just going to share a few thoughts on issues the oilers are facing this off season.
new coaches: i like the hiring of quinn and renney is an underrated hire as well. it will be interesting to see how they handle the current roster and what they decide to do with it. a couple questions as to what they will do with a guy like penner, do they give him another chance or get rid of him. also, if schremp is given a shot or just let go completley.
trade rumblings: with the puck moving skill that the oilers have going for their blue line, it is now in tambis hands as to whether he uses them as an asset to land a marquee forward or keeps them together and signs/trades for forward help. the name most talked about being moved is tom gilbert, but although it is logical, he should not be the one moved. souray had a hell of a year and we definitley got our moneys worth. visnovsky had a slow start, but found his game and was an impact player on the power play and running the offense before he got injured and was forced to end his season early. grebs had a breakout year and raised his game to the next level and is going to receive a well deserved raise. these three seem untouchable unless a deal cannot be struck in the grebs talks. this leaves tommy gilbert. he was an unknown as the prospect aquired in the tommy salo deal, but has developed his game so much and is getting better each year. so why should he be the one being dealt? i think that the depth at defence is not shallow, but not deep either. it looks like the guys in the minors will need a few years to develop more but then again a guy like theo peckham looked right at home and a full season would show how capable he is at the high level. smid has been steady, as has steady steve staios. but staios is paid too much for his skill and peckham can easily replace him. why not try shopping smid and a prospect such as taylor chorney or alex plante? i know they are fresh out of junior or college, but they are valuable prospects and may fetch something of value. just my two cents as i believe the top six should look like this next season: souray, gilbert, visnovsky, grebs, smid, peckham, then find a depth guy or a number six to push smid and peckham.
free agents: all the talk about signing jagr makes me wonder if the team is doing the right things for the future. sure he would be a good linemate and mentor for hemsky, but is he worth $7 million for one year? why not keep hemskys friend kotalik around for a third of the price and go after some hard working third liners. guys like chad larose, or a guy like john madden would kill penalties, chip in the odd goal, pretty much anything you want them to do. and they are proven, not a gamble like a young guy in the system. as for finding a goalie, i think fernandez would be the best bet in terms of quality available. marty biron would be my first choice but i have a feeling he would not come out west no matter what he was getting paid. we will soon find out how this all plays out when july first rolls around!
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