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The Rebuild Part 3: Building a Championship Team

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:40 pm
The Rebuild Part Three: Building a Championship Team



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“The Big Three” (Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins) are more than likely soon to become, “The Big Four”, with the addition of Nail Yakupov after this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Following the “Draft model “, we can see the importance of drafting a strong core in teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks below, however building a competitive team takes more than drafting. The Edmonton Oilers shouldn’t be competing for a lottery pick next season, with the help of some sly transactions by management they could potentially be scratching at playoff contention.

Below are the Stanley Cup Winning depth charts of the teams which rebuilt through the draft. A bolded player is a player that the organization has drafted- along with the draft position, followed by the year. As we can see teams have made multiple transactions, either via trade or free agency to sculpt their teams into contenders. If the Oilers follow a model similar to this we should see some movement this summer adding a few more key pieces to the rebuild turning our team into a competitive force. The Oilers now have valuable pieces that may can be moved, without the expense of losing our core and hopefully the organization can start selling the future of this team to bigger name players in free agency.

Building a Champion



PITSBURGH PENGUINS 2009 Stanley Cup Final Game: Depth Chart/Roster
From: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showt ... p?t=650290

Chris Kunitz (Tr, 09) - Sidney Crosby (#1, 05) - Bill Guerin (Tr, 09)
Ruslan Fedotenko (UFA, 08) - Evgeni Malkin (#2, 04) - Max Talbot (#234, 02)
Matt Cooke (UFA, 08) - Jordan Staal (#2, 06) - Tyler Kennedy (#04, 99)
Pascal Dupuis (Tr, 08) - Craig Adams (Wav, 09) - Miroslav Satan (UFA, 08)

Brooks Orpik (#18, 00) - Sergei Gonchar (UFA, 05)
Mark Eaton (UFA, 06) - Kris Letang (#62, 05)
Hal Gill (Tr, 08) - Rob Scuderi (#134, 98)

Marc-Andre Fleury (#1, 03)
Mathieu Garon (Tr, 09)


Head Coach: Dan Bylsma 2009-Present
Drafted by Organization: 9
Transactions (Trades/Signings): 11

Adams (3/04/2009): Claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Guerin (3/04/2009): NY Islanders traded Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2009 conditional draft selection.
Kunitz (2/26/2009): Pittsburgh Penguins traded Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.
Garon (1/17/2009): Pittsburgh Penguins traded Ryan Stone, Dany Sabourin and a 2011 fourth-round draft pick to the Edmonton Oilers for Mathieu Garon.

Cooke (7/05/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Satan (7/03/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fedotenko (7/03/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Dupuis (2/26/2008): Atlanta Thrashers traded Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 1st-round selection in 2008.
Gill (2/26/2008): Toronto Maple Leafs traded Hal Gill to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2nd round selection in 2008 and a 5th round selection in 2009.

Eaton (7/03/2006): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gonchar (08/03/2005): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins.




CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game: Depth Chart/Roster
From: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showt ... p?t=784561

Byfuglien(#245, 03)- Toews (#3, 06) - Kane (#1, 07)
Brouwer (#214, 04)
– Sharp (Tr, 05) - Hossa (UFA, 09)
Kopecky (UFA, 09) - Bolland (#32, 04) - Versteeg (Tr, 07)
Ladd (Tr, 08) - Madden (UFA, 09) - Eager (Tr, 07)

Keith (#54, 02) – Seabrook (#14, 03)
Hjalmarsson (#108, 05)
- Campbell (UFA, 08)
Sopel (UFA, 07) - Hendry (UFA, 06)

Niemi (UFA, 08)
Huet (UFA, 08)


Head Coach: Joel Quenneville 2008-Present
Drafted by Organization: 8
Transactions (Trades/Signings): 12

Kopecky (7/01/2009); Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks
Hosa: (7/01/2009): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Madden (7/01/2009): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Campbell (7/01/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Huet (7/01/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Niemi (5/05/2008): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Ladd (2/26/2008): Chicago Blackhawks traded Tuomo Ruutu to the Carolina Hurricanes for Andrew Ladd.

