LIE BACK AND THINK OF ENGELLAND

The Edmonton Oilers are poised to make a splash early in the 2014 NHL draft, but the truth is a lot has been accomplished already. The trades that involved the second and third round selections have delivered a 28-goal winger and a starting goalie with considerable ability. That’s good value. Let’s completely populate the Oiler draft table, I’ll randomly pick names to match (sort of) the draft number.

  • No. 3: C Leon Draisaitl
  • No. 33: R David Perron (also cost Magnus Paajarvi)
  • No. 63: G Ben Scrivens
  • No. 91: C Nicolas Aube-Kubel
  • No. 111: L Edgars Kulda
  • No. 130: D Marcus McIvor
  • No. 137: C Erik Bradford
  • No. 153: C Pius Suter
  • No. 183: G Jordan Papirny

That’s a helluva draft, even with Paajarvi thrown in. Not having the draft picks in rounds two and three impact the entertainment value of the draft, but if they can score in the first round and get lucky one time with the other picks, that’ll be a good day.

PARSING MATTY

Jim Matheson had an article up the other day, lots of stuff and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.

  • Conceiveably, if MacTavish wants to trade centre Sam Gagner, he would be looking at a second-round pick as part of a deal for the 2007 first-round pick.

We’ve talked about this at length, and I’ve suggested picks for 89 is a strong option. The teams Gagner can go to is limited by his salary—the Blackhawks don’t have room for him, as an example—but I think a team like the Islanders, Florida or even Dallas might be an attractive landing place. Rumor had it that Shawn Horcoff recommended Gagner as the next captain of the team, so one would expect 10 would have nice things to say about the 2007 first-round selection.

  • MacGregor: “I think Slepyshev is going to stay in the KHL for another year.”

The only negative there is that the young man may not play much. Slepyshev played 12:40 in the KHL during 12-13, but that total was reduced to 10:18 this past season. You’d like to see him get a regular shift wherever he’s playing, and this is a guy who has terrific skills and plays the wing. He might be a big part of the future.

  • MacGregor on Kulda: “His play isn’t a surprise to me. He had a really good year (30 goals), but he has moved up to another level. He’s shown he can elevate his level. Can he continue to do that? He’s got good hockey sense.”

I think there’s a very good chance the Oilers select an Oil King, with Kulda, Pollock, Irving and Mayo all possible. As MBS details, this isn’t just a guy who got hot in the playoffs, buddy ripped 30 during the regular season. Oilers know the player, he looks good, and I do think he’ll be around in the fourth for selection (teams aren’t going to change their draft boards based on a Mem cup). Either way, I hope he gets drafted, it’s a nice story.

LIE BACK, AND THINK OF ENGELLAND

  • The Oilers are almost surely looking at Pittsburgh free-agent Deryk Engelland,  hoping to sign him in July. He’s tough and he can play wing too.

If true, we have our answer. You can’t have a possession team and employ Deryk Engelland. Jonathan Willis breaks it out here. It’s a severe disappointment, as this transaction (should it happen) means that the Oilers are saying one thing and doing another. This is very depressing news, no way around it.

POSSIBLE TOP SEVEN BLUE 2014-15

  • Marincin-Petry
  • Ference-Schultz
  • Klefbom-Engelland
  • Fraser

I imagine a battle between two forces in the Oilers offices these days, the “possession” group and the “they send one of ours to the hospital, we send on of theirs to the morgue” group. Should the Oilers end up signing a player of this type, we can assume the possession guys have been thrown in the dumb waiter and are awaiting rescue.

 LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

TSN 1260, 10am, the bases are drunk with great guests today. Oilogosphere Icon Dennis King, Rob Soria from Oil Drop, Guy Flaming from the Pipeline Show and Darrin Bauming from TSN 1290 Winnipeg join me. We’ll discuss the Blue Jays, Oilers, CFL, NHL draft and combine and the French Open. Questions for guests? @Lowetide_ or text 10-1260.

See you on the radio!!

 

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117 Responses to "LIE BACK AND THINK OF ENGELLAND"

  1. wintoon says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Leon Draisaitl looks an awful lot like Shawn Horcoff in the above photo?

  2. Jordan says:

    Pulled it from the last thread for ease of use (should you want to) with Dennis this morning:

    “Will we have to trade Yakupov and the 3rd OV for Bourque? He’s so CLUTCH.”

    “If somehow MacT managed to become Glen Sather (circa. 1986) and had his way with every other GM in the league to transform the Oilers into a contender in one summer, what would he accomplish this offseason?”

    “Have you played the Lowedown drinking game yet? Whether you have or haven’t, what’s your poison of choice (and it can’t be Oilers Cool-aid because we all kill ourselves with it enough the rest of the time that it doesn’t count).”

  3. VanOil says:

    wintoon:
    Has anyone else noticed that Leon Draisaitl looks an awful lot like Shawn Horcoff in the above photo?

    Looks like Horc and plays with Smyth’s stick sign. Sign the man.

  4. soup says:

    LT,

    I think you’re reading way too much into the tea leaves as far as the Matty quote. He hasn’t been overly accurate in predicting the future of late. Matty likes the big Edmonton boy – doesn’t mean that the team does. If MacT is true to his word, Engelland is not the top end option he said they would pursue.

    Deep breath, green tea, repeat.

  5. Esa10 says:

    Lowetide:

    What if Deryk Engelland represents the spot that Mark Fraser is currently occupied on the depth chart? The #7 spot?

    I read alot of people believing that the Oilers would sign Matt Greene for that #7 spot and that ideally Klefbom and Nurse would stay in the minors.

    I think you could Sign Engelland and still achieve those things.

    UFA #1 Ekblad or UFA #2
    Marincin Petry
    Ference Schultz
    Engelland.
    Klefbom AHL
    Nurse OHL

    I know what you are saying: That signing anyone of that cloth represents a playing style that many on this forum feel is outdated.

    Honest question: Would you rather Matt Greene, Fraser, Klefbom or Engelland for that #7 spot?

  6. Lowetide says:

    soup:
    LT,

    I think you’re reading way too much into the tea leaves as far as the Matty quote. He hasn’t been overly accurate in predicting the future of late. Matty likes the big Edmonton boy – doesn’t mean that the team does. If MacT is true to his word, Engelland is not the top end option he said they would pursue.

    Deep breath, green tea, repeat.

    Except they also traded for Fraser. Sooner or later, you develop a history. I am absolutely a MacT supporter, but I think this is probably the beginning of the end for him as GM. You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. When it’s a long December, and we’re looking for reasons to believe, maybe he’ll trade for Matt Greene.

    This is a terrible turn. Just is.

  7. VanOil says:

    Last nights game was remarkable.

    My first star was Bob Cole. 8+ Minutes with out a whistle, high energy hockey and commentary.

    At the end of the Game the Chicago management box had Tennis playing on the big screen. Maclean commented on it but what was interesting to me was it was TSN. I believe you pay extra, like way extra to get TSN in the US. It shows the respected role TSN had in hockey coverage that it would be the default channel in the management box of one of the best teams in hockey.

    I expect Rogers to be Oilers rebuild level of awful next year as a National broadcaster. How long will it take for them to get it right? Will it be longer than the Oilers? Talent-less idiots that have grit are the expected default hires for both organizations this summer.

  8. VanOil says:

    Esa10:
    Honest question: Would you rather Matt Greene, Fraser, Klefbom or Engelland for that #7 spot?

    Fedun.

    Keflbom to get Fedun’s big minute roll in OKC as #8

    Greene, Fraser and Engelland playing puck-optional-slow-skating-big-man-hockey anywhere but here.

  9. Bar_Qu says:

    It is inconceivable that the pro-scouting staff have done a poorer job of identifying tough defensemen that are available than Jon Willis. If Brett Bellemore is younger, bettter and just as tough, why for the love of all that is good and right would you pursue the Deryk Engellend’s of the world? Especially after the Mark Fraser debacle?

    It is enough to turn my thoughts wholly to World Cup soccer

    Who do you think is going to emerge from group C?

  10. Pouzar says:

    wintoon:
    Has anyone else noticed that Leon Draisaitl looks an awful lot like Shawn Horcoff in the above photo?

    Looks more like Yanic Perrault to me. *shrug*

  11. soup says:

    Lowetide,

    So far, it isn’t a turn. It is anticipation of a speculated and/or potential left turn across traffic in a blinding snowstorm. Just cuz Matty speculates, doesn’t make it so. Might be best to save the panic. You knw, “had this been a real emergency, please turn south and select any other team that seems reasonable…”

  12. Jon K says:

    I’ve really come around to the idea of drafting Draisaitl.

    I was initially concerned with his skating and a perceived lack of upside, but those concerns have largely been dispelled through your articles, LT. And of course Gregor’s interview, and Rom’s persistent advocacy.

