Saturday, January 28, 2012

Life after Hemsky

Life after Hemsky is becoming a real possibility for the Oilers. The trade deadline is fast approaching and Tambillini knows he needs to do something with the star winger. The question is what is the right decision for the Oilers long term future? To determine the answer to this question we must look at the past, present, and future.
In the past Hemsky has always been the bright spot to the Oilers lineup. Hemsky has shown he can be a top playmaker in the league.When healthy he has proven he is a point per game player in the NHL (or very close to it). But there lies the issue. The past few seasons the Oilers have not seen a healthy Hemsky. Just 22 games 2 seasons ago and 47 games last season. This season hemsky has also had shoulder problems and admitted he was not 100 percent until just after Christmas. Since then I see Hemsky again as the high skill player he has been throughout his career. The points may not show it but his play does.
Everyone in Edmonton knows Hemsky has not been a happy Oiler this season. Being dropped down to 2nd and sometimes 3rd line duties has hit his ego and effected his play. It wasn’t until the Oilers put Hemsky back into important roles that he started to shine once again. Hemsky has also shown his displeasure with Edmonton media, once even walking away from an interview basically telling the media to (insert word here) off.
Could Hemsky once again become happy as an Oiler? I have to say yes. Playing a bigger role and seing the coaching staff have faith in him again he has already looked much happier on and off the ice. In order to sign another contract with the oilers though Hemsky is going to need to see a commitment from the team. He will want to know the team is behind him and will continue to put him in a role where he can help the team succeed as well as have success himself.
Having said all that I do still believe the Oilers will move Hemsky at or before the deadline. In my opinion teams in play would be LA, Det, Pitts, and Nash. I could see the Oilers offering up Hemsky and a pick or prospect to Nashville for Suter. Some will say im crazy, that Nashville would never do that but lets remember that both players are UFA at seasons end and both players are what the other team in the deal needs.
My final thoughts regarding Hemsky is the skill is there, the will on the otherhand has yet to be determined. The “will” can only be determined after a trade or a commitment from the Oilers to his long term future.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oilers 2012 NHL MOck Draft Rankings Jan 26/12

There are going to be some real happy teams in the 1st round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, as this group of talent runs quite deep the top 20 players could swing a lot of different directions. For the Edmonton Oilers, I really only have a few players I believe can make a impact on this team within 2 seasons. They are in no particular Order...Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Alex Galchenyuk, Ryan Murray, Griffin Reinhart and Matthew Dumba. There are questions mark with each player and all different. But just as with these players , there is always a question on a prospect. These are the players I believe the Oilers would be most interested in as well.

The players in the top 15 I have listed I would stay away from would include, Filip Forsberg, Nick Ebert, and Martin Frk.

It will be a interesting to see where the Oilers place as time continues but this fan would much rather have a high end pick then a spot two places higher in the standings and a player who won't have half the potential. On the other hand, I don't want to lose every game either. Dilema's!


Here is the 2012 top 15 NHL Mock Rankings as of Jan 26/12
1. Nail Yakupov
 
2. Mikhail Grigorenko
3.Ryan Murray
 
4.Morgan Rielly
 
 
5.Matthew Dumba

 6.Alex Galchenyuk

7.Derrick Pouliot

8.Filip Forsberg
 
 
 9.Griffin Reinhart


 10.Cody Ceci


11.Zemgus Girgensons


 12.Nick Ebert

13.Brendan Gaunce


14.Martin Frk
 

15.Olli Maatta
 
 
 
1st Round Traded Draft Picks
Washington receives Colorado's 2012 1st round pick and a 2012 or 2013 2nd round pick (Capitals choice) for Semyon Varlamov.
For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder prospect news and the 2012 & 2013 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oilers VS Canucks "Rebuilding in Riot City"


My apologies for such a late blog on a game night. If your reading this now before the game, your probably thinking "Man, am I glad there is something to read before the game that will be more interesting then the game itself". If your reading this after the game, your thinking "Man, do I wish I had read this during the game!". 

Without question this team is in full rebuild, but is it a rebuild we can trust in?

Ok, the game may be a snorefest, but on the other hand, what if these guys kick it up a gear and start challenging for a playoff spot? Your right, they might just do that. Just as soon as a Politician admits he lied or mislead you in his election campaign promises. Yeah, this is not easy to watch game after game, but at least they showed some spunk last night. All signs point to a disappointing game and results for Oiler fans tonight. But what if something exciting happens? What if they can actually beat the Knuckleheads? What if, just maybe, just maybe, they come out with a big upset tonight? Exactly....that's why we are all still watching, reading and talking.

