Tom Renney on Linus Omark at TC Day 2

By , September 18, 2010 7:40 pm
The one guy not penciled into enough line-up predictions..

The one guy not penciled into enough line-up predictions..

“I’m not sure he shoots the puck, but he dekes the hell out of it. He has great hands and is very, very quick and has some explosiveness to his game. First time I’ve seen him live, and he is going to make it very interesting, and I like his battle level. He is a case in point to the interpretation of what I’m giving the players might be lost a little bit in translation, because he was the first forechecker on just about every drill and that wasn’t necessarily his need, but we like him.”

Very pleasing to hear… hopefully he gets an extended look. Bear in mind, today Omark was put with Jones and Fraser to test his ability to cycle. Sounds like he past at least the initial test.

80 Responses to “Tom Renney on Linus Omark at TC Day 2”

  1. Racki says:

    The “lost in translation” part is a bit of a concern, but hey, there could be worse misinterpretations of instructions, such as floating around. Sounds like he’s come to compete for a spot, which is what I wanted to hear. It might get pretty hard on Renney to decide who stays on this roster though towards the start of the season.

  2. Mr.Majestyk says:

    The one bad thing with having so many guys in camp right now is getting a long enough look at any of them. Hopefully a good chunk of them are cut early(just here long enough to get a taste)so that the real candidates get enough opportunity. I was listening to ched this morning and Tencer was talking about the goaltending and how there isn’t much time to give each of them a long look. They only have a few pre-season games to figure out where everyone will fit.

  3. Racki says:

    Well, we’ve got 4 candidates for goaltending, really (there’s no reason to think Bunz, Pitton or even Roy will make the team yet). It’s a matter of cutting them in half. Khabibulin will undoubtedly start in the NHL, if not hurt/drunk/dead/incarcerated. So that leaves a 3-way fight for the last spot between Dubnyk, JDD and Gerber.

    I really think this last spot is going to be Dubnyk’s. Gerber will likely be sent to Oklahoma City unless there are issues with Khabibulin. I think that was the whole reason Gerber was acquired… as a backup plan for Khabibulin (not to be mistaken as Khabibulin’s back up).

    SO really, I’d say it’s more of a fight between Dubnyk and JDD for the 2nd goaltending spot. Renney already mentioned he isn’t going to go with 3 goaltenders too, so we don’t have to worry about that. I expect to see a lot of action for these two during the pre-season (albeit there are only 6 games, in addition to the JM Cup).

    But for sure the choice between JDD and Dubnyk will be tough. They’re going to have to base it a bit on last year too, I think. And that’s why I say Dubnyk. He’s 2 years younger, and seems to be on the same level as JDD. Anything can happen though. And hey, this might be a decision (JDD vs. Dubnyk) they’ve already mostly made.. based on last year.

  4. Mr.Majestyk says:

    so out of those games, how many will DD and JDD play? If they need to make a judgement call on having one or the other, they probably need them to play 2 complete games each I would think.

  5. Racki says:

    Yah, you would think so. I mean, really, obviously just 2 games a piece doesn’t make for a very fair assessment, does it? But they really don’t have a lot of time, as you said, and really just have to base it mostly on last year. So unless JDD is suddenly playing completely lights-out hockey, I’d have to figure it’s Dubnyk’s to lose. But we’ll see.

    The way I figure though, if these guys don’t get much in the way of action in pre-season, I figure even more that means they’ve made the choice already. But who knows, with the perpetual evaluator.

  6. chucker says:

    Tambi needs time to assess the situation. No rush here. :P

    I think Dubnyk gets the nod as well. I think he played better down the stretch, but JDD does have that quality to show he can be a beast in net once in a while. He teases you with it. If he does that in camp, then I think he stays and DD goes down for now. I’d say it’s DD’s spot almost to lose but not quite.

    I just hope that they both play amazingly well so we can have confidence that if one faulters, the other is ready to go on a call up.

    Nice to see O’Mark impressing. I’m thinking the “lost in translation thing is simply what it is” i.e. that his english is likely not to great yet.

    I fully expect him to be on the roster quite frankly, especially with JFJ on the IR. That frees up an option and the kid has played pro already. Either way, it’s good. He can be sent up and down without issue. I’m thinking he’ll be up here for a bunch of games if not initially anyway, but the JFJ injury creates an opening for him if he cycles well. Obviously not as a JFJ type player, but on the fourth line as a speedster who can work well off of Fraser and Jones.