    Watching all the videos I could, it seems that his skating concerns relate more to agility and lateral movement rather than straight ahead speed. When he gets going through the neutral zone his speed seems quite fine, at least at the junior level.

    Based on the RLR verbal (I hold their opinion in high esteem), it seems there’s not much separating Draisaitl from the other top 3. All other things being nearly equal, he clearly fits a need as a big centre.

    Let’s get to the draft already and roll the dice!

  13. rickithebear says:

    Rule 1:
    Forwards drive pocession.
    Rule2:
    Dmen Prevent entry and success in the box Area.

    Engllland is one of the best at rule 2 26.7% of shots from in the chance Area.
    Facing 2nd/3rd comp and 4th teamates.

    All dmen can do is defend the waves of attack a forward group allows.

    Mr. Deryk is very good!

    His inside success rate would be better but he is a victim of a very bad goalie inside 10 ft! (fluery)
    20.5%
    put in scrivens numbers and he is 14.3% success rate inside 20ft and 26.7% of shots inside 20ft

    His numbers are very Chara like!

    Bar Q

    there is a community out there that hates stat people cause they miss the most common sense things.

    Forwards drive Pocession.
    Heck Coaches line change decisions Drive pocession.
    The type of offensive System drives Pocession.

    So why the fuck would any old school guy give a a shit about Corsi when looking at a Dman.

    the first thing Dmen do is is try to reduce shots and goals.

    the most critical to this is making as many of them unsuccessful. (blocks, misses, saves)

    Heck when looking at goalies in elevation. there really is minimal movement by them. the swing of arm and blocker. and post to post movement.
    Heck alot of Blocker and glove saves occur before the goalies arms start any real move. a large % of the save process is the shooters failing to get a puck in the 7 holes.

    In reality Dman are highly critical to preventing above League average shots at net. Inside 25ft.
    the perimeter is guarded by Forwards. whichis readily obvious a weakness of our young forwards.

    Deryk Englland is Fucking Exactly what we need!
    Buy old guy and Box protection (the real dman performance affect)

    Corsi’s lack of relation to any real play is one of the targeting of Analysis the anti analysis crowd!

    And the anti stats guys are justified.

    Though Corsi has a binary value when looking at a team. Above average or below!

  14. gvblackhawk says:

    rickithebear,

    Lol Ricki….you’re allllllllright!

  15. McKillWrath says:

    LT, clearly Engelland is not a possession type defenseman. However what he is, is a veteran big body player with some edge to his game. Now its fair to say that if a top 1-2 dman who can quarterback the powerplay is a hole in this team its also fair to say guys who have experience winning and can play the intimidation game is also a hole (one management is obviously trying to fill). The possession argument is fair, however, the Penguins had no problem slotting him in the lineup the same way the Oilers would use him and they play a style I think you dream of. Now the advanced numbers say he can`t play that style of game and that is fair. You can`t win with players that all play the same style.

    I admit I am a fan of this player type as I believe that the biggest problem with a young team like the Oilers is they play a lot of teams who bully them. I think this has been somewhat clear the last few years, as I’ve watched the Oilers manhandled by just about every team they played. Don`t think for a minute that this is not a strategy every team talks about prior to playing them. This is the first year since 2009 that I think they started to stand up for themselves a little more. I think this started to shine through in the confidence department late last year and the W-L record may back this up.

    I think the Oilers are a better team today with the additions of Hendricks, Ferrence, Fraser and Gadzic then without them. Adding Pinozzoto and Engelland do not make this team worse, it makes us stronger and meaner. Intimidation and a teams ability to match it is still very real in the NHL.

    That being said we still have other big holes to fill that the Engellands of the world do not come close to helping us with. It is fair to say that Engelland, Ference, Hendricks and the like will never fill those holes just like it is fair to say Myers, Gilbert, Erehoff won`t fill the holes that the tough mean guys fill. Having 5 or six of these guys is vital though.

  16. TheOtherJohn says:

    Successful offseason: talk about importance of possession. Talk about improvements by cadre of young superstars. Talk about everyone having bought into And commitment to Coach Eakins system. Talk about goalie tandem being more than capable of providing elite goaltending. Talk about team being ready to take BIG step forward this year.

    Sign Engelland, sign Matt Greene and trade for Rene Bourque

    Explain how Engelland, Greene & Bourque are all committed to being part of the 1st rate organization that MacT is building and hope to be with the team as they compete for SC

    …….. Because Oilers

  17. Racki says:

    I’m OK with Engelland as a 7th D. That’s about it.

    That D above looks atrocious though. Need a #1 LHD.. Without question. Should acquire a short term #2 LHD.

  18. Jordan says:

    I love JW’s last line in his article: “There is no reason to settle on Engelland.”

    It’s so clear that there is a reason to settle for him – Connor McDavid!

    Now, whether that’s a GOOD reason or not… That’s a real discussion to have. But suggesting there’s NO reason is just silly.

    Idea – Maybe the Oilers figured out they were doing the Chicago model backwards, so rather than try to fix it, just decided to elongate it.

    First:
    Draft a bunch of good/great forwards: JE, MP, TH, RNH, NY,
    Second:
    Draft a bunch of D-men and wait for them to show up: OK, MM, DS, DN, (AE?)
    Third:
    Draft a generational forward: CM
    Fourth:
    Stanley Cup

    But, since the only way to get to CM is to be SO bad that the team’s horribleness counter-acts the amaizing youth they have on the team, they need A LOT of face-punchers to drag them down. So begins the search for Charater Gritensity, the Shane Corson level aweful player with AMAIZING leadership skills.

    I love story time – I just wish they weren’t all horror stories around here…

  19. Yeti says:

    Lowetide: When it’s a long December, and we’re looking for reasons to believe, maybe he’ll trade for Matt Greene.

    Wasn’t this a line from a Counting Crows’ song?

  20. slopitch says:

    Well the Engelland news could be smoke and mirrors. But LT is right. That would not be good.

    If it’s legit, I give MacT less then 2 years as GM. Get some D who can put it on #4′s tape in stride leaving the zone FFS.

  21. Hall Awaits says:

    Management running their due diligence:

    Third pairing defender: Check
    Truculent: Check
    Edmonton Guy: Check

    Nothing more to see here folks!

  22. Hammers says:

    Drasaitl seems to get a knock due to his size . Some say not a good reason to draft him but the point is this kid got points and on a bad team .I see him getting drafted and playing next year . The thing about Europeans that come over to play junior is they seem to have that “want” or “desire” . DRAFT HIM .Ekblad won’t be there anyway and I for one trust McT to get the “D” he wants or he will play all of Marincin / Klefbom & Nurse . All I ask is if he can’t get that “D” he wants he adds the toughness and size on the wings with actual NHL players who have proven there worth . In other words a grade or two above Gazdic .

  23. Caramel Obvious says:

    There is no chance both Engelland and Fraser are on the team. None.

  24. rickithebear says:

    I can dream of 3 Dmen with top 20 Box protection numbers;
    Marincin; Bellimore; Englland!

    Pre Aekins Dmen even assists.
    Petry 26th. in 12-13 and 11-12
    Ference top 50 a 14.5%success inside 20ft 27.8% shots inside 20ft.
    J. Schultz top 50

  25. rickithebear says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    There is no chance both Engelland and Fraser are on the team.None.

    yes cause they are on opposite ends when it comes to Defenisve play.
    Englland Elite box protection lower comp
    Fraser nightmare

  26. sumaclab says:

    The isles for Gagner would be the most logical landing spot. 2 seconds/ bigger deal to be had if you really think about it. Especially considering the Isles lack of of 2015 first round pick.

    Would the Islanders gamble that Edmonton finishes 20th-25 and has a shot at Mcdavid.in exchange for G Rheinhart. the oilers would be free then to draft a center.

    pie in the sky.

  27. RexLibris says:

    Given the historical context that has inspired this title, I’m finding today’s article uniquely disturbing. Appropriate, perhaps, given our perception of which way this team ought to head, but unsettling none the less.

    Thanks, LT, for that imagery! :)

  28. spoiler says:

    I think Matheson is a hairbreadth’s away from self-parody.

    The one thing that has been consistent about his ideas is he has been preaching Dmen with grit for years. He clearly has been promulgating an agenda for quite some time.

    I wonder how long it took for him to search through UFA Dmen born in Edmonton weighing over 200 lbs?

    What does “almost surely looking at” mean?

    Really, what the fuck does that mean?

    I think we can throw this comment out with most of the speculative crap Matheson has spewed over the past five years.

    But if by some chance Matty is actually speaking with insider knowledge, and his phraseology certainly makes it appear that he ISN’T, then the Oilers are doomed if they are expecting Engelland to be any better than a depth 7D.

    The guy couldn’t make a pass if he owned the last bottle of Hawaiian Tropic at a Swedish nude beach.

