Time for Tambellini to make trade for some sandpaper for his Edmonton Oilers
It’s painfully clear that the current Oilers can be pushed out of games. It’s not that they won’t go to the areas where the heavy traffic is (along the boards and especially in front of the net where 8 out of 10 goal are scored) but it’s a matter of they can’t get there. The heavy lineup of St. Louis leaned on them. Minnesota, a middling team, battled harder than them and went where you score goals.
The Oilers aren’t soft, but they sorely need a Lucic type player (good luck getting that exact makeup) or a David Clarkson, who is tough to handle and can score, or a Wayne Simmonds or a Scott Hartnell.
OK, I admit I’m a huge fan of spaghetti legs Wayne Simmonds. I think he’s a helluva player, skilled and tough. I’ll throw LA’s Kyle Clifford in there too, although he doesn’t have the skill level of the other guys, not yet, but he’s what the Oilers need. I’m like Ryane Clowe but he’s older (31 in September, and there’s a feeling his best-before date might have been two years ago. Yet, he’s a gamer. They badly need players like this. It’s the hardest thing to get, and find if you’re drafting because those players are usually projects.
They also need a Marchand type. A pain in the butt middleweight. Marchand is unique in that he can also score. But, they need an Andrew Shaw in Chicago, a feisty, get in your face, pretty talented forward. I think that Antoine Roussel in Dallas is that kind of player; he doesn’t have Shaw’s talent level, but he’s hard to play against. He used to play for Craig MacTavish when he was coaching Vancouver’s farm team, the Chicago Wolves. He signed this season with the Dallas Stars.
This is a long answer to a pretty short observation. The Oilers have to trade skill for more will, or at the least skill for bigger, and if they arrive at the net in ill-humour with fairly nice hands, so much the better. It’s up to GM Steve Tambellini to make a trade like Vancouver did where they sacrificed the more skilled Cody Hodgson for more of a project, big forward Zach Kassian. Kassian has had his moments in Vancouver, although his consistency of performance still isn’t there. But, he could turn out to be a force.
It’s not easy trading anybody right now. But Tambellini has exhausted his minor-league team. He has to make a deal for bigger people to complement a number of his skilled guys. He has to trade for somebody because his team is crying for a jolt; they can’t be a bottom three or bottom five NHL team again. That’s not much progression.