A FAST TRAIN

On TSN 1260 yesterday, Craig MacTavish told us he was very happy with the performance of big center Bogdan Yakimov. For his part, the young Russian seems to be enjoying himself on the big stage.

  • Yakimov:Every line uses the same strategy. It doesn’t matter what line you’re on. You always know where everyone is going to be. I play on a line with Vadim Khlopotov and Eduard Gimatov. I like our line. We have great chemistry. You could say we’re three working horses – we work hard and we do it well.”

In the article linked to above, Andray Osadchenkno gives us a very nice look at the 19-year old and what he’s been doing this season:

  • Osadchenko: Bogdan Yakimov: (Neftekhimik, KHL) Known as Yak-2 by Oilers fans, Yakimov is having a great rookie season in the KHL. He scored five goals and 10 points in 31 games, averaging just 9:30 of TOI.

Add to that Yakimov’s willingness to come over next fall, no matter where he plays:

  • Hockey’s future: Yakimov’s KHL deal will run out after this season and he has already confirmed that he is going to head to North America and has no problems with playing in the AHL for the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate team.

I ranked Yakimov #6 overall on my top 30 prospect list, and there’s clearly an interest from both sides. MacT’s visit and strong verbal have me wondering where he might rank on the pro C depth chart 2014 fall.

OILERS C DEPTH CHART FALL 2014+ (SIGNED OR RFA)

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Brilliant young player, coming into his own during a trying season. The modern Dave Keon.
  2. Sam Gagner: The modern Guy Charron, very skilled but unable to carry a line offensively and not refined away from the puck.
  3. Boyd Gordon: A fine veteran, checker with some skill and a good fit for this team.
  4. Mark Arcobello: Could be the modern Andre Boudrias, a surprising offensive talent married to solid fundamentals. Unproven at NHL level.
  5. Anton Lander: I think the organization may feel he’s a “tweener” in that there’s not enough offense to employ him as a defensive, 4line center (and there’s not a lot of offense required for that job). He’s not part of the MacT group, and I doubt he’s part of the remnant next Christmas.
  6. Will Acton: I doubt we’ve seen the last of him, from all reports he’s doing fine in the AHL and one suspects we’ll see him after the trade deadline bloodletting takes place. I’m still not sure he’s a bad player, would like to see him with a little better set of wingers (say Smyth-Jones) before making a call.
  7. Travis Ewanyk: I believe he’s part of the future, a likely 4th line solution for the club down the line. If you list all of the things the Oilers like about Ewanyk, that’s the reason I think Lander is gone.

Yakimov has size and that’s something this group doesn’t have at all. I can see the club bringing Yakimov over in the “Lander role” in that he might get some playing time in both the AHL and NHL (should he earn it with minor league performance). Either way, I think we’re at a point where we can begin discussing:

  • Sam Gagner’s exit
  • Mark Arcobello’s future with the Oilers (as a two-way center)
  • Anton Lander’s exit
  • Bogdan Yakimov getting fast tracked

 

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72 Responses to "A FAST TRAIN"

  1. Clarkenstein says:

    “Yakkety Yak don’t call back!”

  2. fifthcartel says:

    I forget where I saw it, but I read Yakimov has already agreed to come play in the AHL next year. I’m looking around for it now. His competition in OKC doesn’t seem like too much too.

  3. fifthcartel says:

    Found it.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/101675/2014-wjc-preview-russias-goaltending-will-keep-them-in-the-hunt-for-wjc-gold/

    “Another interesting player to follow will be Bogdan Yakimov (EDM), who will center the second line. Yakimov is having a solid rookie season with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL where he’s showing that he can contribute on the score sheet, defend well, and win faceoffs. Yakimov’s KHL deal will run out after this season and he has already confirmed that he is going to head to North America and has no problems with playing in the AHL for the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate team.”

  4. teddyturnbuckle says:

    LT in your humble opinion on a scale of 0% to 100%. What are the chances MacT goes against his word and trades Gagner at the deadline? I’m not going to pick the guy apart anymore. In fact I’m tired of pointing out Gagner’s deficiencies. I just can’t believe he is still here after Nuge was drafted and it was obvious that maybe our 2nd line centre should have some size and bring a bit of a physical game.

  5. Lowetide says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    LT in your humble opinion on a scale of 0% to 100%.What are the chances MacT goes against his word and trades Gagner at the deadline?I’m not going to pick the guy apart anymore.In fact I’m tired of pointing out Gagner’s deficiencies. I just can’t believe he is still here after Nuge was drafted and it was obvious that maybe our 2nd line centre should have some size and bring a bit of a physical game.

