GDB 11.0: SHUFFLE THE DECK

Jason Gregor
February 09 2013 10:54AM

Teemu Hartikainen will get a promotion today when the Oilers take on the Detroit Red Wings, if Ralph Krueger sticks with the lines he used at practice yesterday.

Krueger shuffled his lines after they produced only nine even strength goals in the first ten games of the season. The Oilers are last in ES goals, and that's the main reason they've lost four in a row.

Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Smyth-Paajarvi
Eager-Vande Velde-Petrell

Yesterday Krueger had Belanger between 91 and 64 while Smyth was in the middle on the fourth line, but Belanger is not eligible to return from the IR until tomorrow, so I expect Smyth to be in the middle on the third line and Vande Velde to skate on the fourth line.

Krueger had no choice but to juggle his lines. You can't win in the NHL if you can't score at ES, and the Oilers have struggled at ES for the past three seasons. They were 22nd in ES goals in 2012, 28th in 2011 and 20th in 2010. 

He might just keep the top two lines the same though.

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Paajarvi-Vande Velde-Hartikainen
Eager-Smyth-Petrell

The reality is that until the Oilers have enough players willing to score from the tough areas, they will struggle producing. The Oilers have loads of offensive skill, but you can't expect to win scoring only pretty goals. They need some garbage goals, and I'm not sure line juggling will guarantee that if the players don't alter their strategy in the offensive zone.

N. Schultz-J.Schultz
Smid-Petry
Whitney-Potter

I'd play Fistric and Whitney ahead of Potter at this point. Fistric gives you a physical presence on the backend and he's solid on the PK, while I still feel Whitney, even if he's struggling can give you more than Potter.

That being said I expect Fistric to be in the pressbox today. His back might still be a bit tight, and the Oilers will go with puck movers against Detroit.

Dubnyk/Khabibulin

Dubnyk has been great so far this season so the obvious choice would be to play him, but the Oilers have lost four in a row and I wonder if Krueger goes with Khabibulin todaY.

The Oilers are 1-6-1 in their last eight visits to Detroit, but Dubnyk is 2-0-1 in his career v. the Wings. During his only start in Detroit he stopped 42 of 44 shots in an OT loss in 2011.

Khabibulin has lost his last six v. the Wings and is 1-6 all-time v. Detroit as an Oiler.

I'd start Dubnyk, but I won't be surprised if Krueger goes with Khabibulin today due to a four game losing streak and goes with Dubnyk tomorrow.

QUICK HITS

  • Ryan Jones is getting very close to playing. The Oilers could use some of his greasy goals, and his willingness to go to the net. When he is activated I'm guessing the Oilers will waive Darcy Hordichuk. Krueger won't play him, so there is no point keeping him.
     
  • The Wings blueline isn't great and the Oilers should be able to create some quality chances this afternoon, especially the Hall/Gagner/Hemsky line. Hall and Hemsky have been excellent off the rush this year, and I'm curious to see how they will work together.
     
  • I'm also curious to see Yakupov play with Paajarvi. Yakupov knows he has to shoot more, and with Paajarvi not a threat to shoot we should see 64 unload his heavy shot more often.
     
  • Shameless plug....I'll be calling the Edmonton Rush/Calgary Roughnecks game tonight at 7 p.m. on Sportsnet One. Tune in.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Wings aren't the dominant team we've been accustomed to watching for the past ten years, and the Oilers pull off a 3-2 upset.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall, Gagner and Hemsky will be the Oilers best line and they'll produce two ES goals. Pavel Datsyuk also has a strong game including a sick dangle in the second period that will be on every highlight reel this evening.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The usually calm, cool and collected Tom Renney, will get into a verbal sparring match with Ben Eager during the second period. We won't be able to hear or lip-read what was said, but Renney will point to his head a few times and give the thumbs down. Suggesting Eager isn't that bright. Eager will be fired up and score the eventual game winner. After the game, Krueger will devise a plan that gets his players arguing with the opposing bench on a daily basis.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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Pharmboy wrote:

Potter stinks! He needs a new wand. Ryan Smyth, appreciated everything he did but it is time. Training camp would have been nice as it looks like the players are still trying to learn the new system/coach, unless Krueger's (sp?)system sucks as bad as Potter, then it's time for a new coach next year. Blue Jackets suck. We lost, I still have two hours left at work and I'm in a sucky mood ;(

....and there it is. It only took 11 games but we have the first fire the coach guy. Congrats , you've won moron of the day.

