LOUD NOISES 2: DEALING FROM STRENGTH

My word we’ve watched a lot of defensemen develop these years. From the time Stu MacGregor called out Martin Marincin (in photo) in 2010′s second round, the Edmonton Oilers drafted:

  • Jeremie Blain (2010)
  • Brandon Davidson (2010)
  • Oscar Klefbom (2011)
  • David Musil (2011)
  • Dillon Simpson (2011)
  • Martin Gernat (2011)
  • Eric Gustafsson (2012)
  • Joey Laleggia (2012)
  • Darnell Nurse (2013)
  • Ben Betker (2013)

Unlike the forwards, who were graduating (the first rounders, anyway) every fall, the blue have been in the system learning their lessons on smaller sorties. The kids are alright, at least many of them, and because they’ve developed in different spots, their coming together this fall in pro will represent a watershed. Dillon Simpson (college) and Darnell Nurse (junior) will arrive at training camp pursuing their dreams, and finding themselves blocked by kids basically their age.

This sometimes happens. There are times in a team’s history when a bunch of players who have very similar skill sets arrive at the same time. I often mention the Houston Astros, who collected a generation of first basemen who could hit homers, get on base alot via base-on-balls, hit for a little lower batting average than was socially acceptable and tended to spend about 5 years longer in the minor leagues then they would have today. Among the men on that list were John Mayberry, Cliff Johnson, Mike Easler, Nate Colbert, Keith Lampard; Bob Watson was similar but didn’t walk as much, there were a ton of these guys who signed with Houston in the late 60′s. There are other examples in sports history, but what’s important for us to learn about this is that when this happens:

  • the team in question cannot possibly keep them all.
  • the team in question sometimes keeps the wrong player(s).
  • it can take a long time to identify the right player.

I would guess that the Oilers ‘best 3′ young defensemen are left-handers Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. The odds of these three men spending the heart of their NHL careers in Edmonton isn’t strong—they are going to be vying for the same jobs (well, maybe two jobs for three players). I suspect the Oilers are getting calls on lots of their youngsters, and at some point Craig MacTavish is going to have to decide to deal from strength to address weakness.

Which, in this case, might be 10-15 years of Martin Marincin for a more experienced player who can do more right away. Risky? Hell yes.

The Houston Astros sent away pretty much the whole damn bunch in what (for me) the biggest waste of useful talent in modern history when you add in Joe Morgan, Rusty Staub, Mike Cuellar and a few others.

The Oilers will get value in return, but can they get enough? Unlikely. The trick isn’t trading these guys, it’s trading the right ones for maximum value. It’s a bad damn day. Holding on to Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse this summer is the right call—make Dillon Simpson push for a job and then decide.

Still, the phone keeps ringing, and the pressure remains immense.

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71 Responses to "LOUD NOISES 2: DEALING FROM STRENGTH"

  1. TheOtherJohn says:

    We have no idea how many of the Oiler D prospects are going to be real NHL D men. Might have no one playing minor pro this year. Certainly hope Marincin, Klefbom & Nurse have real NHL careers. Just not sure anyone else is tracking that way. This year will be huge for Simpson

  2. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    We have no idea how many of the Oiler D prospects are going to be real NHL D men. Might have no one playing minor pro this year. Certainly hope Marincin, Klefbom & Nurse have real NHL careers. Just not sure anyone else is tracking that way. This year will be huge for Simpson

    Dillon Simpson, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Brandon Davidson will all be in OKC, and Klefbom plus Marincin will be Oil/OKC. Nurse possible in EDM. That’s a lot of pro D.

  3. speeds says:

    I have a hard time imagining a reasonable deal involving Marincin that one would be able to say Edmonton won. If he’s moved, I think it’s more likely EDM regrets that.

    He’s likely not established enough for anyone to give EDM what it would/should take for them to move him, IMO.

    Sure, if he’s part of a deal for Subban or something, but moving him for a Coburn? Unlikely you win that deal, IMO.

  4. Younger Oil says:

    Trading any of Marincin, Klefbom, or Nurse (especially Marincin) this summer would frustrate me more than any other conceivable move could. Not keeping the #3 pick would be a close second.

    I just don’t see how the Oilers could get even close to full value for Marincin, considering how good he was last year. He was our best defenceman on the left side, and it wasn’t close. Despite all this, I can’t see other teams seeing him as much more than just a prospect.

    We need to do all we can to develop all of these promising kids until they are 25, and then take the best 7 defencemen we have.

    If Marincin, Klefbom, and Nurse reach their full potential (and I know that is a MASSIVE if), we could have one of the the best left hand side D corps in the league.

    If we are offered something substantial for one of these Dmen (and I mean REALLY substantial, like Couturier level, which I know will never happen), then that would be a good deal, but the way they seem to be valued now, they would likely be a throw in on a deal for a player they will likely be better than in the next 3-5 years.

