PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY

Lowetide
March 24 2013 12:05PM

Long, tall forward Antoine Laganiere is one of the top college free agents available during the spring signing season. In recent years, Edmonton has stepped up their signing of college free agents, with Justin Schultz, Taylor Fedun and Tanner House current Oilers/prospects in the house via this route. Will Edmonton sign Laganiere or another graduating college player?

As I mentioned in the first installment of this series, there are reasons to believe Edmonton is placing a stronger emphasis on college free agency:

  • Edmonton's success in signing Justin Schultz suggests young college free agents have noticed the outstanding talent base in the NHL's northern city. It's a good group with a strong future.
  • The Oilers are putting more emphasis on this area, as shown by signings of Taylor Fedun, Tanner House, Bryan Lerg and others (plus Schultz, of course) in recent seasons.
  • Craig MacTavish is one of the men checking on the NCAA free agents. MacT to Terry Jones:“My day-to-day stuff has been to keep a handle on the top 60 draft eligible players, tracking the kids we’ve drafted and seeing what their development is and where they fit in, as well as keeping an eye on free agents in the CHL and NCAA."
  • One of Scott Howson's assignments this spring is college free agency.

SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED

There are a few free agents who have already signed with NHL teams. They include giant defenseman Andrej Sustr (Tampa Bay), C Kyle Flanagan (Philadelphia), 6.06, 220 C Kellan Lain (Vancouver), G Jared Coreau (Detroit) and G Andrew Hammond (Ottawa).

WHAT'S LEFT?

The cream of the crop. Here are 10:

  1. D Danny DeKeyser, Western Michigan: He's been on the radar for over a year now and is still eligible to return for one more college season. DeKeyser has been linked to Detroit Red Wings for some time, and he is a 'plug and play' option (meaning he is likely able to step right into the NHL).
  2. R Antoine Laganiere, Yale: 6.04, 215 and he can score goals. Laganiere has attended pro camps with Vancouver and Edmonton, one would think both clubs are extremely interested in his services. Yale made it to the tournament so there will be a delay in signing this player.
  3. R Eriah Hayes, Minnesota State: Power forward had a strong season (19 goals) on the strength of a terrific wrist shot and a willingness to drive to the net. Oilers are no doubt interested. 6.04, 210.
  4. L Ryan Walters, Nebraska-Omaha: Impressive season (22-30-52) from junior forward has NHL teams very interested in him. Very good skater.
  5. D Nate Schmidt, Minnesota: Puck moving defender with decent size (6.00, 199), he has another year of eligibility but there will be plenty of interest if he decides to turn pro. 
  6. C Drew Leblanc, St. Cloud State. Leads NCAA with 37 assists this season, playmaking center has a nice range of skills and as an older player (24 this summer) may be able to step right in and play for some teams.
  7. G Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac: Hobey top 10 finalist and a .935SP have scouts taking notice. 6.04 G was also named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year on the eve of the ECAC Hockey Championship weekend.
  8. D Mike Boivin, Colorado College: Another puck mover, he's tough and has decent size for the NHL game. Unlike some of the men on this list, Boivin should be able to sign this week.
  9. F Rylan Schwartz: Brother of St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz, an offensive player of some ability, he is considered more of a playmaker than scorer.
  10. F Alex Krushelnyski, Colorado College: He isn't big (5.11, 173) and he doesn't fight but he's an even strength dynamo, is part of the penalty kill and at age 22 is probably ready to step right into AHL level pro hockey. He's a winger, goes to Colorado College and majors in Economics. Mike's boy.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Someday soon we'll drag our briquets out and have a barbeque all our own; we'll talk about the Oilers and the 2013-14 season, and argue over how much they've improved. My guess is we'll have at least one college free agent signing to discuss.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 The Soup Fascist
March 24 2013, 05:56PM
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Robbery by Dallas. That was steep for a 34 year old with hard miles on him. Joe Morrow is no sure thing - incredibly few 20 year old Dmen are - but he could easily be a 15 year 3 / 4 guy.

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#52 DSF
March 24 2013, 05:57PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Morrow was drafted very soon after Klefbom. He's a good prospect.

If we had traded Hemsky and ANH's 2nd for Morrow and a first I would've been elated.

Yep.

Looks like a blue chip prospect.

