WHAT WILL MACT DO?

Jason Gregor
April 29 2013 10:03AM

Craig MacTavish has a press conference at 11 a.m. today. Will he make a major announcement?

I'm very curious to see what he says. I wrote this on what I think he needs to do.

AWESOME EVENT...

I'm bagged from an awesome weekend playing in the  ProAm for Alzheimers. The Journeymen (named in honour of our good buddy Jason Strudwick) had a great time.

We lucked out and finished 2nd in fundraising, $50,900, so we got the 2nd pick in the draft, but we also got treated like NHL players and had our own dressing room the entire weekend. We drafted Jeremy Roenick 2nd overall, Marty McSorley went 1st, and we couldn't have drafted a better guy.

JR was great. After drafting him at 7:15 p.m. Friday night, he spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with our team. He bought a round of tequila shots for the boys minutes after we got to our table and that set the tone for a fun night. He interacted with all the guys on the team and told some great stories.

Trent Yawney crushing Mike Keenan off his chair while he sat at centre ice overseeing a "bagskate" was one of the best.

We left the draft around a 11 p.m., jumped in a Blue Sky Limo and proceeded to take JR on a mini pub crawl. On the limo JR told more stories and you could tell why he was liked by his NHL teammates. He made sure he talked to all the guys.

At the Druid he took pics with anyone who asked and he always looked them in the eye and asked them their name. It is a small gesture, but one that wasn't overlooked. We bounced around a few places, had a final drink at On The Rocks and then when we were leaving he wanted some late-night grub.

We took a cab to All Happy and proceeded to order way too much food. Roenick told me about the Olympics in Vancouver being the best time he'd ever had, how pissed he was at Derian Hatcher for breaking his jaw, and how he'd treat the fans if he owned a team. He has a group of guys that are negotiating with a team, but couldn't say which one.

We witnessed a mini-brawl during our late-night meal, but the people involved actually policed themselves and broke it up. Very odd, and just another twist to a great night.

Thank God we didn't have to play until 2:45 Saturday afternoon, because most of the Journeymen were hurting. Even better was that our opposition was Oilersnation. Wanye didn't even show up. Supposedly he's allergic to skating nowadays.

We beat the Nation 7-6, although three goals in the final 4 minutes made it appear closer than it was. Buck75 was as effective as Eric Belanger, while Nation owner, JD, struggled mightily going -5.

We had a team dinner Saturday night at Vons, and that kickstarted another great evening out. Oilersnation drafted Brad May and he was also a beauty. He overheard JR and I talking about our late-night eats so he proceeded to take a few of the Journeymen with him for food on Saturday night. Classic.

Roenick's skill on the ice was apparent. Sick hands. He chirped a guy every time they'd miss the net on one of his tape-to-tape passes. It was a thrill for the guys to play with him and Struds. Struds might have lost 10 pounds over the weekend. He played for us and he also got drafted. He ended up playing 6 games on Sunday. Beauty.

It was a great weekend, and a big thanks to all the guys who played on the Journeymen this weekend. It was great meeting some listeners and I hope you had a blast.

Roenick signed two new sticks for me that we will auction off in the future. He'll also be making a few more appearances on my show and here on the Nation. He definitely knows how to have fun.

Congratulations to all the guys who played in the Pro Am this weekend, and great job in fundraising. The tournament raised over 900,000 for Alzheimer research.

It was also a thrill for me to meet Gordie Howe and have the pleasure of  emceeing the Gordie Howe Luncheon on Friday afternoon. Sitting at the table speaking with Gordie and his son Marty was awesome. Having the chance to host the round table with Bryan Trottier, Marty McSorley and Tom Webster was a blast as well. They had some great stories, and I encourage any of you who are hockey fans to consider playing in this event next year. I guarantee you'll have a great time.

I'm off to MacTavish's press conference... I wonder if he'll make an announcement....

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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#51 madjam
April 29 2013, 01:41PM
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Clutterbuck to Oilers could be in the making of one deal. Weber could be another , but I hope they avoid that contract . P.K.Subban perhaps ? Both Boyle's on radar? Could swing a deal for Bieksa and Luongo ? That would be quite the defence with Weber , Subban , Boyle and Bieksa with Luongo in goal . I think we'd have a playoff team there !

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#52 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 01:48PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Yeah, I wouldn't read that "nothing much" is going to happen - MacT is just going about supporting his coach and players diplomatically, and will action some moves as appropriate.

1) Hemmer is gone. Thank God - hope they use the cap space on a Dman or Weiss.

2) Gagner would be a good replacement to Hemmer on the wing. Hall to C please.

3) Better get a good return on that pick because at this time of year everyone in the top-20 looks like a perennial All-Star in the making, although it would be 3 years until Monaghan or Nurse turn into solid contributors, so I really hope they move the pick for a top-pair D.

