(THAT DEMON LIFE HAS GOT ME IN ITS) SWAY

An NHL head coach has all kinds of decisions to make every game. If he’s at home, does he use his best players against the other club’s best? Does he use his top pairing against the other team’s best forwards? What about his 4th line? Should he use them only when the other coach sends his 4th line over the boards?

Some of those questions depend on the score (using 4th lines more usually happens when a team is ahead or behind by a significant amount, and most teams run their best pairing against the other club’s best forwards). Others are a ‘feel’ thing from coach to coach and as fans we don’t really know why things happen.

There are all kinds of things we do know today that we didn’t ten years ago. Example: how a coach deploys his roster.

EDMONTON OILERS UNDER DALLAS EAKINS, 2013-14

Edmonton Oilers 2013-2014 player usage

Now, you can enlarge it and get a really good idea about what he’s doing (basically rolling 4 lines, using Gordon for own zone starts and making sure Yakupov is getting the offensive zone starts). Eakins is not a veteran coach like Craig MacTavish when he was in his prime with the Oilers, there’s not a lot of evidence of hard matching over half a season and we can’t really identify his tough minutes line (in fairness, Eakins didn’t find Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky until the season was well worn, and other teams chase Hall’s line, so maybe this IS a little line matching with the result being the blob in the middle).

BOSTON BRUINS PLAYER USAGE CHART 2013-14

bruins player usage

Again, if you enlarge the full roster and what it’s telling us comes into view. This more spread out group is what one might hope for, the impact guys in the top left quadrant, the offensive river pushers in the upper right, the good checkers in the lower left and the rookies and henchmen in the lower right.

That’s ideal.

Now, how do the Oilers get there? Chara, Bergeron, Boychuk, Krejci, Marchand, Eriksson. Lucic, Seidenberg. And the goalies. That’s the heart of the roster, and the Oilers have many of the forward elements but lack the defensemen and the two way ability of guys like Bergeron, Krejci and Chara.

Imagine a world in which Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 20 years old, is playing in the lower right quadrant, along with Yakupov and the other kids. Imagine more help for Boyd Gordon, and big blue bubbles in the upper right quadrant for Hall, Eberle and Perron—and maybe, if God smiles on us, one of those men eventually finding his way to the secret garden of upper left, big blue, pushing the river.

I don’t know the names who are coming in, but that’s Craig MacTavish’s job. More NHL players, more veterans, easier ropes to climb for the kids and the aged.

What an incredible task ahead.

(although these graphs are the Vollman Sledgehammer, they come from extraskater.com. My thanks to extraskater for the brilliance).

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75 Responses to "(THAT DEMON LIFE HAS GOT ME IN ITS) SWAY"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    God Bergeron is a fantastic player.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    God Bergeron is a fantastic player.

    I know. Insane.

  3. Brackenburied says:

    These Vollman things I can understand. Pictures good. Numbers hurt.
    Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  4. art vandelay says:

    God Bergeron is a fantastic player.

    You didn’t need a Sledgehammer graph to tell you that, did you?

  5. danieldelair says:

    As per TSN TradeCentre:

    “Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/) mentions the possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguins could offer defenceman Simon Despres at the trade deadline because they have both youth and depth at the position.”

    That’s a new name. Anyone know anything about this player?

  6. bookje says:

    danieldelair:
    As per TSN TradeCentre:

    “Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal mentions the possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguins could offer defenceman Simon Despres at the trade deadline because they have both youth and depth at the position.”

    That’s a new name. Anyone know anything about this player?

    He writes for the Edmonton Journal, though I wouldn’t call him a player, I would reserve that term for Terry Jones.

  7. Lowetide says:

    danieldelair:
    As per TSN TradeCentre:

    “Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/) mentions the possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguins could offer defenceman Simon Despres at the trade deadline because they have both youth and depth at the position.”

    That’s a new name. Anyone know anything about this player?

    Interesting player, I’d hope they would aim higher.

    http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.php?6999

  8. Woodguy says:

    danieldelair:
    As per TSN TradeCentre:

    “Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/) mentions the possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguins could offer defenceman Simon Despres at the trade deadline because they have both youth and depth at the position.”