A couple of scouting reports:

Dallas traded captain Brenden Morrow and a third round draft pick to Pittsburgh for defenseman Joe Morrow and a fifth round draft pick. Joe Morrow played the past four seasons for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, and has been observed by Stars scouts, as well as Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who also owns the WHL team Kamloops.

Last summer, the Stars acquired center Cody Eakin from Washington. Eakin played with Swift Current and Kootenay of the WHL and came highly recommended from scouts, Gaglardi and Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins, who coached in Medicine Hat. He has proven to be an impressive acquisition.

Joe Morrow has a similar pedigree. A two-way defenseman, Morrow can run a power play and unleash a big shot, as well as play positional defense and show physicality.

Morrow (6-1, 206) just turned 20 in December. He was the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 entry draft. He is a left-handed shot.

Here is the Red Line Report on him before his draft year: “Puck moving, and puck rushing, defenceman likes to dictate the pace of play from the back end and carries the puck up ice himself without hesitation. Established himself on Portland’s top defensive pair this year, playing a very well rounded two-way game. Loves to join the rush and create odd-man rushes. Has a big-time shot from the point and is the triggerman on the power play. Makes quick decisions and crisp, accurate outlets. Overall game has improved a ton in the past year.”

Here is the ISS 2011 Scouting report on Morrow: “Morrow skates well, is competent around the puck and has an absolute laser from the point that he can get off deceptively quick. He plays tough and doesn’t back down from a physical challenge and uses his body well to separate opponents from the puck. He makes a good first pass and can also set things up from the point and distribute the puck appropriately.”

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#53 DSF
March 24 2013, 06:02PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Robbery by Dallas. That was steep for a 34 year old with hard miles on him. Joe Morrow is no sure thing - incredibly few 20 year old Dmen are - but he could easily be a 15 year 3 / 4 guy.

Looks like a potential top pairing guy to me.

He scored 17 goals and 64 points in 62 games in his last season in junior.

Seth Jones has 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games with the same Winterhawks team.

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#54 The Soup Fascist
March 24 2013, 06:07PM
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@DSF

Can't disagree. That is the danger in trading 20 year old D man with that pedigree. You just dont know the upside. My point is even if his offence does not translate to the NHL, his skating and size keep him in the league a long time. Long long after Morrow the Elder has hung them up.

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#55 DSF
March 24 2013, 06:16PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Can't disagree. That is the danger in trading 20 year old D man with that pedigree. You just dont know the upside. My point is even if his offence does not translate to the NHL, his skating and size keep him in the league a long time. Long long after Morrow the Elder has hung them up.

Agree completely

But remember Pittsburgh has been stockpiling young defensemen through the draft.

Olli Matta - 6'2" 206 1st round pick 2012 (22nd overall)

Derrick Pouliot - 5'11 200 1st round pick (8th overall)

Brian Doumolin - 6'4" 220 2nd round pick (52nd overall)

With no immediate needs on the blue line they could afford to move Morrow in an effort to win a cup this season.

But, I agree it's a steal for Dallas...basically a first round pick with a bullet for Brendan Morrow.

Amazing what a smart GM can pull off :)

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#56 Smokey
March 24 2013, 06:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Agree completely

But remember Pittsburgh has been stockpiling young defensemen through the draft.

Olli Matta - 6'2" 206 1st round pick 2012 (22nd overall)

Derrick Pouliot - 5'11 200 1st round pick (8th overall)

Brian Doumolin - 6'4" 220 2nd round pick (52nd overall)

With no immediate needs on the blue line they could afford to move Morrow in an effort to win a cup this season.

But, I agree it's a steal for Dallas...basically a first round pick with a bullet for Brendan Morrow.

Amazing what a smart GM can pull off :)

JN is in the same class of NHL GM's as Tambo, Snow, Howsen, etc. Remember James Neal and Niskanen for Gogs. So essentially Neal for free. The this year Ryder for Cole. Guy gets hosed trading 35 goal scorers.

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#57 DonDon
March 24 2013, 06:40PM
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It's highly improbable in the 'new' NHL that Iglina, Bouwmeester and Kipper will fetch a first round selection for Calgary in trades at the deadline.

Calgary waited one season too long to wander into the desert, as Jay Feaster rudely remarked about the Oilers' rebuild.

Will Ken King and Jay Feaster still be with the Flames next season? Will Steve Tambellini still be with the Oilers? Times a' changing.

