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Sutton close to signing? Nick Kypreos rumor

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:27 am
The actual for real Nick Kypreos (someone has actually been trying to impersonate him on Twitter for some crazy reason..) tweeted this:

Scratch another D off #NHL trading block. Hearing #Oilers Andy Sutton closing in on a new 1 year deal. Its believed to be in 1.75M range.


That is great news if it's true, and I'd think it is. Sutton wants to play here, he's said. And well, the Oilers surely see he has been quite useful. If they sign him for $1.75M for a year, I'd say that is money well spent.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:45 am
We should be aiming higher.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:50 am
I think he's a good fit... for the bottom pairing. We should be aiming higher, but I think he's played quite well for us in that role this year. They should be looking for someone else in a top pairing role, not someone in a 5/6/7 role.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:07 am
He has earned another year. Barker has not....
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:08 pm
No, Barker certainly has not. Sutton's actually fleet-footed compared to Barker. Unfortunately, they are both below cup contender standard by a rather clear margin.

I guess the silver lining is that, if the signing is actually true, it means the Oilers have begun to look ahead toward next season already.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:26 pm
This may not be the big move we Oil fans are looking for but I think it's a good depth signing. Even though Sutton is a bottom pairing/7th man I feel better with him in the line-up than not this season. It's sure getting crammed on the blueline though but I take it as a sign of where the organization is headed.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:27 pm
Yeah, I think it also is a small positive in terms of rewarding players who do well in their roles. Not cup material, buta capable defender that buys us some time with other players in the system. I still hope they can sign a Suter or trade for one.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:55 pm
I don't have any issues with Sutton at all. He gets burned from time to time, but that's what happens to all those big bruiser d-men. I think his offensive abilities are actually fairly underrated too. He's good at jumping into the play, and has pretty good stickhandling for a guy you'd think was a big, old oaf, and he has a decent shot. He fills out the bottom end of the team quite nicely.

Since we're not even in the playoffs, talking about cup contention at this point seems strange to me (although I would love for them to be competing now). I think we just need guys who work within the system.. on and off ice... and he fits well in both regards. I welcome him back next year with open arms. Once this team is actually competing for a cup, I am thinking he'll be retired or gone from the team anyways.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:02 pm
For this team to compete for a cup, you'll have to shed players that aren't going to lift you to those heights. What's holding us back is that we are below average defensively.

Sutton does not hurt the team as it is now, but he does not really help either. Continue to sign players that aren't making you better and you'll have to wait that much longer for success. I wish Tambellini showed better ability to sign more complete players.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:14 pm
I actually would say he's helping this team. Is he an elite d-man? Definitely not. We're not talking about Nick Lidstrom being on our bottom pairing, however. I think for the role we need him in, he's good.

This isn't directed at you NorOil, but I've found that fans here and even our GM can get all wrapped up in finding guys that are great offensive weapons, and it's nice to see a decent stay-at-homer welcomed here. That's really what he does fairly well, and then there is the added dimension of his big physical game (or perhaps those two things should be reversed, since his physical game is a step above his defensive game).

I think this team has been a lot better with him in the lineup. Is he an elite shutdown d-man? No, but even your teams like the Detroit Red Wings have other teams' cast offs on it.

I'm more of a fan of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid). Sutton generally isn't flashy (although he's had some crazy dangle moves this year.. but that's not why I like him), and he gets the defensive job done. I'd be more concerned with shooing away guys like Barker who really don't provide any great talent to the team.

I only wish that we could stack a team full of Shea Webers.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:22 pm
Oh one more thing.. I definitely don't disagree with the sentiment of your post (that this team needs to sign some more complete players). I think Sutton is a guy I could see working here. Unfortunately his age says it won't work here for long, so at this stage, he isn't part of our long term game plan (or shouldn't be, anyways).

But I think I would actually say that I'd be content in seeing both of our higher priced d-men moved eventually. While I like them both, I think that's where I'd say that we need to get better, more complete d-men. Or at least those guys should become more of a 2nd pairing. Although, truthfully, I've really liked Gilbert this year, so who knows... he could be just fine in a top pairing. I think Ryan Whitney is an extremely poor-man's Chris Pronger, however... and I'm not just saying that because he's been injured too much (although that maybe is why his game isn't where I'd want it to be for a #1 D-man).
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:03 pm
I agree with Racki in all counts with this. Sutton is a good depth signing and I doubt it will hold our team back in anyway next season with the roster or cap space. We are racking up a ton of depth though I do agree there, we have a handful of top four guys in Whitney, Smid, Gilbert and argueably Petry that could play on the top pairing with that number one guy but we are definitely missing that number one guy.