Eager (12/18/2007): Chicago Blackhawks traded Jim Vandermeer to the Philadelphia Flyers for Ben Eager.
Sopel (10/03/2007): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Versteeg (2/03/2007): Boston Bruins traded Kris Versteeg and a conditional draft selection to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Bochenski.

Hendry (7/17/06): Signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sharp (12/05/2005): Philadelphia Flyers traded Patrick Sharp and Eric Meloche to the Chicago Blackhawks for Matt Ellison and a 3rd round selection in 2006




EDMONTON OILERS 2012 29TH PLACE OFFSEASON: Roster/Depth Chart

Hall (#1, 10) - Nugent-Hopkins (#1, 11) – Eberle (#22, 08)
LW??? - Gagner (#6, 07) – Yakupov* (#1, 12)
Smyth* (Tr, 11) – Horcoff (#99, 98) – Hemsky (#13, 01)
Eager (UFA, 11) - Belanger (UFA, 11) - Jones (WA, 10)

Smid (Tr, 06) – Petry (#45, 06)
Whitney (Tr, 10) - Schultz (Tr, 12)
Sutton (Tr, 11) - #3D?

Devan Dubnyk* (#14, 04)
Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA, 09)


Head Coach: Tom Renney 2010-???? (Status with organization Unknown)
Drafted by Organization: 9
Transactions (Trades/Signings): 9
Players* - Likely signings

Schultz (2/27/2012): Minnesota Wild traded Nick Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers for Tom Gilbert.

Sutton (7/01/2011): Anaheim Ducks traded Andy Sutton to the Edmonton Oilers for Kurtis Foster.
Belanger (7/01/2011): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Edmonton Oilers.
Eager (7/01/2011): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Edmonton Oilers.
Smyth (6/26/2011): Los Angeles Kings traded Ryan Smyth to the Edmonton Oilers for Colin Fraser and a 7th round selection in 2012.

Whitney (3/03/2010): Anaheim Ducks traded Ryan Whitney + 2010 6th round pick to the Edmonton Oilers for Lubomir Visnovsky.
Jones (3/03/2010): Claimed by the Edmonton Oilers off waivers from the Nashville Predators.

Khabibulin (7/01/2009): Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Edmonton Oilers.

Smid (7/03/2006): Edmonton Oilers traded Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Ducks for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, a 1st round selection in 2007, a conditional 1st (Eberle) round selection and a 2nd round selection in 2008.


Tambellini the Architect - Team Mold



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Hopefully this is the final lottery pick (due to a low place finish by the Oilers) that the organization has for quite some time. This should be an offseason where Tambellini finally aims to make some big transactions happen as opposed to assessment and waiting to make “the right move”. As we’ve seen above both GM’s of the Penguins and Blackhawks address needs of the team, and notably in the year of contention they address their top six. There is no doubt we need to look at our blue line but I think we also need to look at our first two lines.


Getting Bigger/Adding Sandpaper Up Front:
“One, they’re probably going to beat you by eight goals and two, they’re going to kick that crap out of you too if you want to challenge them that way. “ - Steve Tambellini (Referencing the Oilers dynasty days)

With the possible addition of Nail Yakupov this off season, the Oilers are quickly developing an embarrassment of riches when it comes to offensive potential. Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov all have an offensive flair but is that enough? I think the initial round of the playoffs this year is a prime example of that you do not only need offensive power to win games but some grit to back it up with. The current group of Oilers may not beat you by eight goals but they have the potential to become a strong scoring threat in the NHL. The addition of a physical top six player would go a long way for this group. Now these players don’t necessarily have to be fighters but they should know how to throw their weight around effectively and act as a physical deterrent if called for.

Where do you get them from? That’s a good question. Acquiring a Lucic, Perry, Backes, Landeskog, would more than likely cost the Oilers an arm and a leg. The calibre of the types of players listed above, more likely than not they’ve been developed through their respective organizations. If the Oilers want to add some physical grit I believe they are going to have to buy low and run with it. The most recent example I can think of is the Steve Downie trade.

