Centering on The Oilers

Well after phoenix decided to put an end to the hopes of every Oilers fan. (from what I have heard from sources out of Edmonton, the deal was quite a kick in the junk to Mr. Lowe) Where do the Oilers stand when it comes to finding a number one center. There are a few options when it comes to free agency. 1- Alex Zhamnov- Lowe should try his best to sign this guy to a contract. He has good offensive talent. Would help the Oilers struggling PP and is somewhat responsible in his own zone.

2-Yanic Perrault- Good face off man with some offensive talent. Good on the PK. An average center at best.

3-Eric Lindros- I hate to even mention this guy’s name, but If he is healthy and has his head on straight (literally and figuratively) He is still a good player in this league. Would give the Oilers more size up front.

4-Jozef Stumpel- Don’t know much about the guy, but I know he has had a few average seasons.

2 Long shots

Jason Allison…If he is healthy he was one of the best players in the league. Reports out of Carolina (TSN.ca) said that he wasn’t physically fit to play. The Oilers should test him…show some interest, that way if or when he gets healthy he could be a dominant player.

Cliff Ronning…Older still has some offense left in the sputtering tank. He was believed to be an option last year, but they signed Oates instead (who just couldn’t quite keep up)

From the “Middle” of the organization

People often forgot last year that the only reason the Oilers were hurting at center for most of last year was the fact that Marty Reasoner was injured for pretty much all of last year. When he was combined with Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani they were an excellent 3rd line combo. And with the way Pisani and Moreau came on at the end of last season there is a potential for and an Oiler “Grind Line” if they are put back together . (RPM sounds way cooler though)

Mike Bishai- Who can forget the way this kid came out fighting (from the Atlanta thrasher bench i might add!) He showed some skills during his stint and just seemed snake bitten at times. He will be a good center for the oil some day.

Don’t forget Jarret Stoll. This kid showed a lot of potential last year and MacT put him in some big situations. He has a real good upside. Not a flashy player, but he has shown at times that he can get the job done. Why did Calgary ever let this guy go back into the draft???

So now that that is out of the way it is time to look ahead to the upcoming year…if there is one. The Oilers will be a lot stronger from the back end. They have a lot of young talent…meshed with a good core of veterans. With Smith and Brewer as your #1 pair they are a good combo…Brewer just has to play like he did at the end of last year for an entire year. Staios and Ulanov are 2 good veteran defenseman…Igor should have just stayed in Edmonton in the first place! Now you have a race for the final 2 spots between Cory Cross an average Dman, Marc Andre Bergeron who has so much offensive up side, Alex Semenov who has a real hard shot. Plus 2 real good prospects in Doug Lynch and Jeff Woywitka who were the 2 best defenseman For Red Deer when they won the Memorial Cup. I live in Calgary and hear all of the talk about Phaneuf…I believe these 2 will be just as good. (Plus they have a chemistry from playing together in Red Deer and Toronto/Edmonton Roadrunners) So the D is set!

They are set in goal as well with Conklin and Markaanen. The way Conklin played with an at best average USA team at the world championships. There is a lot of potential there. Plus Jussi is an excellent back up who could start many games if Conklin ever struggles. And Jeff Desluaries who will be the Oilers #1 in a couple of years, who will get his first taste of pro hockey with the road runners.

The forwards will be the same as last year…No losses or gains,….yet. Look for guys like Torres, Rita, Salmelainen and stoll to see much more ice time. As well if Reasoner is healthy the middle will be in better shape than last year. As well with York, Smyth, Dvorak and Hemskey (if he shoots more!) The Oilers will have a good core of forwards.

On Paper the Oilers are a real good team, there is no superstar, but there is more “all around” talent on this team that makes up for it. If they could sign a free agent center, or trade a d-man to get one it will be a good year for the Oilers! Any comments?


15 Responses to Centering on The Oilers

  1. StuWild says:

    You’re right. The Oil do have some talent but they lack structure. Lowe has made some bad moves as GM in my opinion and I do not think much of MacT as a coach. They don’t seem to know who are their scorers and who are the checkers. I don’t know if it is on purpose but it seems they always just have four lines that are built the same way. It doesn’t seem to work ’cause MacT does not know which players should be playing where and with who. I don’t think they have had a line that can play any kind of a role since Moreau/Marchant/Grier. Hemsky not shooting enough? You are not going to change the way the kid plays the game. He was a great goal scorer in junior and will be in the NHL in time. He is also a pretty good playmaker at the same time. They need to find a couple guys he can play with. Nedved not being back is a loss but I don’t think they have to go out and find another Center. In my opinion, Horcoff and Reasoner both should get more icetime. They play well and then get screwed. Stoll is also going to be a strong Center. Very aware at both ends of the rink. Why did they bring in Oates last year to play on a squad that prides itself on team speed. They thought he could help the power play. They then played Oates on the point at times. Anyone who has watched Oates knows he has made his career making plays down low. The Oilers only defenceman capable of quarterbacking a power play is M-A Bergeron. I like Staios but he has been playing way over his head. I think letting Niinimaa go was their big mistake. Bottom line for me is that MacT is a brutal coach and Lowe might be an even worse GM.