The Canucks are a good team and no Oiler fan is dumb enough to think they are not. (we still will say they suck, they choke and etc...) but they are a well built team. Tonight, the story line is much more then the game itself. It's about many moving parts. Whitney is back in the lineup tonight testing out the bad ankle. Poor guy, this must really suck and especially for a top end talent like him to have this keep reoccurring. It's about Tamby and Renney. Will Tamby get a contract extension and not Renney?  Should he get a extension? Is their valid excuses for the fact this team is not playing meaningful games? Who's fault is it really? Like I said, there are stories within the stories. To me, instead of "As the World turns" we have "As the Oilers Lose".

Do we have the right tools in place for this rebuild?
Ever try to work on your car or truck only to have the wrong tools? Sucks , doesn't it? Is that what Renney is saying to Tamby? Or is Tamby looking at the tools and saying, "Only two more parts Tom. This draft , you will have the last big tool you will need". Or, are we tools, for believing this rebuild will even work to begin with? Do you have faith they actually know how to do a rebuild? Do they have experience doing this? 

This team is slowly putting together a collection of stars that will hopefully rival any team in the current NHL. But at what expense?
This rebuild may very well work, and you are looking at the beginning of something very special indeed. The bigger question for me is...How can we tangibly see this rebuild is working? There is no proof, we are just told it is a rebuild and they are building something great. There does need to be some kind of accountability IMO for this rebuild to the fans. The ones who support this team are the ones who deserve to be shown some support. How can that be done? Don't treat the fans like infants who don't know anything. Treat them like adults who are well educated and tell them straight up what the process is going to look like. I understand, there are some things you can not say as management. But they need to find a way to appease the fans with some vision and hope that , this is going to work. Give the fans a bone, and they will chew on it for weeks....and if your lucky, maybe years!

Go Oilers!

For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder prospect news and the 2012/13 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oilers VS Sharks "Two Headed Monster"

Which team is going to show it's face tonight is anybodies guess. Tom Renney says the players need to be responsible to show up. The fans say it's the coaches job to motivate, the truth is, it is a combination of both. Renney is responsible for icing the right line combinations that have chemistry. It's his job as well to send the right players out at the right time.

I wonder sometimes as a fan, when will we really be able to see the real identity of this team? What's it really supposed to look like or act like? This Oilers team has been pieced together by the GM to resemble what? That's a question that only our Management team can answer.
Currently all fans now see is small glimpses of what looks to be a very bright future. It's like seeing the babies head pop out, only to be completely disfigured in the rest of the body. I know a gruesome thought, but is it any more gruesome then the display we see as Oiler fans at least every second or third game? Lately far more often then not. I know this team is hurting having Whitney and Gilbert out of the lineup. I know Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is badly missed on the PP. I also know both Hall and Eberle are currently banged up some and are most likely not playing at high end proficiency.

The good news? Call it a hunch, but the recent shuffle of players in OKC with the Barons could very possibly be a tell tale. The management has to be looking long term for the development of this organization. The coach and the GM know they have no contract into next season. Renney has got results from the young developing players to date. With this season now a distant cry from the playoffs, the Oilers are preparing for next year. I know it's pretty sad even saying that but it is the truth and we need to look at this objectively if we don't want to go insanely mad.

I am guessing we will see at least two veterans being moved out at the deadline who are not fitting the big picture and or enabling the development of the young players of the future. I also think we can see the possibility of more playing time for the younger players. It happened last year as well. They want to see what they have in a Paajarvi, Petry, Hartikanen, Chorney and the likes. 

This is their chance to shine. I fully expect the PP to show the rising crop of young stars more and the PK reserved more for the veterans as they press forward with this season. Truly right now we have a collage of players being assembled and they are trying to see where they fit best into the puzzle. Question is, "Can Renney help accomplish that?" For Renney's sake and for the sanity of Oiler fans, I hope so!

Enjoy tonight's game on TSN at 7:30pm vs the Sharks of San Jose. Let's hope instead of San Jose taking a bite out of the Oil, it will be the Oilers downing the Sharks. Here is hoping the "Hungry head of the Monster shows up"



For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder prospect news and the 2012/13 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Destined for?"

Everyone wants to see their favourite team hoisting the Stanley Cup, but few get to see or experience it in their lifetime. This city was truly spoilt in the 80's with the team that was assembled by Glen Sather. Make no mistake about it, it was not a magic formula that made that team so good. With a salary cap era, no team can afford to have the talent the Oilers once held together, but don't make the mistake of thinking you can't keep a really good team together for 10 plus years.