    If Gagner’s second half is as bad as the first, they may have to think about a buyout. Seriously. I don’t think it will be, but they can’t bring him back next season if he’s going to deliver this kind of performance.

    Bill James wrote long ago about the impact of beanballs on pennant races. He had a long list and it was gruesome, the one I remember is Tony Conigliaro.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0808/history_aug18/

    Anyway, James had at the end of each player summary a line that went “definite impact on pennant race, possible impact on career.”

    For Gagner’s injury, I think it definitely had an impact on his season (duh) but may also have a long term impact on him. Edmonton has sent away high picks for nothing in the past (Devereaux, Cleary) and they could do it in this instance.

    Again. I don’t think it happens, but the one thing MacTavish cannot do again is begin a season unbalanced. We’ve talked and talked and talked about balance—evert fall—but this time he’ll need to be sure.

  6. nycoil says:

    “The final Russian prospect at the Combine is Yakimov, a 6-5, 202-pound left-handed center. He’s No. 11 on Central Scouting’s European list and has one year remaining on his contract in the KHL with Nizhnekamsk.

    “He’ll play one more year [in the KHL], and then he’ll come to the NHL,” Gandler said. “If he’s ready, great, and if not, he’ll play in the American Hockey League for as long as it takes to be in the NHL.”

    Gandler said Yakimov has soft hands and can see the ice very well for a big man. He needs to shoot the puck more.

    “He likes to go straight to the net, is strong on his skates and is hard to knock down,” Stubb said of Yakimov. “His skating was so much better this year. I would think he could be selected late second or early third round of the draft. He has skills and the potential to play in the NHL.’ “

  7. jp says:

    fifthcartel:
    Found it.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/101675/2014-wjc-preview-russias-goaltending-will-keep-them-in-the-hunt-for-wjc-gold/

    “Another interesting player to follow will be Bogdan Yakimov (EDM), who will center the second line. Yakimov is having a solid rookie season with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL where he’s showing that he can contribute on the score sheet, defend well, and win faceoffs. Yakimov’s KHL deal will run out after this season and he has already confirmed that he is going to head to North America and has no problems with playing in the AHL for the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate team.”

    Cool, assuming it`s true. If he can keep his head above water in the KHL he “should” be ready for the AHL. Khaira should turn pro next year too, right? Very different dynamic around the corner – hopefully they can do more than be “big”.

    LT, should Horak be in the conversation too? Or are you considering him a winger? He mentioned last night he’s been playing C in OKC.

  8. Lowetide says:

    JP: I like Horak, but think he’s going to need to play lower in the order than 2line LW.

  9. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    JP: I like Horak, but think he’s going to need to play lower in the order than 2line LW.

    Oh for sure. I just mentioned him in reference to your “signed or RFA” C depth chart. I figured he should be on there somewhere in the range of Lander, and will certainly be in Edm or OKC next year.

  10. Lowetide says:

    jp: Edm or OKC next year.

    I don’t think they rate him as a center. For me, he’s going to be part of my 3rd line next season, on LW, with Daniel Winnik and Ryan O’Reilly.

  11. FastOil says:

    IMO Gagner is too talented for a buyout but after his feeble play I think it would be reasonable for MacT to ask him to waive whatever agreement they have if its not part of the verbal already.

  12. FastOil says:

    I am not convinced MacT will do as much as I think is needed

  13. OilClog says:

    This kid will be #1 or #2 in the AHL for next season? Lots of players heading out.

    Mathias, Hall, Yak
    RNH, Perron, Hemsky
    Gordon, Clutterbuck, Ott
    Arco, Smyth, Pitlick
    Joenssu/Gaz

    Erhoff/Hamonic
    Ference/Jultz
    Nurse/Larsen
    Potter/Belov?

    Bryz
    Xxx

  14. jp says:

    Lowetide: I don’t think they rate him as a center. For me, he’s going to be part of my 3rd line next season, on LW, with Daniel Winnik and Ryan O’Reilly.

    Fair enough, and I agree he looks more like a winger. Wonder if they might see him as a C though since it sounds like he was playing there exclusively in OKC. Maybe just for experience/need.

    O’Reilly and Winnik. That would be great.

  15. WeirsBeard says:

    LT,
    Which of these kids do you think might Brodziak his way in at camp(either this or next year)? I’m really hoping one of these guys just shows up and brings it, the way ol’ Kyle did way back when. For me, it might be Chase right now, although the Russian looks so perfect size wise.

  16. Caramel Obvious says:

    The US has left Yandle and Byfuglien off the Olympic team.

