The not-so magnificent seven

Jonathan Willis
April 25 2013 09:56AM

With two games left in the season, the Edmonton Oilers can finish no lower than seventh overall in the pre-lottery draft rankings, and could finish as high as the second overall pick if everything breaks right (wrong?).

The Standings

Important games tonight include:

  • Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers
  • Tampa Bay @ Boston
  • Nashville @ Detroit
  • Calgary @ St. Louis

Both the Lightning and the Predators can pass Edmonton with a win tonight. They’re only a combined 4-13-3 in their last 10 but both clubs are coming off wins. Tampa Bay is a long-shot, having played last night and facing Boston tonight, but Nashville is rested and facing a tired Detroit club. Calgary and Carolina, meanwhile, can add some space to their leads on Edmonton.

The Prizes

From NHL Numbers consensus draft rankings, here are the top-12 players available; the Oilers will almost certainly be selecting one of them.

The Oilers would need some Steve Tambellini lottery magic to grab Seth Jones – not only the best player available but also the best fit for need – but there are a lot of players to like here. I admit I’m partial to Aleksander Barkov, a guy who plays a complete game and has size, speed and skill, but that’s also because I’m more familiar with him than with the other prospects available here. The other big centre, Sean Monahan, likely also appeals to the Oilers, and of course the big defencemen group - Nurse, Ristolainen, Zadorov – all have a lot of appeal as prospects.

Recently around the Nation Network

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#51 Shane
April 25 2013, 12:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Rama Lama wrote:

No what I'm saying is that If I were selecting between two or three players that are evenly ranked.........say number 5, 6, and 7, ............I would pick the toughest of the bunch.

It seems to me based on stats and expert analysis, there is not much of a difference between the top ten players in this years draft?

Prove me wrong.......comparing the forwards?

Rama, you were implying that we've made wrong decision in previous drafts... I agree with you, we need functional toughness.

Avatar
#52 OilDieHard
April 25 2013, 12:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

never mind.

Avatar
#53 Kenta
April 25 2013, 12:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Players don't sign with Edmonton because its in Edmonton.

BPA got the Oilers in the mess they are in now despite having 3 first overall picks. Give your heads a shake "city of champions".

Avatar
#54 Oil Fever
April 25 2013, 12:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hey J Dub

Take whatever pick Nashville wants, package him with Hemmer 7 days after the draft and have Shea Weber starting on our blue line in the fall! This IMHO will provide the best results from the 2013 draft for the Oilers!

Thoughts?

Avatar
#55 justDOit
April 25 2013, 12:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Odds for lottery. Breaking into the top 3 would be good (or bad...) for increasing the chance to win it outright, and for a cushion against a team below the Oilers in draft ranking winning it.

1st - 25.0%

2nd - 18.8%

3rd - 14.2%

4th - 10.7%

5th - 8.1%

6th - 6.2%

7th - 4.7%

8th - 3.6%

9th - 2.7%

10th - 2.1%

11th - 1.5%

12th - 1.1%

13th - 0.8%

14th - 0.5%

Avatar
#56 nunyour
April 25 2013, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Rama Lama wrote:

Yea cause that strategy has always worked for us. BPA is a very subjective metric IMHO.

I would consider BPA with toughness and attitude being a very strong consideration.

The oilers are full of small timid bpa's,time for less skill more tough.

Avatar
#57 EHH Team
April 25 2013, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Truth wrote:

Absolutely to Ryan Clowe. If they don't make a pitch they don't know what they're doing. Which is up for debate either way.

Complete Speculation: MacT trades Gagner and the Oilers 1st (Barkov/Monohan/Nichushkin) for Simmonds and Philly's 1st (Lazar). Who wins?

Philly's draft position (currently 8th) is probably is too early for Lazar.

It looks like the Oilers will finish with the third or fourth pick, which puts them in line for one of McKinnon, Drouin or Barkov. I like Simmonds, but I wouldn't trade one of those three players to get him.

If by some chance the Oilers finish fifth or sixth, and the swap puts them in position to get Nichushkin, then your proposal could work for the Oilers, but then I don't know if the Flyers like it.

