Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Potential Targets Come July 1

Given the events of last weekend, I am almost ready to give Steve Tambellini a round of applause. Almost that is. He'll get it if he can add useful pieces to this hockey team. From what I can tell the Oilers need to add a 3rd/4th line Centre, a useful top 4 D man and probably an enforcer type 4th liner. Who should fill these roles? It can't just be anyone, it has to be players, not necessarily guys on the wrong side of 30 either.

For example, Boyd Gordon is a UFA and according to CapGeek, he has the highest faceoff percentage of any UFA who took more than 600 faceoffs, at 58%. What does that mean for the Oilers? Well it would mean that we would have a Centre who was actually able to win more than half his draws for the first time since 1982.

Another player who could fit that role as well as the enforcer type 4th liner, would be Zenon Konopka. He isn't the biggest guy(only 6'1") but isn't afraid to drop the gloves(572 PIMS over the last 2 seasons). Oh, and did I mention that he also won 57.7% of his faceoffs last year too? Imagine having both guys on the team? Instant success. I know, I know we'd have to figure out what to do with Cogliano and we have Lander and VandeVelde almost ready for NHL action but it's a good problem to have.

Other forwards I would look at to fill these needs would be Eric Belanger, Vern Fiddler, Marty Reasoner and Scottie Upshall.

The other area of need is on Defense. We need someone who is a useful top 6 guy, and doesn't leak goals. Currently there's a lot of scuttlebutt on the Twitter about the Oilers claiming Cam Barker after he was placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild today. I would have no problem with this acquisition, but I would try and move Sheldon Souray to Minnesota in exchange for Barker. If the Wild balk at this, then I would wait until Barker gets bought out and sign him for cheap there. The class of UFA defensemen looks shallow, and unless Tambellini drops an offer sheet on Doughty can trade for a useful D man, our options are limited. One of those options might be to bring back Jim Vandermeer for cheap as a bottom pairing guy. Sure he looked bad during the first half of the season but his play drastically improved since the All-Star Game.

I suppose we might need a backup goaltender or two this year as well. One guy I would look at, assuming he's healthy, would be Josh Harding. Harding missed all of the 2010-11 season with a severe knee injury but before that, he established himself as a good backup. Now, this would be dependent on Nik's situation and I'm not even sure Nik knows what his situation is. If that fails, maybe a Brian Boucher is in the works. What I do know though, is that the coming weeks should be an interesting one for the Orange and Blue.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Since the day that Smyth was traded Oilers fans across the land have hoped for a return of the fan favorite and today it was reported that Smyth wants to come home.Of course there has to be a catch. That same article says that the Oilers aren't sold on adding a salary like Smyth's to the payroll unless they can offload some. Yes, this is the same team that paid Sheldon Souray $4.5 million last year to play in Hershey and the same team that needs roughly $11 million cap dollars just to hit the cap floor. $11 MILLION! Now, granted I'm not sure of the last time Ricky O told Steve what is looking like for next season but this $6.25 million cap hit could really help us.

Oh, and there's that whole "we need veterans" yell from players such as Horcoff, Hall and Eberle. How does Tambellini not put a call in to Lombardi. I mean, unless Lombardi has avoided taking calls from the 780 area code one would have to like to Oilers chances here. I doubt it would take a whole lot to get him from L.A. as well. In all honestly, Smyth would be a salary dump for the Kings so they could add a big name player/offer Doughty the moon.

It just makes sense. Pull the trigger Steve, don't screw it up and sign him to a cheap 2-3 year extension. Let him teach Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and RNH the 1st overall pick how to work. It won't hurt, trust us. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Mock Draft

It is that time of the summer again, the time for virtually every hockey blogger out there to throw out their mock drafts for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. I will be pulling from various other drafts throughout the internet as well as some specific team needs. Without further adieu here it goes:

1) Edmonton- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2) Colorado- Johnathan Huberdeau
3) Florida- Gabriel Landeskog
4) New Jersey- Adam Larsson
5) New York Islanders- Sean Couturier
6) Ottawa- Ryan Strome
7) Winnipeg- Nathan Beaulieu
8) Columbus- Sven Baertschi
9) Boston(via Toronto)- Ryan Murphy
10) Minnesota- Mika Zibanejad
11) Colorado(via St. Louis)- Dougie Hamilton
12) Carolina- Jaime Oleksiak
13) Calgary- Mark McNeill
14) Dallas- Boone Jenner
15) New York Rangers- John Gibson
16) Buffalo- Mark Scheifele
17) Montreal- Ty Rattie
18) Chicago- Joel Armia
19) Edmonton(via L.A.)- Duncan Siemens
20) Phoenix- Tomas Jurco
21) Ottawa(via Nashville)- Nicklas Jensen
22) Anaheim- Jonas Brodin
23) Pittsburgh- Matt Puempel
24) Detroit- Brandon Saad
25) Toronto(via Philly)- Tyler Biggs
26) Washington- Vladislav Namestnikov
27) Tampa Bay- Oscar Klefbom
28) San Jose- Brett Ritchie
29) Toronto(via Boston)- Daniel Catenacci
30) Vancouver- Stefan Noesen

What do you think? Any and all comments are welcomed.