  7. Racki says:

    Ya, you kind of have to figure that him playing with Jones and Fraser right now might be a bit of foreshadowing of things to come when we play the softer / East coast teams.

  8. chucker says:

    Racki: Ya, you kind of have to figure that him playing with Jones and Fraser right now might be a bit of foreshadowing of things to come when we play the softer / East coast teams.

    Yeah, it might be a good way to put him in the lineup just like they did with Gagner’s slow start last year.

    I can’t really think of anyone else who might compete for that extra fourth line spot other than Giroux or Reddox.

  9. Racki says:

    Ya Giroux is a guy I often forget about too. I personally thought of him as our farm “Dany Healtey home run-signing” (in a good way though)… but he definitely signed here with hopes of playing in the NHL, so he might make a name for himself in camp too. We’ll see.

    Btw, it turns out the issue with him is his skating ability. That’s why he can score 342 goals / season in the AHL, but hasn’t broken an NHL line up yet (aside from having to compete with good players on former teams).

    Side note… interestingly enough, Big Mac and Alex Giroux are former teammates from the Wolfpack of the AHL.. just saw that when I was looking through stats.

  10. chucker says:

    Yeah, you have to skate well at the NHL level for the most part, especially if you’re on an energy line.

    I just can’t see anyone else being a factor. You never know though. Somebody always steps up and shines.

  11. NorwegianOiler says:

    I have a hard time believing Omark’s English is so bad he can not understand what the purpose of the drills are, although he might just be over-eager to show his game…

  12. gr8one says:

    Barring an absolutely terrible camp, I actually think DD is pretty much a lock to be the backup.

    Biggest reason being having to pass through waivers. Most people agree that they are pretty even at this point but, DD has two years less developmental time and makes $200,000+ less than JDD, and neither are on a two ways.

    I think that makes JDD much less of an appealing waiver pickup for other GM’s. Part of me actually thinks the reason Tambi was willing to pay JDD a million+ on a one way, was knowing it would help be dissuassive to getting picked on waivers.

  13. Racki says:

    I think I mentioned this before.. a team claiming someone on waivers shouldn’t really be looking at their AHL salary, should they? I say that because if say they picked up JDD on waivers, and decided to send him to the minors if he had a kick ass 2-way deal, we’d just likely pick him back up (as if they don’t keep him on their NHL roster, we have first dibs to claim him back).

    On that note, the lack of a 2-way deal really baffles me, and in my mind doesn’t make him less waiver-worthy, but less trade-worthy.

    That said, I assume that the waiver status was a sticking point between the two (is this something that can be decided in arbitration?). And perhaps the Oil thought he’d get more than $1M via arbitration. To be honest, while it’s nowhere on the same plane, JDD’s contract confuses me like Khabibulin’s. lol

    Edit: I’ll leave this reply up anyways, but I missed that the part of paying him $1M to play in the NHL is also part of the dissuasiveness to his contract (and that much I can agree with), and actually explains why they signed him for so much, probably.

  14. John says:

    I agree with the comment that Omark he gets left out of too many line-up predictions but I think the real question is who can you leave out? We know who the bonafide top six forwards are already so that leaves Cogs, Omark, Jones, Giroux, Reddox, Fraser, Brule, Hartikainen, Macintyre, JFJ, Stortini, etc, ALL trying & slot into the bottom six! I wouldn’t want to be the guy making those decisions.

  15. Racki says:

    Yah, exactly, John! Very good point.

    Ultimately, we should carry 14 forwards.

    The guy’s who are locks: Penner, Gagner, Hemsky, Horcoff. The guy’s who are all but guaranteed jobs: MPS, Hall, Eberle, Brule, Stortini, Fraser.

    Cogliano I intentionally left out because he often is brought up in trade rumors (legitimate or otherwise), so who knows.. they may still shop him. But I’d like to see him stay. So we’ve got 4 slots available by estimation. Who would you choose?

    JFJ’s fate will be delayed due to injury, so that leaves a choice of 4 from: Cogliano, Omark, Jones, Giroux, Reddox, Hartikainen, MacIntyre.

