Sunday, November 22, 2015
The Hamonic revelation has the rumour mill churning and as you can imagine things are getting a bit mental. Apparently Myers is off the table in Winnipeg, why I don't know, I think Hamonic is a clear upgrade and so I think the Wild are the clear frontrunner right now. The Oilers have a shot but man oh man the deals being proposed, all the way from Fayne and a mid round pick to Eberle + and I don't even know what to say in either case.
I like Mark Fayne, I think he is a top four NHL Dman when paired with a guy who can move the puck but that deal isn't happening. And while I would move Eberle for Hamonic the idea that you would need to add to a legitimate top line winger to get Hamonic strikes me as .... not likely.
Now of course we don't know what is out there and in any case all it takes is one GM to make THAT offer whether we are talking about a trade or free agency (remember Souray's bemused take on how the Oilers basically bid against themselves with a come out of nowhere offer that blew him away) and we see that nearly every summer, though less so this past one, where bottom six guys get the moon when equivalent or better players sign for less money and term.
Derek Dorsett's extension being a case in point.
Anyhow we all know that the Oilers' Achilles' heel remains the blue line, ahead of bottom six scoring and (sighs) goaltending (AGAIN!) but the reality is that the blue is better than it has been foor a while. It's so green but Davidson and Nurse have both been decent and Klefbom looks good and the veterans Sekera and Fayne have been solid, especially the former. It's not a playoff quality blue (oh if only MacT had had a clue about Petry) but it's better and with Schultz coming back we should see, hopefully, Gryba sent to the PB and Reinhart to the minor.
BTW I'm not down on Reinhart. Didn't like the deal but some are pronouncing him DOA, I certainly don't think that and would like to see him paired with a better option. Of course I would like to see that with Nurse and so on. It's the way it has been in Edmonton for a decade. Guys playing above their best slot and suffering as a result.
Anyhow back to point. The secondary scoring thing is temporary, once McDavid comes back there will be three scoring lines and oh my. As for the goaltending well we've been talking about this forever and if you're ready to give up on Talbot I say Dubnyk and that's all for now. I don't know if Talbot is the answer, he has been underwhelming, if that's a word, and relying on Nilsson is probably not a great idea. Broissot has been fantastic and may be the answer but only time will tell. Anyhow we all know that goaltending is voodoo and all that, who knows. My guess is they muddle along there until they can see Broissot up with the big boys.
But the blue. Back to the blue. Hamonic or someone like him would go a long way to curing what ails but at what cost? Because the latest, and to be fair this is just floating out there, nothing concrete, is the idea of moving Ted for a Dman, because Draisatil, see, makes him redundant.
Now let's just wait a minute here.
I love Draisatl and I think he is going to be excellent but he has played ten (!) games in the NHL this season so let's take a step back.
Actually first let me say this so you know where I am coming from. I am not against trading anyone as long as the team gets better. I think the Oilers have a long list of 'untouchable' players but other than McDavid and Hall I would probably move any of them for the right deal. My list goes like this:
McDavid, Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Draisatl, Nurse, Klefbom.
Now this will change in the future. For example if Draisatl proves this year that he is a two way centre who can drive play then he probably passes Ted. But not yet, bigger body of work and all that. And yes Nurse and Klefbom are kids but we're talking about guys who are probably going to be real top four guys for a decade or more. I don't trade them for Hamonic because the Oilers need as much D as they can get. I trade them for a guy like Oliver Ekman Larsson or Doughty, basically a young established number one guy but guys like that, they aren't getting moved.
So anyhow you can see that Eberle, Yakupov and Schultz are not on my list, Schultz for obvious reasons, of course the reality is neither he nor Yak are bringing much back anyhow. Eberle would bring back the biggest return and really if Chiarelli wants to speed this thing up then number 14 will probably be the guy he moves, not because he wants to, but because he will bring back the biggest return and be the easiest to replace. See Yakupov score a PPG playing with McDavid. Watch Pouliot kill it with Ted and Eberle. Look at Teddy Purcell rip it up with Hall and Leon. I'm not saying good wingers are easy to find (and Ebs is not in the same league as these guys) but I am kind of saying this.
Trade Nugent Hopkins and if McDavid or Leon go down then Lander is your number two centre. Do you like that? I don't think so. Keep him and you have a lineup soo deep at C that you almost don't need a fourth guy. You can move Leon to the wing if you're pushing for an equalizer.
After goalie centre is the most important position in the game. To have three (!!!!!) young guys who can play the position, well, you don't break that up until you absolutely have to do so.
Edmonton fans are like other fans, always looking for the next shiny thing. We're big on it (well some of us are) but we're not the only ones. When we lived in Florida the Buccaneers were coming on strong under Tony Dungy. They would win the Super Bowl as the culmination of that era although Dungy was gone by then. They were a club built on a fantastic defence and the offence was almost an afterthought. It was built on the run and the quarterback was expected to manage the ball, throw it only when necessary (the receiving corps was mediocre) and basically score ten to fourteen points as that was usually all that was needed. The QB when we were there was a guy named Trent Dilfer. Classic big quarterback, not very mobile, decidedly average. The problem with Dilfer is he wasn't that good and when the Bucs won he too was long gone. (Ironically Dilfer won his own Super Bowl with the Ravens, thus proving that there was an exception to the general rule that to win you need a great or at least very good quarterback, same as the exception to the rule that you need a great goaltender or stud number one Dman to win the Stanley Cup).
Now Tampa had a young backup by the name of Shaun King. King was mobile and dynamic and when Dilfer got hurt he came in and the team won some games. Now the team won most of their games because they were very good, regardless of who was behind centre, but when Dilfer came back the hue and cry for King was over the top. The main reason for this was that he was NEW and that he wasn't Dilfer. Dilfer wasn't much good but time would tell that King was actually worse. There was a legitimate reason that he was a backup (weak arm, not great decision making) but but NEWNEWNEWNEWNEW.
Fans get familiar with the established players, the guys who they see night in and night out and they become weary of their flaws and yes pretty well every player is flawed (this is another pet theory of mine that Oiler fans, spoiled by a dynasty of superstars, easily find fault when faced with mere mortals). Ryan Smyth wasn't a dynamic enough player to create something out of nothing. Ales Hemsky wasn't consistently brilliant. Tom Gilbert wasn't a thumper. Jeff Petry turned it over too much. Taylor Hall is ... well, I'm not even sure what the deal is there but there are people who think he's a bad hockey player. AND DON'T GET ME GOING ON HORCOFF!!!!!
Not just an Edmonton thing, Christ ask a Leafs' fan about Kessel or Phaneuf or Gardiner or Reimer. Bruins' fans (a minority of them certainly but still) wanted to run Chara out of town after 2013. And how about Pens' fans and Sydney Crombie!?!?!
In any case let's take a step back on the Nuge talk. Is he untouchable? No. Is he as close to it as you can get without being untouchable? Yes, because the return you would need for him is not available, at least right now. Trade Nuge and the team is not going to be better most likely. And that is the main thing, right?
Posted by Black Dog at 5:56 PM