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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Stopgap Volume 1: Guys Who Should Be Oilers - But Aren't

To your left is Nick Tarnasky.

I was reading Lowetide's blog earlier, and I wondered, "who should be an Oiler, but isn't?" Besides the obvious answer of Alexander Ovechkin, I really gave a thought to answering this question while I enjoyed my two junior chickens (my first junk food in weeks, I swear).

Anyway, this is my list.

It tries to address the Oilers' main need(s): a checking center who can play on the 3rd or 4th line OR a utility forward who can interchange as Penner, Cole, Brodziak, Pouliot, and possibly Cogliano (pending the Kid Line's performance) churn around in the the MacBlender's hurricane sized innards.

I will address defensive needs (D's and G's) tomorrow.

1. Nick Tarnasky, Nashville Predators

This dude is one "tough customer," (as EA's NHL Franchise would refer to him as) since he is a mean bastard who will eat your children and ask for seconds. He's a centerman, and apparently he's not too horrible at faceoffs (though he's no Jarret Stoll, mind you).

He's also from Rocky Mtn. House, AB which is practically next door to Edmonton. Why is he not an Oiler? Beats me. If we had Tarnasky, our 4th line would look something like this:

MacIntyre - Tarnasky - Stortini
(insane Broad Street Bullies of the modern age, version #1)

And that's a line that can actually play hockey. Now that's scary.

2. Mark Smith, UFA

Keeping in line with skilled agitators who play center and take faceoffs reasonably well, we have the mean Mark Smith, formerly of the San Jose Sharks and the lead guitarist and singer of a Bay area band.

Being a rather cheap option as opposed to some other checking centers (a la Bryan Smolinski), the Edmonton, AB native is a hometown boy who could find himself alter our lineup as follows:

MacIntyre - Smith - Stortini
(insane Broad Street Bullies of the modern age, version #2)


Cole - Horcoff - Hemsky
Nilsson - Cogliano - Gagner
Penner - Brodziak - Pisani
Moreau - Smith - Stortini

3. Bryan Smolinksi, UFA

Another one of the interweb's big ideas. He may be a bit overpriced for the likes of the Oiler's brass, and we are standing at 48 out of 50 possible professional contracts a team is limited to.

If Smolinski is willing to take a pay cut and play a year or two until Brodziak / Pouliot / Paukovich / O'Marra are ready to take the reigns as checking center, then he will be a nice fill-in.

Cole - Horcoff - Hemsky
Nilsson - Cogliano - Gagner
Penner - Smolinski - Pisani
Moreau - Brodziak - Stortini (this looks like a good energy line)

Until then, a trade may be more likely and more rational considering we're up to our neck in contracts.

4. Scott Nichol, Nashville Predators

Another effective, faceoff taking, Edmonton, AB born checking centerman who is mean, nasty, and loves to take candy from children if it means the Oilers will make the post-season dance. All joking aside, Nichol has proven to be a good, cheap, faceoff taking option despite his inability to stay on in a permanent NHL job so far.

Both Nichol and Smith are good stopgap options to replacing Reasoner and Stoll.

5. Vernon Fiddler, Nashville Predators

Maybe the Predators know something we don't know, but they seem to be stocking up on these tough Alberta boys who compete game-in and game-out. Born in Edmonton also, Vernon Fiddler is one of these dudes, except he's actually considered more of an offensive player than the other guys I've discussed so far.

Vernon Fiddler would be to the Oilers what Dan Cleary is to the Detroit Red Wings team: relatively cheap experienced veteran, that can play on lines 1-3 on any given night (aka. the 7th forward), and he competes.

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Blogger Addicted-to-oil said...

What's with all the Preds? Also, why in the hell hasn't Smolinsky signed with someone? Is there any word on his asking price?

Also, why in the hell isn't Brodziak centering the third line? He kills penalties, so clearly he faces the other teams best offensive stars - even if it is on the second unit. He had a decent FW% last season, and was 67% against Colorado. I wish MacT would play him on the third line! He seems capable of doing so - IMO

October 15, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Blogger raventalon40 said...

I would imagine his asking price is around what he made in Montreal, but lower, since Montreal found it more towards their enterprise to do without him.

Furthermore, the fact that he hasn't signed on with a team yet means that:

1) he doesn't have any takers/believers
2) he's asking for too much
3) he's considering retirement

I think that #1 is the most reasonable conclusion why he hasn't signed on, and as the season progresses he will find a home.

October 15, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Blogger raventalon40 said...


Nashville is one of our sister cities? I'm not sure why, really, but Nashville sure has a lot of Edmontonians in their lineup.

October 16, 2008 at 1:05 AM

Blogger Addicted-to-oil said...

I was really hoping to see MacIntyre scrap last night. *sigh* I guess I"ll just have to wait.

October 16, 2008 at 7:34 AM

Blogger raventalon40 said...

In Calgary my friend. In Calgary!

October 17, 2008 at 1:47 AM


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