The Edmonton Oilers ended their season as it began: leaking.
- Friedman: “(MacTavish) has informed Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins not to worry about listening to rumors, because those players won’t be traded. He said you can add Nail Yakupov to that list as well. He believes very strongly that these are players, and the types of player that they are, other teams have given up on too early. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes, and he wants to give them the chance to grow together.” Source
Music! I’m here to tell you that losing teams DO trade important parts of their cluster before they mature and trading any of these young men in their early 20’s is a horrible bet. I’ve been very critical of Craig MacTavish this season—with sound reason to do so—but the most important thing for MacT (or the next GM) is to hold firm on those young assets who are in the NHL at this time.
Improvement can come via free agency (don’t sign another defenseman who can’t play top 4D!), trading picks (that Penguins pick looms large) and I believe we have the shopping list surrounded: Starting goalie, two more defensemen (Marincin may solve one issue) and a strong center option for next season.
WHAT ABOUT DEREK ROY?
oilers actively trying to sign Derek Roy to extension as per Friedman
— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) April 12, 2015
I like Derek Roy and it’s clear there is some chem there with Yak City but lordy that line gives up a lot going the other way. I hope the Oilers consider signing Roy AND a free-agent center like Carl Soderberg. Why? The Oilers NEVER have enough depth! If they enter training camp with Nuge, Soderberg, Roy, Lander and Gordon, then someone has to move over to the wing? Music! Do it! Now!
And then do the same damn thing on defense.
FINAL 5X5/60’S (War-on-Ice)
I’ll begin the RE series this coming week but want to give the final numbers a chance to settle. Last season the early numbers were incorrect and I had to go back, hoping to avoid the same issue. I did want to post the final 5×5/60’s via War-on-Ice because they offer us some clues about next year:
- Jordan Eberle 1.98 (finally healthy, he romped)
- Benoit Pouliot 1.98 (I think he should stay with Nuge-Eberle)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.92 (EV scoring levels established, wonderful two-way C. He’s Keon)
- Taylor Hall 1.86 (even in a tough year there is value)
- Derek Roy 1.50 (I think he’s found a home)
- Anton Lander 1.46 (A solid two-way C with a good future if he can sustain this number imo)
- Nail Yakupov 1.20 (He’s still more potential than production, spectacular possibilities remain)
- Teddy Purcell 1.11 (Subpar number but quality on the PP and an actual NHL player)
- Matt Fraser 1.10 (I think he’s a tweener, may get another year in Edmonton)
- Boyd Gordon 0.86 (Plays a vital role on this team and it is not offensive)
- Matt Hendricks 0.79 (Like Gordon, the offense doesn’t come close to telling the story)
- Luke Gazdic 0.61 (Enforcer did more than expected)
- Tyler Pitlick 0.59 (Looks like a player if he could only score!)
- Rob Klinkhammer 0.40 (Incredible he doesn’t post more crooked numbers, but no hands at all)
I think that’s most of the group for next season, with the top eight back for sure. Fraser, Gazdic and Pitlick are the biggest question marks and of course Roy is without a contract at this time. You want the impact offensive players to be well past 2.00/60 but I believe the kids in the hall can manage that in healthy seasons and if they can get the damn puck up to them in a timely fashion 2/60 should be easy. I’m well pleased with that Pouliot number.
- Oscar Klefbom 0.86
- Justin Schultz 0.77
- Andrew Ference 0.67
- Niki Nikitin 0.37
- Brandon Davidson 0.37
- Martin Marincin 0.36
- Mark Fayne 0.33
- Keith Aulie 0.14
Important to note that 5×5/60 for defensemen isn’t close to being the most important stat, but it’s interesting to see Klefbom above Schultz at the end of the season. I’ve been very critical of Justin Schultz and his season, but the fact remains he doesn’t deliver what people think he does. He LOOKS like an offensive player but the wayward passes and the vapor lock moments conspire against him and Schultz doesn’t have an answer for many hockey situations, offense and defense. His 5×5/60 number is about No. 80 (these numbers aren’t final) among defensemen league-wide at 5×5 (over 400 minutes on the Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com scale).
Many Oilers fans fret over Martin Marincin’s lack of offense, I’d suggest Schultz is a bigger worry.
TODD NELSON? TYLER DELLOW?
Don’t know. My hope is he returns, not because Nelson is superior to Eakins, but because the coach wasn’t the problem, Eakins or Nelson. I like his power play, I like his handling of the yutes from the farm and I think he’s worth the risk.
As for Dellow, I’m somewhat torn on his return. I think Tyler could do a world of good for this organization but they have to bloody listen AND act on recommendations. I think we saw some of that this year (Schultz handling for sure) but not in other cases (I’ll eat my shoes, the old ones, if Dellow thought dealing Petry was a good idea). Dellow having input on the free agent hires could be golden for the Oilers. Seriously.
The other reason I’m torn on Dellow returning? I would LOVE to see him free to respond to the (now) hundreds of unanswered tweets and articles written since his hiring and look forward to that day.
Still, team first. Go Nelson, go Dellow. We wait.