I think Sutton is a guy who will fill in the gap until Tuebert/Plante and or Peckham can show us they are ready to be consistent in the show. To me it kinda feels like this is what the Oil management want these young three guys to mold/develop into. Oh man it's times like this I really wish we had a young Gator. Hopefully one of these guys becomes something close to gator. Smid is becoming quite the young shutdown stud, he even throws his body around from time to time but Gator seem to have a little more grit and fire in him from what I remember.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:38 am
Kypreos was pretty much bang on...

Andy Sutton has re-signed for 1 year at $1.5M salary, $250k in bonuses for a $1.75M cap hit...

http://puttingonthefoil.com/2012/02/sut ... -1-5m-250k

I think it's a great deal. Perfectly structured. It's less than what he's making this year, and also gives him incentive to play as many games as he can, while also trying to get us into the playoffs. Excellent.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:37 am
First of all, please do direct comments at me, Racki ;) I have presented the dissenting opinion in this thread after all.

Tambellini seems pleased. In his interview on oilers.com he even makes a diffuse remark on "acquiring elite talent". That can't really be Sutton, can it?

He also says this team is much better than the results they are producing. That clearly isn't true. This team is not good enough for a variety of reasons, most of which appear quite clear. Lack of defensive talent is a particularly glaring one.

Tambellini goes on to say that 'we' must give ourselves a chance to win as many as we can for the rest of the season. This is a fine example of the point I was trying to make previously. Tambellini acquires low-level talent, like Sutton, who may at times thread NHL water, but cannot really swim. He proceeds to state the team's ambition, which was to compete this year (re-watch the pre-season interviews with Renney and Tambellini). The team fails. Tambellini re-signs Sutton, who has been a healthy scratch on a few occasions, makes few other moves. He does not signal any future alterations to the roster.

This is not about having a team full of Webers, nor even Gilberts, but increasing the talent level at every crossroad. We're not doing that with Sutton, we're sustaining underachievement. Sutton's not at a developmental age either.
It's fine to have players to 'bridge the gap', but they ought to be able to mount an outside challenge for these youngster's spots. It's not like we have any shoe-in defensive prospects.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:54 pm
Well we definitely agree that Sutton isn't elite talent.

I definitely also agree that this team needs a better group of defenseman. I do think though that Sutton is a quality player for the 5-7th roster spot though.

I honestly would say that I haven't really felt that Whitney is a true #1 guy. Maybe he could get by as a #2 guy, but I'll give him the same treatment as I would Hemsky... he doesn't do us a lot of good when he's not in our line up. But even when he is, I'd say he isn't at that top tier of d-men. We could probably get by with him, and I wouldn't necessarily say he's a problem.

Tom Gilbert, I'm kind of torn here. I think he's looked better this year than the last two years, and I'm starting to like him a fair bit more again. I would still consider him as a quality 2nd pairing guy more than I would as a capable top pairing guy.

Smid, he's been fantastic for us. He should remain here. His TOI numbers suggest to me that he's capable of playing high minutes and likely can handle the tough opposition. His style of D has always been the type of D I've swayed towards - the simple, get the job done types that take care of their defensive zone first and foremost. I think he'd be better served as a #2 pairing guy, but I think with the right D partner (a top caliber d-man) he could be relied on as a #1 D.

Jeff Petry... he's coming along quite nicely, but it would be scary to consider him as a top pairing D... which guess what.. he currently is for us! I think he needs more time to be eased in to a top role. I am not sure if he should be any more than a #2 pairing guy either, but I can say I've loved him since his college days.

Theo Peckham... he's had a tough year that has made it hard to imagine him as anything more than a 3rd pairing. If he could return to last year's form, then maybe he'd be another good 2nd pairing.

Corey Potter... flashes of brilliance, and flashes of WTF. This can be expected though. I think he's another guy that fits that great bottom pairing, doable 2nd pairing description.