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#2 MAC962
February 09 2013, 02:10PM
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Is it just me or is Kevin Weekes Moron ? Twice it was nick Schultz making a play and Weekes keeps saying look at this kid, i love watching him.

Go call curling or something a little more your speed Weekes.

Refs are just a joke, did potter really intentionally shoot the puck over the glass ? Or Smyths penalty, or Zetterbergs for that matter, get in the game refs. You have been terrible.

Bulin !! you are making me eat crow and i love it !!!

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#3 GVBlackhawk
February 09 2013, 11:45AM
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Coco crisp wrote:

Hall great off the rush?? Yikes.. He's great at falling down while trying to toey the defenseman, but that's about it.

Yikes. You don't know hockey. Maybe try ladies badminton.

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#4 Pharmboy
February 09 2013, 04:07PM
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Potter stinks! He needs a new wand. Ryan Smyth, appreciated everything he did but it is time. Training camp would have been nice as it looks like the players are still trying to learn the new system/coach, unless Krueger's (sp?)system sucks as bad as Potter, then it's time for a new coach next year. Blue Jackets suck. We lost, I still have two hours left at work and I'm in a sucky mood ;(

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#5 Dave "Killer" Carlson
February 09 2013, 10:55AM
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Anyone have a link to stream the game online today? CBC thinks it's appropriate to show the Jets game in Winnipeg instead of the Oilers.

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#6 TonyT
February 09 2013, 03:19PM
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Everyone knows what's wrong with the Oilers (e.g. too small, defence), and while we thought Fistric was the beginning of management believing this team could win (by filling holes), any silence should be understood of more of the same. I'm not going to get into what Tambo should do because at the end of the day it's moot. Should I get a Drouin or a Jones jersey?

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#7 Old Soldier
February 09 2013, 03:47PM
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First of all, in my opinion, there is absolutely no need for a massive/team altering trade(s). This was a 29th place team that had been predicted by most to finish 24th - 28th. Right now they are .500 and while every single one of us wants to see them do better, just how big a step this year is good enough?

They are 9th in the conference right this second and if they finish there at the end of the year....is this season a failure? In my mind....no, hell no, thats a huge step. And sets them up well for next year.

Having said that, I dont think there is anything wrong with trying to improve for both the short term and long term if possible. For example, if we could get a player like Niederriter(sp?) or Strome for any package that doesnt include RNH/Hall/Ebs/Schultz/Yak/ Harti/MPS/Lander/Petry, or Klefbom, Musil or Gerlat, I am okay with it.

I like Gagner but I think he peaks close to his current numbers, and without any size in the top 6 him and Hemmer are the two I would move.

I think we can afford to move Whitney / Potter / Plante / Teubert and Peckham and I think there are teams that would take any of those in a package, we have some young talent we could throw out there too in Omark and a couple of the developing defencemen.

As far as veterans Eager, Hordichuk, Horcoff, Belanger and Smythe, we all know they wont be around for much longer, so why not look at those old-fashioned 3 or 4 player package deals ala TOR/CGY.

Also we have a couple extra 2nd round picks to add to any deal to up the ante.

Right now teams looking to make moves, Buf, NYI, PHI and NYR. Who would I target Strome from the Islanders, Foligno/Ott from Buf, Laughton/Read from PHI, and Boyle/McIlroth from the NYR.

None of those come cheap, but we do have a lot of parts to package, both young and vets, someone should be interested.

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#8 Rocket
February 09 2013, 03:49PM
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Actually I thought The Oilers played well today, especially in the third. The bounces were just not going there way & they couldn't capitalise.

Too bad about the result but considering how banged up they are it could have been worse.

Oh well, next....

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#9 Old Retired Guy
February 09 2013, 04:27PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

First of all, in my opinion, there is absolutely no need for a massive/team altering trade(s). This was a 29th place team that had been predicted by most to finish 24th - 28th. Right now they are .500 and while every single one of us wants to see them do better, just how big a step this year is good enough?

They are 9th in the conference right this second and if they finish there at the end of the year....is this season a failure? In my mind....no, hell no, thats a huge step. And sets them up well for next year.

Having said that, I dont think there is anything wrong with trying to improve for both the short term and long term if possible. For example, if we could get a player like Niederriter(sp?) or Strome for any package that doesnt include RNH/Hall/Ebs/Schultz/Yak/ Harti/MPS/Lander/Petry, or Klefbom, Musil or Gerlat, I am okay with it.