4) Footspeed comment may be damning of Potter & Whitney

5) Glad MacT understands stats. Surprisingly, very few people over 50 do.

6) Kruger has a short leash. I wouldn't fire him yet either, but I would have someone primed if next season starts off the rails.

This is both what I interperet and hope. In MacT we trust - because everyone else has failed us.

Just a observation, and by all means John I'm not picking on you or the others that mention this.

this has to be said though!

Your going to take Hall and make him a center? How exactly is this an upgrade or at all a practical move?

Because Lowe-tide mentions it repeatedly?

This,out of all the possibility has to be the stupidest of all things mentioned on this blog about the Oiler's

Do you have any idea how hard playing center is in the NHL?

Hall would take at LEAST, the very MINIMUM, two years to grasp this position.

Hall himself in the exit interviews wants to stay on the wing, by his own admission said it would not be in his best interest to play center.

This is wishful thinking.

The Oilers will be moving Gagner moving up in the draft and drafting a center.

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#53 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 01:55PM
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Jasmine wrote:

Why do so-called Oilers fans want to run Gagner out of town. No wonder players don't sign in Edmonton as they know fans will run them out of town.

How exactly are you going to upgrade positions of much needed help if you can’t trade players?

bash, bash, bash, bash, bash, bash, bash, bash,

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#54 madjam
April 29 2013, 02:00PM
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Gagner would be most effective on wing , as Hall is . A couple of legit bigger , grittier and more defensive attributes centers are required to move Gagner to wing .

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#55 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 02:03PM
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@Walter Sobchak

"The Oilers will be moving Gagner moving up in the draft and drafting a center".

I think you missed what Mac T was saying. he was actually talking about moving DOWN in the draft to get a servicable player that can play right away (+ pick) because the draft is so deep this year.

How do you go from Mac T saying he is looking at moving down in the draft, to moving a player Mac T spoke very highly of (and that he thinks we need more of) to move UP in the draft?

....

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#56 Butters
April 29 2013, 02:13PM
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The Oilers have no redundancy at center. How is trading Gagner an option unless they get another?

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#57 John Chambers
April 29 2013, 02:16PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Hall to C

I can see why ppl are so polarized on the issue - after all Hall has had a lot of success at LW so why mess with a bad thing.

But Hall is both a superior player physically and mentally. His positioning iand defensive acumen are superb and in my - albeit amateur - opinion his cerebral play will translate into success in the middle.

Let's face it, the games best players are centers - Crosby, Stamkos, Malkin, Toews, Staal, Giroux, Kopitar, Bergeron, Tavares, etc. Hall matches most of their levels of skill. Many of them began their NHL careers as wingers then made the transition as appropriate. Many top NHL players - Zetterberg, Briere, Couture, Seguin, alternate between C and W as needed.

To have Hall anchor a line would allow the Oilers to take pressure of the wingers to be the team's primary offensive engines, would allow us to build a more cost effective top-6 with a plug and play guy on the wing, and not have to wait 3 years for a young 2013 draftee to take on a bigger role than they're prepared for.

Renney xperimented with it during Halls rookie season. I suggest it would make sense as an early season experiment, especially since 93 will be on the shelf, and then the debate will be concluded for all time.

Don't be surprised if it happens in '13-'14, and I also won't be surprised if it doesn't.

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#58 Racki
April 29 2013, 02:17PM
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Agree, A-Mc.

In MacT's conference, every indication was that Gagner is one of the core guys he really wants to hang on to, and the Oilers will trade DOWN (as you noted) to a later pick, most likely, in hopes of turning that higher pick into a player they can use now.

Gagner isn't going anywhere, except for possibly to the wing.. and that is something that would be more Krueger's call than anything.

I personally would love to see what Hall can do at center, but fully recognize it isn't an easy position to play and could sap his offense. It's worth a fairly long look though - more than just a few games. But if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.

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#59 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 02:18PM
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A-Mc wrote:

"The Oilers will be moving Gagner moving up in the draft and drafting a center".

I think you missed what Mac T was saying. he was actually talking about moving DOWN in the draft to get a servicable player that can play right away (+ pick) because the draft is so deep this year.

How do you go from Mac T saying he is looking at moving down in the draft, to moving a player Mac T spoke very highly of (and that he thinks we need more of) to move UP in the draft?

....

Really? How do you upgrade Gagner position?

Where do you get a defensman, better yet how do you get a top # 1 defenseman, a Left sided moving number 1 defenseman?

How do you upgrade your bottom six and get a big skilled LW on the top six?

How do you replace 6-8 players?

what player on the Oilers beside the kids has interest to other GM's?

Gagner moving book it

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#60 bdiddy18
April 29 2013, 02:21PM
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People - the youth movement is close to over...we can't continue to be adding youth and expect them to take us to the next level. They all require time and growth before they can even realistically contribute.

