While throngs of sports writers wait on Zach Parise to make a decision (which will kick off decisions by Ryan Suter, Matt Carle, Bryce Salvador, Alexander Semin, Michal Rozsival, Carlo Colaiacovo, and Cam Barker - just kidding), the sports writers covering the Oilers have declared the offseason a success based on drafting Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz choosing Edmonton.
The Oilers still have a glaring need on defense and in goal and need another legit forward if they want to be competitive. But if none of that happens, how will the Oilers look heading into the season?
Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Jones - Shawn Horcoff - Nail Yakupov
Ben Eager - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell
Press Box: Darcy Hordichuk, ???????
Now you understand why the Oilers need another legit forward. Ryan Jones should be on the fourth line and Ben Eager should be in the press box.
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Ryan Whitney - Nick Schultz
Andy Sutton - Justin Schultz
Press Box: Theo Peckham, Corey Potter
And now you understand why the Oilers need help on defense. While Jeff Petry is a personal favorite and I was convinced he could make this jump forward, I am not confident he's ready for a year of toughs in the West. Ryan Whitney remains mobility-challenged and couldn't beat third-pairing minutes last year, so unless he's had a tremendous recovery, counting on him for seconds is folly. Justin Schultz hasn't played an NHL game, so projecting him in the top six is another best-case scenario, but the two guys behind him aren't better options at this point. Without help, this team is doing what they've done since the rebuild began in 2007: placing players in situations beyond their established capabilities and hoping for the best.
This is an unbridled mess. S.O.S. The team is one groin or knee injury away from The Maginot Line leading them to 30th place. Again.
Team needs: A forward, two defensemen and a goalie.
In other news:
- Multiple sources, including Philly beat writers have reported that the Flyers have the two richest cash offers for Parise and Suter. As we talked about on Twitter last night, if Parise and Suter should accept, the Flyers could put Pronger on LTIR, trade Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros for no roster players, send Jody Shelley to the AHL and still be $800,000 over the cap after re-signing Jakub Voracek.
- I talked about this on Twitter, but Jay Bouwmeester is probably going to be traded shortly. I gave four teams I thought made the most sense, but I'm narrowing that field down to one - Dallas. Dallas beat reporter Mike Heika hinted at the same on Twitter.
- Twitter insiders struck out at the draft and have now struck out completely in free agency. Yet there are still donkeys out there re-tweeting them and not in an ironic way.
- Zach Parise wants $9 million per year. Alex Semin wants $6.5 million per year. I know which one I'd sign.