PETER CHIARELLI’S STATE OF THE UNION, PART 2

by Lowetide

We conclude our look at Bob McKenzie’s interview with the final five minutes—five incredible minutes of verbal.

  • Peter Chiarelli: “I can tell you I expect (Sekera) to be in our top four, Klefbom will be in our top four, Justin Schultz will be, I would hope he would be in our top four. Nikita Nikitin, who had a disappointing season last year, who was brought in to play in the top four. We’ve got some guys we acquired, Griffin Reinhart who I believe is a terrific player. I think he needs a little time to get up and running before I can anoint him in the top four. We have Eric Gryba who I think is a real strong shutdown D, we can probably shuttle him up at certain points. We’ve got three legitimate, we don’t have a workhorse right now.”

I wrote about this passage over at ON, but wanted also to place it here for future reference. I think it’s reasonable to suggest (without reading PC’s quote) going into the day it made the most sense to run Sekera—Fayne and Klefbom—Schultz until further notice. After reading this from Chiarelli, I’m changing my guess to Klefbom—Sekera and then Nikitin—Schultz. The only reason I can see to do it? Chiarelli is putting Nikitin back in his original spot and if it doesn’t work out then management will re-visit who recommended him and continue the forensics (code for “fire the culprit). I would respectfully suggest Mark Fayne is extremely likely to be in the top four D at even strength and lead the team in PK TOI. We wait.

  • Peter Chiarelli on Justin Schultz: “He’s a player that I don’t have really strong knowledge of. Saw him in college. Saw him in the lockout in the American League. Saw him in bits and pieces with Edmonton, maybe a little more this past year, whether it’s video or otherwise. He’s got a lot of assets, like puck skills, passing, skating. He’s been labelled sometimes as a rover and that’s more negative than positive in my mind, but the fact that he’s up the ice with the forwards is a good thing. That’s something that we would preach here. It’s about defending, about being the proper position and if you’re not strong enough to defend, let’s talk about positional defending, stick defending. He has to get better at that.”

I honestly can’t see this ending well. Schultz is going to require a $5 million contract (or more, and for term) next summer and the Oilers (everyone knows this) will be loading up the truck in the Brent Seabrook sweepstakes. The line about “he has to get better at that” is a tell imo, because Justin Schultz ISN’T good at that, and yet the pay day is coming. Better to walk the contract, allow another team to sign him at $3.5 million a year and we can begin talking about the player without a massive contract on the horizon.

  • Peter Chiarelli (on his believing Griffin Reinhart being an NHL defenseman right now): “That’s fair. There’s a little bit of lead time that he has to get up and running. He has to make our team. We’ve got 8 or 9 D who are challenging. I believe he is, yeah. What I saw from him in the Memorial Cup. I know his year last year wasn’t great and there’s reasons behind that and that really is—not excuses—but there are reasons that explain it. But what I saw in the Memorial Cup is that you’ve got a player here who can dominate, that can lug the puck, and that can make plays. And for a bigger sized man, he can move well, and I would expect him to be in the top 4 at some point.”

I thought Reinhart was a stud at the Memorial Cup too, but that isn’t the NHL. I think Chiarelli, Bob Green and the men who make these decisions for the Oilers had an itch they were eventually going to scratch and the Islanders cashed in on that itch this summer. I believe Reinhart has the pedigree to be an excellent NHL defenseman and further—this is a big item—the man who traded for him is going to give him a push. If you’re writing in the Oilers lineup for 2015-16, suspect you should make room for Reinhart (and Sekera moving to RH side to make room).

The pairings opening night? Allow me to call it now:

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nikitin—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Fayne

Nothing means anything until Todd McLellan speaks. Still, a lot of the treasury went to Griffin Reinhart’s procurement and we have to factor that in to the future. And, possibly, the present.

  • Peter Chiarelli on Ference, moving down the line-up and whether he can continue as captain: “Well, what, I mean is that’s a quantum leap to go from ‘moving down’ to ‘can you be a captain?’ He may move down the line-up. I thought he was over-played in higher pairs. What Todd and I will do is we’ll discuss the captaincy, the assistant captains, as the pre-season goes on. I’ve had discussions with Andrew about that. I’ve got a good relationship with Andrew from before in Boston. We can be very frank with each other and we have been. So if we do make that change, I know Andrew would be a complete professional about that. He helped us win in Boston and I can still see him helping us win in Edmonton.”

