LOOK AT THOSE CAVEMEN GO

Dallas Eakins plans on doing a makeover with his team during the Olympic break. Among the things I hope he looks at: line matching, getting the top line out right after a penalty-kill, riding Ben Scrivens more, using his 4th line less, not playing Nick Schultz and Phil Larsen, and giving all of Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick and Oscar Klefbom a long look.

The things I want to see from Craig MacTavish include: signing Ales Hemsky, trading Nick Schultz, signing Dillon Simpson, signing top end college free agents, signing Ben Scrivens.

The one thing I’m not looking forward to? The Sam Gagner trade. Edmonton’s trading a $4.8M center who isn’t strong at the position, is having a bad season and who many posters on this blog wanted off the team no matter the return a few short weeks ago. Folks, the return is going to be closer to Kyle Clifford and a pick than it is to Tyler Toffoli—Dean Lombardi isn’t going to trade a guy who is delivering offense for his team this season in a deadline deal. MacT goes to market with 89 at a dreadful time, and fan expectations are running miles ahead of reality. If Kevin Lowe had traded Raffi Torres for Samsanov in 2006 spring, would that have made sense? Same item here. Minor league players—Derek Forbort, Tanner Pearson, along with depth players—Kyle Clifford, Jordan Nolan—are likely in play.

THE VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMERvollman sledgehammer feb 5

This is straight Corsi (I usually run Corsi Rel in these photos, but Eberle and Gagner keep overlapping) and we see  Boyd Gordon’s fantastic season in full view here. Nuge, Gagner and Gordon are all facing the toughs, speaking to Eakins not looking for matchups so much as  zone start opportunities. I’d like him to have that gear—his GM sure did—and would also like to see him run Gordon more at even strength:

  1. Nuge 15:59 EV TOI per game
  2. Gagner 14:49 EV TOI per game
  3. Gordon 11:38 EV TOI per game
  4. Smyth 11:29 EV TOI per game

I think the 4line is getting too much time as well, and Hendricks should be 4line plus PK, maybe the deadline deals will make it so.

arcobello ferguson 1

Jonathan Willis does an excellent job of describing the Arco dilemma here. The one fellow who would benefit immediately from a Gagner deal is Arcobello, and I think there’s a reasonable chance the skill center returns to Edmonton (and the starting lineup) if a trade goes down. I also believe there’s an excellent chance the club signs him to a contract for next season. Arcobello can pursue free agency, but along with money is opportunity and Edmonton gave him his chance. Either way, the bias Jon mentions in his article is real, and if the young man decides to sign elsewhere the club should be able to replace him with a similar player.

The guy I’m hoping the club gives a chance to? Anton Lander. It’s going to be tough,  because he hasn’t delivered offensively as an Oiler, and Eakins/MacT may have already made up their minds (ala  Harski). Based on published reports he’s progressing and has a lot of nice things in his game. I suspect he’ll flourish, but am very uncertain it will be in Edmonton.

marincin ferguson2

I don’t think this means anything, but Martin Marincin is looking good compared to his fellow rookies.

hendricks 334

Matt Hendricks sure is taking on a leadership role. If he can penalty kill and they use him on the 4th line, he can help. If they see him as a modern day Moreau, I don’t see the offense, and 8 goals from a third liner is a settle.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

grace kelly 22

A busy day, and with all the trade rumblings I imagine one of these days we’ll see something. Today would make sense—off day, don’t play until tomorrow—and I do wonder about 89 to the coast. I’ll say Kyle Clifford and Derek Forbort are the return, the Oilers agree to retain a significant portion of the Gagner salary, and that the Al Gore melts.

Scheduled to appear 10 this morning, TSN1260:

  • Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. We’ll talk reasonable return for Gagner, the horrible PP and Eakins at the break.
  • Ryan Marsh, UofA Golden Bear Assistant Coach and Vimy Hockey Campus Director. We’ll talk about the incredible season the Golden Bears are enjoying currently, and how to improve specific skills.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp on TSN 1260. Team plays tonight, we’ll preview.
  • Scott Taylor, Manitoba Hockey News dot com.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Olympics readiness.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Looking forward to it!

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133 Responses to "LOOK AT THOSE CAVEMEN GO"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Thx RA

    When I go to the hockey abstract link, it defaults to Corsi On for Bubble color…wouldn’t Corsi Rel be the more meaningful stat?

    thx again everyone. These things are da bomb!

    you can change all the default settings. so corsiOn to corsiRel is no problem.

    Neither is more meaningful than the other. They are simply differently meaningful (to use a torturous phrase).

    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

  2. Halfwise says:

    Roster players are overvalued vs picks at the deadline. Then flip the picks for roster players at the draft.

    In the interval, audition the Baron prospects so they get what Marincin got his first time up: an idea of where to focus their remaining development

  3. Jordan says:

    I really don’t know how to feel about the Marincin situation.

    On the one had, he’s playing well while playing over his head, which is amazing, and great for him and the team.

    On the other had, he’s become a de-factor #2 D-man on the Oilers, jumping over every single player that MacT brought in over the summer AND all but one of the NHL regulars (Petry).

    If there’s one thing I can say for sure about this team, it has both sides of the WOW factor: =O and D=

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Dean Lombardi isn’t going to trade a guy who is delivering offense for his team this season in a deadline deal.”

    mentioned it last night, but I don’t see Gagner getting moved until the season ends. If MacT and co. have moved on psychologically and have Gagner erased from the future… fine. But there’s no reason to think there is any real pressure to resolve the issue now.

    For MacT and his trading partners a player under contract like Gagner isn’t a great option for a deadline deal, when rentals are the currency.

    Hemsky was and is the F target here.

    I say all this knowing that the same basic situation held with Smid and MacT pulled the trigger early on a very strange deal. So, who knows!?

    In the off-season I still think we end up seeing Gagner ++ for Quick.

  5. justDOit says:

    For what it’s worth (if it was in print – bird cages…):

    On Gagner…

    I am told the Oilers have a VERY strong offer that would return the EXACT kind of d-man the team needs moving forward…however the deal would require the Oilers to eat some of that contract…something they so far have been reluctant to do…

    E8!

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “The guy I’m hoping the club gives a chance to? Anton Lander. It’s going to be tough, because he hasn’t delivered offensively as an Oiler, and Eakins/MacT may have already made up their minds (ala Harski).”

    Me too. I’m in full-blown prospect love with Lander. He’s going to be an excellent pro hockey player somewhere.

    As much as I enjoy drooling over the maybes and the magic beans and draft lists and the CHL game reports, etc. Lander is finally, in the flesh and blood, an honest to goodness prospect, from the system, ready to make an NHL impact. That is huge.

    I’ll be crushed when they trade or fail to re-sign him.

  7. PhrankLee says:

    I assert that LT is second in my books only to Rod Phillips for love of these guys and finding the subtle positives in their games and even characters. Thanks, LT. I hate to see this kid go. At 22 he looked like he was bound to be one of the best 2C in the game. At 24 he looks like a ghost.

  8. Snowman says:

    Kyle Clifford wouldn’t be the worst. I like him. Depends what else you got with Clifford I think. Clifford-Gordon-Hemsy 3rd line looks pretty decent.

    Think Lander could get a chance at 2C if Gagner goes? Would they give him a shot before Arcobello?

    Quick for Gagner ++ would be almost the worst. Cam Ward for Gagner ++ is the worst but only by a slight margin.

  9. Hall Awaits says:

    If the return is Clifford and Martinez for Gags (with Oil retaining salary) I think Mac-T walks away from that deal every time. I know we’re looking for size but a 5 point 4th liner? Dwight King, Matt Greene, Muzzin etc are names I’d want involved in any trade but I don’t see it. Wait it out and deal him this summer instead

  10. Woodguy says:

    If 89 has gone from Jack to a 9, MacT shouldn’t turn that 9 into a 5 and a 4.

    5′s and 4′s fall are discards easily available in the off season.

    He needs another 9 back, and in a roster hole.

    If a young LHD comes back for Gagner, I won’t like it.

    Marincin, Klef, Nurse, Gernat are filling the young LHD with little/no NHL experience just fine.

    Also,

    If MacT eats salary to get Muzzin, it’s the same result.

    Be careful of Muzzin, rising tide lifts all boats and the LAK blogger I follow and respect broke out the party hats when Muzzin was taken off the top pairing w/ Doughty.

  11. Hall Awaits says:

    If the return is Clifford and Martinez for Gags (with Oil retaining salary) I think Mac-T walks away from that deal every time. I know we’re looking for size but a 5 point 4th liner? Dwight King, Matt Greene, Jake Muzzin etc are names I’d want involved in any trade but I don’t see it with Uncle Deano not wanting to piece out his roster.
    Wait it out and deal him this summer instead of selling low. There’s no harm in holding onto him.

