EXACTLY ONE FOREVER

Once again, the Edmonton Oilers have talked themselves into their opening night roster in August. Young fans of the team have never seen training camp battles, because the Oilers don’t have them. “Well, Laddy will be wobbly to start but should kick in by Christmas, let’s see how this goes” has been repeated every September since the Pronger trade to Anaheim. This year, it’s “Leon’s been working all summer and we think he might be able to handle the job, let’s see how this goes” but it’s really the same thing over and over again. Craig MacTavish once said he was coming back to the organization in order to be the guy who says “are you sure you want to do that?” and this morning we wonder if he might need one of those men.

That said, he’s done some very good things this summer, and the drafting/developing appears to be producing some nice things.

THE CERTAIN OILERS (20)

  • Goalies (2) Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth
  • Defensemen (6) Jeff Petry and Mark Fayne, Martin Marincin and Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference and Nikita Nikitin
  • Centermen (5) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Anton Lander
  • Left Wing (4) Taylor Hall, David Perron, Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks
  • Right Wing (3) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Teddy Purcell

I’m happy with most of the roster, we’ve talked the Draisaitl item to death and I’m hopeful we can agree there’s no need to put him in the ‘uncertain’ pile. I understand we’re talking short term here until Leon is ready, and when he is the RNH-LD combo will be formidable. However, Edmonton has a head coach who needs wins and will be on the left coast early and often. Balance is important, this team hasn’t had balance coming out of training camp in exactly one forever.

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (8)

  • Goalies (0) None
  • Defensemen (3): Keith Aulie, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse
  • Center (1): Will Acton
  • Left Wing (1): Jesse Joensuu
  • Right Wing (3): Tyler Pitlick, Iiro Pakarinen, Steve Pinizzotto

The Oilers could invite north of 60 players to training camp, but there are about 30 (I could have included Richard Bachman and Brad Hunt, plus Luke Gazdic will eventually be on the roster) with a legit chance to play  in 2014-15.

CULT OF HOCKEY’S TOP 20/COMPARED TO LOWETIDE

CULT OF HOCKEY LOWETIDE
1 Leon Draisaitl (it’s a match!) 1 Leon Draisaitl (it’s a match!)
2 Darnell Nurse  (it’s a match!) 2 Darnell Nurse (it’s a match!)
3 Oscar Klefbom (I have him No. 4) 3 Martin Marincin (CofH graduated him)
4 Bogdan Yakimov (I have him No. 6) 4 Oscar Klefbom (CofH has him No. 3)
5 Jujhar Khaira (I have him No. 10) 5 Greg Chase (CofH has him No. 10)
6 David Musil (I have him No. 16) 6 Bogdan Yakimov (CofH has him No. 4)
7 Martin Gernat (I have him No. 10) 7 Dillon Simpson (CofH has him No. 9)
8 Tyler Pitlick  (I have him No. 14) 8 Mark Arcobello (CofH graduated him)
9 Dillon Simpson (I have him No. 7) 9 Marco Roy (CofH has him No. 13)
10 Greg Chase (I have him No. 5) 10 Jujhar Khaira (CofH has him No. 5)
11 Mitchell Moroz (I have him No. 15) 11 Martin Gernat (CofH has him No. 7)
12 Brandon Davidson (unranked) 12 Jackson Houck (CofH has him No. 18)
13 Marco Roy  (I have him No. 9) 13 William Lagesson (CofH has him No. 14)
14 William Lagesson (I have him No. 13) 14 Tyler Pitlick (CofH has him No. 8)
15 Anton Slepyshev (I have him No. 18) 15 Mitchell Moroz (CofH has him No. 11)
16 Ben Betker (unranked) 16 David Musil (CofH has him No. 6)
17 Andrew Miller (unranked) 17 Zach Nagelvoort (unranked)
18 Jackson Houck (I have him No. 12) 18 Anton Slepyshev (CofH has him No. 15)
19 Laurent Brossoit (I have him No. 20) 19 Tyler Vesel (unranked)
20 Jordan Oesterle (unranked) 20 Laurent Brossoit (CofH has him No. 19)