    That’s a new name. Anyone know anything about this player?

    Posted this 2 threads back:

    Depres is often a HS and only has 17 gp this year.

    Been beaten out by Matta, who is only 19 and Engelland who’s more of a FIstric type.

    Oilers need someone with more of a NHL track record.

    LHD who aren’t quite ready for full time NHL employment describes about 4 Oilers/Barons. I don’t think they need another.

    Pass unless he really comes cheap.

  9. Hammers says:

    Until some new boys come into play our charts will all look out of sync . Key stays the same a big , heavy good skating “D” that plays both sides of the game . This team will loose again next year unless that type of player is brought in .Will J.Schultz / Nurse / Petry / Marincin & Klefbom be the 5 . Maybe in 3 years but who wants to wait 3 years

  10. Lowetide says:

    Is Reimer to the Oilers a rumor or just a bunch of people making things up? Apparently on tsn.

  11. wheatnoil says:

    Matheson is the rumour-monger for the Reimer thing. TSN is quoting Matheson’s Hockey World article…

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/

    edit:
    I don’t know if Matheson’s got a source on it but it sounds like TSN is just re-reporting without new info.

  12. Lowetide says:

    wheatnoil:
    Matheson is the rumour-monger for the Reimer thing. TSN is quoting Matheson’s Hockey World article…

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/

    Oh. Well, that’s not anything.

  13. 8p0intgame says:

    Trade proposal from a Leafs fan on TSN:

    Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer for Eberle + 3rd round pick

    Would anyone do it? (I don’t think I would)

  14. Bar_Qu says:

    8p0intgame:
    Trade proposal from a Leafs fan on TSN:

    Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer for Eberle + 3rd round pick

    Would anyone do it? (I don’t think I would)

    I would & I love Eberle as a player.

    That hits a couple of Oiler needs.

    Was it Gillis making the suggestion by any chance? Maybe Carlyle?

  15. OilLeak says:

    Bar_Qu:

    Eberle might be equal value, but then again those are 3 lesser pieces that play in the Eastern conference. Not sure I make that deal though, if Eberle is involved a top pairing D needs to be the return.

  16. theres oil in virginia says:

    I don’t know what kinda dirty trick this is, but it’s -6 deg C in Edmonton, and it’s -17 deg C here in SW VA. There’s ice on the inside of my door. I’m going to bed and when I wake up, it’s forecast to be -19 and I expect to be trapped by the encrusting ice.

  17. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    I don’t know what kinda dirty trick this is, but it’s -6 deg C in Edmonton, and it’s -17 deg C here in SW VA.There’s ice on the inside of my door.I’m going to bed and when I wake up, it’s forecast to be -19 and I expect to be trapped by the encrusting ice.

    we’re coming for you. ahahahahahaha

  18. Numenius says:

    Whoever mentioned AdBlock in the previous thread has changed my life.

    Yay, no more Asian women! (Not that there’s anything wrong with Asian women, of course…) :)

  19. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide,
    Did I mention that the interior ice (which is definitely growing) is merely 10 feet from the wood-stove which is boiling water?

    Does this make me an honorary Edmontonian? Or do you “heff” to experience -32 first?

  20. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Lowetide,
    Did I mention that the interior ice (which is definitely growing) is merely 10 feet from the wood-stove which is boiling water?

    Does this make me an honorary Edmontonian?Or do you “heff” to experience -32 first?

    Do you feel a little nervous about the weather? Are there pins and needles in your feet, as it they’re runnning away?

  21. G Money says:

    Numenius:
    Whoever mentioned AdBlock in the previous thread has changed my life.

    Yay, no more Asian women! (Not that there’s anything wrong with Asian women, of course…)

    Yer welcome!

    Though I do feel a bit bad for LT’s beers (and the Asian women).

    theres ice in virginia: Does this make me an honorary Edmontonian? Or do you “heff” to experience -32 first?

    Time for a name change…

  22. misfit says:

    danieldelair:
    As per TSN TradeCentre:

    “Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/05/short-shifts/) mentions the possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguins could offer defenceman Simon Despres at the trade deadline because they have both youth and depth at the position.”