    NIKOLAI KULEMIN

    This is who should be the target and if I’m reading the tea leaves with Stauffer correctly then Oil are already all over him…

  12. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: you can change all the default settings. so corsiOn to corsiRel is no problem.

    Neither is more meaningful than the other. They are simply differently meaningful (to use a torturous phrase).

    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

    Ok….I got my definitions of Corsi On mixed up anyway. I am still a newbie

  13. DeadmanWaking says:

    Everyone who perseverated(*) negatively on Horcoff and Hemsky these past three or four years, feel the shame. The tough call was Gagner all along.

    I constantly vacillated about Gagner. On the one hand, he was clearly the nexus of too many fault lines: small up the middle, doesn’t win face-offs, doesn’t play 200 feet, doesn’t hold his teammates accountable for hard nosed play. On the other hand, 400 odd games of experience at age 23, has (or had) elite attacking skills, he’s lived the cluster, and he wants to be here.

    A small haircut then would have melted the Al Gore. Now we’re looking at Billy Preston showing up for draft day at Fort Leonard Wood.

    (*) Thank you, Meadow, for hurling that word at Carmela after returning home from your first semester at college.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “The guy I’m hoping the club gives a chance to? Anton Lander. It’s going to be tough,because he hasn’t delivered offensively as an Oiler, and Eakins/MacT may have already made up their minds (alaHarski).”

    Me too. I’m in full-blown prospect love with Lander. He’s going to be an excellent pro hockey player somewhere.

    As much as I enjoy drooling over the maybes and the magic beans and draft lists and the CHL game reports, etc. Lander is finally, in the flesh and blood, an honest to goodness prospect, from the system, ready to make an NHL impact. That is huge.

    I’ll be crushed when they trade or fail to re-sign him.

    The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of Lander is baffling.

    The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of 3LW and Hendricks at 3LW instead of 4C is baffling.

    The Oilers are baffling.

    Because Baffling.

  15. verdad says:

    Do people actually watch the 7 year play of Gagner?
    If there is one player who so utterly typifies every that has gone wrong with the seven year re-build of the Oilers it is Sam Gagner.
    A player who represents true negative value to the dynamic of the team.
    The two words that describe him : “weak” and “ineffectual”.
    One 8 point game in 7 years doesn’t justify all the wasted investment in him.
    MacTavish’s greatest blunder to date was not to have come to terms with this last spring and flushed him out before his further deterioration this season.
    Some times it isn’t so much what you get back as what you get rid of that counts.
    Can”t this forum come to terms with this in the case of Gagner.

  16. Logan91 says:

    If the Gagner trade included Tanner Pearson i’d be very happy.

  17. Ducey says:

    Matt Hendricks sure is taking on a leadership role. If he can penalty kill and they use him on the 4th line, he can help. If they see him as a modern day Moreau, I don’t see the offense, and 8 goals from a third liner is a settle

    This 3rd line/ 4th line stuff doesn’t match reality. He is a bottom 6 guy able to play multiple positions. Jared Stoll hasn’t had more than 8 goals in 3 years. The issue with the Oilers is defence and being hard to play against. If Hendricks can provide that then he is of considerable use. Much like this guy: http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/25/nation-profile-dave-lumley

    On Arco/ Lander it is possible they will trade both Gagner and Smyth. That would presumably allow both Arco and Lander a chance. I like how they have handled Lander. MacT has allowed him to get minutes in all situations and as captain on the farm, rather than playing 6 minutes a night with the plumbers.

    The trade dealine for the Olympic break is Friday. I don’t see any big deals coming down before then.

  18. nelson88 says:

    Perhaps wishful thinking but I see Lander as very much in the future Oil plans. 2014/15′s Kyle Brodziak?

    Great leadership skills, plays a two way game and has gotten better (depending on your view of the “keep him with the Oilers” period) every year since he was drafted. Despite being 4 years younger his offensive stats in OKC are almost identical to Omark but with a better +/- and more SOG and yet everyone has a ceiling on him of 3/4 C while Omark “has to play in the top 6″?

    I think the reason Lander; and to a slightly lesser extent, Fedun are still in the AHL is that they are ciritcal to that teams success and trying to make the playoffs which would be highly beneficial to many of the Oilers “bubble” prospects. Not a slight on the organizations view of them as prospects. If OKC is still close to the cut-off with a few games left I would not be surprised to see Marincin sent down for the push.

    If you are going to trade Gagner please package him with someone like Klefbom or Gernat or a 2nd round pick (not this year I realize) and aim higher! Small upgrades at the fringes of the NHL roster or adding to a well stocked cupboard of mediocre prospects that need develpment opportunity will be of little benefit to the organization.

  19. Woodguy says:

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/02/05/theres-an-art-to-falling-apart/

    Cosh knocks one out of the park.

    Nothing new for any of us, but a well written overview.

    Note: that’s a mobile link, you may need to modify it a hair.

  20. DeadmanWaking says:

    I don’t track players movements with the attention to detail that others bring, but somehow turning Jarrett Stoll and Matt Green into Ryan Whitney can’t have been good.

    I know Visnovsky was a sweet unit, but right from the beginning I never thought he belonged in rebuild city.

    In an alternate universe, Jarrett doesn’t get his bell rung with his fingertips almost grasping the “C” and we’re talking about an entirely different rebuild from start to finish, this haircut included.

  21. nelson88 says:

    Woodguy,

    30th place goal scoring totals?! What am I missing there. Scoring goals are far down the list of what ails the Oilers.

  22. Racki says:

    I don’t think this team ever goes anywhere if Hemsky stays. I know his value is likely not very high but his value here isn’t high either. The Oilers need guys who play tough, although Hemsky does it better than some of our top six.

    The Sabres are looking to move Steve Ott. I’d look at him, as he brings much of what the Oilers lack, and sounds like the Sabres wouldn’t be asking a heck of a lot. That maybe doesn’t say much for the player, but I think we know what Ott can bring. The Oilers are one team that lacks that “crust” to steal old balls’ term.

    I too look forward to a Gagner trade. I wonder what he can fetch. I’d be content with Clifford plus. Gregor had some comments about what he could fetch and they sounded good. I unfortunately forget what his thoughts were. Generally he aims low (read: more realistically.. Although not always the wisest ideas) , not being an Oilers fan. I thought Forbort was one guy he thought we could land, plus more for Gags.

  23. gcw_rocks says:

    If Hemsky is the currency, one of the players I would like to see coming back is Fredrick Andersen from the Ducks.

  24. Woodguy says:

    nelson88:
    Woodguy,

    30th place goal scoring totals?! What am I missing there. Scoring goals are far down the list of what ails the Oilers.

    What are you referring to?

  25. Ducey says:

    nelson88:
    Woodguy,

    30th place goal scoring totals?! What am I missing there. Scoring goals are far down the list of what ails the Oilers.

    There is an “art” to writing for MacLeans apparently.

  26. sliderule says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    I don’t track players movements with the attention to detail that others bring, but somehow turning Jarrett Stoll and Matt Green into Ryan Whitney can’t have been good.

    I know Visnovsky was a sweet unit, but right from the beginning I never thought he belonged in rebuild cit

    In an alternate universe, Jarrett doesn’t get his bell rung with his fingertips almost grasping the “C” and we’re talking about an entirely different rebuild from start to finish, this haircut included.

    That Stoll trade is what scares me the most about having six rings holding the strings.

    He will sour on a injured player real quick and move him out at a loss.

  27. gcw_rocks says:

    Unless someone offers an Erik Johnson type trade, Gagner should be traded between June 6th and June 30th. Need multiple bidders to get the price up, plus easier to tell the “70 point player that had a bad season due to injury but almost guaranteed to bounce back” story during that period than in season.

  28. jake70 says:

    Woodguy:

    The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of Lander is baffling.

    The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of 3LW and Hendricks at 3LW instead of 4C is baffling.

    The Oilers are baffling.

    Because Baffling.

    The Oilers running 94…..umm……..that is all. (great Oiler, but done IMO)

  29. cc says:

    Hall Awaits,

    I agree, Kulemin should be their target. He has horrible zone starts, blocks shots (1st for Leafs forwards), hits (4th for Leafs forwards) and offensively he is on part for Pts/60 with Hemsky the last 4 seasons with tougher zone starts. Also, he can play on the PK. He should be the target, I think that he’s this years Clarke MacArthur someone who is undervalued in Free Agency. If his name was Smith or Johnson, Cherry would be talking about how gritty this player is.

    Kulemin 13-14 12-13 11-12 10-11
    Z-Start 36.5 35.5 53.3 51
    Corsi 41.6 40.8 51.3 51.9
    Pt/60 1.389 1.764 1.419 2.237

    I think he’s done with the Leafs. If I was the Penguins this is the guy I would target to play with Malkin.