I have a difficult time figuring out the Oilers pairings and Chiarelli’s comments to McKenzie overall confused the issue, but the Ference take matches what we’ve discussed in the past. Ference, in my opinion, is going to mentor the kids and may start as part of the 7-8 (Ference-Gryba) pairing. I also think we should be aware of the possibility of a pre-season trade involving last year’s veterans.

  • Peter Chiarelli on his relationship with Craig MacTavish: “The relationship is growing, I mean it’s an awkward thing to start. We had a couple of meetings to start at the start of my tenure. I appreciate his feelings, I think what he’s done in the NHL is very good, and is very good experience and experience counts for a a lot in this business. He’s a very good person, from what I’ve known before and gotten to know more. He’s had success here, maybe he’s had some failure but he’s had success here, and knows what it takes to succeed in Edmonton. He has a good hockey mind. So, if we can make it work and we will make it work he’s an asset to the organization. He’s VP of hockey operations, so he’s going to oversee a lot of development in Bakersfield. He’s going to be my No. 2 guy.”

Awkward relationship invites awkward answer, and we are here. Let me ask you: If your boss delivered an answer like this to the media about you, would you update the resume? That’s a very halting answer.

113 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
113 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bruce McCurdy

verdad2.0:

A long grim winter awaits.

It doesn’t matter because the world is coming to an end on September 27 when the Blood/Tetrad/Harvest/Supermoon happens. Why merely predict another lousy year for the Oilers when you can consider the bigger picture and go deep?

verdad2.0

G Money,

Ok, I’ll check in with you after game 4 of the season.
We can see how much fun it will be to endure another season with an utterly dysfunctional and inadequate defense. Plus a GM unwilling to trade assets to fix it.

Consider this – does anyone believe that the OIlers don’t have forwards that are capable of “competing” in the Western conference? Most would I think. But it doesn’t matter given that all other Western conference have functional to great defences So where do the Oilers finish? Why are games almost impossible for them to win?
Fix the defense at all costs, short of MacDavid. Do it now

verdad2.0

G Money,

What is dangerous is ever relying on Schultz to actually play defense.
See the last play of last season – nothing more emblematic of his inadequacies.

G Money

russ99: Besides, McLellan sets the lines, not the GM – and if he doesn’t then why bring in a coach of that caliber?
Maybe we let the players play a little before painting some of them with a wide brush and calling doom on the season. I know it’s been a tough 8 years, but we need to have a little faith and patience in the quality people that are running things now.

I think that’s exactly what Chia plans to do.

That was one of the first things he said when it came to playing the ‘heavy’ game – he wanted the players coached that way.

He went and tried for the best option – Hamilton – and failing that, he’s gone and added some heavyweights – Gryba and Reinhart are true heavies, and Sekera is the best available free agent with top notch possession.

His summary of Schultz was actually pretty fair I thought – there’s a ton of skill there, but if Jultz continues to show he can’t, or refuses to, play actual defense, he can’t stay. So Chia’s going to see what he’s got before he plays his hand.

As Bruce (and I for that matter) have been pointing out for a while, the Oiler offense last year was utter shit when Jultz was not on the ice. Even when RNH & co. were out there, even if they got OK zone starts.

Just demanding that Schultz needs to be shown the door is a very dangerous course of action if the team doesn’t understand what’s happening with the offense when he is or isn’t on the ice.

So they add key personnel, add an experienced aggressive-possession-style coach, then see what happens before they take any further steps.

It’s the smart thing to do.

G Money

verdad2.0: For the mindless abuse I take for suggesting that OEL is the real complement to MacDavid

Um, no, its not the abuse that is mindless. It is the nonstop repetition of demanding Chiarelli execute on an ‘option’ that has ZERO chance of going through is what you rightfully get abused for.

Maloney is not trading OEL unless he gets McDavid, or unless the return is so large it cripples this organization for years, so continuing to (monotonously and unceasingly) beat that drum is astonishingly stupid. Please stop.

verdad2.0

russ99,

In a normal situation that approach would be reasonable.
Chiarelli was hired to change , not stretch out, the agony.

russ99

Kind of curious that fans that advocated dumping Schultz this offseason are putting words in Chiarelli’s mouth. Seems to me that he recognizes that Justin has unique skills to bring to the table on the offensive side and realizes the work he need to put in to get better on the defensive side.

Besides, McLellan sets the lines, not the GM – and if he doesn’t then why bring in a coach of that caliber?