    That’s a new name. Anyone know anything about this player?

    A decent prospect, but a “bottom right” kind of player. He’s a big kid who’s a great skater. I think that may have allowed him more opportunities than he maybe deserved. That, and he played for a powerhouse Seadogs team in junior. I think that team made a couple average prospects seem better than they were. *cough*zachphillips*cough*

    I know the Seadogs weren’t a good team when he was drafted, and he still managed to go in the 1st round, but he was also a 17 year old who was 6’4″, 214 and could skate and play a physical game. He still managed to drop quite a bit on draft day and has now been passed on two teams by younger prospects (Beaulieu in St. John and Maata in Pittsburgh). I think Joe Morrow would’ve passed him before long as well had he not been traded.

    Despres might be good for some teams, but not what we should be aiming for. Especially not for the pricetag he would command. We need shelterers, not shelterees.(neither of those are real words).

  23. Lois Lowe says:

    I am surprised Giordano isn’t ahead of Pickles on Team Canada’s LD depth chart. I’d take him to Sochi before Bouwmeester too, but he should definitely be talked about more.

  24. Ryan says:

    Who needs Bergeron when you’re the Blackhawks?

    Their whole team gets 60%+ ozone starts minus kruger, Bollig, and Smith.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/chicago-blackhawks/2013#

  25. Ryan says:

    8p0intgame:
    Trade proposal from a Leafs fan on TSN:

    Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer for Eberle + 3rd round pick

    Would anyone do it? (I don’t think I would)

    On the surface, it seems interesting in that we get some useful pieces…

    However, Eberle is bonafide…

    Kadri and Gardiner are sort of tweeners. Worse yet is that Gardiner weighs less than 190 lbs and the last thing the Oilers lack is another undersized 5,6,7 defenseman.

    For my money, If I’m trading Eberle, I’d need at least a legit #2 defensman under the age of 30.

  26. OilLeak says:

    Ryan,

    20% ZS!!! Yet Kruger manages to have 17 points already this season 16 EV points and 1 SH. Crazy!

  27. Caramel Obvious says:

    Those charts aren’t scaled the same. If they were the Oilers would look more spread out.

    And what it shows is that Eakins is line matching more than the Bruins do. Hall/Hopkins/Eberle play a more difficult level of competition than anyone on the Bruins while Gazdic plays an easier level of competition than anyone on the Bruins.

  28. Bulging Twine says:

    Nabokov on IR. Dubnyk to be traded?

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    art vandelay:
    God Bergeron is a fantastic player.

    You didn’t need a Sledgehammer graph to tell you that, did you?

    Ha.

    Hi Art!

    And, no, but sometimes it’s nice to reflect on a specific player… Bergeron is a big time covet of mine for a while now.

  30. Bulging Twine says:

    I wonder if Burke will choose tomorrow (Canada Olympic team revealing) to respond to the Burnside article.

  31. Ducey says:

    Ryan: On the surface, it seems interesting in that we get some useful pieces…

    However, Eberle is bonafide…

    Kadri and Gardiner are sort of tweeners.Worse yet is that Gardiner weighs less than 190 lbs and the last thing the Oilers lack is another undersized 5,6,7 defenseman.

    For my money, If I’m trading Eberle, I’d need at least a legit #2 defensman under the age of 30.

    I think you have that exactly right.

  32. fifthcartel says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 16m
    Source says Logan Couture will undergo surgery Wednesday on injured hand. Expected to be out 3-4 weeks. Olympics still a possibility…

    I wonder if Hall makes it due to injuries. Coming back from that usually has some adjustment period, especially looking back to when Giroux came back from wrist surgery in the beginning of the season.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Those charts aren’t scaled the same.If they were the Oilers would look more spread out.

    And what it shows is that Eakins is line matching more than the Bruins do.Hall/Hopkins/Eberle play a more difficult level of competition than anyone on the Bruins while Gazdic plays an easier level of competition than anyone on the Bruins.

    we have this conversation every time. If you click on them, and then look at the lines on each graph, it gives you true view.

