Lots to look forward to now that Connor McDavid is officially an Edmonton Oiler.
The actual announcement on Friday night was a little anti-climatic however, as the impact of McDavid’s impending arrival was already felt weeks ago. Soon after the Oilers won the lottery, the club improved their front office with the additions of Nicholson and Chiarelli. And behind the bench, they quickly moved to bring in one of the top coaches in the game in McLellan. I thought it would have been nice to have Wayne do the official announcement, but the release of the new third jersey made up for everything.
As for the rest of the draft, I’m still battling with a few things.
Leading up to the draft, it felt like the Oilers were progressing and were going to be different than years past. But over the draft weekend, a few moves were made that gave me flashbacks to the past nine years. We’re coming off some bad, bad management eras. And over these years, a lot of questionable deals went through, most of which fans knew were terrible the day they were announced. I’ll touch on this a bit more in the post.
Here we go.
The deal for Griffin Reinhart was an absolute over payment. I think he’s a good young prospect who definitely has a legitimate chance of becoming an NHL player. My issue is that he likely won’t be a full-time NHL player in the next year or two. I realize the Oilers will likely push him into the roster anyways, but the fact remains that NHL defencemen take a long time to develop. The two picks that the OIlers gave up should have been used to get an established top four defenceman who you could pencil in to your roster for the 2015 season. Another reason why I don’t like this deal is because it gave me flashbacks to the Tambellini era. If I recall correctly, the Oilers really wanted Reinhart in 2012 (thanks Oil Change). Plus Tambo took a gamble on another high pick in Cam Barker in 2011. Brutal.
There had to have been teams that wanted the 16th pick, considering some of the major talent available there. It does appear that the Oilers really had their second first-rounder and their second rounders earmarked for a player chasing Hamilton earlier and settling on Reinhart. That to me is encouraging. It’s just too bad they still haven’t solidified any component of their defensive unit with this acquisition.
Once the Reinhart deal went down, I knew it was the end of the line for our boy Marincin. The young Slovak has progressed nicely as an Oiler, really showing well early on in his career. The Oilers did a very nice job bringing him along, letting him develop at the AHL level under Todd Nelson’s staff and giving him a shot at the NHL level. He took on a lot of tough competition for a 22-year old, and still managed to hold his own. He’s a rangy guy that broke up plays and did a lot of good things on the ice.
Seeing this deal go down made me think back to MacTavish’s track record dealing with defencemen. For whatever reason, this club has a hard time developing defencemen. And when they get it right, they have no idea how to retain them. Plus, the club picked up a former Marlie, which made me think back to the Acton, Fraser and Aulie acquisitions that all failed.
What annoys me is that it was the Leafs that were smart enough to see his potential and acquire him for next to nothing. Toronto has a strong management team in place with analytics experts. They also made a few of those 2-for-1 draft pick deals, which demonstrates their understanding of pick values. They’re obviously in rebuild mode, but I’m fairly confident they’ll turn it around if they keep making smart moves like these ones.
Absolutely loved this deal.
I originally thought Talbot would be a good fit for the club as he did well as a backup and I figured he’d come cheap, I poked through his numbers and felt he’d be a bit of a gamble, and maybe they club might rather keep Scrivens as the “goalie-with-potential” and add someone like Brian Elliott through trade or sign Enroth or Neuvirth through free agency.
Of course, all my thoughts went into a spiral when Darcy “Woodguy” McLeod put together a case for acquiring Talbot, while Bruce McCurdy put a nice argument for Eddie Lack. And when rumors swirled about the acquisition cost going up (something about a first rounder), I started looking at other expensive options like RFA Jonathan Bernier. I’m just glad the Oilers landed a good goalie for lower draft picks.
I seriously learned a ton about goalies during this whole discussion on who the Oilers should acquire. It was also a fantastic example of how strong of a discussion you can have when data is available. I know most of us are using War on Ice, Hockey Analysis and others, which is great. But if the NHL wants their fans to drive discussion, and in a way promote the game, they have got to take a serious lead in collecting and providing accessible, high quality data. Work with the existing companies if you have to. Just collect as much as data as possible and get the data out there and keep it free.
Harvest Moon 2015 – Lowetide
Meet the Newest Edmonton Oilers – The Copper and Blue
What do the Edmonton Oilers Come Away With From the 2015 NHL Draft? – Cult of Hockey
Tangled Up in Blue – OilersNation