What have we here? A brand new mailbag for a brand new week! I hope all of you had an excellent long weekend and you’re coming into this new week feeling refreshed and at your best. As always, I’ve sent your questions and wonderings out to the writers and waited for all of their worldly wisdom to come back to me. I still need questions for next week, so if there is something Oilers related (or not) that you want to ask, feel free to hit me up by email or on Twitter. Enjoy.
1) @dallylamma asks – Who are your first five names on a hypothetical Oilers Ring of Honour for players who don’t get their number retired? Mine are: Smyth, Weight, Ranford, Huddy, and Buchberger.
Are you assuming Kevin Lowe has his retired? If not, he has top of the list, followed by Smyth, Weight, Ranford and Hemsky for me.
Lowe, Smyth, Weight, Ranford, Huddy.
Ryan Smyth has got to be the first. Kevin Lowe is a no brainer as well. Others would include Ales Hemsky, Kelly Buchberger, and Doug Weight. If I could name a few more, I would include Andy Moog and Bill Ranford.
This is a GREAT question. For me, it’s players who meant something to this team but didn’t get the accolades they deserved. Smyth for sure, Pisani, Hemsky, Weight, Ranford. It’s time to recognize some of the people who have given the 90’s – 2010’s something to be remembered with. The 80s Oilers that were missed will be added for sure. I also am assuming Lowe’s is retired by the team here.
I think Kevin Lowe has to be there, as does Ryan Smyth. Much like Baggedmilk below, I think Weight, Hemsky and the Nuge would be great options in the future.
Selfishly, I’m going with five players that meant a lot to me growing up: Ryan Smyth, Bill Ranford, Doug Weight, Ales Hemsky, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Thank you.
2) Clay asks – We’ve officially passed the one-year mark of Ken Holland’s tenure as Edmonton Oilers GM and I’m wondering what everyone thinks he’s done well and what he still needs to work on?
He did a very good job considering the lineup he inherited. He has way more hits than misses with his UFA signings. He won the Neal/Lucic trade in year one, he didn’t rush any young players and his team was in a playoff spot and competing for home ice advantage. His first year went as good as can be expected in my eyes.
Holland has operated shrewdly, for the most part, with very little cap space by adding depth and useful players from the UFA market. He unloaded Milan Lucic. Every roster is a work in progress, so he needs to continue to do that then make more substantial moves as money allows.
He’s done a good job of finding some quality depth players to fill out the roster. He took chances on a bunch of low-risk players last summer and it paid off with guys like Riley Sheahan, Joakim Nygard, Josh Archibald, and Gaetan Haas. He still has some work to do when it comes to getting the Oilers out of cap hell, but that’s hardly his fault. I also want him to go find this teams goalie of the future.
I give him a B+. I am Canadian from the late 80s so I don’t know if that’s a possible grade… but I would say his handling of the Lucic transaction, his offseason of adding some good “scratch ticket” types (Haas, Archibald, Sheahan, etc.) and most of his trades would far outweigh his misses. Chiasson’s contract and AA trade (jury is still out) cost could still be questionable. Solid changes and tweaks. Big thing to work on is our salary cap issues, but that’s the case for a lot of the league now too.
I think Holland’s done a pretty great job with the hand he’s been dealt. The Lucic trade was incredibly solid and I think he batted well at the trade deadline with bringing in Tyler Ennis and Andreas Athanasiou. He made some solid scratch ticket moves in filling out the roster in free agency last year, too. I’m looking forward to seeing what else he has in store moving forward.
Overall, I think he’s done a fine job considering he had very little cap space to play with and the fact that he was able to get rid of Milan Lucic. I still have some questions about the Broberg pick at last year’s draft but I’m also not ready to give up on the kid either — we’ll just have to wait and see.
3) Alex asks – Since the upcoming NHL Draft is said to be a deep one, do you think it would make sense for Ken Holland to trade down for more picks since the Oilers will be selecting around 20th and gave up their second-rounder in the Athanasiou trade?
Is it a deep draft? I hear that all the time and how often is it accurate. Does deep mean late in the first round, or into the 2nd or 3rd round?
Many claimed the 2015 draft would be deep. Five years later…
Here are the top players from the 2nd round.
Travis Dermott, Sebastian Aho, Brandon Carlo, MacKenzie Blackwood, Roope Hintz, Jordan Greenway, Rasmus Anderson, Vince Dunn. So eight out of 31 picks.
Third round has Anthoney Cirelli.
4th round has Austin Wagner, Denis Malgin, Mathieu Joseph.
So would I trade the 20th pick to get a 2nd and a third? No, I would not. If there is a player I’m really high on at #20 I’m taking in. Quality over quantity.
Trade down for players who can help you now, not longshots in the second/third rounds. This team has a window to win and you’re not going to make something of that with mid-round picks who might make the team in thee years. Make a push now.