My list is from shortly after the draft, June 29, and of course the Cult gents have been working on this list since July 21. I think we can assume these are completely independent rankings.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • We looked at the lists last summer, that information is here.
  • Two players on my list (Marincin, Arcobello) no longer qualify (players who are not eligible for the Calder Trophy don’t qualify for the CofH list). It kind of tweaks the list, for instance we like Bogdan Yakimov about the same (I have Chase ahead of him) but Marincin’s inclusion on my list makes the ranking gap look wider. The same holds true for Khaira, technically 5 spots lower on my list but I’ve included Marincin and Arcobello (who have graduated from CofH).
  • The Cult men are consistent in their preference of AHL players matriculating toward the NHL. Last year, it was Arco, Pitlick and Davidson. This year, it’s Musil, Pitlick, Davidson—AHL players, through the storm or in the middle of the ocean, but on their way.
  • My list prefers Dillon Simpson, Greg Chase, Marco Roy, Jackson Houck—skill forwards mostly, and players who have not turned pro and started that long climb to the NHL. My list appears to put more emphasis on skill—David Musil, Tyler Pitlick and Jujhar Khaira rank lower on my list because they do not project as average offensive players should they arrive in the NHL—but is more susceptible to market corrections (as we’ll see in my December list).
  • There’s no real surprise here, we both did Top 30′s and the unranked players here show up in 21-30 from both sources.
  • I like both lists. The CofH list is strong because it doesn’t (as HN sometimes does with their list) throw some strange name into the top 5, or punish an obvious talent because he lacks prospect fame.

ali

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10, on TSN 1260. We begin the day with Dennis King, then Lt. Eric and I make our NFL picks (I’m picking the Eagles this week). At 11, Szolt Munoz from Copper and Blue will talk about his new article that looks back at previous ‘top 25 under 25′ rankings before the C&B gets underway with their own look at the Oilers prospects. At 11:25, I’ll speak with Brian Jolly, Chairman of the Tour of Alberta.

See you on the radio!

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35 Responses to "EXACTLY ONE FOREVER"

  1. Genjutsu says:

    Under the certain Oilers the LW should read 4. Sorry to be a dick :)

    I’m not certain about Arco or Lander, as big a fan as I am of both players. Someone could come eat their lunch.

    I agree its unlikely given the current roster.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Wow. Can’t believe how young Neil looks there.

    Oh. Oh dear.

  3. Dicky94 says:

    If two or three of the uncertain d men come into camp and look ready for the NHL, do you think Mac T still pulls off a trade to acquire centre for a d man?( Not mentioning any names) Even if Leon lights it up in the pre season. I think Aulie could surprise a few at camp. He has a lot to prove.

  4. Younger Oil says:

    Currently Slepyshev is sitting on 6 minutes of ice time, two minutes less than anyone else on his team. This is really disappointing!

  5. Clay says:

    I was thinking this morning about how frustrating it is to again start a season with around 80% certainty that the games will be meaningless by Christmas. All I want is to watch my team play some legitimate NHL hockey.

    But that said, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I look at the top six blueliners, and there’s no retreads like Barker or Grebs, no real washed up has beens (although Ference is certainly knocking on that door), and really no one that it can be said can absolutely not play NHL hockey (hello Mark Fraser!). It’s a glimmer of hope.

    But with a bit over $4M in cap space ($5M if you send Leon back to PA), it’s hard to believe that MacT couldn’t bring in a stop-gap veteran at C. It’s such a glaring hole, and it’s the ultimate in frustration because the glaring holes in the Oilers roster never seem to fully go away. MacT was supposed to end all that.

    Maybe next year.

  6. Diesel says:

    There is a particular voice clip from Dallas Eakins that is frequently trotted about before/during the Oilers Now show segments in which he is voicing his support and belief in the power of battling for roster spots at camp.

    “You want real battles for spots – I don’t like a lot of holding spots for players. You want them to come in and earn it. It builds their confidence when they know they’ve earned it. I just believe it creates such great competition in your organization that pushes everybody to a higher level.”

