Racki’s Randoms

By , June 9, 2010 10:20 am

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…

Jason Spezza

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.

Dylan McIlrath

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’s a couple more links for required reading on McIlrath:
The Scouting Report.org
Hockey Prospect.com
NHL.com prospect page

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.

Riley Nash

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.

80 Responses to “Racki’s Randoms”

  1. Bostonoiler says:

    AND finally lmao, Hawks will be giving Tallon a ring for their cup win. Class act on their part, Tallon put the thing together.

  2. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I hope Tambi is busy on draft day. I’ve never been a big fan of buyouts, but we might have to go that route on a couple guys. The big thing moving forward is removing the toxic aspects of last years team and injecting it with new blood, a fresh outlook. Sure, we could hold onto Nilsson and see how he plays with MPS, but maybe he’s not the kind of guy we want influencing our highly touted young players. What can Nilsson teach them? Don’t work hard and show up when you want?

  3. Racki says:

    Honestly, of guys left on the team, Moreau really is the only guy I’d buy out. Nilsson… well.. I don’t know.. maybe he could be given another shot here. But if they don’t want to go that route with him, they should trade him. O’Sullivan, as I mentioned, should be traded. I just don’t think he’ll work here. But yah, only Moreau makes sense as a buyout I suppose! (unless these guys just can’t be moved at all)

  4. chucker says:

    Racki: Honestly, of guys left on the team, Moreau really is the only guy I’d buy out. Nilsson… well.. I don’t know.. maybe he could be given another shot here. But if they don’t want to go that route with him, they should trade him. O’Sullivan, as I mentioned, should be traded. I just don’t think he’ll work here. But yah, only Moreau makes sense as a buyout I suppose! (unless these guys just can’t be moved at all)

    I’m thinking if they want to get rid of Nilsson it won’t be hard. Lots of teams will take a chance on a guy with his skill. It’s really frustrating because the guy has proven he has better ability to run a PP than Hemsky, but only uses his skill when he’s about to lose his career. I really wish he’d turn it on and keep it on. Maybe MPS et. al. will tune him in, but he’ll likely be gone by then anyways. He’s also a prime candidate for European assigment to clear him off the books. He’d go for it given the choice of not playing. I think POS would too, but same thing there, he has the skill, but no heart.

    Ideally one of the two is dealt to move up in the draft and we get a player who will be a stud for us later.

    Moreau will have value to a team like Washington I think. They need guys like him. I’m think his pricetag may be a hinderance, but Anaheim and some other teams had interest in him as well.

    Call me an optomist, but I see all of POS, Nilsson, Moreau and Souray being dealt with with fairly low to no pain.

    Souray will go to any number of teams, tops of which inquiring will be San Jose, Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Tampa, LA and likely Atlanta. Cap issues aside, they all need a PP quarterback to complement what they have.

    Nilsson and POS will fit on over a dozen teams fairly easily and they have the need for these guys’ potential to fill their needs.

    Should be exciting.

  5. chucker says:

    Dawgtoy: I would have no problem with certain Oilers being bought out, but I’m not sure if Sully or Nilsson would fit that category for me. Nilsson has skills, and maybe playing along with fellow country-man MPS and eventually Lander will inspire him. Sully hopefully can be packaged, he also can play, but likely needs to be a top 6 forward somewhere where he can get the minutes. Our entire team stunk up the place last year, and it’s difficult to lay so much blame on them. I guess the point I’m trying to make is if one could possibly have a bit of a bounce back year, then they might have some trade value or packability. IMHO paying them for nothing is silly, especially on a really bad rebuilding team.But as for Moreau…just do it!

    Also, this.^^^ Nice thoughts. Nilsson could indeed benefit from the new blood just as much as anyone, likley more.

  6. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I know we’re in the midst of a rebuild but we still need roster player for next year as well. Hopefully in these deals we are getting atleast some roster players in return. Not that we want guys expensive contracts and whatnot, but we should be targeting players that are underused on strong clubs in my opinion. The last couple of years I think Chucker and myself had been proponents of trying to pry Filppula from Detroit. I mean, he’s just one example of the type of player I’d like for us to pick up. Someone who might flourish on our club if given a larger role on the team. What did you guys think of the playoff performances of Ville Leino and Tomas Kopecky? Both Red Wings castoffs.

