Oilers Fans Need This More Than Ever

ebs nuge

Coming off of one of the most disappointing seasons on recent memory, the Edmonton Oilers are in quite the conundrum. Do they take one of their major pieces on forward and try to upgrade their defense in a big way or do they tinker with the roster and add little pieces without disrupting the team?

Oilers fans, I’m here to tell you that this is a time where you need PATIENCE more than ever. The team has just gone through one of its worst, if not THE worst, injury ravaged seasons of its existence and they still made up 40 goals in its scoring differential. Not only that but the goaltending has been sorted and the team finally has a forward group that will compete with the best teams in the league. What would a healthy roster be able to do?

Brenden Ullrich, who is taking over for Bob Stauffer this week, was talking to Mark Spector on yesterday’s Oilers Now and they were speaking to how the best teams in the league have THREE quality scoring lines and the Oilers are so bloody close to having that!

Hall – Draisaitl – Eberle
Maroon – McDavid – Yakupov
Pouliot – Nuge – Parenteau

Hendricks – Letestu – Pakarinen

What about adding a PA Parenteau to that 3rd line for say $2M. He’s 32, a UFA,  and has proven to be a quality player playing that floating role on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche in recent years.

parenteau

Within that top 9 are players that can easily flow from line 1 to line 3. Take Hall out of that for a dman and you’ve got a huge hole there that would probably be filled by the 18-year-old that the Oilers end up drafting this June. Take Eberle out for a defender and you’re out 25-35 goals. Deal Nuge and you’re centre depth is gonzo.

Now you might say they Oilers could replace them in free agency but that is a mighty big gamble if you ask me. Sure you could overpay someone to come in but there’s no guarantee they’d perform nor is there a guarantee that anybody would even sign in Edmonton. The only guarantee the Oilers have right now is that the players they have now are signed and they’ve set the bar as to what we can expect from them.

There is one option that wouldn’t hurt the team all that much that would allow the Oilers to trade a RWer like Eberle or Yak OR a LWer like Pouliot or Hall. Moving Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the wing for the entirety of next season. This would give the Oilers the option of signing a 3C along the lines of Riley Nash or Frans Nielsen without leaving a gaping black hole on the wing in the top 6.

I’m not a huge fan of it but if a healthy Oilers defense is THAT bad, then I suppose this is a viable option I would support.

The defense only needs one piece really though. And to be honest, that’s all they’re probably going to get this summer. Maybe that piece is Vatanen if Anaheim doesn’t re-sign him. Pretty good for the no.4 slot I say

Klefbom – Sekera
Davidson – Vatanen
Nurse – Fayne

There’s no need to blow up the top 6 with either a huge trade or a mega-overpayment on a free agent when just tinkering with this team would benefit it greatly. The Oilers don’t have to trade Hall, Nuge, Eberle, or Yakupov. Look at that roster above with only 2 minor moves made. This is a competitive roster and the Oilers are not in the position to be nit-picking over how many RH’d dmen they have (Vatanen and Parenteau are RH’d by the way).

When it looks like the team needs to make a change in the most desperate of ways and it’s most important players and draft picks are rumoured to be in play, that is the exact time that the ownership, the GM and the fans need to display patience because if they don’t, that is when mistakes are made.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Joe

    BLH, I’m with you on this! There’re somethings to add, though. 1) The Oilers may add who they pick at #4. If it’s Dubois, Dubois can probably play next year and replace Letetsu — or Dubois can play LW on the 2nd, let Maroon slip to LW on the 4th and Hendricks centers the 4th. If it’s Chychrun — Chychrun may also play next year (adequate maturity on the part of a defenseman is not my expertise, but Ekblad played his first year and Chychrun has been likened to Ekblad). 2) Bear’s trajectory is mighty upward — we don’t know where he’ll place in camp. 3) Khaira and Slepyshev — both may beat hard on the door for an NHL job.

    A reasonably intact and healthy lineup under the second year of McLellan’s coaching is going to be competitive and truly informative as to what to do next.

    I’m hopeful that Chiarelli doesn’t do stupid stuff as in repeating the incompetent fiasco of trading Oiler assets 16 (Barzal/Kyle Connor) and 33 (Carlo/Blackwood) for pretty much nothing (making those picks and keeping Marincin would have been tons better!). However, knowing Chiarelli (Sequin, Reinhart, and bloated contracts in Boston) I dread the ‘heavy’ dudes he is likely to import and the bloated contracts he is likely to issue….may he be Harvard smart instead this offseason.

