Sunday, June 30, 2013

Forwards: Crazy or Legitimate Speculation in "Oil Country"?

This mornings post is the last in looking at the crazy rumours going around in regards to the players the Oilers may be interested in for this upcoming season. Some of these rumours have legs and others are nothing more then pure speculation. I offer some thoughts and a look at all those potential names that keep popping up here and there in the world of social media.

Today is the big draft and for the first time in several years we don't get the player we want automatically here in Edmonton. Our fate depends on the decisions of the teams before us. Mainly Carolina and Calgary. That villain in Calgary can actually still hurt us here in Edmonton by drafting our player we want out from under us. 

Let's look at the potential forwards who have been mentioned as possibly coming to Edmonton over the last month or so...

Bobby Ryan (Age 26, 6'2, 200 lbs)
I really think there are no legs to him coming to Edmonton nor does he want to. He is a power forward who would fit well here but not likely to happen.

Michal Handzus (Age 36, 6'5, 213 lbs)
May be getting old in the teeth (or lack of) but is a incredible smart and excellent role payer in that 3rd-4th line center position.

Viktor Stalberg (Age 27, 6'3, 209 lbs)
Is actually a RW not a natural LW player who we need. I like him but like Hemsky you never know what your getting. Rather have and grow Paajarvi.

Dave Bolland (Age 27, 6'0, 184 lbs)
Why do people think he is worth the $? Not a player we need unless we are making a pick up at trade deadline and making a run at the cup. He wants to be paid like a 2nd line center. Not a big player but does play like one. Remember Oiler fans RNH is bigger and just as strong, just not a hitter and grinder.

Dustin Penner (Age 30, 6'5, 245 lbs)
I would be ok with his return but can not see MacT wanting him here or Dallas Eakins either due to lack of consistent play game to game. Don't think Penner wants back under MacT either.

Cal Clutterbuck (Age 25, 5'11, 213 lbs)
Perfect fit for a 3rd line role for awhile while we still develop players. Will show teams not to mess with us or you ma get a boarderline hit on your best players. hate to play against him so might as well have him play with you. Pitlick is worth the risk IMO

Paul Gaustad (Age 31, 6'5, 223 lbs)
Not sure how easy it would be to get him to Edmonton but his size is perfect to what we are needing. Not very likely to end up in Edmonton but we should keep a eye on this player.

Martin Hanzel (Age 26, 6'6, 236 lbs)
Not sure what would be required in a trade but have heard several different occasions #Oilers have looked into this player. Perfect Center with size we could use. Also a great checker

Patrick Marleau (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
Not mentioned much recently but I have heard some rumblings that just because it is silent, do not rule this out due to salary reasons. A stop gap in Edmonton for a few seasons? Our second line center we need? Doubt it happens but needs to be considered.

Chris Stewart (Age 25, 6'2, 231 lbs)
Is a risk due to decline in play and not always consistent but another player that can throw his weight around and compliment our skill players? Unlikely as well. Dallas won't be high on him or MacT for that matter.

Manny Malhotra (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
This could be a possibility if Manny is willing to settle for a 4th line role. If not for eye injury he would be perfect for 3rd line role but injury puts his ability in question. Depends on the market IMO.

Nik Antropov (Age 33, 6'6, 245 lbs)
Do not think there is any interest to this one but had to acknowledge the speculation

Nathan Horton (Age 28, 6'2, 229 lbs)
Oilers will make a push for his services but bigger question will be, does he like the Oilers? His next team will be because he chooses to play in a city and team he loves. Why do I have a feeling he wants warm weather again? Why do I say that? Why leave a cup contender unless your looking for one of 2 things. $ and or Leisure and pleasure.

Drew Stafford (Age 27, 6'2, 214 lbs)
This is more speculation then anything and the Oilers have been quiet on this one, but I would say there is a 25% chance of inquiry if they don't land there top choices.

Ryan Johansen (Ahe 20, 6'3, 203 lbs)
Don't give up on this possibility. Ryan is out of place in CBJ country. They are not developing him the way it was anticipated or is he just not as good as prospect as some say. I am not high on his potential other then a 3rd line role. His upside is limited. Check his stats, don't see him as top 2 center on any team but maybe he is a late developer. He could be worth the risk if the price is right. Oilers? You still inquiring?