A solid contending team debuts at max 1-2 rookies a year and they debut on the fourth line or bottom pairing defenceman and are not everyday players.

Mac T is the right guy to find the supplemental help and they all must be experienced vets.

If we keep the pick this year - I hope he doesn't make the team and spends time developing at a regular pace in the system.

the No. 1's need to be a line - Hall - Nuge - Yak

2nd line - the only certain is Eberle, Gags looks like he is staying - but there is an opening for a vet power forward.

3rd line - Horcoff - open tryouts for his wingers, Pajaarvi, Jones, Haartikanen (vet UFA)

4th line - Smithson, Smyth - open tryout for other winger. (possibly petrell)

Lander is your extra fwd

tons of misc that need to go - Hemsky, Eager, Belanger, and NO ROOKIES in fwd lineup next year.

Defence - Smid, Petry, J. Shultz

you would not suffer or hurt the club by having 3 completely new defenceman to pair with the 3 that remain. If a rookie defenseman is to be considered it would only be for the bottom pairing and most likely the extra D on roster for injury depth.

Goaltender - Dubnyk, - solid 1 A goalie that will compete with dubnyk for starting job.

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#61 John Chambers
April 29 2013, 02:22PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Again, my best-case scenario has us signing a veteran top-6 C, and trading or buying out Hemsky to free up cap space. If that happens Hall stays on the wing.

I just can't fathom this team being hard to play against while Gagner gets torched on the dot and on possession season after season. It has to end.

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#62 G Money
April 29 2013, 02:24PM
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I don't know about *moving* Hall to C, but with this quote from Joanne Ireland's story on Hall:

Being a better player means shoring up his defensive game. “I turn over the puck a lot and my defensive zone play is pretty lackluster at times,” said the brutally honest winger. “Those are the things that as we grow as a team and as we move up the standings, everyone has to play the right way. When the guys on the first line are playing like that, it sends a message to the rest of the team,” he continued. “That’s something I really have to improve on. I got benched one game for that kind of play, so I still have a lot to improve on. “Maybe next year I don’t have as many points, but I improve in my own end and overall as a player.”

Just *give* the kid the C, please.

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#63 Tom
April 29 2013, 02:25PM
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@A-Mc

I agree. Sam is staying. I thought MacT was very honest and up front about his plan. No BS. I am excited for what October brings.

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#64 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 02:27PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Really? How do you upgrade Gagner position?

Where do you get a defensman, better yet how do you get a top # 1 defenseman, a Left sided moving number 1 defenseman?

How do you upgrade your bottom six and get a big skilled LW on the top six?

How do you replace 6-8 players?

what player on the Oilers beside the kids has interest to other GM's?

Gagner moving book it

There is a difference between what YOU would do, and what the new GM has alluded to wanting to do.

He heavily praises Gagner's skill, but more so his character and work ethic. Mac T also says a major problem with the team is their lack of knowing what it takes to win. ie: Cut the fat and keep the guys who represent what your organization should look like in the future. In Mac T's eyes, Gagner is iconic of what he wants his team to look like.

So based on any comments he has made thus far, Gagner isn't going anywhere.

Follow that up with the fact that Mac T continually says he needs pieces that play now, not 3 years from now. How is moving up in the draft to grab a C that will play in 2+ years, accomplishing that goal?

You suggested we Move a perfectly fine 2nd line player for a pick that probably wont play for atleast a year or two.

How does that fit with making the team better today? you've created a hole and gained a 'Maybe' asset that wont show for atleast a year.

In my opinion, i dont think Mac T can afford to trade valuable players for Potentials of the future. We're past that point now: that was Tambi's job.

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#65 Geoff
April 29 2013, 02:34PM
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The problem with moving hall to wing is that there isn't any depth in the Oilers system aside from magnus that can be legitimately called a scoring LW. If Gagner can do it as good as hall minus his power forward style sure but even if then the top six still lacks power and strength.

I'd love to see hall at center but who replaces him would be a great question to answer.

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#66 Will
April 29 2013, 02:35PM
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Some of these trade and acquisition scenarios are hilarious.

I do think we have the assets to trade for a larger 2nd line centre that has less skill, but can play tough and win draws. There is a team for sure out there that would trade that player, for a player with some skill that can get the team some more points, and work on a PP.

Having that guy centre Yak and Paajarvi is a good start to balancing out the top six. Hopefully, what was traded away to land that guy, there is enough left over to get a top two, or at least top four defender, that can make a pass out of the zone. Or maybe we get that guy in free agency. Hopefully, that leaves enough left over, with enough money in the can, to retool the bottom six into something that can shut down top lines, push back physically, and contribute a few points through the year. However, I don't agree with Ralph that teams today require three scoring lines to win. If a team has two elite lines and a top five power play, combined with a top ten PK, I think that is enough.