    These kids are going to reach their maturity just in time for the new arena to open up, and help a new generation of Oiler fans have some true hockey memories.

    Trading these young defenders may help us in a sprint, but keeping them will help us in the marathon that will keep the Oilers in the playoffs for years to come,

  5. prairieschooner says:

    Don’t worry guys MacT was the guy responsible for signing Gagner to his current contract

  6. Younger Oil says:

    Just another note, I’m a massive Stu MacGregor fan, but the only thing that I feel deserves to be criticized about his drafting is the overwhelming amount of left handed defencemen drafted compared to right handed. Only 1 of the 10 (Blain) drafted since 2010 is right handed. I know Musil and Simpson have had experience on the right side, but drafting so many left handed defencemen, while creating competition, seriously reduces the odds of the player from getting an NHL career IMO. Is this the wrong way of looking at it?

  7. Kitchener says:

    This is a hard topic to stay objective on. What’s the phrase, “don’t fall in love with the merchandise?” Too late.

    Still, I can’t imagine these guys all being here in 4 years.

    How’s this for an option: keep ‘em all, let attrition run its course (injuries; cream rising to the top), and end up with 2-4 kick-ass young defenders in 4 years.

    Unless trading one of the gems (Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse) brings in a new #1 under age 30, it’s hard to beat the attrition plan.

    Man, I hope we draft a C.

  8. haters says:

    Which one of the 3 would you give up if you had to make the call ? For me it’s Klefbom, love the player so far but after seeing all 3 last year I think his potential exceeds his ceiling. Kinda reminds me of a young Smid minus the nasty and slightly better with the puck?

  9. Dicky94 says:

    Kitchener,

    No need to trade any of them just yet. This is a great problem to have! A lot of teams would love to have the prospects we have on d . That’s why all this talk to move up to draft Ekblad don’t make sense to me. Our weakness is at center.

  10. Rocknrolla says:

    LT,

    Thought this was funny…

    This donation will appear on your statement as:
    PayPal *LOWETIDEBLO

    May want to change that O to a G!

    Many thanks for all the time and effort you put into this blog…it’s also a big part of our lives too.

  11. Lloyd B. says:

    Kitchener,

    This. All. Day. Long. I think the word now is patience. Not in the sense of this is going to take 8 years of suck so bear with us… but …patience to see what we have now that we have sucked for so long. To bail out now on any of the #1s and the D in the system is folly. Another year of this with MacT filling in the blanks with support players … that light is not a train coming. It is the promised land. LT has described this as a dangerous time. It is. Don’t bail out on the draft and build strategy just as it is becoming successful. And no..I’m not Mrs. Tambellini.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Rocknrolla:
    LT,

    Thought this was funny…

    This donation will appear on your statement as:
    PayPal *LOWETIDEBLO

    May want to change that O to a G!

    Many thanks for all the time and effort you put into this blog…it’s also a big part of our lives too.

    Thanks man, appreciate it very much.

  13. John Chambers says:

    It’s like when the Oakland A’s kept spitting out 17-20 win pitchers starting with Mark Mulder, then Tim Hudson and Rich Harden.

    At some point the organization has to use some of their surplus (defense futures) to address need in the here and now – a centre fielder and a shortstop, I mean, a C and real big-league D.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I can see the Oilers making a Kefbom+ deal for Boychuk if free agency isn’t kind to them.

  14. razor says:

    I think you guys are missing LT’s point. I’d like to think we can keep them all but we can’t. The trick is to identify which ones won’t succeed now and send them along. This is the Tuebert/ Voynov question. Identify Tuebert and trade him for what you need (2c or 1d).

  15. razor says:

    Chambers just beat me too the punch.

  16. speeds says:

    John Chambers:
    It’s like when the Oakland A’s kept spitting out 17-20 win pitchers starting with Mark Mulder, then Tim Hudson and Rich Harden.

    At some point the organization has to use some of their surplus (defense futures) to address need in the here and now – a centre fielder and a shortstop, I mean, a C and real big-league D.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I can see the Oilers making a Kefbom+ deal for Boychuk if free agency isn’t kind to them.

    That would be an pretty awful deal for the Oilers. I don’t think there would be any way to justify moving 7 years of Klefbom for one of Boychuk.

  17. speeds says:

    razor,

    there is no pressure on the Oilers to make any kind of decision on their D today. Marincin is a year away from waivers, Klefbom at least 2, Nurse potentially 4.

    There is no point throwing them away today for 25 cents on the dollar just to move the team from 28th to 23rd (if acquiring Boychuk would even move them that far), only to lose Boychuk in a year.

  18. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    razor,

    there is no pressure on the Oilers to make any kind of decision on their D today.Marincin is a year away from waivers, Klefbom at least 2, Nurse potentially 4.

    There is no point throwing them away today for 25 cents on the dollar just to move the team from 28th to 23rd (if acquiring Boychuk would even move them that far), only to lose Boychuk in a year.

