Monday, May 27, 2013

Oilers 'Off-Season' Thoughts

Hi everyone, Paul here. "I’m back everybody!!
Sorry for not posting many pieces lately, but I have returned with a lot on my mind about our beloved Edmonton Oilers. We all know that this past season stung more than the 30th, 30th and 29th Place seasons because we expected more out of our boys in Orange & Blue. We expected a real Playoff Push. What did we get? We got a team that collapsed under pressure, a team with no fight, a team that earned us the nickname "The ‘Maple Laughs’ of the West". How sad is that?

So, how can our fearless leader, GM Craig MacTavish get this team back on track? Well, the first thing to do is to Buyout Eric Belanger & Ben Eager. Not only will this relieve the Oilers of deadweight, but it will also create Cap room. The second thing to do is beef up the Defence Corps. We have enough at the Forward positions regarding skill, now we need to focus on Defence & strength throughout the roster. MacTavish can do this two ways. Free Agency or, go the trade route.

   1) One player the Oilers should look at RFA Offer-Sheeting is Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk may be out of the loop in St. Louis, as the Blues will need to move someone to make room to re-sign their other top studs. Shattenkirk is just what the Oilers need on the Blue line; at 5’11" 207 pounds he’s not huge, but he’s bigger than some of the guys we’ve got. My offer to St. Louis is; 7th Overall Pick, Jeff Petry, Colton Teubert for Shattenkirk.

2) Secondly, MacTavish should look at trading for Raffi Torres. Torres is a tough, hard-nosed player who, as we’ve seen lately, isn’t afraid to make a BIG hit. He will bring a physical aspect back to Edmonton that this team hasn’t had for a long time. My offer to San Jose for Torres is a 3rd Round Pick or, Ryan Martindale.

3) Thirdly, I am a big fan of Dustin Byfuglien from the Winnipeg Jets (That still sounds weird to say), and I think he would look great in an Oilers uniform. He’s played Forward & Defence in the NHL, so he’s a versatile player. I’m not sure what Winnipeg will want for him, but I’m guesstamating that they’ll want a Forward with speed & a scoring drive. The closest that Edmonton may be willing to give up for him may be either a Sam Gagner or a Magnus Paajarvi. I really don’t know about that one.

4) Another thing the Edmonton Oilers need to get is a backup goalie. Nikolai Khabibulin is getting up there in years, & his All-Star NHL career as a player is coming to an end. I don’t see him coming back to Edmonton next season. Who do the Oilers have in the system that could replace him as the legit backup? The answer is no one. So, this makes the Oilers need to look around the NHL & perhaps the AHL for a suitable backup for Devan Dubnyk.

This may sound crazy, but Tim Thomas is a Free Agent this off-season, & Craig MacTavish had better take a loooooooong look at courting him. He hasn’t played for a year, so his asking price shouldn’t be too high when he looks himself in the mirror. A big drawing point to Tim Thomas for the Oilers is that he has recently won the Stanley Cup, which shows that he knows what it takes to win in today’s NHL, and would be a great mentor for Devan Dubnyk & all of the other young Oilers. He would push Devan Dubnyk every day, which is something every young goalie needs, and Dubnyk would push him to play his best everyday as well. I would offer him $3.5 Million for 3-4 years to come to Edmonton, as he is currently making $5 Million for NOT playing at all.

Another name that has come up here in Oil Country has been Fredrik Andersen who is currently in Anaheim’s organization. However, I believe he would need conditioning in the AHL, as he has been playing in his native Denmark since he was drafted in the 3rd Round, 87th Overall by Anaheim in 2012, so that option isn’t really viable for next season. Jose Theodore may be a good fit here in Edmonton, provided the Oilers don’t give him more than $1.5 Million at the MOST. Theodore is a goalie that has seen just about everything in the NHL, and would be a great mentor for Dubnyk. He is reliable to put in net for the odd game but, I do not think putting him in net on a regular basis would be what’s best for him, Dubnyk or, the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club as a whole. I would offer him a 3-year deal at $1.3 Million. He is currently making $1.5 Million in Florida but, I do not think he is worth that much as a backup. Yann Danis is also going to be on the market, but I believe the Oilers will re-sign him & send him to OKC, as he doesn’t have what it takes to be a regular NHL backup anymore.

So, there will be lots happening in Oil Country surrounding our team this off-season and, it will be interesting to see what Craig MacTavish will do to improve the Edmonton Oilers.

