Free Agent Centres: Western Conference

Jonathan Willis
June 17 2013 10:50AM

With the likely departures of Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger and Jerred Smithson this summer, the Edmonton Oilers are in a position where they need to rebuild their depth chart at centre. Aside from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who underwent surgery this summer) and Sam Gagner (an unsigned restricted free agent), the Oilers simply don’t have reliable NHL options.

Could some of the answers be found in this summer’s class of unrestricted free agents?

We’ll look at the Eastern Conference options later on; for now let’s look at the West.

The Western Conference Class

This isn’t a strong group, and it gets weaker once seen through the prism of the Oilers’ needs. The names that stand out to me are as follow (in alphabetical order).

Steve Begin. The 35-year old enjoyed a surprisingly effective campaign in Calgary after getting released by Vancouver last year and spending the season before that in the minors. He’s a smallish (6’, 192 pounds) agitator who hits, fights and kills penalties; there is no questioning his effort but there are better players on this list.

Kyle Chipchura. Chipchura really found a home in Phoenix the last couple of seasons after bouncing around the league over the last few years, but despite improved offensive totals he’s in the same range as most of the fourth-line guys on this list; he has yet to crack the 20-point mark in the majors and was never particularly prolific in the minors either. He has decent size (6’2”, 203 pounds) and fights more than most of the guys on this list but he’s not a regular penalty-killer and his on-ice totals aren’t particularly good.

Matt Cullen. He’s definitely a little on the old side (he turns 37 in November) but he’s coming off a very strong season and has been a reliable secondary offensive option for his entire career. Like Filppula, he plays centre and wing, both special teams and wins faceoffs (54.7 percent last year); at 6’1”, 200 pounds he’s also slightly bigger.

Valtteri Filppula. The Finn with the impossible to spell name is coming off a disappointing 2013 campaign, one where he picked up just 17 points over 41 games. On the plus side, he has a history of offensive production (generally in the 35-40 point range, though he recorded 66 in 2011-12), he can play both centre and left wing, he’s a strong faceoff man (winning 55.4 percent of his draws last year) and he just turned 29 in March so he’s in the prime of his career. He’s played on both special teams in Detroit, though primarily on the power play. As far as negatives go, there aren’t many; the most glaring one is that he hopes to cash in this year (reportedly seeking more than $5 million per season). He’s also a little on the small side (listed at 6’, 195 pounds).

Boyd Gordon. Bruce McCurdy wrote a nicely detailed piece on Gordon as an Oilers option a few days back; he’s a defensive specialist and a very good one. Like both Cullen and Filppula he’s a mid-size forward (6’, 200 pounds) and not overly physical; unlike those two he is a dedicated checking centre who has never topped 30 points in an NHL season. Ownership uncertainty in Phoenix means he may very well find himself looking for a new home this summer, but he’s a guy who likely tops out as a third-line centre.

Maxim Lapierre. Every time I say his name I feel the urge to duck; the Canucks agitator is roundly disliked in Edmonton but that doesn’t mean he would be a bad fit for the team. Like Gordon, he’s a defensive specialist who wins faceoffs, kills penalties and sits in the prime of his career; unlike Gordon he is significantly bigger (6’2”, 207 pounds) and extremely physical. Vancouver has been slow to talk to him, so he’s likely heading elsewhere this summer. His offensive numbers also have some possibility of improvement – like Gordon, he’s never cracked the 30 point barrier but he has been a ~20 point scorer in situations where he started almost exclusively in his own end. In a more balanced role, he might deliver more.

Manny Malhotra. One of the best third-line centres in the league between 2005 and 2011, Malhotra’s career is in some jeopardy after suffering a major eye injury near the end of the 2010-11 season. No player in the Behind the Net era has played more defensive minutes; given how close Malhotra came to zero offensive zone usage under Alain Vigneault it’s possible no player in NHL history has started a higher portion of his shifts in the defensive zone. The question is whether the 6’2”, 220 pound centre – who still kills penalties and excels in faceoffs – has lost his game to that eye injury, or whether he’d rebound if given less Sisyphean minutes.