    • Beer League Hero

      Thanks for the comment!

      Great points! I reckon PC could look to acquire more veteran players if not what you or I have laid out.

    • Beer League Hero

      Thanks for commenting Joe!

      I’m with ya all the way here. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if they took Chychrun but I’m really torn between Tkachuk/Dubois/Chychrun at the four spot.

      • Joe

        I don’t value Tkachuk as highly because of two reasons — skating and playing on a star line. Dubois adds more because he can play center, because of his better skating, because he could be a Messier type player, and because he’s better than Svetchnikov on Cape Breton. Chychrun has dropped in various rankings but I think he’s still the player everyone thought he was and if he’s an Ekblad type, that is exactly what the Oilers need (they can swap one of their lefties for a rightie). The other D who might be better for the Oilers is Juolevi — because he’s soooooo smart.

        On another subject, Yakupov, if the personal relationships haven’t been destroyed, Yakupov can still turn into the star they drafted, provided he plays on McDavid’s line. I don’t think Eberle is fast enough for McDavid. If Yakupov’s confidence can come back with the Oilers, his shooting % is going to be back to where his talent would have it.

        Let’s say they trade Eberle for a primo right D — then next season
        Hall-McDavid-Yakupov
        Pouliot-RNH-Draisaitl
        Maroon-Dubois-Kassian
        Khaira-Hendricks-Slepyshev
        Klefbom-[Eberle trade]
        Nurse-Sekera
        Davidson-Bear/Fayne?
        Talbot

        • Beer League Hero

          The thing I think that the coaches love about Eberle is that he sets McDavid up coming out of the dzone. The dman will pass the puck to Eberle on the half wall and at the same time 97 is curling around to pick the puck up from 14. So he gets it in full stride right. Then 14 can just come up behind him or whatever.

          I hope Bear isn’t on the roster next season. A good year in junior for a dman doesn’t always equate to future success in the NHL. Although it’s a good sign that he’s trending in the right direction.

          I’m not big on Juolevi for some reason. I just think he might be overrated. I’d much rather take Chychrun.

          • Joe

            Regarding Bear it’s of course wishful thinking on my part. I’m sure the extra year is sounder. I just don’t want Chiarelli to issue another bloated contract. He did that in Boston and lost his job. MacTavish screwed the Oilers with Nikitin, Ference, Fayne, though not Pouliot.

  • Jo Macdonald

    I hate hearing the fans need to have patience,when are we supposed to be mad,when it’s 20 years and counting out of the playoffs? Come on,we have some players that we can get good people for and i am not talking core people either,pull the damn trigger on some deals this summer,if you wait the losing culture gets even harder to get rid of later..nuff said

  • GCW_69

    There isn’t enough depth there to compete. I like the Parenteau idea and he is on my mock rosters as well.

    The oilers need to find some buy low opportunities and they exist and in both cases are players that could help.

    Case one: I would be looking for Severson (who is fantastic but is getting the Eakins’ Petry treatment). He plays second pair minutes, spent most of this season propping up John Moore (Moore had a 48% corsi with Severson and 40.2% without him) and had the second most power play minutes of all Devils defenders on a slightly better than league average powerplay. He is only available because his coach doesn’t like or appreciate him. Think Eakins with Petry. Trade offers: Yak for Severson or Fayne ($1m retained) and a third.

    Case two: Ryan Strome, who is also on the outs with his coach. Strome will put up at least the offence Yak does and plays a much stronger two way game. Strome plays centre and right wing, so he gives TMac more deployment options as well. Trade offers: Yak for Strome, 2016 second round pick for Strome, Fayne ($1m retained) for Strome.

    How do you plan to get Vatanen? Anaheim will want at least Pouliot for him, and probably Pouliot plus Yak.

    • Beer League Hero

      I like your mock team. I just don’t know enough about Severson to get behind him. As for Strome, I don’t mind him and he’d surely have some familiarity with 97. Vatanen… I’m not sure. Pouliot and Yak were rumoured to be going to the Ducks before Pou’s injury. Perhaps that was Maroon and vatanen to the Oilers… We’ll never know.

      • GCW_69

        If you look at Severson’s WOWYs he looks really really good.