    Canada left Nurse off its world junior team and took the wrong two goalies.

    Canada is going to take Kunitz to the Olympics and leave Hall at home.

    The stupid in the hockey world runs very, very, deep.

  17. Caramel Obvious says:

    A smart GM would trade for Byfuglien. He is way, way, way, better than his reputation. He’s the opposite of Jack Johnson.

  18. Caramel Obvious says:

    “We did not pick the 25 best players,” general manager David Poile said. “We picked the [ones] we thought gave us a chance to win the gold.”

    There is no end to the stupid. No end.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    If Gagner’s second half is as bad as the first, they may have to think about a buyout. Seriously.

    That’s a stretch.

    There’s a market for him. The NHL runs on reputation (which includes draft position years after a player was drafted), not actual results.

    What you’d get for him in return is questionable.

    Speaking of running on reputation, everyone who has any interest about how NHL decisions are made MUST read this:

    http://espn.go.com/olympics/hockey/story/_/id/10195703/how-us-hockey-team-bound-sochi-olympics-was-named

    Scott Burnside was given total access to the whole process and wrote a very good piece about it.

    I can see why Lombardi is the only GM of the bunch who actually built a good team (Burke inherited ANA and made a great trade for Pronger….I think Burke is the best trader in the NHL since the last lock out)

    The amount of decisions made on reputation is astounding.

    Although if I’m Kekalainen, I’m on the phone with Burke about Johnson about 30sec after reading this.

    Also,

    I spelled Kekalainen right my first try.

    I love Finns.

  20. Caramel Obvious says:

    I just noticed they left Bobby Ryan off too. These people are fucking unbelievable. How do they manage to breathe?

  21. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    A smart GM would trade for Byfuglien.He is way, way, way, better than his reputation.He’s the opposite of Jack Johnson.

    This!!

    MacT should buy low and 1LD is taken care of for a long time.

    Wouldn’t have to give up a ton either.

  22. Caramel Obvious says:

    Justin Bourne ‏@jtbourne 4m

    Feel like I’m taking crazy pills here. Bobby Ryan & Keith Yandle, or Derek Stepan & Brooks Orpik? Your call, every GM ever.

  23. Lowetide says:

    WeirsBeard:
    LT,
    Which of these kids do you think might Brodziak his way in at camp(either this or next year)? I’m really hoping one of these guys just shows up and brings it, the way ol’ Kyle did way back when. For me, it might be Chase right now, although the Russian looks so perfect size wise.

    I’ll pick Yakimov, Horak, Pitlick and Dillon Simpson.

  24. jp says:

    OilClog:
    This kid will be #1 or #2 in the AHL for next season? Lots of players heading out.

    Mathias, Hall, Yak
    RNH, Perron, Hemsky
    Gordon, Clutterbuck, Ott
    Arco, Smyth, Pitlick
    Joenssu/Gaz

    Erhoff/Hamonic
    Ference/Jultz
    Nurse/Larsen
    Potter/Belov?

    Bryz
    Xxx

    I don’t understand the fascination with Matthias. I get that he’s a big, young C who managed to put up close to 0.5 PPG last year. But otherwise he’s been more of a 20-25 point per season player who’s never scored at an elite level. He’s hasn’t played overly difficult comp or gotten very tough zone starts, and his corsi is just average on the Panthers. He’s been 44% and 38% on faceoffs the past 2 years (though he was more in the 50% range in the past). He’s an OK player, but I don’t see how he’s being suggested as a possible 1 or 2C option. He’s also UFA after next season. Am I missing something?

  25. bookje says:

    Yakimov looks great, the only thing that could go wrong is if he were to encounter some other Russian who he connects with over some humorous random similarity who presents him with a bleak picture of the club and its management.

  26. Woodguy says:

    I love how Quick has been a. 905 goalie since September 2012 has a wonky groin and his status as Team USA starter was never in question.

  27. Woodguy says:

    This is awesome: http://m.imgur.com/W6pHCNA

    Hat tip to @northsidechad for posting it and for Dennis for re-tweeting it.

  28. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    Yakimov looks great, the only thing that could go wrong is if he were to encounter some other Russian who he connects with over some humorous random similarity who presents him with a bleak picture of the club and its management.

    If Nail Yakupov runs away from the first thing in life that throws him a curve, he’s going to have a very disappointing life.

