Back when I was a kid, Marvel Comic's used to publish a title called “What if?!!” The basic premise of the title was that in each issue they would identify a key moment in the Marvel Universe or one of it's characters and alter history, exploring the “Butterfly Effect” of this change in history.
Today I would like to explore the potential Butterfly effect of the much publicized “Taylor VS Tyler” debate leading up to the 2010 Draft and how in an alternate universe this would have impacted the past, present and future for the Edmonton Oilers had they chosen Mr.Seguin instead of Hall. For the sake of this blog, I'm going to assume that most affected players likely had the same progression, regardless of what team they played for.
Before I get too far into it I would like to display our future “Core”, without taking into consideration future drafts or trades, this is basically who I feel the Oilers are building the team around.
Hall Nugent-Hopkins Eberle
Perron Draisaitl Yakupov
At the time of the draft, the Oilers really had very little to build around. The last place finish was indicative of a terrible Oilers roster, and their prospect pool consisted of ,most notably,Jeff Petry ,Alex Plante, Jordan Eberle, Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvii, Riley Nash and Linus Omark. Not exactly setting the world on fire is it?
So we all know what happened during this season , the Oilers had a major influx of youth en route to another last placed finish. Sheldon Souray was getting paid to play in some other organizations minor league system and Oilers fans talked about H.O.P.E. (how embarassing was that,in hindsight?).
So what would be different?
We for starters the big question would be where Seguin would play on the Oilers? Would he be a Center or a winger? I would venture to guess he would be on a line with Horcoff and Eberle, rotating between LW and Center depending on the situation, behind the often used line of Penner/Gagner/Hemsky (or MPS, depending on Hemmers health).
2010-11 Trade Impacts:Zero. Cogliano would likely still be moved to Anaheim, and Dustin Penner would still be traded to the Kings for Teubert and a pick.
2010-11 Standings Impact: Zero
2011 Free Agency Impact: Hard to say. Perhaps the Center depth may have saved Tambellini from signing Eric Belanger, but I'm going to say a veteran was still needed at this point and the same mistake would be made.
2011 Draft Impact:Here's where things get interesting. The Oilers, in full rebuild mold have some center depth in Seguin, Gagner, Horcoff , and Fraser, but still have the 1st selection at the entry draft. At this point I think team need would suggest that Gabe Landeskogg would be selected by the Edmonton Oilers at the draft. I think the LA pick the Oilers possessed would still be used to draft Oscar Klefbom.
2011-2012 Trade Impacts:Zero. Tambo probably would still have given up on Tom Gilbert in Favour of Nick Schultz...what a dummy.
2011-2012 Standings Impact: Zero. Still go to Toronto to win the Lottery.
2012 draft Impact: Nothing really changes here as far as team needs as they still have what they believe to be a high end LW and C, but to make things more interesting I'm going to going to draft D Ryan Murray instead of RW Nail Yakupov to create another Butterfly effect.
2012 Free Agency Impact: Tambellini is still kind of a moron in this alternate universe and does very little to substantially improve the future or present of this hockey club, aside from ,of course, signing Justin Schultz. I do wonder if the drafting of Ryan Murray somehow influences Justin Schultz decision to sign with Edmonton? I'm going to say that indeed it does, as he sees some serious competition for ice-time and signs elsewhere.
2012-2013 (lockout shortened) Season.
2012-13 trade Impact: I'm going to suggest that the Oilers do not trade Tobias Reider for Kale Kessey as the future depth chart is not so small or talented as it would be with Yakupov. Other than that Tambo still does sweet (frank) all to improve the roster and gets his ass canned.
2012-13 Standings Impact: I'm gonna say we actually do worse in the short season with Ryan Murray than with Yakupov due to some GWG's we wouldn't have and a minimal impact by Murray due to injury. Would the durability and production of Landeskogg and Seguin trump that of Halls and RNH's to see a climb in the standings? I don't think so. Impossible to say for sure but I think the Oilers are slightly less succesful this year and draft ahead of the Flames.
2013 Draft Impact: Again I think things are different. We have a higher draft selection and a different depth chart. Our D is still terrible but we have some solid prospects with Murray, Marincin and Klefbom. Sam Gagner had a terrific year in the shortened season and the Team clearly sees him as part of the future. So who do the Oilers pick in the 1st round? Monahhan? Nurse? I'm gonna say the big Center, and the Oilers draft Monahhan.
2013 Free Agency Impact: Minimal again, but now with Mac T at the helm and a different depth chart I would guess he would identify some different areas to try and add depth to. Overall, I think he would be comfortable with Eberle and Hemsky in the top 2 RW spots, but would probably try to acquire a top 9 RW, but really, who was out there? Chad Larose? Colby Armstrong? I think that really nothing would happen on that front and Mac T would still go after Andrew Ference to add something of a veteran presence as well as Boyd Gordon.
2013-14 Trade Impact: I don't think too much changes here and Mac T still pulls of the MPS for Perron trade, and sends Horcoff packing to Dallas. I do wonder if the Oilers would try to extend Hemsky rather than announce their intentions to move him and subsequently do so at the trade deadline. The desire to do so would be significantly less unless the player himself wanted it to happen.Devan Dubnyk would still suck so bad that the trades that brought in Hendricks and Scrivens.
2013-14 Standings Impact: Hard to say, but here we are trying to guess. I think ,even if he was somewhat sheltered, that Murray in year 2 would have had a more positive impact that Yak's piss poor sophomore outing, and the absence of Justin Schultz. I think that Tyler Seguin's massive output this past season would also tip the scales in he and Landeskogg's favour over Hall and RNH. I also think Monahhan has solid production between Perron and Hemsky. How much? I think the Oilers draft just outside the lottery, in 6th or 7th because Dubnyk still licked balls for half a season.
2014 Draft Impact:I would think at this point that Hayden Fleury would be the priority at this point, as the defence is still pretty weak and he would be the best D-Man available.
2014 Free Agency Impact: I would guess that very little changes. The team would essentially have the same holes on Defense and lack of size on the wings. The one thing I could see different would be the whole Hemsky extension and desire to move Gagner for Purcell. I'm going to say that we didn't trade Hemsky to the Senators and we didn't trade Gagner to the Lightning. Perhaps Hemsky left anyway, and purcell was bought out and we snagged him in free agency? Who knows?
So lets re-visit the changes to the future “Core”.
Current future Core.
Hall Nugent-Hopkins Eberle
Perron Draisaitl Yakupov
Alternate Universe future Core
Landeskogg Seguin Eberle
Perron Monahhan Gagner
I'm gonna say I pretty happy with how the current plans look as opposed to any alternate. I don't think the top 6 is really any bigger, and I like the Nurse/Schultz >Murray/Fleury suggestion on the back end.
Regardless, this was just for fun so rate it the “Real” or “Jabroni” or feel free to comment if you like.