Monday, July 04, 2016

Quoth The Raven: 'Oh Those Oilers!'

Well ... I wanted to come up with something pithy to segue into a look at the Oiler's moves over the past week but honestly I have nothing. So here's what I think:

- the Oilers are going to be better this year. They would have finished 21st or 22nd this past season if not for getting ravaged by injuries. A full season of McDavid and Klefbom alone would have done the trick. So they were going to be better in any case and as the roster is presently constituted I think they probably will be around 20th, maybe even higher in the standings. If they can add another top four Dman without moving Ted then I think they are in the conversation for the playoffs but they fall just short. Reminder - anyone who says after the Oilers improve 'see we improved because we got rid of Hall' either is trolling you or is someone whose opinion on hockey you can totally ignore. One has nothing to do with the other.

- the Lowe/Tambo/MacT/Howson years crippled this franchise beyond measure. The gift that just keeps giving, these clowns, never mind the decade of failure. Sign Jeff Petry and the Hall trade is likely not necessary as Chia would have needed one, not two, Dmen.  And remember that three of these guys STILL work for the Oilers, two in hockey ops. In an organization where the talk of accountability is a metronome that never stops that whole idea somehow goes no higher than the coach

- the Hall trade was and will always be terrible unless Larsson turns into Lidstrom (this is not going to happen) but if he is Hjalmarsson, and he may be, then he is going to help this team a lot. Trading your best chip, an elite NHL forward, for less than an elite Dman is unforgiveable and Chiarelli should be fired for it of course but he would have run this by everyone so we know this is not going to happen. Remember how I said I always expected the worst when it came to this team but knew that this was not fair to Chia? Well, unless he hits a home run getting Barrie or an equvalent we know what we have and that is another guy who is over his head. I never would have thought it. We can only hope that he does no more long term damage to the franchise.

- you overpay of UFAs, they always get term and money (unless you're Demers in Florida or a few others, man after last year when there were so few bad deals everything was mental again this summer) and so the Lucic deal is of course completely nuts. He was the best F on the market though and he is no David Clarkson. He is the real deal. And I don't give a hoot about how he is being framed as Mark Messier II by the dummies, what I care about is that he is a real 1LW. His deal is moveable at the end if he falls off a cliff and while he is not Taylor Hall he is, as noted, a real 1LW. He is a very very good player and he will help this team win games. (and of course he will be a fan favourite, he is in that Messier/Pronger mold, he is not at that level obviously but he is a very talented thug and that player type is beloved more than any other)

- Mark Fraser couldn't play in the NHL his last goround here and I expect he won't make it to Edmonton this year, his job is to protect kids from the goons in Bakersfield, I can't get worked up about this either way though knowing the Oilers he will play 1st pair for the Condors and destory some kid's development. (See what I say about expecting the worst.) Seriously though, who cares.

- I expect that Brossoit is already pencilled in as the backup, Gustavsson is absolutely awful and always has been. I don't like this at all and would have preferred they throw more money at a better alternative. If Talbot gets hurt then they will be desperate for a replacement and we have already seen how Chia does under pressure.

- the Korpikoski buyout was necessary, talk about a disappointment, at least they weren't afraid to cut their losses there

- when you look at Florida and how they added three RHD to their roster for Kulikov, money and futures, do you get aggravated? I sure do.

- if anyone tried to frame it as Hall for Larsson and Lucic tell them, as the boy would say, to get wrecked. Hall was traded for Larsson, Lucic cost nothing but cash. Framing it otherwise is either being dumb or trying to sell a version of events that is untrue (although the Oilers would love for you to see it this way)

- we talk a lot about process and results, I remember Tyler Dellow saying once that if he were a GM then every single move would be geared to one goal, that of winning the Cup. The results of what we have seen so far this summer is a better Oilers' club and as noted if they could add another top four D we might, might, be talking playoffs. The problem is the process, again, stinks, and so that end result, the only one that matters, remains a distant bell. The Oilers had two elite talents and traded one for a good player. If you want to win the Cup you need elite talent first and foremost, dumping it for 60 cents on the dollar is a good way to end up being a first round and done type of club. The sad thing is that this would be a huge improvement for us. In the short term the team is better, no doubt and there is still a lot of quality there. I haven't given up on Nurse at all and find it hard to believe that so many people already have. That said he should either be first pair in California or bottom pair in Edmonton this year, if not then we know they haven't learned a damn thing. If he's in the top four it's Ladi Smid all over again. And Gord help us if Oscar is toast ( I think he will be fine but that may just be my old man talling, sunny days and all that).