By Paul Neumann

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Andy Sutton Retires

After 15 solid years in the NHL, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andy Sutton retires. 

Not a big surprise for anyone after his knee injury, but still sad to see the guy go. 

We wish him luck in the future. 


Monday, May 20, 2013 has joined Tout!

As always, we here at like to push the technological envelope. We were the first Oilogosphere blog to use Cover It Live as a LIVE TweetCast module and now we are breaking the barriers once again as we join Tout. 

Tout is very similar to Twitter and Instagram. You post updates much like them, except on Tout, it's a 15 second video. 

We plan on using Tout to get the "word" out quicker to our Oilers fans. Something big happens, we will use Tout and Twitter together to let you know what's going on. 

We've tried several different forms off social media, we hope you enjoy this one as much as we do. 

Join Tout and search for "OilersJambalaya". We want to hear from you. 


The Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars in OKC

There has been significant chatter over the last few days about the Oklahoma City Barons hosting a preseason NHL game between the Oilers and the Stars. 

An anonymous tweeter @OilersRumors has came out and said this morning that the word out of the Oilers office is that this is going to happen. Multiple reports have also surfaced around OKC and all signs are pointing to this being a reality. 

Great news for the people of OKC. They had a taste of the Oilers at the start of this year by hosting Hall and Co. for the start of the AHL season. It will be nice for those players to go back to a city that treated them well and say thank you. 

Great news Oklahoma City! You deserve it. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013


For the past 5 years, I have compiled my NHL Draft prospects rankings in late September of each year. I usually update in early February and once again at the end of the memorial cup. Basically before the CHL starts and upon the end of the CHL Memorial Cup. Because of the length of the CHL season all the European prospects have already finished as well and we have a chance to see players possibly shine in the biggest games on the Jr planet. This definitely includes the Memorial Cup and even some Jr players who may have jumped up to play with the men in their perspective leagues. i.e.: SEL and or KHL.

I have had some comments (all fairly assessed) wondering about my TOP 15 NHL Draft Prospects. Of course if looking quickly at my list and comparing it to some of the top end lists out there would be inaccurate judgement of my rankings and unfair in comparison. The rankings people are looking at today are all UPDATED versions and not taken from the rankings of those people last September 2012.

With my draft rankings they are based on the 'best player available' from my perspective. This is NOT a MOCK draft of who will be picked by what team. It is not based on who the best players will be in 5 years. It is based on BPA this draft. I have removed 3 of my players from my September 2012 original rankings completely out of the top 15 and moved 3 new players in.

Instead of waiting till the end of the Memorial Cup, I have decided to release my year ending REVS 2013 NHL DRAFT PROSPECTS today.

1. Nathan Mackinnon
2. Seth Jones
3.Jonathan Drouin 
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Valeri Nichushkin
6. Darnell Nurse
7.  Sean Monahan
8.  Elias Lindholm
9.  Hunter Shinkaruk
10.  Nikita Zadorov
11.  Max Domi
12.  Curtis Lazar
13. Frederik Gauthier
15. Ryan Pulock

NOTES on some players.....

Very few rankings had Jonathan Drouin even in their Top 10 last September 2012. While acknowledging his offence they felt he was still too small of a player. Throughout the year and especially after the World Jr's, almost every ranking had started putting him Top 5. In fact before November 2012 very few people knew who Drouin was other then those who follow lots of jr hockey. The only reason Drouin does not rank higher for me is due to his size. 

While I do believe Seth Jones is a incredible player, he is almost a year older then Nathan MacKinnon. (11 months older) and has been playing at a very large size against smaller players for some time. While defence is good and offence is OK, it is not great. Playing on a team like Portland, with his size and vision Seth Jones should against smaller players have scored at least a point per game as a defencemen to make him worthy of a #1 OV Draft Pick.

Nathan MacKinnon , playing against bigger players (he entered the CHL at 5'10 170 lbs) and slowly grew into his frame but still is small in NHL size. Nathan (with the exception of the World Jr tourney) has excelled at every level of hockey and is showing people at the Memorial Cup why he was ranked #1 for so long. His drive, skill, speed and hockey IQ is the total package. Even if MacKinnon goes 2nd at the NHL Draft, he IMO will still prove to have been the best player out of this years crop of players.

Max is putting on quite a push to really jump the rankings himself. Like Drouin few last September 2012 even had him ranked so high but this guy is a bull in a china shop, is strong on his skates like Crosby and has some nice elite skill. His size is what will keep him out of the top 8.

