LITTLE DID HE KNOW

Craig MacTavish has the Barons prospects on slow boil currently. The team has called up a lot of farm workers this season, and it’s reasonable to assume Anton Lander, Taylor Fedun and Tyler Pitlick are less than 2 weeks away from the call.

I always like to take it out of the hands of the GM, and ask history. As a complete nerd cheerleader for the underdog pretty much all my life, following Martin Gernat’s progress comes naturally. It’s probably the single biggest reason Mark Messier is my favorite Oiler—he came from a long way back and no one knew he’d become the Moose. Each year I look at the ‘farm workers’ and see if the words of the brilliant Brian Conacher remain true. It’s close to 50 years later, but so far the reading is still true north.

WHAT DO SUCCESSFUL FARM WORKERS LOOK LIKE?

  • Men who are over 30 and come out of the minors to establish (0r re-establish) themselves are pretty much a thing of the past. You’ll find the odd goalie or defenseman but unlike the orginal 6 era very few teams have enough depth and free agency makes it impossible to keep them on the farm. Which is a good thingBarons 13-14: None really. Ilya Bryzgalov went to the minors on a conditioning stint and Jason LaBarbera went to OKC in order to feel shame. It was Yann Danis getting the call in 12-13, so we might want to write a line about “goalies excepted” into the Conacher script.
  • Pretty much everyone who is in the AHL past (say) 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering (this is universal from 1965 through 2014). This season, there is a candidate to challenge the trend. Martin Marincin’s orderly matriculation to the NHL is so rare for an Oiler prospect it’s frankly off-putting. However, just because a good swing and a drive into the gap is a rare item doesn’t make the aim any less true. We’ll need to confirm with the future, but the trip from dirt road to blacktop looks perfect from here. Hurry Klefbom!
  • We shouldn’t expect Rob Schremp to play more career games than Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano. Whatever that line in the sand is, that line sticks. This is the reason I looked back in history. I wanted to know how much a high-skill player pays in future days when he spends a long period in the minors. The answer: he pays it all, or so much that he’s never going to catch up to the phenoms who make the transition. Whatever told Craig MacTavish to knit one and pearl two, it had sustain. Rob Schremp’s junior points came on the power play. Wicked cruel business those feet of clay.
  • No minor league regular is likely to do anything incredible like play in 1,000 NHL games. It is a rare thing for a player to spend a couple of seasons in the minors and then go on to a 1,000 NHL game calibre career. The example last year was Paajarvi, buddy is up to 200 games now as we reach five years past his draft day. I think he’ll have a career. 1000 games? I’d put money on it, but less than a year ago. I’d put less on Anton Lander. Marincin is the new star in all of these questions, perhaps Klefbom will be too.
  • If you haven’t established yourself as a prospect of interest by 22 you are in trouble. The players who have graduated to useful NHL careers have at least played some NHL games by the end of their entry level deals.  Last year I said the following: “I think Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Marincin, Lander and now Rajala have done enough to be considered NHL prospects. Pitlick, Hamilton, Davidson, Roy, Bunz etc are not yet there but have at least a little time.” I think we can move Pitlick up a 15-2, 15-4 but the song remains the same.
  • Exceptions are college men. Playing 4 NCAA seasons means turning pro at 22, meaning a “late start” for some quality prospects. Barons 12-13: The obvious recent examples are Jeff Petry and this past season Justin Schultz, I think Taylor Fedun is probably on the outside looking in but that’s not established. Young C Andrew Miller wil be a player to follow from this category next season. This is an area Edmonton should be extremely aggressive in moving forward, it’s a great way to increase the depth of that 20-22 year old organizational cluster. Baron 13-14:  Fedun’s turned things up a notch, and made his NHL debut. This point, true in Conacher’s era but rather new, is absolutely a stone tablet of truth today. This spring, we should be very curious about the college signing season. Oilers should be the most aggressive team in the NHL at this discipline. Mark Arcobello is living proof of this. His upward tracking after turning pro was exceptional, hell he was playing with crazy skill in the AHL fall 2012.
  • A large group of AHL players are ‘tweeners’ and they will not get better. Mark Arcobello is the best tweener Edmonton’s hired in a decade, and that’s a compliment. He joins Liam Reddox, Patrick Thoresen and a few others. Arcobello doesn’t have to get better to play in the NHL for years, but I don’t know if a winning team would employ him in a position of importance for more than a week. Is that fair?  Maybe not.
  • If we make a list of the minor league RFA’s each summerwe can probably as a group pick the cuts and be fairly close. That 50 man list gets a haircut every summer. Barons 12-13: Obvious flushes would appear to be Antti Tyrvainen, Alex Plante, Niko Hovinen, Colten Teubert. They haven’t completely cut ties with Linus Omark, but that’s likely to happen this summer too. Barons 13-14: MacTavish already did it. Jesus, I’m going to love MacT as GM. If he were a country dentist he’d pull teeth in the waiting room. I imagine Curtis Hamilton and Phil Larsen are candidates this summer, but the real work (Martindale, Abney, etc) has been done during the season. With vengeance!
  • Daniel Cleary, Fernando Pisani and Jason Chimera became productive players in the toughest league on the planet. THEY are the stars in this study. Barons 12-13: Hartikainen, Lander and maybe down the line guys like Marincin are the ones with the best chance to find their way. The AHL is a lot about grinding the flaws out of the players and making them into useful role players for NHL coaching staffs. Play the role, keep the job. Oilers have passed on skilled men like Schremp and Omark over their recent history, mostly because the really talented offensive forwards don’t spend any time in the AHL. Barons 13-14: The role players looking for future employment: Anton Lander, Roman Horak, Oscar Klefbom, Taylor Fedun, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Laurent Brossoit. MacT has the farm team developing talent through at-bats, even though the win total is off. I’m pleased with that trade.
  • For Rob Schremp fans, there’s exactly ONE pure offensive player who made it: Mike Walton. Barons 12-13: Omark didn’t make it, we’ll see about Rajala. The odds are stacked against him in all kinds of ways, not the least of which is the ridiculous NHL depth chart on the wings. Barons 13-14: Arcobello is the only truly small guy on the team, Schremp couldn’t hold his Stars n’ Stripes gonch. Oilers are employing more players who may actually play in the NHL, although they’re still hiring too many perimeter guys.
  • The future NHLERS are……..If I’m a betting man, these are the winners from the current group to be the new Cleary and Chimera. Barons 12-13: I choose Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen and Marincin. I know that’s a lot (four), but Paajarvi is a 10th overall selection, Lander and Marincin are second rounders and Hartikainen is one of those guys who beat his draft number. He’s 52 games into an NHL career that should never have happened based on where he was selected (6th round). Barons 13-14: I’m stubborn on Lander and pleased with Marincin. Still think Paajarvi makes the grade and pleased Hartikainen will get another chance in the fall (I hope). From the Barons this season: Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Anton Lander and Tyler Pitlick.

