GDB 42.0: PLAYING FOR PRIDE

Jason Gregor
April 16 2013 12:23PM

The Oilers won't reach their goal of making the playoffs. For them it sucks. They want to win, and missing the playoffs for the 7th consecutive season must feel like a swift kick to the junk. However, the Oilers need to suck it up and compete in their final seven games.

If they don't, then new genernal manager Craig MacTavish will have a much more difficult job trying to re-shape his team. If the Oilers don't have enough competitive players, it doesn't matter how much skill, speed or size they assemble. You can't win if you aren't willing to match the intensity, desperation and desire of the opposition.

"We basically lost to the &*(&*(#@$% Abbotsford Heat last game...We didn't just lose, we got our ass kicked," an Oiler player told me yesterday. He was embarrassed by his team's performance and said the next seven games guys have to show each other they care. He said it off the record, so I can't attribute it to him, but he was fuming which surprised me since I've never seen him that amped up.

We'll see if his teammates feel the same as him when they face the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild are in 6th place, one point up on St. Louis and two up on Detroit and Columbus. A month ago they looked like a lock to make the playoffs, but they are 3-6-1 in their last 10. They aren't playing very well down the stretch and the young Oilers have an opportunity to share their non-playoff disappointment with another Northwest division foe.

LINEUP

The Oilers recalled Teemu Hartikainen and Anton Lander yesterday and both will be in the lineup tonight. I'd have thrown Hartikainen beside RNH and Eberle and put Hall with Gagner and Yakupov, because the top line hasn't scored a goal in five games, so switch it up.

Kreuger will switch up his lines:

Hall/Gagner/Yakupov
Paajarvi/RNH/Eberle
Hartikainen/Lander/Horcoff
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Fistric/Potter

Dubnyk

At this point you might as well look at many different combos. It is odd seeing Horcoff on the wing and Smyth at centre, but for one game why not. It shouldnt' matter what positions the players play, all 18 skaters must simply play hard and smart.  

QUICK HITS

  • Craig MacTavish will be much more decisive and proactive than Steve Tambellini. I'm not sure if he'll be Paul Holmgren-ish, but he's not going to hesitate to makes some moves. That could be good and bad of course, but Oilers fans will have lots to discuss this off-season. I suspect you will see at least 7 new regulars on the roster next year.
     
  • I'm not surprised MacTavish said he'd make bold moves. I wrote this on March 27th, yet many claimed I was clueless. A bold move doesn't mean shipping out 4th liners, it means moving out a good player and getting a good one in return. It won't be a surprise when MacTavish pulls off a deal, but it will be intriguing to see how many deals he makes.
     
  • If I had to rank the most pressing needs of the Oilers, i'd go with these. 1. A strong veteran shut down D-man who can play 20 minutes. 2. Another puck moving defenceman. 3. One, and ideally two, top-six forwards with strength and size. 4. A third line veteran forward who is physical, can kill penalties and play tough minutes. None of those are easy to find, but that is what this team needs. If Oscar Klefbom makes the team next year, he has to start the season in the third pairing. They can't rely on him to be a top-four. If he plays his way up the ranks, great, but he shouldn't be expected to start there.
     
  • The great part about sports is that we will all interpret comments/quotes differently. Kevin Lowe's comments yesterday regarding "two-types of fans" had many fans irate. He never said he cares or listens to season ticket holders more, he said they communicate with them more, which is true. Ideally, he never should have said "two-different type of fans," because automatically those who aren't season seat holders will feel offended.  You can say he chose the wrong words, but Lowe interacts with fans more than his players, so any suggestion that he doesn't care about fans would be misleading. I actually thought his comment about six Stanley Cup rings would rile people up more than his fan comment. Either way, It made for some excellent debates.
     