  29. spoiler says:

    RexLibris: Given the historical context that has inspired this title, I’m finding today’s article uniquely disturbing. Appropriate, perhaps, given our perception of which way this team ought to head, but unsettling none the less.

    I was sure that LT had quoted Connery twice… the article title and then the line from The Untouchables, but apparently Connery never uttered the title quote as James Bond. A few lines were close but none dead on.

  30. spoiler says:

    sumaclab: The isles for Gagner would be the most logical landing spot.

    I am actually surprised that people think this. I don’t. The Isles already have the exact same player in Bailey. Why would they want Gagner?

  31. Pouzar says:

    Jon K:
    I’ve really come around to the idea of drafting Draisaitl.

    I was initially concerned with his skating and a perceived lack of upside, but those concerns have largely been dispelled through your articles, LT. And of course Gregor’s interview, and Rom’s persistent advocacy.

    Watching all the videos I could, it seems that his skating concerns relate more to agility and lateral movement rather than straight ahead speed. When he gets going through the neutral zone his speed seems quite fine, at least at the junior level.

    Based on the RLR verbal (I hold their opinion in high esteem), it seems there’s not much separating Draisaitl from the other top 3. All other things being nearly equal, he clearly fits a need as a big centre.

    Let’s get to the draft already and roll the dice!

    +1

    He’s the guy I want too now after much flip flopping

  32. Bruce McCurdy says:

    This is very depressing news, no way around it.

    You’re easily depressed, LT. Matty has floated unrequited Deryk Engelland (and Drew Stafford) trade rumours more often than Scarlet Johansson hasn’t returned your phone calls.

  33. Henry says:

    spoiler:
    I think Matheson is a hairbreadth’s away from self-parody.

    What does “almost surely looking at” mean?

    Really, what the fuck does that mean?

    I think we can throw this comment out with most of the speculative crap Matheson has spewed over the past five years.

    spoiler,

    I think it means that someone on the Oilers has a visual system.

  34. bsmart says:

    Ference was a good signing it is just that he was batting to far up the order. Common sense says stay away from Engleland ( may have spelled his name incorrectly but I don’t care on the basis I would never consider signing him due to his stats). I would chase Dan Boyle this summer, he would be a great guy to play with Petry or Schultz.

  35. HallDown says:

    MacT has a heck of a job to do this off-season.
    Needs: 2C, 2W, 3C and 3W, 1 & 2D. Trade Gags for picks.
    There are lots of good support players in UFA market, and a few players whose stock plummeted this off-season. Keeping the reality of convincing a player to come to Edmonton, these are the primary targets, in no real order but roughly listed likely-not likely:

    David Moss, Tom Gilbert, Matt Moulson, Devin Setoguchi, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Tallinder, David Legwand, Brooks Orpik, Paul Stastny, Nikita Nikitin, Mark Fayne.

    I would also make a play for R.J. Umberger, who wants out of CBJ and has a bad contract. Oilers lust for his size and skillset.

    Draft pick: Leon Draisaitl. Oilers starve for his size. If we can bring in a Veteran 2C and put Leo at 3C, it’s one giant leap for Oilkind.

    Theoretical and realistic lineup would be:
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Umberger-Legwand-Perron
    Moss-Draisaitl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Gordon-Lander/Gazdic

    Meszaros – Gilbert (would kill to have Fayne here)
    Marincin – Petry
    Ference – Schultz

    I freaking love this forward corp. Legwand is the hardest landing, and if not him then not sure who. Jokinen? The D is still not great but it is better, and takes pressure off our young developing D. I’m not sure what the price would be for R.J, but it would not be a 1st rd draft pick or a core player. Maybe Gagner with a kicker and retained salary? Could help CBJ with scoring, likely as a winger.

  36. bsmart says:

    HallDown,

    I agree with a lot of your selections, except Umberger. He’s getting older and bleeds advanced stats.

    I would sooner chase Statsny then Grabovski.

  37. Bank Shot says:

    Question for the possession is everything guys:

    Would you rather have a team that has Marincin on the first pairing and Rafael Diaz on the third pairing?

    OR

    A team that has Phaneuf/Markov/Other top pairing left handed defenseman on the first pairing and Engelland on the third pairing?

  38. gcw_rocks says:

    bsmart,

    Why not chase them both? If you get them, trade Nuge for a defender. You should be able to get a pretty darn good defender for him.

    With Leon or Bennett or Reinhardt coming up in the system to replace Grabovski in a couple of years, you have a much better team now, and some protection for the future.

  39. Bar_Qu says:

    rickithebear,

    I can’t argue numbers with you, but I do note the regularly, almost predictable, decline in play of this type of player post age 30. Perhaps he has been successful in the role he has played in the past, but he will be too slow to be of much help to the team in the future, especially signed to a three year deal.

    Also, I’m less inclined to worry about how well he clears in front of the net than I am his ability to make a good pass out of the zone. If he can clear the zone, he doesn’t have to worry about clearing in front of the net. If he can do both, great, but I would rather have zone clearing than net front clearing.

    Anyways, Engellend, hopefully, is merely Matheson spitballing, but he is certainly the bottom of the barrel along with Greene as UFA options the Oilers could explore next year.

  40. spoiler says:

    The team that is absolutely desperate for top 6 forwards, and if they don’t fix this issue this off-season, they will finish dead last next year, is Nashville. Seriously, go take a look at their present roster. It’s the Gobi desert. As in Go Be Getting Me some offense, pronto.

    Now I am inclined to think that Nashville will make a play for Spezza, on the hope they can extend him, but perhaps they would be willing to make a deal for Gagner too.

    They don’t have a lot of trade chips though, and considering they’re in a rebuild, will want to hang on to their draft picks and guys like Jones and Forsberg, but that’s a team that is in a death spiral the way it sits right now.

  41. Racki says:

    Bank Shot:
    Question for the possession is everything guys:

    Would you rather have a team that has Marincin on the first pairing and Rafael Diaz on the third pairing?

    OR

    A team that has Phaneuf/Markov/Other top pairing left handed defenseman on the first pairing and Engelland on the third pairing?

    Put me down for the latter, by far. I’d rather see Marincin and Klefbom slowly integrated in here. The team needs a real NHL top pair guy too. Engelland hiding on the bottom pair shouldn’t be a big issue. Having a real top end D would go a long way in furthering the career of a guy like Jultz too.

  42. G Money says:

    HallDown: Needs: 2C, 2W, 3C and 3W, 1 & 2D.

    If we do not think that Yakupov is even good enough to play 2W, then the rebuild – which ultimately centred around 3 1ovs and now adding a 3ov to the mix – has already failed.

    Core to any idea of success next year is that Nuge MUST play like a 1C and Yak MUST play like a 2W or better.

    Anything else and the entire rebuild is based on Taylor Hall, and as good as he is, a single good player leaves us in a perennial contest for last.

    My daydream for this summer:

    Sign Fayne. An actual quality NHL D.

    Draft Draisaitl or Bennett or Reinhart or Ekblad – I don’t care which one, they’re all going to be good enough someday to play 2C or 1/2D on a contender. Leave them in Jr.

    If we get Ekblad, sign Stastny for 2C, trade Gagner for picks and a 3W ideally.

    If we get a C in the draft, keep Gagner (for now), sign Niskanen and Kulemin. Gagner plays better with Niskanen and Fayne in the fold, guaranteed. Trade him when his value is higher and the new 2C is better able to step in to replace him.

    You either shore up your D now and wait for the drafted C to develop, or you shore up your 2C and wait for your drafted top pairing to develop. Steps on the path to salvation.

  43. Caramel Obvious says:

    spoiler:
    The team that is absolutely desperate for top 6 forwards, and if they don’t fix this issue this off-season, they will finish dead last next year, is Nashville.Seriously, go take a look at their present roster.It’s the Gobi desert.As in Go Be Getting Me some offense, pronto.

    Now I am inclined to think that Nashville will make a play for Spezza, on the hope they can extend him, but perhaps they would be willing to make a deal for Gagner too.

    They don’t have a lot of trade chips though, and considering they’re in a rebuild, will want to hang on to their draft picks and guys like Jones and Forsberg, but that’s a team that is in a death spiral the way it sits right now.

    I completely agree with this. Nashville needs someone like Gagner more than anyone else in the league. If there is value to be had it has to be here.

    Trade Gagner and picks and prospects for Josi. That’s the best possible scenario for a Gagner trade (and it may be wishcasting).

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    You are David Poile. You have a very good 2nd pairing D in Josi signed for 5 more years at $4m per. Would you trade him for Gagner and picks? prospects? I would not. Unless your idea of picks and prospects includes Marincin, Klefbom or Nurse.

