Strong Possibility the Oilers Lineup for 2010/2011 Has Little Changes...

When you consider that the Edmonton Oilers have at least three extremely hot prospects possibly attending this upcoming seasons training camp, its no wonder fans and media are all talking exciting changes.

The bad news if you're one of the those fans, is that you may have to hold your breath or wait a little bit longer for those sweeping changes to occur.There is a possibility, a better than slight one at that, that the Oilers are and will be dressing a very similar line-up this coming season to the one that placed 30th less than a few months ago.

Knowing what we know about the new and future Oiler faces coming, why would I say that?

One would never think that with the first overall draft pick that the Oilers would choose not to insert that player into the lineup. We are hearing some rumblings that this may be exactly what happens.

With the Oilers new rebuild philosophy that no prospect, no matter how itchy management is to put them in the NHL, will be rushed before they are 100% ready for the role of a big league professional, the first overall draft pick may not play immediately.

The big asteriks here of course, is that the Oilers are looking at Tyler Seguin at #1. While nothing official has been said to indicate as such, some in the know like Robin Brownlee of Oilers Nation, Dan Tencer of 630 CHED and Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal media have now come out and all agreed on a hunch that the Oilers like Seguin based on interviews they've conducted with chief Oilers scout Stu McGregor and may be leaning towards drafting him.

The problem (if you call it a problem because your hoping the Oilers take Hall) is that Seguin is touted as a better prospect than Taylor Hall, not a better player. That alone suggests he's still a work in progess and may not be ready for the jump to the NHL like most Oiler fans are hoping. If the Oilers are committed to the new philosophy and Seguin isn't quite there yet, he might not be playing at Rexall Place on opening night.

Marc Spector of Sportsnet fame, went so far as to publicly bet that Seguin would go back to junior after the Oilers select him (which he too thinks they will), which of course drew some laughter from many Oiler fans.

Oiler fans might not be laughing if Spector is correct.

Take two that the Oilers are seriously considering giving more time to popular prospect Jordan Eberle in the AHL to see him dominate among better pros and the only real shining hope left is Magnus Svenson, who at this point hasn't even signed with Edmonton and could stay in Sweden one more year.

The word is that MPS does plan to leave Sweden for North America sooner than later, but that's no guarantee that he cracks the Oilers line-up starting in October. He's a great offensive talent, has size and speed and surprised many at the IIHF by leading Sweden in scoring after being a last minute addition, but some are finding weakness in his defensive game and he's still extremely young in terms of age.

Could it be, that the Oilers who could have MPS, Eberle and Seguin as their top tier prospects in less than a month, will not place any of them in Oiler uniforms to start the 2010 season? Sadly...yes.

If that's correct, there are a few things that have to happen for me not to be like many fans and who are bound to be completely upset.

1) If you're going to draft Seguin instead of Hall (which I have no problem with by the way), there better be some serious return from the Bruins. Everyone knows Boston wants Taylor Hall. Not using that leverage in terms of a trade to squeeze something from the Bruins is enough that I would immediately expect Tambellini to lose his job. There's no way that Boston tries to call Edmonton's bluff and doesn't give something to the Oilers for them to stay away from their guy.

2) Here's to hoping that if they don't in fact draft Taylor Hall (who is ready for the NHL), that the team stays healthy or we can say goodbye to Ales Hemsky. It's just recently that word is coming out that Hemsky likes the idea of a rebuild. I'm guessing however, he assumes immediate change. With limited time left on his current deal, change can't wait forever if the Oilers expect Hemmer to stick around

3) The Oilers need to make other non-prospect related changes. Those could include trading Souray and Moreau or buying out Nilsson or O'Sullivan, because if they don't; it will be an extremely long season for everyone.


Not a Chance the Oilers will leave all 3 prospects off the ice. they HAVE to have at least 1 of them there in October! otherwise fans will not show up to games. yeah yeah yeah the Oilers still had lots of tickets sold last year but there were lots of seats empty. If you want the Fans to stick around in Edmonton, you have to give them something this year!

I'm not sold on Seguin. I mean he could be better then Hall, but Hall has proved he has what it takes to be in the NHL, back to back memorial cup MVP's, 2 great jr seasons under his belt, AND he made team Canadas world jr squad. The Oilers need a guy who will be rearing to go in 2 years putting up big numbers, Seguin might just be getting out of JR then.

May 27, 2010 at 4:53 PM comment-delete

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