The minor leagues are for developing 6′s and 7′s and 9′s. Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Roman Horak, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom. The Schremps make it 18-20 or they’re Guyle Fielder. This still remains true. Tip your waitress, try the ham.

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58 Responses to "LITTLE DID HE KNOW"

  1. Melman says:

    Pretty much everyone who is in the AHL past (say) 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering – doesn’t this conflict with the Detroit model?

    Also, LT you have Pelss listed in the 5th bullet. Still breaks the heart.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Interesting read.

    I wish I had your clarity of perspective when scanning the prospect ranks. I try to be objective but darn it sometimes I just want to see a player succeed too much. In this situation, Gernat is probably the farm hand I’m most emotionally invested in having seen his family watch him play, it makes the impact of success or failure that much more real to me.

    On the Brossoit/Smid deal, some interesting thoughts coming from Flames observers on that deal. They are pleased they got the actual NHL player in the trade but the honeymoon is over and there seems to be a real desire to see Smid moved at the deadline for a pick or two. I feel that it has turned out fairly well as Smid’s play has deteriorated noticeably since leaving and Horak is, I believe, a useful and versatile depth forward while Brossoit is probably a better goaltending prospect than the Oilers had before.

  3. RexLibris says:

    Off topic – don’t know how many have seen this, but I was impressed. Hansen makes some good points and it is something that the NFL needs to take to heart.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjc6QlIdGg4

  4. Lowetide says:

    Melman: Yeah, it’s still painful. Can’t imagine how tough it is for the family.

