Its only a week till the NHL entry draft and I'm sick and tired of debating what the Oilers will or will not do - most importantly the never ending Seguin vs Hall debate. I hate reading about how Seguin might be Yzerman or how Seguin might be Legwand. Seguin is Seguin. Period. I remember reading a quote from Mr Bugg on Lowetides site. It was in response to a Seguin comparison to Toews (who without saying had an unreal year and is a player you want to build your team around). His comment was:
On the contrary, I don't know how anyone could possibly pick Seguin between the two if you were taking odds on 'most likely to become a Toews':
Toews: U17 Gold, 2 X U20 Gold, WCHA MVP, WC Gold, Olympic Gold, Stanley Cup
Hall: U17 Gold, 2 X U18 Gold, 2 X Memorial Cup, 2 X Mem Cup MVP
Hall is a winner. He has that Messier element to his game. He is the flashy pick and the Oilers need to unveal their #1 stud and get some positive press. IMO the Oilers will take Hall unless Boston knocks our socks off. But I'll trust MBS.
I really enjoy Elliotte Friedmans 30 thoughts so heres my shortened version all Oiler specific:
1) I expect a bounceback season from Horcoff. All reports have him working his bag off which isn't uncharacteristic of him. But he needs to stay healthy. He'll probably never cover the bet at 5.5 million but he is a useful player and the Oilers need another Horcoff or 2 in the lineup, not less.
2) My brother worked the NHL combine in Calgary and told me the Panthers were all gushing over Gudbranson. After taking Kulikov last year they will go for size and take him #3.
3) I had an interesting conversation with a multi-gazzionaire accountant in town about the rink project. He told me how Katz wasn't in a position of strength with the rink because the city knows he'll never play the "give me money or I'm moving the team" card. But he told me Katz was a schrewd negotiator and a business man and that we may see some "negotiating tactics". Its not a simple task to get everyone to agree and it takes time. This isn't a conspiracy post and we arent the Seattle Supersonics but its interesting how many rinks built recently had relocation threats.
4) O'Sullivan and Nilsson will be gone. They had a great opportunity to establish themselves last year and completely soiled themselves. Linus Omark is likely a better player than both. If I had to pick, I'd take Nilsson. I've seen him play well in a contract year before.
5) Mike Comrie may be back. Outside of the bought of mono, he played well and is a well liked player.
6) The return on Souray is so key to the team going forward. Souray is a useful player but the Oilers will be selling low. I'd love to see a deal getting a player like Dubinsky. The Oilers also need capable defensemen in a bad way. Lowe and Co have had a history of finding quality D and Souray is a valuable chip to use in finding them.
7) The Oilers will get decent return for Ethan Morreau. He's taken alot of abuse in town here but is well thought of and respected around the league. Plus he did play well down the stretch.
8) Gilbert, Gagner and Penner form the new leadership core on the team. Shawn Horcoff might get the C but he is the current whipping boy in Edmonton. I'd like to see the Oilers start the year without a captain and let the dressing room re-establish itself.
9) I've always been a firm believer in building around a stud defender. Call it the Pronger factor but Detroit has been good for so long and I see the Kings and Hawks being strong for many years. How to find the next Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith is beyond me but a top 2 draft pick isnt the only way to do so.
10) The Oilers already have 10 draft picks this year, 2nd most of all the teams in the draft. I'd bet they end up with the most picks in the draft by the time its all said and done.
11) The return on Halak was surprisingly low. Many people in the Oilogosphere are of the opinion that goalies are a dime a dozen but its easy to argue that the only difference between the Oilers this year and the Oilers 2006-2009 has been Dwayne Roloson. Now that the Oilers have committed to rebuild, it makes sense to prioritize other needs but the Flyers are a team who prove the need for quality goaltending. Could we have acquired Halak for Cogliano? Its still worth a shot.
12) The Oilers had success drafting in Sweden last year. We may see this trend continue. Lowetide loves Dylan McIlrath, I'd still push for skill. If Jeff Skinner can be picked up somehow, he is a guy I'd target.
13) I wouldn't be surprised the see the Wings sign Pisani on a one year 1 million dollar contract. Its a low risk high reward move and Pisani was a playoff gamer. After the number of man games the Oilers have lost in the last couple years I see them passing on Pisani but its a move I can see panning out for a contender. Heck, Pisani could be top line RW in Pittsburgh come playoff time.
That is all for now. Lets get this right Oilers!
I'm going to start using this blog to talk about my side project.
There are some valuable tools and information sources for fantasy hockey fans coming. Stay tuned!