The Red Wings and Penquins are two teams that despite injuries, change in player management and local economic struggles, seem to stay among the elite of the league regardless. Why you ask? I believe it has more to do with management. Which brings us to the question. Is Edmonton's problems in management, coaching or the players? Well let's look at this...

Players: Some are improving and growing while others seem to be falling off the face of the earth.

Management: Have produced a top end farm system in OKC with the Barons but looking to be a bottom 3 team in the NHL for the 3rd straight year.

Coaching: The players appear to love this current coaching staff and we hear how much Renney is a incredible teacher for these players. So let's look at a couple things about Renney. Is our head coach the problem? 

Personally, I don't like some of his decisions regarding line combinations, who he puts out on the ice at important times or even goaltending decisions. In spite of all that, this team is rebuilding and the most important aspect of this team is about development. So, with that being said, I think the most important question is, "Are we seeing development from the players who are in the long term future of this team?"

Who is improving? Gilbert, Smid and Potter we can all say we are happy with this year. Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins we can say we are happy with this year. 

Who is struggling? Horcoff, Belanger, Hemsky, etc..  Not sure you notice like me, but I am seeing our young talent improving and the veterans failing at this point. Could it just be, we need to reshuffle the veterans who are filling spots on this team as we continue to grow and develop? 

IMO , I really think you make no move on Tamby or Renney until seasons end. If Tamby can do something between now and the end of the season maybe a 1 year extension. If Renney can continue to grow and develop the important players who will be here in the future give him one more year as well. However, should Tamby do nothing to make this team better between now and season end, it is time in this fan's opinion to bring in new management before the draft in June. If Renney at this time next year is not getting better improvement in systems play from this team as a whole, it will be time as well for a coaching change.

I like all of these guys on a personal note, but not liking what we are seeing on a development note. Patience will be tough for fans as this season wears on. I think all Oilers fans really care about now, is to see some compete, each and every night. Give us a hard honest night's work of effort and we'll be more patient.

For more info on Oiler, Barons and Thunder hockey in addition for info on 2012 and 2013 NHL Draft prospects  you can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/revingev

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oilers VS Flames "In for a Hall of a Game"


Tonight should be a splendid game to watch, after all, who doesn’t get up for a  game against the Calgary Flames? Who really knows what to expect from this Oilers team at this time right now.  Just when you expect to see this team rise from the cellar, they self explode. When you think the Oilers are dead in the water, they come storming out of the gates. 
(which does not happen often anymore.)

I fully expect this city to be watching their favourite hero in his return to the ice tonight against the dreaded team red from the south. With his passion that he plays this game with and a return from almost a near fatal fluke accident, people will tune in just to see how he responds. Eberle in his second game back will enjoy some more time and space to maneuver out on the ice, as Hall will take some of the attention from the top defencemen and backcheckers. The PP will be where it truly shows the difference IMO.



Going into tonight’s game the rumours are really starting to heat up of who is available on various teams. I see some real potential BIG changes coming for the Oilers between now and July 2nd. Something WILL happen before the trade deadline just not sure what kind of look it will mean. Instead of touching on players going out, lets look at players who are being rumoured available , if for a high price.


Here are some possibilities between now and July 2nd with players that could be obtained possibly for the Oilers. Not saying they WILL be, just saying their is talk of movement but as to who and where, no one can really say other then the GM's and they are not telling.

Goalies:
Ryan Miller
Evgeny Nabokov
Anders Lindback
Johnathan Bernier
Brent Johnson
JF Giguire

Defencemen:
Ryan Ellis
Ryan Suter
Shea Weber
Tyler Myers
Matt Niskanen
Vladislav Voynov

These are the most obvious goalies or defence that have possibilities, but in no way means would actually happen. There are deals to be had, but it will cost us players and not players who no one wants. Maybe a Paajarvi or a Hartikanen will be the minimum in a trade but no matter what, it will be players with upside and future potential that are requested in trades. 


Make sure to catch the "Battle of Alberta" tonight on HNIC at 8pm Mountain time.
www.twitter.com/revingev







Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oilers VS Blues "It's all about the future"

Oiler fans should start getting used to seeing this picture of Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Not only is it one of the buildings we may model our new RX2 facility after in Edmonton, but it also is the location of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in late June. 

The injuries just keep getting stranger as the days go by. Never in my life (and I am 41 years old) have I seen so many injuries to key players let alone freak injuries these past few years. Instead of looking at these latest injuries as a sign of a curse or some theory that our trainers are not preparing the players properly, I am looking at this as a blessing in disguise. 

Without these injuries the last few years there would be no Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. And now this year, it is very possible that late June you can either add Yakupov, Grigorenko or Murray to that fold as well. Do I think the Oilers can finish higher and not receive one of those players? Possible, but not very likely. Even with our three young stars performing well, this team is struggling on the backend and especially in goal. Unless something happens and the Oilers swing a deal for a Ryan Miller or something, this team will place likely bottom 5 this year at best.