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#67 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 02:36PM
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Tom wrote:

I agree. Sam is staying. I thought MacT was very honest and up front about his plan. No BS. I am excited for what October brings.

Ya i am too. I like what he's saying and there is something genuine in what he's saying. I dont feel like i'm being given the run around like when we had to listen to Tambolini speak.

It's refreshing to have both a coach, and a GM that are relatively open regarding their plans for the team.

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#68 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 02:43PM
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A-Mc wrote:

There is a difference between what YOU would do, and what the new GM has alluded to wanting to do.

He heavily praises Gagner's skill, but more so his character and work ethic. Mac T also says a major problem with the team is their lack of knowing what it takes to win. ie: Cut the fat and keep the guys who represent what your organization should look like in the future. In Mac T's eyes, Gagner is iconic of what he wants his team to look like.

So based on any comments he has made thus far, Gagner isn't going anywhere.

Follow that up with the fact that Mac T continually says he needs pieces that play now, not 3 years from now. How is moving up in the draft to grab a C that will play in 2+ years, accomplishing that goal?

You suggested we Move a perfectly fine 2nd line player for a pick that probably wont play for atleast a year or two.

How does that fit with making the team better today? you've created a hole and gained a 'Maybe' asset that wont show for atleast a year.

In my opinion, i dont think Mac T can afford to trade valuable players for Potentials of the future. We're past that point now: that was Tambi's job.

So whats he going to say?

Gagner is a small center, we need to upgrade this position, he's weak defensively?

I would expect him to say the right things?

By they way, we need to increase our size on the wings, you sure you want a guy who is 5'10 on the LW side?

don't we have enough of these players?

or would it not make sense to offer up a Paajarvi or a Hemsky to say the Hurricanes and move up to draft a Barkov or a Monahan and use Gagner for a defensmen?

what do you think is actually more plausible?

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#69 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 02:44PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Again, my best-case scenario has us signing a veteran top-6 C, and trading or buying out Hemsky to free up cap space. If that happens Hall stays on the wing.

I just can't fathom this team being hard to play against while Gagner gets torched on the dot and on possession season after season. It has to end.

I realize you have already alluded to it, but I also have to subscribe to the "if it ain't broke ..." argument about moving Hall. His interview yesterday was basically, paraphrasing - I would do what the team wants but I REALLY want to stay on the wing.

You have a dynamic 21 year old who is top 10 in league scoring who does not seem "all-in" to a change. I would NOT push this move.

I understand your logic and I am sure he could play center, but why give a bunch more defensive responsibilities to handcuff your best hockey player? There were very few encouraging signs this year - Hall's skill and compete level were one of them.

If Gagner is the issue, I would rather find a different solution than messing with one of the few things that were functional on the Oilers this year.

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#70 Racki
April 29 2013, 02:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

So whats he going to say?

Gagner is a small center, we need to upgrade this position, he's weak defensively?

I would expect him to say the right things?

By they way, we need to increase our size on the wings, you sure you want a guy who is 5'10 on the LW side?

don't we have enough of these players?

or would it not make sense to offer up a Paajarvi or a Hemsky to say the Hurricanes and move up to draft a Barkov or a Monahan and use Gagner for a defensmen?

what do you think is actually more plausible?

I think Barkov and Monahan would be nice additions long term, but it's probably an even bigger long shot to think that they could come in here and do instant wonders faster than Hall could moving to center. So it's no better a solution, IMHO.

I don't think MacT is interested in moving Gagner. His words were very indicative of this. It wasn't a simple "we probably won't move him" or "we're not really interested in that". He was speaking highly of his leadership and character, and went on to say that they'd rather take a step back and keep that kind of player because he felt the long term gain of having the right mix of locker room guys would go farther than cycling in someone else.

Anyways, not saying it's a bad idea to trade Gagner, personally, just saying I don't think MacT will.. unless it's an offer he can't refuse, kind of deal.

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#71 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 02:50PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Hall to C

I can see why ppl are so polarized on the issue - after all Hall has had a lot of success at LW so why mess with a bad thing.

But Hall is both a superior player physically and mentally. His positioning iand defensive acumen are superb and in my - albeit amateur - opinion his cerebral play will translate into success in the middle.

Let's face it, the games best players are centers - Crosby, Stamkos, Malkin, Toews, Staal, Giroux, Kopitar, Bergeron, Tavares, etc. Hall matches most of their levels of skill. Many of them began their NHL careers as wingers then made the transition as appropriate. Many top NHL players - Zetterberg, Briere, Couture, Seguin, alternate between C and W as needed.

To have Hall anchor a line would allow the Oilers to take pressure of the wingers to be the team's primary offensive engines, would allow us to build a more cost effective top-6 with a plug and play guy on the wing, and not have to wait 3 years for a young 2013 draftee to take on a bigger role than they're prepared for.