I like Gagner but I think he peaks close to his current numbers, and without any size in the top 6 him and Hemmer are the two I would move.

I think we can afford to move Whitney / Potter / Plante / Teubert and Peckham and I think there are teams that would take any of those in a package, we have some young talent we could throw out there too in Omark and a couple of the developing defencemen.

As far as veterans Eager, Hordichuk, Horcoff, Belanger and Smythe, we all know they wont be around for much longer, so why not look at those old-fashioned 3 or 4 player package deals ala TOR/CGY.

Also we have a couple extra 2nd round picks to add to any deal to up the ante.

Right now teams looking to make moves, Buf, NYI, PHI and NYR. Who would I target Strome from the Islanders, Foligno/Ott from Buf, Laughton/Read from PHI, and Boyle/McIlroth from the NYR.

None of those come cheap, but we do have a lot of parts to package, both young and vets, someone should be interested.

Let's see... Yes... Yes... Yes... ...... Yes... ..... Yes... Yes... Yes... ... Yes and... Yes.

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#10 bazmagoo
February 09 2013, 08:13PM
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The oldest player in our core group is 22, if you include Ebs, RNH, Hall, Yak, and Schultz as a core top 5 players. Check out the stats of the Sedin sisters when they were 22.

Everyone needs to relax and not lose sight of the overall goal. The overall goal is to be consistently competitive, not once every 10 years. We are already more competitive then we were over the last 3 seasons, how many 1 goal games have we lost? And how much better is our defense this year? Man that is pretty much night and day so far except for our 3rd pairing, the top 2 pairings are playing great!

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#11 Mac962
February 09 2013, 10:59AM
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Beer is chilling, Shaw gateway installed, hockey day in CANADA Boys! Wife is at her sisters :-) :-)

Lets go get em Oilers !

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#12 Shane
February 09 2013, 11:28AM
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@Rama Lama

Because it worked in OKC and for about the first week or so in the show.. I don't expect that's the last of seeing those three together.

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#13 Shane
February 09 2013, 11:39AM
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Where is everyone hearing these Isles-Oil rumours?

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#14 VK63
February 09 2013, 11:43AM
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Shane wrote:

Where is everyone hearing these Isles-Oil rumours?

Internet content may or may not be factual. E4

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#15 Time Travelling Sean
February 09 2013, 01:39PM
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Refs are retards. What did Yak even do? And a misconduct for arguing? GTFO, and then that elbow? Idiot refs, almost every game.

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#16 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 09 2013, 03:26PM
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MAC962 wrote:

Is it just me or is Kevin Weekes Moron ? Twice it was nick Schultz making a play and Weekes keeps saying look at this kid, i love watching him.

Go call curling or something a little more your speed Weekes.

Refs are just a joke, did potter really intentionally shoot the puck over the glass ? Or Smyths penalty, or Zetterbergs for that matter, get in the game refs. You have been terrible.

Bulin !! you are making me eat crow and i love it !!!

You're thinking of Greg Millen.

Weekes doesn't color the games anymore. he graduated to the desk of idiots and Friedman.

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#17 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 09 2013, 03:47PM
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@Mac962

Oh... yea I heard it.

it was only one of a number of embarrassing moments for those two (lee and millen).

Lee called Petrell, Latrell a number of times and Millen said the benefit of a vet like Nik was that he wasn't a threat to ... you know... actually play ?? it was bizarre.

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#18 Light, Sweet, Crude
February 09 2013, 04:27PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

So close.......seems to be the situation each and every game. I love that we have two lines that can skate, but we need someone with size to better compliment the skill.

I wonder how many of these games we would have won with a decent centerman not named Belenger or Horcoff?

Wait, wait, what are you saying, that Horc and Belanger are the problem, or that everyone but them is the problem?

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#19 Fresh Mess
February 09 2013, 06:08PM
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Oh how I love reading the manic depressive roller coaster hysteria from the oiler fanboys. From over hyping a prospect one moment (last year Teubert, this year Hartikainen)...to calling for everyones head the next day after a loss.

You always keep me coming back for more.

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#20 Pharmboy
February 10 2013, 02:34PM
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Koolaid sucks, especially the orange kind. I only said fire the coach next year if his system sucks as bad as Potter. IF!