David Clarkson (Age 29, 6'1, 200 lbs)
Wants the 'Big Smoke' as his destination by those claiming to be close to him. If he leaves NJ he ends up in TO I believe. Also is a natural RW so remove any idea's Oiler fans. We have Yakupov on the RW and Clarkson is not great on LW in experiments NJ has attempted him there.

Nino Niederreiter (Age 20, 6'2, 208 lbs)
Could be a possibility as well. Things have not gone well for Nino and maybe he needs a change of scenery. Nino for Paajarvi later on after draft? I think there is some interest from Oilers, question is How much?

Zack Smith (Age 25, 6'2, 212 lbs)
Depending on what they actually would need to send to Ottawa, Zack would be a interesting acquisition for the Oilers. Still find this rumour to sound off some.

Sean Couturier (Age 20, 6'3, 197 lbs)
Unless the Flyers want our #7 and we trade, I do not see the Oilers getting him. Would you do #7 for Sean straight up? What if the trade was The Oilers #7 and Paajarvi and Marincin for Braydon Coburn , their number #10 and Sean Couturier?

Ryan Malone (Age 33, 6'4, 224 lbs)
If the Oilers want to take a risk on his injury prone body and for a good price to pay for that risk but I do not see this as legitimate. Unless the Oilers get something out of this, it is not happening.

These players are not all really in play but you can bet your Grandma's pension that one could be in Oil Country by the start of the next NHL season. (If not traded here, they play here? All kidding aside, I am pretty certain one or two will be landed , question is, who?

If I had to select my top players I would want regardless of salary or what it took to acquire them I would place these forwards in the following order of priority.

1.Bobby Ryan (Age 26, 6'2, 200 lbs)
2.Sean Couturier (Age 20, 6'3, 197 lbs)
3.Martin Hanzel (Age 26, 6'6, 236 lbs)
4.Nathan Horton (Age 28, 6'2, 229 lbs)
5.Patrick Marleau (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
6.Ryan Johansen (Ahe 20, 6'3, 203 lbs)
7.Nino Niederreiter (Age 20, 6'2, 208 lbs)
8.David Clarkson (Age 29, 6'1, 200 lbs)
9.Michal Handzus (Age 36, 6'5, 213 lbs)
10.Cal Clutterbuck (Age 25, 5'11, 213 lbs)
11.Viktor Stalberg (Age 27, 6'3, 209 lbs)
12.Paul Gaustad (Age 31, 6'5, 223 lbs)
13.Drew Stafford (Age 27, 6'2, 214 lbs)
14.Chris Stewart (Age 25, 6'2, 231 lbs)
15.Dave Bolland (Age 27, 6'0, 184 lbs)
16.Manny Malhotra (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
17.Zack Smith (Age 25, 6'2, 212 lbs)
18.Dustin Penner (Age 30, 6'5, 245 lbs)
19.Nik Antropov (Age 33, 6'6, 245 lbs)
20.Ryan Malone (Age 33, 6'4, 224 lbs)

Stay tuned folks for a incredible ride of emotion today.

"Post Mock Draft Prediction, How did Oilers Jambalaya do"?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Defencemen: Crazy or Legitimate Speculation in "Oil Country"?

What a crazy day in the world of the NHL. Is there another sport that knows how to build excitement in and around the game for so many days of the year like the NHL? granted it may only be in North America and or Europe but it is huge and it dominates the world of sports all over. Twitter has exploded today. Just check what is trending and you will see.

Something to keep in focus during this time, these are mostly all only teams potentially interested in making a move. It does not mean there is a move to make. Enough said, in today's earlier blog we covered potential Goaltenders the Oilers could consider, but what is happening with Defencemen in the world of speculation and rumours? Is there any legitimate rumours or interest or is most of this all smoke and mirrors and people having fun making things up?

Lets take a closer look into D-men that may be purely speculation and or legitimate guys the Oilers are considering bringing to Edmonton in the very near future.

