First off I would like to say fairwell to Richard Cloutier. You were one of the best writers on Hockeybuzz and you will be missed by everybody. Even Iggysbuff. And contrary to popular belief you actually DID know stuff about hockey and weren't just some troll living in his parents basement. Your welcome.
Now for some Oilers talk. Going into training camp the Oil still don't have any wingers for the 3rd line. Unless you consider Jones 3rd line. I don't. No offense to Jones. He can play on the 3rd line but I would prefer if he played on the 4th line.
So coming back to the 3rd line situation, what can the Oilers do to get two 3rd line wingers? Depends on who the Oilers want. So who could the Oilers target? Sign Boyes who could bring some good offense. Trade for Tootoo who could bring some toughness. Maybe sign Avery he doesn't play for anybody right? He can tick people off all day long.
Considering the Oilers need to get bigger and meaner in the bottom 6 I think Tootoo would be a good starting point. He's big, mean and can be physical. He also has some offense to him too. Detroit needs another defense if they want to contend next year, maybe Nick Schultz for Tootoo is good. Saves the Oilers 1.5 million in cap space and solves the log jam on defense. Solves Detroit's problem too.
That solves half the problem but there's still another spot to be filled. I know everyone will shoot this idea down immediatly but I think the Oilers should sign Sean Avery. Yup, the guy who waved his stick in front of Brodeurs mask to tick him off. That's the reason Edmonton needs him, they need a guy who can make players retaliate and just annoy them. Think of him as the modern Terravaein from the 80's Oilers dynasty.
The one problem with Avery is he has attitude and gets sidetracked by things outside of hockey like fashion and that crap. Eakins is the type of coach that won't take crap like that and won't tolerate stuff like that. And there isn't really a lot of crap like fashion to get sidetracked with in Edmonton. It's Edmonton. And if he doesn't change his ways the Oil could bury him in Bakersfield in the ECHL.
So if the Oilers were to aquire these two players where will they fit? Tootoo is 3rd line quality but Avery isn't at all. He might not even be NHL quality anymore. So if only Tootoo can play on the 3rd who will join him? The only real option is Jones. I would prefer if he played on the 4th line but he has enough skill for the 3rd line so I guess he can play.
So if this were to happen the lines would look like......
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Perron - Gagner - Yakupov
Tootoo - Gordan - Jones
Joensuu - Lander - Avery
Ex. Smyth, Brown
So how do you like these lines? They're obviously better than what the Oilers have now and if Avery doesn't give up his attitude Acton or Hamilton can take his spot. Or Smyth if any of you think he's still good enough for the NHL.
Hope you enjoyed this and fairwell Cloutier, we'll miss ya.