    Even if it involves a signed Boychuk, it’s not a deal MacT should make.

  19. Dicky94 says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree. Boychuk could be had with a lesser prospect and possibly a pick. . Boston has cap issues.

  20. Jon K says:

    speeds:
    razor,

    there is no pressure on the Oilers to make any kind of decision on their D today.Marincin is a year away from waivers, Klefbom at least 2, Nurse potentially 4.

    There is no point throwing them away today for 25 cents on the dollar just to move the team from 28th to 23rd (if acquiring Boychuk would even move them that far), only to lose Boychuk in a year.

    The honest truth. (Though I might say otherwise next season during another frustrating losing streak.)

    The Oilers have to be careful in sending away any of their defense prospect surplus. We really don’t know what we have in them, and bad teams can stay bad by trading promising prospects for declining veterans who fill an immediate need.

  21. John Chambers says:

    speeds,

    Hey I’m just saying they would consider a solution like this if the strike out in free agency.

    But in general I’m on board with cashing in on some of these futures for vets. I mean if Boychuk was willing to re-sign for say another 4 years, are you telling me you’re not prepared to trade Klefbom for a guy who drops Petry down to kill 2nd pairing comp? He’s 6’2 225 and 30 years old … From Edmonton! What part of that is so terribly unappealing? Klefbom will be an NHL player, but he might not be a top-4 guy until 2018.

  22. Woodguy says:

    Dicky94:
    Lowetide,

    I agree.Boychuk could be had with a lesser prospect and possibly a pick. . Boston has cap issues.

    Boychuck has one year left on his contract and doesn’t score.

    Anything more than a pick (2nd-ish) is an overpayment unless the prospect is one you’ve identified as buried in your system (4th and Musil)

  23. supernova says:

    speeds:
    razor,

    there is no pressure on the Oilers to make any kind of decision on their D today.Marincin is a year away from waivers, Klefbom at least 2, Nurse potentially 4.

    There is no point throwing them away today for 25 cents on the dollar just to move the team from 28th to 23rd (if acquiring Boychuk would even move them that far), only to lose Boychuk in a year.

    speeds,

    While I am not a proponent of trading away Marincin for Say Boychuk.

    I disagree that there isn’t pressure to make a decision on their D,

    MacT and team face intense pressure everyday to improve their team, while it might not be on a particular D until it’s their contract time, it doesn’t mean they won’t factor into their solution.

    Oilers need to improve from 14th in the west to challenge for a cup.

    If the solution is moving a Marincin along, for this , it could be part of the solution.

    Also how can we value Marincin at .25 on the dollar in any deal. His first half season could be his career best or the tip of the iceberg.

    Their is inherit risk in dealing away Marincin but also risk in not doing enough to improve (Tambellini)

  24. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Boychuck has one year left on his contract and doesn’t score.

    Anything more than a pick (2nd-ish) is an overpayment unless the prospect is one you’ve identified as buried in your system (4th and Musil)

    Boychuk will get value in a trade, and I’m sure he would get more than you’re suggesting here, but agree there’s no reason for EDM to make a move that involves someone of real value to the future.

  25. Dicky94 says:

    Bingo!

  26. John Chambers says:

    I guess my viewpoint is that 5 years of Boychuk is likely 5 years of a legit top-4 D … With size! And for less money than Dennis Wideman or James Wis! Chocolate! Rock and Roll! Marijuana brownies!

    How else does one acquire a top-3 D? Im amazed that although this is the team’s biggest priority people get uppity about the length of Phaneuf’s contract or are unwilling to give a 3rd year to Markov. Crazy land!

    Lets put it a different way – by the time Klefbom reaches his potential the rumor mill will be churning over whether Hall will re-sign … The D just don’t line up with the forward cluster.

  27. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers:
    I guess my viewpoint is that 5 years of Boychuk is likely 5 years of a legit top-4 D … With size! And for less money than Dennis Wideman or James Wis! Chocolate! Rock and Roll! Marijuana brownies!

    How else does one acquire a top-3 D? Im amazed that although this is the team’s biggest priority people get uppity about the length of Phaneuf’s contract or are unwilling to give a 3rd year to Markov. Crazy land!

    Lets put it a different way – by the time Klefbom reaches his potential the rumor mill will be churning over whether Hall will re-sign … The D just don’t line up with the forward cluster.

    I think MacT covered that in the last few days. If you are going to trade Klefbom, then the idea is to get a player who is a little older, a little more experienced, and someone who is going to be here awhile. Basically you’re trading 6 years of Klefbom (before UFA if my math is right) for maybe four years of a more experienced guy.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Boychuk will get value in a trade, and I’m sure he would get more than you’re suggesting here, but agree there’s no reason for EDM to make a move that involves someone of real value to the future.

    If anyone pays more for for 1 year of Boychuck they are paying too much.

    Agreed he will probably fetch more.

  29. razor says:

    supernova,

    Completely agree. This is what I was trying to say but couldn’t do so.

