Thursday, July 13, 2006

Change Coming




Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

LW-Smyth, Torres, Moreau, Jacques
C-Horcoff, Stoll, Reasoner, Pouliot, Almtorp
RW-Hemsky, Pisani, Lupul, Winchester, Brodziak
D-Smith, Staios, Hejda, Greene, Tjarnqvist, Bergeron, Smid
G - Roloson, Markannen

For now.

Other possibilities - Mikhnov and Schremp up front

This is one young young team. Holy smokes.

Questions:

Does Dvorak come back as the fourth line right winger? He'd get his ice on the PK and playing tough minutes late in games along with Pisani. I can't see him as a 13th/14th forward. And if he does come back who takes those roles? I'd rather not have a youngster sitting in the pressbox - what's the point?

Does Rem Murray have a role as that 13th/14th guy? To me he'd be ideal there. But does he want to play for nothing again?

I can't see either Mikhnov and Schremp making this team unless they force this team to break camp with them. Loaded with young forwards already, all with more experience then these two, I think the Oilers aren't putting either in a fourth line role. Schremp definitely not. Mikhnov, if he has any clue in his own zone, maybe ends up on the fourth line. He's been a pro for a while but who knows? I don't think playing big minutes in the minors is going to hurt either.

If Mikhnov dazzles maybe they can find a spot for him. I guess they have to.

Lots of young forwards. Nice problem to have.

As for the D, well hard to say where this is going. Smith, Staios, Greene and Tjarnqvist are in. Bergeron too. My guess is Hejda is as well. If he can't hack it its so long but this guy is nearing thirty. I don't think they bring him over to learn the game in the minors.

So the big question, is Smid heading back to the minors or is he one of seven. If he plays his way into the top six then he's ok. If not then he's heading down. No use in the pressbox.

Last question, does Lowe make a move? I say he does. Two big, one or two little.

The little ones - he has to fill a couple of forward spots with vets on the minimum - maybe Murray fits in. Players to fill in those last roles. Or maybe rotate with youngsters on the fourth line, although I don't like it. Young guys have to play. Also depending on if he moves Bergeron, maybe he picks up another guy to be the sixth or seventh D.

As for two big (and this relative - big in Oiler ville may be as big as these moves get).

Trade for a Dman or an upgrade at centre (a 1B guy to go with Horc's 1A). I think they need the former. As for centre I like Stoll but I think the playoffs proved that he is either not up to the task or he still has a way to go before he is.

So they trade for one or the other. If no upgrade at centre then definitely the Dman. They pick this player up from a team strapped for cap room - for a pick, a prospect, Bergeron, Winchester, a combination. Teams are going to be dumping salary and pretty good players can be had for cheap. Note the Mike Johnson move.

The second piece depends on the plans for Stoll. If he's going to get bumped a line or if they decide to roll with what they have down the middle then he stays. He's just a kid and he's a pretty nice player. Having said that if they can move him somewhere for an upgrade on the back end that makes sense then they may do it.

Addition this morning to the original post - in the papers this morning a couple of additional points of interest - the feeling is that Thoreson may also be in the mix for a spot. Fourth line going into camp is Jacques/Pouliot/Winchester. Finally and most interesting - Mikhnov is coming once the transfer agreement is signed and Oiler brass feel he can play second line right now.

If that is the case this team has a whack of young wingers - if this kid can come in and do that then you have:

LW - Smyth, Mikhnov, Torres, Moreau, Jacques
RW - Hemsky, Pisani, Lupul, Winchester(?)

Where does Thoreson fit in? Almtorp? MAP? Brodziak?

Too many young players - not enough spots? Maybe its not Stoll who gets moved? Of course this all depends on Mikhnov, Almtorp, Thoreson being the real deal. But wow! Interesting times. Now if only one or two of these guys played D.

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