Well here we sit on Sunday morning and it is a real slow news day for the Edmonton Oilers. So slow in fact that I have decided to debut my new weekly series. Welcome to the madhouse will be a point-form style blog that will not only cover Oilers news but really anything that I feel like commenting at the time. So fair warning people, if you want to read an article solely about hockey this one may not be for you from time to time. Today you are in luck though because I have a lot going on inside the old hat rack that I want to touch on. So let’s get right to it, enter if you dare.
- The NHL has agreed to try three-on-three overtime format this season and I have seen a lot of good things being written about it. I mean come on, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that by going to this new format we will some really fast hockey. Teams with a lot of speed up front will be looking to push the pace will the bigger stronger teams struggle to keep them to the outside. I for one am stoked to see the Oilers playing three-on-three as we have a bevy of speedy players up front and potentially on the back-end as well. Can you imagine Hall and McDavid flying down the ice with that much room to move? Like I said, the majority of feedback that I have seen is positive but one goalie has remarked that he thinks that it will be harder on the net-minders. Cory Schneider had this to say when discussing the new format. Not exactly a ringing endorsement but a scathing review either. Check out his comments at the end of the post about goalie skill levels and making nets larger to bring out more skill. Interesting hearing that coming from a goalie.
- All Edmonton Oilers fans know there is a great big elephant in the room this morning. That beloved pachyderm is present courtesy of the second buy-out window granted to the franchise for filing the Schultz arbitration. I wrote a piece late last week discussing the merits and pitfalls of using said buy-out and I am still on record as being in favour of using it. If the space can be freed to sign Cody Franson or Christian Ehrhoff for 3 years I say do it. There is a lot of space coming available next summer with both Ben Scrivens and Teddy Purcell coming off the books next year so I say do it! Fortune favours the bold! Or at least that is what we are told, we have never seen the bold we were so falsely promised… The only key RFA’s next summer are Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz with Schultz being moved if Franson signs. We have no need of Schultz if we have a better version of the player here.
- What would the addition of a player like Franson do to players like Nurse? Adding Franson pushes everyone but possibly Sekera and Fayne down the depth chart. The addition of a player of that caliber would mean that both Griffin Reinhart and Darnell Nurse start the season in Bakersfield and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Nurse has a grand total of six games as pro and Reinhart, while having a full season of AHL experience, still has only eight NHL games on his resume. Just because they are very highly touted prospects doesn’t mean they will be gifted roster spots like in years past. New management seems more than capable of separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak. I think that regardless of who the players are the seven or eight best will be on the opening night roster. Not just the most expensive…
- Talking about Darnell Nurse, just how crazy good is this kid? He has the ability, size, mean streak, and speed to be the real number one defender that we so desperately need. Of course that is the best case scenario and even if it does come to fruition it won’t be for a few years yet as Darnell progresses as a player. At this point I think the worst case is a second pairing player but I just see too much skill and too many natural physical gifts to not be at least a top pairing guy.
- Monday, besides being the end of the Oilers 48 hour buy-out window, is the deadline for official submitting an expansion bid. Originally it was thought that we would see bids coming from Las Vegas, Quebec City, and Seattle. It came to light Friday that the possible ownership group in Seattle would not be submitting a bid after arena issues were not able to be worked out in time. There is talk of second bid coming from the Seattle area but it is uncertain whether the league will be keen to be outside of the greater Seattle or if they will refuse the $500 million franchise fee that is expected from each new team. It does however seem all but a certainty that Quebecor media will be handing their bid in along with the $10 million deposit. And with Las Vegas proceeding with the building of a fantastic new arena complex it is a virtual guarantee that the prospective owners have all their forms filled out and a giant suitcase full of money to wheel into NHL headquarters tomorrow morning.
- I was on Twitter last night and our very own Beer League Hero brought up the polarizing discussion of the Big E. Of course I mean Eric Lindros. One of the most physically dominant skilled players I have ever had the opportunity to watch. BLH asked if, and I am paraphrasing of course, we will ever see a player like Lindros again? It is a great topic for discussion as there was no one like him ever before he joined the league and hasn’t been anyone like him since. He has made many errors along the way. From his refusal to join the Nordiques to his off-ice issues that have been well documented. I am not going to condone his actions as there is no reason for what took place to ever happen but I am thinking that those items need to be separated when discussing him as a hockey player. If we are talking about what he is like as a person then by all means bring on the character attacks and prior misdeeds but in a discussion about him as a player shouldn’t revolve around what he did in a night club 20 plus years ago. Just my opinion.
- Will the summer of insanity ever end for the Boston Bruins and general manager Don Sweeney? He traded one of the top up and coming defenseman in the entire league in Dougie Hamilton for next to nothing in return. He had a better offer, although marginally, from former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli but had to add in an extra player on top in an attempt to stick it to our Chia pet. Then he moved power forward Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings for promising young goalie Martin Jones and the 13th overall pick in the 2015 draft. The pick was used to select Jakub Zboril, a defender for the Saint Johns Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. I know nothing about this young fella so I won’t make any judgement as far as whether he is a good pick at that point of the draft. I do understand Boston adding defense at the draft though. Likely an attempt to find a replacement for Hamilton but that isn’t coming any time soon. Beleskey was an okay add for the team and was even kept below 4 million per which is well below what he was asking. Overall I don’t know that either of the two trades they made were any good. The Hamilton trade will take years to decide on but it is a clear win for Calgary right now. The Lucic trade was one I liked but personally I think the guy is over-rated to begin with, The point of all of this is that Boston subtracted one of the best defensemen they had and didn’t bring anyone that can be considered close to a replacement. Sweeney is on record as saying that his team may not be doing adding yet. With the expectation being a playoff berth next year they damn sure better not be done. This team is worse than they were prior to the NHL draft that is for sure.
- The final thing that I want to touch on is the fabulous t-shirts that Beer League Heroes is currently selling through our store. There are some fantastic designs and let’s not forget the always stylish Beer League Heroes shirt! Get yours before they are gone!!! Besides being a great deal they are also great at helping meet women! The conversations these beauties will inspire will be the stuff of legend! No but seriously they won’t help your game at all. If you had none before the shirt like me you still won’t have any after you wear it. But at least you will have a really snappy new shirt!
I have decided that I will end this weekly blog series every week with a question to pose to all you fantastic readers and I will post the best answers in the following weeks edition. Today my question to all of you is what should the entrance song be for the Edmonton Oilers this season? My answer is in the video below. Thanks for reading, leave me a comment and follow me on twitter, @cooke_rob. Have a great night!