  29. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Found it.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/101675/2014-wjc-preview-russias-goaltending-will-keep-them-in-the-hunt-for-wjc-gold/

    “Another interesting player to follow will be Bogdan Yakimov (EDM), who will center the second line. Yakimov is having a solid rookie season with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL where he’s showing that he can contribute on the score sheet, defend well, and win faceoffs. Yakimov’s KHL deal will run out after this season and he has already confirmed that he is going to head to North America and has no problems with playing in the AHL for the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate team.”

    Thanks for this!

  30. Caramel Obvious says:

    Justin Bourne ‏@jtbourne 17m

    @rlpeppler Take the best players, you have the best team you can present. That’s all.

    Seriously, why is this at all complicated. And that is from a real, live former professional hockey player.

  31. VanOil says:

    My small fixes for 2014

    Gagner + N Schultz to Toronto for Gardnier + 2nd round pick

    Dubnyk to NYI for Brock Nelson

    TOs 2nd and Marincin to Florida for Kulikov

    And a new defense coach to replace Steve Smith.

    Happy New year

  32. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Looking at the potential UFA centres for next year there are some intriguing names.

    Thorton – See if Paulina Gretzky has some pull here but he will probably sign before deadline.
    Stastny – improvement for 2nd line centre , good on draws, not resigning with Av’s
    Ryan O’reilly – 52% in the dot, good point production, may not want to play behind Matt and Nathan
    Dave Bolland – gritty face off man, still improvement over Gagner

    Guess we won’t know who is available until March 5th but anyone of these guys would be a substantial improvement in the 2 spot.

    Can we still trade Gagner at the draft or has his NTC kicked in by then? Anyone?

  33. TheOtherJohn says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Justin Bourne ‏@jtbourne 17m

    @rlpeppler Take the best players, you have the best team you can present. That’s all.

    Seriously, why is this at all complicated.And that is from a real, live former professional hockey player.

    Hate to point out but KLowe and S Tambellini are also “real, live professional hockey players”. How’s that working out?

    Think Winnipeg is a natural trade partner for the Oilers. Big team with redundant defensive assets. Love Buff. Strong RD. Expect they’d want an awful lot for a 30 pt D man (so far) but I’d certainly consider a package for him. Eberle, JSchultz, Klefbom for Buff and Kane (the tall one)

  34. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    This is awesome: http://m.imgur.com/W6pHCNA

    Hat tip to @northsidechad for posting it and for Dennis for re-tweeting it.

    Terrific.

    Love the post office bulletin board style sketches too. In some cases probably appropriate. *coughSemenkocough*

  35. RexLibris says:

    VanOil:
    My small fixes for 2014

    Gagner + N Schultz to Toronto for Gardnier + 2nd round pick

    Dubnyk to NYI for Brock Nelson

    TOs 2nd and Marincin to Florida for Kulikov

    And a new defense coach to replace Steve Smith.

    Happy New year

    I wish.

    Not sure all those assets meet value, though.

    Gagner, N. Schultz and Musil might be enough to convince Nonis to part with Gardiner and a 2nd, though.

    My take on Gagner is that the Oilers need to upgrade 2C (completely in line with what LT says) but I feel that until that position has a gaping hole due to Gagner’s permanent absence it won’t be addressed.

    Perhaps I’m wrong and MacTavish sees what I see – that a new 2C is needed and Gagner is better moved as an asset to acquire roster balance – but I’m done holding my breath for this organization to make the changes that seem so obvious to everyone else.

  36. RexLibris says:

    teddyturnbuckle,

    Gagner’s RFA status changes to UFA July 1st, basically when his contract begins covering UFA years. Meaning that the NTC/MNC kicks in then.

    So MacTavish can move him right up until midnight June 30th.

    Anyone remember the Jeff Carter/Mike Richards moves made right before their new contracts kicked in?

  37. oilersfan says:

    I seriously wonder right now if gagner would even clear waivers.
    Dont believe it? Whoda thunk PM Bouchard would? Same draft spot same size same deficiencies…

    The only option the oilers have is to play him with the best wingers they can to see if they can do a pump and dump to get those stats up.

    And Eberele’s contract isnt looking too good right now?

  38. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    Regarding Burke as one of the best GMs at trades post-lockout – I decided to have a look at Burke’s trading history as GM from Vancouver, Anaheim and Toronto (leaving out his short stint in Hartford) in order to determine if he really does have a superior trading record.

    Early on, the information I’ve looked at would suggest that he has improved over time but that his history is heavily coloured by the sheer number of trades he makes and that there are examples sometimes taken out of context that skew the perception.

    I think he was gifted Pronger by Lowe because of their relationship and the Oilers’ prior interest in players like Lupul who had a local connection and could salve the municipal pride a bit.

