What the Hell Happened?

Ok, so I’m back in the ROC (The Republic of China aka Taiwan) now and apparently while Little BLH and myself were on the plane Kris Versteeg and the Oilers decided it wasn’t going to work out and off Versteeg went to join the Flames… Say what?!

If you get on that Twitter thread, Dustin Neilson talks about Versteeg not being tough enough and that’s why he wasn’t signed. I laughed out loud and immediately thought about how that must’ve infuriated some numbers guys.

I was getting stoked to have Versteeg on the team. I thought adding more veterans with playoff success was the right road to go down for this team but apparently, Versteeg wasn’t interested in 12-13 minutes a night and decided to take his show elsewhere. So good riddance and good luck tomorrow night to Versteeg (IF he’s even in the lineup). When you’ve got Maroon, Kassian, Lucic, Pouliot, etc bearing down on you, you’ll know you made the wrong choice.

And to add to the Versteeg news, Eric Gryba was signed to a 2-way deal after I was told he was on his way out of town… Say what what?!!

I mean I watched him (Gryba) in that Jets/Oilers game and he was effective in front of the net but when it came to moving the puck and actually skating… Yikes! Was/is he a better option that Mark Fayne? I can’t answer that. I think they’re both bound for the AHL or other teams. I’ve liked Matt Benning better but I’m not sure if starting him in the NHL is a positive direction to take with him even though there’s a glut of dmen lining up for Bakersfield at the moment. Actually, I expect Chiarelli deal some of those guys out to make room for Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones next season.

TSN CAN TAKE A LONG WALK OFF A SHORT PIER

What kind of poppycock is that? For the first time in how many years, the Oilers’ top four defensemen are actually NHL defensemen!! They’re not starting any rookies in the top 6 on forward and the goaltending is solid IF Talbot can start well and stay healthy. Not only that but…

For the first time in how many MANY years, the Oilers’ top four defensemen are actually NHL defensemen!! They’re not starting any rookies in the top 6 on forward and the goaltending is solid IF Talbot can start well and stay healthy. This is finally starting to resemble a real team folks!

Not only that but…

Second last in the whole league? Brutal! What is that even based on (I haven’t seen the preview show…)? If you’re to ask me, I think they’ll finish a surprising 4th in the West whilst passing Arizona, Vancouver, and Calgary AND picking up the wild card spot.

There was a stat going around about teams going into their new buildings and how they’ve always made the playoffs that year… I’m not sure how far back that goes but this jet lag has me feeling like I’ve got a brutal hangover and I can’t be bothered checking. But if it’s true, that bodes well for the Oilers.

THE OILERS STARTING LINEUP FOR 2016/17

2016/17 Edmonton Oilers

Good ol’ Lance Pitlick eh?

I think the majority of bitching these days is why the Oilers didn’t pick up Teemu Pulkkinen (too slow), PA Parenteau (too slow), and/or Mark McNeil (Stauffer doesn’t have that much pull) and you know what?

I’m f*cking stoked that he didn’t when I think about it.

He’s giving the players within his organization to make their mark. Pitlick has busted his balls to make this team each year he’s had the chance and each year the injury bug has jumped up and bit him. Poor luck I say. But not this year, he’s ready to take Matty Hendricks role and run with it.

Anton Slepyshev has looked very clinical this training camp. He’s using his size and hands to run amok on the opposition when given the opportunity. Not only that, but Slepyshev even got in a scrap! Loving the heart he’s showing and I believe Peter Chiarelli is feeling the same.

I imagine this will be that last chance for these players though. If they can’t make an impact at the NHL level within 20-25 games, surely they’ll be moved on from and maybe for one of those players that everyone was pissing their pants for just a short time ago.

I don’t agree with Jesse Puljujarvi starting the year with the team because he hasn’t really shown much positive despite what Coach McLellan has said about him needing a more structured game. He’s tentative with the puck and panics with it in the defensive zone. A far cry from the prospects tournament in Penticton eh? But how much fault can we lay at the teenager’s feet. His countryman, Patrick Laine, put up goose eggs in the preseason and we were all thinking goalies be getting lit!

I’ve loved the preseasons from Pat Maroon, Benny Pouliot, Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, and Oscar Klefbom. They’ve been aggressive, smart and calculated. If they can carry that over to the regular season, the Oilers could be a team to be reckoned with.

The rest of the roster looked pretty meh… Saw ’em good one day and saw ’em poor another. I think Lucic will need to pull up his socks and really start laying into guys as he looks just a fraction of a second behind McDavid. Eberle is still dusting that puck off before shooting it and we’re going to need to be patient with the Pouliot/Nuge/Draisaitl line I think. Tons of potential there but not guaranteed to work. This is Todd McLellan’s MO though. Stack those top two lines with your best players and ride ’em until they’re raw.

That being said, this roster is on a short leash and as we’ve found out, Chiarelli is NOT afraid to make an unpopular move… Hello Eberle for Simmonds!

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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!

  • GCW_69

    Versteeg has AVERAGED 41 points per 82 games the last three seasons. Parenteau, despite being supposedly slow has AVERAGED 42 points per 82 the last three seasons.

    Pitlick, Slepyshev, Drake and JP have 4 CAREER NHL points amongst them, so sure, why would they ever want to add a veteran or two with reliable production histories?