FINDING THE WAY HOME

In a practice today overlooking the Hudson, Dallas Eakins finally busted a move available all season: three #1 overalls on the same line! Hall to push the river, Nuge for the vision and sublime passing, Yakupov with the itchy trigger. In theory, this trio should rip this joint round and round we’ll go.

The Yak wowy’s show the Nuge-Hall-Yak trio hasn’t played much or well together, but the sample is so small (about an hour with Hall) I’m not certain there’s much to be gleaned from the information.

NAIL YAKUPOV PLAYER CARD

yakupov player card

 

The young Russian has taken a beating this season but still keeps on ticking, and the Gerasimenko Pistol from the point on the power play cuts through steel. Unlocking his insane hockey skills is probably the key to Dallas Eakins coaching future (along with getting Hall back on the beam).

Is there ANY  hope this will work? Well, Yakupov is an underrated passer and has been improving his positioning. For instance, he’s a terror on the forecheck—a real man—and can rattle with his hummer-wide body. This is no shrinking violet.

The key, in my opinion, is time. Give this trio some time, like 20 games. Maybe they puck hog all their way to town. Maybe they find kindred spirits, crazy skills, trust, and the way home.

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107 Responses to "FINDING THE WAY HOME"

  1. Hammers says:

    About time he tried this . Probably means Ebs , Perron & Gags . Gordon Hendricks & Hemsky . Don’t like Smyth at center as it robs either Lander or Arco of time to prove they can make it . If Smyth / Jones / Hemsky get traded then Lander / Pitlick /Arco should be called up . Look to next year .

  2. thejonrmcleod says:

    Giving new meaning to “the number one line”?

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “can rattle with his hummer-wide body. This is no shrinking violet.”

    so true. I’m trying to think of a frame comparable… maybe Tik?

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hammers,

    I keep meaning to ask you… what’s with the punctuation tick?

  5. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: “can rattle with his hummer-wide body. This is no shrinking violet.”so true. I’m trying to think of a frame comparable… maybe Tik?

    Stan Jonathan, lol.

    Tikk doesn’t seem right somehow. Maybe Gilmour? Peter Stastny?

  6. cc says:

    Posted earlier, but wanted the feedback…

    A great big THANK YOU to Drew Remenda on his sports talk show tonight, when asked about Taylor and Tyler (Hall & Seguin). paraphrasing… Tyler is a special player and Oilers should have drafted him. Thank you, Drew! It might piss you all off but yup they should have. Then we still wouldn’t be looking for a second line center. We’d have two first line centers and keep Hemsky on the second line.

    And because I think my opinion is important. we would be better off to trade away our captain and keep the senior Schultz.

  7. cc says:

    Hammers,

    based on my other post, wouldn’t Ebs and Perron look nice centered by Seguin

  8. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Stan Jonathan, lol.

    Tikk doesn’t seem right somehow.Maybe Gilmour?Peter Stastny?

    Yeah, it’s a difficult comp. Yakupov isn’t a tall man, but he’s wide without being a slow. He’s kind of a tank, and of course “tank” means Kovalenko.

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: Stan Jonathan, lol.

    Tikk doesn’t seem right somehow.Maybe Gilmour?Peter Stastny?

    Gilmour seems good. I think Yak might play heavier in his fullness, though. Maybe Wendel Clark?

  10. PeOiler says:

    cc,

    Everybody is entitled to their own wrong opinion.

  11. cabbiesmacker says:

    Imagine if you will a “real” 2C between Perron and Eberle. Man oh man.

    Perron – P. Bergeron – Eberle

    Perron – Stastny – Eberle

    Perron – Richards – Eberle

    Perron – Bozak/Kadri – Eberle

    Perron – Turris/Spezza – Eberle

    Perron – Stepan/Brassard – Eberle

    etc etc

    Not every team has the prototypical, some are blessed with the depth, and a few aren’t a whole bunch better but not every team has a Perron / Eberle to put with them either.

    Wasted free spot on the bingo card boys.

  12. cc says:

    PeOiler,

    Right you are!

  13. Lowetide says:

    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

  14. cc says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Yup, any of those will do

  15. David says:

    “The key, in my opinion, is time. Give this trio some time, like 20 games. Maybe they puck hog all their way to town. Maybe they find kindred spirits, crazy skills, trust, and the way home.”

    What we’ve seen from Eakins all year is that he doesn’t give Yak time. If Nail isn’t extremely well, he won’t even get an entire game with that line let alone 2.

    The flashes of brilliance that Yakupov shows cement my belief that he will become the great player they thought they were drafting. If the Oilers trade him I will hate them forever. And still love them cause they’re the Oilers but man they better not screw it up with Yak.

  16. OilClog says:

    cc:
    Posted earlier, but wanted the feedback…

    A great big THANK YOU to Drew Remenda on his sports talk show tonight, when asked about Taylor and Tyler (Hall & Seguin). paraphrasing… Tyler is a special player and Oilers should have drafted him. Thank you, Drew! It might piss you all off but yup they should have. Then we still wouldn’t be looking for a second line center. We’d have two first line centers and keep Hemsky on the second line.