    Yes, it’s great to push that philosophy and to a certain extent I’m glad to hear this type of verbal coming from the top dogs – but every time the clip finishes playing I find myself thinking (or saying aloud) “…but you DON’T have the damn players in place to make this happen!”.

    It’s one thing to preach the gospel, but getting Jesus H. Grabovski to come to town is another matter.

  7. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Wow. Can’t believe how young Neil looks there.

    Oh. Oh dear.

    That’s the stunning Ali McGraw!!!! (runs away sobbing)

  8. Hammers says:

    No competition in goal is not that unusual for most teams . My take is there is definitely competition on “D” and I find it hard to believe that so many think that there’s no competition . I’m not convinced Klefbom & Nurse both don’t have a shot of making it . Will it be a problem ? Ihope so . This is the one area that may create a trade early in October and I’m not saying who it may be as in fact it maybe any one of the 9 . The forwards are set but there still is a level of competition but it will be for ice time .I have said many times the number 1 line isn’t set in stone as many think . Creative coaches have something to work with be it Pouliot with RNH & Ebs or Purcell with RNH & Hall . Most everyone is making the assumption its RNH , Hall & Ebs and I’m just not sure , so I say that is an inner competition . Not sure how many agree with me but I have always thought competition is as much if not more internal than external .

  9. Braden88 says:

    I enter this season knowing that almost every position has either upgraded or has people in place with the capacity and ability to flourish(Arcobello, Lander). That said I am starting to believe that more of this season is going to depend on 1 person rather than 20. That is Dallas Eakins.

    Watching games scattered through out the season this summer, our game was largely scrambly and panicky compared to other teams. I am left wondering if all this talent will actually make a difference on the ice if Dallas Eakins is still “growing as a coach”

    We all love prospect watching, analysis, and training camp. But i think we all know that the key moment we are waiting for is puck drop game one. More than anything, i want to know if these individual players can play as a team.

  10. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: That’s the stunning Ali McGraw!!!! (runs away sobbing)

    Actually, we tend to agree on a number of aesthetic qualities, but there is a look in her eyes that reminds me so much of Neil Young when he was about the same age. Its a clear-eyed wisdom that speaks of someone with a lot of stories to tell and (hopefully) a long life in which to do it.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Diesel:
    There is a particular voice clip from Dallas Eakins that is frequently trotted about before/during the Oilers Now show segments in which he is voicing his support and belief in the power of battling for roster spots at camp.

    “You want real battles for spots – I don’t like a lot of holding spots for players. You want them to come in and earn it. It builds their confidence when they know they’ve earned it. I just believe it creates such great competition in your organization that pushes everybody to a higher level.”

    Yes, it’s great to push that philosophy and to a certain extent I’m glad to hear this type of verbal coming from the top dogs – but every time the clip finishes playing I find myself thinking (or saying aloud) “…but you DON’T have the damn players in place to make this happen!”.

    It’s one thing to preach the gospel, but getting Jesus H. Grabovski to come to town is another matter.

    You can always be certain of two things at an Edmonton Oilers training camp:

    1) Lots of verbal about battles for roster spots

    2) Roster spots gifted to org favorites

  12. Frank The Dog says:

    Clay:
    I was thinking this morning about how frustrating it is to again start a season with around 80% certainty that the games will be meaningless by Christmas.All I want is to watch my team play some legitimate NHL hockey.

    But that said, Rome wasn’t built in a day.I look at the top six blueliners, and there’s no retreads like Barker or Grebs, no real washed up has beens (although Ference is certainly knocking on that door), and really no one that it can be said can absolutely not play NHL hockey (hello Mark Fraser!).It’s a glimmer of hope.

    But with a bit over $4M in cap space ($5M if you send Leon back to PA), it’s hard to believe that MacT couldn’t bring in a stop-gap veteran at C.It’s such a glaring hole, and it’s the ultimate in frustration because the glaring holes in the Oilers roster never seem to fully go away.MacT was supposed to end all that.

    Maybe next year.

    Arco, Lander and Drei are like junk bonds. None are individually sure answers but as any one of them might fit the bill they are collectively worth enough not to sacrifice a legitimate asset for a short term stopgap.

