Showing posts with label 2013 NHL Entry draft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013 NHL Entry draft. Show all posts

Saturday, June 29, 2013

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"?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Edmonton Oilers 'Moves or Non-Moves'?

Today being just another day in the life of Oiler fans, it was a good day for a blog that raised some thoughts and or questions for some of the greatest hockey fans the world has seen or heard.

The hockey world does not always make sense. Sure, eventually what goes around, comes around, but that does not stop the pain suffered by Edmonton Oiler fans since the devastating Game 7 loss in the 2006 Stanley Cup. It's like the pain never stops. Just when there looks to be hope at the end of the tunnel, WHAM! Right in the gut once again. Kind of reminds me of growing up in elementary school and facing the big bully each day that wants your 'yummy' lunch your mom sent.

I must say, the Oilers organization should be credited with some good work being 'spin doctors'. Seriously, think about it. Ever since the 2006 Stanley Cup run, the Oilers have found a way to spoon feed us some good hope that this team will eventually return to make a solid run at Lord Stanley's Cup. A feat few teams ever get close to , let alone actually accomplish.

Having said all that, there is the newest Sheriff in town and his Name is 'Sheriff MacT' and he is ready with guns loaded to run the bad guys out of town! Ok, if I am going to make that analogy, I better describe who the bad guys are right? Wrong! I am going to leave that up to you incredible and knowledgable fans. What I am going to do is walk through some possibilities moving forward and what I think is going to happen. I have mentioned this before and will reiterate it again, you can read between the lines if you pay close attention to the subtle things being said. There is always the local gossip rumour mill and of course there is occasionally some insights learned from things said by the Oilers brass that gets passed on through those 'casual get togethers' in the community. So having said all that here are some of the 'Moves or Non-Moves' that could possibly be on the horizon in Oil Country in the coming weeks and months.

1) Horcoff; Will be moved out but a trade will be the way MacT tries to move him out. I know he still has a couple years left on his contract but to the right team this could make sense. There are likely about 5-7 teams who may have interest , while maybe 2 or 3 have more interest. The possibilities? A team on the verge of making a run at the playoffs and/or a team who needs to reach the cap floor. I do not believe Horcoff moves via a buyout as that likely will be used on Belanger if he can not be traded which most believe he can not be moved any other way. The Oilers will not use both their compliance buyouts this year so expect a trade or Shawn will have one more year playing Center in Edmonton.

2) Smyth; I know many fans who want him gone but Ryan has lots to prove. He will have extra motivation this year to make up for the worst year of his career. Ryan will be settling for 4th line duty this year, maybe 3rd line in the case of injuries once again but 10-12 minutes a night of TOI could make him a valuable asset in played in right circumstances.

3) Belanger; See comments under Horcoff

4) 2nd Goaltender; Yes, fans wanted the latest and greatest finish Goalie but there are a couple other options lying out there. Don't write off a move for a top notch Goalie. The Oilers making a play for Luongo is still not out of the question (like it or hate it). In addition, Miller could be in play from Buffalo. Like him or not, Miller even with a bad season in Buffalo still makes the clutch saves, his SP remains close to the same year after year as does his GAA. (Something to be noted of what is a indicator of a consistent and good goaltender is that his SP and his GAA remains much alike year after year) There are exceptions when playing behind a terrible defence that changes year after year but it's a good mark of a great goalie. Unfortunately a terrible playoff record year after year falls into that same category. It may be neither goalie but look for a move along those lines as a possibility if not this year absolutely next year.

5) #7 OV Draft pick 2013; The greatest likelyhood is keeping the pick. I would think the likeliest pick will be Monahan and or Darnell Nurse if they keep the pick and with who may be available. If they can, MacT will make a push to get MacKinnon but that would be a absolute gift if he can pull that off. It's not happening but we can dream. There is a possibility they do press to move up a few and get Barkov. Some talk suggests to move up to the 4 or 5 spot to get Barkov will mean giving up this years #7, 2014 1st OV selection and a roster player of significance. What I can say is I do not believe the Oilers will take Lindholm and/or Zadorov as some suggest they can. Nurse is a much better skater then Zadorov, is more mobile, has a better 1st pass out of his zone and is still close to 200 lbs already. I do believe if they can not land MacKinnon (Highly unlikely) Barkov (slim chance) or Monahan (50% chance) then they will try to trade down with Columbus and land Lazar and/or Horvat. Lazar is underrated IMO and if they can not land those earlier three centres I mentioned I do believe Lazar is next on their list. NOTE: I do believe the Oilers like Pulock as well should they have a opportunity to trade with Columbus for their two higher picks for their #7 slot. Would Ryan Pulock (Captain, over 200 lbs, has a slapshot already over 104 mph) with Lazar be acceptable? It's a chance there is a possibility there. Should be a much more interesting draft for us then previous years.

6) New associate coach; It will happen, they need someone with NHL experience who can help with technical skills. MacT has indicated with subtle hints that coaching needs to be more rounded and after hearing rumours circling Oil Country, I am prett certain we will see such a thing happen.

7) Klefbom; Contrary to some people's opinions if he is healthy, he will make the Oilers out of training camp I believe. I understand why people say he needs time in OKC but how do they know? Until you see him play in training camp and a few per-season games you can not make that judgement unless as fans we know better then coaches. Rushing him to the NHL means he was not ready, him playing cause he is better then the other players in camp does not mean rushing at all. I have high expectations of Klefbom and believe he will make believers out of alot of fans this coming season. Only question will be. 'is he fully healed up'? I expect our defence to be Smid/Petry/J.Schultz/N.Schultz/Klefbom/UFA or TRADE

Thats a few random thoughts for today. Next blog we will continue with some more Moves or Non-Moves in Oil Country.

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