    Rex: You want clarity? I talked to a scout about Gernat. He told me that he won’t be a PP guy in the NHL. but he has the speed and size to play. He told me he’d need some years in the AHL, though.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Speaking of the Mess… I got “Game of Our Lives” for X-Mas… only had the chance to flip through so far. But, this has to be one of the best opening paragraphs of any sporting book written:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=LKR2iebOl4wC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+game+of+our+lives&hl=en&sa=X&ei=F8D-UrrHHcOy2wXdkoD4CQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Praxitelean&f=false

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bad news:

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman 16m
    Nurse gets hit, starts bleeding from the head, keeps playing shift.

    Romulus’ Apotheosis ‏@RomulusNotNuma 7m
    @coreypronman Is he ok?

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman 3m
    @RomulusNotNuma left the game

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    You’ve got so many great metaphors in here LT, it’s like a puzzle. The cribbage one is my favorite.

    On the sadness of Pelss… it’s extra shitty because he’d for sure be playing for Latvia right now and we’d all be freaking out with pride… just thinking about it wrenches.

    I have faith in a prospect like Gernat. I don’t know if that is warranted or not. A guy like Lander though. He looks to me like the prototype of a player that emerges out of the AHL to a successful top 9 role in the NHL for a long time. I don’t think he needs my faith. He just needs a GM that sees what he is. Hope that GM is MacT.

  8. thejonrmcleod says:

    So if the Oilers end up drafting Ekblad, where do you think the Oilers would rank in terms of D prospects (Ekblad, Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin. etc.)?

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman 32s
    Nurse is back on the ice.

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 6m
    #OKCBarons Fenwick ratings through one period against Lake Erie. #Oilers http://twitpic.com/dvkh49

  10. wheatnoil says:

    With Lander producing the way he is now, I can’t help but wonder how the Oilers organization would be viewing him if he’d only had a handful of NHL games. Sometimes I think the problem with bringing guys up too early has less to do with stalling their development and more to do with the organization getting sour on them before they’ve even gotten ready. It’s like taking a few bites out of a green banana and deciding the whole bunch will never be ready, tossing them out just as they’re starting to yellow (note: my metaphors are infinitely less poetic than LT’s). The organization seems like they’ve already made up their mind and now it’s up to Lander to change their minds back. If he’d never had that first season in the NHL, maybe their minds wouldn’t be so made up right now and it’d be easier for him to impress at the NHL level.

    As it is, if Lander and Horak get called up for 10 games each for the rest of this season and both play identically well, then I suspect Horak gets the nod next year. Part of that is the New GM’s Hire Effect that LT has mentioned before, but I think part of that is also the Shiny New Toy Effect. This is part of the reason I’m hoping they don’t call Klefbom up at all this year. Logic states that if there’s room on the roster after the deadline, it would be interesting to give him a cup of coffee to see how he does. The problem is that if he doesn’t do well, that starts the clock on the souring process a whole season early.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Willis numbers are interesting. Gernat/Fedun and Klefbom/Musil are the pairings and they aren’t getting killed. That’s a lote of yutes!

  12. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide,

    http://twitpic.com/dvkn1n

    The Period 2 numbers aren’t quite as strong for the Klefbom / Musil pair, but a few of those minuses came while getting hemmed in with Kessy and Ewanyk on the ice (at least, that’s what I noticed by eye). Also, Fedun is a rock-star at the AHL level.

  13. The Great One says:

    Toffoli with 3 goals and Linden Vey with 4 assists in Manchester’s 5-1 win over Worcester.

  14. wheatnoil says:

    At least in this one game, Lander is the engine that drives this OKC team at forward and Fedun is the equivalent at D. Horak has showed some good things too.

  15. wheatnoil says:

    Lander (Hunt, Ford) (PP)
    2-1 Barons with 19 seconds left.

  16. Pouzar says:

    I don’t what it means but I think it’s good.

    @coreypronman: Great first period from D Nurse. Probably has the best size:skating ratio among CHL D.

  17. The Great One says:

    wheatnoil:
    At least in this one game, Lander is the engine that drives this OKC team at forward and Fedun is the equivalent at D. Horak has showed some good things too.

    It may be getting close to putting the Anton Lander story to bed.

    Lander was selected 40th overall in the 2009 draft.

    Toffoli was selected 47th overall in the 2010 draft.

    Despite being picked a year last and lower in the draft, Toffoli has better AHL numbers and their NHL numbers aren’t even close.