  30. Ducey says:

    Racki:
    I don’t think this team ever goes anywhere if Hemsky stays. I know his value is likely not very highbut his value here isn’t high either. The Oilers need guys who play tough, although Hemsky does it better than some of our top six.

    The Sabres are looking to move Steve Ott. I’d look at him, as he brings much of what the Oilers lack, and sounds like the Sabres wouldn’t be asking a heck of a lot. That maybe doesn’t say much for the player, but I think we know what Ott can bring. The Oilers are one team that lacks that “crust” to steal old balls’ term.

    I too look forward to a Gagner trade. I wonder what he can fetch. I’d be content with Clifford plus. Gregor had some comments about what he could fetch and they sounded good.I unfortunately forget what his thoughts were. Generally he aims low (read: more realistically.. Although not always the wisest ideas) , not being an Oilers fan. I thought Forbort was one guy he thought we could land, plus more for Gags.

    Ott is a UFA after this season. Just sign him in the summer. Don’t give up an asset for him.

  31. nelson88 says:

    Woodguy,

    About 1/2 way through the article he references (at least from my read) that the Oilers are 30th in goal scoring. Not trying to hack on him. Nice that some of the bloggers are getting more MSM opportunities but personally I don’t find the article all that enlightening. Likely as it has a few too many of the “narratives” I believe are over emphasised and mostly because I read this excellent blog/comments section far too often. :)

  32. Lowetide says:

    jake70: The Oilers running 94…..umm……..that is all.(great Oiler,but done IMO)

    I don’t agree. Smyth has had a fine year, despite playing out of position for some of it.

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/573/ryan-smyth

  33. Racki says:

    Ducey: Ott is a UFA after this season.Just sign him in the summer. Don’t give up an asset for him.

    Ya he is.. But I am thinking more along lines of trade and sign before he hits UFA so we potentially done have to pay through the nose to get him. And I wouldn’t be looking at moving Marincin or someone with value to get him.. But rather one of our own UFAs, like a Hemsky for example. If we give up someone with little value to the team or someone going to free agency, I’m content.. Otherwise, no you don’t do it.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: There is an “art” to writing for MacLeans apparently.

    Someone mentioned this to Cosh on twitter as well, his defense was that he filed the story 2 weeks ago.

    That being said, being 19th in the NHL in goals/game isn’t a reason to say “*whew*, least we got the scoring part down pat”

  35. Woodguy says:

    nelson88:
    Woodguy,

    About 1/2 way through the article he references (at least from my read) that the Oilers are 30th in goal scoring. Not trying to hack on him. Nice that some of the bloggers are getting more MSM opportunities but personally I don’t find the article all that enlightening. Likely as it has a few too many of the “narratives” I believe are over emphasised and mostly because I read this excellent blog/comments section far too often.

    Cosh is a writer for MacLeans by trade and not a hockey blogger.

    It’s meant for a much broader audience that us.

  36. bendelson says:

    justDOit: For what it’s worth (if it was in print – bird cages…):On Gagner…I am told the Oilers have a VERY strong offer that would return the EXACT kind of d-man the team needs moving forward…however the deal would require the Oilers to eat some of that contract…something they so far have been reluctant to do…E8!

    Ha.

    A VERY strong offer providing the EXACT kind of d-man….

    And MacT is balking b/c he doesn’t want to eat some of that nasty Gagner contract?

    ‘Hard to believe’ would be an understatement.

    Perhaps they are taking on so much bad salary in ‘the deal’ they can’t possibly eat some of Gagner’s contract AS WELL? If this is the case, is it really a VERY strong offer?

    To walk away from the EXACT type of d-man we need is a ludicrious notion.

    Why am I commenting on such drivel?
    Damn you justDOit.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of Lander is baffling.

    The Oilers running 94 at 4C instead of 3LW and Hendricks at 3LW instead of 4C is baffling.

    The Oilers are baffling.

    Because Baffling.

    Because Baffling is the new Because Oilers.

  38. russ99 says:

    verdad:
    Do people actually watch the 7 year play of Gagner?
    If there is one player who so utterly typifies every that has gone wrong with the seven year re-build of the Oilers it is Sam Gagner.
    A player who represents true negative value to the dynamic of the team.
    The two words that describe him : “weak” and “ineffectual”.
    One 8 point game in 7 years doesn’t justify all the wasted investment in him.
    MacTavish’s greatest blunder to date was notto have come to terms with this last spring and flushed him out before his further deterioration this season.
    Some times it isn’t so much what you get back as what you get rid of that counts.
    Can”t this forum come to terms with this in the case ofGagner.

    Understandable, however, we have to look at the big picture and not get bogged down looking at myopic results from just this year, especially considering a rookie coach is running the team into the ground using unconventional ideas and methods.

    Look at last year. Gagner had 38 points in 48 games vs. all Western Conference foes. Even if you cut the 8 points out that’s still at least average.

    Not saying Gagner is a keeper or that even last year is a complete picture, but take the Eakins goggles off and look at the overall view.

    In 3 years we’re moving into a new arena with higher revenue streams and a much higher cap due to the Rogers deal. Are we going to build our team like the Bruins or Predators with knuckle draggers and low skill for Eakins’s misguided vision now or build something that can compete at both ends of the ice in that future where we could also have a completely different leadership team and coaching staff?

    I know it’s not a pretty picture, potentially 3 more years wandering in the desert, but the decisions made now will play a large part on how successful we are then.

  39. steveb12344 says:

    bendelson: Ha.

    A VERY strong offer providing the EXACT kind of d-man….

    And MacT is balking b/c he doesn’t want to eat some of that nasty Gagner contract?

    ‘Hard to believe’ would be an understatement.

    Perhaps they are taking on so much bad salary in ‘the deal’ they can’t possibly eat some of Gagner’s contract AS WELL?If this is the case, is it really a VERY strong offer?

    To walk away from the EXACT type of d-man we need is a ludicrious notion.

    Why am I commenting on such drivel?
    Damn you justDOit.

    His comment was just copy and pasted right off an Eklund (Hockeybuzz) blog. So take it for what it’s worth.

  40. Racki says:

    steveb12344: His comment was just copy and pasted right off an Eklund (Hockeybuzz) blog.So take it for what it’s worth.

    I can’t believe people still put food on that guy’s table.

  41. steveb12344 says:

    Racki: I can’t believe people still put food on that guy’s table.

    lol, I know. Just for kicks, this is what Eklund is offering up today:

    I realize the Oilers came out recently and said they wouldn’t trade away youth…..however….the Kings just might be offering up a “serious” deal for one of the Oilers top line guys

  42. Ducey says:

    Nice to see VAN lose another yesterday. 5 losses in a row!

    They now have 3 teams within 2 points. 2 of those teams have 2 games in hand.

    MacT has it easy compared to Gillis. If things continue to slide he is likely to get fired.

    I had not noticed it but LA is now 1-8-1 in their last 10 and have lost 4 in a row. They are only 4 points away from missing the playoffs.

    Pretty good chance Lombardi makes a major desperate move to jump start things. Not sure Gagner or Hemsky would constitute that, but if the Oilers were to take some salary they might get someone good in return.

  43. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Cosh is a writer for MacLeans by trade and not a hockey blogger.

    It’s meant for a much broader audience that us.

    Sure, but in many ways, he is exactly the problem in the mainstream media (not just for this article), he is a very eloquent witty writer who catches/creates narratives and then weaves them into a very publishable article. He doesn’t fact check, doesn’t seek insights from experts in the field, and so on.

    That’s not to say that it wasn’t good reading, but getting a basic stat wrong like total goals for suggests that the author is just BSing his way through a topic he is not really familiar with.

  44. book¡je says:

    Woodguy,

    Also the defense that this was written two weeks ago only means that he was wrong two weeks ago as opposed to yesterday. The Oilers were nowhere near last in goal scoring (per game or in total) two weeks ago.

  45. Lois Lowe says:

    Cosh is an Oilers fan. He’s pretty familiar with the subject matter. It could be something his editor didn’t catch because they aren’t familiar with the Oilers. I assume that Cosh mean total goals against.

  46. FastOil says:

    Racki: I can’t believe people still put food on that guy’s table.

    Gossip did ok for W R Hearst. I guess some things don’t change.

    It is unnerving waiting to see what the Baffles do. I agree with WG that a young LD is a mistake. Vet LD and draft Ekblad and he can mature until Ference is gone.

    Then find a freakin’ centre.

  47. oilersfan says:

    it amazes me that the people who post so often and even who write the blog, don’t listen to Bob Stauffer everyday. Bob basically tells us what is happening with the Oilers, what almost happened and what will happen, if you listen to all his comments to texts, emails, and phone ins.

