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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Forwards: Crazy or Legitimate Speculation in "Oil Country"?

This mornings post is the last in looking at the crazy rumours going around in regards to the players the Oilers may be interested in for this upcoming season. Some of these rumours have legs and others are nothing more then pure speculation. I offer some thoughts and a look at all those potential names that keep popping up here and there in the world of social media.

Today is the big draft and for the first time in several years we don't get the player we want automatically here in Edmonton. Our fate depends on the decisions of the teams before us. Mainly Carolina and Calgary. That villain in Calgary can actually still hurt us here in Edmonton by drafting our player we want out from under us. 

Let's look at the potential forwards who have been mentioned as possibly coming to Edmonton over the last month or so...

Bobby Ryan (Age 26, 6'2, 200 lbs)
I really think there are no legs to him coming to Edmonton nor does he want to. He is a power forward who would fit well here but not likely to happen.

Michal Handzus (Age 36, 6'5, 213 lbs)
May be getting old in the teeth (or lack of) but is a incredible smart and excellent role payer in that 3rd-4th line center position.

Viktor Stalberg (Age 27, 6'3, 209 lbs)
Is actually a RW not a natural LW player who we need. I like him but like Hemsky you never know what your getting. Rather have and grow Paajarvi.

Dave Bolland (Age 27, 6'0, 184 lbs)
Why do people think he is worth the $? Not a player we need unless we are making a pick up at trade deadline and making a run at the cup. He wants to be paid like a 2nd line center. Not a big player but does play like one. Remember Oiler fans RNH is bigger and just as strong, just not a hitter and grinder.

Dustin Penner (Age 30, 6'5, 245 lbs)
I would be ok with his return but can not see MacT wanting him here or Dallas Eakins either due to lack of consistent play game to game. Don't think Penner wants back under MacT either.

Cal Clutterbuck (Age 25, 5'11, 213 lbs)
Perfect fit for a 3rd line role for awhile while we still develop players. Will show teams not to mess with us or you ma get a boarderline hit on your best players. hate to play against him so might as well have him play with you. Pitlick is worth the risk IMO

Paul Gaustad (Age 31, 6'5, 223 lbs)
Not sure how easy it would be to get him to Edmonton but his size is perfect to what we are needing. Not very likely to end up in Edmonton but we should keep a eye on this player.

Martin Hanzel (Age 26, 6'6, 236 lbs)
Not sure what would be required in a trade but have heard several different occasions #Oilers have looked into this player. Perfect Center with size we could use. Also a great checker

Patrick Marleau (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
Not mentioned much recently but I have heard some rumblings that just because it is silent, do not rule this out due to salary reasons. A stop gap in Edmonton for a few seasons? Our second line center we need? Doubt it happens but needs to be considered.

Chris Stewart (Age 25, 6'2, 231 lbs)
Is a risk due to decline in play and not always consistent but another player that can throw his weight around and compliment our skill players? Unlikely as well. Dallas won't be high on him or MacT for that matter.

Manny Malhotra (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
This could be a possibility if Manny is willing to settle for a 4th line role. If not for eye injury he would be perfect for 3rd line role but injury puts his ability in question. Depends on the market IMO.

Nik Antropov (Age 33, 6'6, 245 lbs)
Do not think there is any interest to this one but had to acknowledge the speculation

Nathan Horton (Age 28, 6'2, 229 lbs)
Oilers will make a push for his services but bigger question will be, does he like the Oilers? His next team will be because he chooses to play in a city and team he loves. Why do I have a feeling he wants warm weather again? Why do I say that? Why leave a cup contender unless your looking for one of 2 things. $ and or Leisure and pleasure.

Drew Stafford (Age 27, 6'2, 214 lbs)
This is more speculation then anything and the Oilers have been quiet on this one, but I would say there is a 25% chance of inquiry if they don't land there top choices.

Ryan Johansen (Ahe 20, 6'3, 203 lbs)
Don't give up on this possibility. Ryan is out of place in CBJ country. They are not developing him the way it was anticipated or is he just not as good as prospect as some say. I am not high on his potential other then a 3rd line role. His upside is limited. Check his stats, don't see him as top 2 center on any team but maybe he is a late developer. He could be worth the risk if the price is right. Oilers? You still inquiring?

David Clarkson (Age 29, 6'1, 200 lbs)
Wants the 'Big Smoke' as his destination by those claiming to be close to him. If he leaves NJ he ends up in TO I believe. Also is a natural RW so remove any idea's Oiler fans. We have Yakupov on the RW and Clarkson is not great on LW in experiments NJ has attempted him there.

Nino Niederreiter (Age 20, 6'2, 208 lbs)
Could be a possibility as well. Things have not gone well for Nino and maybe he needs a change of scenery. Nino for Paajarvi later on after draft? I think there is some interest from Oilers, question is How much?

Zack Smith (Age 25, 6'2, 212 lbs)
Depending on what they actually would need to send to Ottawa, Zack would be a interesting acquisition for the Oilers. Still find this rumour to sound off some.

Sean Couturier (Age 20, 6'3, 197 lbs)
Unless the Flyers want our #7 and we trade, I do not see the Oilers getting him. Would you do #7 for Sean straight up? What if the trade was The Oilers #7 and Paajarvi and Marincin for Braydon Coburn , their number #10 and Sean Couturier?

Ryan Malone (Age 33, 6'4, 224 lbs)
If the Oilers want to take a risk on his injury prone body and for a good price to pay for that risk but I do not see this as legitimate. Unless the Oilers get something out of this, it is not happening.

These players are not all really in play but you can bet your Grandma's pension that one could be in Oil Country by the start of the next NHL season. (If not traded here, they play here? All kidding aside, I am pretty certain one or two will be landed , question is, who?

If I had to select my top players I would want regardless of salary or what it took to acquire them I would place these forwards in the following order of priority.

1.Bobby Ryan (Age 26, 6'2, 200 lbs)
2.Sean Couturier (Age 20, 6'3, 197 lbs)
3.Martin Hanzel (Age 26, 6'6, 236 lbs)
4.Nathan Horton (Age 28, 6'2, 229 lbs)
5.Patrick Marleau (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
6.Ryan Johansen (Ahe 20, 6'3, 203 lbs)
7.Nino Niederreiter (Age 20, 6'2, 208 lbs)
8.David Clarkson (Age 29, 6'1, 200 lbs)
9.Michal Handzus (Age 36, 6'5, 213 lbs)
10.Cal Clutterbuck (Age 25, 5'11, 213 lbs)
11.Viktor Stalberg (Age 27, 6'3, 209 lbs)
12.Paul Gaustad (Age 31, 6'5, 223 lbs)
13.Drew Stafford (Age 27, 6'2, 214 lbs)
14.Chris Stewart (Age 25, 6'2, 231 lbs)
15.Dave Bolland (Age 27, 6'0, 184 lbs)
16.Manny Malhotra (Age 33, 6'2, 220 lbs)
17.Zack Smith (Age 25, 6'2, 212 lbs)
18.Dustin Penner (Age 30, 6'5, 245 lbs)
19.Nik Antropov (Age 33, 6'6, 245 lbs)
20.Ryan Malone (Age 33, 6'4, 224 lbs)

Stay tuned folks for a incredible ride of emotion today.

"Post Mock Draft Prediction, How did Oilers Jambalaya do"?

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