    Selected after Lander in the 2009 draft:

    Drew Shore

    Robin Lehner

    Richard Panik

    Brandon Pirri

    Tomas Tatar

    Tyson Barrie

    Reilly Smith

    Cody Eakin

    Casey Czikas

    Craig Smith

    Marcus Foligno

    Sami Vatenen (Jeebus)

    Gabriel Borque

    Marcus Kruger

    Jordan Nolan

    Let’s be honest here.

    If Lander has been drafted by a decent NHL team, he likely would have close to zero NHL games on his resume.

    As bad as the 2003 draft was for the Oilers, the 2009 draft is coming pretty close in terms of whiffs.

    Paajarvi, Lander, Hesketh, Abney, Bigos, Rajala and Roy is a pretty big bundle of suck.

    And, yes LT, we are 5 years on.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Lander was always a lot about defensive hockey, we knew this. That said, Toffoli is clearly a superior player.

  19. Pouzar says:

    Darnell Chris Pronger Nurse with 2A/+2 and awesome skating.

  20. Surly says:

    For those who watched the game…how did Sherwood Park’s Duncan Siemens look?

  21. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: That said, Toffoli is clearly a superior player.

    LT….are you pullin a Stauffer here?

  22. gogliano says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Speaking of the Mess… I got “Game of Our Lives” for X-Mas… only had the chance to flip through so far. But, this has to be one of the best opening paragraphs of any sporting book written:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=LKR2iebOl4wC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+game+of+our+lives&hl=en&sa=X&ei=F8D-UrrHHcOy2wXdkoD4CQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Praxitelean&f=false

    Your search for “his Praxitelean body naked” was embedded in the link.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar: LT….are you pullin a Stauffer here?

    Not understanding the reference. Bob says true stuff? Sure! Sign me up!

  24. The Great One says:

    Lowetide:
    Lander was always a lot about defensive hockey, we knew this. That said, Toffoli is clearly a superior player.

    His CF% over the last 3 seasons would seem to indicate that he gets slaughtered in that state as well.

    11/12 – 42.8

    12/13 – 47.3

    13/14 – 40.0

    Not much happens when he is on the ice in the NHL but when something does happen, it isn’t good.

  25. Lowetide says:

    The Great One: His CF% over the last 3 seasons would seem to indicate that he gets slaughtered in that state as well.

    11/12 – 42.8

    12/13 –47.3

    13/14 – 40.0

    Not much happens when he is on the ice in the NHL but when something does happen, it isn’t good.

    DSF, we’ve been down this road. He wasn’t ready as a rookie but STILL showed some nice things on the PK. It’s clear he has talent, and when he’s given an opportunity with actual players instead of hard hats maybe we’ll see something.

    They need to give him 50 games with Smyth and someone else who can play

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/710/anton-lander

  26. sliderule says:

    The Great One,

    Other than Hall and Marincin the 2010 drafts are a bunch of duds.

    I have this image in my mind of a bunch of guys sitting around a table and Stu asking them “anyone got any idea who we should pick here”

    I have no confidence in their scouting organization born out by picks like Hesketh ,Abney Finnish goalies no one had ever heard of and on and on.

  27. The Great One says:

    Lander’s ELC expires after this season.

    I would be shocked if the Oilers signed him to a one way deal and I would be shocked if Lander agreed to a two way deal.

    We’ll see.

  28. eidy says:

    Chase another 1 g 2 a night

    Greg Chase Calgary Hitmen 56 30 36 66 55
    good for 16th in who. Jan 1 birthday so another year in the WHL likely to follow.

  29. VanOil says:

    I would love to see Lander get a run out in the NHL with some skill.

    A bottom 6 of:

    Smyth-Lander-Hemsky
    Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu/Pitlick

    The 4th line configured that way could handle slightly more minutes and free up Gordon for Malhotra like half ice subbing for the top 6 centers in D zone draws.

    If Lander can’t piss a drop between a rested but ancient Smyth and a resigned Hemsky in the final 20 games playing 3d line minutes; Flush him.

  30. Melman says:

    The Great One,

    Because he’s going to give up his nhl dream and go back to Sweden?

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Writing off Lander is the kind of thing stupid GMs and infectious diseases do.

    Best to ward off both.

  32. The Great One says:

    Melman:
    The Great One,

    Because he’s going to give up his nhl dream and go back to Sweden?