    The Franson deal worked out very well. Poile doesn’t have the best track record on trades and was over the proverbial barrel financially.

    The Gardiner trade was another clear win, but both this move and the Franson one are so in hindsight. In both cases he was sending away NHL bodies for unproven prospects, albeit well-regarded ones.

    I’ll give him credit for those trades, but in both cases their current ranking is due to the progression of the players post-trade rather than at the time.

    Phaneuf. Highway robbery, plain and simple. The Leafs own the Flames’ soul (assuming they have one) when it comes to trades.

    I’ll let you know when I’ve had a chance to look through the information more thoroughly but I think his reputation is now somewhat similar to the high regard Sather had in the mid to late-90s. Time may yet take the bloom off this rose.

    He’s a better horse-trader than many GMs in the league, but the verbal I’m constantly hearing from Toronto media and now Flames fans makes it seem like he could talk a snake out of its skin and I just don’t believe that his record entirely supports that position.

  39. Thinker says:

    Hopefully they trade gagner at the deadline after he has a hot streak. His value will be down at the draft just because other GMs will realize it’s crunch time for the oil.

  40. Pouzar says:

    WG, CA….

    why the love for Byfuglien? I live in WPG and the guy is the definition of hot and cold and a clear adventure in his own end(basing this on seeing live in the games I’ve seen). I also have a close friend who knows his hockey and is a season ticket holder and he is not a fan of his defensive play to say the least.

  41. RexLibris says:

    Thinker:
    Hopefully they trade gagner at the deadline after he has a hot streak. His value will be down at the draft just because other GMs will realize it’s crunch time for the oil.

    I don’t know that his value will necessarily diminish at the draft.

    Another GM may fall in love with the idea of Gagner over the reality simply because he hasn’t seen him play in a few months (wild assumption there that the Oilers don’t make the playoffs this season). Or perhaps a GM iis facing an imminent roster departure due to free agency and feels Gagner is a good option to replace the roster hole.

    We’re discussing why GMs are making strange roster selections for the Olympics so it isn’t like these people all have powers of omniscient rational perception.

  42. Bulging Twine says:

    Yakimov and Khaira in OKC next year. Size down the middle!! X2

  43. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=45597

    Eakins off day in San Jose

    -Horak sent to OKC
    -Yak is back in on a line with Gagner and Eberle and some PP time
    -Arco/Larsen are ready but will sit for now

  44. Thiru says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    “We did not pick the 25 best players,” general manager David Poile said. “We picked the [ones] we thought gave us a chance to win the gold.”

    There is no end to the stupid.No end.

    Remember Rob Zamuner? Remember Shayne Corson?

    Barf.

  45. melancholyculkin says:

    Woodguy,

    It’s funny, because this:

    Tracking is great, Burke says. But it “totally disregards a body of work. At some point, a player’s body of work outweighs how he’s tracking, unless he’s flat out dreadful,” he says.

    is absolutely correct. The problem is that Burke refuses to realize that Jack Johnson’s body of work is terrible.

  46. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Watching the Canucks game Ben bishop looks pretty good this year. Can’t believe a 2nd a 3rd and Ryan Jones couldn’t get it done by Tambo. Ryan Jones? Might as well have been just the picks. If this is an example of what Tambo was willing to part with no wonder he couldn’t ever make a trade. While I’m at it, until 0 goals Klefbom is an NHL regular we got fleeced on the Penner trade.

  47. Thiru says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    If Gagner’s second half is as bad as the first, they may have to think about a buyout. Seriously.

    That’s a stretch.

    There’s a market for him.The NHL runs on reputation (which includes draft position years after a player was drafted), not actual results.

    What you’d get for him in return is questionable.

    There’s a limit to that, though.

    An awful lot of good hockey players — some of whom you’ve brought up — like Gilbert, Hainsey, Raymond, etc were without guaranteed contracts this past off-season. Oilersfan brought up Bouchard, and that guy actually had a decent CORSI this year (married to some horrible luck).

    No, Gagner is in trouble. He needs to understand that his career is hanging in the balance.

    Right around the age where a lot of guys of his ilk have had their games take off, his has regressed, and we’re seeing that regression now over 2 seasons.

    Not good.

    Look at your CORSI number for him from the last game. That is below replacement level, man! Absurdly so. And while Horak may or may not be junk, Jordan Eberle certainly isn’t.

    Eakins is being very charitable with 89. To a certain degree it’s warranted, established player with track record blah blah blah, but this is a former 6th overall pick who can’t gain separation — on one of the worst franchises in the NHL — from a smaller player who was playing in the ECHL a few years ago. That’s not just scoresheet stuff — it’s CORSI, it’s winning battles, it’s d-zone coverage, it’s sinking good players with a history of good possession numbers (Hemmer last year, Eberle and others this year).