Maybe we let the players play a little before painting some of them with a wide brush and calling doom on the season. I know it’s been a tough 8 years, but we need to have a little faith and patience in the quality people that are running things now.

verdad2.0

Again, many on this board have to come to terms with just how dismal the prospects for this upcoming season actually are.
Do the Oilers never learn anything? Does the curse of Lowe and MacTavish have to go on for ever? Remember Montreal has Petry , we have Schultz, ( pay him an unreasonable amount of money).
I will predict the Oilers will not win a game in their first four games if they dress Nikitin and Schultz, let alone play them together.
This is a disaster in the making that Chirarelli has chosen not to address.

For the mindless abuse I take for suggesting that OEL is the real complement to MacDavid , and all resources have to be deployed to get him, one might think their would be a real consensus to at least have a functional defense to allow this team to approach competitiveness while it still retains MacDavid.

Whether the OIlers trade Eberle or not is only relevant in the context of what they get back for him. We all know that he has value but many limitations that have contributed to the overall softness and entitlement of the Oilers over that last five years. ( Have we ever seen an aggressive play by Eberle in that period?)

But Eberle ,per se, is not a key issue. NSF is. The lack of #1 defenseman is. The ticking time bomb of the MacDavid. And the daily insult of the quality of the Flames defense – another testament to Lowe/MacTavish incompetence and Chiarelli acquiescence to it.

A long grim winter awaits.

rickithebear

Bonvie:

Defence?

Never heard of it!

Here.

rickithebear

Sather stated the talbot trade was in place pre PC.

No pitsburgh pick; No Barzal on the board; No reinhart.

No Mcdavid! Do we get Tmac or Sekera?

But hey!

Rainbows and Lollipops,
PC saw Seguin and knows what he gots!

I lay the action on internal pressure re Seguin.

BONVIE

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

I agree whole heartedly in the past I believed it was urgent that we get bigger and grittier each year, but Hall, Eberle, and Nugent are finally at the years that they are becoming men and are able to compete on the boards, and of course Pouliot was added last year… Three or four seasons ago I used to hope for a Gagner for Colin Wilson trade. Now I feel we have a similar but more skilled version of Wilson ready to impact the NHL now and his name is Leon Draisetel.

BONVIE

Lowetide: I really like the Talbot add, the Sekera add and of course getting McDavid changes everything. I do think (despite the Scott Cullen-rated post that suggested good value) the Reinhart add was an overpay and with Nurse close an unnecessary risk. So, a mixed bag and I am admittedly devastated he didn’t go get another defender/buy out Nikitin.

I do think he’s a clear upgrade on the past and suspect he’ll clean house (management and players) next summer.

I really don’t see how people can come to the conclusion that Reinhart was an overpay…I mean of course I’d rather have seen the GM use Yakapov instead of the Pittsburgh first but obviously the leagues hockey minds can see where Yakapov is currently at which is near bust. Rheinhart however is basically at the same calibre of Defenseman as Nurse, just a year more advanced, and right on track. Drafted a bit higher but in the same range, and listed about the same spot on the prospect lists. I mean it usually costs you two higher firsts plus to move up to that top 5 area, and that’s what we got here a top 5 pick.

What some people often forget about when looking at Defenseman, is the number one check ” the most important thing is playing DEFENSE”.

spoiler

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

They were great reads so thank you!

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker)

P.S. I haven’t been able to thank you all individually but thank you again for reading my guest posts at the Cult of Hockey. It has been fun and I do appreciate it very much.

NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker)

Been attending all the games and catching up with friends in between so I haven’t had a chance to read this blog in real time, but reading back on the discussions, I see we have traded Eberle out of town and made a long time poster uncomfortable enough to consider leaving.

Yikes.

How about the Oilers actually have a season with meaningful games beyond Halloween for once before we start to trade away our top ten offensive right winger because he isn’t moar bigger.

I am not saying you don’t trade Eberle ever, but why now? The Oilers are an 80-85 point team this year in my opinion, and replacing Eberle with Wayne Simmonds does not change that.

So let’s see where this all goes before we trade away our jacks and kings.

Things break right and Hall-McDavid-Yakupov and Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle and Draisaitl-Lander-Slepyshev in two years could be a sublime top 9 with enough grit and determination to be a great squad. You don’t need JF Jacques or Mitch Moroz on every scoring line. You just don’t.

Yeti

Lowetide: Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

I think you should at least wait until he’s hit 50 points in a season before you make these kind of claims.

Yeti

spoiler: That comment from Chia about being lighter up the middle than he likes has me a bit concerned.