  13. B S says:

    I think the talk of roster battles is misleading*. How many good teams have roster battles in training camp? I mean don’t we basically know who the Blackhawks roster is going to be on day one? What about LA? Also, how does spending training camp without knowing who your linemate is going to be help the team from day one.

    I think part of the Oilers’ problem has been a lack of consistency throughout the team. We know who the 1st line should be, but we’re lucky if they spend half the season together. the second line is cobbled together and then taken apart seemingly every couple of games, then we complain that they can’t find each other out there. When Hall played center at the start of the season, how many games did play with that line in TC? Maybe I’m just envious of the winning teams, but it seems like most of them play their lines together, before game one of the season.

    edited*

  14. Frank The Dog says:

    Braden88:
    I enter this season knowing that almost every position has either upgraded or has people in place with the capacity and ability to flourish(Arcobello, Lander). That said I am starting to believe that more of this season is going to depend on 1 person rather than 20. That is Dallas Eakins.

    Watching games scattered through out the season this summer, our game was largely scrambly and panicky compared to other teams. I am left wondering if all this talent will actually make a difference on the ice if Dallas Eakins is still “growing as a coach”

    We all love prospect watching, analysis, and training camp. But i think we all know that the key moment we are waiting for is puck drop game one. More than anything, i want to know if these individual players can play as a team.

    A unified coaching staff can go a long way towards enabling a group of individuals play as a team.
    I believe that we have been watching the result of a divided coaching staff until now, and will be very pissed off if that is not the case. I have a bucket of tar and a bale of feathers, and firewood, but the fire wont be lit unless we open the season like last year, or unless the team produces a streak of zero commitment games.
    It would also be a pleasant change for the best coached players on the team be the ones that have been here the longest, not the new arrivals.

  15. Hammers says:

    Clay: I was thinking this morning about how frustrating it is to again start a season with around 80% certainty that the games will be meaningless by Christmas. All I want is to watch my team play some legitimate NHL hockey.But that said, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I look at the top six blueliners, and there’s no retreads like Barker or Grebs, no real washed up has beens (although Ference is certainly knocking on that door), and really no one that it can be said can absolutely not play NHL hockey (hello Mark Fraser!). It’s a glimmer of hope.But with a bit over $4M in cap space ($5M if you send Leon back to PA), it’s hard to believe that MacT couldn’t bring in a stop-gap veteran at C. It’s such a glaring hole, and it’s the ultimate in frustration because the glaring holes in the Oilers roster never seem to fully go away. MacT was supposed to end all that.Maybe next year.

    Lets not forget we have 3 players who could or should get some of there bonus . Yak , Leon & Marincin . That may eat up close to that $4+ mill of space . Yak & Leon if they hit all bonuses would need the whole amount . McT won’t get hit next year as Boston is this year so the only way a trade is made is if money goes out and I would say $ 3-3.5 out to take $ 4 -5 mill back .

  16. Ducey says:

    Setting up battles for roster spots is hard.

    Unless you have a bunch of kids on ELC’s battling for the spot, the vet is usually going to win anyway. Not only is it dangerous to make decision based on training camp performance, if you want to ditch the vet you are likely faced with some negative cap consequences.

  17. Bag of Pucks says:

    I’m optimistic about this season, because…veterans.

    Pouliot, Perron, Purcell, Gordon, Hendricks, Ference, Fayne, Nikitin, not to mention some of the kids rounding into vet status (Hall, Eberle, Petry)

    Eakins and the team will look much better this season, because there is absolutely no substitute for being able to throw vets over the boards in the crucial situations against the tough comps, and as a result, being able to spot the kids with soft mins.

    And, goaltending. First year in this endless rebuild that we are starting the season with actual NHL caliber goaltending. In ten years time, we’ll talk of the Khabibulin / Dubnyk tandem in the same way that our fathers described their ten mile uphill trek to school (in both directions).

    The fortunes of the Edmonton Oilers have always ebbed and flowed largely on the quality of the men they have between the pipes. Scrivens is an honest to Gord keeper and a local boy to boot.

    This IS the season they finally find their way out of the woods.