Andy Sutton... I've already said it, but I consider him to be a good, quality bottom pairing. It's not broke... so don't fix it. Simple as that. Much like Smid (although I'm not comparing the two in all regards, obviously...), he keeps it simple most of the time and does it well. He has the added benefit though of keeping forwards honest after seeing one of their buddies in a heap on the blue line. I love that part of his game. He's no Kronwall when it comes to all around ability, but look at the mess he makes at the blue line. It keeps guys on their toes, and has the added benefit of ending certain types of forwards nights (meaning they quit on the night, not that they get hurt).

Cam Barker... not a risk to have signed him. I was glad they gave it a go, but clearly it didn't work out. He does have some good offensive weapons such as his breakout pass, but the other issues with him make him intolerable for me to watch. This is the anti-Smid and reminds me of why I've always liked the stay-at-homers. A defenseman is supposed to know how to defend!! If you figure that out, THEN you can be play as a 4th forward.

Plante/Chorney/Teubert/etc... way too young and/or inexperienced to be here. They should be busting their asses off in the AHL giving us reasons to bring them up.

Our forwards also take a lot of blame for how things are. I think our 3rd and 4th lines need a big rebuff. Belanger and Jones stay.. Eager stays as a 4th liner... the rest need to be revisited. Lander should not be in the NHL right now, sorry to single him out. One day he will be, and he'll be a quality centreman. But I don't think that time is now.

So, with that, I would say in the off-season, we RE-rebuff the 3rd/4th lines, and we move Barker for SURE while considering to move some of the other D-men. Smid for me is untouchable. Petry to me... fairly untouchable (would take something special). Potter is on a good deal and can play well enough up and down the lines, so I wouldn't move him either. Sutton does all that we can expect a bottom pairing guy to do, I would hang on to him too.

Other than that, anyone from Teubert all the way to Whitney is available, as far as I'm concerned.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:54 pm
Part 2 of my long-assed reply:

You could even consider playing Sutton as a 7th d-man if you were coaching this team.......

Currently our D has been:
Smid Petry
Whitney Potter
Sutton Gilbert

You bump botter down to line 3, and Petry down to line two and get a GOOD solid #1 guy, and our defense looks a lot better, I think. I also probably would move Whitney somewhere. This team was a lot better with Visnovsky in the lineup.. sorry but I think that is true!

That would be:
Smid #1 RHD (dreaming, but let's say Weber here.. lol)
??? Petry
Sutton/Peckham Potter


You then retool the 3rd/4th line:

Hall/Nuge/Eberle
Smyth/Gagner/Hemsky
Horcoff/Belanger/Jones
Brand new, shiney 4th liners (except for maybe Eager, since he can actually play hockey) that are defensive minded...

I think then we can rely on the top line as always to do what it does best, the 2nd line can FINALLY be a scoring line rather than our checking line.... 3rd line is a line that probably won't score much at all, but they would be our checking unit. And the 4th line? Well, they never seem to get much minutes anyways, so we can put whatever the hell we want in there, but I'd suggest some guys that are known for good zone finishes.

Alternatively, Belanger drops to line 4, Horcoff is center for line 3, and we find a quality Glencrossian LWer for that 3rd line.

Lastly, we dump the Khabaltross and pick up a real starter in his prime, such as a Josh Harding type.

Now, I just suggested at least 6 moves, which is probably asking a lot from the perennial evaluator. But that's what I'd do to fix the team.

I definitely agree too though that the strategy of increasing talent at "Every crossroad" is a wise one. My way of doing that would be making our "#1 D-man" (Whitney) our #2 at best... and our #1 prospect (in the NHL... Petry) a #2 as well. We would then look for a REAL #1 d-man to complement Smid. Sutton would stay on line 3 where I believe he already works quite well. Potter would also drop down to line 3 where I think he would be a quality 3rd pairing.

So sorry for the long rant, but I'm suggesting we move Gilbert, Whitney which frees up $8M+(?) with which we can land two quality d-men.. a first pairing and a 2nd pairing guy. We also move Khabi's huge salary for a guy that will probably do as much for a lot less. Oi, I'm rambling now so we'll leave it at that. I should have made this a blog post entitled "Why I think Tambellini lives in his own little world.."
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:55 pm
I think we have similar opinions on a lot of our current crew, particularly with Gilbert and Smid. They're not only doing a good job, but doing so in a very difficult setting, because we...cannot rely on anyone else to share the burden with them. Petry's doing admirably, but he could use less pressure. Whitney has been a shadow, though he is a solid hockey player when fit.

The rest are faltering.