It’s a shame that Yakimov will be at least another year before offering help in that regard. He’ll be a fourth line colossus of Nizhnekamsk if and when he arrives.

hunter1909

oliveoilers: Reading more than few posts from the previous thread that state disgruntlement with the discourse today.
I feel that I must apologise for my part in rail-roading the thread into a debate about Eberle, but I felt strongly that something unfair was happening or being presented with regards to young Ebs.
I thought we were having a spirited debate, with little of the juvenile name calling – it actually, to my eye, remained very civil with both sides stating their cases. For this, I give big props to Bag of Pucks. There have been far worse threads on here.
It was raining heavily here all day, so I had idle time on my hands.
I see now that this wasn’t the case: I obviously annoyed some of you, particularly the guy who will “never get that 5 minutes back”. I think I’m going to take a break for a while and check in periodically.
I don’t think that I’ve ever come on here and basically said “what a shit thread”. I think I’ve just sighed to myself and just not commented.
Have a good one, peeps.

Olive Oilers: Come back, you’re probably one of the most popular posters.

Someone has to be here to explain the nuances between Championship League cups, and World Cup+European Cup international results.

rickithebear

Lowetide: Another reason I wouldn’t trade Eberle: Hall’s health.

Eberle was our leading scorer the 3 seasons hall did not play 90% of the games.

Adam Wu

speeds: Maybe, if it happens.If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

G has gone from Scrivens-Fasth to Talbot-Scrivens. Talbot is highly likely to be superior to Fasth, and Scrivens is lower in the depth chart and following his statistically worse year ever. Regression to mean plus reduced responsibility = highly likely to be improved.

Thus, G is extremely likely to be improved.

On D, Sekera is either equal to or better than Petry. Fayne should be the same. Klefbom will have developed one more year, and though a sophomore slump is possible, one would think that it is at least >50% that he’ll be better. Schultz will either be better or the same, we just don’t know how much better. He is highly unlikely to be worse. Nikitin is coming off his worst statistical year ever. Improved health plus regression to mean plus this being a contract year for plus him being in what should be the plateau phase of his career means he should have at least a 50% chance of being better and can’t really get any worse. Plus, at some point in the season, Nurse is likely to surpass him on the depth chart and take his place. Ference will be worse, but at some point in the year Nurse/Reinhart will likely pass him on the depth chart and take his place. The bottom of the roster/injury callups have gone from Marincin/Hunt/Aulie/Davidson to Gryba/Nurse/Reinhart/Davidson, an ungrade at every spot except maybe Marincin vs Gryba, assuming Davidson improves from where he was last year.

So the D starts the year looking similar to how it was last year, BUT with vastly greater potential and likelihood to improve as the year progresses compared to last year’s D.

So I would say, highly likely that the D WILL indeed be improved from last year by the time the season is halfway through.

Edmonton_fan

“and knows what it takes to succeed in Edmonton”…

Glowing reference for klowe since bloggers attack non-stop.

rickithebear

Mcdavids weight: the russians talk about natural mass cycles.
I had two jumps of 6% weight in two summers.
This may be a avg mass spurt for him.

Olive. Eberle is an option when we need to pay Mcdavid.
More value with2-3 years left on contract.
I allways struggle with the balance of evg versus goals generated by cap space.
I enjoy people who make you think and chase the numbers.

spoiler

McDavid missing tomorrow’s game per TSN.

spoiler

Bruce McCurdy,

Thsnks! Had no idea this was happening.

RexLibris

Penticton update:

Last night Ryan Culkin, one of the Flames veteran AHL defensive prospects was injured last night against the Oilers and will now miss 6-8 weeks to rehab his shoulder.

Sam Bennett will be a healthy scratch tomorrow against the Canucks.

flyfish1168

Lots of talk about a heavy team. I’m ok with heavy but speed is just as important or more. Hawks are not the heaviest team or is the Canadians and phlegms. But all have an abundance of team speed to forecheck and play the 200 foot game. The Kings and Sharks had lots of problems with the more speedy teams.

Bruce McCurdy

Bag of Pucks: Sound reasoning as always Bruce.

One thing we never had under Lowebellini is an HC willing to actually use and parse EV and PP mins as carrot and stick to eliminate bad habits.

This is my biggest hope with Chia/TMac that a new culture of accountability across the whole 200ft starts to take hold. The days are gone when players can be one dimensional. On the best teams, everyone plays well defensively.

Lord knows they’ve got the mother of all carrots now. You want to play on Connor’s line? Show me what you can do on the backcheck.