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    I agree re:Eberle.

    I think the Oilers will have to trade off an asset to fill the deficiencies on their roster, and I would consider trading Eberle if it came to that, but if we do, he definitely has to bring back a bonafide defender. No tweeners or question marks.

  35. jp says:

    8p0intgame:
    Trade proposal from a Leafs fan on TSN:

    Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer for Eberle + 3rd round pick

    Would anyone do it? (I don’t think I would)

    Tough call. 3 good players but Eberle is the best player involved (and isn’t the 3 for 1 supposed to go the other way?). We talk about Eberle having a lucky year a couple of years back, but I don’t know if Kadri can replicate last season. Good chunks of 3 yrs in the AHL and couldn’t quite crack a PPG. Skilled player, but doesn’t scream 1st liner.

    I’d sure like to know Eakins’ opinion though – he’s coached them all.

  36. RexLibris says:

    The Americans left off Ryan and Yandle. The Czechs left off Hudler and Vrbata.

    Can we really expect some cone of sanity to descend on the Canadian Selection committee when it appears other nations are bereft of it?

    I’d like nothing more than to see Hall go to Sochi and blow the doors off of all his critics’ arguments. Force his way up to the top line and win the damned gold medal himself.

    However, even with Couture undergoing surgery I can’t get my hopes up that this happens.

  37. RexLibris says:

    I’m not interested in Kadri coming to Edmonton. Too similar in many ways to Gagner and we’ve seen that already.

    Why not aim for a more defensively gifted center who can complement scoring wingers than try to find one that pushes the river on his own or is a retread of a player they already have?

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: we have this conversation every time.

    The number of times I’ve said this to the wife, or she’s said it to me, you’d think it never needed to be said again… and yet…

  39. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide,

    The scale stays the same when I click on them. A box in the Oilers graph is worth 2% while a box in the Bruins graph is 1%.

  40. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The number of times I’ve said this to the wife, or she’s said it to me, you’d think it never needed to be said again… and yet…

    That’s because it is such a rewarding conversation.

    Right?

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Morbid thought, but I hazard that young Pelss would have played in the Olympics.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Been beaten out by Matta, who is only 19 and Engelland who’s more of a Fistic type.

    Fixed that for ya.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Nabokov on IR.Dubnyk to be traded?

    now would actually be the time.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Obvious: Hall/Hopkins/Eberle play a more difficult level of competition than anyone on the Bruins while Gazdic plays an easier level of competition than anyone on the Bruins.

    Is that Eakins line-matching or the opposing coach line-matching?

  45. Bulging Twine says:

    Lowetide: now would actually be the time.

    Where did I hear a Dubnyk for Hickey rumour last month?

  46. Bulging Twine says:

    Bulging Twine: I like these guys.Good likeable Canadians.I like Canadians.

    Oh, I thought that was the cbc video of the Team Canada GM’s.

  47. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Lowetide,

    The scale stays the same when I click on them.A box in the Oilers graph is worth 2% while a box in the Bruins graph is 1%.

    It’s weirder than that – the Oiler scale is actually switching between a 1% and 2% box on the vertical axis. Since the size isn’t changing, I assume it’s some sort of weird rounding effect in action.

    Since the axes limits (vertical and horizontal) are not the same between the graphs, it does make the scale harder to compare.

    That said, it looks like the midpoints are in the same numerical place (50% and 28%) so the quadrant comparisons should be valid.

  48. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: now would actually be the time.

    Snow is due for some roster drama, is he not? There was a time when Sather would occasionally take Milbury out behind the woodshed and come back with a Brewer or a Torres.

    That’d be nice about now.

  49. PerryK says:

    8p0intgame:
    Trade proposal from a Leafs fan on TSN:

    Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer for Eberle + 3rd round pick

    Would anyone do it? (I don’t think I would)

    I would if I could swindle the same deal for Gagner instead!:))))

  50. Lowetide says:

    G Money: It’s weirder than that – the Oiler scale is actually switching between a 1% and 2% box on the vertical axis.Since the size isn’t changing, I assume it’s some sort of weird rounding effect in action.