  • The Wild are in a battle for the final three playoff spots. They can't afford to take the Oilers lightly, and I suspect they won't. The Wild didn't skate this morning, but Mikko Koivu made it clear that they expect the Oilers to be hungry and ready to show their new GM they are worthy of being part of the team moving forward. It was an interesting take from an opposing player, and I'm curious to see if he is right.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Wild played last night, so the Oilers should have more energy and a heightened urge to impress their new GM. Oilers squeek out a 2-1 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Someone will try and make the Clutterbuck/Hall hit a story line. Clutterbuck has only fought twice in the last three seasons, but someone will go with the redemption angle. Clutterbuck loves to hit, and if he takes a few healthy runs at the Oilers none of us should be surprised.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Lander has played 60 NHL games thus far, but he's played 13+ minutes only 9 times. He will play 14 minutes tonight, and he will end his 19-game (dating back to last year) goal-scoring drought in the 2nd period.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 @Oilanderp
April 16 2013, 05:56PM
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PLEASE please please shut up about Weber. PLEASE. He's not Hockey Jesus, and he's not coming here. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

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#2 Spydyr
April 16 2013, 01:26PM
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If they played with pride the team would not be where it is now. Too little too late.

Pride has left the building. Only shame remains.

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#3 Ducey
April 16 2013, 01:33PM
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Go Wild!*

* I want Barkov

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#4 French Toast Mafia
April 16 2013, 01:39PM
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I really really dislike the idea that Klefbom comes over next year and gets a spot in the top 6.

The Oilers have a problem because they give spots to players instead of having them earn it or prove they are good enough. People get rose colored glasses pulled over their eyes when they see a player that can make the show straight out of camp without ever playing a game in the league. Unfortunately for the Oilers, these players make the team out of camp because they have so few "actual" NHL calibre players on there team.

Guys like Lander, Harti, Kelfbom, and Teubert shouldn't be called up to fill holes because management can't find NHL players to fill out the roster while they develop.

I think it is horrible management to assume a player like Kelfbom (who has never once played hockey in the NHL or AHL and has spent all of this season injured) will be able to come in a play top 6 D.

If he comes over in camp and beats out an ACTUAL NHL defenseman for that position then yes, he has proven he is good enough.

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#5 106 and 106
April 16 2013, 04:47PM
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The ON nation keeps saying "Weber, Weber, Weber."

This isn't NHL 2008.

A top D-man doesn't show up for "Omark, 3rd rounder and Smyth, Belanger, Eager, Petrell, Hordichuk, Souray's contract, signed Ethan Moreau jersey"

Edit: Nashville: Okay, you want him. Your 1st, 2nd, Hemsky, Hall. Deal.

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#6 Shredder
April 16 2013, 12:33PM
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I'm happy to see the Oilers bring up Lander and Hartikainen. I'd prefer to see Lander in his normal position - centre, with Horcoff centring a line with Smyth. Make Horcoff and Smyth's line the 4th line...that should send a message - it's not benching them, but telling them that they really don't matter.

Love the idea of Hall/Gagner/Yakupov. Yak needs more ice time and Hall has been a good playmaker. Those 2 need more of each other.

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#7 VK63
April 16 2013, 12:36PM
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Brodziak does a championship belt salute to the rexall rafters, points at his junk and smugly mouths.... bag skate this ..... no helmet boy.

Buttercup ends Halls season with a borderline knee, the nutless wonders stand around and watch in mute shock.... courage is mustered up just in time for the post game scrum for the media and indignation reigns supreme.

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#8 baggedmilk
April 16 2013, 01:00PM
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For me, I understood what Kevin Lowe was trying to say but his choice of analogy was what lost me. I'm sure if he could take that question again he would have worded things differently.

That being said, I run the Oilers Nation twitter account and it sure is fun to poke the bear.

*hugs Nation Twitter account*

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#9 season not played
April 16 2013, 01:26PM
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Pride?!?!?!

It has become fairly obvious that this team has no pride.