    And because I think my opinion is important. we would be better off to trade away our captain and keep the senior Schultz.

    Hall is the better player
    Ference is the better player
    Thank you

  17. cc says:

    OilClog,

    Well that was definitive, but not well reason or referenced.

    Ference wasn’t so sharp for 16 second last spring, and the team played well while he was out.

  18. OilClog says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    Imagine if you will a “real” 2C between Perron and Eberle. Man oh man.

    Perron – P. Bergeron – Eberle

    Perron – Stastny – Eberle

    Perron – Richards – Eberle

    Perron – Bozak/Kadri – Eberle

    Perron – Turris/Spezza – Eberle

    Perron – Stepan/Brassard – Eberle

    etc etc

    Not every team has the prototypical, some are blessed with the depth, and a few aren’t a whole bunch better but not every team has a Perron / Eberle to put with them either.

    Wastedfree spot on the bingo card boys.

    Not to nit pick. But if we had Spezza, RNH would be #2.

    Ideally this should be what MacT is trying to do, not improve the #2 spot, but move RNH into it with a older more proven #1 pivot.

    Gagner won’t fetch that in return but in the right package something might be able to shake loose.

  19. gogliano says:

    Tyler is a good player.

    Taylor is a better one.

    Drew Remenda is insufferable.

  20. gr8one says:

    cc:
    we would be better off to trade away our captain and keep the senior Schultz.

    Well, that pretty much disqualifies any weight we may have given your opinion.

    As far as Drew Remenda goes…he’s terrible, I personally give no weight to his opinion in the least.

    That being said, I’m not saying he’s wrong about Taylor vs Tyler but the jury is still most certainly out on that one, and that question may never truly be answered. As it stands right now I think most people that know anything about hockey would say it’s pretty much neck and neck. The fact is they’re two very different players playing different positions and in completely different situations, and anybody who thinks that enough has been seen thus far to make that call, imho just has no clue what they’re talking about.

    I think it’s safe to say that they’re both pretty special players.

  21. OilClog says:

    cc:
    OilClog,

    Well that was definitive, but not well reason or referenced.

    It was as reasoned as your post, did you see what you wrote?

    You lost everything at the suggestion we should Keep Nick Schultz. Schultz and Ference have nothing to do with eachother. Ference can still play, Nick Schultz is an AHL defender now. Stats everywhere suggest that or have you not bothered to pay attention to the endless stats this awesome blog of the universe supplies to us.

  22. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, it’s a difficult comp. Yakupov isn’t a tall man, but he’s wide without being a slow. He’s kind of a tank, and of course “tank” means Kovalenko.

    That’s exactly who I was trying to think of but couldn’t. Thank you! Stastny was known as a bit of a tank… certainly his body strength was often remarked upon, but Kovy was the guy I was trying to dredge out of the files*.

    *Not files so much as a dishevelled bunch of loose papers piled up on my memory’s basement floor.

  23. Lois Lowe says:

    PeOiler:
    cc,

    Everybody is entitled to their own wrong opinion.

    This is a less snarky answer than I had written.

  24. gr8one says:

    OilClog: Not to nit pick. But if we had Spezza, RNH would be #2.

    Ideally this should be what MacT is trying to do, not improve the #2 spot, but move RNH into it with a older more proven #1 pivot.

    Gagner won’t fetch that in return but in the right package something might be able to shake loose.

    I”ve always been a huge Spezza fan, and I agree with all that you say.

    I think he’d be a fantastic fit for this team for the right price.

    A top 6 of Hall/Spezza/Eberle and Perron/Nuge/Yakupov would be awesome, the 1L could play with anyone and the 2L would just kill the softer minutes.

    I also have wondered aloud here on several occasions as to whether Spezza might be available, Ottawa has financial issues and with how Turris has emerged there, they might be looking to find a cheaper alternative to Spezza. The big question would be what they’d be asking for in addition to Gags, but if it’s a financial decision then Gags plus picks/prospects might get it done.

    I dream.

  25. spoiler says:

    Of course, Kovy was huge… 230lbs seems to stick in my mind.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

    I’m not sure it’s so easy to decide.

    On the value question, I think because of his contract, his value is going to be higher in the off-season. But on the positional question, I think it will be hard to come to a decisive answer. I suspect a player like Gagner will enjoy the rest of his career while those around him continue to entertain where he is best suited.

    FWIW, I’m pretty disappointed that Gagner hasn’t turned into more of an impact F, that the team isn’t build to insulate his weaknesses and that what he’s good at is getting short shrift in the peanut gallery (this is in no small part due to his poor play this year).

    ps. Omark’s line got a goal so far. 2 more games played and we get that 6th rounder. Nolan will assuredly play him against the Oilers when we meet again… so basically it’s down to whether they want to keep that pick and cynically shunt Omark out of their group, or play him and entertain their fans.