  30. John Chambers says:

    Maybe it’s years (like 20+ years) of not realizing any major fixes in Free Agency, or not believing that Strahlman (at $5M x 5 yikes!), or Fayne (who played sub-20 mins/game), are going to be any panacea.

    You need to give up something to get something. Gagner or Musil are not something. We need something. Like now!

    Klefbom, the 2015 1st – those are the cards I’d be leading with if I couldn’t land Stastny, Markov, hell even Grabovski. This team needs two veteran D and a 2-way C. If they cost under $4M that’s a huge bonus.

  31. John Chambers says:

    Boychuk is just an example. I could just as easily be talking about Ehrhoff, Campbell, or Coburn.

  32. speeds says:

    supernova: speeds,

    While I am not a proponent of trading away Marincin for Say Boychuk.

    I disagree that there isn’t pressure to make a decision on their D,

    MacT and team face intense pressure everyday to improve their team, while it might not be on a particular D until it’s their contract time, it doesn’t mean they won’t factor into their solution.

    Oilers need to improve from 14th in the west to challenge for a cup.

    If the solution is movinga Marincin along, for this , it could be part of the solution.

    Also how can we value Marincin at .25 on the dollar in any deal. His first half season could be his career best or the tip of the iceberg.

    Their is inherit risk in dealing away Marincin but also risk in not doing enough to improve (Tambellini)

    I wasn’t clear enough – I meant there is no pressure to decide amongst the young D, I did not mean there is no pressure to improve the D at all today. But they aren’t necessarily completely tied together, EDM can go to the market and spend a bunch of money on Fayne, Gilbert, and Hainsey if they want, and let most of the young D play in OKC for another year or two.

  33. speeds says:

    Lowetide: I think MacT covered that in the last few days. If you are going to trade Klefbom, then the idea is to get a player who is a little older, a little more experienced, and someone who is going to be here awhile. Basically you’re trading 6 years of Klefbom (before UFA if my math is right) for maybe four years of a more experienced guy.

    It’s 7 years for Klefbom because of his birthday, and because he wasn’t on the roster long enough to accrue a season towards UFA status.

  34. Caramel Obvious says:

    John Chambers:
    Maybe it’s years (like 20+ years) of not realizing any major fixes in Free Agency, or not believing that Strahlman (at $5M x 5 yikes!), or Fayne (who played sub-20 mins/game), are going to be any panacea.

    You need to give up something to get something. Gagner or Musil are not something. We need something. Like now!

    Klefbom, the 2015 1st – those are the cards I’d be leading with if I couldn’t land Stastny, Markov, hell even Grabovski. This team needs two veteran D and a 2-way C. If they cost under $4M that’s a huge bonus.

    I’m sorry but trading Klefbom for Boychuk is an incredibly bad trade. Signing Stralman at 5×5 is an infinitely better idea.

    Under the Stralman scenario you effectively get to subtract Klefbom’s surplus value from Stralman’s contract. I don’t know what Klefbom’s surplus value is but it is probably somewhere along the lines of $2M a year, which turns Stralman into a 3M player in comparison to trading for one year of Boychuk.

    One year of Boychuk doesn’t have that much value. Second round pick at best. And don’t bring up this notion of a “signed Boychuk.” You can’t trade for that player. He doesn’t exist.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Make a case to me that Boychuk is worth the asset cost over the following (in no particular order):

    Fayne, Stralman, Quincey, Hainsey, Gilbert, Niskanen

    I can’t make that case.

    ———
    IMO you have to clear the available UFA talent line to spend assets, esp. of the still very young, under long term contract control and with large upside variety.

    Boychuk is worth no more to the Oilers than an extremely marginal package (say a 4th and Musil as WG suggests).

    It actually only makes sense if MacT can’t get a UFA D. Then, sure, you are fucked and have to trade.

  36. John Chambers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Like I say my preference is UFA as well. Nobody got rich by giving away their stock certificates for smiles, so why trade a blossoming 1st rounder? I understand everyone’s perspective.

    I’ll appeal to everyone’s sense of logic this way:
    Fayne – was a 4th or 5th guy on a non playoff team playing under 20 mins a night. I would take him happily on the 2nd pairing for $3.5M or less for 4 years or less.
    Strahlman – a couple of good years, an emerging talent, what’s not to like? I think he’ll cost $5Mx5 which might (might) be a huge liability, or he could offer nice value into his early 30′s. I actually prefer this to the Boychuk trade.
    Markov – yes please. $21M over 3 years. No more money or term.
    Gilbert & Hainsey are Americans and IMO unlikely to sign to play in the Chuck.

    Trades? Campbell won’t come here. Ehrhoff ditto. Both have NMC’s. Philly needs D and won’t trade Coburn for anything we’re willing to pay. Phaneuf probably costs Yak or the 3rd so no thanks.

