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Mailbag: PK Subban Is A Bad Person and OEL Is A Wimp

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Zona,

why are you so obsessed with trading Eberle? He's a stud and is going to be a sure 40 goal sorer when Kruger gives him the minutes Renney didn't. and you want to trade a guy who will score like 400 goals for a piece of crap Subban or that soft pussy OEL? Klefbom is better than OEL and no one wants Subban in the locker room with our kids. He's a bad influence and terrible person and doesn't deserve to play with us. He's the type of person that breaks up teams. Let Montreal have that shithead. All you do is wait. The system is loaded with d who will all be better than Subban in a few. Keep your shitty trade fantasies to yourself and your buttbuddy ALan.

--An email from "Travis"

Allow me to retort.

  • I'm not obsessed with trading Eberle, it's just that of Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, Eberle has the greatest chance of falling the farthest and has a trade value that's off the charts right now.
  • For Eberle to be a "sure" 40 goal scorer, he's going to have to have remarkable increases in his shot totals, while holding onto, or just slipping a bit with, his shooting percentage.
  • Oscar Klefbom is getting 3rd pairing minutes in the SEL, while Larsson carried a defense with both Adrian Aucoin and Derek Morris on it to the conference finals. That's like carrying a team with Nikolai Khabibulin and Jeff Deslauriers in goal to the conference finals. There are only two defensemen I'd rather have on my team right now (at their current contract and age): Drew Doughty and Victor Hedman.
  • "our kids"? That's creepy, very creepy. Don't say that in mixed company.
  • Aside from a training camp skirmish, Subban's record is spotless. There is no evidence whatsoever that he's a bad teammate.
  • Subban is already in Shea Weber territory, but no one knows it. Subban has an advantage -- he's four years younger than Weber. Oilers fans were willing to give Weber all of the money in the world, they should be willing to do so for Subban too. To give you an idea of how good he is, he's turned both Hal Gill and Josh Gorges into possession killers over the last two seasons.
  • The Oilers have one area of strength: young forwards. They have a huge deficiency: defensemen. Swapping a forward like Eberle, who is set to regress, for a guy who might be the next great defensive gamebreaker, is a no-brainer.
  • I've mentioned Pietrangelo and Carlson as well. Why aren't you as upset about those two?
  • I've polled everyone I know who is remotely related to Montreal hockey and none of them understand why Subban would be deemed a bad person. He's a consummate teammate, and he's got more ability than any Oilers defenseman since Tom Gilbert. His results drive possession like no Oilers defenseman since...Chris Pronger.
  • Subban will break up a team? There's no way that Subban's team-breaking skills compare to Kevin Lowe or Steve Tambellini.
  • As to the system, I'd be willing to bet you, Travis, that given any kind of publicly-accepted, and mutually agreed-upon criteria, none of the Oilers D, outside of Petry, outproduce Subban over a 5-year span of their respective careers.
  • Trading Eberle for a #1 defender is a no-brainer. The Oilers desperately need help on the back and Subban, OEL, Pietrangelo and Carlson provide that at an extremely high level. If the Oilers landed either OEL or Subban, they immediately become the best blueliner the franchise has had since Pronger and they're both very young, meaning the Oilers get control of them for their best years.