    Since the axes limits (vertical and horizontal) are not the same between the graphs, it does make the scale harder to compare.

    That said, it looks like the midpoints are in the same numerical place (50% and 28%) so the quadrant comparisons should be valid.

    ES puts them on team page

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

  51. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: ES puts them on team page

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

    Those values appear to be rounded to the nearest 1%. The vertical scale lines are equidistant but the values are 25, 27, 28, 30, 31. The true spacing is probably 1.5% per.

  52. Bulging Twine says:

    Lowetide: now would actually be the time.

    Unless Calgary trades them Berra

  53. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Those values appear to be rounded to the nearest 1%. The vertical scale lines are equidistant but the values are 25, 27, 28, 30, 31. The true spacing is probably 1.5% per.

    to fit frame? That must be it.

  54. Clay says:

    Lowetide:
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/01/30-thoughts-canadas-olympic-squad-still-has-holes-to-fill.html

    I find it interesting that Rick Nash is even being considered. Yes he’s skilled and yes he’s been great for Canada in the past. But holy smokes, he’s a one dimensional left winger, and he’s not playing nearly as well as Benn or Sharp or Hall or Neal at LW this year. Not even close.

    If Nash makes the team ahead of any of those four, well, I guess I won’t be surprised. Head-scratching roster decisions seem to be the cool thing to do for these Olympics…

  55. 8p0intgame says:

    PerryK,

    I don’t think there are many people on this blog that would oppose Gagner + 2014 3rd round pick for Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer. lol

    I gathered from reading comments posted by Leafs fans at TSN.ca that there is at least some interest in Gagner in Toronto. I also got the feeling that many fans, albeit the less informed ones, consider Gardiner, Kadri, and Reimer to be “spare parts”.

    Two new trade proposals for you;

    Eberle + 2014 3rd round pick for Gardiner OR Kadri + Reimer + 2014 1st round pick

    Gagner + Klefbom + 2014 3rd round pick for Gardiner + Kadri + Reimer

    I don’t think I would hesitate on the latter trade. IMHO, it is a “safe” trade. The Oilers aren’t giving up too much (a 40 point guy with well-documented problems in the defensive zone, a former first round pick with an extensive injury history and a mid round pick) and they aren’t getting too much back (a couple of “tweeners” and a backup goalie). I would have serious mixed feelings about the former as I would be trading a bonafide NHL player for futures, but I would pull the trigger if I could get Kulemin without giving up too much more (perhaps Dillon Simpson?).

    Eberle + Simpson + 3rd round pick for Gardiner + Kulemin + Reimer + 1st round pick

    Thoughts?

  56. Sisyphus14 says:

    Proposal from a Caps fan I saw–question is, would you do it? At first I said absolutely not, no way, never, uh-uh. The more I think about it, however, it leans more into…depends on how the next couple weeks go, really:

    Hall + late-round pick for Neuvirth + Brouwer + Green + Fehr

  57. Sisyphus14 says:

    Caps fan trade sounds absurd on surface.

    Until you realize we give up only one of our young studs (though granted, the one fans like the most), and in return get a solid goalie, two veteran forwards (Brouwer brings us some grit AND offensive ability, with experience winning the Cup; Fehr is veteran forward with scoring ability and bigger body yet still able to play), and a veteran dman who I think needs a change of scenery,

    To my mind, that solves at least several problems for us, and gets us through until our prospects are at NHL caliber.

    Then again, might need to be Hall + roster player, to make sense with the Cap. What about seeing if they’d take Gagner off our hands? Might be willing to take the risk on his salary/NTC contract, given what else they have coming their way, and I don’t see us being able to move Gags for much less than an add-on piece to a better trade?

  58. Lowetide says:

    Sisyphus14:
    Proposal from a Caps fan I saw–question is, would you do it? At first I said absolutely not, no way, never, uh-uh. The more I think about it, however, it leans more into…depends on how the next couple weeks go, really:

    Hall + late-round pick for Neuvirth + Brouwer + Green + Fehr

    Never. Not ever. That’s exactly the wrong trade to make.

