This is my first blog and i am just going to discuss what i think of the Oilers roster as of now and some thoughts on what i would like to see happen over the next few months. When i analyze whats going on with a team, i like to break it down into line combinations, gives the best idea of whats going on with the team. This is what we have going for the Oilers so far:
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Eager - Belanger - Hartikainen
Smid - Petry
Schultz - Schultz
Whitney - Sutton
Extras: Lander, Pajaarvi, Hordichuk, Petrell, Omark, Vandevelde, Potter, Pekham, Teubert, Plante
Prospects that could play NHL games this year: Klefbom, Musil, Fedun, Pitlick, Marincin, and perhaps Gernat
Now some people might disagree with the line combinations a bit, but this is what i think the Oilers would probably try and put together for our first game this season, if we don't make any changes to our roster. Clearly, we have some extra pieces that would make it to many other NHL teams roster and many would argue that Pajaarvi should be playing, even on the Oilers roster. As an Oilers fan, i would like to see the management take advantage of this plethora of players that we have and use it as trade bait. Lander, Pajaarvi, and Omark could make for a great third line on their own, and in future years could even work their way up to 2nd line roles. But, it wouldn't be in Oilers best interest to trade the three of them.
As has been discuss by many Oilers fans/bloggers, what the Oilers need is a top 4 D, top 6 forward with size and perhaps a goaltender. Like most Oilers fan, i am content with the goaltending situation for now, even though most hate on Khabibulin i don't mind seeing him handle 20-30 games next season. He did have a fantastic start to last season. So, of a top 4D or top 6 forward with size, what should the oilers focus on. Usually, i wouldn't hesitate in saying we should be focussing on a Defenceman, as that has hampered us for many years in the past. But, looking at the market getting a top quality defenceman is pretty improbable, as in a summer where many marquee players are under trade speculation, none of them is a defenceman, unless you want to count Weber, but that fate is already sealed, either going to be a Predator or a Flyer. So, lets move to the next concern a top 6 forward with size, and luckily for the Oilers there are two marquee players that fit that bill, Bobby Ryan and Rick Nash.
Looking at Rick Nash, Oilers are not on his list so thats out! next up Bobby Ryan, seems like a perfect fit for the Oilers. He's a 30 goal scorer with size and would look amazing on a line with nuge and eberle! But, the question is what would it take the Oilers to make this trade a possibility! I wouldn't mind including a package of players from the following list: Pajaarvi, Hemsky, Jones, Musil, Omark, Lander, Whitney, Teubert, Pitlick and a few other players but i am guessing these will be some of the players that Anaheim would have interest in. My first try would be to package Pajaarvi with Hemsky (because of their good chemistry together), and give Anaheim their 2nd round pick back. But if it took more i would be ready to part with two to three of the players above in a package deal! Oilers last year had a great offensive year, however except for Eberle, the offence wasn't consistent on a daily basis. From, what i noticed it was because teams that relied on a physical game were able to push the Oilers away from the puck way too often! Size is one thing that could help the Oilers offence bloom as even against physical teams a line that has Bobby Ryan will be able to create more chances than last year! Plus as an added bonus, Bobby Ryan has played as a centre earlier in his life and could try and make a transition into that role!
As a last thought, the only reason i want Oilers to make a trade is because they have way too many players and some of these players need to be able to make a transition into a roster spot very soon, or else they would want to leave. But the problem is that there are no roster spots, not just this year but even over the next few years most of these players are signed long term!! So it would be in the Oilers best interest to make a trade, and while they are doing it might as well land a marquee player if they can. Even if Oilers are unable to land Bobby Ryan, i would like to see them trade away some of the extra players we have for picks, something we can use in the future to develop more players! Hopefully you liked my first attempt at writing a blog!!!