    Yes.

  33. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Writing off Lander is the kind of thing stupid GMs and infectious diseases do.

    Best to ward off both.

    Hanging on to marginal players and overpaying them is what dumb GM’s do.

  34. Melman says:

    The Great One,

    Cool. Didn’t realize you guys were tight

  35. eidy says:

    Thanks to endless nights of not so exciting last place hockey, one turns to prospects and you get your favorites. Every year I get the opportunity to learn about all of these prospects who are trying to reach the nearly impossible dream and it is hard for me to get to upset at failure. I find more irritation in those bashing these kids who didn’t ask to be raked over the coal. It is like they are trying to pick up the hottest girl in the bar. Of course, as fans we get to sit back and watch most of them crash and burn and I can’t take much joy out of calling them failures. I suspect that there are few of us here that have come as close to the top in our professions as these kids have in theirs. With that in mind I just try to enjoy the ride and learn something about projections along the way.

    Of course we all have our favorites and I admit to being swayed by some of the posters I respect here. Gernat, Chase, Davidson(man what a story this man is). For me, Tobias Reider will be the one that got away. He is doing quite well in the AHL and the man we got in return is not fair value. I hope Moroz makes it just because he has heard nothing but negative and it would be good for him to achieve despite the naysayers. I watch Slepyshev play and see a fantastic player and apparently good teammate. If he ever does come over to north america I think he has the tools to be a legit NHL player. Lander has done everything except score at the NHL level and he has earned 200 at bats. Put him with some real veterans or at least don’t saddle him with Luke. If he got a good shot with Smyth and/or Heindrichs and even Pitlick, I suspect he will show well enough to stick

    The oilers could really help themselves out with some cheap contracts coming out of this group of kids that haven’t reached the age of 20

    53 MITCHELL MOROZ 6′ 2″ 211 3 MAY 1994 19 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
    ANTON SLEPYSHEV 6′ 2″ 194 13 MAY 1994 19 PENZA, RUS
    54 JUJHAR KHAIRA 6′ 3″ 210 13 AUG 1994 19 SURREY, BC, CAN
    BOGDAN YAKIMOV 6′ 5″ 202 4 OCT 1994 19 NIZHNEKAMSK, RUS
    42 MARCO ROY 6′ 0″ 172 5 NOV 1994 19 STE-FOY, QC, CAN
    96 GREGORY CHASE 6′ 0″ 205 1 JAN 1995 19 SHERWOOD PARK, AB, CAN
    61 JACKSON HOUCK 6′ 0″ 192 27 FEB 1995 18 NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, CAN

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Hanging on to marginal players and overpaying them is what dumb GM’s do.

    He’s not a marginal player and he’ll be very cheap and under the thumb of the team for years. Extremely valuable depth forward.

    One day you’ll tell us all about these kinds of things for other teams.

    It must hurt that Marincin has turned out so well so far. That’s got to be tough. Have a drink. You’ve earned it.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    US-Russia at 7:30 all.

    First real game of the Olympics. Hard game to handicap. I suspect ST will play a large role. Let’s just hope it’s as fiery and entertaining as it should be.

  38. wheatnoil says:

    The Great One: Hanging on to marginal players and overpaying them is what dumb GM’s do.

    Hanging on to players that are showing signs of improvement is what smart GMs do. Overpaying any player is less than ideal and overpaying Lander would be no different. The Oilers have yet to overpay him. There are plenty of legitimate complaints about how the Oilers have handled Lander and many of those have already been mentioned in this very thread. There is no reason to make up new ones.

  39. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    US-Russia at 7:30 all.

    First real game of the Olympics. Hard game to handicap. I suspect ST will play a large role. Let’s just hope it’s as fiery and entertaining as it should be.

    I can’t imagine that it won’t be. Hockey gold is the one medal Russia wants more than any other. A less than 100% Datsyuk is going to hurt, but I think the Russians eke out a victory 3-2.

  40. flyfish1168 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: US-Russia at 7:30 all.First real game of the Olympics. Hard game to handicap. I suspect ST will play a large role. Let’s just hope it’s as fiery and entertaining as it should be.

    I believe that is 7:30 eastern time.

  41. mumbai max says:

    sliderule:
    The Great One,

    Other than Hall and Marincin the 2010 drafts are a bunch of duds.