  59. Ontario Oilers Fan says:

    The incompetence of the Oilers organization knows creativity. After MacT stated that he would trade his top pick (anywhere 1 to 5) for immediate help (can you say top paring D man?) he know flip flops and wants Ekblad… Do we need yet another budding star to keep stinking and to kill another young player’s career?
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2014/01/07/oils-gm-craig-mactavish-has-a-change-of-heart-due-to-lure-of-top-draft-picks

  60. Sisyphus14 says:

    Lowetide,

    Think they’ve wasted enough time as it is, and certainly can’t afford to tank hard for another several seasons until hopefully the prospects are genuinely NHL-caliber and ready. There has to be something done to get through the next 3-4 years until that happens.

    And to my mind, hateful though it may be, we’re going to have to get rid of something we really like to get back things we really need. I don’t know how many more times I can sit here and listen to people act as though they think anyone in the league is going to give a top-level player back for Gagner or Hemmer. And even Eberle is going to need to be packaged with someone to get back a top-level player.

    Given all that, seems to me you choose one of your more valuable assets, and trade them to fill a bunch of holes at once. We don’t have the depth to be able to patch a piece at a time, or at least not without still having to use one of the studs. And if I have to use a young star, I’d rather see what I can get for using just one of them, rather than having to look at losing more than one.

    You give up hall, you still have RNH, Ebs, Yak, and yet have filled the goalie issue, a top-pairing dman, and some veteran forwards. Not sure how you plan to fix all those issues (goal, D, veteran offense) without having to give up even more.

    Lastly, it boggles the mind to see people who want to just continue the course, despite it clearly being a failure, for another 3-5 years until the prospects arrive and suddenly we’re going to be a great team? Maybe, but that makes for a 13 year rebuild, one that I don’t see many fans being willing to wait through, all on the HOPE that things will be better then. At some point, you just have to accept that you’re going to have to make some big changes if you want to succeed. You can continue a losing path, sure that its going to be the path to success sooner or later–but at what point does stubborn faith and persistence become pig-headedness and refusal to face facts?

  61. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide,

    G Money,

    Wow, no sympathy from Alberta when you complain about a little cold weather!
    ;)
    I’m still going to revel in one of the few times that we “beat” Edmonton for the cold. Truth be told, I like it. My car does not, however.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Marincin is having one hell of a month!

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=111403

    what to bet his trade value has and will skyrocket over the month and into the near future? Also, the chance that MacT has fallen in love with him and he’s part of the in-group?

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ontario Oilers Fan:
    The incompetence of the Oilers organization knows creativity. After MacT stated that he would trade his top pick (anywhere 1 to 5) for immediate help (can you say top paring D man?) he know flip flops and wants Ekblad… Do we need yet another budding star to keep stinking and to kill another young player’s career?
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2014/01/07/oils-gm-craig-mactavish-has-a-change-of-heart-due-to-lure-of-top-draft-picks

    That’s a fantastic read. And not a word out of place from MacT.

    It’s just common sense, if your 1st rounder is middle to late in the round you are far more willing to part with it (say in the JBow trade). But as he says a top 7 pick… you better get a damn good return. damn good. There’s no room for near misses on a trade like that.

    You have to get Schneider basically and even then it isn’t exactly a decision you make flippantly.

    This was nice to read:

    ““But there’s other guys, too,” he said, including a big centre to fill another big need for this team going forward MacTavish identifies as 6-foot-1 209-pound German Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders out of Cologne.”

    And this bit on Klefbom should heal Matty’s case of the vapors:

    “As for the Oilers other blue-chip prospect on defence, Oscar Klefbom, playing with the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL, the plan all along has been to develop him there this season. But MacTavish says there’s a very good chance you will now see the 6-foot-3, 213-pound 20-year-old Swede who missed almost all of last season with an injury, for the final 22 games of the regular season when the Oilers return from the Olympic break.

    “He’s developing well. He’s had a couple injuries including a bit of a shoulder injury right now. But he’s making strides. We’re going to see him up here last quarter of the year.