  27. cabbiesmacker says:

    OilClog: Not to nit pick. But if we had Spezza, RNH would be #2.

    Ideally this should be what MacT is trying to do, not improve the #2 spot, but move RNH into it with a older more proven #1 pivot.
    .

    And not to nit pick back but RNH might be or probably should be, #2, or in the odd case #3 even, (I didn’t bother posting the Sharks and Penguins etc) with more than just Spezza from that list.

    I love the kid. Of the four of them he’s the one that does the most things right by my eyes, but hey…it’s the Oilers and when you don’t have much C depth that’s the way she goes.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m not sure it’s so easy to decide.

    On the value question, I think because of his contract, his value is going to be higher in the off-season. But on the positional question, I think it will be hard to come to a decisive answer. I suspect a player like Gagner will enjoy the rest of his career while those around him continue to entertain where he is best suited.

    FWIW, I’m pretty disappointed that Gagner hasn’t turned into more of an impact F, that the team isn’t build to insulate his weaknesses and that what he’s good at is getting short shrift in the peanut gallery (this is in no small part due to his poor play this year).

    ps. Omark’s line got a goal so far. 2 more games played and we get that 6th rounder. Nolan will assuredly play him against the Oilers when we meet again… so basically it’s down to whether they want to keep that pick and cynically shunt Omark out of their group, or play him and entertain their fans.

    I would suggest that making sweeping statements of any kind about Sam Gagner this year is unwise. The injury addled the season. And the player.

  29. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: ps. Omark’s line got a goal so far. 2 more games played and we get that 6th rounder. Nolan will assuredly play him against the Oilers when we meet again… so basically it’s down to whether they want to keep that pick and cynically shunt Omark out of their group, or play him and entertain their fans.

    He was very late with the backcheck on that goal by Zolnierczyk.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I would suggest that making sweeping statements of any kind about Sam Gagner this year is unwise. The injury addled the season. And the player.

    Just so we’re all clear, a comment that starts as mealy-mouthed as “I’m not sure it’s so easy to decide,” is a long way from a “sweeping statement.”

  31. book¡je says:

    cc,

    My Neighbour says Taylor was the better pick so I am sorry, you are wrong.

  32. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

    Some of us just crap all over him AND don’t expect much in return. Unless it’s a pkg deal of course.

    What’s the market like these days for smallish, mediocre C’s with $ 4.8 mill cap hits anyways?

  33. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Just so we’re all clear, a comment that starts as mealy-mouthed as “I’m not sure it’s so easy to decide,” is a long way from a “sweeping statement.”

    Sure, but your post was well worded and I’m making sweeping statements. Shrapnel happens!

  34. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker: Some of us just crap all over him AND don’t expect much in return. Unless it’s a pkg deal of course.

    What’s the market like these days for smallish, mediocre C’s with $ 4.8 mill cap hits anyways?

    Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: He was very late with the backcheck on that goal by Zolnierczyk,

    My feed is choppy as fuck. I suspect the roomies are downloading all of Buffy or something.

    In the games I’ve watched he’s seemed pretty engaged defensively… by Omark standards, but I don’t doubt there’s going to be warts.

  36. book¡je says:

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways.

    You can WANT it both ways.

  37. spoiler says:

    I don’t doubt Gagner’s offensive abilities.

    And I think they are geared to being a center not a winger.

    But he plays center like he’s a winger.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    book¡je:
    cc,

    My Neighbour says Taylor was the better pick so I am sorry, you are wrong.

    This wins the cobbler-cup.

    apple or cherry, sir?

  39. admiralmark says:

    The key, in my opinion, is time. Give this trio some time, like 20 games. Maybe they puck hog all their way to town. Maybe they find kindred spirits, crazy skills, trust, and the way home.

    Amen to this. At this point of the season Eakins/MacT should be fully focused on finding out exactly what we have in these players(Yak especially). Its just not about wins. At the very least if he would give Yak a solid 15-20 games and if it fails miserably then nobody can blame the team for how he is being handled. Give the kid positive reinforcement, let him know he can make a mistake without immediately dropping him down to the 4th line. And maybe we will see him not play so tentatively.

  40. book¡je says:

    What’s the 50/50 for that line even staying together for an entire game?

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: And not to nit pick back but RNH might be or probably should be, #2, or in the odd case #3 even, (I didn’t bother posting the Sharks and Penguins etc) with more than just Spezza from that list.

    I love the kid. Of the four of them he’s the one that does the most things right by my eyes, but hey…it’s the Oilers and when you don’t have much C depth that’s the way she goes.

    This is true, but I think a really, really strong number 2, like Krecji, Kessler, Couturier, etc. could cover a lot of ground and keep RNH in the pink at the 1.

  42. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “can rattle with his hummer-wide body. This is no shrinking violet.”

    so true. I’m trying to think of a frame comparable… maybe Tik?

    Marcel Dionne? Zach Parise? Stan Smyl?

  43. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is true, but I think a really, really strong number 2, like Krecji, Kessler, Couturier, etc. could cover a lot of ground and keep RNH in the pink at the 1.