    But Oiler fans when talking about picks and prospects are usually talking 3rd and 4th rounders going out or prospects like Arcobello, Musi, Gernat l or Pitlick

  45. LostBoy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    This is very depressing news, no way around it.

    You’re easily depressed, LT. Matty has floated unrequited Deryk Engelland (and Drew Stafford) trade rumours more often than Scarlet Johansson hasn’t returned your phone calls.

    Yes, this is one of the drums Matty likes to bang.

    early October:
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/11/wanted-by-edmonton-oilers-tough-mean-third-pairing-defenceman/

    early April:
    https://twitter.com/NHLbyMatty/status/452978577785368577

    Rom listed others in this article:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/3/7/5481204/they-are-going-to-re-sign-mark-fraser-arent-they

  46. spoiler says:

    Spoiler meanders his way across the Gagnerian landscape…

    The top 3 UFA target centers are Stastny, Legwand and Grabovski.

    My predictions on how these three feel about playing in the Oilpatch are thus:

    1. Stastny — might be a fit, but if he’s not returning to Colorado, then he will look for a team that is presently better than the Oilers first… Detroit, Dallas, Tampa, maybe Anaheim if Koivu retires. If he is unsuccessful in those kinds of places, he’s young enough to take a chance on the Oilers.

    2. Legwand — he’s damn close to being old balls. Legwand will take a discount if needs be, to play with a contender. Oilers will not be an option.

    3. Grabovski — I speculate that after being burned once, he doesn’t want anything to do with playing in the fishbowl that is Oh Canada. He will sign in Nashville where hockey is the seventh most popular sport after NASCAR, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf and Line Dancing. I may be doing Bass Fishing a disservice here.

    Given all that, what are the Oilers options? Stastny to me looks like the most likely, but is still a very remote possibility. I think we have to plan on keeping Gagner, unless the team can be so drastically improved we move up Stastny’s list.

    And to me that means putting Gagner in a spot where he can succeed. This either means he becomes a player we can rely on, or his trade value increases enough to make a future trade worthwhile. I don’t think the answer to either of those questions is “play him at right wing”.

    Why not, you ask?

    Well he doesn’t have the speed to be a breakaway threat, he’s not great at cycling, pinning players to the wall, winning battles, staying on his feet. Not saying he has no attributes as a winger, but offensively at least his skillset seems far more geared to being a center. That lack of speed is the reason why he cheats on offense and sucks at D… so he can jailbreak rushes.

    If he’s going to be a Center, we need to find him wingers that can help. Can we agree, that until he learns to play two ways himself that Yak should not be one of those wingers? Can we agree that two good board men would help Gagner greatly? Can we agree that at least one of them needs to have very good speed, including while carrying the puck?

    I think Perron works as one of those guys, but I think they need to find someone similar for the other wing. Chris Stewart would be a close fit. Someone like that with a little more footspeed would be even better.

    I would love to trade Gagner even for futures and cap space, but I don’t see where that 2C hole will be filled. Do you sign Olli Jokinen for a couple of years till this year’s pick can take the reins? Goc? These guys have downslopes that look like Kitzbuhel. Jokinen at least is a beast in the FO circle.

  47. gogliano says:

    spoiler:
    I think Matheson is a hairbreadth’s away from self-parody.

    What does “almost surely looking at” mean?

    Really, what the fuck does that mean?

    I appreciate your somewhat unique perspective.

  48. Lowetide says:

    LostBoy: Yes, this is one of the drums Matty likes to bang.

    early October:
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/11/wanted-by-edmonton-oilers-tough-mean-third-pairing-defenceman/

    early April:
    https://twitter.com/NHLbyMatty/status/452978577785368577

    Rom listed others in this article:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/3/7/5481204/they-are-going-to-re-sign-mark-fraser-arent-they

    Meh. They traded for Mark Fraser and now Matheson uses the strongest language possible without saying they are tampering. Hey, I like MacT, but there’s a difference between the words and the actions.

    Maybe this Engelland thing is nothing, but this makes sense based on their own, recent, actions.

  49. Racki says:

    spoiler,

    I know it’s the less popular choice here, and it wouldn’t be my #1 choice, but Penner and Gagner had good chem together. I’d consider him as an option again. Not sure he wants to come back to this abusive relationship though. No harm in asking. Maybe reunite the whole band, and ask Hemmer too while at it.. (just kidding)

  50. spoiler says:

    TheOtherJohn: You are David Poile. You have a very good 2nd pairing D in Josi signed for 5 more years at $4m per. Would you trade him for Gagner and picks? prospects? I would not. Unless your idea of picks and prospects includes Marincin, Klefbom or Nurse.

    While I don’t think that trade will work (and CO does say he may be wishcasting), if you look at Nashville’s roster today you can tell that David Poile has only one thing occupying his mind these days and that one thing is Connor McDavid.

  51. spoiler says:

    Racki: spoiler, I know it’s the less popular choice here, and it wouldn’t be my #1 choice, but Penner and Gagner had good chem together. I’d consider him as an option again. Not sure he wants to come back to this abusive relationship though. No harm in asking. Maybe reunite the whole band, and ask Hemmer too while at it.. (just kidding)

    I think it is less popular because there’s little belief it can happen. But yes that would work. Penner-Gagner-Perron. Penner wouldn’t be expensive either, but he really doesn’t seem a fit with MacT or Little D.

    That’s the kind of player that works with Gags, the kind I think we have to look for.

  52. McKillWrath says:

    Lowetide: Hey, I like MacT, but there’s a difference between the words and the actions.

    Mact has said that we need to get bigger and stronger as much if not more than he has talked about possession game. He’s talked about needing more leadership and getting people who know how to win.

    Be fair to poor Craig, a pick up of this player type is something he and his coach have talked about at length.

  53. spoiler says:

    gogliano: I appreciate your somewhat unique perspective.

    Lol, I’m not sure what you mean– the point that this is probably sheer speculation on Matheson’s part doesn’t seem to be that unique in this thread.

  54. Racki says:

    McKillWrath: Mact has said that we need to get bigger and stronger as much if not more than he has talked about possession game.He’s talked about needing more leadership and getting people who know how to win.

    Be fair to poor Craig, a pick up of this player type is something he and his coach have talked about at length.

    My issue here is its probably a good idea to get bigger in the top six F and top 4 D and not cycle out thugs in line 4 or bottom pairing / spare D. I don’t think that helps. I think ideally they need someone like Chris Stewart (just a name here..).. I. E. A player with size AND skill. Not just a player with size. That is pointless, no?

    Even line 3 guys with size would be good but acquiring nuclear power that rarely plays and almost never impacts the game (at least positively) is pointless. It’s like you’re trying to fudge the average size of the Oilers by working on the bottom end, like that’s going to do anything. It’s artificial.

  55. Lowetide says:

    McKillWrath: Mact has said that we need to get bigger and stronger as much if not more than he has talked about possession game.He’s talked about needing more leadership and getting people who know how to win.

    Be fair to poor Craig, a pick up of this player type is something he and his coach have talked about at length.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=PIT&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    Engelland is not the answer.

    just like Fraser is not the answer.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    They’re digging in the wrong place. IN FACT, if you look at Fraser’s CORSI REL it’s probably a better idea to bring him back instead of Engelland.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

  56. VanOil says:

    I agree with Spoiler and GMoney that fixing the 2C position is not as big a priority as the Defense and that if 2C is to be fixed by the draft keeping Gagner to give the kid time to develop is wise.

    Of course this means helping Gagner out. While size and skill in the top 6 is desirable it is expensive and risky to obtain (see Clarkson). An easy and affordable way to help is to add Malhota to the 4th line. Gordon and Malhota winning draws, taking on tough zone starts and competition will provide the other centers as much ‘space’ on the ice as some knuckle dragging winger of questionable skill. As would a collection of defenders that can take and make a pass.

  57. TheOtherJohn says:

    Well if we are committed to seriously competing for Conner McDavid, we would be hard pressed to do worse than play Gagner a full season as our 2C, sign Engelland and Matt Greene and trade for that oh so lazy skilled big man that is Rene Bourque.

    If we fail to get McDavid, Eichel still awaits and we can get another press conference where Lowe tells us just how smart he is. All evidence to the contrary

  58. VanOil says:

    spoiler:MacT or Little D

    Little D is the great!

    Big MacT and his side kick Little D.

  59. Racki says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Well if we are committed to seriously competing for Conner McDavid, we would be hard pressed to do worse than play Gagner a full season as our 2C, sign Engelland and Matt Greene and trade for that oh so lazy skilled big man that is Rene Bourque.

    If we fail to get McDavid,Eichel still awaits and we can get another press conference where Lowe tells us just how smart he is. All evidence to the contrary

    In fairness though, the rebuild just started last year.. You forgot to mention that. :P

  60. spoiler says:

    What was the story behind trading Tom Gilbert? Was it a case of them feeling he lacked the ambition, commitment, motivation to be a winner? Did they feel there was no way he could play up to his cap hit? Was it another case of wanting grit over skill? Was there a personal tragedy that required Gilbert not be in Edmonton? Was there a personal tragedy that required Gilbert to be close to his family in Minny?