Brad Richardson. Richardson has a Stanley Cup ring, but far more importantly once upon a time he fought Teemu Selanne:

He’s been an effective utility guy with the Kings, but unlike many of the other options here he isn’t a penalty killer and despite playing a chippy game he isn’t all that big. On the other hand, he’s had some pretty good offensive seasons for a fourth-liner – he was a point-per-game guy in the minors and despite poor totals the last few seasons has occasionally challenged the 30 point mark in limited minutes.

Jerred Smithson. Oilers fans have had an opportunity to see Smithson firsthand, and he isn’t especially exciting. What he might be is useful as the team’s fifth centre – the guy who sits in the press-box much of the time and fills in as needed. He kills penalties, wins faceoffs, makes safe simple plays and adds a bit of size (6’3”, 209 pounds) and a willingness to hit. If he comes cheaply enough, the Oilers could do worse in a reserve role.

David Steckel. The Oilers could do a lot worse than David Steckel in a fourth-line role. The 31-year old stands 6’6”, kills penalties, wins faceoffs (he’s one of the best in the league in that role) and has an above average physical game. He’s also a guy who does a consistently good job of limiting shots and chances against in a highly defensive role – over the last four years he’s generally been on the ice for three defensive zone draws for every two in the attacking zone. He doesn’t add a lot offensively – he’s in the 15-20 point range most years – but given role and minutes played that’s not bad.

Recently around the Nation Network

It's very possible that we could be witnessing the final days of the Phoenix Coyotes - after years of staving off relocation, it appears the club is in serious jeopardy of moving to Seattle:

Quoting a statement by Seattle's mayor, Mike McGinn, Hansen introduced a pair of potential investors to Seattle city council. McGinn said to KING TV, "As recent news reports indicate, it appears the NHL is taking the new ownership proposal seriously."

Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#151 MKE
June 17 2013, 09:49PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I've actually said this before on ON; trading Gagner for Dubinsky and a 3rd. Thoughts?

I think you could get that deal done but you'd have to.trade them straight up. Personally i feel they have the same value for different reasons.

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#152 MKE
June 17 2013, 09:50PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

MKE I swear we have identical thoughts on the Oilers, it's almost scary

Ha ha well its nice to have some like minded people around!

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#153 Taylor Gang
June 17 2013, 09:56PM
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MKE wrote:

I think you could get that deal done but you'd have to.trade them straight up. Personally i feel they have the same value for different reasons.

Perhaps that's true, but Gagner is 3 years younger, and offense tends to be a more valued element for forwards than defense is. Not saying it always is but it usually is.

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#154 matt
June 17 2013, 09:58PM
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djc wrote:

Oh please, like you would ever leave your Kyle Wellwood doll and jar of Vaseline to hurt anyone.

You are so riled up today! It's sad this is all you have old man.

Hahaha to funny, made reading all these worth it. Suck on that dsf

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#155 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:04PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Perhaps that's true, but Gagner is 3 years younger, and offense tends to be a more valued element for forwards than defense is. Not saying it always is but it usually is.

Usually but Ganger is..below average defensively. And if he has a higher cap hit...i think those two things even it out. Really you could argue that a number of ways. But with Lestestu and Anisimov I think those two and Dubinsky are the same type of player.

So even if its not for Ganger..i think they need a different type of center in the mix. And Dubinsky is the guy id ask for out of Columbus

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#156 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:07PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Perhaps that's true, but Gagner is 3 years younger, and offense tends to be a more valued element for forwards than defense is. Not saying it always is but it usually is.

And consider too that Dubinsky fills a "need" on this team. That also makes his trade value more

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#157 madjam
June 17 2013, 10:15PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

For a GM with a lot of work to do, Craig sure doesn't appear to be anxious to get things rolling. Certainly appears to be no plan at all.

A whole lotta talk and very little action so far. Time to pick up the pace. There's 27 other teams open for business already.

The plan I believe might be in place in whole or in part , but the execution sure might be lagging/buffered . You get the feeling it's a lot easier said than done . Road blocks , dead ends ?

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#158 Taylor Gang
June 17 2013, 10:15PM
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MKE wrote:

And consider too that Dubinsky fills a "need" on this team. That also makes his trade value more

Well then, I ran out of arguments for Gagner.