The following are speculated to be considered being traded for or coming to Edmonton;

Braydon Coburn (Age 28, 6'5, 220 lbs)
While I write this, the rumours are going crazy the Oilers are going strong after him. I would think there are some legs to this one and it is possible it could happen by the end of the night as long as it is not for the #7 pick tonight. If it includes a deal for Braydon with a 1st round it will be pushed to the Oilers know who they have available at the #7 slot tomorrow. I like this move for the right price but would be very upset if we lose chance at Monahan or Nichuskin and have Coburn and a later pick like Horvat or Lazar. Like those players but they are not the same quality player. This is a big player who can do some damage to opposing teams forwards who like to crash and bang.

Jake Gardiner (Age 22, 6'2, 184 lbs)
jake has been mentioned in several different options and 1 being the trading of 1st round picks between the Leafs and Oilers. The Oilers may like Jake but not to fall that far back in the 1st round. Jake would be a great addition but not at the expense being considered. Doubt there is any movement to this any longer but still makes good for interesting conversation.

Kris Letang (Age 26, 6'0, 201 lbs)
The best player potentially the Oilers could pick up. Guys like this do not come available very often. Problem? High $ to pay for a top #1 D-man. Is he worth it? He is IMO but let's face it, his numbers points total would not be much different then they were with the Pens as Oilers do have high end skill. This is a PPG player and they are rare. Don't be fooled by the fact he gets points cause he is in Pittsburgh. This guy makes many plays on his own. I would trade the house for him (almost) if we were able to extend his contract signing first). Untouchables for me would be J.Schultz, Hall, Yakupov and RNH.

Dion Phaneuf (Age 28, 6'3, 214 lbs)
Another trade rumour that involves Gagner but the loss in that trade without Dion being re-signed is substantial and could he handle being a local boy under scrutiny? His next contract he won't want a hometown discount so I doubt it's a match but regardless as a player, I do like him in second pairing. This is purely speculation to me cause TO has mentioned the want to replace Bozak but let's face it, they are going hard after a Big Center in the UFA market who was just bought out and I would not doubt if they promised #1 Center position to a certain newly bought out sought after UFA Center.

Fedor Tyutin (Age 29, 6'2, 216 lbs)
I really like his size and his puck movement, if the Oilers were able to land him, he could fill in nicely on that second pairing. 

Johnny Boychuck (Age 29 , 6'2 , 225 lbs)
Rumours are abound that Johnny could be had for the right price. With d-men coming up in the system it is possible they are hoping to unload some salary and he was slated to return back to Edmonton last time when he was a UFA upcoming but Bruins convinced him to stay on. I am sure he made the right choice but Johnny loves Edmonton, grew up loving the Oilers and his family is here. Not sure there is a match for what Bruins want but this speculation could have some feet as a possibility at least.

Wade Redden (Age 36, 6'2 , 205 lbs)
The Oilers Kevin Lowe wanted him years back out of Ottawa but Truth is Redden wanted nothing to do with us back then. I say why bring him back now as a depth d-man if he didn't like us then why should we take a chance on him now. I know petty of me huh?

Rob Scuderi (Age 34, 6'1, 216 lbs)
I know his age is against him but I have always loved the way Rob plays the game. Would be great for a second line pairing tops or in our bottom 5 or 6 role. A 2 year deal would be fair to me if you can convince him of the potential and he would sign with 2.5 million range. I highly doubt it and suspect he goes back east.

Jonathan Blum (Age 24, 6'1 , 186 lbs)
This player is sought after by the Oilers if you read the rumours the past couple years. While he would be a interesting player, he has no real size like fans and coaches say this team needs. Not a upgrade IMO.

Keith Yandle (Age 26, 6'1, 190 lbs)
A top pairing d-man that we could use now. Problem? Can we afford to pry him out of his organization without giving up too much to get him. I don't think we want to give what the Coyotes will want in return. I think there is talk but it ends quickly when the Oilers top players are brought into the equation.
Zach Bogosian (Age 22 , 6'3, 215 lbs)

Ron Hainsey (Age 32, 6'3, 210 lbs)
Another older but good experienced player who can handle the minutes. He is a bigger player who can handle himself well. Never been considered All-Star quality but could be a good stop gap until the prospects are matured enough.