Renney xperimented with it during Halls rookie season. I suggest it would make sense as an early season experiment, especially since 93 will be on the shelf, and then the debate will be concluded for all time.

Don't be surprised if it happens in '13-'14, and I also won't be surprised if it doesn't.

This is absolute non-sense....again,I'm not picking on you because this has been thrown around so much!

Moving to the wing from Center is one thing, moving to Center from the wing is just ludicrous.

Watch Hall's exit interview, he say's hes not ready, he say's he doesn't want to, he says the things he has to stop doing for next year is turning over the puck, to become better defensively, he mentions his benching from Kruger.

does this at all sound like a guy who A) want's to play center B) is responsible enough defensively to accomplish this on a consistent basis..

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#72 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 02:51PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

So whats he going to say?

Gagner is a small center, we need to upgrade this position, he's weak defensively?

I would expect him to say the right things?

By they way, we need to increase our size on the wings, you sure you want a guy who is 5'10 on the LW side?

don't we have enough of these players?

or would it not make sense to offer up a Paajarvi or a Hemsky to say the Hurricanes and move up to draft a Barkov or a Monahan and use Gagner for a defensmen?

what do you think is actually more plausible?

I don't think you understand what my point was.

You're trying to come up with a solution for our problems, and that's cool. But you're also looking for a solution that goes directly against all indication from the GM regarding certain players.

More newbies to the NHL on this team is not going to put us in a position to make the playoffs next year. Mac T can't afford to do that. His Objective is clear: Make the playoffs.

If you're going to project trades and changes, it might be a wise choice to atleast consider all indications coming from both the coaching staff and the GM regarding personnel and organizational Need. I think you're over looking or ignoring the pieces of information that have been strategically provided to you by the coach and GM.

And to steal what Racki said at the end of his Post (I share this sentiment): "Anyways, not saying it's a bad idea to trade Gagner, personally, just saying I don't think MacT will.. unless it's an offer he can't refuse, kind of deal."

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#73 Will
April 29 2013, 02:54PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I realize you have already alluded to it, but I also have to subscribe to the "if it ain't broke ..." argument about moving Hall. His interview yesterday was basically, paraphrasing - I would do what the team wants but I REALLY want to stay on the wing.

You have a dynamic 21 year old who is top 10 in league scoring who does not seem "all-in" to a change. I would NOT push this move.

I understand your logic and I am sure he could play center, but why give a bunch more defensive responsibilities to handcuff your best hockey player? There were very few encouraging signs this year - Hall's skill and compete level were one of them.

If Gagner is the issue, I would rather find a different solution than messing with one of the few things that were functional on the Oilers this year.

I think the problem is in using the assets we have, while not losing our top end skill, while making the team better and more competitive. Sure putting Hall at centre might knock his point totals down a bit, but if it say brought up both Yak's and Paajarvi's on a second line, while then being able to go out and trade for either a LW power forward vet, or a top two D or both, then the team as a whole becomes much much better.

Just look at Tampa. The leagues top two scorers are not enough to even make a competitive team. Hall, much as he tries, will not win a cup for Edmonton all by himself on the wing.

I'm not saying this is the best solution, just saying it is a possible one, that IMO is at least worth a shot.

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#74 rickithebear
April 29 2013, 03:03PM
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Buyout Smyth?

What the! To start: 1. Smyth was the 7th best PK winger in the game this year. try and replace that.

Ryan Smyth played 527 even minutes: 12GF 17GA -5 He played 175 minutes W/ mike Brown 2GF 9GA -7 The other 352 minutes he was 10GF 8GA +2 Mike brown is awful.

MacT comments: "Toughness with SKILL" "Ryan smyth's going no where."

bye Mike!

Buy Smyth out! LOL!

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#75 DSF
April 29 2013, 03:04PM
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Jasmine wrote:

Spector also took a shot at Yakupov. What is it with the media's hatred of Yakupov?

Yakupov needs to start acting like he's been there before...even if he hasn't.

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#76 Lochenzo
April 29 2013, 03:07PM
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I recognize what the Oil are doing with comments like 'footspeed.' I'm all for bringing in guys that can play. But I have to look east and recall that the Ron Wilson of the Leafs refused to play certain guys because he considered their footspeed to slow. Now Ron Wilson is gone and Randy has inserted Colton Orr, Mark Fraser, etc, with much better results.

Now, goaltending has been a factor in getting the Leafs in this year, but I watched the abuse Taylor Hall took this year, especially during that amazing point streak he had. Opponents were just giving it to him. It would have been nice to have someone other than Taylor Hall respond.