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#10 Will
April 16 2013, 01:33PM
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Rocket wrote:

I for one hope there is considerable turnover next year. Any underachievers should not really belong this team. The Oilers need players that are tough to play against.#Truculence

With so few quality defensemen available in the coming free agency this summer, I really can't see Smid going anywhere. Especially because he plays the exact type of gritty shot blocking game Mac T jerks off over. "Oh ya, look at that shot blocking. Ya sacrifice that body."

You're welcome.

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#11 Minister D-
April 16 2013, 01:52PM
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@French Toast Mafia

There seems to be an unspoken consensus among too many fans that Klefbom will simply come in and be a top six guy right away. In countless posts I've come across that speculate on next year's lineup Klefbom is just slotted right in there, fait accompli.

Now, there's no doubt he's a great player and should have a solid career as an Oiler, but he's also had two major injuries in the past two seasons. This year was probably Klefbom's most important development year, and he lost 3/4's of it due to injury. He's only played 11 games in the SEL this year.

I have a strong suspicion that, even if he performs well in camp, putting him in the lineup next year without adequate support (i.e. very soft minutes with a solid veteran beside him) will condemn him to the same fate as Lander, another guy who performed well enough in last year's camp but was WAY over his head as an NHL player. Klefbom is at least a year away.

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#12 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 01:56PM
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@DSF

Still whining?

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#13 Bucknuck
April 16 2013, 03:34PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Habby has virtually the identical numbers/sv% to Dubnyk, there's no difference.

Perhaps it would've been appropriate to claim the Oilers need 2 goaltenders if you're unsatisfied with those type of numbers. Neither of these goaltenders are good enough to get you into the playoffs.

Since Weber can't be moved till mid/late summer, it may not have to involve the Oilers first choice in 2013. How about Eberle, Hemsky and the first in 2014? Throw Omark in the trunk on that deal if they want.

Sorry Quicksilver, but the sample size is too small to make that kind of a bold declaration about Khabibulin. However if you look at the last three years, you will see that Khabibulin isn't at the same level as Dubnyk.

When you consider that in Goalies that have played more than 1200 minutes this year (20 games), Dubnyk is NINTH in save percentage. Meaning that there are only eight goaltenders with a better save percentage. Since 16 teams make it to the playoffs, your statement doesn't have a lot of basis in fact.

When you consider that Edmonton's Defence is fairly porous, that makes an excellent stat look even better. Dubnyk is "good enough" by most accounts.

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#14 GVBlackhawk
April 16 2013, 03:58PM
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French Toast Mafia wrote:

I really really dislike the idea that Klefbom comes over next year and gets a spot in the top 6.

The Oilers have a problem because they give spots to players instead of having them earn it or prove they are good enough. People get rose colored glasses pulled over their eyes when they see a player that can make the show straight out of camp without ever playing a game in the league. Unfortunately for the Oilers, these players make the team out of camp because they have so few "actual" NHL calibre players on there team.

Guys like Lander, Harti, Kelfbom, and Teubert shouldn't be called up to fill holes because management can't find NHL players to fill out the roster while they develop.

I think it is horrible management to assume a player like Kelfbom (who has never once played hockey in the NHL or AHL and has spent all of this season injured) will be able to come in a play top 6 D.

If he comes over in camp and beats out an ACTUAL NHL defenseman for that position then yes, he has proven he is good enough.

I completely agree with you. In fact, I think that Klefbom should play in OKC to start the season no matter how good he shows in training camp. Let him go down and play a lot of minutes for the Barons. If he plays well, he can be first call up for injuries. If he stumbles a bit, then there is less pressure on him. This development method has been proven to be WAY more successful than the Oilers preferred 'throw into the deep end' method of development.

Gregor is correct. -- the team needs to bring in 2 defensemen to push the current top 4 down the depth chart.