Tyler Myers (Age 23, 6'8 , 227 lbs)
A enormous player who has taken a fall for the worse. Maybe it was the pressure , maybe the injuries but regardless he has fallen lots. Carries a high price tag but you have to take risks sometimes but question is would he be worth the risk? It will take a lot to pry him out of Buffalo. No? Maybe not.

Jack Johnson (Age 26, 6'1 , 231 lbs)
I like this player more then most and would love to find a way to land him. He is a beast on the ice and not easy to move. He makes some mistakes but is still fairly young and growing into his game. I think he can be had with CBJ but only time will tell. 

All in all there may be other potential rumours or speculation to come but this covers the majority of players that are available. The following is my order of preference if we were to land a player (excluding how much they make or would cost to get)

1. Kris Letang (all I require in this trade is to see a extension)
2, Keith Yandle (as long as RNH,Hall,Eberle,Yakupov,J.Schultz and Klefbom are not included)
3, Braydon Coburn (could potentially be done or done as soon as tomorrow at the latest.)
4. Tyler Myers (Doubt the Oilers want to do this with the $ and risk factor)
5. Fedor Tyutin (Could be a possibility. Give it a 30% chance)
6. Jake Gardiner (Highly unlikely now but where there is smoke there is fire sometimes)
7. Ron Hainsey (Have not heard much interest directly from management)
8. Dion Phaneuf (don't think many fans like this or Dion but would fit well but not sure of attitude)
9. Johnny Boychuck (Like the potential possibility if the Oilers got him for right price)
10. Rob Scuderi (Highly unlikely as may want to return to play in the east)
11. Jonathan Blum (Not sure how MacT feels but Tamby loved this guy)
12. Wade Redden (I don't think there is any interest and Oilers would consider if in playoff race)


Goaltending: Crazy or Legitimate Speculation in "Oil Country"?

Welcome aboard Keith Action! Welcome aboard Dallas Eakins, Move aside Tamby, there is a new Sheriff in town and he is 'Cleaning up' the ice!

Ok, so maybe that is a little far fetched for opening comments but everyone of us has to say MacT has made life much more interesting in Edmonton since stepping up to the GM chair. He promised that this team will change and status quo will not remain and something needs to be done. He said he was impatient and that made Oiler fans all giddy after years of Mr.Dithers being the last to the party almost every time. I know Oiler fans want to see some huge trades, some top talent moved in and the Oilers take the stud d-man and/or #2 centre this team really needs. They want a huge LW player and dont care what it takes to get what they want. Or do they? I think we Edmonton fans want everything but are unwilling to part in our hearts with anything.

Like many of you, I want to win every trade the Oilers make. The Oilers are close to our heart and we take it personal when someone speaks ill of a player we like. Having said all that, let's take a look at some rumours, crazy or legitimate happening in "Oil Country".

Roberto Luongo (Age 34, 6'3 , 217 lbs)
This has been beat to death and I do believe Luongo was intended to be the big purchase last season if the lockout had not happened the Oilers were considering. Would Luongo consider coming to Edmonton? Don't let people's speculation fool you. Luongo wants a Stanley Cup and he stands to win one if he came to Edmonton within the next 4 years. Weather? He has the money and the home in the south, it is not as big a deal as some like to think it is.

Ryan Miller (Age 32, 6'2 , 175 lbs)
Will cost a dime but the Oilers have the assets to acquire if they choose. Question is in play as if Ryan would be ok in a Canadian City. Very much loves America and likes playing in the easy travelled east is what I have heard from interviews with people close to him in the Buffalo media circles. I would say the chance of him wanting to come to Edmonton is around 40% but you never know. Myself? I like his play and think he is a player who can take us over the edge.

Marc Andre Fluery (Age 28, 6'2 , 180 lbs)
I get that everyone and their dog thinks he sucks right now. He has failed miserably in the playoffs for two straight years. He has struggled like Luongo on the highest levels of play but is stellar when there is no pressure. On the other hand he won a Stanley Cup, has the pedigree and you don't just get a world class goaltender for a good price to acquire and a good salary cap price unless you take some chances. Stay with Status quo and you get status quo.