  18. G Money says:

    Competition doesn’t just have to mean for a spot on the team, it can be a matter of which spot on the team.

    I think Scrivens and Fasth would and should be jousting for the #1 designation.

    Hall and Eberle are the locks for the first line wingers, but Pouliot, Purcell, Perron, and Yak should all be battling for the second line winger roles.

    Even if we hate the idea of the winner being a rookie or a smurf, at least there is conceptually a battle for the 2C to 4C spot (four players for three spots) between Dr. Drai, Marcobello, Gordon, and Lander.

    It will be very interesting to see who pairs with who on D, and which of those pairings become the de facto first, second, and third pairing.

    It’s not as competitive as we’d like, but there is more real competition for placement in the lineup, and between actual NHL players, then we’ve seen in quite some time round these parts.

  19. G Money says:

    Braden88, I think this is what we’re counting on Ramsay to do. That panicked scrambly effect has been a constant for three+ years, just as a lack of NHL players and a lack of NHL assistant coaches have been constants. I do expect better this year, no excuses.

    Frank The Dog, ha, nice analogy. “Portfolio” might be a bit more flattering than “junk bonds”!

    Bag of Pucks, I like the optimistic cut of your optimistic jib!

  20. B S says:

    G Money,

    That’s a good point, and at least one area that will change with the influx of actual NHL wingers.

    I think “Pouliot, Purcell, Perron, and Yak” WILL “all be battling for the second line winger roles”, as will Dr. Drai, Arco etc for 2C, my concern is whether they “should”. If Yak comes into training camp and gets told he’s going to alternate between Arco and Gordon on RW, depending on game situations, then gets played there, is he better off than if he’s told he should be ready for anything and could be LW or RW and could be on 2nd or 4th line, but he won’t know until gameday. Same with the D-pairings, especially since a lot of the problems last season seemed to be Dmen not knowing where to find their partner.

    I realize there is always uncertainty about players, and injuries get in the way, and that sometimes a player needs a change of pace, I’m just wondering if the team would benefit by having the roster pretty much set with 2 or more preseason games left, minus auxillary forwards and Dmen?

  21. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:

    Bag of Pucks, I like the optimistic cut of your optimistic jib!

    Given that I’ve been binge watching True Detective this week, the optimism is even more astounding.

    Not a show that encourages a sunny outlook, but what a show.

  22. Braden88 says:

    G Money:
    Braden88, I think this is what we’re counting on Ramsay to do.That panicked scrambly effect has been a constant for three+ years, just as a lack of NHL players and a lack of NHL assistant coaches have been constants.I do expect better this year, no excuses.

    I agree competely. I do expect better this year, looking at the lineup and staff, it just makes sense. I think my doubt stems from what we cannot know until it happens. What if key players get injured? suddenly were not as strong as we thought when Nuge gets injured and MacT has to pick apart the D to buy a C. What is Yak flops? what if the Goalies struggle? what if the New Blood doesn’t deliver as promised?

    My point is you dont know until you know. The good teams are the ones that are not just preparing for the season as they see it. They are preparing for the season at its worst case scenario. We do have depth, we have the Vets, we have the staff. but you cant know what you team is until it faces adversity.

  23. Oilanderp says:

    “Well Laddy will be wobbly to start but should kick in by Christmas, let’s see how this goes.”

    LT, why do you still hate Smid so much?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Oilanderp: LT, why do you still hate Smid so much?

    His faddah was muddah, his muddah was a muddah.

  25. godot10 says:

    Diesel:
    There is a particular voice clip from Dallas Eakins that is frequently trotted about before/during the Oilers Now show segments in which he is voicing his support and belief in the power of battling for roster spots at camp.

    “You want real battles for spots – I don’t like a lot of holding spots for players. You want them to come in and earn it. It builds their confidence when they know they’ve earned it. I just believe it creates such great competition in your organization that pushes everybody to a higher level.”

    Yes, it’s great to push that philosophy and to a certain extent I’m glad to hear this type of verbal coming from the top dogs – but every time the clip finishes playing I find myself thinking (or saying aloud) “…but you DON’T have the damn players in place to make this happen!”.