    I don’t know, none of us do. The verbal at the time implied grit and intangibles were the reason, but that could’ve been a smokescreen.

    I do know that the present GM relied on Gilbert a heckuva lot when he was the coach.

    Signing Gilbert makes vastly more sense to the right side than signing Engelland. Sure we will lack some physical presence on the right side, but the left side abounds with physicality. And being as rookie-ish as the left side looks for the next few years, partnering these rookies with a veteran puck-mover who can skate or pass the puck out of trouble and get it going north looks far more useful to this team than a strongman who can’t pass.

    Too bad Matty isn’t a fan.

  61. spoiler says:

    VanOil: Little D is the great!
    Big MacT and his side kick Little D.

    I’m not giving him Big D back until he proves he can put up more Ws than Ls.

  62. soup says:

    Bar_Qu said…

    Also, I’m less inclined to worry about how well he clears in front of the net than I am his ability to make a good pass out of the zone. If he can clear the zone, he doesn’t have to worry about clearing in front of the net. If he can do both, great, but I would rather have zone clearing than net front clearing.</P

    Biggest problem in my view with the Oiler's D is they don't defend very well. Talk all you want about making the pass, but basics like being able to box out the front of the net, stand up the puck carrier at the blue line, and being able to break a cycle are critical skills. Without, good luck getting the puck back in order to make the pass. The ability to defend seems far more of a pressing issue at this point.

  63. OilClog says:

    Lowetide: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=PIT&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    Engelland is not the answer.

    just like Fraser is not the answer.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    They’re digging in the wrong place. IN FACT, if you look at Fraser’s CORSI REL it’s probably a better idea to bring him back instead of Engelland.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

    Will there come a day when the Oilers won’t be dressing 4
    #7 d-man..

    It’s gonna be Greene/Fraser with Engelland as the 7th and when Ference goes down to injury.. They’ll all be playing! Wooooooo

  64. regwald says:

    spoiler: I’m not giving him Big D back until he proves he can put up more Ws than Ls.

    It may not matter when Christmas time comes and MacT realizes Eakins is part of the problem and not part of the solution we won’t have to worry about what we call him except another ex-coach of the Oilers.

  65. McKillWrath says:

    Racki,

    I agree with you on a lot of your points. Although I think there is a disconnect between what is actually available to the oilers and what we wish were available. If Stewart was available to us I`m sure he`d be welcomed in to the fold, that goes along with every big tough high skilled player out there. The reality is the assets needed for these players are something we do not have a lot of, and teams are asking more and more for there guys all the time.

    We focus on size and skill a lot and if a player is deemed to be just about the size a lot of us don`t want him. There is a third part of the equation that we never touch on and that is intangibles (leadership, grit, determination, work ethic, commitment, gamesmanship). We need these guys and if we cant get them for the top half of our team we need them in our bottom half.

    I think a handful of older players that have spent considerable time on winning teams and do carry measurable intangibles hold value. Even though there skill is in decline the fringe players that we would replace them with are not noticeably higher skilled (Fedun, Hunt, Lander ect).

    My point is Edmonton can`t fill there 5 – 7 d positions with Greene, Hjallmarson and Moore. If they could they would. The point is the players that are available to us to fill these positions are not a whole lot better if they even are than an Engelland. So thus the intangibles of these guys in my opinion make them quite a bit more valuable.

  66. HallDown says:

    G Money,

    The lines aren’t carved in stone. It’s clear Yakupov needs more time to develop his game. Putting him in a ‘do-or-die’ situation with 121 games under his belt would be unfair pressure. He’s not Nathan Mckinnon. The goal of this lineup is depth and flexibilty, with 3 good scoring lines you can mix and match as players run hot/warm/cold:

    Umberger – Legwand – Yakupov
    Hall – RNH – Yakupov.
    Perron- Legwand – Yakupov
    + PP time.

    Give Yak, and all the young guns for that matter, some experienced vets to fix with the 2-way game and take this team to the next level. These kids are due for some playoff experience, now.

  67. McKillWrath says:

    Lowetide: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=PIT&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    Engelland is not the answer.

    just like Fraser is not the answer.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    They’re digging in the wrong place. IN FACT, if you look at Fraser’s CORSI REL it’s probably a better idea to bring him back instead of Engelland.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

    I`m not trying to argue math and its place in pro sports. Clearly there is a whole group of advanced stats that show this player is not very good. fair enough. I just want to say that there has been as much talk about adding this player type to the team from management as there has been about being a possession team.

    From the interviews I`ve listened two I believe there is two player types that MacT and Eakins covet. Strength skill types and Strength intangible types. We should see more of Perron, Hendricks, Gazdik Frazer types and less Whitney Barker Reider types.

    So don`t get depressed the message is clear, there is no saying one thing and doing another. And if you forget the math for a second you should see theres value to these players competing with our high skilled prospects. If Gernat is better he plays if not he develops. Same with Fedun, Simpson, Shultz, Petry, Klefblom and Marincin. Why is it so bad to add this player while we develop our prospects. Ference and Englland both won cups and played with two of the best players to ever play the game. I`m not taking math into account but there is value when the rest of the D corps has less than 400 NHL games played.

  68. spoiler says:

    Arguments that Gagner Will Have a Rebound Year, aka More Meandering…

    1. He has a history of success offensively. Today represents a nadir and we can expect some regression to the mean tomorrow.

    2. It takes many players an off-season to recover from his type of injury. Not only to regain what was lost physically through weeks of liquid diet, but also to remove one’s head, fix the threads of thought and screw it back on properly. Speed and strength would have been at an all-time low for Gagner this past season, hesitation and second thoughts at an all-time high… a lethal combination.

    3. Hopefully his agent and his father took him aside and told him he was almost traded for Kyle Double-Effing Clifford this past season. Where does he think his career is going? What would his value be as a free agent right now? How attractive is he to coaches and earning TOI? And hopefully after those light chats on the front porch at sunset, he comes to the conclusion that he needs to be a master of his own zone and let the offense take care of itself.

    Gagner is not a dumb player. He has more than a few pecks of hockey sense. He can learn to play D. He cheats for O because he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with the rush. He just needs to commit to his own end of the ice first and foremost, right down to being a Peyton Manning in the video booth. Break the bad habits and replace them with healthy ones.

    4. Like I said in a post above, playing Gagner with Yak or Eberle is asking for a defensive nightmare. Finding Gagner a winger to help retrieve the puck in the DZone, and help maintain the puck in the Ozone would help his possession numbers greatly. Finding these players is a lot easier than finding a quality center. And would at the very least improve Gagner’s trade value.

  69. Racki says:

    McKillWrath,

    I hear what you’re saying. It is hard. But this is where money bags Katz and free agency can play a part. We won’t come anywhere close to getting all the guys we want, but perhaps you may find some talent. Ex., maybe you give Steve Ott a shot to prove he isn’t on the decline. I don’t believe it has to always be about the corsis and the other stuff the kids rave about today, but there should be some ability to use common sense when judging who is a good fit. I think if you’re talking Engelland you’re probably talking another 7th D man. I’d rather they come the free agent market. There is cap space available to compete. Every player may hate Edmonton weather about almost all of them love money. :P

    I do realize it isn’t easy to do though, but as someone else said if you’re thinking Engelland, maybe you just might as well stick it out with Fraser.

  70. Ribs says:

    McKillWrath: Why is it so bad to add this player while we develop our prospects.

    How would you feel if you were Taylor Hall and you’ve finished at the bottom of the league for the past four seasons and your GM tells you “No worries, we just need to wait 2-3 years for our prospects to develop. Then we’re golden!” ?

    Forget the math? The math relates to the on ice performance. You can have all the intangibles in the world and not win. It usually doesn’t work the other way around.

  71. Pouzar says:

    I am balking at the whole Gagner thing now too. I said wouldn’t even watch if he played another game but now part of me wants him to stay and re-establish some semblance of value.

    What is wrong with me? I am getting soft in my old age!

  72. spoiler says:

    McKillWrath: Ference and Englland both won cups

    I don’t believe Engelland has actually won a Cup.

    The feat for which he is most famous is being a feared fighter. Not as a gritty Actual NHL Player.

    I can buy into Engelland if MacT’s thinking is, I can get something for Gazdic… I don’t want to waste a lot of space on having a pugilist in the line up, but I feel I need one so the best I can do is find one that provides both forward and defensive depth, and some maturity and experience.

    So what I am saying is that I can get behind Engelland if he is a replacement for Gazdic, and not for a regularly scheduled hockey player. And if we can then turn Gazdic into a pick or prospect.