Ray Emery (Age 30, 6'2 , 196 lbs)
Has been to 2 Stanley Cup finals and has experience in returning to top form. He has bad games but every goalie has 1 once in awhile. I think he is the most logical , affordable and best to tandom with DD.

Anton Khudobin (Age 27, 5'11 , 203 lbs)
Is not ideal to me to come in here and a shorter goalie is not common in the NHL these days. I think he is a perfect backup but don't expect him at any point to carry the Oilers or really challenge DD for #1 spot. This acquisition would be to have a solid #2 backup and thats it. I will say though his NHL limited stats do read well for SP% and GAA.

Cory Schneider (Age 27 , 6'2, 197 lbs)
Cory would be a interesting catch but not IMO at the cost of a 1st round pick in the top 15 OV selections. Too questionable with a 2 year contract left only and a player who has yet to carry the load of a NHL team for a season or do anything more then Luongo in the playoffs. Good goalie but a better #1 the DD? Not exactly a young goaltender at 27 and yet to be a legitimate #1 goaltender. Granted in another city in the NHL he may have been for awhile but in the end, he is still a bigger risk then Luongo at a higher price.

Which of these possible goalie rumours are legitimate in your opinion? Who is a terrible purchase to you? Do you trade DD if you land one of these guys are have a good tandem?

Providing we are not moving out of the top 12 draft picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and not giving up Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, J.Schultz or Klefbom, I would put my selection of preference in the following order...

1. Ray Emery (least risk, sign as UFA for free and gives 1 last year for DD to continue to get better)
2.Ryan Miller (as mentioned, I do not think he would want to come here)
3. Roberto Luongo (I get the risk factor but am ok with it. Canucks eat some salary? I'm in)
4.Marc Andre Fluery (may be a huge risk but no risk, no reward! May just need change of scenery)
5.Cory Schneider (could be a great guy if we traded out for DD and a 2nd round pick in Anaheim's?)
6. Anton Kudobin (a great backup to DD for a season to see what they have)

Disagree? Feel free to drop a comment why and share your views. It will be a fun couple days and next following 2 weeks. What will happen? A quality netminder will arrive soon in Edmonton but who?

NEXT POST COMING TODAY: Defence: Crazy or Legitimate Speculation in "Oil Country"?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oilers Jambalaya 2013 NHL Mock Draft

Sunday will be another historic day for the NHL as it embarks on another important day in the history of great players. I am rather uncertain about this being as deep a draft as mentioned by several but I do think its a much more talented first round we are going to see with high end skill spread throughout that round. All you have to do is look and you will see out of the top 7 or 8 players probably at least 5 have better potential to be stars in the NHL and not bottom 6 forwards or bottom pairing d-men.

Each year I post my REVS TOP 15 NHL DRAFT PROSPECTS at the beginning of the year and once again I re-post with changes at year end. There is always a player here or there that pleasantly surprises and moves up the rankings and then there are those who drastically drop down and seem for whatever reason to lose the 'it' factor which got them there. Here is my year ending REVS TOP 15 2013 NHL DRAFT PROSPECTS...

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

My rankings I post are based off the player I believe is the best all around player available at the time of drafting, NOT in 5 years or by importance of team.

 I have stood strong throughout the year and never doubted MacKinnon as the undisputed #1 even once. To me the media and some scouts made a big deal and swayed the opinion of the masses for awhile. It is interesting cause you always hear that one tournament does not change scouts minds, yet that is exactly what happened after the World Jr tourney in January. Seth Jones was the man! Then when MacKinnon and Jones continued to pick up where they left off, it was Jones staying ranked ahead by 8 out of 10 scouts. After the CHL playoffs and the Memorial Cup MacKinnon began to once again look like the favourite at #1. Why? Because of his dominance at the highest level. 

Still agree that 1 tournament does not make a difference? It happened when Taylor won back to back memorial cups and MVP awards as well. Not to mention swaying the Oilers to take him after seeing him pick himself up off the ice and then go and score a goal shortly after. MacKinnon has been my guy all along and I still stand by the fact he will be a superstar in the making. Heck, he alone will be worth liking and watching the Colorado Avalanche this year.

