Yep it’s me with an article! Jeff promised that there would be surprises this week!
In the two plus weeks since I last posted I’ve started writing three different articles, but never finished any of them. Maybe I will finish them one day, but for now they go into the writer’s block folder on my laptop. I don’t know if it’s that I’m tired of the losing, or if I’m waiting impatiently for a trade, or if other “real life” events are bringing me down, or more likely a lot of all three, but I just haven’t felt like writing anything. Since I can’t seem to write anything coherent, I’ll put together a collection of random thoughts after the break.
- First of all, yes I signed up for Twitter. Those that know me well, wouldn’t believe that I did so, but I did. I’m really new to it, I don’t understand a lot of the lingo, or even how it works, and I may be more elusive on there than I am on here, but I’ve signed up…
- There’s been some talk about the Oilers being a possible destination for Ryan Suter if the Predators can’t sign him by the trade deadline. If he would be willing to sign a contract with the Oil, then I am all for trading for him, but if not then why would we throw away the farm to bring in a rental player when we won’t make the playoffs anyway, and all we would get is a worse draft pick in the end. Maybe I would be willing to take that chance (trading for but not being able to resign Suter) if the trade was Hemsky straight up for Suter, but I would only do that if Hemsky doesn’t want to sign with us. I also highly doubt the Predators would go for that trade. The Oilers do need another top four D-man though, but I don’t see that happening before the summer.
- Speaking of defence, Jeff Petry looks like a player. Yes he still makes a lot of rookie mistakes, but he has shown glimpses of top pairing potential. I’ld like to see him as a bottom pairing guy next season, playing with a stay-at-home type like Peckham or Sutton, though not necessarily either of those two. I’m afraid the Oilers plan on our top four being Gilbert and Smid (which I agree with), and then Whitney with Petry (or possibly Potter). I don’t think Petry is there yet, and unless Whitney gets his ankle figured out he may never be at that level again. I also think Potter would be a great number seven, filling in for the inevitable injuries. Thus we need two top 4 d-men. Yeah, I know, not likely to happen, but a man has to have hopes, right?
- Jumping to offense, it was good to see the NHL right a wrong by adding Eberle to the all star roster. They should have done so in the first place, but lucky for them others got injured too. Based on his style of play I think he’ll do great in the game, but I also see him being picked near the end of the “draft,” but not last. He should be picked early IMHO, but I kind of doubt he will (though I’m hoping that’s just the pessimist in me).
- Taylor Hall is the Man. His desire to play reminds me of when Smytty spit his teeth out after getting hit in the face with a puck, and then not missing a shift. He has Smyth’s desire to win, coupled with superb talent. If the Oilers continue having four assistant captains (two for road games, two for home ones), he should have an A on his sweater before the season is over.
- If Hemsky is traded and Whitney doesn’t return to his prior form (or a new form that is NHL capable), then I think the four A’s should go to Gilbert, Smyth, Hall, and then either Eberle or Smid (or possibly Gagner). I think it’s time to let the youth take on some more of the leadership roles; they’re already doing it on the ice, so why not make it official.
- I still want Khabibulin to be traded, but I don’t see it happening until next season, and then only if he doesn’t go back to his play from last season. Hopefully we can see more of Dubnyk between now and the Oilers golf season. He definitely showed he deserves that the last two games. I’m not sold that he will ever be a legitimate starting goalie, but if we aren’t going to make the playoffs, we may as well find out.
- I’m almost at the point of wanting the Oilers to finish with a lottery pick. That said I will never cheer for them to lose, and if they started winning and ended up just missing the playoffs I wouldn’t complain at all. Sure we wouldn’t get as good a draft pick, but it would be a much more enjoyable three months. I have noticed though that I’ve started cheering for Columbus, Anaheim, Carolina, etc. The better teams lower in the standings do the more likely we are to get a good pick at the draft (yes I’m strange like that).
- The team seems bent on playing Paajarvi with Lander. I see nothing wrong with this, In fact I’m in favour of it, with one exception: they should be playing together in OKC. Paajarvi’s been sent back down, but I think Lander could (and should) join him.
- I’m still waiting for a resolution for Hemsky. Sign him or trade him, I don’t particularly care which, but do it soon.
- On the rumour that Tambellini may be signed to an extension: Is Katz crazy? The only extension I would sign him to right now would be as an assistant GM, with the primary responsibility of managing the farm team. I would personally wait to sign or replace him at season’s end, and the same goes for Renney.
- I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things I wanted to mention, but maybe I’ll remember those for another post. Or maybe I’ll make a few tweets (that’s what those are called right?)
Topics: Ales Hemsky, Andy Sutton, Anton Lander, Devan Dubnyk, Jeff Petry, Jordan Eberle, Ladislav Smid, Magnus Paajarvi, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Whitney, Sam Gagner, Steve Tambellini, Taylor Hall, Theo Peckham, Tom Gilbert, Tom Renney