There was a thread on the Oiler's Blogger board about 12 Bold things the Oilers will do, and I decided to add my predictions, based on what seems the most logical. Unfortunately, that board often degenerates into a personal playground for several regulars, so the truly useful posts about actual hockey and the Edmonton Oilers get brushed to the wayside.
So, I decided instead to reprint my post here, where maybe people can have a decent conversation without comparing penis sizes, posting porn, or having fans from other teams flaming away due to their blind hatred of a team that won cups before they were even born.
1. Oilers hire a associate coach, who will end up replacing Krueger.
2. Oilers trade down with CBJ for 2 of their 3 first round picks after Monahan is selected by the Flames. They pick their golden boy, Curtis Lazar and the goaltender Zach Fucale if available. Their second round pick will be a "reach"
3. They will not buy out Horcoff, instead, they will ask for a 10 team list for July 1st, when his no trade becomes a limited movement clause. They will find a team, bundled with a top 10 prospect and a pick, for a bottom 6 forward and a 3-4 level defense man.
4. Hemsky will be dangled around the league, but any return would be disappointing, more than likely for a big contract to be bought out and a 3rd line player.
5. Eager and Belanger will be buried in the minors as depth players.
6. Jones, Petrell, Peckham, Fistric are all gone. Plante and Teubert will be flushed from the AHL
7. Gags is resigned for 3 years, at 4.75 million per. MPS at 2 million, Hartikainen at 1.5 million
8. For UFA, They make a play for Emery for goal, (Khudobin will be resigned by Boston) but more than likely sign Jason LaBarera as the backup. They sign Danny Sabourin on a 2 way contract for the Barons.
They sign for center either Maxim Lapierre or Boyd Gordon for the 4th line center, and resign Cheechoo to a 2 way contract. They add another center to play the wing (MacT likes having multiple centers on his team if people remember) and will go after Kyle Chipchura for the coke machine position and retains Mike Brown for right wing on the 4th line.
They will be in the bidding for Valteri Filppula, but will lose out. Instead, they will target Latendresse, Stalberg for 2/3 line left wing, and will take a stab at Simon Gagne if available.
If they are unsuccessful with a trade for a defense man, their first target would be Grant Clitsome, but also could include Anton Babchuk, Andew Ference, or Michael Rozsival
9. Taylor Fedun will make the team next year. Martin Marincin will be the first call up. Klefbom will get experience in the AHL first, will be called up after Christmas, and will stay from then on.
10. RNH will not get a extension this summer, but will be signed early next year. The team will wait until he is fully healed before they spend millions of dollars on him. We will all be surprised as he will get far less than Hall/Ebs, I predict 5 million per year (Cap drops , and this is a different GM as well.)
11. Ryan Smyth will retire this summer
12. The team will fall just short of the playoffs, in and around 10th in the conference at 85 points.
Bonus edit: Eberle will be the main trade bait this time next year for a true number one or two defense man to get the team over the hump and make the playoffs for the 2014-15 season.
So far, in the last couple days, a couple things have come to light. MacT is interviewing people to help out Krueger. (I even thought of Paul Maurice, but never mentioned it... I should of) The Hemsky one was pretty much a no-brainer, but it also came out Thursday that Horcoff is as good as gone as well. The rest remains to be seen, but I feel this is a far more realistic plan, considering the cap decrease and the weak Free Agent market.
After going through my post, I think I'm pretty close. The whale hunting days are over, and the names I wrote for UFA signings are very realistic targets. We won't be trading our scrapes for a first pairing defense man, and the players we do have that could get us one if we traded, we will not be giving up... yet.
This team will not make the playoffs next year. A 85 point 2013-2014 season is a reasonable mark to set for the overall team performance. As much as I wish MacT has a supply of magic wands that he can just wave around and magically fill the teams major needs in one shot, that just is not going to happen. Make no mistake, the Edmonton Oilers are still in rebuild mode, but now, instead of adding kids through the draft, the teams rebuild the next year will be established players that fit in and complement the new core. That takes time, and as Oiler fans, we are all use to that.