    Of those guys, I’d keep Cogliano, Omark, Jones and let the rest battle it out for the final spot. When JFJ comes back from back injury, a decision would need to be made there (personally as much as I like the guy, he might need to be cut). Omark is a tough one though… he wouldn’t be in the line up all the time, as I would think for the tough games, we’d put Stortini in. But for the softer games, he’d slot in where he currently is for TC (with Fraser/Jones).

    Injuries around camp might allow them to delay a decision or two as well.

    Oi, you’re right.. I wouldn’t want to be making this choice either. Maybe they just go the route now of preserving as many guys as they can, keeping the waiver-eligible guys up here and sending non-waiver-eligible players down, and using them for call ups.

  16. gr8one says:

    To complicate things further, if O’Marra has a good camp I think he’s right in the mix of being one of those bubble players too.

  17. oilinblood says:

    I am of the belief that Renney knows camp is really short and he has alot of systems teachings to cram in before a puck drops for 2 points. I dont think the innitial line combinations are offbase for what he figures will work best to start the season with. He has very little time to give players with different combos to find chemistry so i think hes done a good job of going with some rational lines. Ofcourse things will play out and changes could be made but for the most part these arent just scrimmage lines… in my opinion these are the lines that Renney hopes will work (for the top two maybe 3 with cogs getting showcased at CEntre between a better centre BRule and Paajarvi).
    The fourth line will be the battle just like the last pair on defence.
    Horcoff makes a tonne of sense for pivoting two rookies like Hall and Eberle. Hall and Ebs already have familiarity and chemistry so given the short period of time its a good pairing to stick with. Horcoff provides communication and insulation as well as a chance for the coach to try Hall at centre when there is a good match up simply by slipping horcs to the LW. I believe the possible long term goal is to get Hall into pivot so if that line can gel the learning curve will be alot less bumpy.
    Its time for GAGS to step up and either fail and show he cant play the middle or succeed. So giving him Hemmer and Penner is a no excuses opportunity. If he falls on his face he will be playing RW before the season is done. I hope he achieves and that Quinnn and i were wrong in thinking he looked better on the wing.
    Brule is a better centre than Cogs but Cogs will get showcased there. IF he can do decent in the draw and put up points he might be dealt. Paajarvi seems like he has the “been there done that ” attitude at camp and his poise is pretty much expected for playing pro mens league for 3 years full time.
    Fraser centring Omark and Storts is my guess for the 4th line. Renneys comments about Omark being the first forechecker all the time seems to hint that Omark did some homework and figured out that if he started with the Oil hed have to play that role, at least to get in on opening night and not an AHL injury call up later. He probably doesnt understand what Renney is saying and might need Paajarvi to ssist but i think he has the brains to figure out that that is the open spot. Forechecking hard with his speed will get him noticed and it will be a tough job for someone less skilled to take from him.

  18. oilinblood says:

    A couple of nice quotes from Omark who seems to shrug off question of whether he is impressed by camp :
    source oilers.nhl.com-
    ” For the second straight day, Omark brushed off any mentions that he has impressed at all, noting that he’s not even wearing his own equipment.

    “When I get my gloves it’s going to be a piece of cake,” Omark joked. ”

    “MARCEL: “There are a lot of great Oilers prospects vying for a spot on the roster. What sets you apart? What do you bring to the table that no other player can do?”

    LINUS: “You can watch and see.”

    MARCEL: “And if you make the team, who would you like to play with on a line?”

    LINUS: “I want to always play with the best guys. Hemsky is a really good player. Penner, too and Horcoff.”

  19. John says:

    Good to see ya here Oilinblood! I do hope you’re right about Renney already knowing what direction he wants to go & start teaching his systems; I just don’t know if he has the time to accomplish that. I think I read that there were 60 players invited to camp?! For sure putting Horcs between two rookies is the way to go, especially from a defensive stand point & general veteran knowledge. Just from the amount of sunshine Eberle was blowing up Horcoffs butt on an interview the other day, I think it means Horcs wil wear the “C”, just hasn’t been announced yet.

  20. oilinblood says:

    thanks John,:)
    I think Renney confirmed that these are the lines that he is hoping work – Horc between Ebs and Hall, and Gags between Penner and Hemsky. I would expect if Gags fails Brule will move back up there instead of taking Horc away from the two prize prospects. From Renneys responses he isnt surprised that things are working with Horcs there and expects they will get better and be more progressed by the time the puck drops opening night than if they were with someone else.