Now here is my thought. What if this team could boast of having a dynamic duo? I know some of you see that already. What I am talking about is a dynamic duo down the middle.......


Pittsburgh is not only where we are drafting this year but a big two way centermen is available in that top 3. Maybe, just maybe, we are able to draft that big Russian to play with our Canadian in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. RNH and Grigorenko down the middle looks pretty good in my eyes. Imagine having a combo of  lines 1a and 1b with two elite centermen.

I myself would love to see a line combo as follows in next couple years....
HALL/NUGENT-HOPKINS/EBERLE
HARTIKANEN/GRIGORENKO/PAAJARVI

Place whichever player develops accordingly or even move those guys around and you have a pretty nice front loaded team up top. Even if Grigorenko takes a extra year to develop, this is one fan who would like to take the gamble and see this. Some may think I am jumping the gun on this, but mark my words, Grigorneko is the real deal and is a difference maker down the middle.

One more season working on development defencemen and 1 trade for a top 4 defencemen will see this team change drastically. So tonight as I watch this game against the blues, what is it I am looking to see? Truly, just looking to see some development out of the younger players as they continue to grow and learn. No more sour milk here for this blogger and fan. From here on in, gonna get back to focusing on prospects and development in this Oilers organization. Which brings me to something...almost time for some updates on the development of players in the organization. I will be on holidays for a couple weeks coming up soon, so will be posting some updates of development and thoughts on whats happening outside the big NHL club real soon.

In the meantime, here is hoping to see some continued good work from Lander and Paajarvi tonight. As I have mentioned on twitter and will do so on here, Paajarvi is really starting to be driving to the net well and gaining some confidence in each game. With the stars missing, IMO Renney needs to see if Magnus can rise to the occasion. The Blues are becoming a good team and it goes to show what patience gets you.

Go Oilers!


For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder news and the 2012/13 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev

NHL Mock Draft Rankings January 19th/12




For fun, I continue today with a weekly post of an "Oilers Mock NHL Draft Status". While it in no way is any indicator as to who the Oilers would select if they were to finish the season in that exact number, it gives us a idea as to what is available for them to select come that position. There are alot of Rankings out there, that get released continually. Of course since this is my blog, I am going to use my REVS 2012 NHL Prospect List for a drafting order.

With another week gone by the Oilers moved up in the standings. No, not the overall standings, but the Draft order. The worse they do, the better prospect they get to pick at the NHL Entry draft the end of June 2012. This week they moved from 4th pick to now sitting at 2nd pick. The Oilers also lost to the two teams who were below them in the standings, in the Ducks and the Blue Jackets.

 Here is the 2012 top 15 NHL Mock Rankings as of Jan 19/12

1. Nail Yakupov
 
2. Mikhail Grigorenko
 
3.Ryan Murray

4.Morgan Rielly

5.Matthew Dumba
 
6.Alex Galchenyuk
 
7.Derrick Pouliot
 
8.Filip Forsberg

9.Griffin Reinhart
 
10.Cody Ceci

11.Zemgus Girgensons

12.Nick Ebert

13.Brendan Gaunce

14.Martin Frk
 
15.Olli Maatta

1st Round Traded Draft Picks
Washington receives Colorado's 2012 1st round pick and a 2012 or 2013 2nd round pick (Capitals choice) for Semyon Varlamov.
For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder news and the 2012/13 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Edmonton Oilers On The Move?

Going by what I'm hearing on the radio and websites, there us a good possibility that some of the Oiler players will be on the move from now till the NHL trade deadline.

Bob Stauffer says that Ryan Smyth's agent is in Columbus today talking with Steve Tambellini. It could be about an extension or it could be about moving him to a cup contender and seeing him return to the Oilers in the summer. This late in his career it would be nice to see Smyth hoist the Stanley Cup. While it may not happen, there is that distinct possibility it will.

It's no secret that Ales Hemsky could be on the move as well. He's a free agent this summer and if Tambellini is smart, you don't let him walk for nothing. If Hemsky doesn't want an extension, he will be moved.

Sam Gagner has been very good lately and that could be reason enough to move him. I would think he's at his highest value right now. If the Oilers don't want to keep Gagner for the long term, now might be the best time to get max value for him. Me personally, I'd keep him.

Can the Oilers get anything for Nik Khabibulin? Possibly. Not sure how legit it is, but rumor has it Tampa Bay might want him back. He's been pretty good this year, but good enough a team wants him? Wait and see.