  73. Bar_Qu says:

    Racki:
    McKillWrath,

    I hear what you’re saying. It is hard. But this is where money bags Katz and free agency can play a part. We won’t come anywhere close to getting all the guys we want, but perhaps you may find some talent. Ex., maybe you give Steve Ott a shot to prove he isn’t on the decline. I don’t believe it has to always be about the corsis and the other stuff the kids rave about today, but there should be some ability to use common sense when judging who is a good fit. I think if you’re talking Engelland you’re probably talking another 7th D man. I’d rather they come the free agent market. There is cap space available to compete. Every player may hate Edmonton weather about almost all of them love money.

    I do realize it isn’t easy to do though, but as someone else said if you’re thinking Engelland, maybe you just might as well stick it out with Fraser.

    Especially since by adding this player as a UFA, you will have to overpay for his services. I don’t care if he is a bottom pairing D, by signing near the UFA window his value goes up to be much higher than his play could cover. Better to sign Fraser to an extension, giving him some certainty/not moving family etc for a lower cap hit and shorter term.

    But better not to sign either. I mean, Jon Willis identified several better targets all by hisself!

  74. McKillWrath says:

    Racki,

    If a person chooses to be realistic about it, we are in a bleak situation. I have a wish list of players for the top half of the team. You know your typical oiler dream package – Weber, Hamonic, Evander Kane and maybe Kessler just for fun. Every time I look at it I cringe, it makes me realize how far we have to go.

    We have the young skill, but, unless we are willing to trade it we have to be patient. Yakipov for Stewart isn`t worth the risk and for a lot of these guys that would help today that’s what it will take. As much as free agents like Vanek and Niskanen would help us truth be told they probably are not interested in signing here. The last 10 years has proved that.

    The one area of strength we do have is deep pockets and cap space, this allows us to overpay. However that still doesn`t guarantee anything special, it just helps when signing older free agents who are looking to maximize there final contract. So to maximize this strength and overpay for a bottom half guy like Englland is not necessarily a terrible move. I`d argue that it would be less of a risk then Belov, Grebeshkov and Larsen. Especially with our current mix of D and lack of experience.

  75. McKillWrath says:

    spoiler,

    My mistake he was in the minors

  76. spoiler says:

    Bar_Qu: Anyways, Engellend, hopefully, is merely Matheson spitballing, but he is certainly the bottom of the barrel along with Greene as UFA options the Oilers could explore next year.

    Engelland couldn’t tie Matt Greene’s hockey skates. He isn’t even bottom pairing good. Fraser really is a better hockey player. Matheson is talking out of his ass unless Engelland is a replacement for Gazdic.

  77. McKillWrath says:

    Ribs,

    What do we have right now….

    +100 NHL games – Ference, Shultz, Petry, Fraser

    - 100NHL games – Klefblom, Marincin, Gernat, Simpson, Fedun, Nurse, Betker….

    We need 4 NHL defense men and they will probably have to come from free angency.

    Picking up Englened does not hurt the Oilers he is a good bottom end move. Not filling the other huge holes in this team is what will hurt us.

    PS the math measures samples of on ice performance not all on ice performance. It is not an end all and be all. The things that are not measured by Corsi are very important aspects of sports. You can have all the corsi in the world and not win…

  78. Racki says:

    McKillWrath,

    I don’t feel like Vanek would be anywhere near on my radar anyways. That’s a klowe panic move. I think they need to think a lot smaller (flair wise). Some good “moneyball” signings, if I can be cliché. I wouldn’t cheap out on a couple guys though. I’d shoot for the moon for #2c and for #1 LHD. Who knows, it may work out. But I think they can look for some safe guys to fill the remain spots at forward and D.

    Contrary to popular believe, Edmonton is not completely Siberia. It may prevent Vanek from signing here, but I really don’t care for that anyways, as I said. We got Gordon. This is the money ball player I’m talking about. Not flashy, but an absolute work horse that does what he is expected to do and more because he doesn’t have the fancy skates, yellow lakes and tinted visor.. Just a cool lunch box that he brings to work. OK I’m ranting. Engelland would fit what is saying way more than Vanek, but he isn’t that guy. Nor is Fraser. I can’t look at the list of free agents right now, but from memory, Raymond, Pouliot and Ott may be forward names you try and land (at a slightly inflated cost to play here).

    I am not sure on D. I haven’t looked at the “corgis” but Benoit, Ranger, Quincey, Weaver… Maybe they help fill the bottom D (one of them) without causing havoc back there.

    I do think a home run is needed at 1 LHD, so I’d put a lot of effort into that. At worst it doesn’t work out. I don’t think Engelland makes this team a better team so not sure what point there’d be to looking at him.

  79. jb says:

    Ricki do you have a blog by chance? I need to read one in touch with reality, looking to move things forward again. This one’s no longer satisfying when using Corsi to form opinions on everything.

    Tell me again about the Oilers awesome corsi numbers while they were getting their ass’s kicked in the first quarter of the season.

  80. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    3. Grabovski — I speculate that after being burned once, he doesn’t want anything to do with playing in the fishbowl that is Oh Canada. He will sign in Nashville where hockey is the seventh most popular sport after NASCAR, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf and Line Dancing. I may be doing Bass Fishing a disservice here.

    That’s stinks of xenophobia with no evidence.

    Here’s some evidence.

    After playing in TOR for 4 years, he re-signed for 5 more years.

    Sounds like he wanted out of the fishbowl eh?

    After Carlyle came in and gave him the Maholtra treatment he made it well know he didn’t want to play that role.

    TOR chose Carlyle over Grabbo and bought him out.

    What about that says “wants to play in small market”?

    Awful.

  81. spoiler says:

    mightyoil: Not sure how reliable his source is here is a link to something interestinghttp://www.brokenbellphilly.com/2014/05/source-flyers-have-held-discussions-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+BrokenBellSports+(Broken+Bell+Sports)&m=1

    Well I have been speculating all year that the Flyers will have to give up one of Couturier or Schenn, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise here.

    However, if the Flyers are hoping Ekblad will still be on the board when the Oilers pick, I think they will be disappointed. I think Buff will be all over Ekblad like a pit bull on a meat truck.

    But then, maybe they see some Bobby Clarke in young Mr, Bennett. Or maybe they have the hots for Draisaitl.

  82. Racki says:

    spoiler,

    Why would Flyers fans be dying to move the Schenns? Stupidity? Or do most of us a oil fans over value them both? That strikes me as a no brainer move for Edmonton.

  83. spoiler says:

    Racki: Why would Flyers fans be dying to move the Schenns? Stupidity? Or do most of us a oil fans over value them both? That strikes me as a no brainer move for Edmonton.

    I’m not sure this is coming from the fans. From my POV, the reason to move the Schenns is cap hit. Especially after giving MacDonald a sweetheart deal. Luke is making $3.5M as a third pairing guy. He’s really tough to get rid of without throwing in something else. Including another Schenn makes Luke more attractive… meanwhile his brother plays a position of roster strength, and also wants a raise.

    Now it said “discussed”, so I am thinking if such a discussion happened, the Flyers are probably trying to squeeze more out of the Oil Tank than just the 3rd overall.

  84. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: 3. Grabovski — I speculate that after being burned once, he doesn’t want anything to do with playing in the fishbowl that is Oh Canada. He will sign in Nashville where hockey is the seventh most popular sport after NASCAR, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf and Line Dancing. I may be doing Bass Fishing a disservice here.
    That’s stinks of xenophobia with no evidence.
    Here’s some evidence.
    After playing in TOR for 4 years, he re-signed for 5 more years.
    Sounds like he wanted out of the fishbowl eh?
    After Carlyle came in and gave him the Maholtra treatment he made it well know he didn’t want to play that role.
    TOR chose Carlyle over Grabbo and bought him out.
    What about that says “wants to play in small market”?
    Awful.

    “Xenophobia” and “Awful” are way over-the-top here and uncalled-for. What happened between the Leafs and Grabbo did happen in a fishbowl and did negatively affect his value to the extent that he was passed up by every team on the waiver wire, bought out, and then got a much smaller payday. I am “speculating,” to quote myself, that this might represent a negative experience for the player and his agent. Speculating as in maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but it sure doesn’t look like a positive one.

  85. Racki says:

    spoiler: I’m not sure this is coming from the fans.From my POV, the reason to move the Schenns is cap hit. Especially after giving MacDonald a sweetheart deal. Luke is making $3.5M as a third pairing guy. He’s really tough to get rid of without throwing in something else. Including another Schenn makes Luke more attractive… meanwhile his brother plays a position of roster strength, and also wants a raise.

    Now it said “discussed”, so I am thinking if such a discussion happened, the Flyers are probably trying to squeeze more out of the Oil Tank than just the 3rd overall.

