Since I was on the IR for the holidays I didn’t get a chance to comment on some of the happenings coming out of Oil Country. So I’d like to take the opportunity to do that now.
Let’s start with one that has been burning a hole in my pocket since the transaction took place…
I wrote about the a rumor that was raging online just before the trade was completed here and not a whole lot has changed. I love that Chiarelli was willing to go out on a limb to pick up a kid that has had a tough go lately. I love that he was willing to eat some salary to clear up his goaltending situation in Bakersfield. This trade is a win-win for Edmonton because if Kassian turns out to be a solid contributor for either the Condors or the Oilers, that’s a lot better than a $2M+ goalie clogging things up in the AHL. Also, Ben Scrivens gets to team up with former teammate Jeff Petry in Montreal and he’s closer to his old lady as well.
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) January 3, 2016
Connor, Mike Richards, and the Nuge
Connor McDavid is practising with the team and Nail Yakupov is skating… They’ll be back before the All-Star break and McDavid will play in the All-Star game is what I’m thinking (If he’s selected of course). The league and the team will position his comeback as miraculous and ahead of schedule but they all have had a good idea of when he’d be back and have played it safe so far.
With ConYak coming back sooner that later the team is going to have to make some moves… I read an interesting post over at Oil on Whyte from the lovely Sammi Silber where she proposed the idea of Edmonton picking up Mike Richards thus giving them some room to move Nuge for some help on D. It really made me think and I’m not completely against the idea.
Here’s the thing though, Richards would need some conditioning in Bakersfield to get his game back and then he’d need about 10-15 games in the NHL to see if he’s even good to go at that level. At that point, how close are we to the trade deadline? There’s no point in pursuing this option if it isn’t going to help this season unless the team dealing with Edmonton is willing to sweeten the pot a bit more due to their own playoff implications. The Oilers are better off waiting until the draft to see what shakes loose there. Not only that but to see what pick the Oilers are selecting at. If they have a chance to get defenseman Jakob Chychrun they should jump at it.
No, the team doesn’t need anymore young prospects to build upon but guys like Chychrun don’t get traded for. You have to draft them and develop them. That being said, he is left-handed and the Oilers are stocked full of LH dmen.
If we’re looking at trade options for Nuge, I think it’s hard to ignore Nashville and Seth Jones, the guy is a beast but I’m not 100% certain he’s worth RNH straight up. That probably means it’s a good deal then. Other options are strictly fantasy… Morgan Rielly, Karl Alzner, Brent Burns, Shattenkirk…
In the end, it’s probably not a good idea to deal one of the best two-way centers in the league if there’s no guarantee that the piece coming back is one that can contribute right away. It’s better to go with Draisait-McDavid-Nuge down the middle until something else comes up. I mean if the team isn’t making the playoffs and all then why make a move. Wait until the draft then free agency and see what shakes loose.
The World Juniors
Anybody else notice the lack of coverage and promotion for this year’s WJHC from the Canadian Media? I didn’t think they would win but I also didn’t think they’d be forgotten until the end when everyone hopped on Virtanen and knighted him the GOAT of the tourney for Canada. I reckon the goaltending and defense weren’t up to par and the coaching was suspect. Dylan Strome to me was the best player for Canada and I can’t wait until next year. I wonder if Nolan Patrick (potential 2017 1st overall pick) will make the team?
After watching the Finns and Jesse Puljujarvi, I’m seeing flashes of Rick Nash in Puljujarvi. He’s big, fast, physical, and has a laser of a shot. Do you think it’d be hard for the Oilers to pass them up if they finish the year in the bottom 5? Can you imagine McDavid centering this guy and Yakupov? Woof!
The Russians did a lot better than I thought they would. Making it to the gold medal game was two rounds farther than I thought they could go. But they had some great goaltending and one shouldn’t be silly enough to count them out before the tourney starts.
The Swedes massive collapse in the 3rd place game was no surprise to me. Since my days of watching the Viking Cup back in Camrose people have said that the Swedes tend to give no fawks if they start losing badly in an elimination game. The Americans handed it to them and kudos to Team America but not to their coach Ron Wilson. Is this guy one of the biggest dicks in hockey today or what? Why does he talk so much? Every time he opens his yap something retarded comes out.
Drouin and Rychel
Jonathan Drouin and Kerby Rychel are two young studs looking for new teams due to some untenable situations in their organizations. Drouin is a former 3rd overall that hasn’t taken off like his draft pedigree might suggest he should be. Rychel is physical winger who just can’t seem to get any traction in Columbus.
There’s a part of me that’d trade for them. I like the skill set that Drouin possesses. He dominated the QMJHL in the same fashion McDavid dominated the OHL. There’s a player there and I think he could help the Oilers more than say Nail Yakupov. Would Tampa take Yakupov for Drouin? The problem being that Drouin would like to be center and Edmonton is set there… Unless the shoe drops on Nugent-Hopkins thus paving the way for McDavid to take over the no.1 spot, Draisaitl the no.2 spot. Would Drouin be happy with the no.3 spot and PP duty? Reckon he’s going to the Rangers though.
Kerby Rychel is a guy I’d love to see in Oilers colors. He’s got a bit of the Ethan Moreau to me and the Oilers could use more of that in the lineup. Depending on how the organization values Benoit Pouliot, and I’m concerned about him here because McLellan has been on his ass for a week plus, I wonder if Pou could be moved to make room. He’s not producing this year like he was last year but neither is Nuge or Eberle. What about Schultz or Fayne?
But you put Rychel and Kassian on a line together and let the fireworks fly, this changes the league’s opinion on how easy the Oilers are to play.
Anyways, that’s all for today. Things are looking up for Edmonton as they’re only two points out of a playoff spot and ConYak is coming back this month! Things are about to get real for the Oilers. We just need to get Klefbom back and we’re set to see what we have.