    For sure.

    Krecji as a # 2 though? Early to be drinking bud.

    A Kessler would be lovely. Let him do the grunt work against the toughs and Nuge feast on softer mins like Hank Sedin does…..did.

  44. godot10 says:

    book¡je:
    What’s the 50/50 for that line even staying together for an entire game?

    Teams put there best players out against Hall. Is Yakupov remotely ready for PvP?

  45. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.

    SOLD!

    Of course you could have said a large discarded tape ball peeled off a sweaty nutsack and I’d have said the same thing.

  46. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10: Teams put there best players out against Hall. Is Yakupov remotely ready for PvP?

    Sure why not? He’s as ready as the Nuge is for Thornton, Toews, or Backes. Throw the kid to the wolves I say. If all he suffers are flesh wounds we’re good.

    Actually I think the kid might be stubborn enough to get better while he’s in the spotlight. If he’s shown anything it’s that he loves the attention. It’s not like he’s replacing a defensive magician or anything.

    Corsi? Pfffttt

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: Krecji as a # 2 though? Early to be drinking bud.

    Well, C’mon between him and Bergeron there’s not a lot of daylight IMO.

  48. VOR says:

    In the last thread (and in several threads lately) LT has expressed the opinion that Lander’s time with the Edmonton Oilers is at an end.

    I don’t doubt LT is right. I just think the Oilers should maybe think about that a bit before they do anything hasty.

    The classic version of this story is about two guys, William and Gordon, whose paths crossed in Hull, Quebec back in the old days when that was the farm team of the farm team of the mighty Montreal Canadiens.

    Gordon was a player much like Lander, a smaller, not overly physical but tough, two way center with major intangibles. But he wasn’t in the long term plans of new management because truthfully he hadn’t exactly torn it up when given a chance to play 4th line C with the Canadiens. In fact, Gordon had stunk it up.

    William was the young coach, his own career cut short by a head injury that convinced Gordon that if he just tried hard enough, stuck around long enough somebody, somewhere would give him the chance to play with good players on a 1st or 2nd line in the NHL (it is like a real life ABC afterschool special). After that it would be up to Gordon to make the most of the opportunity.

    Gordon did what William suggested. He worked his butt off and once Gordon got a chance he made the most of it becoming a legend. However, it wasn’t with the Canadiens he got the chance. He was traded, just as we expect Lander to be, to the New York Rangers where he was a useless 4C and waste of space. So it wasn’t with the Rangers that Gordon got the chance. Nope, there he just ended up stuck on the taxi squad.

    William meantime discovered nobody in the Canadiens believed in him either. He was red circled. Eventually he took a job as an assistant coach for a brand new NHL team. Then comes the moment that changed everything for both men.

    The head coach of William’s team, guy named Lynn Patrick, resigned 19 games into the season. Patrick had been serving as GM in fact if not in name. William inherited both jobs and at that moment knew what he had to do as certainly as if God had spoken to him.

    William made the one obvious trade. He proved just what a fan he was of Gordon. He traded a good player to the New York Rangers to rescue Gordon from the taxi squad of the Rangers. Then he handed Gordon the job of 1C in the NHL, oh he also pretty much anointed him team leader of a group of over the hill veterans.

    The rest of course is history…and before I go on… the point is opportunity matters and Lander may be simply the victim of limited minutes all played with bad NHL players. Maybe he really is like Gordon, a great two way center with major intangibles. By the way it turned out William also just needed a chance, an opportunity, and when he got it my God did he make it count.

    It was right about here, 19 games into the 1967-68 NHL season that William started insisting the media call him Scotty which had been his nickname for years. It was his teammates on the St. Louis Blues who first call Gordon “the Red Baron” in public. The media shortened it to Red. In St Louis after a long pathetic NHL career (something like 40 points in 180+ games as a 4C) Gordon, the Red Baron, Berenson exploded, making the rookie head coach, William “Scotty” Bowman look like a genius. That first season Berenson put a bad and very old team that was off to an awful start on his back and carried them to the Stanley Cup Finals. He inspired his teammates, particularly an exceedingly veteran D man named Al Arbour, to play the best hockey of their lives.

    So even good teams do what the Oilers have been doing with Lander. They pump up the kid’s tires talking about mad intangibles, dump him in the deep end, give him bad linemates and a role he is utterly unable to succeed at then they assign him to the minors each time he looks awful. They then ignore how well he plays in the minors and eventually trade him elsewhere, and LT is right that part is usually down to new management. I suspect most of the time this ends with the player vanishing quietly from hockey, at least in North America. But Lord, if you turn out to have given away Red Berenson (who would captain three NHL teams) do you ever look foolish.

  49. spoiler says:

    No one takes the man on Crosby and voila! Goal Pittsburgh.

  50. spoiler says:

    I’m not as convinced that the Oil are done with Lander. I can see MacT drafting Lander.