    Boychuk? Perhaps I’m bullish. Like I say big guy at 6’2″ 220 ( we need this player type), right shot, decent cap hit, played very well in an important role for the B’s (made Ference look good) and has one unique quality that might actually get him to re-sign with the Oilers of Edmonton – he’s a Chuck!

    In sum – ill take UFA’s on short-length affordable contracts all day long, but we all know that’s an oxymoron. And if I had to pick now Klefbom is my guy to depart as Marincin has showed he can play NHL defense and the injury history is the icing.

    Fin

  37. razor says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    It actually only makes sense if MacT can’t get a UFA D. Then, sure, you are fucked

    I think this is the scenario we’re talking about here. If you grab a top quality D via free agency than do it. Not sure that can always happen though. In this scenario you got to trade from your position of strength.

  38. anonymous says:

    Agreed, It’s inevitable they cull the herd but the should wait at least a season or two. Take the time to gauge them a little better. Most of them are just making the jump to pro, they have time. They can afford to trade picks and a winger if they have to.

  39. razor says:

    John Chambers:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Like I say my preference is UFA as well. Nobody got rich by giving away their stock certificates for smiles, so why trade a blossoming 1st rounder? I understand everyone’s perspective.

    I’ll appeal to everyone’s sense of logic this way:
    Fayne – was a 4th or 5th guy on a non playoff team playing under 20 mins a night. I would take him happily on the 2nd pairing for $3.5M or less for 4 years or less.
    Strahlman – a couple of good years, an emerging talent, what’s not to like? I think he’ll cost $5Mx5 which might (might) be a huge liability, or he could offer nice value into his early 30′s. I actually prefer this to the Boychuk trade.
    Markov – yes please. $21M over 3 years. No more money or term.
    Gilbert & Hainsey are Americans and IMO unlikely to sign to play in the Chuck.

    Trades? Campbell won’t come here. Ehrhoff ditto. Both have NMC’s. Philly needs D and won’t trade Coburn for anything we’re willing to pay. Phaneuf probably costs Yak or the 3rd so no thanks.

    Boychuk? Perhaps I’m bullish. Like I say big guy at 6’2″ 220 ( we need this player type), right shot, decent cap hit, played very well in an important role for the B’s (made Ference look good) and has one unique quality that might actually get him to re-sign with the Oilers of Edmonton – he’s a Chuck!

    In sum – ill take UFA’s on short-length affordable contracts all day long, but we all know that’s an oxymoron. And if I had to pick now Klefbom is my guy to depart as Marincin has showed he can play NHL defense and the injury history is the icing.

    Fin

    Agreed on the comment, including Klefbom.

  40. John Chambers says:

    anonymous,

    Are you Steve Tambellini? Admit it!

  41. Clay says:

    I remain hopeful that MacT was pumping Klefbom’s tires and virtually ignoring Marincin in his comments, in an effort to have other GM’s inquire after the former instead of the later. I’d rather see Klefbom be the one traded over Marincin 10 times out of 10.

  42. anonymous says:

    John Chambers,

    Haha, no but in this case I’d be on board with him.

  43. Hammers says:

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it but Simpson plays R & L and says he doesn’t care the side he is on . If true we maybe set with Martin & Jeff / Shultz & Klefbom / Simpson & Nurse . 2-3 years from now that looks good to me . Getting over the 2 year hump is the problem .

  44. Hammers says:

    supernova: speeds, While I am not a proponent of trading away Marincin for Say Boychuk.I disagree that there isn’t pressure to make a decision on their D,MacT and team face intense pressure everyday to improve their team, while it might not be on a particular D until it’s their contract time, it doesn’t mean they won’t factor into their solution.Oilers need to improve from 14th in the west to challenge for a cup.If the solution is moving a Marincin along, for this , it could be part of the solution.Also how can we value Marincin at .25 on the dollar in any deal. His first half season could be his career best or the tip of the iceberg.Their is inherit risk in dealing away Marincin but also risk in not doing enough to improve (Tambellini)

    Well 25% of Marincin ended up being our best LH “D” He should only go for a 25 or 26 year old not 30+ .

  45. Hammers says:

    razor: I think this is the scenario we’re talking about here. If you grab a top quality D via free agency than do it. Not sure that can always happen though. In this scenario you got to trade from your position of strength.

    Maybe that’s why you go after Markov ;Fayne ; Hainsey & Gilbert +++ & hope like hell you get at least 1 or 2 of them . You can still trade any of Petry , Marincin ,Klefbom , Nurse or Schultz if you get what you want . Don’t put the cart before the horse and McT is smart enough for that.

  46. Loweblow says:

    Dealing from strength for a NHL team, usually means the strength of the NHL team that is a Cup contender. The Oilers are not even a playoff contender, what strength do they have. Yes they have some nice prospect D coming along, but they are prospects. What good team trades their prospect D away? Montreal traded Ryan McDonagh for a pipe dream, that sure bit them in the ASS.