1) The don't fix it if it ain't broken philosophy: It's fine with your couch or other non-performance based appliances, but it has no place in hockey. While players like Sutton or Potter are not 'broken', they should be replaced as soon as better talent becomes available - and the talent has been available. If you never fix things unless they are flat out ruined, then you lose a lot of time for gradual improvement.

I was also fine with the Barker signing. Little risk, possible high reward. It hasn't worked out, but we can move on. Potter's play is catching up to him, though he'll take advantage of our lack of options for a while and probably make a decent living in the process. That's fine. We should aim to replace him sooner rather than later, though.

2) 'Defensive defensemen' - we've been through this before - but the idea is not novel. Any player whose position is closest to our own net should naturally be able to manage that role. Nonetheless, I don't like defensemen who cannot play both ways. Knocking someone off the puck is one thing, knowing what the hell to do with it once you have possession is even more important. Players like Peckham, Sutton, Teubert, Plante and quite a few others that have passed through our ranks labelled defensive d-men have shown little ability to make wise decisions. You don't need to be flashy, nor very skilled either, to be effective. Of course, our d-men rely on forwards being in good positions to make a pass, which in the past they have been rather poor at doing, but there are other subtleties that are often overlooked.

Example: Smid has improved dramatically over the years with regards to one little detail of his game, the timing of his passes. Earlier he was very prone to pass the puck to someone before drawing in an opposition forechecker - thus allowing the forechecker to peel of his course and chase down the puck as it was received. The recipient was now often pressured by the forechecker and faced with the option to rapidly toss the puck up ice to or dump the puck back around our boards towards Smid who had to restart the process. With just a bit more poise, Smid has seemingly learned that drawing a forward onto you first allows the recipient more time to pick out the second pass of a breakout. Many of our defensemen are apparently incapable of such thinking. That goes for a lot of veterans too. Visnovsky was particularly apt at making well-timed passes, which is probably a reason why he fit with so many players - non-skilled or otherwise. They had better time to make the second pass.

So, faced with the choice between smarts (even in modestly talented players) or physicality, we ought to pursue the brains more often than not. We carry too many untalented defensemen and our forwards don't get regular feedings of pucks from our blueliners. Our offensive talent can rely on hard-arounds, possession lost to forechecking and scrambles.

Take out the Suttons, Teuberts, Plantes and either replace them with equally physical, yet smarter players, or replace them with smart players outright. Seidenberg, Martin, Hejda and others are the type of defenseman that quietly defend well, opposed to a lot of big bruisers that make a hit and lay a stinker.

(This lack of ability to manage possession runs through our entire game, really. We dump pucks too fast - instead of holding on to it or passing it back to our defensemen when possible - likely because our defensemen aren't really trusted with possession)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:14 pm
NorwegianOiler wrote:Tambellini seems pleased. In his interview on oilers.com he even makes a diffuse remark on "acquiring elite talent". That can't really be Sutton, can it?

He also says this team is much better than the results they are producing. That clearly isn't true. This team is not good enough for a variety of reasons, most of which appear quite clear. Lack of defensive talent is a particularly glaring one.

Tambellini goes on to say that 'we' must give ourselves a chance to win as many as we can for the rest of the season. This is a fine example of the point I was trying to make previously. Tambellini acquires low-level talent, like Sutton, who may at times thread NHL water, but cannot really swim. He proceeds to state the team's ambition, which was to compete this year (re-watch the pre-season interviews with Renney and Tambellini). The team fails. Tambellini re-signs Sutton, who has been a healthy scratch on a few occasions, makes few other moves. He does not signal any future alterations to the roster.


Even with the nature of Tambellini I can assure you that moves will be made at the end of the season and probably at the deadline, especially if the right deal comes along. What team finishes dead last (or pretty close) and doesn't attempt to make any moves? Sure I haven't been a fan of some of the transactions made but I don't believe that Tambellini isn't trying hard to acquire better talent. I think a lot of it has to do with the team we've had the last few seasons, what has he had to work with to trade for players or attract them to this team? It's a vicious cycle.


NorwegianOiler wrote:This is not about having a team full of Webers, nor even Gilberts, but increasing the talent level at every crossroad. We're not doing that with Sutton, we're sustaining underachievement. Sutton's not at a developmental age either.
It's fine to have players to 'bridge the gap', but they ought to be able to mount an outside challenge for these youngster's spots. It's not like we have any shoe-in defensive prospects.