    I mentioned the fans because that link you had was to a Flyers blog, and the guy seemed quite anxious to be rid of the two brothers. Maybe more just excited to get such a high pick? But it sounded like he didn’t like the Schenns

    Mind you, fans and patience don’t go hand in hand. Also, there’s a wide variety of opinions out there, many of them pretty wild. So that doesn’t say too much of some guy hates these two (if he does)

  86. McKillWrath says:

    Racki,

    Well said I agree with 90% of your opinion. I do however think with the team we have adding Engellend makes us better. Mainly because at this point in time our D is terrible.

    That’s not saying there is a lot better players out there, just that Ference Shultz and Petry could use his help. Because that is our D right now.

  87. spoiler says:

    Racki: I mentioned the fans because that link you had was to a Flyers blog, and the guy seemed quite anxious to be rid of the two brothers. Maybe more just excited to get such a high pick? But it sounded like he didn’t like the Schenns

    That wasn’t my link, it was MightyOil’s. It appears the author is trying to make a living off that site, and he was also clear the source wasn’t himself. He was trying to be analytical rather than emotional about it, so I expect he wasn’t just blowing smoke.

  88. Ribs says:

    McKillWrath: Picking up Englened does not hurt the Oilers he is a good bottom end move. Not filling the other huge holes in this team is what will hurt us.

    So, Fraser was a “good bottom end move”? Or does Engelland possess better intangibles than him? I agree that there are bigger problems on the roster to tackle, but adding more players that are not conducive to winning hockey games will not help the situation.

    McKillWrath: PS the math measures samples of on ice performance not all on ice performance. It is not an end all and be all. The things that are not measured by Corsi are very important aspects of sports. You can have all the corsi in the world and not win…

    It’s about giving your team the best chance to win. You can have All The Corsis In The World and not win, but you sure would have a better chance of winning than you would have if you were without it.

  89. spoiler says:

    Now if Gazdic is part of the deal to Philly, Engelland makes a lot more sense.
    :-D

  90. spoiler says:

    McKillWrath: I do however think with the team we have adding Engellend makes us better

    The only position Engelland can improve upon is Enforcer. Every depth dman that has passed through the dressing room over the past 5 years is better than Engelland. Potter, Belov, Fraser, Nultz, Fistric, Sutton, etc, etc… it doesn’t matter who you pick.

  91. Racki says:

    McKillWrath:
    Racki,

    Well said I agree with 90% of your opinion.I do however think with the team we have adding Engellend makes us better.Mainly because at this point in time our D is terrible.

    That’s not saying there is a lot better players out there, just that Ference Shultz and Petry could use his help.Because that is our D right now.

    I definitely don’t disagree that the D is terrible. Work there is definitely needed. I hope they land something better than Engelland, but I definitely understand your point of view here. There isn’t much NHL talent here yet. Severe lack of experience on this D.

  92. gvblackhawk says:

    jb:
    Ricki do you have a blog by chance? I need to read one in touch with reality, looking to move things forward again. This one’s no longer satisfying when using Corsi to form opinions on everything.

    Tell me again about the Oilers awesome corsi numbers while they were getting their ass’s kicked in the first quarter of the season.

    With all due respect, you are not moving the conversation forward with this trite nonsense. In fact, your first paragraph is practically unreadable. Are you aware of what Corsi/possession/pocession numbers represent? In your opinion, how do the Oilers make incremental or substantial improvements to the team this summer?

  93. Woodguy says:

    I think the Oilers should add only players with Stanley Cup rings and more than 5 fights a year.

    The respect they’d instantly have would be huge.

    Respect.

    Toughness.

    Stanley Cup rings.

    Leadership.

    That’s what this team needs.

  94. rickithebear says:

    Shea weber with Suter:
    2.01 EVGA/60
    Shea weber with Klien
    2.55 EVGA/60
    Shea weber with Josi 2.75 EVGA/60

    Martin Marincin with Petry
    2.34 EVGA/60

    Josi is exactly what we need!
    Welcome to the box Mr. Forward!

  95. McKillWrath says:

    Ribs: So, Fraser was a “good bottom end move”? Or does Engelland possess better intangibles than him? I agree that there are bigger problems on the roster to tackle, but adding more players that are not conducive to winning hockey games will not help the situation.

    I was never against the Fraser deal and if you wanna throw stupid numbers at the wall, the Oilers win loss record was much better with Fraser than without it. “not conducive to winning” please explain… Pitsburgh is very much a winning team and guess what they’ve carried this guy since drafting him in 2002. How can you prove that he is not conducive to winning if his team wins?

    Ribs: It’s about giving your team the best chance to win. You can have All The Corsis In The World and not win, but you sure would have a better chance of winning than you would have if you were without it.

    Fair enough, however the comment I was referring to was when you stated “You can have all the intangibles in the world and not win.” I think your argument is exactly the same as I could use to counter the statement you made. Intangibles give you a better chance to win.

    Corsi is a tool that gives you a better chance of identifying certain player types. Intangibles is a set of traits and personalities that shape certain player types. Two very different things. Now if there was a system to mathematically measure these intangibles we would have another tool at our disposal and I assume the math types would change there opinion on certain players.

  96. Jordan says:

    Woodguy:
    I think the Oilers should add only players with Stanley Cup rings and more than 5 fights a year.

    The respect they’d instantly have would be huge.

    Respect.

    Toughness.

    Stanley Cup rings.

    Leadership.

    That’s what this team needs.

    Through the wasteland
    The Oilers wandered
    With men too old and wasted,
    Too young and inexperienced,
    and not enough
    with skill and grit.

    They paid mercenaries
    to aid them in battle
    but never the ones
    who make a difference
    Mountain men
    Who beat their chests
    and look like warriors
    but lack finesse
    with no speed to keep up
    They join and die
    join and die
    and then more join in their place

    The prophecy
    that one would arise
    one would lead them
    from the wasteland
    to the place of milk and honey
    the home of Stanley
    Would it come true?
    Or are they cursed?
    And doomed to wander
    until the sun burns out?

    The Edmonton Oilers
    Live in Darkness

  97. gvblackhawk says:

    McKillWrath:
    Racki,

    Well said I agree with 90% of your opinion.I do however think with the team we have adding Engellend makes us better.Mainly because at this point in time our D is terrible.

    That’s not saying there is a lot better players out there, just that Ference Shultz and Petry could use his help.Because that is our D right now.

    I disagree. Adding a player who has an established track record of making his defense partner play worse with him is not going to help an already poor defensive group. The role that he is projected to play (6 or 7 Dman) can be filled by a better player with a lower cap hit. It is time management and fans stop looking at the Engelland’s of the world to solve any of the team’s existing defensive problems. The current players must be pushed down the depth chart if the Oilers have any hope of improving next year. Unfortunately, the situation does not look promising.

  98. prairieschooner says:

    House keeping first, when discussing Leon Draisaitl can we please refer to him as 6′ 1″ 209 lbs
    rather than the misleading BIG centre.He is only an inch taller although has a few pounds on Bennett and Reinhart.
    The Oilers had better not be pissing around looking for 6/7 fixes on D.They need to spend their coin on a 1/2 D man and leave the fringe spots for rookies.
    Strengthening 5,6,and 7 pushes Marincin Petry Ferrence into the heavy minutes that we all have seen they can not handle
    They need to bring in players who are better than Marincin Kleflom Ferrence otherwise what is the point?

  99. Lowetide says:

    prairieschooner:
    House keeping first, when discussing LeonDraisaitl can we please refer to him as 6′ 1″ 209 lbs
    rather than the misleading BIG centre.He is only an inch talleralthough has a few pounds on Bennett and Reinhart.
    The Oilers had better not be pissing around looking for 6/7 fixes on D.They need to spend their coin on a 1/2 D man and leave the fringe spots for rookies.
    Strengthening 5,6,and 7 pushes Marincin Petry Ferrence into the heavy minutes that we all have seen they can not handle
    They need to bring in players who are better than Marincin Kleflom Ferrence otherwise what is the point?

    Bennett is 180. 209 is more.

  100. Ribs says:

    McKillWrath: Pitsburgh is very much a winning team and guess what they’ve carried this guy since drafting him in 2002.

    “Carried”, is right. Like a sack of potatoes.

  101. gvblackhawk says:

    prairieschooner:
    House keeping first, when discussing LeonDraisaitl can we please refer to him as 6′ 1″ 209 lbs
    rather than the misleading BIG centre.He is only an inch talleralthough has a few pounds on Bennett and Reinhart.
    The Oilers had better not be pissing around looking for 6/7 fixes on D.They need to spend their coin on a 1/2 D man and leave the fringe spots for rookies.
    Strengthening 5,6,and 7 pushes Marincin Petry Ferrence into the heavy minutes that we all have seen they can not handle
    They need to bring in players who are better than Marincin Kleflom Ferrence otherwise what is the point?

    6’1, 209 is big for an 18 year old — much larger than average and substantially more than Bennett’s 180 or Reinhart’s 185.