This Mock draft is NOT based on BPA but based on WHO I believe will be picked for each team at their respective spots. It's always a difficult task ranking the top players let alone by team perspective but we will treat this 'Oilers Jambalaya NHL Mock draft' as if there will be no trades allowed. Feel free to leave your thoughts, disagreements or opinions. Have fun Oil Country!


1Nathan MacKinnon
2Jonathan Drouin
3Seth Jones
4Sasha Barkov
5Darnell Nurse
6Sean Monahan
7Valeri Nichushkin 
8Elias Lindholm
9Hunter Shinkaruk
10Rasmus Ristolainen 
11Nikita Zadorov
12Curtis Lazar
13Max Domi
14Bo Horvat
15Ryan Pulock
16*Samuel Morin
17Frederik Gauthier
18Alexander Wennberg
19*Anthony Mantha
20Valentin Zykov
21Kerby Rychel
22*Zachary Fucale
23Mirco Mueller
24Adam Erne
25Josh Morrissey
26Jacob De La Rose
27*Ryan Hartman
28*Robert Hagg
29JT Compher
30Nicolas Petan
By "Revingev" of Oilers Jamabalaya

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft will be fun. Find your friends, find a local establishment to hang out with others and enjoy another historic time in the life of every NHL team. In today's NHL finding prospects who can play are extremely important to a salary cap team who must take advantage of cheaper priced players. 

Keep on Keepin on!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Look into the UFA 'Left Wing' position in Edmonton

We all know the Oilers are looking for a top 6 big forward with experience to play on the first or second line. Question we have is, is their one on the UFA radar? There is some confusion out there on certain players being a Center when they are really a winger and vice versa. Also moving a player from LW to RW or vice versa is not always a good choice. Sometimes because of their shooting angles a player is better moving up a specific side.

 i.e: Eric Cole moved to his off side on wing during his spell. Even Yakupov on LW to start the year. Yakupov is much better and more comfortable on the RW. Having said that currently our top wingers are....

LW; Hall, Paajarvi
RW; Eberle, Yakupov
(assuming Hemsky is moved out) Truth is, Paajarvi as much as I love what he brings is a 3rd line LW at this point in his career and can fill in on the 2nd line with injury for a short spell. We really are in need of a LW player. So, let's see what is out there on the Left Wing UFA Market.

Brenden Morrow
Ryane Clowe
Simon Gagne
Clark MacArthur
Dustin Penner
Valtteri Filppula
Danny Cleary
Vinny Prospal
Mason Raymond
Matt Cooke
Raffi Torres
Victor Stalberg
Bryan Bickell

There are some others but not ones that I would even think the Oilers would consider. Do any of these players stand out to you. Remember this player just needs to be a fill gap for 2 or 3 years. After that they should be more developed in their system or trading for a upgrade. Whats your thoughts?

I personally like the idea of one of Morrow, Filppula, Stalberg or Bickell. Anyone else only for bottom 2 lines to round out what we will need. Not much out there for left wing on the UFA market. BTW...Clarkson in NJ is a natural RW and the experiment on LW did not have positive results in NJ so I do not think you can move him there.

Looking at whats out there, I would prefer to make Gagner our second line LW and bring in a big Center. Our lines would look to be adjusted  from here...

Gagner/ ? /Yakupov
Paajarvi/ ? / ?
Brown/ ? / ?

What are your thought? Going to be a interesting next 4 weeks. I expect by July 15th we will know where this team is sitting player wise going into next year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A look into the UFA "Defencemen" position in Edmonton

We already know there are few centremen available to the Oilers on the UFA market coming up but what about Defence? It has been mentioned now for years we need a fix. What could possibly be out there for defence? Let's take a look at the possibilities that are mentioned going into the UFA market in less then a month;

UFA Defence

Ron Hainsey
Mark Streit
Marek Zidlicky
Rob Scuderi
Jordan Leopold
Toni Lydman
Douglas Murray
Anton Babchuk
Adrian Aucion
Andrew Ference
Joe Corvo
Michal Rozsival
Adam Pardy
Scott Hannan
Wade Redden
Mark Eaton
Ben Lovejoy