My biggest hope too, that when the games start to mean something and the Oilers aren’t perennially in garbage time by the middle of the second period / middle of December, some of these guys will take the 200-foot game a little more seriously on a full-time basis. I have high hopes for McLellan, who already knows and has had success with both Hall and Eberle. I expect to see improvements from those guys as well as the young bucks, and by extension from the team as a whole.

The least Chiarelli can do is give him 40-60 games if not the full season to work his magic before reaching decision time on what we currently perceive as a core player.

Bruce McCurdy

I forgot to mention earlier, NYC Oil had another terrific report on Game 2 in Penticton that we published on CoH earlier today.

Hammers

Gretz proved anyone is tradeable no matter the reason and he didn’t win another cup . Lindros got his wish and Quebec got some great pieces, enough to win in Colorado . All I’m trying to say is McD is no guarantee of a cup as it’s all about the team and I say anyone can be traded . It should never be about today’s roster but about the best roster .the right group is what’s needed .

Gordies Elbow

Bruce McCurdy,

Thanks, for one of the best posts I’ve read in quite a while. Your contributions here keep this one of the best blogs on the old Al Gore, and are somewhat worthy of Stan Weir.

Bag of Pucks

Bruce McCurdy: 1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years one end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu)and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

Sound reasoning as always Bruce.

One thing we never had under Lowebellini is an HC willing to actually use and parse EV and PP mins as carrot and stick to eliminate bad habits.

This is my biggest hope with Chia/TMac that a new culture of accountability across the whole 200ft starts to take hold. The days are gone when players can be one dimensional. On the best teams, everyone plays well defensively.

Lord knows they’ve got the mother of all carrots now. You want to play on Connor’s line? Show me what you can do on the backcheck.

RexLibris

Bruce McCurdy: 1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years on end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu)and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

Bruce, if you’re going to bring this kind of reasoning and logic to the argument then it really takes all the fun out it for the rest of us.

stush18

Bootstrap Effexor,

speeds:
I am not sure what it would take for me to move Nurse, were I the GM, but I have to say I’m not as confident as some seem to be that he’s a probable first pair D, although I certainly hope that’s the case.

I have to agree. The running around worries me. He covers mistakes with his athleticism, not intelligence.

Hopefully he he settles down, which I’m sure he will.

Bruce McCurdy

Bag of Pucks: Who do you trade among the forwards then to address the balance issue?

If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

Finally, when a player has obvious weaknesses (lack of size/physicality, weak on the wall, poor on the backcheck), why is the player considered so untouchable? The goal is to always be improving at every position. When it comes to this particular player, it seems that ‘ like’ supersedes logic.

I get it. He’s a likeable player. But he’s not untouchable. No one should be outside McDavid.

1) Some of the balance issue as you put it can be addressed from within. Guys like Draisaitl, Slepyshev, Yakimov and Pakarinen are all big fellows with a little to a lot of skill.

2) If the defence and goaltending improve I am confident Eberle will be an outscorer.

3) Agree about improving at every position. However, in Jordan Eberle the Oilers have a guy who has finished among the top 8 in RW scoring the last four years in a row. When was the last time Oilers had any player who consistently finished among the league leaders in any assigned task for years on end? Eberle’s a scoring winger, and score he does.

For all he’s “small” and “weak” he’s a durable little bugger — missed just 7 games in those 4 years — who scores a lot of his goals from in tight to the net so he’s hardly “just” a perimeter player. He gets there with skill and guile and timing rather than crashing and banging, but so what? You can get other players to do some of those things. My desire for balance is for a balanced TEAM, not that every player on it has to be a complete player.

4) I never once said “untouchable”, I just don’t buy in to the “we gotta trade something so it might as well be Eberle”. Oilers can build from within, they can sign free agents to address weaknesses (Sekera, Letestu) and they can trade other assets, as Chairelli already has to acquire Talbot, Reinhart, Gryba, Korpikoski. It may come time to trade one of the core but I don’t think that time is now. Let McLellan work his magic (on Eberle along with all the other young players) and then reassess later in or after the season.

PerryK

Lowetide:
Every Stanley Cup team has a scoring RW. Eberle is Edmonton’s best and that may be true five years from now. No hurry to deal him, and the ‘size’ or ‘toughness’ argument often comes with a ‘skill’ plunge. Eberle’s not the bargain Hall is, but he doesn’t miss a bunch of games either and I haven’t read about a brace on either knee.

We’re arguing the price of gas in 2018. Relax.