I am hoping they move Hemsky plus a second round pick for a grittier two-way winger, draft one of the top centre prospects, and eventually shift Gagner to the wing.

Avatar
#58 Jasmine
April 25 2013, 12:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kenta

Players don't sign in Edmonton because Pronger wanted out. Then accused Oilers fans for burning his baby crib despite the rental company saying it never happened.

Avatar
#59 Truth
April 25 2013, 12:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jasmine wrote:

People really need to learn math. If they had lost that game, they would have had 69 points and finished 4. Washington would have been 5th and won the lottery and got Kane. Stop bashing wins and lying if they lost they would have finished 5th. They would have been 4th and fallen to 5th as Washington would have won the lottery. http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20062007&type=LEA

Ah that's right, I was retroactively wishing for an OT loss.

I'll quit with the lies.

Avatar
#60 Truth
April 25 2013, 12:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I definitely think Philly's draft pick will be too high to pick Lazar. I just have a hunch that the Oilers would take him that high and it would be a mistake.

I just used that as an example because I could see Clarke /Holmgren dealing with Lowe/MacT and Philly has been known to shake things up.

I was thinking of proposing Stafford and Buffalo's 1st for Hemsky and the Oil's 1st but it seems too believable. Again, total fantasy proposal.

Edit: I should add believable and stupid, IMO.

Avatar
#61 Archaeologuy
April 25 2013, 12:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
Kenta wrote:

Players don't sign with Edmonton because its in Edmonton.

BPA got the Oilers in the mess they are in now despite having 3 first overall picks. Give your heads a shake "city of champions".

BPA got the Oilers into this mess?

Are you sure? The Oilers best players are the ones they selected and the players they could have chosen but did not are all worse than the guy they did.

Are you not, maybe, confusing the idea of choosing the best prospect in the draft with a complete and total failure to identify and bring in other talent from alternative sources like Free Agency of via trade?

Because its really easy to mix those up.*

*Actually not true

Avatar
#62 Will
April 25 2013, 01:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

I really am at a loss for people who think we drafted wrong. Seguin, though really good, is not Hall. This team needs a Hall way more than a tough centre. Hall brings so many other things to the table above Seguin it's not even a comparison. RNH over Landeskogg? comon, how is Landeskogg working out in Colorado? A team with another really good big two centre? Oh they are at the bottom again. Huh. And Yakupov for Murray? Murray was the most overrated player at the draft, and has already had shoulder surgery. A case could be made that Gal might have been the better choice, but that is one hell of a gamble with the first overall on a player that spent the previous season injured. I mean that would have taken some serious faith in Gal coming back, and I don't think anyone's crystal ball is that good. And Gal is only a better payer purely because the oil need a centre with size. Having said that, Yakupov is one of our more physical players. The kid is a poor mans Ovechkin with the way he plays, only without the attitude. Plus why draft Murray when we signed Schultz. Getting Yakupov and Schultz is, in my opinion a better combo then Murray. You think Schultz would have signed here if we just drafted Murray? Nope.

Avatar
#63 nunyour
April 25 2013, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think Hemsky is pretty hard to trade at 5 mil a year,he's just not that good.

Avatar
#64 Shane
April 25 2013, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
nunyour wrote:

The oilers are full of small timid bpa's,time for less skill more tough.

Sometimes it's more about collective assets than actual players.

Avatar
#65 Will
April 25 2013, 01:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
nunyour wrote:

I think Hemsky is pretty hard to trade at 5 mil a year,he's just not that good.

If there's a team willing to pay 7.25 mill for Semin, there is a team willing to take Hemsky for 5 mill for sure.

However, I get that we think Hemsky's trade value is likely higher than it actually is. But then again, that was under Tambo. it will be interesting to see what a guy like Mac T can get for Hemsky.

Avatar
#66 nunyour
April 25 2013, 01:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Shane wrote:

Sometimes it's more about collective assets than actual players.

true,but we have to put some value on toughness as well as skill.