These are guys on defence who I think would even be given consideration let alone actually offered a opportunity in Edmonton. There are some possibilities here but outside of Haninsey and Streit, you are not getting that top pairing defence you may be wanting in the UFA Market. How much would you be willing to pay for one or the other on the UFA Market? Your not trading for a top 2 defencemen without giving up one of the Oilers 'sacred 5' so you either pay one of those guys or continue to develop your own. IMO , other then a trade MacT may make a offer to either of these guys but no more $ then 4.5 million/year and no longer then 3 years in term. Myself, if they could land him, I really like Rob Scuderi but likely he gets resigned or signs elsewhere for more. Some have said he wants to play in the east, only time will tell.

'Keep your stick on the ice!'

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Edmonton Oilers "Moves or Non-Moves"? Pt 2

OK, the Sheriff has done it again and in less then a week. He has removed the man behind the 'strings' as far as the ice time goes. Was this expected? Was this a last minute change in direction for the Oilers? Was this a good move or bad move? Lots of questions but as the Sheriff has already said, there is lots more ahead.

We can debate on the Oilers decisions till the cows come home but the only fact we have in front of us is this team is NOT a playoff contender yet. Sure they may only be missing a piece here or there but in the end, someone needs to take a risk. Example...Ray Shero took some big risks in Pittsburgh. He brough in Morrow, Iginla, Jokinen and Murray to a team that had been winning without those guys. In the end, his All-Star team never did make it to Lord Stanley's Wedding. Think back to the New York Rangers on a few occasions. Trying to assemble a cast of all-stars does not work very often. Maybe that is the problem in Oil Country. Maybe we are so afraid to trade off a star in worries that we need only all-stars (Schultz, Eberle, RNH, Hall and Yakupov) and we will be set. Those players we have, I want! On the other I want a exciting team but one that wins.

All that being said, I am one fan who is hoping the Sheriff knows what he is doing. 'In MacT we trust'.

Having had a few conversations since earlier this week, in and around the Oilers brass, local and afar, I have gleaned some new insights that could turn out to be pretty interesting. In no way am I saying I have inside information from the GM and as we all know any info from within a organization is only information and is not legit until it actually happens and someone makes a decision or pulls the trigger. MacT has a quick trigger hand, so expect a few casualties along the way. I heard the nervousness in his voice but I also heard confidence to stand up and be accounted for. The nervousness we heard from was the human element. Nobody wants to fire someone (usually) on the other hand he is not afraid to declare it was HIS CHOICE. He will live or die with his decision.

Now to more potential Oilers 'Moves or Non-Moves';

1) Goaltending to compete for 1st string;
It is sounding more and more that the Oilers are looking for a established Goaltender. The European route sounds to be one of development they will go with. Train and develop in the AHL while working a draft pick goaltender with them on the farm. It is possible we don't pick up a goaltender until the third round. What are potential names for this year?

Let's look at possibilities of possible interest. Ryan Miller / Roberto Luongo / Marc-Andre Fluery / Ray Emery. Don't laugh! It's a very real possibility for the Oilers. Let's look at these Goalies closer into what they could potentially offer.
Ryan Miller - A #1 Goalie who still has lots in the tank and has been in several swirling rumours from the City of Buffalo, New York City, Carolina and even Florida. I have no qualms about Ryan and what he brings, it's his price tag and if he would even want to live in the cold Tundra of Edmonton. (Buffalo is not that nice of a place but he is at least a American). Would be my #1 choice should I be the one choosing.
Roberto Luongo - This is a mixed bag to Oilers fans. His contract is terrible but what do we care if it builds us into a winner. I believe Luongo still has 5 years left in him as a Top 10 Goalie in this league. It's hard to say if he would be ok coming here but on the other hand Gilles needs to make something happen as he will NOT be able to carry both Goalies going into next season or his job is lost. Luongo wants a chance to win and Edmonton may just be that place for him to do so. He would be my #2 choice. (keep in mind the comments from Bob Stauffer from last season should the lock-out had been shorter and a big move from the Oilers.)
Marc-Andre Fluery-A player with high pedigree who has lost incredible favour with his organization in Pittsburgh. Not playing him later in the playoffs and being swept in 4 by Boston is sending lots of subtle signs. Sometimes Goalies just need a change and could Edmonton be that change he needs. I know last years playoffs and this years as well has Oiler fans scared of him, but no risk? Little reward! You will NOT get a top notch Goalie by UFA or trade cause they are too high priced or won't get traded cause everyone wants them. People though Patrick Roy was going downhill early before being traded to Colorado. It's a risk, but no risk and you get the Dubynk's of the world only.
Ray Emery- Past his prime years now but could be a quality challenger to raising Dubynk's game. Likely not a permanent thing but a stop gap in the mean time.