  7. Racki says:

    Yes I do agree that we could use one of those types of players. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Whitney here, if he came cheap. I also will reiterate that I think we could use a stable blueliner to help keep the year watchable, and maybe a forward of the Betts-ilk would be nice, and I understand how original that thought is!

  8. neufab says:

    Columbus is clearly in the “we need help now” mode, and Souray is in the “get out of town” mode. Regardless of where Souray goes, he is a top d-man on most teams. Souray & Nilsson for the 4th overall pick, a later round pick & one of those prospects the Jackets have been stock piling. We shed salary, get a great player down the road, and the Jackets get better now. Might not be likely, but also not impossible.

    Pie in the sky wish would see Horcoff as a Sen and Spezza come here, but I don’t think the Sens are that stupid. I would rather have the 4th pick and get 2 franchise players out of the draft.

    If the Sens let go of Spezza, he would likely be the most attractive available player to the Jackets depending on what happens to Kovalchuk, but it also tells Sens fans that they are starting over. Spezza was supposed to be their guy. First Heatly, then Spezza for a draft pick? I can’t wait to see what happens.

  9. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I came up with some trade ideas where the Sens would trade Spezza to Columbus before those teams swung the Vermette deal. I always thought that acquring a number one center is what ails the BJ’s. How can they go this many years with a guy like Nash, and not be able to find him a suitable set up man? Its almost like the Oilers having Hemmer over the years and nobody to put the puck in the net. Mind you, I’ve always contested that finding puck distributing center is easier than finding a goal scoring center.

  10. Racki says:

    Well, I still think the Spezza deal to Columbus could be used in our favor. Help stock up the Senators with some players of ours that they like, including Cogliano. Spezza would go to Columbus, the 4th overall would go to us, and all of our players offered go to the Sens, with CBJ possibly padding that a bit.

    3-way deals aren’t common though and difficult to make happen, but that’s just a random idea. From there, we of course draft Gudbransson and become a force for years to come with our awesome forward prospects and a strengthened backend headed by a complete d-man (i.e. has offensive and defensive tools and is physical). Of course that is years down the road though.

    I don’t actually see this happening (the trade), but a guy can dream.

  11. chucker says:

    Mr.Majestyk: I know we’re in the midst of a rebuild but we still need roster player for next year as well. Hopefully in these deals we are getting atleast some roster players in return. Not that we want guys expensive contracts and whatnot, but we should be targeting players that are underused on strong clubs in my opinion. The last couple of years I think Chucker and myself had been proponents of trying to pry Filppula from Detroit. I mean, he’s just one example of the type of player I’d like for us to pick up. Someone who might flourish on our club if given a larger role on the team. What did you guys think of the playoff performances of Ville Leino and Tomas Kopecky? Both Red Wings castoffs.

    Definitlely agree. One player coming back from Europe is going to be Jiri Huddler. He’s apparently in negotiatons with the Wings.

    I’m all for getting guys that produce what they are supposed to. Kopecky and Leino are guys who do that, however, they will be inflated because of the great playoff runs they just had. We need to identify and sign guys of a similar ilk who are maybe not as much on the radar. Just my opinion, but look at what Pisani, Moreau, Staios and Roloson all got out of one great run contract-wise. These guys will be the same and prove to be cap detriments later on down the road.

    There are some real quality guys in the UFA pool again, and not stars, but guys who’ve been good at their roles and come up every year. Sign a bunch to one year deals and then flip them or keep them at the trade deadline depending on how they work out. You’ll always get at least a pick for signing these guys and most don’t even cost more than a 1-1.5 million to get. It’s a smart way to plug holes, scout for longer contracts and get picks all at the same time.

  12. Racki says:

    Chucker, I’ve always kind of been of that same sort of opinion and was frustrated when we were trying to sign guys like Hossa, Jagr, etc., and ignoring guys that did work here and came cheap and guys that would possibly have worked here and would definitely have been cheap. I never really understood why you’d go out and spend all that effort trying to land a big fish when you can plug a few small holes a lot easier and probably be more effective.

