Sunday, May 19, 2013

Get Smart, Trading down a poor idea

Trading down, what could go wrong?

Traditionally in a draft you take the best player available and not on need.  In previous drafts I had leaned toward taking a specific position, center, because a team cannot win without being deep and strong at that position.  You building through the middle, all successful teams have terrific centers and are terrific depth in that position.

In the desire of Craig MacTavish to make a splash and his consideration to make a move for more depth by adding a player or additional draft pick by moving down he may be putting the cart before the horse.  The Oilers, IN THEORY, are not going to draft this low again for some time.  With that in mind it is important to make a solid pick to set the future of the team.

Should the Oilers move the #7 pick at the draft for a 12-14th pick and a second rounder or a marginal player they will have made yet another poor decision in building this team, setting it back again.  There is no position the Oilers don't need help in.  Why act and pretend like a gamble is the best move for the team.

As a team, the Oilers have not had luck in trading down.  In 2003 the Oilers made such a move, later in the first round of a very deep draft.  In moving the Oilers pick for the Devils 1st and a second they picked the wrong players with both picks and past up on several terrific players.  While it is easy to say that Stu MacGregor has an eye for talent, he in fact has yet to draft a decent forward outside of Hall, RNH, Yakupov, and Eberle.  The remaining forward picks are failing, failed, or non-factors.  Defensemen are a different matter, they scouting staff has assembled a nice roster of prospects at that position, perhaps more offensive minded than big and mean. 

Back to 2003... The Oilers make the trade and the Devils take Zach Parise.  The Oilers already small up the middle wouldn't have taken Parise anyway.  The following picks in order Eric Fehr, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, and Mark Stuart.  #22 is the Oilers pick of MA Pouliot followed by Ryan Kesler, and Mike Richards.  The Oilers in 2013 are having trouble identifying player types such as the 2003 Oilers in Getzlaf, Kesler, and Richards.  

With the Oilers picking #7 they have a shot at taking Sean Monahan or Curtis Lazar both centers.  In the mix are defensemen like Darnell Nurse.  The Oilers need to focus and not panic at the draft table and take the player they want.  If it is 3 or 4 picks too soon, then so be it.  It is just as likely the team at #8 or #9 take the player you wanted, and then where are you?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  Age old wisdom, it’s something the Oilers to date have proven they don't have.

A forum poster since 2000. A proud founder and member of the Oilers Army. He contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to the Oilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter ( 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Six to Eight Changes... at the least

While Craig MacTavish revealed his hand a few times on some players at today's press conference, the indication is that the GM is thinking in the same line as the fans and prognosticators in that there are at the very least a half dozen new Oilers coming for next season.  Even at six it is probably too few.  But, let’s look at the likely outbound Oilers.

The Draft Lottery 2013

Will Lightning strike again?

Steve Tambellini was right when he said he wouldn't be here again... little did he realize.  The Oilers will look at drafting at either #1, #7, or #8.  The odds of the Oilers winning the lottery is 4.7%.  Tune in for the excitement.  Will the Hockey Gods double down on Copper and Blue?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Going in the right direction

After a long hiatus I'm glad to be back blogging about the Oil. I wasn't going to spending any more time on CBA and anything else in negotiations. I do the Oilers. No transactions to discuss or possible. IN the end it was a long time away.

The Oilers took a positive step forward adding that beast on the blue line Marc Fistric. He is a big body that plays physical and gets nasty. The Oilers don't have enough of it. A local boy coming home is a great story too but the attitude of the other teams coming in will change. I doubt many will think about having a checking challenge with a teammate against Edmonton. Not without paying a price crossing the blue line.

However, the Oilers are a still too small upfront. They need big wingers, size is needed up and down the line up with a physical edge and ability to play. A big center with the same qualities is also missing. This will need to come in time, sooner than later for the Oilers to take the next step and make an impact in the playoffs. The Oilers may have a time to make the playoffs; they do not have a team to compete in the playoffs.

Opening day roster is set. The defense consists of Whitney, Potter, Fistric, J-Schultz, N-Schultz, Smid, and Petry with Peckham not cleared to play. It is unclear if this is injury or inadequate conditioning. The Oilers two goalies will be Dubnyk and Danis as Khabibulin is not cleared to play. The forward group will be Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, Smyth, Horcoff, Hartikainen, Hordicuk, Eager, Belanger, Paajarvi, and Petrell.

With an honest look at the line up.  Potter had better be the odd man out for Fistric.  In all seriousness the quality of player isn't even close.  Judging from twitter Paajarvi and Petrell are odd men out, no argument there.

A forum poster since 2000. A proud founder and member of the Oilers Army. He contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to the Oilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter ( 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Summer of Steve? Far from it.

With Theo Peckham and Sam Gagner in his back pocket last week Steve Tambellini signed Nail Yakupov as well today. But, as we approach the end July, Tambellini hasn't made this team any better. A few re-signings, adding a star rookie first overall pick, and adding a high touted prospect are fine and dandy. But, this team is not improved in anyway. No needs have been addresses.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The draft, free agency, signings, and a new coach

Before the signing of Parise and Suter, the Oilers were probably among the best teams in free agency, even with the Smyth signing, the Oilers didn't spend poorly and added a top level talent in Schultz without having to give anything away...  The Oilers finally made a coaching move, at first opinion I wasn't a fan, I wanted a name...  The Oilers did well at the draft table, but was it enough?...  The Oilers re-signings continue.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


He is smiling because it only took him 3 months to find a new coach for the Oilers.

I have not been sharply critical of Steve Tambellini. While moves are need and required, assets and trading partners are required to make moves work. Luring free agents also depends on some key pieces being in place and the team itself on the obvious upswing. While Tambellini has had a free pass the last few seasons that free ride should have ended with the firing of Tom Renney.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The party starts now

Time to stop looking pretty and time to start acting smart.

The clock is quickly ticking away to the start of the draft and likely the Oilers historic 3rd straight 1st overall pick I think it important that the Oilers try and gain ground and start the building process at the draft table on the draft floor. There are important team issues that can be addressed today and Saturday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MacT, say it ain't so?

The return of MacT signals the safety that Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini have in their positions. While thankfully Craig MacTavish isn't returning as head coach, his addition to the management causes me some concern for the team’s future.

Time to move on without Ryan Smyth

Does Ryan Smyth answer any of the Oilers issues moving forward? I would say he doesn't. A recent blog from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal discusses the latest on Ryan Smyth.