That’s an interesting strategy and I’m always a fan of having more picks later in the draft but I would be hesitant to move the first-rounder. You can get a hell of a player in the back end of the first round and I would have to see the Oilers miss out on a potential impact player. Later in the draft, like in rounds 3-7, I’m all for trading down and getting more picks though!
I know Holland has a history of doing it but I don’t really like that move. I mean if there is no one there you wanted at that point, sure but I am just not a big add more picks just to add them kind of guy.
Mid-to-late round draft picks are some of the biggest scratch tickets in the hockey world and many don’t pan out. I think he needs to hold onto that first-round pick and see what he can do with it. With that being said, sometimes scratch tickets pay off. Maybe he could turn the third-round pick it appears Edmonton will hold onto from the Lucic deal into an early fourth and a sixth or something like that.
Depends what the trade is, I guess. Remember, the Oilers picked both Jordan Eberle and Kailer Yamamoto with picks in the early 20s so you can get an impact player there, and trading down for a pair of second rounders or whatever it would be doesn’t necessarily guarantee you anything. Personally, I’d hang onto the pick and see what happens. Maybe they flip Puljujarvi for a second+ or something like that?
4) Stephen asks – With any luck, we would have been watching the Oilers in the second round of the playoffs right now. With the postseason in mind, what is your most memorable Oilers playoff goal? What about non-Oilers playoff goals?
1. Glenn Anderson insurance goal in game seven of 1987 Stanley Cup Finals.
2. Wayne Gretzky shorthanded slapshot over Mike Vernon shoulder in OT in game two of Smythe Final.
3. Fernando Pisani shorthanded snapper in OT in Carolina game five 2006 Cup Final.
Most memorable is Klima’s 3OT goal against Boston in 1990 followed by Todd Marchant’s OT winner in Dallas and Fernando Pisani’s shorthanded goal vs. Carolina in 2006. Non-playoffs is easily Ales Hemsky’s goal vs. Dallas after Patrik Stefan missed an empty net in 2007. You will never see a more unlikely goal than that.
The Desharnais OT winner in 2017 is mine. I went to the game with my Dad and getting to celebrate a big Oilers goal with him after years of going to meaningless games with him was amazing.
I was actually asked this last night in a quick stream I did to announce there will be a 2.0 of our digital playoffs coming (shameless plug), but my Oilers goal has to be Shawn Horcoff scoring in triple OT against the Sharks. Just the emotion of having that game be a must-win and doing it at 3:00am where I was.
Non-Oilers goal is tough because I just don’t have the same attachment to them as I do Oilers goals. But it has to be Lemieux against the North Stars, right?
Has to be Fernando Pisani’s Game 5 OT thriller.
Jordan Eberle’s first NHL goal. The Jim Vandermeer bounce pass off the boards to Eberle’s toe-drag top-shelf backhander is just incredible and one of the best first goals ever.
My all-time favourite Oilers playoff goal has to be Pisani’s OT winner in Game 5 against the Hurricanes. Everything about that one makes me happy. Honourable mention also goes to Klefbom’s tying goal against the Sharks and the sound the puck made after it hit the post and went into the net.
League-wide, I’d have to say Pavel Bure’s goal that beat Calgary in Game 7 during the 94 playoffs. I still remember the way he threw his stick and gloves after beating Mike Vernon with a deke that I tried many many times to replicate during minor hockey.
5) Geoff asks – Let’s pretend for the purposes of this question that the NHL is able to get back underway, do you have any suggestions for what teams might do to battle the strangeness of not having anyone in the building?
They will need to pump in crowd noise. I like the idea European Soccer is doing where they have placards in the seats of fans, so it looks like people are there. I think that is a good idea and will make the building look better.
I’d also instil different camera angles, specifically the 360 degrees one, to give viewers more looks.
If there are no people there, then there are no people there. You aren’t going to make any substantial difference that matters to the players with a gimmick.
I think pumping in crowd noise and making sure music gets played between whistles is the best way to make things not as awkward.
I am sure they are working on it, but I’d like some kind of interaction with fans where they can have their mobile devices attached to a button where fans click the button and the response pulls their feedback into the arena. Then, when they hit certain thresholds of clicks, the noise in the arena gets simulated based on the fan feedback. I assume they will pipe in some kind of fan noise.
Dan’s idea is pretty neat. I really don’t have anything good in terms of an idea, but I’m looking forward to seeing Hunter bang his little hand-drum in an empty arena.
I love the idea of having cardboard cutouts and robots in the stands to make it look like there’s something happening. Yeah, I assume they’ll pump in some crowd noise or something like that but the idea of going full Home Alone with fake fans moving around would be hilarious. GET IT DONE!
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