  2. BADBANNER says:

    Heres a trade that would help the Oil:

    Toronto trades Nolan to Edmonton for Semenov and a pick

    They could use a power forward on the right wing, and someone to play with Smyth. With Nolan and Smyth, a top line center wouldn’t really be that big of an issue.

    Toronto would get a big, hard hitting defensive prospect, which they lack.

    Just a thought…….

  3. movingfire says:

    No way the Oilers could afford him even if they wanted Nolan which they more than likely wont as he is too slow for their game.

  4. Rancid says:

    They shouldn’t need to give up much for a guy who had 48 points last year.

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Zhamnov is a GREAT player who did really well in philly. He wants 5 million. Clarke offered him 4 and basically they are both waiting to see what the CBA looks like. Honestly, he might just be too pricey for the oilers considering what else is out there.

    I think a shot at Lindros might be worth it. $2,000,000 + incentives for health and performance. while he is unlikely to stay healthy, he could be a point per game player for a while and those are HARD to come by. Oilers also play on GREAT ice in a wide-open western conference, this could be good for Mr. Jello brian. Keeps him far away from Scott Stevens, Neidermaier, Chara, Primeau etc….

    In the end I want Lindros on the Leafs so thier fans can feel the pain of being a fan of eric but in this case, the oilers might want to scatch him up….

    j

  6. diehardoilersfan says:

    ummm oates never “played the points at times”………………….ever

  7. TheCoach says:

    Who makes over 6 million a year.

    They would be better off signing both Zhamnov and Lindros. It would cost them less.

  8. headpushslap says:

    Two Words

    Scott Gomez

    He had 70 points last year, mostly assists.

    Due to arbitration Gomez will make 2.9 Million whenever we get back to hockey.

    Lamirello is aching from that contract, but if the Oil wheel Brewer at 2.35 Million (I think) it’s doable.

    Jersey needs some young ‘D”, and the climate in Edmonton should not be an issue for Gomez.

  9. sixteenstone says:

    My best best for the Oilers would be getting Yanic Perrault he’s a great player and for some good price. and Cliff Ronning would be a great vetran leadership and he would fit in well with the Oil. Thats my two best bets for good prices and both players could improve the team

  10. RangerSteve says:

    I don’t see Edmonton just wheeling Brewer. THey’ve waited this long for him to finally hit his potential, and the’re hoping that it’s going to be this year(if there is even a this year). As for Gomez, if the Oilers had a problem giving Comrie a contract between 2-3mil, what makes you think they’d do it for Gomez? I know Gomez is one hell of a player, but Lowe is financially strapped and as of yesterday was kicked right in the balls by Petr Nedved

  11. sixteenstone says:

    there no way the leafs would trade him unless they were not in a playoff spot come time in March. Because this is the last year for the core of Leafs then it could get very differnt around TO. As for Edmonton Nolan would fit well but I doubt we’ll see him there Nolan is to good for them GO LEAFS

  12. trailerparkboys says:

    The trade would never happen, The oilers are interested in players that can play more then 12 to 15 games a year.

    bubbles out…….

  13. wheresthesoda says:

    i would like to see the oilers to aqcuire lindros, and have lindros and york back together. you can put anyone with these two and that will be a great top line.

  14. headpushslap says:

    The reason Comrie COULD NOT be signed was the same as Nedved. He did not want to play in Edmonton. The reason Lowe gave Comrie a lowball offer was so that both parties could save face and Comrie could be traded with less trouble. Mikey messed it up and KLowe had to clean up the mess.

    I feel that Gomez has the talent (at least on Edmonton) to center the first line. Maybe not for a better team, but Calgary got to the finals with Craig Freakin’ Conroy. Gomez is better offensively than Conroy. I have not seen enough of him to talk about his defensive skills.

    2.9Million on what I assume is a one year arbitration settlement is about what Edmonton wanted to give Nedved. Gomez is younger and gets better each year.

    So, until someone gives me a better name and a reason, I’ll stick to my guns.

    Besides, I don’t think Oiler managment is too happy with Brewer going to arbitration, AGAIN. Especially after last year. He crapped the bed until the all-star game and sorta turned it up for the last twenty. Brewer has reached his potential, and besides, in Jersey he won’t really bite the Oilers if he does improve (which I doubt)

    Dizzamn, that was long.

  15. StuWild says:

    Did SO! Seen him back there in at least two or three games. I think maybe when Yorkie was injured.

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