    I am not sure if i am a Horcoff fan or just a guy who defends genuinely Horcoff. I like everything he does but i wouldnt buy his jersey. I probably wouldnt think highly of him if he wasnt bashed so much and i had to look at what he does with more scrutiny. I think its the intense scrutiny i put into watching his play where i find i admire so much of what he does. That being said i know he IS the best choice for captain, I just dont know if its best for HIM to be. The Luongo situation showed all the peripheral stuff involved with being a c. He will no doubt accept it and i believe the guys will all be on board for him, also he is the one guy i truly think will be completely honored and humbled by it. Plus in 3 years hes the type of guy who will choose to pass it on to a new captain once one shows themselves and continue doing everything he normally does without a pout.
    OK i have made a believer of myself. all summer i debated if i was a fan or just a defender. I guess im a fan.

  21. Racki says:

    I’m a Horcoff fan.. even have his jersey ;) Big year this year… book it! :P

  22. oilinblood says:

    I know when ever i defend Horcs on other boards i miss the stats and links youd bring to back up my observations. You did that for more than just the horc posts. I finally found Sharpe as a good source for unusual stats but you are a presence i severely missed on the boards to provide some evidence in numbers to feed those who cant observe. Plus it let me know i was on the right track. I trust my observations but i really feel better to have some proof on my side rather than just comprehension of the game as my sole strength of debate.

    ANd yes, i am hoping that line sticks. I think it all depends of Frasers ability and maybe BRUle to take some of the PK tax and defensive zone tax off of Horcs responsibilities. Hopefully they handle him and his shoulder with better care and try to not break him by January. The kids need a healthy centre who isnt always tired from 2 minute full pks. A better defense will help with that…which i believe we achieved/

    Maybe ill buy a horc jersey to show my support.
    and the jersey salesmen says-”So what will it be? Hall? Eberle? Paajarvi? Omark? Whitney? Hemsky? Penner?”
    “nope ill take the 20 dollar horc jersey please…and a stick of gum. Can you put some blood on that jersey for me? it doesnt look proper without some blood”

  23. John says:

    You can count me in with the “Go Horcs go” gang. Like I said in an OMB post, now that he is appearantly 100% healthy plus should be stoked by the new energy in the room, I wouldn’t be suprised if he puts up 20G & 30A for a nice 50pt season. If he sports the “C”, wins an honourable # of faceoffs, can help the young guys along while putting up 50 or so points I would be more than happy with Horcs!

  24. gr8one says:

    John: You can count me in with the “Go Horcs go” gang. Like I said in an OMB post, now that he is appearantly 100% healthy plus should be stoked by the new energy in the room, I wouldn’t be suprised if he puts up 20G & 30A for a nice 50pt season. If he sports the “C”, wins an honourable # of faceoffs, can help the young guys along while putting up 50 or so points I would be more than happy with Horcs!

    Well said, and that’s about what my expectations are for Horc as well.

  25. chucker says:

    I don’t know about some of the bottom line projections, but I know this. MacIntyre was signed for a reason and that reason is to protect all our new and small skilled forwards. He might be sitting a lot, but he’s in the lineup guaranteed.

    So:
    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    Eberle-Horcoff-Hall
    Cogliano-Brule-Paajarvi
    Stortini-Fraser-Jones

    MacIntyre/Open spot for a forward.

    I really do not see MacIntyre getting waived to the AHL at anytime. Dude was signed because Renney wanted him here.

    That open roster for a forward spot will be a battle between O’Mark, O’Marra, Reddox, Giroux and Hartikainnen. I would expect whoever gets it initially better play friggin’ good, because all of these guys will likely be up and down a lot this year.

    I think Cornet is another guy who is a sleeper pick that nobody’s paying attention to. He’s AHL eligible and if he is better than he was last year (BTW, he had a fantastic camp) then he’ll make the decisions even tougher.

    I’d include Abney, but as impressive as he’s been, he’s 19 and will head back to junior. If he was 20, I’d say he would likely be going to OKC. He’s ready for that step, just not old enough. He’s JFJ’s replacement.