  102. VanOil says:

    prairieschooner,

    209lbs at 18 is brick-tacular. Signed, An Outhouse.

  103. Jon K says:

    Sometimes I stumble into interesting information. I can say that the Oilers inquired about Engelland via trade during the season. I don’t know when, but I assume right before they ended up settling for Mark Fraser.

    We can probably assume they are still interested in him. It should be noted that there are a few teams interested in his services this summer, apparently.

    I offer this for interest’s sake, please don’t jump down my throat.

  104. spoiler says:

    McKillWrath: Pitsburgh is very much a winning team and guess what they’ve carried this guy since drafting him in 2002

    Not to dogpile here, but

    Engelland was drafted by New Jersey, not Pittsburgh, and in 2000, not ’02. In the 6th round, 194th overall. He was signed as a free agent by Pitt in 2007 and spent the next three years in their minors. His first season came in his draft + 10 year. He played a fair amount in his second year, partly due to injuries, but since then he has been a frequent healthy scratch. He usually averages 13 minutes a night… pretty low for a defenseman.

    He is an enforcer who can actually somewhat play his position. He’s an improvement over Gazdic, and most heavyweights in the league, but only those that play within that role. He’s not an improvement over an actual #6 defenseman.

    Edit: I should add that Pittsburgh tried him at wing this year to get him more game time, but he wasn’t able to stick in the line-up. He played no games in the playoffs for them this year.

  105. McKillWrath says:

    gvblackhawk,

    I’m maybe arguing away from my point a little. I don’t think Deryk will solve what ails the Oilers. What I do believe is a 32 year old UFA D man who can fill a role in Pittsburgh should not be turned away just because the math goes against him. He’s not the RH shot PP QB we need. Does he have valuable traits we lack and could use, YES. My point is we are better off with NHL experience than running borderline NHLers.

  106. Lowetide says:

    Jon K:
    Sometimes I stumble into interesting information. I can say that the Oilers inquired about Engelland via trade during the season. I don’t know when, but I assume right before they ended up settling for Mark Fraser.

    We can probably assume they are still interested in him. It should be noted that there are a few teams interested in his services this summer, apparently.

    I offer this for interest’s sake, please don’t jump down my throat.

    WHAT THE HE–, actually that makes sense. Thanks, Jon K.

  107. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: Bennett is 180. 209 is more.

    But thats only 29 lbs. That is only 1 good meal to a Sumo wrestler

    Hey LT quit Jumpin down peoples throat eh!

  108. McKillWrath says:

    spoiler,

    Th

    spoiler: He is an enforcer who can actually somewhat play his position. He’s an improvement over Gazdic, and most heavyweights in the league, but only those that play within that role. He’s not an improvement over an actual #6 defenseman.

    We don’t have any NHL actual #6 defencemen. I guess that is why I get bothered by the Oil nation saying no way we don’t need this bum, the fact is we do… We can use all the help we can get. “He is an enforcer who can actually somewhat play his position” I’ll take him. We can call him depth, slot him into the Grebeshkov, Belov, Larsen, Potter role. If heaven forbid injuries hit we have a valuable player that has cut out a role on a successful hockey club. Is he that much worse then the above mentioned players we started with last year…. Not a chance.

  109. McKillWrath says:

    Ribs,

    I guess this stupid argument is over then. I surrender….

  110. spoiler says:

    McKillWrath: We don’t have any NHL actual #6 defencemen. I guess that is why I get bothered by the Oil nation saying no way we don’t need this bum, the fact is we do… We can use all the help we can get. “He is an enforcer who can actually somewhat play his position” I’ll take him. We can call him depth, slot him into the Grebeshkov, Belov, Larsen, Potter role. If heaven forbid injuries hit we have a valuable player that has cut out a role on a successful hockey club. Is he that much worse then the above mentioned players we started with last year…. Not a chance.

    And we still won’t have a #6 after we sign him.

    If Engelland means Gazdic is traded, and we’re going with better skilled options at wing on the 4th line, then I can live with the signing—if there’s 6 other D ahead of him. Otherwise it seems repetitively redundant. Target what you need… an actual bottom pairing dman, they’re not rare.

    Not to mention, when he does play, it will likely be with a rookie alongside. If not, then Schultz will be baby-sitting a rookie. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  111. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: “Xenophobia” and “Awful” are way over-the-top here and uncalled-for. What happened between the Leafs and Grabbo did happen in a fishbowl and did negatively affect his value to the extent that he was passed up by every team on the waiver wire, bought out, and then got a much smaller payday.I am “speculating,” to quote myself, that this might represent a negative experience for the player and his agent.Speculating as in maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but it sure doesn’t look like a positive one.

    I think xenophobia might be over the top (a bit), but awful isn’t.

    He re-signed in TOR after playing there for years and then when had a choice of teams, chose WAS which is one of the better hockey markets in the U.S.

    Your implication of the player wanting a city where hockey might be 7th place flies in the face of all the evidence.

    It’s something I’d expect Marc Spector to write.

    It’s awful.

  112. Cameron says:

    Woodguy:
    I think the Oilers should add only players with Stanley Cup rings and more than 5 fights a year.

    The respect they’d instantly have would be huge.

    Respect.

    Toughness.

    Stanley Cup rings.

    Leadership.

    That’s what this team needs.

    As a Flames fan, I heartily endorse this

  113. PerryK says:

    spoiler:
    Spoiler meanders his way across the Gagnerian landscape…

    The top 3 UFA target centers are Stastny, Legwand and Grabovski.

    My predictions on how these three feel about playing in the Oilpatch are thus:

    1. Stastny — might be a fit, but if he’s not returning to Colorado, then he will look for a team that is presentlybetter than the Oilers first… Detroit, Dallas, Tampa, maybe Anaheim if Koivu retires. If he is unsuccessful in those kinds of places, he’s young enough to take a chance on the Oilers.

    2. Legwand — he’s damn close to being old balls. Legwand will take a discount if needs be, to play with a contender. Oilers will not be an option.

    3. Grabovski — I speculate that after being burned once, he doesn’t want anything to do with playing in the fishbowl that is Oh Canada. He will sign in Nashville where hockey is the seventh most popular sport after NASCAR, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf and Line Dancing. I may be doing Bass Fishing a disservice here.

    Given all that, what are the Oilers options?Stastny to me looks like the most likely, but is still a very remote possibility.I think we have to plan on keeping Gagner, unless the team can be so drastically improved we move up Stastny’s list.

    And to me that means putting Gagner in a spot where he can succeed.This either means he becomes a player we can rely on, or his trade value increases enough to make a future trade worthwhile.I don’t think the answer to either of those questions is “play him at right wing”.

    Why not, you ask?

    Well he doesn’t have the speed to be a breakaway threat, he’s not great at cycling, pinning players to the wall, winning battles, staying on his feet.Not saying he has no attributes as a winger, but offensively at least his skillset seems far more geared to being a center.That lack of speed is the reason why he cheats on offense and sucks at D… so he can jailbreak rushes.

    If he’s going to be a Center, we need to find him wingers that can help.Can we agree, that until he learns to play two ways himself that Yak should not be one of those wingers?Can we agree that two good board men would help Gagner greatly?Can we agree that at least one of them needs to have very good speed, including while carrying the puck?

    I think Perron works as one of those guys, but I think they need to find someone similar for the other wing.Chris Stewart would be a close fit. Someone like that with a little more footspeed would be even better.

    I would love to trade Gagner even for futures and cap space, but I don’t see where that 2C hole will be filled.Do you sign Olli Jokinen for a couple of years till this year’s pick can take the reins? Goc?These guys have downslopes that look like Kitzbuhel. Jokinen at least is a beast in the FO circle.

    Well said, Spoiler!

  114. Ice Sage says:

    Hmmmm… I think I caught u, LT – ‘Pius Suter’ can’t be a real person

  115. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ice Sage:
    Hmmmm… I think I caught u, LT – ‘Pius Suter’ can’t be a real person

    Yeah, all the Suters are infidels.

  116. kb says:

    Gagner is an NHL caliber player, the oilers dont have enough NHL caliber players… so we should trade him yes? Especially for cap space, where we have the 4th most in the league (which we will need to have a hope in hell signing a quality FA, assuming they will come to Edmonton). now enoiugh sarcasm

    Hall RNH Ebs
    Perron (5MM 2C) Yak
    (2-3MM big winger) Arco Gagner
    Hendricks Gordon Pitlick/Lander/Gadzic/Joensuu

    You could way overpay a 2C on a 1-2y contract until Draisaitl/Bennett are here

    on the D:

    Marincin Petry
    Ference Schultz
    Klefbom (Overpay for D-man pay here Say $6MM)
    Fraser

    even re-siging with signing petry and schultz at 4MM, we would still have cap space

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