they are better than the opposition to win games than to try and keep imitating Boston – without Boston’s roster.

    90% of the goals in the NHL are scored 10 feet from the crease or closer.

    Championship teams are capable of playing any style that the opposition throws at them. Winning ugly is better than losing pretty.

  133. G Money says:

    Brackenburied: Anyone??

    Certainly reasonable to postulate – more than most. They certainly help solve a pressing need for both teams (offense for NYR, steady top or second pairing defenseman for the Oilers), and both being UFAs takes that concern off the table.

    Need for need are the best kinds of trades.

    But I suspect the only way it happens is if Sather or Alain Vigneault remember the ‘good times’ Hemsky, and also included in the deal is a salary dump for a prospect to make up the $1M cap hit difference.

    It’s interesting to note that some NYR blogs are saying that the idea of Yak for Girardi is “crazy”, meaning the Rangers would be getting ripped off, while most here would say the same thing in reverse – and indeed, a #1 pick and ultra-high-ceiling one-shot scorer for a UFA mid-grade (one time all star) defenseman would indeed be *insane*.

  134. fifthcartel says:

    The braintrust at another NYR game is pretty interesting.

  135. Thiru says:

    Awesome quote by Eakins.

    One thing I love about that guy (and there are things that I hate), is that he says what he means. No need to parse anything there. Yak is staying.

    Awesome, awesome stuff.

    I think we’ll see him turn the corner soon.

  136. Bag of Pucks says:

    ashley:
    Nice W yesterday.I hate to say it, but the defensive coverage looks great without JSchultz.Less odd man rushes, good control on the backend.

    This was a noticeable aspect of last night’s game for me as well. Hoping Eakin sticks with last night’s D corps for the game in Tampa as well unless of course Belov is ready to return.

  137. Logan91 says:

    Bag of Pucks: This was a noticeable aspect of last night’s game for me as well. Hoping Eakin sticks with last night’s D corps for the game in Tampa as well unless of course Belov is ready to return.

    I think Fedun and Larsen can teach Schultz a little something on how, and when to properly pinch in on the play.

  138. prairieschooner says:

    I thought I heard the colour guy say that the Oilers were 6th in the league for hits.
    Can someone check that ?
    Based upon the chatter about not being physical enough 6th in the league if true would seem to refute the critics

  139. Doomoil says:

    prairieschooner,

    The Oilers being fifth in the league in blocked shots was brought up, but I missed the hits comment if it was there.

  140. godot10 says:

    A full training camp and nearly 20% of the season gone, and Eakins finally realizes he has to have an individualized coaching and development plan for Yakupov. Progress.

    #Rookie-coach-learning-on-the-job

  141. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10:
    A full training camp and nearly 20% of the season gone, and Eakins finally realizes he has to have an individualized coaching and development plan for Yakupov.Progress.

    #Rookie-coach-learning-on-the-job

    It’s like you never bother to take in reality.

  142. steveb12344 says:

    prairieschooner: I thought I heard the colour guy say that the Oilers were 6th in the league for hits.Can someone check that ?Based upon the chatter about not being physical enough 6th in the league if true would seem to refute the critics

    sounds about right. A few games back, I think in the L.A. game they said The Oilers were at the time 5th in the league in hits.

  143. icecastles says:

    denny33: You didn’t read the link did you?

    I did, quite carefully. Your comment mentions multiple “very interesting things” and multiple “bizarre” things without stating exactly what those are.

    Since the article discusses a particular play and Smyth’s bizarre positioning, it is referring to exactly one decision that is possibly though not unquestionably, Dallas Eakins’.

    I’m just unsure if your post is intentionally hyperbolic, or if you’re seeing things in the article (or in the games) that others aren’t. Not criticizing your comment at all, just hoping you can elucidate.

    I’ve heard so much unfocused vitriol toward Eakins this season as the losses add up (even though the praise was sky-high early on for the same coach), but aside from his treatement of Yakupov (I was onside with it), the swarm (he has adjusted it) and putting players out of position (he’s adjusting it), I have seen more bile than brevity in criticisms of his approach.

    MacT, Quin, Renney, Kreuger, Eakins. Are we really to beleive every one of these guys simply has no clue how to motivate or teach players? Or that none of them understand systems play? Eakins is pushing this team through the fire. Some will likely burn up in the process; but the remainder (and I daresay the majority) will emerge hardened steel. I’m all for seeing some losses, some confusion and some pouting if it’s finally forcing out some of the bad habits and poor decision-making that have marked a lot of our players for the past few years.

  144. TeeVee says:

    G Money:
    While I’m posting links, here is an advanced stats article for artvandelay:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/why-we-need-to-save-corgis-from-extinction

    Thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my time :-(

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