    That’s a pretty damning indictment, no?

  48. Rebilled says:

    Can see Gagner getting traded next trade deadline.

    They’ll want more return and he will be better next year. As soon as he broke his jaw this season was doomed with our centre depth.

  49. melancholyculkin says:

    melancholyculkin,

    It’s not just Burke. Everyone involved seems to have a huge Jack Johnson fetish. It’s absurd.

  50. justDOit says:

    RexLibris,

    And didn’t he make the JVR – L Schenn trade? I really like that one.

  51. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Rebilled,

    His no trade kicks in after this season

  52. Caramel Obvious says:

    Watching the Lightning handle the Canucks easily on the road without Stamkos it isn’t hard to see a major problem with the Oilers.

    The following players played significant roles against the Canucks followed by the method of acquisition.

    Mark Barberio: 6th round 2008 draft
    Ben Bishop: Cory Conacher (a college free agent)
    Radko Gudas: 3rd round 2010 draft
    Tyler Johnson: minor league free agent 2011
    Alex Killorn: 3rd round 2007 draft
    Nikita Kucherov: 2nd round 2011 draft
    Ondrej Palat: 7th round 2008 draft
    Richard Panik: 2nd round 2009 draft
    Andrej Sustr: college free agent 2013

    Half the team, most 23 years old or younger, not a single first round pick.

    The equivalent list of Oilers:

    Anton Lander
    Martin Marincin
    Justin Schultz

    This is a big reason why the Oilers aren’t good.

  53. dangilitis says:

    Gagner should have been traded last summer. Now he will either take too long to recover from this jaw breaker thus crushing his value on the trade market, or rebound, in which we’ll hold onto him, warts and all.

    O’Reilly would be great, except he has a 5 million dollar contract, and is an RFA next year (e.g. will likely make more). I think Colorado either walks on him (and a foolish bidding war amongst the league ensues, pushing him up to Stastny current contract), or they re-sign him and let Stastny walk. They have the cap room, I just don’t see the owners paying 20 million + for 3 centers. I would love to think the Oilers buy whoever pries loose, but they won’t win that race, methinks. Maybe they need to trade a conditional draft pick for the inside track?

    UFA choices (not necessarily based on preference, more based on likelihood of fit):

    #2C – Stastny, Grabo, Roy, Legwand (the overpay position, as long as Gagner off the books)
    #3R – Hemsky, Stempniak, Kulemin, Iggy, Setoguchi,
    #3L – Winnik, Michalek, Penner, Whitney (he’s ageless)

    Trade targets (being as optimistic as I can that Hemsky, Gagner, or D prospects can help land one)
    #2C – Kadri? Couturier? Anisimov? Bjugstad? Henrique?
    #3R – Glencross, Kopecky, Chiasson, Boyes, Havlat
    #3L – Cogliano (2.4/60 5×5, QofC tough, 54% off zone starts – the optics look really bad to the general public, but I could get on board with a Gagner for Cogliano swap!!!), Upshall, Frolik, Higgins, Roussel

    For instance, Imagine a forward corps of:
    RNH-Hall-Perron
    Stastny-Yakupov-Eberle
    Gordon-Winnik-Stempniak
    Arcobello-Smyth-Horak

    This is quite a pipe dream here, as it means getting 3 UFAs who, for all we know, could be re-signed. The #2C pool thins out quickly, but there are definitely enough 3rd line wingers available by UFA or trade routes.
    But it also means you’ve traded Gagner and draft picks/D prospects for top 4 D-man.

    Then all you’ve got left to do is find 3 more competent D-men, or 2 more competent D-men and hope that one of Marincin, J Schultz, or Fedun has what it takes to play good hockey. Oh and find goalies.

