A few days ago General Manager Craig MacTavish gave a sort of State of the Union address. It followed the Oilers setting a dubious club record of being shut out 3 times in a row on home ice.
Anyone looking for encouragement or signs of hope from that 29 minute press conference were out of luck. In fact, I found it insulting to any reasonable Oiler fan. He talked about how he had seen progress? Say what? Huh? Fans can be excused for the impression that this was an empty platitude. Surely, he doesn’t actually believe this? I don’t believe he does but he had little else to say.
He advised that he could trade for immediate help – but it would be at the price of the future. Yes, I believe that. I discussed that problem here. http://oilonwhyte.com/2013/10/29/vultures-circling/ The truth does not make it any easier for Oilers fans to swallow or to digest.
The only real nugget of information was the revelation that Craig MacTavish is willing to trade his number 1 draft choice for help as the Oilers do need any more building blocks. I agree, but I also think the best price he is going to get for that gem is closer to draft day. Unless he trades it in a package as suggested in the following:
Rumour Du Jour:
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wrote that the Oilers are interested in Nashville defenseman Shea Weber. That would be a coup. Oiler fans learned how much a great defender can mean in 2006 – the acquisition of Chris Pronger was a huge piece in the Oilers run to the Stanley Cup Final. The price would be heavy: perhaps Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle; a prospect like Ryan Nurse or Oscar Klefbom; and that number one pick. If it is me, Hall is untradeable but I would move Eberle, Klefbom and a 1st. I might even move Eberle, Nurse and a number 1. Weber is exactly what this team needs and would move this team forward in a huge way. The price is understandably heavy, but I would pay it.
The Arcobello Reaction:
Let me start by saying up front that I would not play Acton over Arcobello. I understand the thought of adding more size against San Jose but is Acton really that much bigger than Arcobello? Does he play big? Does he add that grit factor? No. So I was surprised that he was scratched in favour of Acton. That being said the reaction of a paper transaction of him being assigned to the Oklahoma Barons was over the top. The Oilers had already made the decision that he was sitting, so assigning him at that point made sense. He didn’t have to clear waivers. I understand the fans negativity. I share it. That does not mean we have to search for more to dump on the pile.
Lost in all the Arcobello hype was that the Oilers called up Oscar Klefbom. I don’t mind this. I would not want him up the rest of the season unless he shows he is ready for prime time but I always thought he would get some games this season to show what he can do. I look forward to watching him play.
The Battle of Alberta?
Basically for the last few seasons it has been more of the skirmish of Alberta. Both teams have lost 5 in a row. They are looking for any spark. Perhaps tonight’s game will meet some of the hype.
The Oilers are not going to make the playoffs, but they need to give something to the fan base. A win in Calgary would be a good start.