    As far as JFJ goes, who really knows what’s going to happen once he gets healthy? He’s going to have to stay up except for a conditioning stint and this is why they will keep a guy on a two way deal on that extra spot. Giroux to me seems the only wild card of the players I cited because he’s on a one way.

    Anyway, agree with the Horcoff for captain. I like the kids being put on a line with an established vet with something to prove and good all around skills.

  26. john says:

    I believe that Hartikainen won’t make the team this season as much as I like his game, he might not be ready for show time yet. Also like we are discussing there is such a logjam for those bottom 6 spots, I think we have guys who have been patiently working their way through the Oiler system for years who are more deserving. I really like JFJ’s game but I honestly don’t see him ever being healthy enough to become a full time NHLer unfortunately. Maybe he’s a guy who just isn’t big enough & physically strong enough to play the type of game he has cornered himself into needing to play?

  27. Dean says:

    I really think Cogliano has to be moved to make room for Omark.MPS,Brule,Omark line would definately work.I also think we should consider trading gagner as much as I like him,we need a #1 centerman EX.Brad Richards,Patrick Marleau.We eventually need to make room for Eberle at center and Horcoff will be our third line centerman until his contract runs out.Just to many small guys gagner has the best trade return.Maybe a package deal with Souray.Can’t wait for pitlick to develop he’s exactly what we need now.

  28. Racki says:

    Hey Dean, welcome to the Foil, first off..

    I can get on board with trading Cogliano to make room for Omark, but I’d never trade Gagner (well, never say never… but it would take a lot). He’s our #1C of the future, I’m sure of that. I think we just need to be patient and let him fall into that role.

    I think this year you will be surprised with him, as he should get the best shot he’s had for top line minutes.

    Eberle was drafted at RW, and I think that’s where he’ll stay. I know he’s listed as a center now, but I kind of wonder how much time he’s actually spent at that position and if the Oil have any intent on putting him there.

    Anyways, again, welcome to the site! Stick around..

  29. john says:

    Dean: I really think Cogliano has to be moved to make room for Omark.MPS,Brule,Omark line would definately work.I also think we should consider trading gagner as much as I like him,we need a #1 centerman EX.Brad Richards,Patrick Marleau.We eventually need to make room for Eberle at center and Horcoff will be our third line centerman until his contract runs out.Just to many small guys gagner has the best trade return.Maybe a package deal with Souray.Can’t wait for pitlick to develop he’s exactly what we need now.

    Welcome Dean! Sorry but I have trouble with sending Gags anywhere, he has potentially the highest trade value on our team of all the “veterans” (aside from Penner of course) for a reason; he is a highly regarded young center. The reason he is in that position is not his size for sure but his hockey intelligence & that is a commodity you can’t teach. Unless we were able to trade him for an equally intelligent & young but big center then what’s the point & let’s face it; if a team already has a guy like that why would they trade him for a smaller Gagner? Packaging him up with Souray would totally destroy whatever worth he has, you would never get full value for him that way.

    Kind of like the difference between selling a second hand car privately & getting close to what you want or doing a dealer trade-in & getting screwed for thousands less!

  30. mrgod2u says:

    I think I am most excited about camp, for that reason Racki. Time for the players to step up and show that they deserve a roster spot. New coach, new year, nowhere to go but up.

    While this means that there will be some guys living up to our hopes for them it also means there will be guys that don’t make the grade (although I’m sure we will no stop talking about them a la Schrempo). Until we see who fits where with the system we’ll be playing we really don’t know who is expendable. I think there is good value for Cogs, but also great opportunity with his speed and the type of game we are going to try and play. All I know is that I keep hoping for a terrible need for a D-man to arise so that we get some offers for Souray, the sooner that situation is concluded the more attention everyone can pay to the business at hand. Winning games!

  31. John says:

    Well SportCenter recently noted that Kuba broke his leg in Ottawa, & of course most people also know about Lydman in Anaheim. When you consider the Ducks had a pretty thin blue line to begin with & now Lydman is injured, they must be a little nervous about going into the season with issues already! In fact there is a thread about the Ducks defensive woes on their forum & the very first post says something like, “What about getting Souray?”. So between a few key defensive injuries already plus these alleged rumblings of interest from CBJ, there may be a bidding war yet on Souray if you can imagine lol.

  32. Racki says:

    John well said on Gagner.. couldn’t agree more.