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#15 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 16 2013, 04:37PM
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Let's Rebuild wrote:

Not to interupt the innane trade chat but I wonder if Lander is being tried out as the Horcoff replacement, and if he looks compitent, they may use the buy out on Horcoff. The irony of MacT buying out Horcoff only 3 years after he said he might be a dark horse for the olympics would be epic.

Why would you pay Horcoff not to play??

He would be the best third line center in the league....Horcoff is not the problem....

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#16 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 16 2013, 04:41PM
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dave wrote:

At some point the Oilers will have to move from a better than average goalie to a game stealing cup contender goalie.

The problem there is....you never know who that guy is/or will be.....our last 2 times in the show...it was Roloson and before that Ranford......neither guy was that highly touted...in fact they both resembled a guy named......................................................Devan Dubnyk.......

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#17 Walter Sobchak
April 16 2013, 04:58PM
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106 and 106 wrote:

The ON nation keeps saying "Weber, Weber, Weber."

This isn't NHL 2008.

A top D-man doesn't show up for "Omark, 3rd rounder and Smyth, Belanger, Eager, Petrell, Hordichuk, Souray's contract, signed Ethan Moreau jersey"

Edit: Nashville: Okay, you want him. Your 1st, 2nd, Hemsky, Hall. Deal.

Really, why don't you tell us who these players were dealt for.

Pronger - Phaneuf - Chara - Blake - Bourque - MacInnis - McCabe - Bouwmeester

Edit: Your trade is a gross overpayment!

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#18 positivebrontefan
April 16 2013, 12:40PM
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With the fight that Hall and Yak have showed the last few games it'll be good to see them together. I'm kind of excited to see this actually.

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#19 Bryan in SK
April 16 2013, 12:41PM
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Not sure I want to watch this team "playing for pride" again. They're 5 games too late. I want a playoff race, not a debate about off-season roster moves 2 weeks before the end of the regular season.

While the Oilers are playing for pride tonight, I'll be doing my income taxes, 'cuz at least I have a little hope of getting something out of it.

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#20 Oiler Al
April 16 2013, 01:19PM
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I watch and have watched a lot of hockey in my life... one aspect I honestly cannot put a handle on is why do teams , espeically the Oilers, who have strong talent in top six come out to play FLAT, game after game... no energey, and more so no urgency to play hard on the puck, follow through with checks, forecheck, and backcheck.... all essential elements of a good hockey club.

Watch teams like Boston, Montreal, even Toronto, Coyotes,, theres many come out of the gate flying and never quit... win or lose. Look at Montreal , they arent overly big or have tons of skil... but look at their game.

Why Can't the Oilers play that way?

I always think its the coaching and practice habits.????

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#21 Minister D-
April 16 2013, 01:20PM
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As the Liverpool kids used to say, "I've got a feeling..." we may be seeing the last of Pajaarvi, Gagner, Schultz the Elder, possibly even Smid, in Oiler silks; add that to the inevitable (one hopes, in one way or another) departures of Jones, Eager, Belanger, Whitney, Hordichuck, the "rights formerly known as Linus Omark" and a slough of underperforming prospects (Pitlick, Hamilton, Teubert, Plante, VDV). I suspect there's going to be some considerable turnover next year. It's due.

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#22 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 16 2013, 01:29PM
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@A-Mc

I wonder with what MacT likes in a player and referencing Gregor's post overall if it is more likely to see Ebs than Yak get traded in a blockbuster. Yak seems to be more physical and it seems early to assess what calibre of player he will be in two years. My guess is hr will be more similar to the Taylor Hall we have seen this year.

Than fan base would hate to see, I would hate to see it, but I think he is one of the more likely "aggressive" trading pieces along with MPS..

Sorry Wayne

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#23 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 01:32PM
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A-Mc wrote:

GOD can we all stop talking about loser Lowe.