    It’s one thing to preach the gospel, but getting Jesus H. Grabovski to come to town is another matter.

    Doesn’t “battling for roster spots” == “seeing him good”, and based on small sample sizes?

    The coach and management desperately need a good start. “battling for roster spots” tells you who your call-ups are, and give your messaging to the swing players before you tell them they are staying or starting in OKC. You want players to be playing the system, not playing to trying to stand out.

    We know Lander is a better player than Acton, and that Lander is a low event player that doesn’t attract attention. One or two good games by Acton in training camp doesn’t mean one should neglect the established track record. Between Pitlick and Lander, it is a closer call, particularly if the Oilers get another centre. Then Pitlick fits better even strength, but Lander fits better if one includes PK.

    Petry is an attractive asset and cap-friendly for potentially centre rich teams like Columbus, Philly, Islanders, Stars.

  26. judgedrude says:

    I know that everybody pencils in the kid line as the first line to go power-vs-power, but I find it strange that no one has considered giving Dr. Drai the reverse-Horcoff treatment and have him between Hall and Ebs. You could give them a slightly easier QualComp, and help to put the new kid in a position to succeed. (edit: Everybody plays better with Hall. (c) ) Then, Nuge could give the second line (with whatever wingers) some strength and a more defensive conscience.

  27. Woodguy says:

    judgedrude:
    I know that everybody pencils in the kid line as the first line to go power-vs-power, but I find it strange that no one has considered giving Dr. Drai the reverse-Horcoff treatment and have him between Hall and Ebs.You could give them a slightly easier QualComp, and help to put the new kid in a position to succeed. (edit:Everybody plays better with Hall. (c) ) Then, Nuge could give the second line (with whatever wingers) some strength and a more defensive conscience.

    Except if you go by usage charts that us BTN’s QC, Horcoff, Hall and Eberle had some of the toughest comp that year:

    http://www.somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2010_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=EDM&f4=C%2BLW%2BRW&f7=40-&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

    Penner doesn’t show up on the chart, but Gagner, Hemsky and Penner were also a line that year, and had similar QC, but slightly lower than 4,10,14.

  28. godot10 says:

    judgedrude:
    I know that everybody pencils in the kid line as the first line to go power-vs-power, but I find it strange that no one has considered giving Dr. Drai the reverse-Horcoff treatment and have him between Hall and Ebs.You could give them a slightly easier QualComp, and help to put the new kid in a position to succeed. (edit:Everybody plays better with Hall. (c) ) Then, Nuge could give the second line (with whatever wingers) some strength and a more defensive conscience.

    Hall has and will attract the toughest opposition regardless of whom he plays with. It is the dumbest place for a rookie.

    Well, Hall was a rookie, Hemsky attracted the toughest opposition, and Hall, with Horcoff, and Eberle, mostly the 2nd toughest.

    Unless Draisaital is the 2nd coming of Jean Beliveau, then playing him with Hall is the worst thing for both Hall and Draisaital.

    But even if he is the 2nd coming of Jean Beliveau, one can wait at least 40 games, till you know that you are not destroying a good prospect by playing them too high in the roster too soon.

  29. Braden88 says:

    In my opinion, Draisaitl should not go any higher than 3rd line C to start the season. He should be playing 2C only when he has shown he can contribute to the team. Even if he is outstanding in training camp, he is still only 18 and the adjustment period will take some time. This guy should be glued to 2 of Pouliot/Perron/Purcell. if the line doesn’t read P-D-P for at least the end of October, then I will be concerned.

    PS: I wish we had Smyth back to mentor this kid!

  30. Frank The Dog says:

    godot10: Hall has and will attract the toughest opposition regardless of whom he plays with.It is the dumbest place for a rookie.

    Well, Hall was a rookie, Hemsky attracted the toughest opposition, and Hall, with Horcoff, and Eberle, mostly the 2nd toughest.

    Unless Draisaital is the 2nd coming of Jean Beliveau, then playing him with Hall is the worst thing for both Hall and Draisaital.