Steve Downie (2/21/2012): In a three-team trade, Colorado Avalanche acquired Steve Downie from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Kyle Quincey; then the Detroit Red Wings acquired Kyle Quincey from Tampa Bay for Sebastien Piche and a first-round draft pick in 2012.

Two other examples, which may arguably come at a steeper price, would be:

Troy Brouwer (6/24/2011): Chicago Blackhawks traded Troy Brouwer to the Washington Capitals for a 1st round selection in 2011.

Scott Hartnell (6/18/2007): Hartnell along with Kimmo Timonen were traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a first-round pick (07, #22, Jonathon Blum) previously acquired from Nashville for Peter Forsberg.

It is possible to acquire this type of player without giving up too much. It may be a little bit of a gamble but it’s one that could potentially pay off in spades.

What's the plan this off-season?

Roster Acquisitions:
    1.Draft: Yakupov (There is little doubt that this kid isn’t ready for the show)
    2.Free Agency: Try to sign a UFA Defenseman and or be in the hunt for Justin Schultz
    If Possible lure bigger names to the team. It’s getting to the point where the roster should hopefully be becoming an incentive for other players to sign or join the organization, if they want to win.
    3.Trade to fill remaining holes in the team (#1 D-man, #2 Center?, Acquire another LW/G?)


Leadership – Giving Hall an “A”

"I definitely think we have a good, young core here and we're definitely exciting and we definitely have a lot of potential, but I think we were sitting here last year saying the exact same thing,"

"At some point, it's got to turn into something. It can't all be hope and promise because eventually the fans are going to stop hoping, they're going to stop wanting and they're going to stop coming.

"I think next year has to be a playoff year. We have to be a contending team, at least, a team that teams are afraid to play because of our skill level, the way we compete and the way we play defence. It is fun to be in that young nucleus of really good players, but we have to do something with it eventually."
– Taylor Hall (End of Season interview via TSN)


Jason Gregor wrote an excellent peace on Team Captaincy over at Oilersnation. Instead of regurgitating his work take a minute and check it out. http://oilersnation.com/2012/4/10/time-for-a-change

“I think handing them an "A" would make much more sense.

People forget that Sidney Crosby was an alternate captain for a year and a half before he was name Captain. Players feel a great sense of pride and responsibility when they get any type of letter, but there isn't as much pressure when you are an alternate instead of the captain.”
– Jason Gregor (Oilersnation)

With the veterans slowly moving down the depth chart I think this is soon to be Hall’s team for the taking. It will only be a matter of time before we see Hall dawn a letter on his jersey.

Coaching
Tom Renney has received a lot of flak this year from media and fans alike. On his defence, I think he was dealt a tough hand, starting the season with a questionable defensive group and goaltending tandem. At the same time however he’s had a dynamic young core with some of the best young players in the game, you’d think finishing hire than second last was definite possibility.

Renney has “sheltered” the kids and given them an opportunity to thrive and there’s been some excellent advancement in the special teams however finishing as low as this team did, it’s a hard pill for management to swallow. With his future still in question, as each day passes, it seems less likely he’ll be behind the bench next year.

I think Renney has done a great job brining the young players into the league, as he did with the New York Rangers but personally I think this team needs a coach who is less “passive” and will motivate the players and drive them to bring out the best they have in them every game.




Wrap-up
So what do you guys think? There's a lot to talk about here, roster transactions/trades, the draft, coaching, leadership etc. Please discuss! I would have had this thread posted sooner but I've had three intense finals the past couple of days here and still two more to go. I was going to do a draft mini-series but with us drafting #1 Overall it kind of seems redundant now.

Here are the links to the other parts of the series.
The Rebuild Part 1: Introduction
The Rebuild Part 2: Trade Deadline

All trades and transactions are from:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:40 pm
Good read. Nice work Zack. Something that ties in with this is how we proceed with some of our prospects. Here is an article. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/O ... story.html
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:46 pm
May as well bump this. Especially since FA starts tomorrow and the Oilers have already added to huge parts to the teams.