Everyone says the same thing and its soooo old already.

lets talk more about those bold moves re: Eberle + 1st for Weber as per Team 1260 this morn.

i figure the oilers will manage 4 wins of the remaining 7 games. Tonight is as good as any to get 1 in the win column, so sure: oilers win tonight.

Win or lose, they better compete for the rest of the season.. i'm tired of watching guys mail it in.

First, I agree. What's done is done.

Second, this trade is interesting. Ever since Erat wanted out (and of course he signed with Philly) I've been wondering about Weber's train of thought. Could be a Pronger like situation. Without the infidelity. lol

That's the guy the team needs, though. In my opinion.

Win, win? Fills needs for both teams.

I like Eberle, but not as much as Hall, RNH or Yakupov. I wouldn't be disappointed in that trade.

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#24 Dog Train
April 16 2013, 01:38PM
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Screw the Wild, screw Clutterbuck, screw Heatley even if he is injured. Go Blue Jackets and Red Wings, boo everybody else in the playoff race.

Oilers squeak one out 1-0 on a goal by Brown.

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#25 yawto
April 16 2013, 01:41PM
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I'm fan type #2. Funny thing is, during the lockout my stance was that as a non event attending fan, it was the league and players perogative to fight over the 30 dollars in royalty money they make off my merch purchases a year. Could really care that he said that, am well aware that without the 17,000 strong that attend nightly I wouldn't get my Oilers games and thank them for paying the players salaries. Keep it up both sides and just bring me some May Oilers hockey to my TV please.

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#26 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 01:50PM
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@French Toast Mafia

Klefbom needs to start in the A and I'm sure he will unless he blows the socks off of the coaching staff at training camp this fall.

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#27 Fresh Mess
April 16 2013, 02:16PM
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Will wrote:

All good points. However look how good Galchnyuk is doing this year. And if Klefbomb is asked to come in and be a shut down guy instead of a puck moving offence guy, I think that is an easier role to step into. Especially considering he has played big minutes as a shut down guy on bigger ice. Maybe I'm wrong but it stands to reason a smaller ice surface would make it easier to defend. This is the same reason skilled forwards have a tough time coming down to smaller ice, as they have less room.

As long as he comes in and can be a competent shut down guy, then the other parts of his game, like his point shot, and puck moving, are things he could potentially develop in a bottom six role.

Will any of this happen, no idea as I'm just speculating completely. So far though, our shiny rookies have all at least met very high expectations.

Coming into the NHL as a shutdown D-man is "easier" ?

I'm speechless.

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#28 Lochenzo
April 16 2013, 03:58PM
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As much as missing the playoffs sucks as a fan and for the development of Taylor Hall et al, the silver lining is that this is a very good draft year. The Oil should be be able to pick up a very high quality prospect in the top 10 and even have a shot at number one due to the new draft lottery rules and add to a prospect system that needs a boost. I cannot overstate the importance of not only depth on the 23 man roster but also depth in the system as well. The perennial contenders have all of these qualities.

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#29 French Toast Mafia
April 16 2013, 04:03PM
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@Will

Why would you want to bring him in and play bottom six minutes in a shutdown roll as a rookie?

Why not send him to the AHL for a year where he can play 20-26 minutes a night and actually develop.

Not just throw him to the wolves and see if he will develop.... Lander, MPS, Tuebert anyone??

Just don't think it's right to just give guys spots on an NHL team because that NHL team is terrible.

Let them develop... see Keith and Seabrook. Rather than bring them in to the good old culture of losing that every good young player has moved into since this rebuild started

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#30 GVBlackhawk
April 16 2013, 04:15PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

It's a significant cap hit. I agree. But, Weber is Cadilac good, dude!

Drop Whitney's 4mil cap hit and you add just under 4mil more. The defence is upgraded markedly. Cap hit for the D will be 20-23mil for next year. I think that's manageable.

Not sure the whole situation with Erat, but the rumours weren't positive. I do get they are only rumours. Sometimes there is truth there and you gotta wonder what else is going on. The team just looks like it's in disarray right now. Could be ripe for the picking.