  51. Zelepukin says:

    I found it weird that Eakins was quoted as saying about Yaks with Hall & Nuge, “They should be able to generate a lot of offence.” Wouldn’t have made more sense to say, something around Eberle improving the 2nd line? I guess it’s definitely one way to showcase what you have with Yaks, playing him with the two best players on the team.

  52. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    I’m not as convinced that the Oil are done with Lander.I can see MacT drafting Lander.

    The funny thing is Lander has a lot of the things than MacT had as a player. VOR: loved it! Knew as soon as a I read “Gordon” but read it all anyway. :-)

  53. Cameron says:

    VOR,

    This is the… Greatest. Comment. Ever.

  54. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: The funny thing is Lander has a lot of the things than MacT had as a player. VOR: loved it! Knew as soon as a I read “Gordon” but read it all anyway.

    That’s what I was thinking too. Be like drafting himself. And double yes on VOR’s story about one of the Hockey Gords. A butter read.

  55. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    “Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.”

    David Clarkson! You know MacT wants him.

  56. Thiru says:

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

    Gagner’s valuation isn’t predicated on his performance this year alone, though, and in fact could be much higher given that:

    a) He has a (reasonably) established level of ability
    b) He’s a good bet to bounce back
    c) He’s young
    d) He has draft pedigree
    e) Another team may be able to protect him from tough matchups better than the Oilers (a role he has thrived in previously).

    If MacT can get a Maata type, he needs to seriously consider pulling the trigger. I would install Lander as the 2C and give him the rest of the season to prove himself in that role, with 2nd unit PP time as well.

  57. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    That’s fantastic, VOR.

    As Bart Simpson once said, “I come for the service but I stay for the leg room.”

  58. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Teams put there best players out against Hall. Is Yakupov remotely ready for PvP?

    If they keep Petry and Marincin behind them, it will help a ton.

    RNH channeling his inner Horcov helps too.

  59. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    Awesome post.

    Great story.

  60. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: If they keep Petry and Marincin behind them, it will help a ton.

    I’m just going off memory and eye, so could be totally wrong, but it seems like Hall rarely gets Petry and Marincin at EVs.

  61. Lois Lowe says:

    spoiler: And double yes on VOR’s story about one of the Hockey Gords.A butter read.

    I see what you did there.

  62. anonymous says:

    Really hoping for the best but every time this happens it’s one mistake and a benching.

  63. rickithebear says:

    Gagner was no Gilmoiur?

    Doug Gilmour was a career 2nd line centre
    playing behind a collection of firsts
    83-84 to 87-88 Behind Bernie Federko
    88-89 to 91-92behind Joe Niewndyk
    92-93 & 93-94 top scoring centre in TO.
    94-95 to 96-97 behind Sundin
    97-98 behind Holik
    98-99 to 99-00 Behind Zhamnov
    00-01 behind young Stu barnes

    to have this kind of shelter.

  64. Woodguy says:

    Gregor looks at the Oilers PP and finds that they really miss Kaptain Horcov.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/5/oilers-pp-woes

  65. Pouzar says:

    Man I think I’ve had all I take with this team. I really am worried about a lot of things and need to take a few games off. Will read about the team for a while until we make some moves and curiosity gets the best of me. I dislike way too much about this team right now and it’s killing me.
    One thing I always loved about those post-dynasty fringe playoff teams was they always busted their balls every night and as a fan was all you can ask.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Lowetide,

    “Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.”

    David Clarkson!You know MacT wants him.

    C’mon, Clarkson’s not a 15 goal winger. :)

  67. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: I’m just going off memory and eye, so could be totally wrong, but it seems like Hall rarely gets Petry and Marincin at EVs.

    Extraskater.com breaks down each game.

    Go there and click on the game.

    Scroll down and they have sortable team mate stats that will give you toi for each player.

    You might be right, but I can’t look right now.

  68. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: The funny thing is Lander has a lot of the things than MacT had as a player. VOR: loved it! Knew as soon as a I read “Gordon” but read it all anyway.

    Every time I read a blog saying MacT is going to trade this guy I kept wondering doesn’t he see himself in Lander. He must not like himself if doesn’t give Lander a chance.

  69. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Lowetide,

    I would be happy with just Clifford actually. A month ago we were all screaming possible buyout for Gagner.

  70. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

    NO!

    I wish to continue to divorce reality from my expectations and keep with the ancient traditions of sporting fans.

    Gagner is worth a 1st round pick and Sean Couturier. I also expect the Cubs to win the World Series this year and I like England’s chances at the World Cup.

    ;)

  71. FTO says:

    Man I’m watching a show on tsn 2 right now (Exceptional Status), profiling Tavares and Ekblad… Really hoping we end up with him. Even though D take a while to develop still would not mind having a Nurse – Ekblad pairing in 3 years.

  72. delooper says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Number ones line.

  73. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure if any one is watching TSN “Exceptional Status” Ekblad pretty good story.