Yes, I did have him ranked higher and if not for being put up as a checking center against other teams top lines Lazar would have produced much more. This guys two-way play is exceptional and some people IMO are underrating him and he may even turn out to be a Top 10 pick when all is said and done on draft day. This player is as close as you get to a 'sure thing' outside the top 3 of even draft. I have dropped him some for his lack of offence but could not see how I could drop him any lower.

Feel free to comment on my final Top 15 Draft rankings, that's the excitement of this time of year. No one is wrong or right until draft day and then it takes 5 years to really see what kind of player they turn into. I really do believe this year the top 20 players selected will be pretty high end players. I don't feel it's as deep as draft as some will say but there is some nice talent in the 8-15 range.

Before Draft day, I will be posting a MOCK draft of who I believe will be selected and in what order but for now, let's sit back and enjoy the NEXT ONES play this game at the memorial cup while the top 3 ranked players in the world compete for the highest claim to fame in Jr hockey....The Memorial Cup!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


1. Nathan Mackinnon
2. Seth Jones
3. Sean Monahan
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Hunter Shinkaruk
6. Curtis Lazar
7.  Jonathan Drouin
8.  Ryan Pulock
9.  Elias Lindholm
10.  Valeri Nichushkin
11.  Anthony Duclair
12.  Max Domi
13.  J.T Compher
14.  Josh Morrissey,
15.   Adam Erne


At 5'10 and 194 lbs, Max is not as small a player as some would think. Son of the famous father who used his hands to hit rather then score, Max is still a strong character on the ice in fighting, going to the corners and fighting for his space on the ice. Few times (other then a defencemen with great reach due to height and long arms) will the other team be able to stand him up or knock Max off the puck. Dale Hunter has described Domi's skating to be much like that of Crosby (elite skating company). Is known for incredible grit and work ethic. For those who say he is racking up easy points it should be noted he has the top checkers from other teams playing up against him every game and he still continues to score and win games for his team. IMO, Max will be a excellent pro player at the NHL level.

 Regular Season Postseason
  OHL:12660761361.08119 46 |361422361.0034 13 
  OHL Cup:42351.2510 |33362.00
  WHC-17:63471.1714 | 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

REVS 2013 NHL DRAFT PROSPECTS #11. Anthony Duclair

1. Nathan Mackinnon
2. Seth Jones
3. Sean Monahan
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Hunter Shinkaruk
6. Curtis Lazar
7.  Jonathan Drouin
8.  Ryan Pulock
9.  Elias Lindholm
10.  Valeri Nichushkin
11.  Anthony Duclair
12.  Max Domi
13.  J.T Compher
14.  Josh Morrissey,
15.   Adam Erne

What started out as a good early season drive ended shortly after Anthony got injured. Upon returning back to the lineup now without his running mate in Mikhail Grigorenko, Duclair struggled to find the offensive game that he showed earlier on at the beginning of the season. At 5'11 and 182 lbs Duclair will either have to play a agitator game or show top end offensive vision and awareness on the ice.

Anthony is electrifying on the give and go. Has world class speed combined with elite stickhandling and a howitzer for a shot and you have yourself a hockey player. Hard to say how far back he will fall now butmost rankings have him anywhere from 15th-29th but he will go in the 1st round at this years 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Unfortunately Duclair is no longer in my top 15 to be selected but he is a player who will create alot of interest from 15th pick down. Edmonton is not a option for the Oilers unless he was to slip to the 2nd round which is highly unlikely. I imagine that a team currently playing in the playoffs will select him (maybe the St Louis Blues as they don't have many small skilled guys) or maybe the Blue Jackets with their three 1st round picks in this years 2013 draft?

Duclair highlights
 SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM+/-    Postseas.GPGATPPIM+/- 
 2009-10 Basses Laurentides Conquérants MMBAA59814712832| Playoffs-----
 2010-11 Lac Saint-Louis Lions QMAAA3425325736| Playoffs149142320
 2011-12 Québec Remparts QMJHL633135665038| Playoffs113588-5 
 2012-13 Québec Remparts QMJHL552030502223| Playoffs1135812
 Tournament Statistics
 2010-11 Lac Saint-Louis Lions Telus Cup757128|
 Team Québec CWG61890|
 Canada Québec U17 WHC-1760444|
 2011-12 Canada Québec U17 WHC-1740118|
 2012-13 Canada U18 JWC-1851128|

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Oilers Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers or the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.