Although Weber is good, I am still unsure about taking that contract on because it limits what can be done on offense.

Nashville is in need of offense and could be a good trade partner. My inclination would be to target someone like Roman Josi. He's a fantastic 23 year old Dman, who has good offensive numbers, can skate, eats a ton of minutes, and has been taking on the tough competition all season (playing with Weber).

His contract would be much more favorable, too. He would likely cost in the Gagner - Eberle range, but it would be well worth the price, imo.

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#31 Todd
April 16 2013, 04:31PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

It says that Robert Tychkowski is talking out of his a$$ crack.

If you can't turn a team around in five years then you aren't doing your job. The "mess" being referred to was a team that had a winning record and barely missed the playoffs.

Since then the team has finished 21st, 30th, 30th, 29th, and this year they will be lucky to come out in the top 25.

Basically Tambellini traded away everyone except Horcoff, Gagner, Hemsky, Smid and Dubnyk (the 2008 team didn't have Smyth) and brought in his own players including "MVP" Khabibulin.

Tambellini had enough time to make this team better, he just didn't get it done.

Completely agree with u Bucknuck....

But all this banter is pointless. As MacT so succinctly stated, talk is easy and its time to prove it with action. People who say Lowe is all to blame and Tambo was a pawn have zero evidence just like people arguing the flip side.

We should just postpone any analysis of Tambo, Lowe and MacT until at least Christmas. Time will tell.

Personally I have faith MacT will be what we needed, but it really doesn't matter.

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#32 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 16 2013, 04:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Players are always worried about being moved. It can be very disruptive, especially if you have kids in school.

I sense they know there will be changes, but most want to be here.

Eberle would get you the most, but I'm not sure they'd trade him. I suspect 83,89 and 91 will garner interest from teams that need scoring and have a blueliner to exchange.

If I'm the Coach and/or GM, EVERY player on the team is now playing for his job next year. MacT said it, he's impatient and moves will be made. I say, make the most of that threat/statement....put a little fear into every one of them...

Make the last 7 games a playoff series..tonight is game one....show me what you've got....otherwise...pack you bags.

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#33 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 16 2013, 05:07PM
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Jackson wrote:

WOW trade for me would be .

Jordan Eberle for Adam Larsson.

Makes some sense to both sides.

WOW trade for me would be.

Steve Tambellini for Craig MacTavish.

Then MacTavish wins the Lottery and drafts Seth Jones.

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#34 DoubleJ
April 16 2013, 05:18PM
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Yandle is the guy IMO. Big minute dman 5 mil/ per. LD. He's perfect. And it wouldn't cost us Ederle.

Coyotes have too much money tied up in D. And no skill. It's a perfect fit.

I'd take 3 or 4 of the d off of the coyotes really. But OEL isn't going anywhere. And Yandle is the next best thing.

On forwards you could pick up Bickel and trade for hartnell. That would be a great start.

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#35 DoubleJ
April 16 2013, 05:27PM
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What would have Nashville got if they didn't qualify the offer? Idon't that's why I'm asking.

That's what they will want at least in return for weber.

There's good to great dman available. You don't need to get weber.

Like "Yandle".

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I'd love to see Weber here but honestly I'd totally be happy if we can sign Streit and Regehr. A couple of veterans that can take pressure off and help guide our young D.

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#37 @Oilanderp
April 16 2013, 06:47PM
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Tonight I just want to see the guys play normal 'give-a-crap' hockey. By that I mean, shoot when there isn't an obvious open pass, limit turnovers by avoiding high risk plays (dump it if you have to), but mostly FINISH EVERY DAMN CHECK, including the backcheck.

Go balls out boys. Balls out.

P.S. I BETTER see Ebs finish his checks tonight. I don't give a crap if 'he's not that type of player'. EVERYONE should do it....and condolences to his family.