 The ironic thing about Chia talking about standing pat now is that after panicking with Hall he is looking at flushing another season if they don't add that other top four D. Man oh man.

 Thanks MacT, Howson et al. Eat me.


the pass class. said...

I believe there were issues with hall and teammates along with attitudes. I do not know him personally or have ever met him but from what I've seen off and on the ice, to me, shows signs of a problem with in the room and org. I can give examples but will leave it for another day. No doubt elite forward. Sure bet to bring offence for yrs to come but...... when Taylor Hall has been out of the line up oilers scoring hasn't suffered. Aside from driving the play, offence is his best card and we have players to drive the play and create offence in Halls absence. He's not to blame for all the carnage just a product of it. Player for player the deal is very much lob sided, not saying Larson won't help cause he will, but oilers are a better team now than they were going into the draft. Tired of not only losing games but being pushed around every game. Hasn't been the greatest atmosphere to develop kids. That's changing. McLellen and Chiarelli are exactly what this org needed! The element that maroon and Lucic bring to oilers is has been none existent for yrs. There's a chance for younger elite talent to thrive with guys like that. If maroon can come to oilers and create offence I'm sure Lucic will to. People can say what they want about Lucic's deal but if his play and presence allows guys like Rnh,McDavid, Drasaitl, etc to excel then imo there's no price tag on that! Not only should oilers move up in standings but maybe move out of the top bracket of man games lost per season cause that has gone on for more than just last season. That alone could be the most significant factor with this team improving. Just keep working on the d and things are gonna get serious! Lol

calgarysux said...

Elite for Elite trades are as rare as a unicorn.

It is naive to expect Hall to be traded for a Drew Doughty or Erik Karlsson.

If you are expecting that the D will never get better.

Larsson is a 1st pairing guy, since he was playing there in New Jersey.

I suggest you read Ray Shero's comments on the guy, he cringed giving him up just as much as Chia cringed giving up Hall. Sometimes you gotta make tough decisions to better the team.

Keep an open mind - that's all I'm trying to say.

Black Dog said...

calgarysux - oh I have an open mind, I do, and I think Larsson is a fine add. That said, you can't get 60 cents on the dollar. As for Shero, well ... he's not going to say he fleeced Chia, right? ;)

the pass class - well when Draisatl did not play with Hall he produced offence at half the rate as he did with. Now, Leon may one day be a play driver but the problem is the Oilers once had two forwards who could do that. And now they have one. As Jason Strudwick noted, in Hall you had a guy who could carry his own line. That is rare and may be impossible to replace.

I don't give any credence to the Hall was a problem in the room thing. Guy has won everywhere he has been except Edmonton and verbal from past, present and future (Henrique) teammates has always been extremely positive. If he was a cancer they would not have had 97 stay with him, full stop.

I think the team is better. I also think Chia panicked and gave up too much for Larsson. It is possible to believe both. ;)

And I have no problem with Lucic. Great add. Too bad he and Hall weren't patrolling that LW for years to come though.

calgarysux said...

So let me get this straight....

New Jersey is already willing to trade one of their top 2 defenceman - a rarity in and of itself - when defence is the hardest position in the NHL to master and thus there is a premium on signing/trading them to begin with - and you want more than that?

If you said that to Shero, you know what he would've said? "I'm already trading you one of my top 2 defenceman, and you want more?" *Click*

That's what would've happened. And then you still have Taylor Hall but your D is no better, which means you can count on finishing 27th-30th yet again.

rubbertrout said...


I think the issue is that Hall is one of the top 4 LW in the world as opposed to being a top 2 Dman in New Jersey. One is significantly rarer than the other.

At this point though, Hall is gone, and we've got Larrson. I think Larrson is a fine add and I can like to have him as part of our team while still believing that we overpaid to get him.

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