It also sounds like the Oilers might want to move Andy Sutton. He's a good teammate, but it's not looking like he's part if the future in Oil country. Possibility that he's traded soon too.

What will the Oilers get done and who's on the move? Stay tuned to www.OilersJambalaya.com

-Written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

"Oilers VS BluJackets" Rebuild in motion

Today as the Oilers take to action on the ice in Columbus, it's a battle of the cellar bottom dwellers. OK that does not sound so appealing. I know in Columbus it may suck, but if they look at the two picks that are available in Yakupov and Grigorenko, they should not be all that worried. I still wonder if they trade off Carter as he never really wanted to go there anyway. If I am a Oiler fan (which I am) I am not happy my team keeps losing year after year (cause that is embarrassing) but how can you not be happy knowing a top 5 pick will be a incredible pick once again? 

This is a rebuild no question and instead of seeing which team we want to rebuild like, what if we rebuild in a new fashion, a way we know this franchise won't be doing this for a minimum of another 15 years? I see no reason we need to look like Chicago, Pittsburgh etc. Nor should we look like Ottawa, New York, Atlanta, Florida etc..  These last couple draft years have really brought some good talent into the fold that will be good for trading or possible players for this team for awhile. Sure we got holes still, but no other last place team consecutive years has had this much talent injured year after year to finish lower in the standings then they should, like the Oilers.

The young people we have been bringing in through drafting are excelling and on track. It's the trades and or veterans that are failing this team more then anything else. While it's not easy seeing your team lose so many games, it's also pretty exciting seeing the high end talent that is being stockpiled on this team. Talk to GM's in Detroit, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, New York, and even Chicago and you will hear the same thing. They will all tell you this team in Edmonton will be a scary team to play real soon.

In this rebuild, the real question will soon become, how do we pay all these high draft picks when they come out of their entry level contracts or will we be trading off elite talent cause we can't pay them all within the salary cap? That is where, this will have to be the last year we can be a bottom 5 team in the lottery or else we will become like those teams who drafted high but never can put the bigger package together. This team at year end will need to be a minimum 80point team next year or heads will roll. Guaranteed their will be changes in management and coaching should this team not improve next year.

We hear that a rebuild is about development and all our young talent is developed and doing well or at least treading water. Where the failure comes in is the veterans on this team.  It is with that reason, come trade deadline, I truly believe those decisions in who goes and who stays will be decided. Veterans who improve development of younger players stay, those who do not contribute to the development of younger players will be traded or let go eventually.

As much as I want to be frustrated and mad at the amount of games this team is losing, I still find myself watching every game and til the end regardless of score. Play hard, play tough, show some development and improve next year, Oiler fans will be patient. I fully expect a win tonight in Columbus, as the Blue Jackets "Fail for Nail". btw....It's just a guess, but I think your looking at the last season for Rick Nash as he will become a part of a new rebuild in Columbus. Just a hunch, nothing more.

Go Oilers!


for further news on 2012 and 2013 Draft picks and Oiler Prospects you can follow me on twitter at
www.twitter.com/revingev

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NHL Mock Draft Rankings January 12/12

For fun, I am going to weekly post a "Oilers Mock NHL Draft Status". While it in no way is any indicator as to who the Oilers would select if they were to finish the season in that exact number, it gives us a idea as to what is available for them to select come that position. There are alot of Rankings out there, that get released continually. Of course since this is my blog, I am going to use my REVS 2012 NHL Prospect List for a drafting order. While some of you may disagree with my selections and rankings, I have been fairly accurate not only in ranking the new talent each year at the NHL Draft but also have been fairly close on the exact players each team selects at the draft. Now of course, that is me telling you I have done well and asking you to take my word for it. So why not throw it out there so the blogger world can see? It's all in fun anyway.

So without delay here is the 2012 top 15 NHL Mock Rankings as of Jan 12/12

1. Nail Yakupov


2. Mikhail Grigorenko


3.Ryan Murray


4.Morgan Rielly


5.Matthew Dumba


6.Alex Galchenyuk


7.Derrick Pouliot


8.Filip Forsberg


9.Griffin Reinhart


10.Cody Ceci


11.Zemgus Girgensons


12.Nick Ebert


13.Brendan Gaunce


14.Martin Frk


15.Olli Maatta


1st Round Traded Draft Picks
Washington receives Colorado's 2012 1st round pick and a 2012 or 2013 2nd round pick (Capitals choice) for Semyon Varlamov.

For Oiler ,Baron and Thunder news and the 2012/13 NHL draft watch www.twitter.com/revingev











OilersJambalaya.com is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers, Oklahoma City Barons and the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.