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#58 justDOit
March 24 2013, 06:46PM
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@DSF

I doubt that any of the five assistant, associate, or assistant to the associate GMs of the Oilers could have convinced Shero that any Oiler 'asset' was a better fit than B. Morrow. While it would have been nice to be in on that kind of prospect like J Morrow, I just don't see how Pitts even listens to anything v5.0 can offer.

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#59 The Soup Fascist
March 24 2013, 06:54PM
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@DonDon

Iginla nets a first and a prospect all day long IMO. I am sure you are correct that he gets more last year with a year more on the contract. Lets put it this way if Calgary does not get the equivalent of a first it is not worth the PR nightmare of trading him. Iginla can put the right team over the top. Not sure you can say the same for B Morrow.

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#60 DSF
March 24 2013, 06:55PM
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justDOit wrote:

I doubt that any of the five assistant, associate, or assistant to the associate GMs of the Oilers could have convinced Shero that any Oiler 'asset' was a better fit than B. Morrow. While it would have been nice to be in on that kind of prospect like J Morrow, I just don't see how Pitts even listens to anything v5.0 can offer.

Hemsky for J. Morrow might have got it done.

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#61 andrewmk20
March 24 2013, 07:14PM
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What's the scouting report on Dekeyser, his numbers and size seem to indicate a player more along the lines of Petry.

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#62 Serious Gord
March 24 2013, 07:16PM
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If bmorrow contributes to a cup win for Pitt then it was well worth it - a win all day long for Pitt.

Bmorrow was a great player - the heart of a lion - and may have a couple of good years left.

...

Agreed that cgy has left it far too long to deal any or all of their bit three. Iggy should have been dealt two years ago. (Was his staying the reason sutter left as coach?) either they are gone or king and feester are. And if they aren't gone fester and king will be anyway.

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#63 Serious Gord
March 24 2013, 07:16PM
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If bmorrow contributes to a cup win for Pitt then it was well worth it - a win all day long for Pitt.

Bmorrow was a great player - the heart of a lion - and may have a couple of good years left.

...

Agreed that cgy has left it far too long to deal any or all of their bit three. Iggy should have been dealt two years ago. (Was his staying the reason sutter left as coach?) either they are gone or king and feester are. And if they aren't gone fester and king will be anyway.

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#64 DSF
March 24 2013, 07:19PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If bmorrow contributes to a cup win for Pitt then it was well worth it - a win all day long for Pitt.

Bmorrow was a great player - the heart of a lion - and may have a couple of good years left.

...

Agreed that cgy has left it far too long to deal any or all of their bit three. Iggy should have been dealt two years ago. (Was his staying the reason sutter left as coach?) either they are gone or king and feester are. And if they aren't gone fester and king will be anyway.

Actually a win-win IMO.

B. Morrow certainly would't have made a difference in Dallas but could make a difference in the playoffs.

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#65 DSF
March 24 2013, 07:22PM
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andrewmk20 wrote:

What's the scouting report on Dekeyser, his numbers and size seem to indicate a player more along the lines of Petry.

Here is a summary.

Petry does look like a good comp.

http://thehockeywriters.com/danny-dekeyser-the-top-ncaa-free-agent-available/

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#66 Chet135
March 24 2013, 07:25PM
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Right on, let's commit to a young college defensemen with zero NHL experience, play him with kleffbom and our number one pick from this years draft.. We have these great experience role models such as smitty Belanger and horkoff who will teach them how to win and be a pro. Mmmm I hear crickets, more crickets. Sorry that's our mangement thinking.

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#67 DSF
March 24 2013, 07:26PM
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Chet135 wrote:

Right on, let's commit to a young college defensemen with zero NHL experience, play him with kleffbom and our number one pick from this years draft.. We have these great experience role models such as smitty Belanger and horkoff who will teach them how to win and be a pro. Mmmm I hear crickets, more crickets. Sorry that's our mangement thinking.

I'm sensing a little bitterness :)

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#68 Chet134
March 24 2013, 07:32PM
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@DSF

Its not bitterness, why do we need more rookies in this team when management should be bringing in vets that have won before to show we are trying to move forward. Management has done nothing except rely on the draft.