  74. FTO says:

    FTO:
    Man I’m watching a show on tsn 2 right now (Exceptional Status), profiling Tavares and Ekblad… Really hoping we end up with him. Even though D take a while to develop still would not mind having a Nurse – Ekblad pairing in 3 years.

    Of course it is about McDavid too haha

  75. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Just noticed now that LA has lost 4 in a row and can’t score. No wonder they are interested in Gagner. This puts us in a position of strength, MacT can wait to the draft, Lombardi can’t.

  76. denny33 says:

    Lowetide,

    We’ll said….and I am as guilty as anyone.

    I will concede my return for gags is wishful thinking. However, I have promised myself not to flog
    Mac T for a less than stellar return for Sam.

  77. RexLibris says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Just noticed now that LA has lost 4 in a row and can’t score.No wonder they are interested in Gagner. This puts us in a position of strength,MacT can wait to the draft, Lombardi can’t.

    My guess with L.A. is they may offer a 3rd rounder for Stempniak. Helps push Frattin down the lineup and adds some veteran presence. L.A. has their own and Edmonton’s 3rd rounders this year, no 2nd.

  78. HiddenDarts says:

    Pouzar:
    Man I think I’ve had all I take with this team. I really am worried about a lot of things and need to take a few games off. Will read about the team for a while until we make some moves and curiosity gets the best of me. I dislike way too much about this team right now and it’s killing me.
    One thing I always loved about those post-dynasty fringe playoff teams was they always busted their balls every night and as a fan was all you can ask.

    Do it! I’m fresh off probably a 10 game hiatus, and feel reenergized.

    Then, of course, I was re-sucked in by the Vancouver game. Then the Sharks reverse-blowout.

    Of course, the awfulness of that Buffalo game was a kidney punch I wasn’t expecting…

  79. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis with an interesting item on the Gagner to LA rumors here

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/5/trading-sam-gagner-to-the-los-angeles-kings-would-likely-be-a-mistake

    and discusses some of the names we mulled over here

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/02/a-pawn-for-a-king.html

  80. HiddenDarts says:

    Lowetide:
    Jonathan Willis with an interesting item on the Gagner to LA rumors here

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/5/trading-sam-gagner-to-the-los-angeles-kings-would-likely-be-a-mistake

    and discusses some of the names we mulled over here

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/02/a-pawn-for-a-king.html

    On a “seen him good” note: all the Kings fans I know consider Dwight King to be a master of voodoo-based scoring. Put him on a line, no matter the line, and they produce.

    When was he pulled off the Kopitar-Carter line? About 6 or 7 games ago.

  81. gr8one says:

    Hey smart people…

    What are your thoughts on Cody Franson?

    He seems to have a lot of the things we could use on our back end, is a great age for the cluster(26) and is at that age where NHL D-men really seem to start “getting it”…

    The downside of course is I believe he’s not the strongest in his own end and is likely due for a fairly good raise this summer, BUT, with the Fanoof extension they may be looking to move him.

    What do the fancy stats say about him?

  82. Lowetide says:

    gr8one:
    Hey smart people…

    What are your thoughts on Cody Franson?

    He seems to have a lot of the things we could use on our back end, is a great age for the cluster(26) and is at that age where NHL D-men really seem to start “getting it”…

    The downside of course is I believe he’s not the strongest in his own end and is likely due for a fairly good raise this summer, BUT, with the Fanoof extension they may be looking to move him.

    What do the fancy stats say about him?

    Franson is a bit of a freewheeler, Oilers already have Justin Schultz and wacko Larsen. I do like him as a player though. High event.

  83. HiddenDarts says:

    On another note, is Omark a number one line guy? Buffalo seems to think so against the Penguins. And in a 5-1 game where the Sabres were lit up, he’s a -1?

    Good thing the Oilers have all their scoring working like gangbusters. We can afford to ditch pieces like this! ;)

  84. Hammers says:

    OilClog: Not to nit pick. But if we had Spezza, RNH would be #2.

    Ideally this should be what MacT is trying to do, not improve the #2 spot, but move RNH into it with a older more proven #1 pivot.

    Gagner won’t fetch that in return but in the right package something might be able to shake loose.

    Said the same thin a couple of weeks ago but what do we have to get that center ?

  85. Hammers says:

    book¡je:
    What’s the 50/50 for that line even staying together for an entire game?

    Your probably correct but Eakins should give them a few games if not till season end .

  86. Hammers says:

    Anyone know the expected PP for tomorrow . Wouldn’t mind new 1st line Justin & Martin as unit #1 then Gags new line Petry & Hemsky . Eakins needs to start looking at new combos me thinks . Still one of our biggest disapointments this year . If not enough shots come from the point why have Smyth out there??? This group still tries to finesse throughout the PP .

  87. fifthcartel says:

    Hey guys, just a little creation I made on how I think MacT feels while trying to trade Gagner.

    http://oi61.tinypic.com/opcmxf.jpg

    Thought you guys might enjoy it.