    Also, bidding war.. oh man, I sure hope so. I do like Commodore for Souray though, so I’d be all for that.. but it sounds like CBJ isn’t that interested though, and it takes two to tango. So perhaps having some other teams involved will help instill a bit of urgency.

    And well, at the very least if a trade isn’t doable, if we can put him on waivers again maybe this time he gets claimed.

  33. otto84 says:

    Racki: I’m a Horcoff fan.. even have his jersey Big year this year… book it!

    You know what? I’m not much of a Horcoff fan at all but I’ve got that feeling he’ll have a turn-around year, this year, too.

  34. Racki says:

    Hey Otto.. haven’t seen you in forever :P I can’t remember if you’ve posted here before, but I think you did (although I just noticed you signed up today).

  35. otto84 says:

    Haha, yeah it’s been a a while. I actually did have an account here but I forgot my password… and I closed the email my old account was linked to… so yea. LoL! Great to be back talking hockey again.

  36. otto84 says:

    Erm, how do I change my little profile picture?

  37. Racki says:

    Hahah good question. It’s in our FAQ section (under Help in the menu). But here is the snippet from it:

    WordPress blogs use Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatars) to insert avatars into comments and posts. So how do you do it? Well, first you’ll want to go to http://www.gravatar.com and sign up. Make sure you use an e-mail address that you will sign into here with, because that’s how it knows how to attach your gravatar. Various blogs and other sites throughout the internet use Gravatars as well. So simply by attaching your avatar to an e-mail address, your avatar will automatically be used on any Gravatar supporting site that you login with that e-mail address with. Once you’re signed up on http://www.gravatar.com, be sure to add your avatar pic. It might take a few minutes to completely attach in posts.

    (btw, it’s a bit of a pain in the butt, having to sign up for that site, but unfortunately that’s how you do it… FYI I’ve never received any spam from it)

  38. John says:

    In refference to my last post CBJ Dman Kris Russell is hurt now, didn’t know that! Maybe the planets ARE aligning for us :)

  39. Racki says:

    Yes, but I don’t really think that’s as good for us as it appears. I mean, Rishaug and others mentioned it as being pretty fortuitous for us, but the guy will only miss maybe 2 weeks or so of regulation. Do you really plug that hole with a $5.4M (cap hit) d-man with 2 years remaining? Especially when they also have an injury history.

    Really though, Russell was said to be 2-4 weeks out. By my calculations, that’s maybe two regulation games that he’ll be out (games are in Sweden, interestingly enough.. just noticed). That’s easy enough to fix by just calling someone up temporarily and tough it out.

    That’s what I’d do, anyways, if I was Howson. Now if he’s looking for an offensive d-man anyways (which I think he might be), then sure, maybe Souray isn’t such a bad idea.. but I don’t think Russell has as much impact here as the media might be playing it. The regular season is over two weeks away still.

  40. chucker says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking we need a guy to be injured at least 3-4 months before Souray becomes the solution and it has to be to a guy making over 3 million, which is most D men, but still, it’s what we need in my view.

    Even then it becomes a 4th rounder for Souray or another bad contract coming back.

  41. Dean says:

    hey John and Racki I understand what you guys are saying about gags I think he’s a great player alot like eberle.I just think there is no way you can have a winning team and especially when it comes to the playoffs with two small offensive players like them I think you need to pick one or the other I doesn’t have to be right away but in the near future.And as far as eberle not being a centerman sorry but there is no way he will have a successfull career playing on the wing centerman control the play and that’s his best asset ,he lacks size and some speed to be on the wing.Seen him play quite a bit in regina one of the top faceoff men in the league for two years.We have the cap space because of all the young guys so we need to make a pitch for a big fish to a team that may want to shed some salary,for a patrick marleau type player.We all know that’s the only way we could land that type of player ,because as free agents go edmonton usually isn’t high on anyone list.

  42. Racki says:

    OK, from that angle I can understand a bit better, although I do personally think we could get away with Gagner and Eberle. If you ever moved Gagner though, now is definitely not the time. I personally don’t think there ever is a time… but if there was, it wouldn’t be now. :P

    And good info about Eberle at center. Like I said, I know he’s listed at one, but wasn’t sure how much he played it in junior. The one time I caught him here vs. the Oil Kings he was also on wing (and as pointed out, he was RW when drafted). If he can handle the center spot, then having Gagner and Eberle down the middle isn’t so bad. Yes, size is an issue, but if they’re playing with the right wingers, that’ll help there.