Hold my beer

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#159 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:21PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Well then, I ran out of arguments for Gagner.

Hold my beer

I like Sam. Dont get me wrong. Just trying to look at it from a non Oilers fan point of view lol

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#160 DSF
June 17 2013, 10:22PM
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MKE wrote:

Usually but Ganger is..below average defensively. And if he has a higher cap hit...i think those two things even it out. Really you could argue that a number of ways. But with Lestestu and Anisimov I think those two and Dubinsky are the same type of player.

So even if its not for Ganger..i think they need a different type of center in the mix. And Dubinsky is the guy id ask for out of Columbus

You realize the Jackets also have Ryan Johanssen and Boone Jenner, right?

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#161 Taylor Gang
June 17 2013, 10:25PM
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DSF wrote:

You realize the Jackets also have Ryan Johanssen and Boone Jenner, right?

I'm sure they would at least consider the trade if it was an upgrade on what they have, which it is. Not saying in the next 2-3 years, but next year, almost certainly.

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#162 DSF
June 17 2013, 10:27PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I'm sure they would at least consider the trade if it was an upgrade on what they have, which it is. Not saying in the next 2-3 years, but next year, almost certainly.

It isn't.

Not next year.

Not ever.

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#163 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:27PM
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DSF wrote:

You realize the Jackets also have Ryan Johanssen and Boone Jenner, right?

Really?!! Wow....i had NO freaking idea! Im a giant moron and thought they only had ONE center in their entire system!

How does anyone function without you on a daily basis?

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#164 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2013, 10:28PM
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Not big on Dubinsky. He's just another overpaid support player. Oilers need a 2nd line center, not a third or fourth line center. Beg, borrow or steal to add to the top 10 on your team, not bottom 10 guys.

What can Dubinsky do that Kyle Wellwood can't do for a third of the money. He's not worth the money he's making, probably has a lot to do with him why the Rangers sent him packing.

This town isn't big enough for 2 Dubeys. Maybe one of the more mathletic types here could do a comparison.

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#165 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:31PM
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DSF wrote:

It isn't.

Not next year.

Not ever.

the king has spoken

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#166 madjam
June 17 2013, 10:37PM
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One thing MacT. should be superior at is assessing supporting staff . Getting the ones he'd like is the problem . Eakins appears to be the coach most like MacT. and his philosophy . Lets hope it's also the best for team . Both a little green at their positions for now . Will it be match for what our team needs ?

Lets get on with the trades ! Jordan Stall could help . Back to one a day .

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#167 MKE
June 17 2013, 10:39PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Not big on Dubinsky. He's just another overpaid support player. Oilers need a 2nd line center, not a third or fourth line center. Beg, borrow or steal to add to the top 10 on your team, not bottom 10 guys.

What can Dubinsky do that Kyle Wellwood can't do for a third of the money. He's not worth the money he's making, probably has a lot to do with him why the Rangers sent him packing.

This town isn't big enough for 2 Dubeys. Maybe one of the more mathletic types here could do a comparison.

Short of Malikin though who else would you want as a second line center?

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#168 BArmstrong
June 17 2013, 10:59PM
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@Taylor Gang

Sam Gagner > Marcus Naslund

That's gotta hurt.

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#169 BArmstrong
June 17 2013, 11:01PM
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@DSF

Damn - that was for you DSF

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#170 Racki
June 17 2013, 11:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure.

If you score more than you give up.

Gagner is a mess defensively.

I realize you comment here just to ruffle people's feathers, just calling you on your b.s. hyperbole.

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#171 MKE
June 17 2013, 11:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Lol, a Clint Eastwood type.....he'd kill all those sons a biotches over on that other bench.

Ridding the team of Horc,Belanger and Smithson would be enough for this year, Sell the farm for Barkov, and slot Ganye in that 2nd lc role.

RNH,Ganye,Barkov and Steve Ott. Sammy goes to the highest bidder at the deadline.

Ha ha that was awesome. I could be wrong but isnt Ott a ufa next year?

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#172 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2013, 11:28PM
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MKE wrote:

Ha ha that was awesome. I could be wrong but isnt Ott a ufa next year?