    Regarding Smid, he was traded because the Oilers thought Belov had passed him, not Marincin.
    He said these exact words to Woodguy about two weeks ago. That was you right, Darcy?

    Regarding Gagner, the oilers want back LA’s 3rd line LW, who is I believe Dwight King, who is a tough LW who can score 20 goals. He would probably play on the 2 line in Edmonton to give a physical presence in the top 6. Bob is skeptical LA would trade a player like that going into the playoffs so isn’t overly confident that deal gets done. He said it Monday in the pre Buffalo game on Oilers now.

  48. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: Sure, but in many ways, he is exactly the problem in the mainstream media (not just for this article), he is a very eloquent witty writer who catches/creates narratives and then weaves them into a very publishable article.He doesn’t fact check, doesn’t seek insights from experts in the field, and so on.

    That’s not to say that it wasn’t good reading, but getting a basic stat wrong like total goals for suggests that the author is just BSing his way through a topic he is not really familiar with.

    I think thay may be unduly harsh and pretty broad based on one error.

    That being said, it was an error and I am not defending the error, just passing information.

    It’s a really great piece of writing.

  49. Pouzar says:

    oilersfan:

    Regarding Gagner, the oilers want back LA’s 3rd line LW, who is I believe Dwight King, who is a tough LW who can score 20 goals.

    Who can score 20 goals? He’d better haul ass then.

    I did find it funny before they announced the Scrivens deal. Stauffer was on his show busting at the seams dying to tell someone.

  50. Ducey says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Cosh is an Oilers fan. He’s pretty familiar with the subject matter. It could be something his editor didn’t catch because they aren’t familiar with the Oilers. I assume that Cosh mean total goals against.

    Here is the passage:

    At forward, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle just aren’t getting much help. It would be hard to argue otherwise, given the team’s 30th-place goal-scoring total. (They are not close to 29th.) David Perron, acquired from St. Louis in a trade for disappointing Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, played ludicrously far over his head for about 30 games and cooled off. Boyd Gordon is handling his faceoff-specialist job. Aside from them, the supporting cast might as well be guys Edmonton already finished last with, and, in several cases, they are.

    It looks to be more than a typo given its context. He is talking offense when the problem is defense.

  51. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan:
    it amazes me that the people who post so often and even who write the blog, don’t listen to Bob Stauffer everyday. Bob basically tells us what is happening with the Oilers, what almost happened and what will happen, if you listen to all his comments to texts, emails, and phone ins.

    Regarding Smid, he was traded because the Oilers thought Belov had passed him, not Marincin.
    He said these exact words to Woodguy about two weeks ago. That was you right, Darcy?

    Regarding Gagner, the oilers want back LA’s 3rd line LW, who is I believe Dwight King, who is a tough LW who can score 20 goals. He would probably play on the 2 line in Edmonton to give a physical presence in the top 6. Bob is skeptical LA would trade a player like that going into the playoffs so isn’t overly confident that deal gets done. He said it Monday in the pre Buffalo game on Oilers now.

    That was me.

    Many can’t listen to radio at work.

    Also,

    Clifford has been 3LW, King has been 2LW, depending who you consider 1 or 2.

  52. book¡je says:

    Woodguy,

    I appreciate the link and my critical rant was over the top – Cosh sometimes annoys me with other stuff (sometimes I really like his stuff as well). There was nothing in particular wrong with the article and as noted, he is an effective writer. It is however, unfortunate that the often far better comments on this blog will be read by a much smaller proportion of the population.

  53. Ducey says:

    Pouzar: Who can score 20 goals? He’d better haul ass then.

    I did find it funny before they announced the Scrivens deal. Stauffer was on his show busting at the seams dying to tell someone.

    King has scored decently in the WHL and the AHL. What strikes me are his low PIM’s. I expect many of those wanting him see him as a poor man’s Lucic. 39 PIM’s in 138 NHL games say he may not be the tough guy the Spectors of the world think they would be getting. “Soft” Petry has 97 in 212 games.

  54. Lois Lowe says:

    Here is that passage again, without the impugned sentence. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

    At forward, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle just aren’t getting much help. David Perron, acquired from St. Louis in a trade for disappointing Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, played ludicrously far over his head for about 30 games and cooled off. Boyd Gordon is handling his faceoff-specialist job. Aside from them, the supporting cast might as well be guys Edmonton already finished last with, and, in several cases, they are.

  55. oilersfan says:

    well I can’t see the Oilers trading Gagner for Clifford. King maybe.

    Really I think they are better off not to just wait for the summer but to wait a whole year.

    I am sick of his crap play too but I will be even sicker watching him go to LA for a fourth line winger and have his best season of his career because he had better coaching and better complementary players, and score 25 goals and 60 points while we have King or Clifford score 10 and check real well.

    Not that we don’t need those kind of players but I bet a healthy Gagner gets 18-22 goals next year and 50-55 points with only one year left in a rising cap he will have much more value.

    not like we’re going to win the Cup next year.

  56. thejonrmcleod says:

    Would a deal involving Gagner and Jake Gardiner be acceptable to any?

  57. godot10 says:

    Some dumb Toronto-based Macleans editor didn’t understand what “30th-place goal scoroing differential” meant and changed it to “30th place goal scoring”

  58. art vandelay says:

    In the off-season I still think we end up seeing Gagner ++ for Quick.

    Proof positive that Edmonton’s cold weather actually freezes fans’ brains.

    On the other hand, every word Verdad typed is 100% accurate. Gagner has negative value right now. Oiler fan should be happy if they get a broken Shooter Tutor for him.

  59. Halfwise says:

    russ99,

    Very Emphatic Repeater Deserves A Dismissal. The style would be a better fit somewhere else. Anywhere else, in my view.

  60. Pouzar says:

    Hall-Nuge-Yak in practice.

  61. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    Nuge, Gagner and Gordon are all facing the toughs, speaking to Eakins not looking for matchups so much as zone start opportunities.

    This is a mathy blog and a statement like this (which is fully supported by the charts), doesn’t set off alarm bells?

  62. Woodguy says:

    Lines as per Bob at practice:

    4-93-64
    57-89-14
    23-27-83
    20-94-28

    Eakins also had interesting thing to say about the PP.

    Said they ran last year’s set up to start, but it wasn’t working ans switched to a 1-3-1 and they are still trying to figure it out.

    Also said most of their PP guys are passers who need to stop passing and shoot first.

  63. Nomad787 says:

    How can we assume Gagner is going to get better and improve his value. Maybe now this is the player he will end up being, therefore we should trade him now while he still has some value. Look at Smid…everyone complained about his return when they traded him, I guarantee if the trade happened today the Oilers would get even less.

  64. Racki says:

    Friedman’s 30 thoughts mention how Gagner’s pp points (last year and even this year) are quite good, and could help the King’s (last year only Kopitar had more) . His value is lower than it could be, but I don’t believe for one bit he has negative value. I think GMs are smarter than that to know a player’s value. However, they definitely will try their best to use his poor numbers as their leverage in a deal. Hopefully MacT sticks to his guns a bit, and also shops Gags to 29 teams to see what the best offer is.

  65. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Cosh is a writer for MacLeans by trade and not a hockey blogger.
    It’s meant for a much broader audience that us.

    Then it looks like hockey blogs have made this article superfluous.

    I like Cosh when he writes with his libertarian bent as there is usually some insight expressed in his articles; although they often read like he is standing in front of a mirror admiring himself while he flexes his vocabularic muscles.

  66. gogliano says:

    RE: Gagner. The problem with Gagner as I see it is not that he went from a J to a 9 but that he went from a 9 to a negative 3.

    Best case scenario for his career is this is Stoll before the trade–concussion killed his year but he’ll get back to where he was and continue to develop (he is still a pretty young kid). But if the Oilers get zero to negative return for Gagner I’d consider it fair trade value at least on the fundamentals given the contract. He is a liability at this point and if they send him out next year as the 2C they are straight up gambling. I’d rather play Arcobello there and use the cash on depth signings and/or to lock up Hemsky. Hell, I bet Hemsky would be a better center than Gagner if we played him there and we’d get him cheaper.

    So do people think Gagner is actually worth a real return or do they think that the market will bear a real return even if he isn’t worth it?

  67. rickithebear says:

    nelson88: 30th place goal scoring totals?! What am I missing there. Scoring goals are far down the list of what ails the Oilers.