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#77 Obiwan Eberle - Team Silver Fox
April 29 2013, 03:08PM
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I'm not saying they will trade Gags...but if he's not your 2nd line center, he's your 3rd line RW. Ebs and YakCity aren't being moved off the top two lines. My question then is, what are you looking for from your 3rd line if you have Gagner on it? Programattic nonfit.

If substantial change is in order, then i think that means you're shipping out Hemmer (cause you want to) AND Gagner, because you have to, to get what is needed.

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#78 Racki
April 29 2013, 03:10PM
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DSF wrote:

Yakupov needs to start acting like he's been there before...even if he hasn't.

Or what? He won't get invited to any NHLPA parties?

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#79 TrentonL
April 29 2013, 03:10PM
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The main takeaway is MacT recognizes advanced stats as a tool in the kit, even though it is not the sole decision maker.

In other words he forgives Dustin Penner and wants him back next year.

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#80 messyEH!
April 29 2013, 03:16PM
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DSF wrote:

Yakupov needs to start acting like he's been there before...even if he hasn't.

"Comrade YAK must thinks he is an Entertainer. Little Burt Reynolds, with his mustache. " lame russian accent.

No one goes to the games to be entertained. What the hell is the kid thinking showing emotion in front of 16000+ oilers fan. Does he not realize we Oilers fans have plenty to cheer about. Like the invention of winter tires and Calgary's biannual kiss your cousin festival. Good grief.

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#81 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 03:26PM
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@Racki

Hi Racki.

I don’t understand this argument, especially from Oiler fans; we have seen three amazing kids at the NHL level without having bad growing pains. The other thing is these kids are scouting so hard know that there really isn’t a lot of surprises, they are constantly interviewed and are well prepared, you have people saying amazing things about both Barkov and Monhahan.

Things like the ability to step in right away, the good thing about the Oilers position is these kids don’t have to step in and play tough comp right away. That’s what makes getting them more attractive.

I just can’t get my head around why the Oilers would move Gagner to the wing? or where they plan on getting a L shooting puck moving defensemen without using someone as part of the deal?

The person most likely to be used for this would be Gagner unless you want to move a kid. IMO

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#82 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 03:26PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

So whats he going to say?

Gagner is a small center, we need to upgrade this position, he's weak defensively?

I would expect him to say the right things?

By they way, we need to increase our size on the wings, you sure you want a guy who is 5'10 on the LW side?

don't we have enough of these players?

or would it not make sense to offer up a Paajarvi or a Hemsky to say the Hurricanes and move up to draft a Barkov or a Monahan and use Gagner for a defensmen?

what do you think is actually more plausible?

I would do something like this (ROUGHLY):

1. Pickup a UFA/BuyOut Winger or Center with appropriate size and grit. Point totals would definitely be lower, likely in the 30 range over an 82 game season. If it's a centerman, face off %'s need to be above 50% and Gagner plays wing. Typically speaking this guy would likely be a 3rd line player but inserted into OUR 2nd line, he'll be just fine. He needs to be mobile!

2. Move Hemsky + Peckham + pick for an experienced defenseman that will play 20 mins a night. I dont care if he's a puck mover or not, but he needs to be fairly solid physically and has to be able to move around well. Personally, this could be another Nich Schultz type for all i care.

3. Move Petry + Harti + pick or prospect, for an offensive defenseman that Jam's regularly. His buy in needs to equal that of Smid, but instead of a defensive role, he's the puck mover (we're not talking superstar here, just someone that can play the same minutes Smid does). Essentially i'm saying we move Petry for a copy of himself but that will actually impose his will on guys every game. Petry is too soft and doesn't play hard enough for me personally. He is talented though and i bet there is interested in him.

4. Klefbom joins the Oilers. Unless he stinks it up, i would have him as part of my bottom 3 rotation.

5. Fistric Re-sign him.

6. Re-Sign Jones.

7. Move Paajarvi + Petrell (If he's re-signed) + 2nd round pick for a 3rd line winger that can actually play tough hockey. He has to be able to actually play though (Think the difference between Hordichuk vs Brown. Both are bangers but Brown can actually play hockey). We need this upgrade on the 3rd line to play with Jones and Horcoff. He could also spot in on the 2nd line at times.

8. Smithson, Eager, Belanger = let them go, or trade for picks if possible.

9. Lander makes the team permanently, starting as 4th line C, between Smyth and Brown.

10. re-Sign Petrell as the 13th Forward. He's good defensively and can do spot work when needed.

11. Re-sign Khabi for 1 more year. but ALSO pickup a 3rd goalie that will be in OKC. This new goalie will be good enough for spot duty and will also come up in year 2 to be the backup full time. Essentially khabi for 1 more year that's it.

New Permanents: 1x 2nd line winger or center. 2x 18-20min defensemen. Klefbom. Lander. 1x 3rd line winger. 1 Rookie goalie. That's 6-7 right there.