    Please answer this? How does a D that has below average skating (below NHL standards), poor lateral movement, non physical (actually plays a soft game), and no shot going to help the Oilers, even the Barons? The D I described is Dillon Simpson.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Loweblow:
    Dealing from strength for a NHL team, usually means the strength of the NHL team that is a Cup contender. The Oilers are not even a playoff contender, what strength do they have. Yes they have some nice prospect D coming along, but they are prospects. What good team trades their prospect D away? Montreal tradedRyan McDonagh for a pipe dream, that sure bit them in the ASS.

    Please answer this? How does a D that has below average skating (below NHL standards), poor lateral movement,non physical (actually plays a soft game), and no shot going to help the Oilers, even the Barons? The D I described is Dillon Simpson.

    So, the only team that can make trades is a Cup contender? That can’t be right. As for Dillon Simpson, I’m really looking forward to seeing him in the fall and this coming season. Scouting reports have him improving across the board in the seasons since the skating was mentioned as a negative.

  48. slopitch says:

    Don’t trade these top 3 kids for stop gaps. You have 26 mill in cap space FFS. If you do, make a hockey trade. Klefbom for Coutourier type.. If the trade isn’t fair, take back a shit contract. But be sure to get the best player.

  49. Loweblow says:

    Lowetide,

    Scouting reports still mention his skating needs work and he is a positional player, relying on his hockey smarts to make up for his lack of skills. Best described as a poor mans Nick Schultz. What does he bring to the Oilers that they need in a D. He is not a puck carrier, or a tough gritty D, or has that great shot from the point. What does he have that the Oilers need in a D?

  50. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Even if MacT can’t sign UFA defenders it doesn’t make sense. We didn’t sit through this perpetual rebuild to suddenly trade our blue chip D prospects for guys turning down the homestretch of their careers.

    Hell, in the case of Ference we over pay the man so he can come home, it hurts, especially that extra year, but we didn’t give up an asset for him at least.

    We start trading Marincin or Klefbom for the likes of Johnny Boychuk, no offense to him, we are doomed. Johnny Boychuk will be 31 when his one year left is done. And his 31-36 years old seasons are going to cost some team ~ $25MM. Let him be someone else’s mistake.

    I didn’t suffer this long so that the Oilers could feed their prospects to rebuilding contenders. I’m pretty sure the majority of you didn’t, either.

    I’d rather pay more in free agent dollars for players entering their prime than trade assets to take expensive players about to hit their decline stage. No to Boychuk unless it’s for a pick and grade-C prospect, no to Phaneuf unless it’s for something minor. No! Just no.

    Yes if we are going to trade for Kulikov or Larsson or that type. Yes to signing Fayne or Niskanen or Stralman or Hainsey.

    Oilers start trading futures for big money guys now this rebuild is doomed. The time isn’t now. The Oilers should hold on to all of Klefbom, Marincin, Simpson, Gernat, Nurse, Musil for now. Add via the UFA market–there’s enough there to improve the team while the kids grow. When the kids earn their spots on the big club and the club is a playoff team, then start culling the herd for pieces you need. Not until then and certainly not before you can assess what you have. Defensemen take longer to develop; you don’t send them away right before they finally turn the first corner.

  51. Lowetide says:

    Loweblow:
    Lowetide,

    Scouting reports still mention his skating needs work and he is a positional player, relyingon his hockey smarts to make up for his lack of skills. Best describedas a poor mans Nick Schultz. What does he bring to the Oilers that they need in a D. He is not a puck carrier, or a tough gritty D, or has that great shot from the point. What does he have that the Oilers need in a D?

    Nothing, Loweblow. Nothing. Dillon Simpson is a NP. Put it out of your mind and look for the next prospect to demonize.

  52. nycoil says:

    Loweblow:
    Lowetide,

    Scouting reports still mention his skating needs work and he is a positional player, relyingon his hockey smarts to make up for his lack of skills. Best describedas a poor mans Nick Schultz. What does he bring to the Oilers that they need in a D. He is not a puck carrier, or a tough gritty D, or has that great shot from the point. What does he have that the Oilers need in a D?

    Who described him as a poor man’s Nick Schultz? Any source for that? And Nick Schultz circa his prime or this past season? Musil gets hated on because the fans wanted Boone Jenner at the time (yours truly included), but too early to bail on him yet, no?

    Apologies- I see you are talking about Dillon Simpson now, not Musil. Got lost in trying to follow the threads. That said, I am now even more confused. Everything I read this year said Simpson improved his foot speed and skating to the point he is considered well-rounded now. He’s never going to be Karlsson or Doughty, but his skating is no longer a detriment as far as I know.

  53. Lois Lowe says:

    Loweblow,

    You realize that Nick Schultz was an actual NHL defender for a good length of time, right? I would okay with Simpson having a similar career arc. The Oilers would get roughly 9 seasons before he’d need to be Old Yeller’d.