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#69 DSF
March 24 2013, 07:36PM
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Chet134 wrote:

Its not bitterness, why do we need more rookies in this team when management should be bringing in vets that have won before to show we are trying to move forward. Management has done nothing except rely on the draft.

Oh, I agree completely but they are so focused on the draft they have no clue what else is required to build a winner.

I expect it will take another couple of years out of the playoffs before Katz decides the guys running his team are buffoons.

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#70 Serious Gord
March 24 2013, 07:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Actually a win-win IMO.

B. Morrow certainly would't have made a difference in Dallas but could make a difference in the playoffs.

That may well be the case.

There is no reason why the oil can't engineer similar win-wins with our redundant players.

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#71 Chet134
March 24 2013, 07:53PM
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@DSF

I totally agree with u. I don't think Katz will do anything in regards to firing management. Last night was very disheartening to watch. They didn't even show up. I think if Columbus beats us in the standings, regardless of what place we end up in. I think it's another poor season. Too many games this year that this team did not show up especially at home.

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#72 DSF
March 24 2013, 07:54PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That may well be the case.

There is no reason why the oil can't engineer similar win-wins with our redundant players.

Well, except for the idiots running the show.

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#73 Newj
March 24 2013, 08:42PM
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DSF wrote:

Hemsky for J. Morrow might have got it done.

I think what you earlier stated...Pens got their hard nosed SOB with playoff experience. Hemsky certainly offers more skill & a few years younger, but with the Pens potentially playing Rangers or maybe Leafs in 1st round they need some toughness. Last years brawl with Philly was a learning experience.

Hemsky comes with little playoff experience, that may be an issue for some GM's.

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#74 Eddie Shore
March 24 2013, 09:16PM
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Newj wrote:

I think what you earlier stated...Pens got their hard nosed SOB with playoff experience. Hemsky certainly offers more skill & a few years younger, but with the Pens potentially playing Rangers or maybe Leafs in 1st round they need some toughness. Last years brawl with Philly was a learning experience.

Hemsky comes with little playoff experience, that may be an issue for some GM's.

Game 7 of SCF doesn't count as experience?

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#75 Serious Gord
March 24 2013, 09:23PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Game 7 of SCF doesn't count as experience?

That was a million years ago.

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#76 DSF
March 24 2013, 09:31PM
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Newj wrote:

I think what you earlier stated...Pens got their hard nosed SOB with playoff experience. Hemsky certainly offers more skill & a few years younger, but with the Pens potentially playing Rangers or maybe Leafs in 1st round they need some toughness. Last years brawl with Philly was a learning experience.

Hemsky comes with little playoff experience, that may be an issue for some GM's.

Yep.

Morrow likely has more short term value.

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#77 The Soup Fascist
March 24 2013, 09:34PM
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I think Hemsky does have value. To my eye he does go to the dangerous places on the ice. Certainly he is not a "tough" player but he is not timid. His biggest issue in my mind is his desire to hold onto the puck too long. Playing with some über skilled veterans would likely address this on its own. We will see if the "braintrust" can turn any assets into an improved roster.

Whatever happens to Ales, he has been a good Oiler in lean times.

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#78 Newj
March 24 2013, 09:56PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Game 7 of SCF doesn't count as experience?

I didnt say none, but you're right he has played in a couple years of playoffs. He was 22 when he last played..my opinion he doesnt have a lot of experience albiet he did play in a gm 7 in a SCF. I've never thought of him as a seasoned playoff competitor but I suppose 06 run would qualify him as such. I also still dont see him as a rental player for the playoffs, not saying he isnt or couldnt be a good acquistion for another team but not as someone who's going to add that playoff intangible.

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#79 Eddie Shore
March 24 2013, 10:07PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That was a million years ago.

A million, or seven? In my opinion he has more valuable playoff experience then someone who has played in 3 or 4 first/second rounds. If this team ever makes the playoffs again I think his experience will be invaluable to the younger guys on the team. Hopefully, it happens again in my lifetime.

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#80 WARREN
March 24 2013, 10:11PM
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hello everyone, you do realize that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. I sold my seasons in 2008. bought house in phx.... it costs the same for 2 golds to fly back and forth.