    As far as Marleau, Richards… again, definitely not the right time for that, if you ask me. Maybe in a couple years time we might want to look for an upgrade (especially if one of these guys doesn’t work out).

    This is the one time where I can give Tambellini time to evaluate :P

  43. otto84 says:

    Thanks Racki!

  44. Dean says:

    but buy the time you wait for that to play out,if we decide that we need something else at center the value of a eberle or gagner will not be what we need to land that type of player.I think we will have a decent idea of what is needed to make this team a winner by next summer.we also won’t be able to afford a high salary once the young guys contracts come up and sorry i mentioned brad richards before i meant mike richards.

  45. Dean says:

    I think the bottom line is we need a high end all around centerman who can do it all on one of our top two lines.yes they are hard to find but they are out there and you have to give up something good to get one.maybe finally we can give hemmer a bonfide centerman to play with before we give up on him.

  46. oilinblood says:

    If i can chime in.
    I think i have made it pretty clear that i am no Gagner fan, also i prefer Cogs to Gags. However, I believe most oiler fans are so used to an exodus on constant make over that they think its ok. Its not healthy. Cogs is on the outs and Gagner is getting his shot in the middle.
    Especially in a rebuild we dont need to be showing Eberle and Hall and Paajarvi that we are so poorly run that we need to experiment heavily with them…and also that we give up on key piece in a superfluous fashion. Its gotten comical and the fans think its ordinary business in hockey. 2 player moves a season and 2 -3 tweeks in the off season are usual. More than that is purely bad Management not having a vision.
    Just my opinion but Cogs, who i like more than Gags, needs to be dealt. Gags is getting his chance on a top line in the pivot position. Eberle has talked about playing C and has stated he prefers the wing. Hall on the other hand has said he preferred wing as well but hes a rover anyways if he is allowed to be. In the NHL id say that Hall fits into a winger because you cant be as much of a rover in pivot due to defensive responsibilities but wingers have alot of freedom within those systems. Also wingers but not centres are often allowed to go out of the system if their Centre is supporting them.
    I totally disagree with trading Gags. Makes us look like cheap children getting rid of everyone. We got a 3 year rebuild and if anybody was tradeable now beyond Souray and Cogs it would NOT be another top drafted player like Gags but an older player who is one dimensional like Hemsky. And you only do that if its clear he isnt signing. But at the same time you cant give Gags a true test at centre without Hemmer and Penner. With those two vets on his wings there are no excuses. Its a controlled environment experiment. If he fails there is no one to blame but himself.
    I would do things differently myself – i would discard Gags and Hemmer and get that centre we need— but Tambi has a vision and I hope to god he doesnt become a clown and abandon it. Its not a vision i would share but its important to have one and execute. The new guys Eberle and Hall and Paajarvi would be dumb to find any solace being on a team that ditches its players all the time. Thats not how you build strong cores.

  47. Racki says:

    Again, I agree with what you’re saying here OIB, and echoes my sentiments quite a bit. Although while I really do like Cogliano, I like Gagner more. I think his hockey sense is higher than the average player, his body/ability just hasn’t quite caught up. But I think it will within the next 2 years. I think we see big things from him starting this year, even.

    You’re right that Cogliano got unfairly pushed out though.. much agreed there.

    I also would trade Hemsky before I’d trade Gagner, although I would only do it under the circumstances you mention too.

    You baffled me a bit with the statement that you wouldn’t trade Gagner, and wouldn’t trade Hemsky (except under certain circumstances) and then later though you say that you’d “discard both and get that center we need”.

    But really, bottom line is, yes, it’s silly to just toss away our top prospects like that. Build from within. These guys have a lot of potential, and we will see the dividends of being patient.

  48. NorwegianOiler says:

    Buffalo Sabres, Drury and Briere seemed to make them quite competitive despite their size. Although that’s just one example to the contrary…

    There’s no immediate need to do anything else than keep acquiring draft picks, developing youngsters and ‘assessing’ what we have. If the Sharks have waited this long to disassemble their failing playoff team, why should we begin to disassemble before even constructing anything at all ;)

  49. Racki says:

    Sage advice, as always, N.O.

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