  13. chucker says:

    Racki: Chucker, I’ve always kind of been of that same sort of opinion and was frustrated when we were trying to sign guys like Hossa, Jagr, etc., and ignoring guys that did work here and came cheap and guys that would possibly have worked here and would definitely have been cheap. I never really understood why you’d go out and spend all that effort trying to land a big fish when you can plug a few small holes a lot easier and probably be more effective.

    I agree. What’s worse is that you can create a flexible payroll by the one year deals and flip them for picks every year until you need the guys to stay for a run.

    Either way, these guys are always available and will usually get you further than the bif shiny UFA that we’ve been trying to get.

    I wonder who gets hosed on Kovalchuk this year. I bet Vancouver does.

  14. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I’m willing to forgive the Oilers for some of the mistakes they have made in recent years trying to sign the big name free agent because I can understand the perspective they had on it and in general I agree with them. To win you need to have star players. You can’t win or be a successful organization if all you have is 3rd liners, and despite what some Oiler fans might think, we have not had elite players in a long while. We had Pronger for a year, and Hemsky has been flirting with the idea of being an elite player, but unless you have those players that make a difference in close games, you don’t stand a chance.

    Now, looking back on it, those attempts to sign Hossa and Heatley have looked foolish, particularly judging by the seasons we’ve had. If we signed those players would we be any better off? Probably not.

  15. MetalOil says:

    Some early Vegas odds to win the mug next season have the the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders as the biggest longshots at 75-1. The top 3 are the Blackhawks @ 11-2, Flyers @ 6-1 & the Caps @ 13-2.

    As for the other Canadian teams, the Vancouver Canucks are a 15-1 bet while the Ottawa Senators are at 22-1. The Calgary Flames come in at 25-1 and the Montreal Canadiens are listed at 30-1.

    Do I dare put $100 down on the Oil? That is $7500 for a nice vacation down in Fiji. I am gonna do it, ya never know!!!

  16. Racki says:

    Now’s the time to do it. Our odds likely improve a bit as the off-season wears on and we make changes. It would be a miracle for us to win the cup. If it were a bet for if the Oil would make the playoffs (with the odds being a lot higher, obviously), then I’d say yes. But to win the cup, I think you’re just giving up $100 :P You have to figure though that betting $100 on 2 or 3 of the Hawks, Flyers and Caps could pan out alright.

  17. Steve-O says:

    I’d place 10 bucks on both the Oil and Islanders…payout out be 750 and thats not terrible.

    I’d say put 10 on the laffs too but lets be realistic.

  18. MetalOil says:

    I know I would most probably be throwing away my money but my lines of thinking are this. With so many question marks heading into next season I would be banking on those question marks being positive ones that got us into the playoffs and once in the playoffs anything is possible right? I know the chances of a cup next year are much less then great but if by some miracle it did happen it would just make it that much better if a large sum of cash were to come my way as well. :) I have been looking at various betting sites and may even increase my bet to $250 !!!

  19. MetalOil says:

    Just came across an interesting stat that should quiet the Sam Gagner critics.

    Sam Gagner(6th overall) is the 2nd most productive forward from his 2007 draft class with 131pts in 223 GP. He trails only Patrick Kane(1st overall) who has 230 pts in 244 GP. David Parron(a nice pick @ 26th overall) is 3rd among forwards from the 2007 draft with 124 pts in 225 GP.

    These critics need to lay off of this 20 year old kid who still has a lot of room to grow.

  20. Bostonoiler says:

    MetalOil: Just came across an interesting stat that should quiet the Sam Gagner critics. Sam Gagner(6th overall) is the 2nd most productive forward from his 2007 draft class with 131pts in 223 GP. He trails only Patrick Kane(1st overall) who has 230 pts in 244 GP. David Parron(a nice pick @ 26th overall) is 3rd among forwards from the 2007 draft with 124 pts in 225 GP.These critics need to lay off of this 20 year old kid who still has a lot of room to grow.

    Wasn’t aware of that. I have always been high on Gagner and think he is going to be very good in the NHL.