    I have this image in my mind of a bunch of guys sitting around a table and Stu asking them “anyone got any idea who we should pick here”

    I have no confidence in their scouting organization born out by picks like Hesketh ,Abney Finnish goalies no one had ever heard of and on and on.

    I thought it had been established on this blog, that 2 graduating players per draft is considered a success. Am I wrong about that? I think EVERY SINGLE NHL team has draft duds. I think it is too harsh to cherry pick examples of poor work to indict the work of the scouts. I think the LT numbers indicate 50% success in round 1 and 25% success rate in round 2 is the norm. Correct me if I am wrong. By this measure the Oil have outperformed on the first two 2010 picks and performed on par for the draft year (with some long shots still remaining).

  42. DeadmanWaking says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    You’ve got so many great metaphors in here LT, it’s like a puzzle. The cribbage one is my favorite.

    Agreed. Are you sure it’s not 15-2 15-4 hut hut! I was pretty sure it was an audible for a short-yardage quarterback sneak.

  43. DBO says:

    Letting Lander get his confidence back offensively is huge. A point a game player in the Hal who also kills penalties, plays with and edge and is defensively aware is a huge plus for this team. He is exactly what we want in a 2nd line centre. Worst case he is an excellent 4th liner. Give him Gagners line mates for 20 games and see if he can deliver.

    My hope for a lineup next year.

    Hall. Nuge. Eberle (power vs power)
    Kulemin. Lander. Yakupov (2nd or 4th line as the game goes)
    Perron. Gordon. Hemsky (can play against anyone. Essentially a 2nd line)
    Smyth. Boyle. Hendricks (a 4th line who can play, physical and all pk and take face offs )
    Gazdic. arcobello

  44. VanOil says:

    USA v. Russia has the players amped up like a World Jr game.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    flyfish1168: I believe that is 7:30 eastern time.

    Sorry. My eastern bias.

    I won’t ruin it for those PVRing this… but man… it’s like hockey christmas the hockey is so intense!

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oh… one sneak peek: Voynov hitting Brown is like unwrapping the christmas present you actually asked for. Amazing.

  47. VanOil says:

    Putin arrives Russia scores. Harper dreams of such jam.

  48. cabbiesmacker says:

    DBO:

    My hope for a lineup next year.

    Hall. Nuge. Eberle (power vs power)
    Kulemin. Lander. Yakupov (2nd or 4th line as the game goes)
    Perron. Gordon. Hemsky (can play against anyone. Essentially a 2nd line)
    Smyth. Boyle. Hendricks (a 4th line who can play, physical and all pk and take face offs )
    Gazdic. arcobello

    Not many hockey teams where Kulemin plays ahead of Perron and very doubtful Hemsky is wearing an Oiler jersey past the end of this year.

    Kulemin? Man if some Oiler fans get frustrated at seemingly unmotivated players, this guy will drive them up the wall. At the $$ he’ll be looking for he’s a real bad bet. Too high for a third liner and that’s all he is.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bohologo:
    Anyone got a stream for those ofus south of the border?

    Should be on NBC.

    Otherwise (say you don’t have cable) just google “sports live stream”

    any of the links that come up should have it.

  50. DBO says:

    Bohologo,

    Cbc.ca streams everything. Not sure if USA gets it

    Adthe.net is my source for Oilers games since I live way East now. May have it

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bohologo:
    DBO, thanks I’ve tried & failed with the CBC stream. Watching it in Russian now; the announcers are losing their дерьмо, if you know what I mean.

    here’s a few options:

    http://gofirstrow.eu/watch/240145/1/watch-ice-hockey:-usa-vs-russia.html

  52. godot10 says:

    It is sort of amazing that Eakins plays Fraser and others over Belov, not to mention MacT trading for Fraser so Eakins could make that coaching decision.

    MacT wants Russians, and he hires an American Russian-Hating Cold Warrior as coach.

  53. FastOil says:

    sliderule:
    The Great One,

    Other than Hall and Marincin the 2010 drafts are a bunch of duds.

    I have this image in my mind of a bunch of guys sitting around a table and Stu asking them “anyone got any idea who we should pick here”

    I have no confidence in their scouting organization born out by picks like Hesketh ,Abney Finnish goalies no one had ever heard of and on and on.

    But Finland is the goalie factory. They have a reputation. :)

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