There’s been a bit of talk going on back in forth, mostly in the general discussion area, but also in a couple other posts… so I figured I’d sum things up for those who haven’t been following. Oh and as a reminder (thanks to the picture above), Father’s Day is next weekend (June 20th). Here’s a few random topics being discussed in Oilerland these days…
I like Spezza as much as the next guy, and I definitely would like to see him here, but it depends on the cost. If Penner is moved in the deal, I don’t think that’s a smart choice. Penner is a two-way player who has put up good numbers on a poor team, and has a good contract. Who thought a year or two ago that I would be saying that today? If we can move Horcoff in a deal for Spezza I would be surprised, but without a doubt, we should jump on that while we can. You have to wonder why Brian Murray would do it, but perhaps if we enticed him with Cogliano and another player it might work.
I would tend to agree with Elliotte Friedman though in that Columbus is likely a better match for the Senators here, which leads me to my next point…
Columbus’ #4 Overall Pick
I am really hoping that Tambellini is doing his all to try and get this pick from Scott Howson, especially if we manage to hang on to our 2nd rounder. Could you imagine selecting the best forward in the draft (Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin), the best defenseman in the bunch (Erik Gudbranson) and then the best goaltender in the bunch (Jack Campbell)? Pretty unlikely, and I am definitely dreaming here. I have my doubts that this has ever happened before, and I can’t see it happening this year either, but a guy can dream.
Anyways, what are the needs for the Jackets? Elliotte Friedman mentions the need for a center to play with Rick Nash (citing Jason Spezza as the obvious fit). Scott Cullen of TSN cites Ottawa’s needs as two top nine forwards and a top pairing defenseman. Well, lo and behold, we have top nine forwards in bulk as well as a top pairing defenseman available in Sheldon Souray. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Howson and the Oilers would be dance partners yet again.
But I’ll throw another idea out there.. what about a 3-way trade involving the pick going to the Oilers, and Spezza to Columbus with some of the Oilers talent headed Ottawa’s way? I’ll leave it up to you folks to suggest who we can move in a 3-way deal.
I’ve taken a liking to this kid and have bought into the hype. I highly suggest checking out some of his fights. He’s been dubbed the most feared player in the WHL, and at the young age of 17 to boot (he is 18 now though). But is he just a goon or can he back it up with some on ice play?
That really is the question, but it would appear that he’s got a good defensive skillset. The offensive ability probably isn’t the most feared in the WHL, but as Guy Flaming at the Pipeline Show cites, since Travis Hamonic was traded from the Warriors to Brandon, McIlrath was given a bigger offensive role. He handled it pretty well, and ended up with 24 points on the season, with 7 of those being goals. Not too bad for a guy most would consider a bruising defenseman.
I wonder though if Jim Vandermeer might be a good comparison point for this kid. Not trying to take anything away from McIlrath, but should we use our 2nd rounder on this kid if he is available? I’d take a chance on him, myself. We need guys that are bloody hard to play against… guys that have no issues putting opposing forwards in the hurt locker. If he can play a decent game of defense, I’d say make it happen with our round 2 pick if he’s still available.
Here are the quotes on NHL.com:
Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
“Big and mean, old-time typical NHL defenseman. He scares people not only with some frequent fights he might get in, but with 6-4, 212 lbs. straight ahead speed and offensive ability to match. Often, and in a very complimentary sense, makes puck carriers cut to the other side of the ice with his intimidating size.”
Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak
“An old school defensemen who plays hard and very physical. A great deal of untapped potential that can be used in shut down situations as well as on the offensive side of the puck.”
Moose Jaw Warriors radio broadcaster James Gallo
“17-year-old Dylan Mcilrath’s large frame casts a shadow that many NHL scouts and opposing teams have taken notice of. His strong defense and punishing physical play has turned him into a fan favourite at the Civic Center.”
Stick A Fork In Him….
Kirill Kabanov can likely kiss his hockey career goodbye. That is a pretty extreme statement, and I wouldn’t say it is necessarily true, but he’s going to have to work his ass off to prove himself. He’s a man without a country now and Karma has laid a severe ass kicking on this kid. His story is a long one, and I’d suggest reading about it on Wikipedia or elsewhere. But the latest dirt on Kabanov is that amiable agent J.P. Barry has dropped Kabanov – he will no longer be representing Kabanov.
This is awful news for this kid, who had a long enough history of controversy. He can’t go back to the KHL, and he’s a big risk for any NHL team. Who will take him now? He plays the RW, and is Russian, and will slide pretty far in the draft… is it maybe worth Washington taking a shot on him? Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to feed Ovechkin passes?
At any rate, count me out as a supporter of taking Kabanov with the Oilers’ 2nd rounder. Too much drama and risk there.
A few of you folks in the Oilogosphere have a huge crush on Nash. I can understand that. I haven’t seen him play yet, but word is he has a gigantic hockey-brain. He has garnered a bit of attention here and there with Oilers fans for his choice to return to Cornell next year. The belief by quite a few is that he has no intention of ever playing for the Oilers.
The good news is though, he has value around the league. Guy Flaming over at The Pipeline Show spoke about his value to other GM’s in the league. Apparently the Bruins and Oilers had once talked about a trade involving Riley Nash (which the Oilers turned down) which would have sent big RWer Mikko Lehtonen to the Oilers. Guy Flaming also noted that a current Montreal Canadiens scout also expressed that he was interested in Riley Nash in his draft year.
It would be disappointing to see a potentially talented centreman go, but if he really won’t be suiting up for the Oilers, let’s see what we can get for him. Perhaps we can take him and our 2nd rounder and get another good 1st round pick.
Time To Flip Some Assets
Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson, Patrick O’Sullivan, Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray, Riley Nash (see reasons above…), Andrew Cogliano (regretfully), Mike Comrie’s negotiating rights, Marc Pouliot, Jeff Deslauriers (if Khabibulin will be ready for the start of the season)… these are a few of the names of players I would be sure that teams around the league know about. Trade them for picks, reclamation projects, high contracts… whatever it takes. We can deal from a position of strength (too many forwards) to help acquire some of the defensive help I feel we need, and help solidify our future.
I think the biggest hitter that doesn’t get much respect in Oilerland will be Andrew Cogliano. He’s got value around the league, I’m sure.