  88. justDOit says:

    Hammers:
    Anyone know the expected PP for tomorrow . Wouldn’t mind new 1st line Justin & Martin as unit #1 then Gags new line Petry & Hemsky . Eakins needs to start looking at new combos me thinks . Still one of our biggest disapointments this year . If not enough shots come from the point why have Smyth out there???This group still tries to finesse throughout the PP .

    They might just throw four players over the boards, and go 4v4 – they have a positive goal differential in that config so far this year.

  89. Jigger says:

    Awesome I love it!

    fifthcartel:
    Hey guys, just a little creation I made on how I think MacT feels while trying to trade Gagner.

    http://oi61.tinypic.com/opcmxf.jpg

    Thought you guys might enjoy it.

  90. gcw_rocks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,
    gcw_rocks:
    Lowetide,
    “Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.”
    David Clarkson!You know MacT wants him.
    C’mon, Clarkson’s not a 15 goal winger

    But he has size! And rumor has it, lots of growl!

  91. Ryan says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Romulus Apotheosis,
    gcw_rocks:
    Lowetide,
    “Bloated contracts carried by 15-goal wingers.”
    David Clarkson!You know MacT wants him.
    C’mon, Clarkson’s not a 15 goal winger

    But he has size! And rumor has it, lots of growl!

    That’s the funny thing. One could almost understand the Clarkson fetish if he was 6’4 and 235.

    What’s funny is that he’s listed as 6’1 / 200 lb.

  92. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Platzer with a goal last night. He’s gone 10 3-3-6 since the trade.
    he was 39 9-8-17 with London.

    so he’s upped his scoring quite a bit. it will be nice to see if he can improve that even more.

  93. PhrankLee says:

    I think you don’t find it hilarious. But some other thing, LT. Like absurd, perhaps. I think Sam gets us prospects at best. With what he is worth right now it’s better to keep him until the off season. LA has nothing we need that they want to part with.

    Lowetide:
    I find it hilarious that people crap all over Gagner one minute and then expect a monster return in another. You can’t have it both ways. Gagner is either:

    1. a solid offensive center with legit defensive issues that impact his overall value or
    2. a forward miscast as a center and unlikely to fetch much of value.

    Can we decide? Or are we going to continue the discussion as though one doesn’t relate to the other?

  94. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Jonathan Willis with an interesting item on the Gagner to LA rumors here

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/5/trading-sam-gagner-to-the-los-angeles-kings-would-likely-be-a-mistake

    and discusses some of the names we mulled over here

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/02/a-pawn-for-a-king.html

    I agree with Copper N Blue and Willis here. Retaining salary is a non-starter at this point.
    Teams will be better equipped in the offseason to take on salary so wait till then if we have to. If the hockey gods love us at all Gagner will look like the second coming of Dave Gagner for the remainder.

  95. Woodguy says:

    Interesting opinon on the potential Gagner trade by Justin Bourne:

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2014/02/06/on-the-regroup-beauty-goals-trade-rumors-stamkos-thoughts-more/

    The “Sam Gagner to the Kings” rumor is kind of a fun one. I think Gagner has real potential to be a player – the jaw injury this year was just terrible luck and terrible timing for a young guy who seemed poised to have a great season.

    Here’s the thing, Edmonton: the Kings would be looking to acquire Gagner at the deadline so they could make another Cup run, meaning they’d want to keep all their players that are currently, actually good. Meaning you’d be trading him for hope down the road. You’ve been living in perpetual “hope down the road” mode now for years. If you need to make a trade, make it for an actual NHLer, please. Package guys to get multiple Actual NHLers, I don’t care. I just can’t stand to see you sow more seeds in a field that’s clearly infertile. Just buy the damn crops someone else has harvested.

    Love the last sentence.

    Nice to see informed hockey people in other markets share my opinion on Gagner and what to trade him for.

  96. russ99 says:

    You can’t just look at Taylor vs. Tyler – and it’s pretty obvious Hall is better despite Seguin’s breakout year – you have to also look at how that would affect the next draft.

    Would we be a better team with Seguin – Larsson than with Hall – RNH? I don’t think so.

    Even if we go Seguin – Larsson – Murray it would be much worse than Hall – RNH – Yak, considering neither Larsson or Murray look like a top pairing guy as of this point and we’d be lacking in good forwards considering the rest of our picks over that time.

  97. dtk says:

    I was at the game in Buffalo, and Yak spent a decent amount of time with Nuge and Hall. Early in the game Yak was with Perron and Gagner, but about halfway through Eakins swapped Eberle and Yak.

    If you look at the Corsi charts on Parkatti’s site, you can see that Eberle had an overall -11, including a -4 when he was with Hall and Nuge. Yak had an overall -1, but had a +1 while he was with Hall and Nuge.

    I think almost all of the negative Corsi events for Yak happened during one horrible shift with Matt “Gritensity” Hendricks.

  98. russ99 says:

    Pouzar,

    The salary retention itself isn’t a sticking point, it’s that other teams supposedly don’t think Gagner is worthy of that contract (and NTC) and want MacT to pay up for his mistake this summer in order to get good assets back.

