Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another season of Oilers turmoil ahead?

With another long season behind us and only hopes of yet another shot at being a decent team next year, the Oilers give us little to write about that has not been written before. We all have talked about Taylor Hall and his progress to a point per game player. RNH's increased workload and lack of scoring this year despite facing the other teams toughest defence and the other team's toughest and best forwards.

What about Yakupov and his two-way game or lack of? Maybe it was his lack of scoring. We could always discuss the fact Dallas Eakins was a rookie head coach learning on the go? No? What about our bottom 6 forwards, our city and fans like to complain about how bad they are all the time. I got it! How about we need a big power forward to play in our top 6? Nope, been there, done that!

Well we know the defence needs a top 2 defenceman right? Let's discuss the possible trade scenarios or maybe the possible free agents? Man, this team has sucked so bad for so long, I am shocked bloggers and MSM have anything to write about anymore. There isn't one area this team has not had dissected inside out. I know I cover the crap out of draft prospects so that's been done by me several times and occasionally here or on another site we cover the Oilers prospects but what else do we have to look forward too? Exactly! Not much.

Having said all that, lets take the next couple blogs and discuss the state of the Goalies, defence and forward position and coaching/management. We can breakdown the options and what likely is too happen at each part of the organization. Could a few shocking surprises be coming? Their are some rumours swirling that we will examine and analyze.

In the meantime, and in between time, that's it for another edition of Oilers hockey!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Seasons end

Tonight the season ends for the Edmonton Oilers and a whole new season begins. For the Oilers it will be a off-season and for the lucky 16 teams who have worked hard and smart enough it is called the NHL Playoffs.

With yet another season outside of the playoffs looking in (from afar), this team has a lot of rebuilding to still do. Each year we hear the same kook-aid. One more year, it didn't go as expected! Who is to blame for that? The players? Well if its the players isn't it the managements job to get new players? I hear many say it isn't so easy! No? Then why have management at all? Why do other GM's and organizations make the transactions needed? It is really time to look further then just coaches.

Tonight the Oilers take on the Canucks and this is the 1st time since the Gagner draft that I actually do not want the Oilers to win a game. Especially 1 game that means absolutely nothing positive. Ending with a 1 game win streak or losing the last game will not make or break this teams confidence. This team needs the best chance it can get at either a Top 2 d-man or a top 2 centerman. Granted the Oilers could falter to 3rd if someone other then them or Buffalo win the lottery but then they get Leon Draisaitl as a consolation at worst.

I don't want to make any predictions as to next year's line-up but don't expect too much on the backend. Petry, Ference, Schultz are 100% here unless one gets traded and the most likely would be Petry. Klefbom and Marincin stand a very high chance to have a very good chance as well again next year to start in Edmonton. I give them about a 80% chance. That's 5 defencemen. I know there is big talk about MacT swinging for the fence for a top 2 d-man but good luck unless he is trading Petry and a top end forward.

Next week after the lottery, we will know at least where we are picking and then we can better dissect this team we all love so much in Oil Country!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson to trade positions?

Ok, before i am crucified for starting a ridiculous rumour and everybody starts freaking out, let me explain. Is it even possible that the Oilers organization could actually flip these two coaches? I have searched the Internet and tried to find if this rumour has been swirling anywhere. I did not come up with this idea on my own. In fact, last night after speaking with someone who is a little more in the know, I started to examine the thought of this as a potential possibility. This is someone that has been involved in hockey for sometime (including the coaching fraternity). There is a lot of reasons why this makes no sense at all and lots of reasons why this could be a really good idea. I am not stating this as a legitimate rumour but wanting to at least examine this closer.

Let's examine the pros and cons and the information that has occurred over the last couple years before just tossing this possibility aside.

Jonathan Willis has a interesting read on OKC Barons bench Boss Todd Nelson http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/03/08/would-todd-nelson-be-a-good-fit-on-next-years-edmonton-oilers-coaching-staff/

While I agree with Jonathan that adding Nelson to the current staff could be a good thing, Todd Nelson himself in a article written by Ryan Dittrick would prefer Head Coaching in the AHL to being a assistant in the NHL as he has already been a assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers. http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=636453

To further add to Ryan's interview with Todd Nelson. Robert TychKowski also quoted Todd nelson but only after he was not selected for the Oilers Head Job. In this interview he speaks about opportunity and it does not sound like a coach who wants to take a couple years as a assistant coach in the NHL for only a maybe position. http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/07/04/despite-being-overlooked-in-the-edmonton-oilers-head-coach-hunt-okc-barons-head-coach-todd-nelson-positive-his-chance-will-come--somewhere