  54. Racki says:

    I’m maybe feeling a little too cynical tonight, but the problem with the UFA market (well, one of a few) is that we know how this movie goes… we really want players to come here, and would offer the world, but any good player has the brains to avoid this place like the plague, at least until things turn around here. This city won’t be attracting the better names. I just hope the bargain names with the nice fancy stats are as good as they appear, as those are probably what will be the best bet. Of course, if the fancy stats are right, that’s likely better anyways.

    On the flip side, the asset pool MacT has to work with for trades isn’t exactly brimming either.

    I know MacT wants to get a lot done, but I suspect those that do not like him will have a little more fuel this year, as I think it’ll be tough to really get things done without appearing to cheap out all over the place talent wise, but at a sizeable cost $ wise.

  55. Rosco says:

    All these loud noises make me nervous… Just play it cool MacT, we all didn’t suffer this long for you to start selling these guys off for the Coburns and Boychuks of the world. As some others have put it, spend the cap dollars you have and find some shelter for these kids… Kulemin, Grabovski,Stralman and possibly Moss. Get those fellows and keep the #3, jeebus that would make me happy!

    Nuge Hall Eberle
    Grabs Perron Yak
    Gordon Kulemin Gagner
    Arco Hendriks Moss

    Marincin Petry
    Klefbom Stralman
    Ference Schultz

    It ain’t perfect but it’s a hell of a start. Would look even sweeter if you swap Gagner for Kulikov pushing Klefbom down the depth chart. It’s oh so easy ain’t it…

    Oh, didn’t think I’d ever thank anyone for putting up a PayPal option but for you Lowetide Im off to add to the funds… Great great work you do on this blog, so thank you for this and the ability to help contribute.

  56. nycoil says:

    Bit old, but as we’ve been discussing ad nauseum, Stralman wants security for his family after the journeyman path. 5 x $4.5MM ought to do it, MacT.

    http://nypost.com/2014/06/16/brian-boyle-anton-stralman-hint-they-may-be-goners/

  57. Loweblow says:

    Lowetide,

    Having watched the Barons for the last 3 years and like what I seen of Davidson, and Musil. Gernat is still a unknown due to his inconsistent play. All these 3 bring something the Oilers need in a D, size, shot and grit. Had a chance to talk to a couple of scouts at a Oil Kings game and the topic came up of your evaluation of Simpson. One had seen Simpson play a couple of times this season and mention his skating had improved, but it was still well below NHL standard. One went as far to say that you were sugar coating his play, but not in those words. Not demonizing anyone, just stating the facts

  58. Lowetide says:

    Loweblow:
    Lowetide,

    Having watched the Barons for the last 3 years and like what I seen of Davidson, and Musil. Gernat is still a unknown due to his inconsistent play. All these 3 bring something the Oilers need in a D, size, shot and grit. Had a chance to talk to a couple of scouts at a Oil Kings game and the topic came up of your evaluation of Simpson. One had seen Simpson play a couple of timesthis season and mention his skating had improved, but it was still well below NHL standard. One went as far to say that you were sugar coating his play, but not in those words. Not demonizing anyone, just stating the facts

    My evaluation of Simpson, such as it is, comes entirely from others

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/8-prospect-dillon-simpson.html

  59. kooler says:

    Not sure if my last post made it. But wondering if we trade the number three for the number five and the Isles second round draft pick? Maybe take that second round pick and turn it into a three for one trade like last year. Anaheim also has four pics in the first two rounds…..Could do something similar but their first round pick is number 10. There seems to be a lot of quality within the first five pics so New York might be the best bet. Any takers?

  60. Lowetide says:

    kooler:
    Not sure if my last post made it. But wondering if we trade the number three for the number five and the Isles second round draft pick? Maybe take that second round pick and turn it into a three for one trade like last year. Anaheim alsohas four pics in the first two rounds…..Could do something similar but their first round pick is number 10. There seems to be a lot of quality within the first five pics so New York might be the best bet. Any takers?

    I’d prefer they draft one of the three best players on their list. I’d guess it goes Ekblad, Reinhart, and would pick Bennett, but if the Oil think Draisaitl is worthy there’s not much I can find to argue (Bennett is younger, and more physical, but also smaller and perhaps they’re worrying about injury based on size/style of play ala Brule).

    So I’d vote pick at No. 3

  61. kooler says:

    Yak and Gagner for Kulikov and #1….pick Ekblad or a centre plus a defenseman. Would that have legs? Still trade out 3 to NY or Anahiem for 2 picks? Keep dreaming I guess.

  62. Loweblow says:

    Lowetide,

    Thats odd, because the only one really promoting Simpson has been you Allan or people using your reports as a source. So are you evaluating Simpson, as you evaluate Nurse and his chances of getting some games in next season?