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#81 WARREN
March 24 2013, 10:14PM
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As long as the house is full nothing will change

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#82 J-Dogg
March 24 2013, 10:17PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I think Hemsky does have value. To my eye he does go to the dangerous places on the ice. Certainly he is not a "tough" player but he is not timid. His biggest issue in my mind is his desire to hold onto the puck too long. Playing with some über skilled veterans would likely address this on its own. We will see if the "braintrust" can turn any assets into an improved roster.

Whatever happens to Ales, he has been a good Oiler in lean times.

Much of Hemsky's current style of play is likely the result of his developing in what has essentially been an era with a persistent vacuum of top 6 high end finesse skill players with whom to play, as you put it, lean times.

Would he have developed into more of a sniper/trigger man if he'd had a RNH type setup man in his younger years? I've often wondered.

Instead he became the gifted play maker trying to set up guys who weren't quite on his level and couldn't fully take advantage of his talents.

It reminds me a bit of Gretzky making passes to empty patches of ice where players with a higher IQ would have been were they playing with the Oilers.

You do that long enough and I think most people will develop a nasty habit of thinking "Maybe it's best if I just hold on to the puck a bit longer"

I agree with you. He's been a good Oiler in lean times and done the best with the cards he's been dealt. Part of me will be sad to see him go, part of me will hope he ends up in a place with all the skill he could hope to play with and plenty of great runs for the cup.

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#83 OilClog
March 24 2013, 11:24PM
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Trading Hemsky is absolutely ridiculous, we will never get the value back, he's still very young with plenty of years left. Why can't they be with Edmonton? This is ridiculous!

How about we trade the players that have next to no talent out, bring in real hockey players, and see then where Hemsky lands. Hemsky is one of the most fearless players in the entire league, he will go into any situation for the puck, he is a puck hound, he will battle anyone! and here our donkey rear ends are thinking trading Hemsky is the thing to do to help this god damn bottom of the barrel team!

It's been 20 years of grade A pig slop down our throats with what 3 or 4 moments of actually joy with this team.. and still we cheer, we fight any other fan of any team with words of conviction, true passion, and full flight believe in what were spewing! and here's the Oilers brain trust having high school drama continuously trade out players that never want to leave town, then wonder where the hell the passion is... WE SHIPPED IT OUT! Told it OFF! Kick it in the Face and said, You'll never beat the 80's!

Guys like Adam Hall gets passed on waivers, Steckel bought for lima beans, and Ryan Smyth's turned into a 3rd line checking center.. And they tell anyone listening that they're seriously trying to compete. How many seasons will it be of lying straight to our faces? It's becoming humiliating being an Oiler fan.

End Rant.

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#84 J-Dogg
March 24 2013, 11:36PM
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OilClog wrote:

Trading Hemsky is absolutely ridiculous, we will never get the value back, he's still very young with plenty of years left. Why can't they be with Edmonton? This is ridiculous!

How about we trade the players that have next to no talent out, bring in real hockey players, and see then where Hemsky lands. Hemsky is one of the most fearless players in the entire league, he will go into any situation for the puck, he is a puck hound, he will battle anyone! and here our donkey rear ends are thinking trading Hemsky is the thing to do to help this god damn bottom of the barrel team!

It's been 20 years of grade A pig slop down our throats with what 3 or 4 moments of actually joy with this team.. and still we cheer, we fight any other fan of any team with words of conviction, true passion, and full flight believe in what were spewing! and here's the Oilers brain trust having high school drama continuously trade out players that never want to leave town, then wonder where the hell the passion is... WE SHIPPED IT OUT! Told it OFF! Kick it in the Face and said, You'll never beat the 80's!

Guys like Adam Hall gets passed on waivers, Steckel bought for lima beans, and Ryan Smyth's turned into a 3rd line checking center.. And they tell anyone listening that they're seriously trying to compete. How many seasons will it be of lying straight to our faces? It's becoming humiliating being an Oiler fan.

End Rant.

I don't really want to see him leave town either. In a perfect world it'd be great to see him with us the whole of his career. We've had few enough lifers recently.

I just think we've got too many other holes to fill and most of our riches lie on the wings. His age seems to make him the odd man out in who to keep and therefore the most obvious trade bait.

It'd be great to keep him, but how do you pay for the ready to play, veteran assets that we're going to need now in phase 2 of our rebuild? Certainly not in futures alone.

I dunno that I'd say the writing is definitely on the wall, but the further things progress the more it appears to be.