Yeah, he'll be on the move again, maybe sooner rather than later. Could probably do Holmgren a favour as well, by taking Hartnell off his hands.

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#173 MKE
June 17 2013, 11:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Yeah, he'll be on the move again, maybe sooner rather than later. Could probably do Holmgren a favour as well, by taking Hartnell off his hands.

Possibly. I was thinking about maybe you cam get Ott an a UFA..but now that im thinking about it..he might get some stupid number in free agency.

Trading is the way to go

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#174 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2013, 11:34PM
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BArmstrong wrote:

"Clint Eastwood Type"... David Backes!

NMC, value contract, STL has no cap issue - No chance. But a guy like that.

Well done, not a better guy to fill that role. If you're MacTavish, you'd have to make that call and see how in love they are with him.

He'd kill plenty of those Flame somm-beaches.

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#175 Oiler Al
June 17 2013, 11:39PM
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Jonathan, you are an astute hockey guy, with great topics and insights to game. I look forward reading the stuff on here, but honestly, its getting to the point that this sight is becoming un-hockey, and who wants to scroll through pages and pages of babble and nonsense , which are unrelated and is only verbal diarrhea. between the likes of DSF and MKE.

Dont mind a bit of ,off -side stuff, but this is getting out of hand, as well as being boring as heck.

Just saying.

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#176 Quicksilver ballet
June 17 2013, 11:40PM
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@MKE

Steve's already topped out at nearly 3 per season. I'd take a chance on him. If he likes it here, chances are you could extend him for close to the same amount.

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#177 MKE
June 17 2013, 11:44PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Steve's already topped out at nearly 3 per season. I'd take a chance on him. If he likes it here, chances are you could extend him for close to the same amount.

I agree. Going forward you need to find guys who really want to buy in and want to win more then they want to score the biggest contract.

To do something special...you can bring those guys in but they have to buy in and be willing to do a roll for the right price

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#178 Taylor Gang
June 17 2013, 11:52PM
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Would get Ott for sure, but Hartnell's contract worries me. I think that has Horcoff written all over it.

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#179 MKE
June 17 2013, 11:54PM
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@Taylor Gang

I havent even looked to see what his contract is. I think you are better off getting lesser known guys who have room to grow. Like columbus did

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#180 Mr. Common sense
June 18 2013, 12:07AM
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Steve Ott

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#181 6 ring circus
June 18 2013, 12:52AM
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Tyler Seguin would've looked good right about now as our first line center.He's on his way to his second cup and probably thanks his lucky star's everyday that the Oiler's took Hall instead of him.

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#182 Walter Sobchak
June 18 2013, 02:12AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Not big on Dubinsky. He's just another overpaid support player. Oilers need a 2nd line center, not a third or fourth line center. Beg, borrow or steal to add to the top 10 on your team, not bottom 10 guys.

What can Dubinsky do that Kyle Wellwood can't do for a third of the money. He's not worth the money he's making, probably has a lot to do with him why the Rangers sent him packing.

This town isn't big enough for 2 Dubeys. Maybe one of the more mathletic types here could do a comparison.

I say sell the rest and move up to take Barkov.

But.....Dubinsky is NOT wellwood.

Dubinsky actually has a great cap hit and makes below average for his actual play, he's well worth the money.

Dubinsky is 27, 6'2 205, hits, fights, is a competitive SOB that wont be afraid to take on the heavy comp and has playoff experience.

He's productive, plays both the PK's PP's, has above average face off percentage.

Dubinsky can play LW or center.

If Dubinsky is your 3rd line center your laughing.

DSF was commenting on what it would take to get Couturier, if you could deal for Couturier and Dubinsky the Oilers would be in great shape.

Barkovs a big fish to get, I would not be unhappy if the Oilers did this though.

Just my opinion.

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#183 Wäx Män Riley
June 18 2013, 02:43AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I think Seguin is secretly thanking Burke! The Oilers took the right guy.

Think about how much experience Seguin is getting playing so deep in the playoffs at such a young age, so many times.

He is learning how to win, and will be a great captain one day.