UPDATE: Reading it now, you could probably swap #2/3 for what's offered. u get the idea though

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#83 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 03:29PM
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Racki wrote:

Or what? He won't get invited to any NHLPA parties?

No, to CBC parties.

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#84 Jeffff
April 29 2013, 03:32PM
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"The Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the season-long lockout of 2004-05. In the eight seasons since, they’ve only won 255 of 622 games. The organization likely doesn’t want to hear it, but the team’s on-ice performance has been worse than the New York Islanders (259 wins), Columbus Blue Jackets (262), Florida Panthers (266) and Tampa Bay Lightning (278)."

I believe Oilers have tried to trade players but were not getting much in return.

The reason they are not offering much is Oilers are overrated and so are most of their players.

The quote answers a lot of questions

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#85 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 03:33PM
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Will wrote:

I think the problem is in using the assets we have, while not losing our top end skill, while making the team better and more competitive. Sure putting Hall at centre might knock his point totals down a bit, but if it say brought up both Yak's and Paajarvi's on a second line, while then being able to go out and trade for either a LW power forward vet, or a top two D or both, then the team as a whole becomes much much better.

Just look at Tampa. The leagues top two scorers are not enough to even make a competitive team. Hall, much as he tries, will not win a cup for Edmonton all by himself on the wing.

I'm not saying this is the best solution, just saying it is a possible one, that IMO is at least worth a shot.

Yeah, fair enough. I agree the overall success of the team is obviously paramount to Hall's points total. I just think he is thriving on the wing and if he is not 100% committed to play center - which I sense he isn't - it is doomed to fail.

I think the kid is a professional and will do what he is told to do, but IMO he has more than held up his end so far - why alienate him?

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#86 Lochenzo
April 29 2013, 03:34PM
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I don't mind Yak's celebrations this year. Yeah, he irked the Canucks on Saturday. Tim Sestito did his impression of Yak when he tied the score. But everyone on that Oiler bench replied, including Yak. That tells me something about Yakupov and how Yak is perceived in that Oiler lockerroom. I don't see any problems.

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#87 Racki
April 29 2013, 03:38PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Again, as the other poster noted, just saying that MacTavish's indications seem to be that he won't be moving Gagner at all.. that was more the point I was making.

As far as Barkov or Monahan making an instant impact, the further away from #1 you get, obviously the less likely a guy will be able to make an instant impact. Sean Couturier was supposed to be an instant impact guy... Mark Schiefele was expected to be NHL ready.

Drafting is a lot better than it was 20 years ago, but it's not an exact science yet. Look how a month can change a guy's draft position sometimes from being highly touted, to sliding (Cam Fowler is a good example of this). To expect that an 18-year old can come in here and play with the rest of our young guys and help bring us to the playoffs is setting ourselves up for failure, in my opinion, and not being prepared. I would absolutely love to draft Barkov though.. but I don't see that as our best option for #2 center next year.

Now, as I noted before, I'm not opposed to trading Gagner. If you do move him, I think you look at someone a little more established. As far as moving Gagner to the wing, it all depends on who else is on his line. If it's another "smurf line", no it doesn't make sense. But he had a very good nose for the net this year, and was more solid on the puck, so it could work if he plays with the right guys. But like I said, not saying Gagner shouldn't be traded.. I just think two things.. it's not helping our organization fast enough to move up the draft with him, and MacT's presser made him sound very unlikely to move.

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#88 Oiler Al
April 29 2013, 03:42PM
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Impressed and was refreshing to watch MacT's presser. Didnt play the Mighty King Of Siam, like Tambelini or Lowe would do.

MacT took a lot of time to answer all the questions, without mentioning to many specifics or throwing people under the bus,which was very professional of him and so he should be.

All speculation is abundant here, and rightly so.

Should be a fun and interesting time between now and Sept.

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#89 Racki
April 29 2013, 03:42PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

No, to CBC parties.

hah, I was thinking that was what I should have said afterwards. They are quite the tightwads up there, but I guess you have to consider that much of their panel staff are former goaltenders, and PJ Stock. Their entire panel has probably combined for 5 NHL goals, all by PJ Stock (5 more than me, but just sayin').

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#90 michael
April 29 2013, 03:45PM
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Apparently Gregor's boy Whitney impressed MacT so much that he decided to show him the door. Tambo was not wise enough to ship him out the door at the trade deadline when he had a chance.At least Oilers Nation will not have to debate Whitney's on ice merits anymore. Hocus or Pocus his analytics showed he could not play defense. Potter looked a lot better and more confident without Whitney on the ice with him. Funny that.

MacT has a good grasp on what this team needs. It will be interesting to see whom he decides is not going to be back next season.

My belief is that Hemsky returns next season.

My belief is also that the hockey god will give the Oilers the first pick tonight despite the odds.