    Even G Prodduction

    Team – GP – EvG

    Top 4 FWD on each team
    ANA 58 71
    CHI 58 68
    PIT 56 60
    NYI 58 60
    STL 55 59
    DAL 56 59
    TOR 58 59
    SJS 57 57
    TMP 56 56
    CBJ 56 55
    COL 56 54
    WSH 57 54
    BOS 55 52
    EDM 58 52
    WPG 58 50
    OTT 57 49
    NYR 57 48
    VCR 58 46
    PHI 57 46
    PHX 56 45
    FLD 56 44
    DET 56 44
    MIN 58 44
    NJD 57 44
    LAK 58 44
    CAR 55 43
    CGY 56 43
    NSH 57 41
    MTL 57 41
    BUF 55 28

    Top 10 Fwd on each team
    CHI 58 119
    ANA 58 115
    STL 55 106
    COL 56 101
    TMP 56 98
    DAL 56 97
    BOS 55 96
    PIT 56 96
    SJS 57 95
    WPG 58 94
    NYI 58 94
    TOR 58 94
    CBJ 56 92
    WSH 57 89
    OTT 57 87
    PHX 56 85
    PHI 57 85
    VCR 58 83
    DET 56 83
    NYR 57 82
    EDM 58 81
    FLD 56 80
    MTL 57 79
    MIN 58 78
    LAK 58 78
    CAR 55 76
    NSH 57 75
    NJD 57 75
    CGY 56 74
    BUF 55 48

    #5-10 Fwd on each team
    CHI 58 51
    STL 55 47
    COL 56 47
    ANA 58 44
    BOS 55 44
    WPG 58 44
    TMP 56 42
    PHX 56 40
    DET 56 39
    PHI 57 39
    OTT 57 38
    SJS 57 38
    DAL 56 38
    MTL 57 38
    CBJ 56 37
    VCR 58 37
    FLD 56 36
    FLD 56 36
    TOR 58 35
    WSH 57 35
    NYI 58 34
    NYR 57 34
    NSH 57 34
    MIN 58 34
    LAK 58 34
    CAR 55 33
    CGY 56 31
    NJD 57 31
    EDM 58 29
    BUF 55 20

    29 Goals from our 5-10 Fwds

  68. FastOil says:

    Eakins PP comment is music.

    In sports memories are very short. The Avs are the belle of the ball, last year crap. If Gagner ups his D play a bit the talk will completely change everywhere.

    He’s hurt, if he’s still around next year he’ll be better. How much?

  69. Ducey says:

    gogliano,

    Gagner’s ppg:

    07-08 .62
    08-09 .53
    09-10 .60
    10-11 .61
    11-12 .62
    12-13 .79
    13-14 .51

    His shooting percentage is 6.74 %. The last few years it has been above 12%. If he shoots at historically average rates he would have 4 more goals for 27 points in 45 games. That would have him at .60 pp/g.

    So you have a guy who can pretty much be counted on to put out .60 ppg, who is young enough to still learn to nuances of defense. I would think a lot of GM’s think if he gets on a better team he will be a very valuable player.

    Meanwhile the Leaves have Bozak who averaged about .60 ppg before this year shooting at a ridiculous 23% as their first line C.

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    justDOit:
    For what it’s worth (if it was in print – bird cages…):

    On Gagner…

    I am told the Oilers have a VERY strong offer that would return the EXACT kind of d-man the team needs moving forward…however the deal would require the Oilers to eat some of that contract…something they so far have been reluctant to do…

    E8!

    Completely understandable if that’s the case. Over and above the cap impact, Katz has to be getting tired of writing cheques to compensate for management incompetence.

    Remember all the doom and gloom over a potential bridge contract, taking Gagner to arbitration, etc.?

    Oh woe is us, if only we’d listened to the fiscal hawks back then.

    In a sport where injuries can occur at any time and performance curves are far from predictable, I still believe management is best served the majority of the time playing hardball with player contracts.

    For every Subban contract cautionary tale, I think there’s way more examples of players under-performing their long deals particularly when those deals are signed on the basis of a lone breakout year (e.g. Horcoff, Pisani, Gagner, RNH etc.). Because Oilers!

    Not to mention the fact that holding back on the dosh does help to motivate performance. Wow, making the players earn their money. What a concept!

  71. rickithebear says:

    Fwds 5 -10 EVG
    Hemsky 6 5M
    Yak 6 .925M + Bonus 3.775M
    Yak ranked top 40 in EVG last year.
    Gordon 6 3M
    Gagner 5 4.8M
    Smyth 3 2.25M
    Arco 3 .600M

    We got a whole bunch of passers making lots of Money not to score G.

    Hendricks 1 EvG and 1SHG in 9 oilers games for 1.85M

    Nuf said!

  72. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey:
    gogliano,

    So you have a guy who can pretty much be counted on to put out .60 ppg, who is young enough to still learn to nuances of defense.I would think a lot of GM’s think if he gets on a better team he will be a very valuable player.

    If Gagner hasn’t figured out these ‘nuances’ after 7 frickin’ seasons, I would suggest he has a learning disability.

    Gagner’s deficiencies on the dot and in the dzone are not going anyway because he doesn’t work his ass off to improve in either discipline. All the teaching in the world can’t fix lack of try.

    He may be that stereotypical player for whom a trade is a massive wakeup call, and upon moving teams, he does actually work to improve his game. But we’re nearly 500 games in with Samwise and we know what we have. Let’s stop polishing the turd hoping for a diamond.

  73. RexLibris says:

    Tortorella’s new music video “Don’t Push Me”.

    Good stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LprzxFAoH9w

  74. AZOIL says:

    Do you guys think Statsny will get to a UFA this summer? I know he has been mentioned before on here but he seems like a perfect target for a 1/2C for this team? I don’t know how he is defensively but he is

    - 6 ft plus and is 205 so he isn’t small
    - he has a +7 this season when guys like Duchene have a -1
    - he has 40 points which puts him 3-5 in scoring on our team right now and he has potential for more
    - lots of those points are assists so he could set up yak all day on the second line or Hall n the first
    - Colorado has Duchene, Mackinnon, Statsny and O’Reilly as C’s so one of them has to go
    - Duchene is signed long term, Mackinnon isn’t going anywhere, O’reily isn’t either and I think is their sniper on the wing

    I’m sure there is something we have they would like? Hemsky +, Ganger +, some young D prospects? Am I way off here? What are his fancy stats like?

  75. Clay says:

    The Oilers have to look no further than the Flames and Mikael Backlund to see what could happen with Lander. As late as two months ago, there were rumours about Backlund being up for grabs. Not living up to expectations, yadda yadda. Now, he’s been their best forward in the new year.

    Both are Swedes, both centremen, both can be categorized as two-way players, and most importantly, both never came over to N. America until well after their draft years. There’s a huge adjustment period there, as opposed to the Euros who play in the CHL.

    I’m not suggesting that Lander > Backlund or even Lander = Backlund, just that the Oilers loose nothing by having patience with Lander, and should have more patience than with a typical CHL grad.

  76. ashley says:

    I’d like to see if they can pry Colten Teubert from the LA system.

  77. Pouzar says:

    AZOIL:
    Do you guys think Statsny will get to a UFA this summer? I know he has been mentioned before on here but he seems like a perfect target for a 1/2C for this team? I don’t know how he is defensively but he is

    - 6 ft plus and is 205 so he isn’t small
    - he has a +7 this season when guys like Duchene have a -1
    - he has 40 points which puts him 3-5 in scoring on our team right now and he has potential for more
    - lots of those points are assists so he could set up yak all day on the second line or Hall n the first
    - Colorado has Duchene, Mackinnon, Statsny and O’Reilly as C’s so one of them has to go
    - Duchene is signed long term, Mackinnon isn’t going anywhere, O’reily isn’t either and I think is their sniper on the wing

    I’m sure there is something we have they would like? Hemsky +, Ganger +, some young D prospects? Am I way off here? What are his fancy stats like?

    Nothin but big dark blue bubbles in the shutdown quadrant my friend.

    I would love to see him on the Oilers.

  78. Marcus Oilerius says:

    AZOIL,

    There’s no reason why some of those guys, particularly Mackinnon and Duchene, can’t play on the wing. As I recall, Mackinnon has been on the wing all year and Duchene has played there in the past.

  79. Hammers says:

    The real point to me is why trade Gags now . He seems to have picked it up over the last 10 games and if he plays at that level his net value will go up after the season is over . Should he be traded ? Yes and for many of the reasons mentioned above .Not many see him here long term especially as your #2 center but it’s hard to believe McT will get full/fair value after this years play & how many GM’s will see the broken jaw as a reason . Probably none . If I’m McT I concentrate on getting best value for all the UFA’s he has . Hemsky / Smyth / Jones / N.Schultz / Belov . That is hopefully a 1st , 2nd & 3) 3rd round picks . Sign 1 of the 2 UFA goalies and trade the other Thats 6 players that should be gone .Bring up players from Oklahoma .I always liked Hemmer and would try to resign after July 1st .

  80. Colieo87 says:

    Tracking something this morning….