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#184 madjam
June 18 2013, 05:05AM
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Maybe we should go into draft and add nasty to our pieces of the puzzle . A nice 3 pieces might be M.Domi , R. Ristolainen and Nurse . I think i'd like that . Book it , one more year of rebuild .

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#185 Manfly
June 18 2013, 07:42AM
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seems like every Oilers comment site must have it's trolls. it is nice to actually talk hockey with the guy if you can get him to stop the bashing.

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#186 madjam
June 18 2013, 07:55AM
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Manfly wrote:

seems like every Oilers comment site must have it's trolls. it is nice to actually talk hockey with the guy if you can get him to stop the bashing.

ONation has easy access and writers help keep hockey alive for avid hockey fans , extending even over it's normal realm . You see all the other sites have very few responders . Different insights and perspectives are usually welcomed here , as they just are an added value and testament to the success ON has become thru it's writers and followers from here , and elsewhere . You can get more insight at ON than you can thru other media and T.V. a lot of the time . Blame Willis and the boys .

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#187 Eddie Shore
June 18 2013, 08:19AM
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Spydyr wrote:

185 Comments. Imagine if there was an actual hockey trade to talk about. Instead of mere speculation.

There are some very passionate Oilers fans and Oiler haters here (DSF).

Can't wait till the Cup is awarded to Boston and the fun times can begin.

Hope Mac-T walks half as good as he talks.

Amen.

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#188 LinkfromHyrule
June 18 2013, 08:26AM
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@Spydyr

agreed, the playoffs have been exciting and all but I wish it would end so that the Oilers can actually start doing something.. I'm sick of all the speculation and what if's which make up the pre-draft summer. That being said, without this site and the others like it I think many of us would be going through horrible hockey withdrawls by now. I think everybody is starting to go a little stir crazy, and it's still 3 months til hockey starts again :(

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#189 Quicksilver ballet
June 18 2013, 08:57AM
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@Walter Sobchak

That! would be awesome. Barkov, Couturier and Dubinsky. That would revolutionize the center ice position for the Oilers.

Now, how can we land Couturier without having to surrender that seventh this yr....

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#190 Walter Sobchak
June 18 2013, 09:00AM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Think about how much experience Seguin is getting playing so deep in the playoffs at such a young age, so many times.

He is learning how to win, and will be a great captain one day.

Absolutely agreed, but he was born into something special when Burke traded that pick, He was allowed to grow with a great supporting cast around him......now, just imagine if that was Hall instead of Seguin on that team...

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#191 Manfly
June 18 2013, 09:25AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Tyler Seguin would've looked good right about now as our first line center.He's on his way to his second cup and probably thanks his lucky star's everyday that the Oiler's took Hall instead of him.

^i doubt he's "thanking his lucky stars" he's not in Edmonton. i think, unlike veteran players who want to go to spacific cities and want to go there because of family/winning, when you are a young man it doesn't matter where you go. i get the feeling that the kids drafted who step right into the NHL are just glad they can do so and show their stuff.

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#192 Spydyr
June 18 2013, 09:34AM
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Manfly wrote:

^i doubt he's "thanking his lucky stars" he's not in Edmonton. i think, unlike veteran players who want to go to spacific cities and want to go there because of family/winning, when you are a young man it doesn't matter where you go. i get the feeling that the kids drafted who step right into the NHL are just glad they can do so and show their stuff.

Tell that to the Lindros family.

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#193 Eddie Shore
June 18 2013, 09:39AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Tell that to the Lindros family.

And Tim Erixon, Riley Nash, Corban Knight, Justin Schulttz...... I'm sure there are others as well.

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#194 Manfly
June 18 2013, 09:41AM
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@Spydyr....and it cost him a chance to win a cup when the Nords moved to Colorado and won the damn thing! and that was the Lindros family (Carl, Eric) that thought Eric was much too big time to play in small market Quebec and wanted him to go to "a big city" and it cost him a cup, even though Philly went to the finals with him, he couldn't lead them to win. and as far as having a good head on your shoulder, so to speak, Seguin is miles ahead of where Lindros was at the same age, and Seguin to his credit not once said he never wanted to play in Edmonton.