    MacT’s to do list is longer than last summer’s, no?
    1/2/3. Find trade partners for Gagner, Nick Schultz, Hemsky, that results in holes being filled, or draft picks/prospects that can actually help in future trades.
    4. Sign #2 Center (unlikely to come back in any of 1-3)
    5. Sign #3 RW (if doesn’t come back in trades for 1-3), or sign Hemsky.
    6. Sign #3 LW (if doesn’t come back in trades for 1-3).
    7. Re-sign Arcobello for #4C duty (i believe in him)
    8. Re-sign Smytty at #4LW dollars, re-ignite a fire under Joensuu’s ass every period, or sign or promote from within to fill #4LW (Pitlick?)
    9. Re-sign Horak for #4RW, with another sign/promotion as insurance/competition (OR continue to think Gazdic is useful…)
    10. Don’t fuck up with Yakupov.
    11. Don’t fuck up with Yakupov.
    12. Trade for a top 4 D-man today, not in 2-5 years. Draft picks, prospects, one of our many 5-7 Dmen, and/or one of the 3-4 men above.
    13. Teach Justin Schultz how to defend or accept he should be a #6-7 defender, no matter how coveted he was 3 years ago. Prepare such that he will not be a top 4 Dman next year…
    14. Next year, assume that #4-7 D can be competently provided between Nurse, Ference, J Schultz, SImpson, Marincin, Klefbom, Larssen, Fedun, Gernat, Belov. That leaves 6 men out, which means…
    15. Some or all should be combined to trade for another top 3 D-man, leaving a core top 3 D of: Petry, #12,#15
    16. Don’t fuck up with Yakupov.
    17. Sign 1 of Bryz or DD (my vote for Bryz, in part an emotional decision because I am pissed at DD’s start this season, in other part because Bryz has been a #1 goaltender on a playoff team) before the deadline to a 2 year extension.
    18. Trade the other one
    19. Pending such a trade or discard, hope that one of Miller, Halak, Hiller, Scrivens, Elliott, or Khudobin shakes free and sign the shit out of them.
    20. Take Larionov and Yak’s dad out for an expensive dinner, then tell him to shut the fuck up about Yakupov’s future when approached by either North Amertican and Russian media for the next few years. And don’t fuck up Yakupov!!!
    21. Find out if Eakins knows how to coach soon.
    22. Find competent support coaching staff.

    I’d say the likelihood of all 19 (admittedly, 3 repeats) occurring in the next year would be like winning the lotto, which, alas, I hope for when the Oilers finish in the bottom 5 again this year.

  54. Crooked says:

    One good news story getting overlooked right now is Laurent Brossoit. Just had his 7th ECHL start and recorded his 5th shutout tonight. 6-1 0.70GAA .967SV%. Unreal. He should be getting another opportunity in OKC soon, I’d imagine.

  55. Colieo87 says:

    Man I’m so getting a Laurent Brossoit Jersey when he plays in the bigs, please pick nunber 31 cujo old oiler nunber =). It could go along my other only oil Jersey Justin Schultz. Which hasn’t panned out but he’s needs more time. Like another 4 yrs. If he sticks around fingers crossed xx

  56. bassguy says:

    hey, both Hall and Eberle will be on the olympic team…just my wierd vibe

  57. bassguy says:

    hall and eberle will be playing for the olympics

  58. bassguy says:

    ok…sorry i have doubled my thought?

  59. bassguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    wow..you could pick any team…..the stats are there for you to find?…give me a break…mike

  60. bassguy says:

    by the way i think dangilitus is strange?

  61. jp says:

    Crooked:
    One good news story getting overlooked right now is Laurent Brossoit. Just had his 7th ECHL start and recorded his 5th shutout tonight. 6-1 0.70GAA .967SV%. Unreal. He should be getting another opportunity in OKC soon, I’d imagine.

    Super impressive, no matter what the league. Ladislav who?

  62. bookje says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    “We did not pick the 25 best players,” general manager David Poile said. “We picked the [ones] we thought gave us a chance to win the gold.”

    There is no end to the stupid.No end.

    Imagine a racing team saying “we didn’t pick the best car, we picked the car that gave us the best chance to win.”

    When did this anti talent movement in picking teams really take off?

  63. flyfish1168 says:

    Anton Slepyshev player of the game this morning against the US. 5-3 Russia win

  64. Ryan says:

    As far as Gagner goes, I’m the guy who was screaming, “sell high” as loud as I could here last season.

  65. russ99 says:

    Guys, don’t forget, international ice, international rules.

    That plays a big part on who’s selected.

    Byfuglien’s slow skating and North American style wouldn’t work in Sochi.

  66. russ99 says:

    And thus, I hope Hall and Ebs make it, give them another taste of fast open-ice hockey that’s died under Eakins, and against great competition.

  67. Ducey says:

    flyfish1168:
    Anton Slepyshev player of the game this morning against the US. 5-3 Russia win

    Those third rounders are looking like they might be a steal.

  68. Hammers says:

    Seems evaluations of players change under duress . Not that long ago when it was sign Gags for under 5mill$$ and now its let him go . Still think Nonis would like him but trouble is he probably would want to dump Kadri not a “D” .McT needs to be talking to the other border line teams wanting or hoping to make the playoffs .. This is the best month to make a trade especially being an Olympic year . Oh well he probably will just clear what dead weight he can . N.Schultz , Potter , Jones , . Question is will he move Hemsky , Klefbom , Gags ,Petry , maybe J.Schultz .