PP units could look something like:

------------|-----|----------
------------Horcoff----Hall---
----------------------------RNH--
----Eberle---------------------
---------------J.Schultz------


---------------|-----|-------
---Gagner----Smyth*-------
-Hemsky-------------------------
-------------------------Yakupov
-------------Whitney--------

Both units have good net presence, point, cross seam, and side of net options, as well as the main playmaker being able to shoot.

I'd also hope for the forwards to look something like this:

Hall - RNH - Eberle
Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov
Smyth* - Horcoff - Jones
Eager - Belanger - Petrell/'enforcer'

with the D like this:

Smid - Petry
Whitney - J. Schultz
N. Schultz - Potter/Sutton/Peckham

Dubnyk
Khabi


*Hartikainen if Smyth doesn't re-sign.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:00 pm
I'll just point out one small thing... we spend several years trying to find a LWer to play with Hemsky because at even strength, that is highly what he prefers. I know people often say "well Hemsky can play LW because..."... well, I'm not so optimistic on that because again, we spent several years trying to find a LWer to play with him. Hell, we even forced Erik Cole to play RW instead of his natural LW, because Hemsky prefers the RW so much. Sooooo.. hopefully Yakupov is OK on the left side. He said he'd have no problem with it, but he also said he would play goal if needed.. :P
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:09 pm
Racki wrote:I'll just point out one small thing... we spend several years trying to find a LWer to play with Hemsky because at even strength, that is highly what he prefers. I know people often say "well Hemsky can play LW because..."... well, I'm not so optimistic on that because again, we spent several years trying to find a LWer to play with him. Hell, we even forced Erik Cole to play RW instead of his natural LW, because Hemsky prefers the RW so much. Sooooo.. hopefully Yakupov is OK on the left side. He said he'd have no problem with it, but he also said he would play goal if needed.. :P

Agreed. Hemsky, although he tried last year, really does not excel at changing his game to me. I would guess that left winger is a guy like Pajaarvi or Lander put there to see how they do. You never know what Krueger will do with what he sees as a better fit.

Also, the Macblender will have lots of advice I am sure. :|
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:30 am
Racki wrote:I'll just point out one small thing... we spend several years trying to find a LWer to play with Hemsky because at even strength, that is highly what he prefers. I know people often say "well Hemsky can play LW because..."... well, I'm not so optimistic on that because again, we spent several years trying to find a LWer to play with him. Hell, we even forced Erik Cole to play RW instead of his natural LW, because Hemsky prefers the RW so much. Sooooo.. hopefully Yakupov is OK on the left side. He said he'd have no problem with it, but he also said he would play goal if needed.. :P


He played LW at the Worlds this year, 5 Goals 3 Assists. He's not the teams go to guy now like he was when Cole was signed either.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:33 am
Thanks guys for posting in this thread, it's much appreciated! I usually spend about two to three hours on these threads so it's nice to see posts here, thanks!

I can check a few things off ST's off season list.

Draft Yakupov. Check.
New Coach. Check.
Sign J. Schultz. Check.
Sign Ryan Smyth. Check (2yr deal just north of 2 million, quality signing). :D
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:01 am
That is all stellar. Now Rishaug is talking about moving Hemsky, which I think is also critical to our success. Yah yah, Steve-O, and others.. he is a vet who CAN contribute. But he didn't.. at all.. last year. I think he'll pull out of his funk, but we're going to need to move him within the next couple years sometime anyways, as he is now a 3rd liner, or will be one eventually, making big Horcoffian salary. The Oilers re-signed him to protect an asset. If we keep him, great.. but if we move him.. even better. It opens the door for Yakupov at RW. We'll manage without Hemsky's 36 pts somehow (or average of 33 over last 3 years).
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:08 am
Racki wrote:That is all stellar. Now Rishaug is talking about moving Hemsky, which I think is also critical to our success. Yah yah, Steve-O, and others.. he is a vet who CAN contribute. But he didn't.. at all.. last year. I think he'll pull out of his funk, but we're going to need to move him within the next couple years sometime anyways, as he is now a 3rd liner, or will be one eventually, making big Horcoffian salary. The Oilers re-signed him to protect an asset. If we keep him, great.. but if we move him.. even better. It opens the door for Yakupov at RW. We'll manage without Hemsky's 36 pts somehow (or average of 33 over last 3 years).