  63. Younger Oil says:

    Lowetide: I’d prefer they draft one of the three best players on their list. I’d guess it goes Ekblad, Reinhart, and would pick Bennett, but if the Oil think Draisaitl is worthy there’s not much I can find to argue (Bennett is younger, and more physical, but also smaller and perhaps they’re worrying about injury based on size/style of play ala Brule).

    So I’d vote pick at No. 3

    I’m just wondering, when people bring up Bennett’s age as a factor, are they using it to address the physical growth difference 6 or so months can make, or the 6 months of extra playing development the older player has gotten? I could see it being a factor between two similar sized players with similar backgrounds, but I find the age gap between Bennett and Draisaitl is somewhat negligible due to the fact Draisaitl will likely always be much bigger than Bennett, and also that Draisiatl was arguably never really challenged before coming to the WHL (scoring 192 points in 29 games), and has had to adjust to a new rink size (I’m guessing), and a new culture, while Bennett has always been in a more competitive environment, with more opportunities to play (longer seasons), and likely had better coaching before going to a CHL league.

  64. kooler says:

    Lowetide,

    So if you go big centre, Dacolle is actually taller but lighter (could potentially fill out) thanDraisaitl…then we can look into the top 5 and our big centre. We are short on picks…NY and Anahiem seem to have a few in the first two rounds.

    Could you see either kid dressing up or baron bound ((where they should be? For the first year at least)

  65. Loweblow says:

    kooler,

    Dal Colle is the same height as Draisaitl and maybe lighter, but he’s not one to shy away from the physical play. Will drive the net and is willing to take the punishment in front. Some say he has the best set of hands in the draft. Great team player, needs work on his D game, but he would be the one I pick. Saw Dal Colle at the prospect game, and WOW. Perfect for what ails the Oilers.

  66. delooper says:

    I don’t think I’m as glum as most of you. If the Oilers bring in 1 moderately good NHL D-man via the UFA market they’ll be in decent shape for training camp. Really all they need is to keep the defense slots competitive, so they don’t feel like they have to rush their prospects.

    Centre is an issue and it would be great if they could address that via free agency. Seems like they might have to wait. But if RNH and Yakupov have good early seasons, and if Gagner reverts back to being a good winger they might even have a few moments in the season where it looks like they can compete for a playoff spot.

  67. Wolfie says:

    I had a chance to see Simpson play live in a playoff game this past season. He was one of if not the best player on the ice. He played all 3 disciplines and he played a ton. I’m guessing pretty close to 30 mins in an OT game.

    Calm with the puck, smooth skater, made the safe plays and didn’t get beat. I’m not sure you could ask for much more from him.

    I didn’t notice any issues with his skating. He wasn’t Paul Coffey dashing up and down the ice. But that’s not his game.

    I don’t envy scouts. It must be hard to project what these kids will become. Knowing that Dillon has NHL bloodlines, and seeing that he was clearly a class above most of the skaters on the ice, it’s easy to see he has NHL potential.

    I can see why LT likes him as a prospect. I think he’ll be a top 4 guy. Won’t carry the mail offensively but looks like he can defend and get the puck going in the right direction.

  68. John Chambers says:

    Wolfie,

    I was at that same Sioux playoff game at the Ralph during the Barons tournament weekend in Grand Forks (got smoked in the under-30 division … Lots of fast ex-college kids who could play as a unit).

    Simpson was amazing. The kind of value to the Sioux that Ray Bourque was to the Bruins.

    I’ll dare to say he looked like a young Johnny Boychuk!

  69. sliderule says:

    Younger Oil,

    It’s not 6 months it’s 8 months difference in age between Leon and Bennett.

    Kids at that age have big growth spurts .In fact Leon packed on quite a lot of weight between 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

    Bennett will never be as big as Leon but he should play at over 200 lbs.

  70. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I watched Simpson play 4 games last winter.On TV which isn’t the best but to my eye his skating was fine.
    His gap control might have masked some of his defects but he definitely didn’t look Musil poor.
    At the college level he was strong in corners and smart with puck.

  71. Wolfie says:

    John Chambers:
    Wolfie,

    I was at that same Sioux playoff game at the Ralph during the Barons tournament weekend in Grand Forks (got smoked in the under-30 division … Lots of fast ex-college kids who could play as a unit).

    Simpson was amazing. The kind of value to the Sioux that Ray Bourque was to the Bruins.

    I’ll dare to say he looked like a young Johnny Boychuk!

    We play that tournament every year. It’s a great time. We don’t go so much for the hockey, more for the chance to be a bunch of fools! We might have been in the under 30 group this year but we’re right on the cusp. We have a cluster of guys who are close to 40 and then some mid 20 kids.

    What team did you play for? I played for the Ile des Chenes Storm. I used to play goal but I told the boys a few years ago to get a goalie for the tournament. By the time we get on the ice for the first game most of the team is half in the bag. I can’t play goal drunk and I don’t like getting scored on in bunches so I figured if I can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

    I look forward to the Barons tourney every year! Maybe our paths will cross at some point either on the ice or in the bar!

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