I agree (mostly)! However, if you`re looking for the coveted balanced Unicorn lines, does it make some sense to try:

Hall – McD – Purcell
Pou – RNH – Yak
Lander – Drai – Ebs

Of course, placing Purcell there felt really weird! However until we can replace him with a suitable candidate……

spoiler

speeds,

He might be a little shy offensively to be a 1D but the number of Dmen in the league that can skate as well as Nurse probably don’t add up to half a dozen. Combine that with his size and strength… I’d say he’s a lock to be a 2D with possible #1 potential.

speeds

I am not sure what it would take for me to move Nurse, were I the GM, but I have to say I’m not as confident as some seem to be that he’s a probable first pair D, although I certainly hope that’s the case.

Snowman

The entire roster… there are a few pieces that I would have to get a ridiculous overpay to consider moving.

Nuge, Nurse, Leon, Klefbom (I might add Reinhart to this list because he’s unkown totally at this point) would take just a hilarious over pay at this point in time to get.

Mcdavid is untouchable.

The rest of the “Hall Core” would take a serious need being filled. (I don’t consider MOAR BIGGAR a serious need.. if you get tough skill that can play than sure).

spoiler

Lowetide,

It would take a Kings ransom to get Nurse out of me.

AsiaOil

Lowetide: Another reason I wouldn’t trade Eberle: Hall’s health.

I would not shop Eberle either – but if someone asked and agreed to an overpay that addressed a greater team need – you would consider it seriously. Eberle is good, useful, but hardly untouchable.

spoiler

Jaxon,

My four favorite foods!

AsiaOil

Sure I can come up with a scenario that sees Eberle here long term with RNH and CMD as centers – but the top 6 would need a thug with skill on 2RW and Taylor Hall to be way more of a victimizer than the victim he has so often been up to this point in his career. Really is time for that guy to start showing some of the “Mooseness” that he supposedly has.

Pouzar

Bag of Pucks: Size, skill, grit, leadership, toughness, heart. He’s a horse.

You forgot “goalie whisperer”.

Bag of Pucks

speeds: Maybe, if it happens.If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

Nowhere to go but up?

Bag of Pucks

Pouzar: Of the top 5 most common teammates in TOI (Nuge, Hall, Schultz, Klefbom, Pouliot)
all 5 had a Corsi North of 50% and all were better WITH Eberle than WITHOUT.
The most notable being Pouliot, a known positive possession player, who was 53.9% WITH Eberle and 45.5% without.

The little sh!t makes others better. End of.

He doesn’t make his goalies better.

speeds

Bag of Pucks:

If the defence and goaltending improve and the team still gives up more goals than it scores when Jordan Eberle is on the ice, is it then fair to suggest he has defensive deficiencies?

Maybe, if it happens. If the D and G markedly improve, is that particularly likely?

Jaxon

Lowetide: Connor McDavid was 6.075 and 188 at the combine but the NHL combine numbers, normally accurate, had him 6.075 and 195. No one is telling the truth anymore

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2488519-nhl-combine-2015-full-results-measurements-highlights-and-top-prospects

This Globe and Mail article about McDavid training with Gary Roberts supports his new weight (actually 197lbs, not 195lbs):

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/how-a-fitness-guru-helped-transform-hockey-prodigy-connor-mcdavid/article26297428/

“Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 when Edmonton’s orientation camp began on July 1, he saw his weight jump to 197 this summer in less than a month while training with Roberts. Their formal sessions concluded in the last week of August.

The workouts were so intense McDavid needed to consume 4,500 to 5,000 calories a day to maintain his energy. To do that, he ate whole organic foods, and had a serving of protein, carbohydrates, fat and fibre at each meal.”

Bag of Pucks

Lowetide: I’d like to see what Todd McLellan thinks after a year with this team. I think there’s wisdom in taking a good long look at these young men through a winner’s eye

I agree with this.

McClellan may be able to work out some the warts with players like Yak, Schultz, Eberle, etc.

Chia may be coming in with a bias toward heavy play and bigger players but some of our smaller skill players may surprise him. Nuge in particular is a player I hope he doesn’t undervalue. In another year or so, RNH is going to be the NHL’s equivalent of the swiss army knife. Lander too may age like fine wine. Wouldn’t it be something if he became the poor man’s Bergeron?

That said, if FLA offered Bjugstad for Ebs, I would pounce on that in a heartbeat and laugh all the way to the bank. Kid is the total package. Size, skill, grit, leadership, toughness, heart. He’s a horse.