NOTE: I know Oiler fans want the best Goalie possible, for the least cap dollars and a low amount of years to pay on his contract along with a guy who can be clutch and has performed well in the playoffs and even won a Stanley Cup. Can't have all of those things in one package. You get the bad with the Good. The closest in that group of Goalies is Ryan Miller. Clutch goaltending in regular season? Roberto Luongo, not playoffs maybe. Fluery has won a stanley cup and performed well during the regular season but last two playoffs has stunk out the joint. Emery? Been to a Stanley Cup final! It will be interesting where we go from here. MacT believes in building from the Back out, so Goaltending will be addressed I believe in a big move. Only time will now tell.

2) Coaching;
With Krueger gone and all the hype on Dallas taking his spot, you have got to believe it is his job and final paperwork is only left. The assistants won't be staying, it's clean house time and likely that extra coach will be Paul Maurice. Do I like Maurice in as the associate? Not really sure how much he has to offer but one can hope I guess. I would rather Dallas goes a little outside his circles but as long as no coach is 'old boys club' I am ok with the move. I expect by Tuesday afternoon everything is done including a press meeting.

No one can say it's boring in the off-season in Edmonton can we?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A look into the UFA 'Center' position in Edmonton

Today we are going to look at potential Centre position players that could be brought in. We may just need that depth center position filled here in Edmonton OR could we trade Gagner potentially if he is asking for too high a price and sign a decent Centerman to replace him? Only time will tell for Oiler fans but in the meantime let's take a look at what is available on the Free Agent market for Centre's July 1/2013.

Elias, Patrik » 6'1 194 lbs

Ribeiro, Mike » 6'0 176 lbs

Connolly, Tim » 6'1 192 lbs

McDonald, Andy » 5'10 187 lbs

Antropov, Nik » 6'6 245

Roy, Derek » 5'9 187 lbs

Koivu, Saku » 5'10 181 lbs

Cullen, Matt » 6'1 194 lbs

Lombardi, Matthew » 5'11 194 lbs

Zubrus, Dainius » 6'5 225 lbs

Weiss, Stephen » 5'11 192 lbs

Malhotra, Manny » 6'2 216 lbs

Handzus, Michal » 6'5 216 lbs

Wellwood, Kyle » 5'11 185 lbs

Bozak, Tyler » 6'0 187 lbs

Reasoner, Marty » 6'0 190 lbs

Gordon, Boyd » 6'0 201 lbs

Hecht, Jochen » 6'1 192 lbs

Steckel, David » 6'5 223 lbs

Lapierre, Maxim » 6'2 220 lbs

Regin, Peter » 6'2 196 lbs

Halpern, Jeff » 6'0 203 lbs

Nichol, Scott » 5'8 179 lbs

Chipchura, Kyle » 6'2 209 lbs

Adams, Craig » 6'0 198 lbs

Hall, Adam » 6'3 205 lbs

Bolduc, Alexandre » 6'2 201 lbs

Of these players available, very few would be of interest to replace Gagner at center, so unless they can grab a top centerman in the NHL entry draft, very unlikely they let Gagner go unless they secretly plan to move Hall to the centre position. (I highly doubt they go that way). Take a look see at some possibilities here for that 4th line role behind Horcoff if he is not traded. Belanger's replacement is very likely going to be a faceoff winning centre who has speed to burn and is a big boy who can land a good hit.

I will discuss under comments some of my thoughts as too which players I like  or dislike.

'Keepin on Keepin on'

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