Where does that leave us since MacT has gone on record as saying Dallas Eakins is not going away? Terry Jones reports on this. http://www.edmontonsun.com/2014/02/25/edmonton-oilers-gm-craig-mactavish-gives-strong-vote-of-confidence-for-head-coach-dallas-eakins

Mike Baldwin, a reporter in OKC when interviewing Todd Nelson himself, quoted much of the same as our local guys except does mention the possibility in a couple years as working as a assistant coach.
http://newsok.com/todd-nelsons-road-to-the-nhl-runs-through-oklahoma-city/article/3714464

Enough on the articles written. What are some common threads we are hearing or seeing on this team and around the city of Edmonton and in behind closed doors that leaks still seem to come out from?

What do we know? Dallas Eakins has seen this team's Powerplay drop significantly with a even better team this season then the previous. The team has dropped significantly in the standings looking to have taken a step backwards once again. We also know Barons head coach Nelson has continually had to deal with his best players being called up to Edmonton and at crucial times in the season. With the Oilers it seems just when their is a push for the AHL playoffs each year, they end up with a string of injuries or Nelson contends with those injuries on his AHL team. Bottom line? Nelson has an established track record with 50% of the Oilers NHL team and is known to be well respected and liked among them all.

You always hear rumours that can not really be substantiated. The young players party too much! The players have tuned out Dallas Eakins and do not respect him to get the best out of their game. The argument you hear to that is the NHL player is a professional and needs to be self motivated and shouldn't need a coach to pull the best out of him.

My take? I am sure Dallas is a wonderful person and even a really good coach. I just don't think that he is the right coach. From the moment he walked into this job, we heard how he was going to change this team. Their fitness level was too be intensified and their compete level was to be through the roof. In fact he really did IMO come off as arrogant and rude and his comments insinuated to me he was saying the last couple coach's did not demand that or couldn't teach that. Also he didn't really seem to know the players well enough of who has brought what to this organization with their gifts and talents. Even his systems play were truly flawed that he insisted would work and gave the reasons why.

Has Dallas learned on the fly? Absolutely and while I do think it's time we just quit firing coaches, I really did disagree we should have fired Ralph at all. Renney before him was a firing that happened to save Tambo's job for the following season. Tamby made Renney his scapegoat!

My take now? It's a tough decision to make and a tough pill for MacT to swallow if he were to replace his head coach but IMO if we are to bring in a young up and coming coach from the AHL, it should be from within the organization not from another one. At least we know what we have from within and it does look good.

Could Nelson accept a Assistant job? It's possible, anything is possible. If Todd does come in as assistant, you know at least a couple assistants are on their way out. What is most likely? I think Chabot and Bucky are on their way out.

However, what if Todd nelson were to take the Head Coaching job of the Edmonton Oilers should it be offered by MacT? What would happen with Dallas Eakins and the remaining part of his contract? The scoop I was told is Dallas gets sent to OKC to take on the Barons. I can hear some people right now saying 'no way!' Dallas didn't come to Edmonton to return back to the AHL. Maybe not but he also didn't perform and to me doesn't sound like a guy who is very accountable for his many mistakes as a rookie head coach. What happens to a player who under performs? He loses his job outright or gets demoted. They are paying Dallas so sending him to hone his skills within their AHL team isn't the end of the world. Eakins benches players when they under perform maybe it's time to do the same?

Not for a minute do I claim to know what WILL happen but this rumour could have some validity to it but only time will tell. In the meantime and in between time, that's it…for another edition of 'Oilers Jambalaya"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Greg Chase transferred to 'OKC Barons'

Preparing for my first blog in almost a month, I ran into some interesting news that I didn't notice on the main blogger sites. If late news then I am just late to the party…lol

Greg Chase according to www.eliteprospects.com has been signed to Oklahoma City on a ATO (I am assuming). They call it a transfer but as mentioned by other bloggers around the Oilers he is in the same shoes as Eberle in the past. He is eligible right now to play but not next year in the AHL. Likely he plays out this season and next year is with the Hitman again for one last year as a over ager in the WHL.


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DatePlayerFromToSource  
04/01/2014 Josh Winquist (F)Everett SilvertipsOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Mitch Holmberg (F)Spokane ChiefsOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Greg Chase (F)Calgary HitmenOklahoma City BaronsATO   0
04/01/2014 Jiri Hanzlik (D)HC PlzenRetired 0
04/01/2014 Garrett Thompson (F)Ferris State Univ.Ottawa SenatorsEntry Level   0
04/01/2014 Johan Pettersson (D)Kiruna IFKalix UHC
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