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#21 Pharmboy
February 10 2013, 02:37PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

....and there it is. It only took 11 games but we have the first fire the coach guy. Congrats , you've won moron of the day.

You totally missed the point of my post, bad reading comprehension is moronic, you must be a close "friend" of coach K.

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#22 Jay Gray
February 09 2013, 10:55AM
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Fist line shuffle of the year

so close

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#23 Mac962
February 09 2013, 11:04AM
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If Bulin gets a start it should be tomorrow, You go with your best against the Wings and that is Dubnyk not Nik.

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#24 vetinari
February 09 2013, 11:09AM
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NSOGDP: Renney???? When did HE come back???

EDIT: My bad, I forgot Renney went to the Red Wings after leaving the Oilers...

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#25 Coco crisp
February 09 2013, 11:11AM
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Hall great off the rush?? Yikes.. He's great at falling down while trying to toey the defenseman, but that's about it.

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#26 vowswithin
February 09 2013, 11:16AM
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I had heard rumblings of an oilers and isles trade a brewing. Anyone heard anything about this? Was just curious who for who.

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#27 Rama Lama
February 09 2013, 11:19AM
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There seems to be some buzz around the Isles and the Oilers talking deal.......I sure hope that it's Matt Martin and not Matt Moulson ...........sure hope that Tamby dose something to help the bottom six and add toughness.

I love the line combinations as presented........even Gretzky needed someone digging in the corners doing the heavy lifting. I cannot understand why Krueger would have three high skilled puck carrying players on one line and expect it to work?

Go Oilers!

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#28 Stack Pad Save
February 09 2013, 11:21AM
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vetinari wrote:

NSOGDP: Renney???? When did HE come back???

EDIT: My bad, I forgot Renney went to the Red Wings after leaving the Oilers...

He's on Detroits bench.

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#29 Stack Pad Save
February 09 2013, 11:23AM
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Oilers are going to trade for Tim Thomas for a 5th round draft pick and Linus Omark. Oilersnation will go crazy calling it the worst trade of the year as Linus Omark is worth at least Kyle Okoposo. NSOP of the month; book it!

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#30 chibbs
February 09 2013, 11:36AM
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Dave "Killer" Carlson wrote:

Anyone have a link to stream the game online today? CBC thinks it's appropriate to show the Jets game in Winnipeg instead of the Oilers.

I'm not sure the rules for posting links here, so just google LiveTv. They have a lot of hockey streams.

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#31 Dog Train
February 09 2013, 11:46AM
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Happy hockey day everybody! Great day planned: watch the Oilers, go for a skate on the local rink and then head out to watch the Blades game tonight.

These afternoon games are quite often a bit sleepy and I don't remember coming out on top of too many of them. I'll say 3-1 Red Wings. Hall with our goal. Hope I'm wrong though. GO OILERS GO!!

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#32 Druid
February 09 2013, 11:59AM
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Dave "Killer" Carlson wrote:

Anyone have a link to stream the game online today? CBC thinks it's appropriate to show the Jets game in Winnipeg instead of the Oilers.

Try this, looks like they are streaming both the oil and the jets.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockeynightincanada/video/live/

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#33 DSF
February 09 2013, 12:09PM
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Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers

#Oilers forward lines vs. Detroit will be Hall-RNH-Eberle, Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky, Paajarvi-VandeVelde-Hartikainen, Eager-Smyth-Petrell

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#34 Reg Dunlop
February 09 2013, 12:58PM
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This was the perfect game for RNH to return... non-contact hockey. I predict that the oil will be fine with Khabbi in net as long as we keep Det to less than 10 shots.

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#35 OilHub
February 09 2013, 01:00PM
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@Dave"Killer"Carlson

http://nutjob.eu/njtvx20.html

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#36 Dennis
February 09 2013, 01:29PM
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Smyth is 75% on faceoffs today? Wow, maybe he should take a few more.

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#37 Dennis
February 09 2013, 01:31PM
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Nevermind, looks like ole 94 will be sitting for about 10 minutes. Ugh!

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#38 Reg Dunlop
February 09 2013, 01:41PM
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Wow. Whitney is so slowwww. Like Uncle Joe on Petticoat Junction.

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#39 OilersBrass
February 09 2013, 01:55PM
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If anyone is going to be put on waivers it should be Potter. I usually don't hate on players cause I know how much it takes to play at a higher level, but Potter does not play well at this level. There's a reason he only played a hand full of NHL games before Renney got him on the team.