    “The AHL is a bit of a weird dynamic for a defenceman. It’s tough. It’s scrambly. When you come from playing on the big ice in Europe, everything happens quicker on the small ice over here. It’s a steeper learning curve for him.”

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Elliotte on the Oiler if you missed it:

    5. Sam Gagner: He was not eligible for a no-trade clause when he signed his three-year extension last summer (It kicks-in next season). Craig MacTavish graciously promised to honour it this season, but as Edmonton searches for answers, it sounds like both sides believe it is time for a change, not that anyone is commenting. Should a deal happen, no doubt MacTavish will try to make it a soft landing.

    6. PJ Stock had an interesting observation after watching Nail Yakupov: he puts his head down when he gets the puck and tries to bull his way forward, which leads to two problems. First, it’s hard to use your teammates when you can’t see them. Second, it increases the chances you get hit hard. One exec added Yakupov’s pet play in junior was to draw the defence to you and then find the open man, but NHLers make it much harder to do that. All of this is correctable, but habits are hard to break.

  65. tsunami says:

    I don’t get this at all regarding Klefbom… what’s the rush at this point ? let him play big minutes in Oklahoma if he’s indeed making “strides”…

  66. Lowetide says:

    Sisyphus14:
    Lowetide,

    Think they’ve wasted enough time as it is, and certainly can’t afford to tank hard for another several seasons until hopefully the prospects are genuinely NHL-caliber and ready. There has to be something done to get through the next 3-4 years until that happens.

    And to my mind, hateful though it may be, we’re going to have to get rid of something we really like to get back things we really need. I don’t know how many more times I can sit here and listen to people act as though they think anyone in the league is going to give a top-level player back for Gagner or Hemmer. And even Eberle is going to need to be packaged with someone to get back a top-level player.

    Given all that, seems to me you choose one of your more valuable assets, and trade them to fill a bunch of holes at once. We don’t have the depth to be able to patch a piece at a time, or at least not without still having to use one of the studs. And if I have to use a young star, I’d rather see what I can get for using just one of them, rather than having to look at losing more than one.

    You give up hall, you still have RNH, Ebs, Yak, and yet have filled the goalie issue, a top-pairing dman, and some veteran forwards. Not sure how you plan to fix all those issues (goal, D, veteran offense) without having to give up even more.

    Lastly, it boggles the mind to see people who want to just continue the course, despite it clearly being a failure, for another 3-5 years until the prospects arrive and suddenly we’re going to be a great team? Maybe, but that makes for a 13 year rebuild, one that I don’t see many fans being willing to wait through, all on the HOPE that things will be better then. At some point, you just have to accept that you’re going to have to make some big changes if you want to succeed. You can continue a losing path, sure that its going to be the path to success sooner or later–but at what point does stubborn faith and persistence become pig-headedness and refusal to face facts?

    You’re trading a King for 6′s and 7′s. Bad plan.

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    tsunami:
    I don’t get this at all regarding Klefbom… what’s the rush at this point ? let him play big minutes in Oklahoma if he’s indeed making “strides”…

    Isn’t that what is happening?

  68. tsunami says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    But why talk about bringing him up for the last quarter of the season when it looks like the guy’s not ready ?

  69. Lowetide says:

    tsunami:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    But why talk about bringing him up for the last quarter of the season when it looks like the guy’s not ready ?

    They won’t this is speculation. If he’s unready, they won’t bring him in.

  70. tsunami says:

    Lowetide,

    Hopefully… From that article it sounded like they have already made up their mind…

  71. Bos8 says:

    I’ve never been comfortable with this – Development by due date – As in picking some arbitrary age. First, in order to develop, players need challenge. Second, if they beat out a D on the big team, they should play. True, with the Oilers, this is a hurry up process but in this short time frame, Marincin is arguably top two, warts and all.

  72. prairieschooner says:

    All trade rumours should be discounted if they do not involved actual NHL players coming back to the Oilers
    I say this because the Oilers are too smart to be involved in any transaction that does not address immediate need!
    Except of course for their last trade when we sent Smid to Calgary for youth and youther

  73. tsunami says:

    prairieschooner,

    The Oilers are too smart… You lost me there ;)…

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