    I realize the Oilers came out recently and said they wouldn’t trade away youth…..however….the Kings just might be offering up a “serious” deal for one of the Oilers top line guys…stay tuned today, all day…will have a major rumor/chart update in the next two hours…possibly sooner…

    Also hearing Detroit in on Vanek. The Islanders are VERY taken aback by the fact their offer was dismissed…it was way more substantial than anyone else believed it would be….

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=57768

  81. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: Then it looks like hockey blogs have made this article superfluous.

    Because everyone who reads McLean’s also reads Edmonton Oiler hockey blogs, specifically LT’s?

  82. Lowetide says:

    Colieo87:
    Tracking something this morning….

    I realize the Oilers came out recently and said they wouldn’t trade away youth…..however….the Kings just might be offering up a “serious” deal for one of the Oilers top line guys…stay tuned today, all day…will have a major rumor/chart update in the next two hours…possibly sooner…

    Also hearing Detroit in on Vanek. The Islanders are VERY taken aback by the fact their offer was dismissed…it was way more substantial than anyone else believed it would be….

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=57768

    Hockeybuzz is home to Travis Yost, who is a brilliant guy and a fabulous guest. I don’t think their listing of a trade item makes it more likely or less likely it’ll happen. I don’t believe the prediction and the reality are in any was associated.

  83. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks: If Gagner hasn’t figured out these ‘nuances’ after 7 frickin’ seasons, I would suggest he has a learning disability.

    Gagner’s deficiencies on the dot and in the dzone are not going anyway because he doesn’t work his ass off to improve in either discipline. All the teaching in the world can’t fix lack of try.

    He may be that stereotypical player for whom a trade is a massive wakeup call, and upon moving teams, he does actually work to improve his game. But we’re nearly 500 games in with Samwise and we know what we have. Let’s stop polishing the turd hoping for a diamond.

    7 seasons with 4 coaches on a rebuild, Hardly a proper learning environment.

    His dad developed into a pretty good defensive player, why can’t Sam?

    And you have no evidence that he does not work hard enough. Evidence from his offseason training says otherwise.

    Your view of Sam suffers from the sins of many when discussing the Oilers. The team sucks, and his year has been a disaster (due to the jaw). That has morphed into “he sucks, I always knew he would suck, and he will always suck”.

    I expect your average GM knows that defence can be taught, talent cannot.

  84. AZOIL says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    AZOIL,

    There’s no reason why some of those guys, particularly Mackinnon and Duchene, can’t play on the wing.As I recall, Mackinnon has been on the wing all year and Duchene has played there in the past.
    I agree but long term Mackinnon is not going to be a wingman, he is an elite C.

  85. Woodguy says:

    gogliano,

    So do people think Gagner is actually worth a real return or do they think that the market will bear a real return even if he isn’t worth it?

    Gagner’s production has certainly hit the ditch this year, but GMs work a lot on reputation.

    More than one GM will look at his pts/gm last year and figure his fall off this year is due to injury and the fact that the Oilers are awful.

    I can see Gagner flourishing in a role where he has 2nd line RW defensive duty, perhaps the lightest defensive duty on the roster.

    Problem with this roster is no one except Hall is really good at getting the puck.

    Lots of guys who can do magic with it once they have it, but getting it is a different story.

    Playing with Kopitar or a similar situation is exactly where Gagner could flourish.

    He’s pretty good if someone else gets him the puck.

  86. rickithebear says:

    Hemsky, Gagner, Smyth: 12.05M for 14EVG

    Boyes 1M 54gm 12 EVG

    Goc 1.7M 56gm 10 evg

    J. Winchester .600M 34gm 8 evg

    J. Mitchell 1.1M 55gm 5 evg

    J. Jokinen 3M 56gm 12 evg

    Malhotra .600M 43gm 6 Evg

    B. Bollig .575M 58gm 6 EVG

    D. Moss 2.1M 56gm 6 Evg

    M. Raymond 1.0M 58gm 8 EVG

    N. Kulemin 2.8M 46gm 8 evg

    Ryan Calahan wants 6M+
    40gm 6 evg LOL 6M

  87. auzy11 says:

    soething cooking i think as messier and Mct both in toronto going to marlies game…as we know mess works for oil,,,,maybe something to this….

  88. Colieo87 says:

    Lowetide,

    thanks fpr the info lowetide, i know the website never stated anything concrete but the oilers made some good deals but more bad deals in the past with 2 of the sunbelt teams, ducks and kings, like for instance a.cogolanio, j.stoll, d. penner, c.pronger( which i know he aleast got us j,ebs) but they have won all the deal so far, and i was very upset with the j.stoll trade like come on he was a great 2 way player and they ship him off. so now you can understand when i hear the oilers are shopping or trading with the ducks and kings i clench my ass cheaks and wounder how much where going to get raped this time. ps Gretzky was sold so thats why i never mentioned him in hear. but as it looks we won on that deal, cups= wins.

  89. Derek says:

    Clay:
    The Oilers have to look no further than the Flames and Mikael Backlund to see what could happen with Lander.As late as two months ago, there were rumours about Backlund being up for grabs.Not living up to expectations, yadda yadda.Now, he’s been their best forward in the new year.

    Both are Swedes, both centremen, both can be categorized as two-way players, and most importantly,both never came over to N. America until well after their draft years.There’s a huge adjustment period there, as opposed to the Euros who play in the CHL.

    I’m not suggesting that Lander > Backlund or even Lander = Backlund, just that the Oilers loose nothing by having patience with Lander, and should have more patience than with a typical CHL grad.

    An interesting comparison, it looks as though Backlund is figuring out the NHL game at the age of 24, 2 years down the road from where Lander currently sits. Both players remained in Sweden for two years after being drafted (Lander in the SEL, Backlund in the Hockey-Allsvensken). The next year each player tried out for their respective NHL club with Lander making it and playing 56 games in the NHL before being sent down to OKC (because Oilers) and Backlund playing 1 game and being sent to Kelowna in the WHL.

    I’m a Lander fan as well. I cannot believe that Mactavish wouldn’t see the value in this type of player, and I support the idea that Lander has remained on the farm up until this point to keep OKC from plummeting down the standings and for continued development.

  90. russ99 says:

    I’m hopeful some of these rumblings mean we could see a deal before the break, would shake things up further and could push us on to improve post-Olympics.

    Ironic that under Krueger and a tougher schedule, Gagner put up career best numbers and this year under Eakins he’s putting up career worst (although the jaw surely has something to do with that).

  91. Colieo87 says:

    Do any of you guys believe the oilers are entitled to some time off during the Olympics or should they be practicing doing drills and getting better, i heard ryan smyth say on the center ice nhl network hes going to Mexico with family, which is great and all but they get paid more then any of us and i believe they have to team practice and work out there deficiency’s like lowering the shots on the there own net, get the forwards not so far up the ice for zone clears, they need to work together, no more central ice cross pass to the forwards for our D. and the forwards have to back check better when there is a rush from the opposition. All im saying its still hockey season and they have some stuff to work on, no be thinking of the the next 2.5-3 weeks off. end rant.

  92. denny33 says:

    spoiler,

    Tough crowd in here…

    That was a well written article,imo.

  93. Woodguy says:

    Colieo87,

    Eakins has stated that at the end of the Olympics they will have a full week of practice that will be more like a training camp, except better because they can focus much more on the details of systems play than you can at training camp.

    He said he feels the team is ready to have speed re-injected into their defensive systems, so I expect a better, higher pressure forecheck and more outmanning the puck in the dzone (I am loathe to use the word “swarm” because 80% of the people who use it don’t know what they are talking about)

  94. Racki says:

    Colieo87:
    Do any of you guys believe the oilers are entitled to some time off during the Olympics or should they be practicing doing drills and getting better, i heard ryan smyth say on the center ice nhl network hes going to Mexico with family, which is great and all but they get paid more then any of us and i believe they have to team practice and work out there deficiency’s like lowering the shots on the there own net, get the forwards not so far up the ice for zone clears, they need to work together, no more central ice cross pass to the forwards for our D. and the forwards have to back check better when there is a rush from the opposition. All im saying its still hockey season and they have some stuff to work on, no be thinking of the the next 2.5-3 weeks off. end rant.

    I could have sworn that hockey players aren’t allowed to play during this break.

    Edit: this is correct. They are on break from Saturday till the 19th, can’t practice in that time although they could do off ice stuff. Chances are almost everyone not in Olys will be maxing and relaxing

  95. Lois Lowe says:

    Poor Stamkos. Canada pretty much has to take St. Louis, right?

  96. Racki says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Poor Stamkos. Canada pretty much has to take St. Louis, right?

    Him? Pssh.. Too old.. Too small. Overrated and such.

