I’m so very tired of the season being over in the fall. It’s exhausting, and worst of all the games take a backseat to the transactions talk. Which is fine at the deadline, death in November. The Chicago Cubs are not to be copied, who tries this? Argh. And the early rumors are ghastly, including an entire story by Matty that angries up the blood on first (and every other) reading. That’s an ugly deal, and makes me think that keeping your powder dry might be the best plan at this time.
IT’S THE WORLD GONE CRAZY!!!!!
- Elliotte Friedman: “Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t going to get traded. They need their centres. They need more of them and he’s Edmonton’s No. 1 centre. He’s not going anywhere. It’s hard to imagine the type of deal that would be required to include Taylor Hall in an Oilers trade. But it’s not impossible. And then you go from that level to the next level with Jordan Eberle. I think that there’s a possibility that Jordan Eberle could get traded. I think there’s a possibility that Justin Schultz could be included in something. David Perron is obvious. But what are you getting, with all due respect to David Perron, in return? You’re getting something, but you’re probably not getting a No. 2 centre, which they desperately need.” Source
Incredible. Absolutely incredible. The only ways trading Taylor Hall makes sense? You’re trading for a better player and the list isn’t a long one, ladies. OR the owner has stepped in and plans to overhaul the front office, with a total rebuild as the game plan. If Craig MacTavish is accepting calls on Taylor Hall, the sky has turned from grey to black.
- Ray Ferraro: “If they didn’t keep rushing 18 and 19 year olds into their lineup, what would their model look like?”
Ferraro looks like a freaking genius compared to the rest of the men television throws at us every day, mostly because he doesn’t pull punches and (best of all) he seems to have something under his skin in regard to the Oilers. If you hear Ferraro is going to talk about the Oilers in five minutes, pull over and listen. Straight talk, no filter. He’s pissed. I love it.
If Eberle fetches only Berglund, then clearly you don’t trade Jordan Eberle. However, trading one of the wingers is the right call and the Oilers have a nice group to choose from in a deal. I would rank the order of available wingers (if Eberle is truly available) as Eberle, Perron, Yakupov, Purcell at this time. As Yakupov and Purcell aren’t going to have enough value to move the needle, it comes down to Perron and Eberle. I don’t think they’re going to trade Jordan Eberle.
- Elliotte Friedman: “I think changes are in the works. I do. I heard that yesterday was a pretty intense day (Sunday) for the Oilers management. But what I do think is that Craig MacTavish has promised he will make a trade before he fires the coach. That’s what guys have told me. And I think that’s what his plan remains. And I wonder if Edmonton is kind of now listening on everybody . Doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. But I think they’re listening on players they weren’t listening on as recently as 36 hours ago.”
So, let’s add up what we know: MacT is going to make a trade before he fires a coach, the Perron value may not satisfy the need for a center, Eberle’s name is crawling into the conversation. Huh. Sean Couturier? I sure as hell wouldn’t move Eberle for Berglund, Eller, et al. If they’re trading Eberle, a quality center has to be coming back in return. I honestly thought this season would turn out differently, and frankly trading Eberle runs counter to the idea of the Hall cluster, but I can see it happening.
I don’t think it happens now, though. Too big a deal to make mid-season. Something to look for in the summer.
IF NOT EBERLE, WHO?
David Perron. Justin Schultz. And I know you don’t like it, but the first-round pick in 2015. If you’re trying to improve the team this season, and that’s what MacT is trying to do, then future assets are the currency you want to deal in. Draft picks, prospects, that kind of thing.
IS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN AGAIN?
The Oilers play tonight in their own personal death valley, and then the schedule gets tougher. We are here. Again. The talk of trading Hall may already signal it’s too late to avoid burning it down. When we’re talking about trading Taylor Hall, we may be talking about a full blown rebuild. Again. It may mean Bob Nicholson in front of the microphones, introducing the modern Craig Patrick (often NHL-aided, these men come with impeccable reputations and generally do the heavy work in short order) and we’ll find out the name of our Jim Nill at some point before the draft. I hope it doesn’t happen that way. If we’re talking Taylor Hall leaving town, it’s a possibility. The world has not blessed us with an owner who speaks, and we are left to our own imaginations. At this point, anything is possible, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The Edmonton Oilers are struggling, they are not close to being a lost cause. Pull up your boots, Craig MacTavish. The Chicago game should not be fuel to do anything rash, and this organization is in its current state because of emotional trades by the last two GMs. Keep your powder dry, sir. Your next step will very likely define you as a GM. Let it not be ‘is it me?’ and let it not be ‘we’ve signed Cam Barker’ and for crying out loud let it not be ‘we’ve traded Taylor Hall.’
If there is no open door today, let it be. That damn Chinese proverb is strangling the organization.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN 1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey and Oilers Nation. Jon will bring his logic and reason to a potentially crazy day.
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Line. Dustin Schwartz, and Greg Chase landing in Victoria.
- Travis Yost, TSN. We’ll talk Oilers trades, Senators, and the Buffalo Bills.
- Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard line. Grey Cup, CFL free agency, Reilly’s injuries.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ and would love to hear from you during open line. See you on the radio!