Craig MacTavish is busy these days trying to add useful pieces to the puzzle. Edmonton’s major league roster has holes and the minor league system does too. It’s also clear the GM has made his decision on many of the players inherited on the roster. And he’s culling the herd.
- Cam Abney: Heh.
- Eric Belanger: He signed his retirement contract with Edmonton.
- Phil Cornet: Classic tweener.
- Yann Danis: Minor league veteran.
- Teemu Hartikainen: The original scouting report suggested his third gear didn’t exist, and we are here.
- Darcy Hordichuk: Tough job.
- Tanner House: Doesn’t have NHL ability.
- Nikolai Khabibulin: He got another contract. Incredible.
- Ryan Martindale: Original scouting report talked about losing battles and lacking speed.
- Alex Plante: Best of luck. Concussions are tough..
- Linus Omark: The Oilers have small forwards by the 8-piece setting, so losing Omark is a footnote. Still, he has skill.
- Lennart Petrell: Yeah.
- Olivier Roy: A goalie prospect of some quality.
- Toni Rajala: Bizarre exit, he has talent.
- Jarred Smithson: Tambo’s folly.
- Garrett Stafford: Don’t remember.
- Colten Teubert: Remember.
- Chris VandeVelde: Caught on with Philly in fringe role.
- Ryan Whitney: Has played in 6 NHL games this season.
There are players leaving that I believe have value:
- Devan Dubnyk: The big man had a horrible year, and will have to recover his career (possibly in the AHL). I think he has value, and the Oilers sold low on him. I did think they paid him too much.
- Mark Fistric: Grabbed an NHL job, and then got an extension.
- Shawn Horcoff: Quality player over many years, he’s still missed here.
- Magnus Paajarvi: The speedy winger is struggling in St. Louis, and the Oilers certainly received value, but he’s a player worth following.
- Theo Peckham: Opportunity missed, by player and team.
That’s 24. Let me ask you: how many of those players should have been kept? Understanding that Horcoff’s cap hit and history were factors (MacT did him a favor, I think) I’ll say Horcoff, Paajarvi and Dubnyk but there are answers for each name (cap room, Perron and holy hell man, did you see the games?). The other day David Staples over at CofH ran a survey that asked if MacT was doing a better job than Tambellini. I’m astounded anyone thought the question needed asking. Look at the names sent away! Look at how few are in the NHL! It’s criminal.
This is Rick Middleton. He was drafted in 1973 (14th overall) by the New York Rangers, but he was probably the second or third best player in the draft that season. The Rangers procurement department at that time was run by Dennis Ball and he was a very good hockey man. The Rangers of my youth were very good, but not good enough to beat Boston or the Habs each spring. They punted Emile Francis in 1976 and John Ferguson flushed all the skill and searched for veterans. The trade of Rick Middleton to Boston for a finished Ken Hodge was kind of like trading Nail Yakupov for Chris Kunitz today.
This is Barry Beck. He was a mountain on skates, and Ferguson’s replacement in NYC (Fred Shero) wanted him for his Big Apple Reset. The Rangers sent away 5 players for Beck, who lost much of his career to injury. Looking back, NYR didn’t get value, but that trade made a helluva lot more sense than the Middleton deal. The Rangers traded away Stanley’s every decade of my life, and then they probably traded away two in acquiring the 1994 championship. What a way to run a railroad.
There are usually a ton of ex-Oilers on the Rangers and vice-versa, but Corey Potter is the only man to have played in both uniforms. This is the 6,000 NHL game for the blueshirts, they are the 5th team to manage that number. NYR are 15-5-1 in their last 21 games, including a 10-3-0 mark in their last 13.
- Ference-J Schultz
- Fraser-N Scultz
CORSI FOR %, OILERS BLUE
- Martin Marincin 49.7
- Jeff Petry 47.5
- Anton Belov 46.3
- Taylor Fedun 45.7
- Phil Larsen 44.5
- Andrew Ference 43.2
- Ladislav Smid 43.1
- Justin Schultz 43.1
- Nick Schultz 41.3
- Corey Potter 40.1
- Mark Fraser 31.8
- Brad Hunt 30.8
The future is at the top, the veterans in the middle and the new hire (Fraser) looks about AHL replacement level. I would like to see the club retain Marincin, Petry, Belov, Fedun, Ference, Justin Schultz and Potter for the second half, possibly calling up Klefbom in case of injury.
We’re at a point now where there’s no real benefit to trading before the Olympic deadline. If the Kings dealt for Gagner today, it isn’t like he’s going to make a huge difference (no games to play after tonight). Kings can save their cap $$ and make their decision after the break. Los Angeles’ first game back is Feb 26 (Oilers play the 27th) and March 5th is the deadline.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy, fluid day on the show. 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere icon. Yakupov makes the top line, Arco to the minors, the PP to the ditch.
- Evan Sporer, Blueshirt Banter. We’ll talk about the Rangers and old man Sather.
- Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. Eakins promising improvement during the break. What would that look like?
10-1260 via text @Lowetide_ on twitter. Guests added as we go. See you on the radio!