I think Sutton is exactly doing that, 'bridging the gap'. Like I mentioned before what has Tambellini have to work with? When Belanger signed he said he didn't want a one year deal because he wanted to be around for what was happening in the near future, in year two and or three of his contract. I think players are starting to take notice and hopefully this will help us on the UFA front. Also the draft has helped a lot, a few years ago we had very few bright spots on the team to look forward for now look at the assets we have, we may not be winning many games yet but we are certainly getting better. ST may have not had much to work with in the beginning but now look, we have a lot more to work with.

As of now I'd feel more confident in having Sutton on the ice more so than Barker, Peckham and at some times Potter. I believe he is creating that challenge, not for the Klefboms's, Marancin's or Gernat's but for the Tuebert's, Plante's and Peckham's. He's a bottom pairing d-man, and I believe some nights he's been scratched because he hasn't played so well, and other nights so certain players get a chance to play.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:56 pm
NorOil: All due respect, but have you paid much focus to Sutton this year? I think on the surface, he seems like a bumbling giant dinosaur. But when you watch his game close, he is nowhere near that bad. I think he's been good at moving the puck up ice, even joining in on rushes.. making great passes down low. Maybe I'm just using "saw him good" a bit too much here, but I've been reasonably impressed by him. Now of course, he's going on 37, and that's not a good thing. But a 1-year deal makes me happy here because it allows us time to be patient with our younger players.

I do see what you're saying though in regards to say Theo Peckham. I admit I've been overly infatuated with his play because he contains that one other element I love in "my d-men" - a physical edge. But he definitely isn't as good a puck mover as Smid, and not as good at knowing what to do with it in more offensive situations, even if that is nowhere near Smid's forte either. So yes, I will definitely agree that this team needs more Smids and less Peckhams, with a bit of lament.. but it is true. I don't see the same player in Sutton though. Maybe it's because of a contract year (but next year is also a contract year), but I've been very surprised not just at his physical game (which I knew we were getting already), but his ability to handle the puck. So I think we'll have to agree to disagree there. Like I said.. all signs say that he should be an awkward bumbling idiot with the puck, but I don't think he is at all.

Potter I also like for somewhat similar reasons. He is more along the opposite spectrum as Sutton. He's a good offensive talent (I think he's really helped our PP), and yet his defensive game can be decent too. I think he's been over-utilized here lately though, and we're seeing that. That's why I figure he should remain in a bottom pairing. Him and Sutton would probably be good together, and Potter could get the benefit of some heavy PP minutes.

I will also caution with this concept of getting rid of those defensive/physical guys. We've seen this game before. We have gone back and forth between having slow slugs, to having puff-tart offensive-minded d-men that haven't seen our own zone, rinse/repeated, ad-nauseum. There have been times where fans have cried out that we need more puck movers... there's times where they've cried out where we need more physical, defensive players. I think we need a healthy mix, and I know you think the same.. although I think that's much easier said than done. Yes, we've been through this whole "defensive" and "offensive" d-man before. I think we both agree that having 2-way guys is the best. But it's definitely harder to come by 6 guys who are superb at both ends of the ice than it is to come by pairings of defensemen that complement each others strengths/weaknesses. I do see the light a bit more with the Plante, Peckham, Teubert types... I believe you're right on that. But I don't think Sutton fits that mould.

I see Sutton and Potter as a reliable bottom pairing that buys time for development of our rookies... Sutton with more of a focus on defense with a healthy understanding of how to handle the puck, Potter with more of an offensive focus with a healthy understanding of what to do in his own zone.

I think again that we're of a similar mindset, just have different thoughts on how to achieve that. I'd love for every d-man we have to be great at both ends of the ice, but I don't think that is likely that we'll come by 6/7 guys that fit that description.

But hey, Jason Smith... wasn't a very pretty puck mover by any stretch of imagination, but I would love to have the prime-aged version of him here again. So I am not 100% sold that the Peckham types have no use here. But when you have your Smith on the ice, it's a good idea to have a Janne Niiniimaa (I'm not sure I put enough i's and a's in there), for example, to complement him. Ideally... go for the guys that can play both ends of the ice superbly.. but if not, take a guy that does one very well, the other sufficiently, and pair him up with someone who is the reverse.. that's the way I see it. I think that's what coaches have been doing for years.

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