Oilers Musings on Hockey Day in Canada

Kassian

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Happy Hockey Day in Canada everyone! First off I want to thank everyone who has visited Beer League Heroes over the last few days! We’ve seen record numbers of visitors in that time and we’re super stoked to have been able to fulfill your hockey cravings. Now onto the HAWKEY!!!

The Oilers are getting set to light up the Habs with Ben Scrivens scheduled to be back stopping Montreal and Connor McDavid’s return has seen the boys in blue and orange light the lamp 12 TIMES in the last two games!!! WOW! Good times indeed. Not only that but Darnell Nurse took us back to a time where the Oilers had players who through knuckles with hate in their eyes with every punch. Fawk ya!

So as I was listening to Oilers Now today (Friday’s edition), I heard Bob Stauffer and Elliotte Friedman talking about what Edmonton might do with the deadline coming up. They started talking about the possibilities regarding Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, etc. But then a very important point was brought up and I think it’s one that not a lot of people truly consider.

The Oilers have not played one game with their best five players on the ice once this season – Bob Stauffer

I have to go off the top of my head here but I’m thinking those five players are:

  • Taylor Hall
  • Connor McDavid
  • Jordan Eberle
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Oscar Klefbom

In my opinion it would be foolish to make any moves without seeing what the team has when the team does indeed have those fantastic five on the ice playing together in the same game.

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Now I have been told that Chiarelli is happy going forward with a young group on defense. Meaning that Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart, and Davidson are safe and adding an ever-improving ‘Rej Sekera, a steady Mark Fayne, and a solid Eric Gryba would all but eliminate any notions of a trade to upgrade to that area apart from moving Justin Schultz. But that was when the team was struggling to score. The message I got was that Chiarelli was willing to move a forward to get help for the forwards… Probably not the case now that the return of McDavid from injury has re-ignited the flames of scoring.

Stauffer and Friedman also spoke about Justin Schultz’s value.

If the Oilers could get a 2nd for Schultz, I’d be impressed. – Elliotte Friedman

Me as well. But he could very well be a nice pick-up for a team in the wildcard hunt or a wildcard spot with cap space and looking to add a puck-mover on the back-end.

Two teams jump out at me, the Arizona Coyotes and the Nashville Predators.

Arizona at the moment is two points out of a wildcard spot and has $31 million dollars roughly in cap space according to General Fanager. Their defense looks like this:

Defensive Pairings
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Connor Murphy
Connor Murphy
Klas Dahlbeck
Klas Dahlbeck
Zbynek Michalek
Zbynek Michalek
Nicklas Grossmann
Nicklas Grossmann
Michael Stone
Michael Stone

I see some fine two-way dmen there in Murphy, Dahlbeck, Michalek. An Elite offensive defender in OEL and two stay-at-home blue liners in Grossman and Stone. I reckon Schultz could be of some value to the Coyotes on the 2nd PP perhaps. I might go as far as to say he’s better than Grossman, at least more mobile and a better puck mover.

As for the Predators, they are sitting in a wildcard spot with 56 points but area 5-4-1 in their last ten. They’re stuck running with a under-performing Pekka Rinne and that’s a tough spot for them. The have $27 million in cap space, so absorbing Schultz’s cap hit would be nothing to them. Their defense looks like this since the trade of Seth Jones:

Defensive Pairings
Roman Josi
Roman Josi
Shea Weber
Shea Weber
Barret Jackman
Barret Jackman
Ryan Ellis
Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm
Mattias Ekholm
Anthony Bitetto
Anthony Bitetto

Who is Anthony Bitetto? I might be displaying some blatant igonorance here but I have never heard of this guy. A rookie nonetheless and I don’t think I’d be able to find someone who’d disagree with the sentiment that Justin Schultz would fit perfectly in that 3rd pairing role beside Mattias Ekholm or Barret Jackman.

The return I’d seek from these teams would be near-ready NHL prospect or a 3rd round pick. Such prospects might include former Oil King Henrik Samuelsson, QMJHL scoring leader Conor Garland or Swedish wrecking ball, Anton Karlsson. I love that Swede!

From the Predators I’d be looking at NCAA standout Jimmy Vesey or the behemoth defenceman, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby.

What do you think? Should the Oilers let it ride into next season and then try to make a deal? Let me know in the comments below!

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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!

  • mauriceh

    If I see Schlutz on the ice again, my season tickets will be for sale