Monday, June 20, 2016

Countdown to Draft Day Nonsense

. #Oilers

Whoa whoa whoah. Wait a freakin' minute here. The Oilogosphere has been going nuts this past week with trade rumours of mostly nonsense and it's getting really annoying.

Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov is happy for some reason.
Image courtesy of National Post
Everytime we hear so-and-so is going to be traded for such-and-such, it pretty much never happens and Oilers management does something out of the rafters that no one was expecting.  Maybe they're intentially deflective rumours, but that play is usually saved for politics, not sports. Only when you hear a guy from TSN like Dreger, Freidman, or Mackenzie say there's a possibility of something happening or Bob Stauffer tweets, then you should actually take it to heart.

These Taylor Hall trade rumours are crap and have no basis in anything. Oh sure, but the website URL you say is or something that Jerry, your 15 year old neighbour's son is misspelling about Tayler and Seth Johns?  Well, you got me there, you insider, you!

Then there's the mazillion suggestions of who remains for right-shot defensemen, like they're some pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow tunnel mountain waterfall paradise chocolate beer rock concert featuring all of the reincarnations all the god-like musicians who've died this past year with Gordie Howe as lead elbow security.  "Messiahs" like Sami Vatanen and Tyson Barrie are off the table because they got resigned.  Let's just hope Chiarelli doesn't pull a MacT and go to the KHL for options. We know how well that worked out.  I hear Anton Belov and Cam Barker are having a hell of a season in Kamchatka and Stalinland.

That said, do we bloggers read a bazillion blogs and tweets about the Oilers and NHL and try to put something together? Of course we do. It's that or watching a 0-0 tie match in the EuroCup between Estonia and Bosnia. If you ask me, I favour Narnia.

Ok, ok, out of the wardrobe and back to reality... (see what I did there?  If you did, then read on. If not, then you can still read on.)

We've all posted a million times and had a thousand beers on what the Oilers need in personnel to get to that next level.  To recap, in case you don't know by now:

1. 1st pair RD (because Kevin Lowe)
2. 2nd pair RD (because not Mark Fayne and because Kevin Lowe)
3. 3rd line C (because Letestu is a 4th line centre, plain and simple, and although Nuge can do it, it's not ideal for a Steve Austin player ("$6 million dollar man" if you didn't get the obvious reference or that you are way too young to remember that awesome TV show) to playing on the 3rd line although the Oilers can afford it under McDavid's and Draisaitl's ELC)
4. Backup goalie (because Brossoit needs to improve more)
5. Top 6 RW (to replace Purcell, you dummies, it's not a natural position for Draisaitl)
6. 3rd line RW (debatable, Kassian can play here if he improves)

To get #1 and #2 above, the assets I believe in play are (some in package deals, some not required):
#4 2016 pick
RW Jordan Eberle (because good return for D)
C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (because very good return for D)
LD Oscar Klefbom (swap for an equal RD)
LW Benoit Pouloit (because he was already in a deal with Yak for Maroon and Vatanen that fell through)
RW Nail Yakupov (because no defense and he wants off the team)
LD Griffin Reinhart (because he has potential)

Players who need to be off the team
Again, you don't see it?  You don't know how terrible the following players are?
- LW Lauri Korpikoski (because because because bad signy sign and bad player)
- RW Nail Yakupov (the Daryl Katz experiment is over, let's move on)

UFA/RFA signy signs that need to happen:
RD Eric Gryba (because big semi-skilled RD guys are scarce)
RW Iiro Pakarinen (because he's a big all-effort 4th line right-shot guy)
LD Jordan Oesterle (because he was a fantastic call-up, go 2 years)
RD Adam Clendening (because we need right shot defensemen in the system)
RW Tyler Pitlick (already happened for a year so there)

This leaves the current roster with an ideal lineup of, with depth (*call up)

Hall - Draisaitl - ?
Pouliot - McDavid - Eberle
Maroon - Nugent-Hopkins - Kassian
Hendricks - Letestu - Pakarinen
Khaira* - Lander - Pitlick

Klefbom - ?
Sekera - Fayne
Davidson - Gryba
Nurse* - Clendening
Reinhart* - Oesterle*


Many may argue against having Pouliot with McDavid and not Maroon but the stats don't lie.  I'm not sure having both Maroon and Kassian on the same line makes sense, but it could work.  Nuge needs a strong skilled partner there and Kassian can do it if he works at it.  Yak was never that guy.

Upcoming Potential Scenarios
  • Oilers sign a 3rd line UFA centre like David Backes, then you can bet he's trading Draisaitl or Nuge for a defensemen.
  • Oilers trade for top 4 defensemen like Kevin Shattenkirk ($4.2m). The Blues will want a defensive prospect in return making less money so Davidson maybe?
  • Oilers sign a top 6 RW UFA like Kyle Okposo, then maybe that puts Jordan Eberle in play for a top defensemen, although the Oilers don't have depth at top 6 right wing.
  • Oilers trade Taylor Hall for Shea Weber.  Not. Bloody. Happening.  Caught you there for a sec, eh?
All in all, at the end of the day, when it's all said and done, when the chips are down, and it's neither here nor there, it is what it is, so there you go, because that's the way the cookie crumbles, folks, and life's what you make it, so the story goes, what is and what shall ever be, as the more things change the more they stay the same, so we'll see since change is the only constant, so what are you gonna do. you know what I mean?

And so, my friends, that above sentence is about as cliche as all the trade rumours and proposals that are out there.

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