I just want some D.
Is that really so much to ask for? Apparently so. The Oilers have been in need of a top defenceman since Pronger left town. We have seen different attempts at acquiring this defenceman that we so sorely need. There was Whitney, Souray, Visnovsky, Petry, and Gilbert. What did all these players have in common? None of them were top pairing defencemen, most were one dimension defencemen. There is nothing wrong with a one dimensional defencemen, as long as you use them right (See Schultz and being benched).
So this past weekend I was getting ready to see one of our talented players leave town and have a bona fide defenceman come back. Not a Visnovsky or Souray, A legitimate top pairing defenceman! So as I sat there(Figuratively) waiting for the Oilers to announce this amazing trade that will set the course for the Oilers going to the Cup. I was saddened, confused, mad and relieved.
As much as I know we need a defenceman, I know it has to come at the right price. Paying Nugent-Hopkins for Dumba is not the answer. As much as I like Dumba, he is not the answer to our defensive woes, and he certainly should not cost us the services of Nugent-Hopkins. What am I willing to pay for a top pairing defenceman you ask? Well, thankfully that’s not something I have to make a decision on. I know it might be a copout answer, but I don’t care.
When it comes to fixing our defence I hope that Chiarelli goes about it the right way. When it comes to improving performance you must focus on your strengths. I’m not saying not to think about your weaknesses, just don’t focus on them. So, what is the current strength of the Oilers? Well in my opinion it’s our current center depth, specifically Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl and McDavid, I would also throw in Hall as he’s an elite forward. So, knowing this, how do we make our strength stronger? Well my first thought is get them a player that can get them the puck. Seems obvious enough, if they have the puck more in theory they should have a greater chance of success. Also, if they don’t have to skate behind the net to acquire the puck it should make it a bit easier on them. I think we can all agree the best thing for these 4 players is a defenceman, right? I mean, it’s been talked about enough.
What has not been talked about though is keeping these players. We’ve all been told “You have to give to get” and “You can’t get talent unless you give up talent”. This is a bunch of bologna! That’s right, bologna! In order to keep this a strength you need to keep them together. If you don’t keep them together, what is a strength, now can quickly become a weakness. I know this may be an unpopular opinion. We’ve been bad for so long that people won’t want to comprehend this. This is the best way to be competitive, make your best players better.
Based on what I heard, on what happened this weekend, Chiarelli was inquiring about Subban and one of Minnesota Wilds defencemen. When the asking price was either Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins, there was no deal done. I believe Chiarelli understand the concept of making your strengths stronger, lets see if this plays out.
If you want to hear us ramble on about it you can listen to us here https://soundcloud.com/downtownhockey/episode-11
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