Hemsky for Methot. Starting the rumour here! 8-)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:21 am
I'm not sure we'll se Hemsky moved unless we get another legitimate 2nd line left winger. With Krueger talking to Smyth about playing a more bottom six game I'd think we still have hole for the top six. Hemsky played LW at the worlds and he had a pretty strong tournament so I think it's possible seeing our top six being something like...

Hall - RNH - Eberle
Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov

I would like to see us add some size with the open LW spot though, like mentioned in my original post. Bringing in a Brouwer, Hartnell, Downie type player I think would go a long way for our top six.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:24 am
Zack wrote:I'm not sure we'll se Hemsky moved unless we get another legitimate 2nd line left winger. With Krueger talking to Smyth about playing a more bottom six game I'd think we still have hole for the top six. Hemsky played LW at the worlds and he had a pretty strong tournament so I think it's possible seeing our top six being something like...

Hall - RNH - Eberle
Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov

I would like to see us add some size with the open LW spot though, like mentioned in my original post. Bringing in a Brouwer, Hartnell, Downie type player I think would go a long way for our top six.

Gotta make room for Hartikainen. Agreed on that type. Burrish would be a guy who would fit that in the UFA pool. Hemsky could really be magical though with all the options we have now, but we need toughness too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:26 pm
To me the top three lines go

Hart - RNH - Ebs
Hall - Gags - Yak
Smyth - Horc - Hemmer
Hordichuk/Eager - Belanger - Jones

This would appear to give the Oilers the best balance. Hartikainen gives some size and grit to the top line. The rest is fairly self explanatory. Obviously the Swedes start in the A, and get first call up along with VV.
If Hemsky gets moved, and he likely does, room is opened up to either move up Jones or promote Pääjärvi to play third line.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:34 pm
Bob? Is that you?

Bob Stauffer tweeted those exact lines earlier.

And actually, I do agree.. I think those lines are our best bet. I'm not sure Hartikainen is ready for prime time just yet though, but would eventually work really well in that spot I think.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:26 pm
Yes, I read his tweet and agree 100 percent. Even if I can't stand the prick. I also didn't include Petrell, but something has to shake loose via trade sooner or later. I look back at the worlds this year, one of the things Sutter felt was that RNH needed size on the wing. I agree, therefore Hartikainen. I felt last year the best third line would have been Horc centering Smyth and Hemsky. Line two should work in theory, but Hall and Yak are very similar players, therefore it could be a thing of beauty or a potential disaster (though I doubt it). if Krueger can work some magic and fix the black hole that is Belanger, this team could have three scoring lines capable of putting up numbers.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:28 pm
I think he can turn Belanger around. On the note of Belanger, actually, I get a little annoyed that people are chasing him off already. I know there were rumors about him wanting out, earlier, but I don't think it was anything solid at all. It was one of those "I heard from some guy I know" things. He may not have wanted out before, but if we keep making stuff up and running him out of town, he sure will.

I personally think that he'll turn things around. He's had success elsewhere. If you forget about his inability to score goals, at least he's a good help on the dot and PK. But I think this situation reminds me a lot of Peca. He looked uninspirable at times in the regular season here. But when playoff time came.. man.. look out. And before you knew it, we were all crying about him leaving, and trying to figure out how he could be replaced. You don't always have to score a lot of goals to make a difference on a team. So I think we should give Belanger another shot here to redeem himself.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:36 pm
Yes, Colin Fraser appeared to be a simple throw in to acquiring Ryan Smyth. Excellent piece to the Stanley cup puzzle for LA.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:02 pm
dawgtoy wrote:Yes, Colin Fraser appeared to be a simple throw in to acquiring Ryan Smyth. Excellent piece to the Stanley cup puzzle for LA.

Or Stoll and Reasoner too. (guys who were chased out that we lamented about trading later in). I am fine with Belanger.
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