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#38 Reg Dunlop
April 16 2013, 08:00PM
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Nice, smart play by Lander to break up the cycle. He went to where the puck was going and beat Parise to it.

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#39 Spydyr
April 16 2013, 08:42PM
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Look at PRV skate that puck out.Sure hope he stays.

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#40 Spydyr
April 16 2013, 08:50PM
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Smyth's man made it 3-1 and he knows it.

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#41 Harlie
April 16 2013, 08:52PM
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steelymac wrote:

Hey faithfull,anyone else out there think Jack Michals shoulda followed Dithers out the door?Listen to the guy he gets more jacked up(no pun intended) when the other teams scores than the OIL.I really get the scense he get on Stauffers nerves.

No offense to Michaels, but I think it always shoulda been Bob sitting in the big chair. Being the second banana just aint Bob's thing, plus his 2 hour phone in from a hotel room on the road show is barely keeping a guy's interest anymore, especially when Spec is quickly and quietly becoming the King of All Media in Edmonton.

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#42 outdoorzguy
April 16 2013, 09:14PM
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Saw the last half of the second period. Didn't see anyone playing for, or with pride. Changed the channel to watch Seinfeld. George had a better career doing nothing for the Yankees than Lowe has had running the Oilers. There's grass outside. I'm gone. Better things to do.

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#43 Spydyr
April 16 2013, 09:56PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Who said this was over. Ha ha ha.

The boys are back it seems hey?

Very nice play fellas, nice play in the d-zone perfect way to sidestep their pressure with the short pass and tight support.keep chipping.

Excellent speed explosion by Nail, hammer on them fellas.

Almost nailed them again the same way, good job, short give and gos guys. simple and sure.

I'm going on a limb here.The game will end like the Oilers season.Too little too late.

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#44 StHenriOilBomb
April 16 2013, 12:34PM
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I sure hope Koivu is right.

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#45 HugThePost
April 16 2013, 12:39PM
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Gregor, Thanks for the un-named quote from the oilers player. The inside exposure to the team you have must be really interesting at times.

Have you gotten the sense that the players know they might be shipped out of here and won't be part of good times once they presumably arrive here?

Also, who out of the forward crew would you ship out for depth on D? It seems our strength is at forward (except C), and we need more balance especially on D and the 3rd and 4th lines.

nice work

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#46 David
April 16 2013, 12:41PM
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As far as next year . THey need a good back up goalie - Not Habby .

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#47 vetinari
April 16 2013, 12:43PM
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I wish that the Oilers will pull off a win tonight but look at our lineup... 8 out of the top 9 forwards are still kids and need a note from their mom's to stay up late... we look like, if not are, AHLers next to real hockey players and the Wild need the win. Wild 4 Oilers 2.

Just wait until the end of the month when we play something like 5 games in 7 nights.

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#48 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
April 16 2013, 12:50PM
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Oilers lose by 3

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I love it!

Let guys that are close to making the show get a few games in.

Let the guys who try the hardest (Hall and Yak) play on the top line.

Let our biggest trade asset (outside of Hall, Yak, RNH, and Ebs) play with the two guys that try the hardest. Make him more of an asset by inflating his points.

And for the love of god, let Whitney ride peacefully into the sunset.

Oh and for the Oilers future, let us compete and lose by 1!

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#50 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 16 2013, 01:04PM
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I'm interested in watching these line combos. Could be good.

I'd like to see these for a game or two before the season's done:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Rough last five games, which is why I can understand a change for a bit, but they just have too much chemistry with each other.

Paajarvi-Horcoff-Yakupov

Horc's a smart player and the two yutes got some talent. Besides Yak likes to play with his captain. Works for me! lol

Hartikainen-Gagner-Smyth

Grind it out.

Brown-Lander-Jones

Same as above.

Defence: I would just like to see Peckham play.

Off topic, but I feel a need for a trip to South Africa....

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