    /sarcasm

  97. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    If Gagner hasn’t figured out these ‘nuances’ after 7 frickin’ seasons, I would suggest he has a learning disability.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Exactly

    And I believe the majority of people in here – came to that conclusion last year.

    The question is – will Craig now trade Sam during the season or in June?

    Unless someone blows our socks off with a deal ( surely prospects only ) during the season, I can’t see the rational for moving Sam G now.

    Surely, it would be very difficult for Craig to stand up and say to the fans – I obtained the best return possible for Sam by moving him in Feb or March – as opposed to June.

  98. OilClog says:

    Woodguy:
    gogliano,

    So do people think Gagner is actually worth a real return or do they think that the market will bear a real return even if he isn’t worth it?

    Gagner’s production has certainly hit the ditch this year, but GMs work a lot on reputation.

    More than one GM will look at his pts/gm last year and figure his fall off this year is due to injury and the fact that the Oilers are awful.

    I can see Gagner flourishing in a role where he has 2nd line RW defensive duty, perhaps the lightest defensive duty on the roster.

    Problem with this roster is no one except Hall is really good at getting the puck.

    Lots of guys who can do magic with it once they have it, but getting it is a different story.

    Playing with Kopitar or a similar situation is exactly where Gagner could flourish.

    He’s pretty good if someone else gets him the puck.

    I’d say Hopkins is better at “getting” the puck more so then Hall. Imo

  99. HiddenDarts says:

    Derek: An interesting comparison, it looks as though Backlund is figuring out the NHL game at the age of 24, 2 years down the road from where Lander currently sits.Both players remained in Sweden for two years after being drafted (Lander in the SEL, Backlund in the Hockey-Allsvensken).The next year each player tried out for their respective NHL club with Lander making it and playing 56 games in the NHL before being sent down to OKC (because Oilers) and Backlund playing 1 game and being sent to Kelowna in the WHL.

    I’m a Lander fan as well. I cannot believe that Mactavish wouldn’t see the value in this type of player, and I support the idea that Lander has remained on the farm up until this point to keep OKC from plummeting down the standings and for continued development.

    That’s a nice compare. I would like to note that the “MacT giving up on Lander”-rumours are complete vapor and are pretty much groundless.

    Take the fact that he’s also wearing the C in OKC, (at least last night in that beauty against the Stars), and I’m extremely doubtful they’re going to dump him. If anyone thinks that MacT doesn’t remember the Brodziaks, Stolls and Chimeras of the past, they’ve gotta be on crack.

    The guy’s pretty smart. I think some credit is due.

  100. OilClog says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Poor Stamkos. Canada pretty much has to take St. Louis, right?

    How St.Lou didn’t make the original squad is beyond me, I fully expect Neal or Giroux to get the spot. Yzerman seems alil jealous the Old man is a bit more productive then he was at the same age.. Jealousy is my only reasoning for him not making it, as pathetic as it sounds.

  101. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Because everyone who reads McLean’s also reads Edmonton Oiler hockey blogs, specifically LT’s?

    Because everyone who reads Maclean’s is looking for a surface summary of Oiler woes? I’m thinking everyone who is concerned has access to Google, or at the very least the Edmonton Journal. I think Cosh, being emotionally engaged to the team, felt the need for some erudite pokes at the Oil, and he has access to the forum to do so publicly and nationally. And here we are.

  102. OilClog says:

    HiddenDarts: That’s a nice compare. I would like to note that the “MacT giving up on Lander”-rumours are complete vapor and are pretty much groundless.

    Take the fact that he’s also wearing the C in OKC, (at least last night in that beauty against the Stars), and I’m extremely doubtful they’re going to dump him. If anyone thinks that MacT doesn’t remember the Brodziaks, Stolls and Chimeras of the past, they’ve gotta be on crack.

    The guy’s pretty smart. I think some credit is due.

    I would love to be able to compare Lander to any of those 3 players… But. They all delivered far more early on, on the big stage then Lander has. Lander has to make some sort of difference when he gets a chance, but he’s always invisible, linemates or not, he could still stand out but he hasn’t, every time he’s been given the chance he does nothing.

    He screams tweener to me.

  103. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy:
    gogliano,

    Playing with Kopitar or a similar situation is exactly where Gagner could flourish.

    He’s pretty good if someone else gets him the puck.

    Who can’t flourish playing with a guy like Kopitar on a decent team? O’Sullivan seemed to be OK in that situation too.

    I think Daryl Sutter however isn’t going to give big minutes to a guy like Gagner who can’t play a 200 foot game.

    We have already seen what Gagner looks like playing first line minutes with Hemsky and Penner. It’s 50 points and not a whole lot else. He’s going to be that player on this team or any other IMO.

    I was an advocate of shipping out Gagner and keeping Horcoff. Hopefully the Oilers can get a guy like Legwand in here this summer and have a group of centers that is at least responsible defensively for the first time since 06

  104. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    OilClog: I would love to be able to compare Lander to any of those 3 players… But. They all delivered far more early on, on the big stage then Lander has.

    This is not a true statement.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=55404
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=29188
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=31058
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=107124

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey: 7 seasons with 4 coaches on a rebuild,Hardly a proper learning environment.

    His dad developed into a pretty good defensive player, why can’t Sam?

    And you have no evidence that he does not work hard enough.Evidence from his offseason training says otherwise.

    Your view of Sam suffers from the sins of many when discussing the Oilers.The team sucks, and his year has been a disaster (due to the jaw). That has morphed into “he sucks,I always knew he would suck, and he will always suck”.

    I expect your average GM knows that defence can be taught, talent cannot.

    If Gagner’s problems are truly system or coaching related, why is it that Boyd Gordon has figured out how to mark his man in the Dzone in his first year under Eakins, but Gagner has not?

    Seriously, time and again, he stands by and watches while the player he’s supposed to be checking in the dzone, becomes the extra man in an odd man rush. This while Gagner waits high in the zone for the D-men to first singlehandedly stop the attack and then feed him the puck. You honestly think this is the coach’s fault? You learn this stuff in peewee ffs.

    Honestly, I’m amazed it wasn’t an Oiler defenseman that broke his jaw. If I played on a team with this goalsuck leaving me hung out to dry on a nightly basis, that would certainly be my inclination.

    Making excuses for crappy players is one of the reasons this team has been brutal for so long.

    Gagner is not going to magically morph into Mike Peca if we trade him. He’s Matt Stajan redux. 7 years is a big enough sample size to conclude this.

  106. Derek says:

    OilClog: I would love to be able to compare Lander to any of those 3 players… But. They all delivered far more early on, on the big stage then Lander has. Lander has to make some sort of difference when he gets a chance, but he’s always invisible, linemates or not, he could still stand out but he hasn’t, every time he’s been given the chance he does nothing.

    He screams tweener to me.

    Oh?

    Chimera at 22 years of age:
    NHL: 4 Games, 0.25 P/G
    AHL: 77 Games, 1.0 P/G

    Stoll at 22:
    AHL: 66 games, 0.58 P/G
    NHL: No games, previous however played 68 games at 0.31 P/G

    Brodziak at 22
    AHL: 62 Games, 0.82 P/G
    NHL: 6 Games, 0.17 P/G

    Landers current season
    AHL: 30 games, 1.0 P/G
    NHL: 12 games, 0 P/G

    God damnit ROM, I just noticed your comment.

  107. Woodguy says:

    OilClog: I’d say Hopkins is better at “getting” the puck more so then Hall. Imo

    He’s getting better.

    Hall is just a bull though.

    Skates through dman who have the puck and comes out the other side with it.

  108. Woodguy says:

    Bank Shot: Who can’t flourish playing with a guy like Kopitar on a decent team?O’Sullivan seemed to be OK in that situation too.

    I think Daryl Sutter however isn’t going to give big minutes to a guy like Gagner who can’t play a 200 foot game.

    We have already seen what Gagner looks like playing first line minutes with Hemsky and Penner. It’s 50 points and not a whole lot else. He’s going to be that player on this team or any other IMO.

    I was an advocate of shipping out Gagner and keeping Horcoff. Hopefully the Oilers can get a guy like Legwand in here this summer and have a group of centers that is at least responsible defensively for the first time since 06

    If Lombardi trades for Gagner, Sutter will play him in the top 2.

    They have enough guys to cover his defects.

    Sutter will also make him stack bales and help with calving at 2am in -40 until he learns responsibility as well.

  109. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: Because everyone who reads Maclean’s is looking for a surface summary of Oiler woes?I’m thinking everyone who is concerned has access to Google, or at the very least the Edmonton Journal.I think Cosh, being emotionally engaged to the team, felt the need for some erudite pokes at the Oil, and he has access to the forum to do so publicly and nationally.And here we are.