Avatar
#68 nunyour
April 25 2013, 01:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Will wrote:

If there's a team willing to pay 7.25 mill for Semin, there is a team willing to take Hemsky for 5 mill for sure.

However, I get that we think Hemsky's trade value is likely higher than it actually is. But then again, that was under Tambo. it will be interesting to see what a guy like Mac T can get for Hemsky.

You bring up a good point,i couldn't believe Semin got that.

Avatar
#69 Spydyr
April 25 2013, 01:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

BPA has to mean not the best skilled player. It has to mean the best hockey player available. There is more to hockey than skill. Things like heart , toughness, grit and the fear of failure.

All things the Oilers now lack.

Avatar
#70 Will
April 25 2013, 01:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
nunyour wrote:

You bring up a good point,i couldn't believe Semin got that.

I suppose free agency always inflates real market value due to so few good players actually available, but still. By comparison Hemsky's contract looks positively value. And there's a bunch of other examples of outrageous contracts for mid level players (I'm looking at you Elias).

Avatar
#72 Spydyr
April 25 2013, 01:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, regarding "players don't sign in Edmonton": Justin Schultz.

There's a 'our town is horrible, our fans are horrible, nobody loves us' minority among Oilers fans that I just don't understand.

It comes from the inferiority complex that some people in Edmonton have concerning this fine City.

Avatar
#73 nunyour
April 25 2013, 01:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Will wrote:

I suppose free agency always inflates real market value due to so few good players actually available, but still. By comparison Hemsky's contract looks positively value. And there's a bunch of other examples of outrageous contracts for mid level players (I'm looking at you Elias).

I hope you are right and they can package Hemsky and one of the small forwards for a defenceman.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
Jasmine wrote:

Players don't sign in Edmonton because Pronger wanted out. Then accused Oilers fans for burning his baby crib despite the rental company saying it never happened.

I was there. I lit the first match.

Avatar
#75 Archaeologuy
April 25 2013, 01:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props
Spydyr wrote:

BPA has to mean not the best skilled player. It has to mean the best hockey player available. There is more to hockey than skill. Things like heart , toughness, grit and the fear of failure.

All things the Oilers now lack.

The Oilers lack that but it isnt coming from the Oilers' last 3 BPA 1st round selections.

Hall is a motor that never quits. Big kid who served a suspension for a check that crossed the line.

Yak is physical and plays with more heart and passion than anyone. ANYONE.

Nuge just played 90% of a season with a torn Labrum based on the hope that THIS squad could make the Playoffs. If that isnt tough then I must be missing something.

The Oilers got into trouble at the draft when they stopped taking BPA and started looking at Organizational needs. Mitch Moroz anybody?

Avatar
#76 Dave
April 25 2013, 01:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

No complaints about the drafts in the recent past. This time though they need, skill , grit and size not just skill. They need a jerk / SOB who happens to be an excellent hockey player.

Avatar
#77 Spydyr
April 25 2013, 02:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Archaeologuy wrote:

The Oilers lack that but it isnt coming from the Oilers' last 3 BPA 1st round selections.

Hall is a motor that never quits. Big kid who served a suspension for a check that crossed the line.

Yak is physical and plays with more heart and passion than anyone. ANYONE.

Nuge just played 90% of a season with a torn Labrum based on the hope that THIS squad could make the Playoffs. If that isnt tough then I must be missing something.

The Oilers got into trouble at the draft when they stopped taking BPA and started looking at Organizational needs. Mitch Moroz anybody?

If you think the Oilers of 2013 have heart , toughness, grit and the fear of failure. You watched a different team than I did this year.

Avatar
#78 Archaeologuy
April 25 2013, 02:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Spydyr

I said those three have heart, grit, and toughness.

I didnt say the Oilers of 2013 did.

The Oilers arent lacking anything from those three. The other players on the 23 man roster, who werent all drafted by the Oilers, are the ones lacking.