    Plus the cap is going way up over the life of that contract, and we have tons of dead weight on the rolls in the AHL that we’ll purge this summer. I say go for it as long as it’s within reason. We sure won’t be eating 40-50%, it that’s the concern.

  99. Pouzar says:

    russ99:
    Pouzar,

    The salary retention itself isn’t a sticking point, it’s that other teams supposedly don’t think Gagner is worthy of that contract (and NTC) and want MacT to pay up for his mistake this summer in order to get good assets back.

    Plus the cap is going way up over the life of that contract, and we have tons of dead weight on the rolls in the AHL that we’ll purge this summer. I say go for it as long as it’s within reason. We sure won’t be eating 40-50%, it that’s the concern.

    Maybe the salary retention isn’t a huge deal but what’s the rush? I see no reason to trade him now in a limited market when he can be moved in the summer when everybody can potentially afford his contract. Then if we have to eat salary then not much else you can do. I just don’t see the point of forcing something now and I want Gagner outta here more than most.

  100. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    Pouzar,

    The salary retention itself isn’t a sticking point, it’s that other teams supposedly don’t think Gagner is worthy of that contract (and NTC) and want MacT to pay up for his mistake this summer in order to get good assets back.

    Plus the cap is going way up over the life of that contract, and we have tons of dead weight on the rolls in the AHL that we’ll purge this summer. I say go for it as long as it’s within reason. We sure won’t be eating 40-50%, it that’s the concern.

    The contract is fine.

    Let’s disabuse ourselves of this nonsense.

    The problem isn’t Gagner’s contract. The problem is that the cap contracted last year and teams are tight making taking on salary trouble until the off-season. This is the problem.

    This is also why Gagner more than likely gets moved in the off-season, if he does.

  101. FastOil says:

    Pouzar: Maybe the salary retention isn’t a huge deal but what’s the rush? I see no reason to trade him now in a limited market when he can be moved in the summer when everybody can potentially afford his contract. Then if we have to eat salary then not much else you can do. I just don’t see the point of forcing something now and I want Gagner outta here more than most.

    I agree there is no reason to rush, but keeping salary could be a huge mistake. If Gagner isn’t worth that money and they lose the trade and keep salary, it’s a mistake used to fix a mistake. Two mistakes don’t cancel each other out.

    Seriously, keep Gagner based on his verbal agreement to not play hockey like he’s a beer leaguer next season and waive the NTC if he does. He’s a good piece if he plays two ways reasonably and pays attention to positioning. I think he has developed enough jam now that I don’t want to barf when I watch him play.

    Eakins mentioned they are trying to play a 1-3-1 on the PP which is awesome, and Gagner could have real value in the goal line position if they stay with it. Nuge on PP1 Gagner on PP2. You need a passer there.

  102. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    The Gagner situation is……so Oilers.

    They signed this guy expecting he would be a fixture on this team.

    I can’t see why they would give him the $ and term if they didn’t.

    Now , he’s basically on his way out of town, and he can’t find a spot because of…..the cap?

    Perfect. Another Oiler made problem that the Oilers will try to solve, doing the same Oiler things, and more than likely, have the same Oiler results.

    Remember when some of us thought Gagner might fetch north of 5mill? Now people think Callahan is crazy for asking for 6-7, when he has just as much offense, way better defense, plays more physical, and is a captain?

    Paying Callahan 6.5/year sounds crazy.

    Paying him 1.2-1.5 more than Gagner sounds reasonable, though.

    Funny how that works……because Oilers

  103. verdad says:

    The sooner everyone here realizes that Gagner represents negative value to the dynamic of the team the better.
    Getting rid of him asap should be the objective.
    Why MacTavish realize this last year is a real issue. One that he should be held to account for.
    Imagine where the Oilers would be if they traded him last year at the dead line for an actual useful player.
    Watch tonight’s game for more corroboration.

  104. russ99 says:

    verdad,

    Two issues with just dumping him ASAP:

    1) Another move in what’s becoming a MacT track record of trading NHL assets for subpar returns, like with Dubnyk and Smid. You go backwards when you do that, not forwards. Gagner has his problems, yet he still has value to the right team.

    2) We run the rest of the year with RNH, Gordon as our only centers, plus Smyth and an AHL guy who’s likely gone next year. Then what if RNH or Gordon gets hurt?

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Just noticed now that LA has lost 4 in a row and can’t score.No wonder they are interested in Gagner. This puts us in a position of strength,MacT can wait to the draft, Lombardi can’t.

    Targeting Thomas Vanek and ending up with Sam Gagner is like targeting Cindy Crawford and ending up with Cyndi Lauper.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The contract is fine.

    Let’s disabuse ourselves of this nonsense.

    The problem isn’t Gagner’s contract. The problem is that the cap contracted last year and teams are tight making taking on salary trouble until the off-season. This is the problem.

    This is also why Gagner more than likely gets moved in the off-season, if he does.

    If the player is seriously underperforming his compensation, the contract IS a problem.

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