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#85 @Oilanderp
March 25 2013, 12:30AM
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Pleasant Valley Sunday indeed.

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#86 gcw_rocks
March 25 2013, 07:50AM
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The Oilers roster is flawed. That is obvious. They can't afford to wait around for the defensive prospects to mature. That could be 3-5 years from now. So, they have two options:

1) Trade from areas of depth, which right now is RW and, um, RW. That's it.

2) Trade prospects and picks

So, I am absolutely fine with a RW of Eberle, Yakupov, Hartikainen if dealing Hemsky brings back a Kulikov, or Alzner, or Myers, or Yandle or any other quality left defenceman who can play 20 minutes a night, pass the puck, and win the possession battle.

I am NOT fine with Hemsky getting traded for picks or prospects. That time of the rebuild should be over now. Only real hockey players need apply.

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#87 Light, Sweet, Crude
March 25 2013, 09:21AM
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It's Eberle that needs to be traded. His value is probably never going to be higher (besides last year - but even I was too in love to consider trading him them), That knee-jerk contract that he got is going to hamstring the whole works. There is no way he is worth what Hall is worth to this club, and now, everyone who needs a new contract (of the kids that is) is going to think they deserve the outer marker deal too. Stupid contract. Like the player, but not the deal. Eberle could fetch something nice, take your pick, almost. Hemsky is fine where he is, being better than all our other options on RW.

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#88 Jason Gregor
March 25 2013, 11:38AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That may well be the case.

There is no reason why the oil can't engineer similar win-wins with our redundant players.

Joe Morrow is far from a lock. Trading away proven NHL players, when the Oilers have very few of them, for more prospects is the perfect recipe for continuing to suck.

Bad organizations continually trade away veterans for prospects, and 70% of those prospects never succeed at a high level in the NHL.

Hemsky is a legitimate top-six forward, if you trade him you better get a proven player in return...otherwise it is major risk.

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#89 Old Retired Guy
March 25 2013, 12:23PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Joe Morrow is far from a lock. Trading away proven NHL players, when the Oilers have very few of them, for more prospects is the perfect recipe for continuing to suck.

Bad organizations continually trade away veterans for prospects, and 70% of those prospects never succeed at a high level in the NHL.

Hemsky is a legitimate top-six forward, if you trade him you better get a proven player in return...otherwise it is major risk.

The voice of reason. Thank you.

But it should also be noted that keeping Hemsky is a risk. His injury history is just too risky.

I think the following principles are in play: 1) It's risky to keep him given that he's prone to injury 2) Trade when a players value is at or near a high 3) You have to give value to get value and the Oilers have holes/needs to fill 4) The Oilers are top heavey on finesse players 5) The Oilers are light on grit/size/power 6) The Oilers need more veteran leadership so you only make a deal for a proven player

Have I missed anything?

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#90 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2013, 03:47PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Joe Morrow is far from a lock. Trading away proven NHL players, when the Oilers have very few of them, for more prospects is the perfect recipe for continuing to suck.

Bad organizations continually trade away veterans for prospects, and 70% of those prospects never succeed at a high level in the NHL.

Hemsky is a legitimate top-six forward, if you trade him you better get a proven player in return...otherwise it is major risk.

How difficult would you say it is to trade proven NHLer for proven NHLer with so many teams in the playoff hunt at this point?

Are the Oilers better off to do their shopping in the UFA market and / or making trades for suitable veterans in the off-season?

PS how much of the Douglas Murray trade is a move to free up room to re-sign Clowe (despite the fact he stinks this year). Before the Murray to Pit trade SJ was looking at having to sign 10 NHLers (including Clowe) for $10.2 million to get under next years cap. Look for Danny Boyle or Patty Marleau to be gone before July.

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#91 mrBacon
March 25 2013, 10:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Looks like a potential top pairing guy to me.

He scored 17 goals and 64 points in 62 games in his last season in junior.

Seth Jones has 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games with the same Winterhawks team.

I guarantee Seth Jones destroys that number if he plays as a 20 year old for Portland. Big difference between a 18 year old rookie out of the USHL and a 4 year vet. At the same age as Jones Morrow only had 31 pts in 63 games with a half season of experience beforehand.

Now that isn't to take anything away from Morrow, he looks to be a solid NHL dman all over the ice but Jones is a tremendously more dynamic player and the comparison just can't be made.

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