Avatar
#79 george burnett
April 25 2013, 02:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Will

Murray overated? You obviously have never seen the kid play. Yakupov physical? Looked pretty tough sliding across the ice and near tears on the bench from a stick that may not have even made contact with him

Avatar
#80 madjam
April 25 2013, 02:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Gagner almost seemingly leading team by desire down the stretch - more so than even Hall who had a mediocer game against Chicago . Gagner keeps getting better and more effective despite some shortcomings , and plays bigger than his size . Could he be captain material down the line ? How would losing his influence affect the other youth for starters on team negatively ? Now we set his value correctly , he still remains a possible victim for size upgrade via trade . Hemsky and Horcoff contracts will make it very difficult to get equal back in return . Jones is a question mark to move or not .

Avatar
#81 Truth
April 25 2013, 02:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hartikainen just sent down to experience an event known as the "playoffs". Intriguing.

He is one who should show some heart, toughness, grit, and impose fear on the other players. Instead, he tried finesse. His 3 pts (I think) should show that he needs to change his game to play at this level. How come the Oilers aren't ever lucky enough to get a guy with a mean streak. (The old) Matt Cooke gets destroyed in the media, but I would love to see an Oiler cross the line every now and then just as he used to do. Preferably not our best player, either.

Avatar
#82 madjam
April 25 2013, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Oilers did a reasonable /acceptable of drafting since the rebuild , but have done a very unacceptable job of procuring an NHL core to supplement them . That is now stage two for MacT. to do respectfully . Drafting different than we did , would not have probably solved the bigger problem of a competent core .

Avatar
#83 Yak Attack
April 25 2013, 02:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
madjam wrote:

Oilers did a reasonable /acceptable of drafting since the rebuild , but have done a very unacceptable job of procuring an NHL core to supplement them . That is now stage two for MacT. to do respectfully . Drafting different than we did , would not have probably solved the bigger problem of a competent core .

I agree 100 %. The kids are ok, we need to find men for them to play with !

Avatar
#84 CaptainLander
April 25 2013, 02:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@madjam

Blood from a stone, how do you procure something when you clearly do not have the resources to procure it.

Avatar
#85 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
April 25 2013, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

BOLD move alert....Oilers sign Legolie - Mac T "...we see Legolie as an upgrade to our goaltending going forward."

http://www.legolie.net/bag.php?year=2005&bag=Oilers.jpg

Avatar
#86 wiseguy
April 25 2013, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@george burnett

@Will

"Murray overated? You obviously have never seen the kid play"

I'm pretty sure nobody has seen him play an NHL game against NHL players, so until he does I find it absurd to compare him to a player who has played a full (albeit shortened) season in the NHL with reasonable success.

Funny how someone else's shiny toy always looks more interesting than your own.

Avatar
#87 Fresh Mess
April 25 2013, 04:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Spydyr wrote:

It comes from the inferiority complex that some people in Edmonton have concerning this fine City.

Which fuels this "world class city" campaign to support a repugnant and immoral financing scheme that benefits a private, for profit enterprise.

Avatar
#88 Tikkanese
April 26 2013, 09:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Pronger left due to family reasons (cough) had an affair and got her pregnant and his wife thought a move would be best (cough). He was even questioned about it at the trade press conference. How it got magically "forgotten" by the media and turned into "Edmonton sucks" is beyond me.

Avatar
#89 Saytalk
April 27 2013, 07:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

It's incorrect to generalize that all free agents sign with a team for only one reason, particularly if you're claiming that one reason is the quality of life in the city.

I bet the two biggest factors in signing with a team are 1.) the chance of winning a Stanley Cup and 2.) money. Quality of life, media/fan scrutiny, potential role/ice-time, and personal relations with coaching staff/other players probably factor into the decision as well, but they are likely secondary factors for most players.

Look at Souray, Vanek and Penner; they all signed with the Oilers because they were offered a ridiculous amount of money. But look at Hossa, he turned down the ridiculous money to play with Stanley Cup contenders instead. That's probably why Heatley also refused to be traded here (low odds of Cup contention). I guess that's why I was very surprised (but happy) to see Schultz sign here; his decision seemed to be based more on a secondary factor like ice-time (or perhaps the assumption that this team would be a contender over the longer term).

Comments are closed for this article.