    The point of articles like that is so they do reach people who don’t go looking for that information.

    Magazines.

    They don’t just stick to one subject.

    Also,

    I think Cosh, being emotionally engaged to the team, felt the need for some erudite pokes at the Oil, and he has access to the forum to do so publicly and nationally. And here we are.

    I’d agree with that.

  110. Woodguy says:

    Racki: I could have sworn that hockey players aren’t allowed to play during this break.

    Edit: this is correct. They are on break from Saturday till the 19th, can’t practice in that time although they could do off ice stuff. Chances are almost everyone not in Olys will be maxing and relaxing

    Yup.

    Back on the 19th.

    First game is on the 27th.

    A full week of practice with the team.

  111. Woodguy says:

    Derek: Oh?

    Chimera at 22 years of age:
    NHL: 4 Games, 0.25 P/G
    AHL: 77 Games, 1.0 P/G

    Stoll at 22:
    AHL: 66 games, 0.58 P/G
    NHL: No games, previous however played 68 games at 0.31 P/G

    Brodziak at 22
    AHL: 62 Games, 0.82 P/G
    NHL: 6 Games, 0.17 P/G

    Landers current season
    AHL: 30 games, 1.0 P/G
    NHL: 12 games, 0 P/G

    God damnit ROM, I just noticed your comment.

    That’s ok.

    I prefer posts like yours because not everyone clicks the links or does the math to compare.

    Rom is pretty lazy that way.

  112. Jon K says:

    This excellent discussion regarding Chimera, Stoll, and Brodziak has convinced me: the Oilers are definitely going to move Lander just as he enters the prime of his career.

    I didn’t read the rest of the posts, that’s what we were debating right?

  113. Derek says:

    Woodguy: That’s ok.

    I prefer posts like yours because not everyone clicks the links or does the math to compare.

    Rom is pretty lazy that way.

    Seriously Rom, stop being such a Fancy Dan.

  114. Racki says:

    Woodguy: If Lombardi trades for Gagner, Sutter will play him in the top 2.

    They have enough guys to cover his defects.

    Sutter will also make him stack bales and help with calving at 2am in -40 until he learns responsibility as well.

    Only if his arms aren’t too tired from chopping all that wood and carrying gallons of water.

    But seriously.. Agree with you. Several teams can maximize Gagner’s skill set where the Oilers could not.

  115. prairieschooner says:

    Gregor had a guy on talking about Edler being a bullet that the Nucks might fire…and that they need offense so Gagner?

  116. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Derek: God damnit ROM, I just noticed your comment.

    Woodguy: That’s ok.
    I prefer posts like yours because not everyone clicks the links or does the math to compare.
    Rom is pretty lazy that way

    No foolin’ I was half way out the door with a simple: “pfffft. bullshit” when I figured I better at least link that turd of a comment up!

    Seriously, though, Derek good job. Much clearer read.

    ———
    at any rate, the conversation is really instructive about how we reverse engineer things with prospects/players. Once they are a success, it’s a real struggle to imagine otherwise: they must have always been that way!

    Lander could definitely blow a tire, but I’d wager smart teams give him enough rope to hang himself if he’s going to fail as an NHL player.

  117. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    prairieschooner:
    Gregor had a guy on talking about Edler being a bullet that the Nucks might fire…and that they need offense so Gagner?

    There was some talk in the Summer maybe about Edler.

    I honestly have no idea what Gillis is going to do. But, if Edler becomes available, MacT has to get in on the conversation. Gagner won’t be close and remember Gillis wants in-division taxes paid.

  118. FastOil says:

    Lander is exactly the kind of player the Oilers covet from other teams, but dislike when they have them.

    A gritty 2 way player who isn’t that small or horribly slow. The Oilers have long villainized young players as under producing, not factoring in with Lander that nobody could score with who he was saddled with and the opportunities given.

  119. book¡je says:

    Woodguy:
    Colieo87,

    He said he feels the team is ready to have speed re-injected into their defensive systems, so I expect a better, higher pressure forecheck and more outmanning the puck in the dzone (I am loathe to use the word “swarm” because 80% of the people who use it don’t know what they are talking about)

    I swarm you are wrong about that.

  120. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    book¡je: I swarm you are wrong about that.

    I swarm you are butter wrong about this and probably suffering from acute “Steve Smith.”

  121. Lowetide says:

    Lander’s scouting report was unusual for one reason: more of his value came via the glove than the bat, and that’s unusual for a forward. He was elevated too soon, and of course the things he’s good at were obscured. dawgbone found his PK ability early, he had one excellent offensive season in SEL at 19, and now he’s doing well in his last 82 games (or so) in the NHL.

    Detroit would be preparing to elevate him for a look-see, after spending three years in the minors. Tom Renney, generally regarded as a genius currently, loved him so much he wanted to keep him as a North American rookie.

    This is NOT the resume of a run of the mill prospect. It’s the resume of a run of the mill franchise.

  122. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    This is NOT the resume of a run of the mill prospect. It’s the resume of a run of the mill franchise.

    And, there it is… kind of sums it all up, doesn’t it?

    Lander’s going to get out alive though. Here, elsewhere in the NHL or back in Europe. He’s going to be a very good pro for a long time.

  123. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    Lander’s scouting report was unusual for one reason: more of his value came via the glove than the bat, and that’s unusual for a forward. He was elevated too soon, and of course the things he’s good at were obscured. dawgbone found his PK ability early, he had one excellent offensive season in SEL at 19, and now he’s doing well in his last 82 games (or so) in the NHL.

    Detroit would be preparing to elevate him for a look-see, after spending three years in the minors. Tom Renney, generally regarded as a genius currently, loved him so much he wanted to keep him as a North American rookie.

    This is NOT the resume of a run of the mill prospect. It’s the resume of a run of the mill franchise.

    Isn’t this a little premature? They have not cut him yet, any more than they traded Hemksy two years ago. They have given him a look see for 12 games this year (it was underwhelming) and likely will again.

    I expect that had they not let him flourish over the last few months on the farm that no one would give a rats ass about him.

  124. cc says:

    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.

  125. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Isn’t this a little premature?They have not cut him yet, any more than they traded Hemksy two years ago.They have given him a look see for 12 games this year (it was underwhelming) and likely will again.

    I expect that had they not let him flourish over the last few months on the farm that no one would give a rats ass about him.

    No, not at all. The decision to keep Lander in fall 2011 was 2.5 years ago.

  126. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: No, not at all. The decision to keep Lander in fall 2011 was 2.5 years ago.

    I think that decision did two things:

    1) it didn’t help a player in vital need of development at a crucial time

    2) it gave the team of decision makers a horrible first impression that they most likely can’t shake

  127. book¡je says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I swarm you are butter wrong about this and probably suffering from acute “Steve Smith.”

    Someday Lowetidian will be studied along with other major dialects of English.

  128. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Detroit would be preparing to elevate him for a look-see, after spending three years in the minors. Tom Renney, generally regarded as a genius currently, loved him so much he wanted to keep him as a North American rookie.

    Babcock on Hockeycentral yesterday talked about how they couldn’t do this without roster depth, and how on losing that depth to injury this year, immediately had to go to the farm, unsure whether or not their call-ups could handle the Majors.

  129. delooper says:

    spoiler: Babcock on Hockeycentral yesterday talked about how they couldn’t do this without roster depth, and how on losing that depth to injury this year, immediately had to go to the farm, unsure whether or not their call-ups could handle the Majors.

    Maybe that should be qualified by Detroit of the 2000-2010 era.

  130. godot10 says:

    ashley:
    I’d like to see if they can pry Colten Teubert from the LA system.

    Sort of done. MacT just pried Mark Fraser from the Toronto system.

  131. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    Lander’s scouting report was unusual for one reason: more of his value came via the glove than the bat, and that’s unusual for a forward. He was elevated too soon, and of course the things he’s good at were obscured. dawgbone found his PK ability early, he had one excellent offensive season in SEL at 19, and now he’s doing well in his last 82 games (or so) in the NHL.

    Detroit would be preparing to elevate him for a look-see, after spending three years in the minors. Tom Renney, generally regarded as a genius currently, loved him so much he wanted to keep him as a North American rookie.

    This is NOT the resume of a run of the mill prospect. It’s the resume of a run of the mill franchise.

    The Oilers had a bargain Chicago-Blackhawk-4th line….Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen, and Arcobello, and they will soon all be gone.

  132. mumbai max says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: There was some talk in the Summer maybe about Edler.

    I honestly have no idea what Gillis is going to do. But, if Edler becomes available, MacT has to get in on the conversation. Gagner won’t be close and remember Gillis wants in-division taxes paid.

    i would do ebs for edler +

  133. Lowetide says:

    Chase with 2 assists. 52, 29-31-60.

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