  69. rickithebear says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Watching the Lightning handle theCanucks easily on the road without Stamkos it isn’t hard to see a major problem with the Oilers.

    The following players played significant roles against the Canucks followed by the method of acquisition.

    Mark Barberio:6th round 2008 draft
    Ben Bishop:Cory Conacher (a college free agent)
    Radko Gudas: 3rd round 2010 draft
    Tyler Johnson: minor league free agent 2011
    Alex Killorn: 3rd round 2007 draft
    Nikita Kucherov: 2nd round 2011 draft
    Ondrej Palat: 7th round 2008 draft
    Richard Panik: 2nd round 2009 draft
    Andrej Sustr: college free agent 2013

    Half the team, most 23 years old or younger, not a single first round pick.

    The equivalent list of Oilers:

    Anton Lander
    Martin Marincin
    Justin Schultz

    This is a big reason why the Oilers aren’t good.

    Our problem is;

    1998 -1999 draft sather Fraser should hve acumalated 2.7Players
    We got Horcoff in the 4th and was not a helping nhl player till 7 years after draft age 25.
    we are -1.7 players

    2000 to 2007 drafts Lowe Pendergast should have accumalated 10.7 players
    Hemsky 2001 1-3rd line winger
    Stoll 2002 effective Nhl Forward 24yr 6 yr after draft
    Greene 2002 Effective D 25 ry 7 year after draft.
    Brodziak 2003 effetive age 23 5 yr after draft
    Dubnyk 2004 age 24 6yr after draft
    Cogliano 2006 effective 2 yr after draft.
    He has averaged top 30 in ESG for his position in his career
    Gagner 2007 top 30 for ppg centers last 2 years.
    2008 pick #22 pronger trade.
    7 players
    -3.7 from average.

    we lack serious depth from our drafting we are short 5.4 players.
    plus the players asset value frittered away by Mgmt
    Stoll, Greene, Brodziak, Cogliano

    From this grouping we see that later picks take time age 23/25 to be effective players.

    2nds or lower still bubbling and age
    Hartikainen 2008 23 yr
    Lander 2009 22yr
    Pitlick 2010 22 yr
    Hamilton 2010 22 yr
    Davidson 2010 22yr
    were will they be at 2 years from now

    Marincin 2010 21yr
    J. McCarron 21yr
    Musil 2011 20yr
    Simpson 2011 20yr
    Gernat 2011 20yr
    this group 3 years from now.

    Moroz 2012 19yr
    Khaira 2012 19yr
    M-O Roy 2013 19 yr
    Yakimov 2013 19yr
    Slepyshov 2013 19yr

    Houck 2013 18yr
    Muir 18yr
    Chase 18yr

    there are alot of 2-6 years away functional size and depth.
    withthe hope of replacing higher contract cost with lower cap.

    MacT knows he has to fill the depth issues with free agents.
    he started last year!

  70. Pretendergast says:

    Im feeling like winnik and tommy wingels on san jose with boyd gordon would make an absolute dynamite 3rd line with good defence, grit, and good pk abilities. Even have some offence on them. Here’s wingels
    http://www.extraskater.com/player/442/tommy-wingels

    Im no pro at advanced stats but these look pretty good.

  71. dangilitis says:

    bassguy:
    by the way i think dangilitus is strange?

    Come again?

    You posted 8 words, with the name spelled incorrectly, and then putting a question mark at the end? Do you think I am strange? If so, then you don’t need to put a question mark at the end.

    For instance, you have little intelligence. See, no question mark there, it’s not really open for debate.

  72. Acumen says:

    Hammers:
    Seems evaluations of players change under duress . Not that long ago when it was sign Gags for under 5mill$$ and now its let him go . Still think Nonis would like him but trouble is he probably would want to dump Kadri not a “D”.McT needs to be talking to the other border line teams wanting or hoping to make the playoffs .. This is the best month to make a trade especially being an Olympic year . Oh well he probably will just clear what dead weight he can . N.Schultz , Potter , Jones , . Question is will he move Hemsky , Klefbom , Gags ,Petry , maybe J.Schultz .

    I have *zero* issue with a Gagner for Kadri swap. None. I wanted that in the summer.

    At the very least we know Eakins and him will be on the same page. Beyond that, solid player who checks a lot of the boxes we are looking for in a second line C. He has some issues, but a Gagner return is gonna have those.

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