Saturday, May 15, 2010

May edition of Opening Day lineup 2010-2011

- Drafting Talyor Hall.
- Signing Matt Cullen as a UFA.
- Trading Sheldon Souray to NYR for Michal Roszival.
- Trade Andrew Cogliano for draft pick(s).
- Resign Fernando Pisani and Aaron Johnson.
- Sign RFAs Sam Gagner, Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, Devan Dubnyk, and Marc Pouliot.
- Sign draft picks Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Taylor Hall.
- Signing John Scott as a UFA.
- Buyout Patrick O'Sullivan, Robert Nilsson, and Ethan Moreau if they cannot be traded for pick(s) or prospect(s).
Hall Cullen Hemsky
Penner Gagner Eberle
MPS Horcoff Pisani
Jones Brule Stortini
Potulny Pouliot

Whitney Gilbert
Smid Roszival
Peckham Johnson


I think this is about as realistic as this team can look going into next year. While its not proven, it has some kids on the upswing, to go with a checking line anchored by Horcoff and Pisani and a shutdown pair of Whitney and Gilbert. The key is to have the 2 top lines battle for 1st line supremacy, nothing wrong with healthy competition. The kids will have their ups and downs, just hopefully more ups then downs. Brule on the 4th line is merely for depth in case top 6 injuries inevitably happen, but he brings enough sandpaper to play on the 4th line, it would be wise to have him dabble in the PK during training camp. If MPS or Eberle have a dreadful TC than by all means send them to OKC, but right now I'm pencilling them in, as I see nothing that says they won't make the team.

Looking at the D, while Whitney was a hard sell for me initially, I'm sold. Whitney and Gilbert have the makings of a real solid pairing, something potentially rivaling Keith and Seabrook out of Chicago. The key is trying to figure out what the #4 Dman will be. I've heard more often than not the media slamdunking the thought it should be a defensive Dman. I say, hold on. I think he should be a Visnovsky type, reasons being other than Whitney and Gilbert they don't have any other Dman that can piss a drop offensively, and if Whitney and Gilbert are playing big minutes which I expect, I'd rather have them play on the defensive side of the puck than river boat gambling. Players that come mind are John-Michael Liles out of Colorado or even Lubo Visnovsky himself, I'd even settle for Michal Roszival if absolute need be. Peckham and Johnson are passable as the 5/6 Dmen, you get see if they have a shutdown side to them, if not, its really nothing ventured, nothing gained, as there are more Dmen coming through the pipeline that will get a shot. But its their time to step up and show what they have and what they can bring. John Scott will bring nuclear toughness at forward and play some D in a pinch.

Khabibulin is likely to be the starter unless something drastic happens where he cannot fulfill his contractual obligation. I'm fine with that, he's here, we may as well hope for the best. I'd bring in a 4th G to battle with Dubnyk and Deslauriers, a Dany Sabourin, Curtis Sanford type, therefore when it comes to sending down goaltenders in TC, you send 2 down, hope at least one makes it through, so OKC can function as a normal AHL team. All goalies will have to end up clearing waivers. The Oilers kind of made their bed with this by going so long between drafting goaltenders, Bryon Pitton hasn't shown anything that he is even an AHL goaltender at this point.

Those are my thoughts as of May 15 2010.

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