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#195 Spydyr
June 18 2013, 09:44AM
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Manfly wrote:

@Spydyr....and it cost him a chance to win a cup when the Nords moved to Colorado and won the damn thing! and that was the Lindros family (Carl, Eric) that thought Eric was much too big time to play in small market Quebec and wanted him to go to "a big city" and it cost him a cup, even though Philly went to the finals with him, he couldn't lead them to win. and as far as having a good head on your shoulder, so to speak, Seguin is miles ahead of where Lindros was at the same age, and Seguin to his credit not once said he never wanted to play in Edmonton.

You're absolutely right. Most hockey players would give their right nut just to play in the show. Just not all hockey players. Some have a sense of entitlement.

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#196 Spydyr
June 18 2013, 09:54AM
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In Eskie news:

QB Matt Nichols knocked out of season after knee injury.

Guess the QB decision just got made.

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#197 Tikkanese
June 18 2013, 09:59AM
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Gags is the Featherweight Champ of the NHL, has heart, improves every year, our #1 C will be on the shelf to start the year, we have zero C depth... yea lets get rid of him for some other team's #3C.

Or better yet lets trade up a whopping 2 spots to get a rookie center to be our #1C while Nuge heals, then be our 2C after because he's ready to play by some reports. Yea that spells playoffs. Don't use those same parts to get any of the other 10 positions that we actually need or anything.

Lapierre is overrated. How useful is he while he's serving all those misconducts? Or making googly eyes at the opposition from the bench when the coach is trying to coach him & the rest of the team? The guy is a cancer, period.

Seguin is playing what 10-15 mins a night while usually on the wing his entire NHL career? Yea great #1 center...

Johansen/Jenner? Yea all the Oil need, more prospects/suspects.

Do you people actually think before you type this nonsense?

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#198 The Beaker
June 18 2013, 10:05AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Gags is the Featherweight Champ of the NHL, has heart, improves every year, our #1 C will be on the shelf to start the year, we have zero C depth... yea lets get rid of him for some other team's #3C.

Or better yet lets trade up a whopping 2 spots to get a rookie center to be our #1C while Nuge heals, then be our 2C after because he's ready to play by some reports. Yea that spells playoffs. Don't use those same parts to get any of the other 10 positions that we actually need or anything.

Lapierre is overrated. How useful is he while he's serving all those misconducts? Or making googly eyes at the opposition from the bench when the coach is trying to coach him & the rest of the team? The guy is a cancer, period.

Seguin is playing what 10-15 mins a night while usually on the wing his entire NHL career? Yea great #1 center...

Johansen/Jenner? Yea all the Oil need, more prospects/suspects.

Do you people actually think before you type this nonsense?

It's odd, personally I get the sense most of those advocating to move up for Barkov arent assuming hes going to be a huge roster solution next year. (DSF said a long time ago he'd be better than Gagner next year and forever after that but.... well thats DSF). They see Barkov as being pair of a 1-2 punch down the middle that will be viable for the next decade though.

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#199 TDSM31
June 18 2013, 10:06AM
Trash it!
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

the Jackets have a guy who tossed up 1A and was -8 in 5 games before being healthy scratched in the AHL playoffs?

"Kekalainen was asked if Johansen's need for a frequent prodding raises a red flag about his career trajectory. His response, essentially, was "we'll see."

if the Oilers had him and he put up the same performance for OKC in the playoffs you would be the first one on here ripping the Oilers for such a wasted pick blah blah blah. But, since he is a non-oiler prospect, he is therefore better.

you are on an Oilers based fansite, yet you constantly seem surprised that people around here like the Oilers. I would suggest you go give hfboards a try to expand your Oiler horizons, but you already got your ass banned from there.

Agree. Lets all just stop acknowledging or responding to his posts. Like all trolls, he'll eventually go away.

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#200 The Beaker
June 18 2013, 10:07AM
Trash it!
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Absolutely agreed, but he was born into something special when Burke traded that pick, He was allowed to grow with a great supporting cast around him......now, just imagine if that was Hall instead of Seguin on that team...

I wonder how many Toronto fans realize they didnt just trade kessel for Seguin and Hamilton but if they would have kept that pick would likely have had Hall.

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