  21. Racki says:

    MetalOil: Just came across an interesting stat that should quiet the Sam Gagner critics.
    Sam Gagner(6th overall) is the 2nd most productive forward from his 2007 draft class with 131pts in 223 GP. He trails only Patrick Kane(1st overall) who has 230 pts in 244 GP. David Parron(a nice pick @ 26th overall) is 3rd among forwards from the 2007 draft with 124 pts in 225 GP.These critics need to lay off of this 20 year old kid who still has a lot of room to grow.

    That is good to hear, for his defence. I feel like I’m constantly seeing people all over (OMB, HF Boards, here) that have given up on him to some extent. Yikes… way too early for that. If he wasn’t showing progress, I could understand, but he’s showed great progress offensively even if the numbers aren’t there. Defensively he’s still suspect though, but I do like that when Quinn put him on the 4th line he played with a lot of grit.

  22. Dawgtoy says:

    I find it funny that Kiril Kabanov is listed by Central Scouting as being rated 31st overall. http://espn.go.com/nhldraft/draft/tracker/position/_/rank/northamerican

    Just thought that I would write that for something for y’all to chew on.

  23. neufab says:

    I remember the day Gagner was drafted Lowe said that he was glad that Gagner wasn’t drafted earlier. Watching him succeed in training camp, and thereafter, I have found myself cheering for him as my new favorite Oiler (but I still miss Smyth). With maturity and a better team surrounding him, Gagner will excel.

    Another note, he improved his faceoff % by 5.4% last year. I didn’t look it up, but I believe Horcoff didn’t break 50% until his 3rd year.

  24. Racki says:

    Dawgtoy: I find it funny that Kiril Kabanov is listed by Central Scouting as being rated 31st overall. http://espn.go.com/nhldraft/draft/tracker/position/_/rank/northamericanJust thought that I would write that for something for y’all to chew on.

    Really, if those rankings were updated today, he’d be even worse off. He’s up shit creek without a paddle. I kind of wonder if he’ll run to the SEL or something next. lol Running out of options…

  25. Dawgtoy says:

    Ok, with Skinner ranked 34th and Tinordi 38th, I’m excited for the second round as well.

  26. Bostonoiler says:

    Dawgtoy: Ok, with Skinner ranked 34th and Tinordi 38th, I’m excited for the second round as well.

    Yes, there are a lot of good guys in that round for the picking. I believe our 2nd round picks are going to make or break our draft.

  27. Racki says:

    Interesting… more on Kabanov. Turns out that the problem isn’t Kirill, but we have another Carl Lindros on our hands:

    http://www.russianhockeyfans.com/prospects/agent-ilya-moliver-kabanovs-problem-is-his-father-204.html

    Also, Kabanov isn’t as good as they once thought he would be… he hasn’t progressed well (possibly because of all the issues around him).

  28. chucker says:

    Racki: Interesting… more on Kabanov. Turns out that the problem isn’t Kirill, but we have another Carl Lindros on our hands: http://www.russianhockeyfans.com/prospects/agent-ilya-moliver-kabanovs-problem-is-his-father-204.htmlAlso, Kabanov isn’t as good as they once thought he would be… he hasn’t progressed well (possibly because of all the issues around him).

    I want nothing to do with this kid. He’s a waste of a pick in any round.

  29. LateNightOilFan says:

    chucker: I want nothing to do with this kid. He’s a waste of a pick in any round.

    I’m moving towards that as well, especially now that I see the list of agents he’s gone through. If all this is true about his father no thanks.

  30. Racki says:

    Agreed on Kabanov. I have pretty much written him off. He’s going to have to ditch his dad if he has any hope of making it, and then pray a real agent will take him on. Then from there, well it will take a bit of a miracle. I still think he could turn out OK if he loses his dad and proves he wants to learn and play. I wouldn’t expect much of him now though if his progress has dropped.

    Dads, let this be a lesson to you… if you missed your shot at living out your dream, don’t try and do it through your kid. Let him fail/succeed on his own, and you can sit back and watch, and later maybe reap some of the rewards.

    /doncherry

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