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#40 Walter Sobchak
February 09 2013, 02:15PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Refs are retards. What did Yak even do? And a misconduct for arguing? GTFO, and then that elbow? Idiot refs, almost every game.

Agreed, brutal officiating this year, I wonder if its league wide or are we just unlucky.

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#41 here we go again
February 09 2013, 02:35PM
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This is getting old, time to get some size and a centreman. trade Eberle or Hemsky

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#42 Reg Dunlop
February 09 2013, 02:53PM
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@here we go again

If Hall or Ebs are worth 6 mil what will J Schultz be worth in a few years? 7 mil? 8 mil? Time to plan ahead. Deal one or more of the small skill to create cap room to sign Schultz AND address the lack of depth and lack of size up front. Maybe Ebs has to go for a handful of top prospects and Yak has to go for a couple of big bodies.It would make the oil a better team in the long run.

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#43 Probert 24
February 09 2013, 02:56PM
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vowswithin wrote:

I had heard rumblings of an oilers and isles trade a brewing. Anyone heard anything about this? Was just curious who for who.

Heard Nino Niederreiter's name mentioned in an Oiler trade. Also heard Khabibulin & Hemsky mentioned in a Philly deal for Matt Read & something else??? Who knows if any of these rumours have any substance though, Toronton sports radio had Tim Connolly coming to Edmonton too but I don't hear anything about on our side.

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#44 DSG
February 09 2013, 03:00PM
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@here we go again

How about addressing the lack of depth as and sht centermen first? Before we go trading our best player

Gagner has to go

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#45 Walter Sobchak
February 09 2013, 03:01PM
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Probert 24 wrote:

Heard Nino Niederreiter's name mentioned in an Oiler trade. Also heard Khabibulin & Hemsky mentioned in a Philly deal for Matt Read & something else??? Who knows if any of these rumours have any substance though, Toronton sports radio had Tim Connolly coming to Edmonton too but I don't hear anything about on our side.

Also worth mentioning is the rumour of OV8 being on the market.

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#46 Walter Sobchak
February 09 2013, 03:04PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

If Hall or Ebs are worth 6 mil what will J Schultz be worth in a few years? 7 mil? 8 mil? Time to plan ahead. Deal one or more of the small skill to create cap room to sign Schultz AND address the lack of depth and lack of size up front. Maybe Ebs has to go for a handful of top prospects and Yak has to go for a couple of big bodies.It would make the oil a better team in the long run.

This is why I believe the Oilers will be going after both Weber and Clowe. I don't think you have to give any of the kids away, but you may see a Gagner or Hemsky go.

Weber a trade Clowe is UFA.

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#47 Mac962
February 09 2013, 03:13PM
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PRV-Omark and a draft pick for a god dang center.

WTF were we in the circle ? dont let efforts like this by Hall and Hopkins and Justin go to waste because they have to retrieve the puck. GET A CENTRE PLEASE, And no Horcoff is not the answer so quit shoving that tool's name or Belangers down my throat, they suck and have little else to offer other than winning a face off.

Smyth- time to retire, i am sorry, u -r- DONE.

Nik- good job man, good job.

Now get off your butt Tambo and get us a Center. ENOUGH !!

And in closing- nice to see a sniper like Yakapov who lead your team in scoring sitting most of the game.

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#48 Time Travelling Sean
February 09 2013, 03:26PM
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@Mac962

Yea I didn't see much of Yak :s.

Why would we want Nino? Small forward, but at least our smaller forwards produce... 1 goal in 50 games? with a -35 or something.

We had a #1 center and a #2 center, and a #5 playing as a #3 tonight.

Too bad we couldn't do anything for Khabbi, he played really well.

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#49 andrewmk20
February 09 2013, 03:27PM
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@TonyT

As much as I like Nate Mackinnon and Jonathan Drouin it would be ridiculous for Edm to draft another small skilled forward when they have 3 high end ones already. Seth Jones would give the Oilers a 1-2 future punch that all contending teams need from the backend, can you imagine him and Justin Schultz together?

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#50 andrewmk20
February 09 2013, 03:29PM
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@Time Travelling Sean

He's not small (6'2 205) but he doesn't play a physical style. The scouting report reads like Hall's but he hasn't shown the north south aggressive skating style yet.

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