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#91 A-Mc
April 29 2013, 03:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Hi Racki.

I don’t understand this argument, especially from Oiler fans; we have seen three amazing kids at the NHL level without having bad growing pains. The other thing is these kids are scouting so hard know that there really isn’t a lot of surprises, they are constantly interviewed and are well prepared, you have people saying amazing things about both Barkov and Monhahan.

Things like the ability to step in right away, the good thing about the Oilers position is these kids don’t have to step in and play tough comp right away. That’s what makes getting them more attractive.

I just can’t get my head around why the Oilers would move Gagner to the wing? or where they plan on getting a L shooting puck moving defensemen without using someone as part of the deal?

The person most likely to be used for this would be Gagner unless you want to move a kid. IMO

you're talking about 3 first overalls. As soon as you move to 2nd and 3rd even, your chances of that player making the team are extremely slim.

I'm of the opinion that on a good team, only Hall would have made the team in his first year. Nuge and Yak would likely have spent most of their rookie years on the farm (for different reasons). Yak needed to learn the NA game (he has stated that the game is different here and he's still figuring it out) and Nuge to mature physically, even if it were only an extra year.

Eberle didn't play his first year. he was drafted 2 years before Hall and came in the same season hall did.

So anything outside of the first overall is basically 1 year out, likely 2.

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#92 DSF
April 29 2013, 03:47PM
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Racki wrote:

Or what? He won't get invited to any NHLPA parties?

You can bet someone will try and take his head off.

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#93 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 03:48PM
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DSF wrote:

You can bet someone will try and take his head off.

Woo hoo! A powerplay!

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#94 Eddie Shore
April 29 2013, 03:50PM
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DSF wrote:

You can bet someone will try and take his head off.

Cause that hasn't been happening his whole life.

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#95 PapaMike
April 29 2013, 03:53PM
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DSF wrote:

Yakupov needs to start acting like he's been there before...even if he hasn't.

Other than the slide to center ice, his celebrations are awesome. The game needs more of that, if only to up the intensity level on both sides. I still remember the awesome goals and the awesome celebrations to this day. Selanne shooting his glove, Ovi burning his stick, Struds waving his arms. There is nothing wrong with them at all, IMO.

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#96 Will
April 29 2013, 03:56PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Yeah, fair enough. I agree the overall success of the team is obviously paramount to Hall's points total. I just think he is thriving on the wing and if he is not 100% committed to play center - which I sense he isn't - it is doomed to fail.

I think the kid is a professional and will do what he is told to do, but IMO he has more than held up his end so far - why alienate him?

Good point, and I'm not saying we should, just maybe we should see if we could. What is there to lose by trying him there in training camp to see what he can do. Rattling around somewhere in my memory is that Messier didn't want to move to centre either. And look how that turned out.

What I think Hall really doesn't want to do, is play with anyone but the Nuge and Eberle.

I mean look at Yak, he'll play anywhere and play that position as hard and as well as he possibly can. It became very obvious at the end of the year he fits best on the RW, but that doesn't mean his time over on the left with Gags and Hemsky wasn't worth a shot.

Say hypothetically management went to Hall and asked him if he wants this team to be better, if wants this team to start winning. So they say well, we have a deal for Weber, but in order to get him, you'll need to play centre, and play it like you want to play there. Do you think Hall would say he's uncomfortable with that or do you think to upgrade the team, he would actually want to pay centre? I think Hall as much as anyone recognizes this is a team game and if the team is made better by him at centre, I think he'd be all too happy to play the position. But this is all hypothetical and it doesn't seem like they'll move him over to Centre anyway, especially because the Oilers are not deep on LW.

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#97 DieHard
April 29 2013, 03:58PM
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What was MacT supposed to say regarding Gagner? What would raise his value more? We have no intention of moving him and we like him a lot OR we have to move him out for a D-man.

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#98 Racki
April 29 2013, 04:04PM
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DSF wrote:

You can bet someone will try and take his head off.

Awesome, we can check off the "agitator will skill" checkbox! :P

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#99 Will
April 29 2013, 04:04PM
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As for Yak's celly's, it's about time Oiler fans were able to celebrate something other than winning the draft lottery. Yak, even right out of the draft admitted he plays for the fans. So every other player from every other team be dammed. Yak isn't playing for them, he's playing for us. His celebrations are our celebrations.

The only people he needs to earn respect from are the fans and the rest of his team and coaching staff, which from the sounds of the other team mates and coaches, he has done in spades. The kid has a great work ethic, a better attitude, and flat out loves to pay hockey and score. If that doesn't earn him the right to celebrate, then what does?

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#100 Ducey
April 29 2013, 04:05PM
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DSF wrote:

You can bet someone will try and take his head off.

They will try and do that anyway.

I don't hear the guys he plays against complaining, just the old men in the media who think they know better than everyone else.

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