    But even if he is the 2nd coming of Jean Beliveau, one can wait at least 40 games, till you know that you are not destroying a good prospect by playing them too high in the roster too soon.

    Which is why you put both Drai and Yak on a sheltered minutes line, with either Perron or Pouliot on the left side depending on what combination of abrasion, scoring and safety you want.

    I’m keen on Perron because, like Yak, he plays offside. Two offside wingers switching it up could be entertaining and productive.

    Edit: I also suspect that Yak is ready to apply some sandpaper this year. Give them all lessons from Coach Rocky because they’ll need it.

  31. Frank The Dog says:

    Braden88:
    In my opinion, Draisaitl should not go any higher than 3rd line C to start the season. He should be playing 2C only when he has shown he can contribute to the team. Even if he is outstanding in training camp, he is still only 18 and the adjustment period will take some time. This guy should be glued to 2 of Pouliot/Perron/Purcell. if the line doesn’t read P-D-P for at least the end ofOctober, then I will be concerned.

    PS: I wish we had Smyth back to mentor this kid!

    Arco does not have the offensive chops to do justice to Yak. Yak needs a sublime passer that thinks the game at a higher level and a person he can build a Sundin like understanding with. Yak also needs sheltered minutes just like Drai does until both get their defensive chops.
    Perron would give this line some good offence, and Pouliot would work well with Gordon or Arco, except Gordon can play with Hendricks, not so sure how Arco would do with him.

  32. OilClog says:

    Nuge Hall Yak – Hall and Yak are absolutely killer together, it’s ridiculous.

    DreDay Perron Eberle – if DreDay has the hands that have been reported these two fit perfect.

    Arco Pouliot Purcell – Arco would and will thrive with these two, he’ll probably leads us in hits too.

    Gordon Hendricks Lander/Gaz/Pitlick – after Lander’ 20game audition with Nuge and Ebs, the results speak for themselves on where he should be placed if at all. I know the “seen it” crowd is the red headed step child.. But hockey is suppose to be a beautiful, entertaining sport that causes the heart to venture into areas that not even the fine scent of a woman with her see through your soul stare can tap into. Lander isn’t beautiful, he isn’t ugly, he’s practically invisible and it’s not in a good sense. He makes no difference and leaves the crowd hoping he quickly leaves the ice. I was no a fan of the Dallas Eakins, Anton Lander gets a top 6 utility winger role, audition, brutal tragedy that it was.. Just what the H E double hockey sticks is a top 6 utility winger?!? Is this like the swarm??? Let’s just attack the boards and abandoned the slot because…

  33. Lowetide says:

    Frank The Dog: Arco does not have the offensive chops to do justice to Yak. Yak needs a sublime passer that thinks the game at a higher level and a person he can build a Sundin like understanding with. Yak also needs sheltered minutes just like Drai does until both get their defensive chops.
    Perron would give this line some good offence, and Pouliot would work well with Gordon or Arco, except Gordon can play with Hendricks, not so sure how Arco would do with him.

    The issue I have with Arco is as a shooter. He’s an excellent passer imo, possibly not ideal for Yak but if they have some chem I’d live with it. The problem with including Leon on the roster is that it puts more pressure on Arco and reduces options.

    Arco-Yakupov isn’t a terrible idea imo.

  34. cahill says:

    Lowetide: Arco-Yakupov isn’t a terrible idea imo.

    Elevating Arco might be an answer for this team. Last year in minimal minutes Arco’s CF% was 50.3 with Yakupov.

    If they split up the Hall-RNH-Eberle line.

    Let’s say they can run;
    Perron-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-Arco-Yakupov
    Pouliot-Gordon-Hendricks
    ?-Draistail-Purcell – (Soft Minutes)

    I have a ? for Lander/Pitlick/Gazdic and also I think that the Oilers should really think about 2ble shifting Perron, Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Pouliot & Yakupov if he’s rolling with the 4th (soft minutes) line.

    A 4th line typically has 12 – 14 45-second shifts per game. That’s 2 or 3 extra shifts per game for the above mentioned players. That’s if you don’t include Lander/Pitlick/Gazdic even playing one shift.

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