Quinn Is the Guy That Will Teach The New Young Oilers

After another loss, the Oilers are becoming a multitude of emotions. Frustrated, angry, embarrassed, depressed, lost, hopeless... you name it. In fact, in his latest media scrums, it's not hard to tell that Pat Quinn shares these feelings, with one big difference.

While it's understandable that players are not sure where to turn, at all times, the coach must have a response. This is especially true for a young Oilers franchise that looks to get only younger moving forward through a massive rebuild.

Pat Quinn has a way of bringing attention to underachievement, but at the same time leaving clear indication that he's not given up hope. A team that's bound to make a number of mistakes as they mature needs this kind of leadership.

Take Dusin Penner for example. As can be backed up by the numbers, Penner's play has dropped off in the last 15 games. On fire at the start of the year, his statistics had people talking about Olympic consideration. Recently, he's been unlucky, non-physical, and lacking the same emotion that fans witnessed and demonstrated earlier and saw that when he wanted to, he could change a game.

Pat Quinn brought it up. However, unlike MacTavish in the past, it was approached in a way that left an opening for Dustin Penner to look at himself and say he could do better. When he did, Pat Quinn immediately followed it up by letting Penner know it was understood a number of factors could have contributed to the drop-off and that the Oilers were still behind him.

This approach and others like it that Pat Quinn has taken, while constantly holding nothing back and being open and honest with everyone about the teams play is the attitude a team like the Oilers will need in the next two to three years and likely a reason he's succeeded in coaching at the junior level.

With the rumors that Edmonton may be moving much of its verteran presence and leadership on the ice, more leadership will be required behind the bench to make up for it. If Souray and Moreau leave, but only faces like Eberle, Svennson, perhaps Taylor Hall and others are left to provide the spark, Quinn will need to be the voice that shows these rookies the ropes.

It seems as though, while no one in the Oilers franchise wanted to rebuild, they have the right bench boss moving forward during a rebuilding time. Let's hope we can say the same about management.


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If It's Action Oiler Fans Want, TSN Expect Oilers Fans to Get It

It's only a matter of time before players start making their way out of Edmonton to other teams. If Darren Dreger of TSN is correct, Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray and Lubomir Visnovsky are the most likely of options.

The reality is, even with a healthy roster, the Oilers won't be a contending team for at least two more years.

At that time, Ethan Moreau's contract would have expired, Sheldon Souray's would have too (or if the Oilers are better than they showed this season by 2011, will be on the last year of his deal), and only Visnovsky would be an Oiler long enough to really grow with whatever new nucleus is a part of this Oilers roster.

As such, all are expendable when you consider the bigger picture that exists in two to three years time. Add Steve Staios, Fernando Pisani, Patrick O'Sullivan and Mike Comrie to that list and you could see a lot of action before the deadline in March.

Then you examine the few players making some strides in different areas, but reaching RFA status at the end of this year; and you realize, the Oilers will also have to try and get Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Potulny, Denis Grebeshkov and Gilbert Brule re-signed at fair dollar value.

Edmonton won't likely keep all of them as they are of similar size and skill set, but these names are forwards I see Edmonton feeling have a place on this team down the road. They've showed effort even in the face of defeat and bring elements to this roster that the Oilers would like to use a defining image in the years to come. Only Grebeshkov to me is a question mark, but the Oilers for some reason, have grown an attachment to him.

If TSN's Darren Dreger is right, Edmonton will be in full rebuild mode and a much different team in the next one to two years.

Should they successfully clear out as much salary as TSN expects them to, which is over $12 million in cap space, they'll have plenty of room to add the RFA contracts they consider important, replace the ones that hold out with prospects in the system, and add a few key elements they've been missing through free agency at bargain prices.

It's the idea of the combination of moves that could happen that are finally bringing some excitement to Edmonton in the face of such a horrible losing skid.

Who will be the next to go? What will they bring back in return? What will prospects like Eberle, Svennson and whomever the Oilers draft do with current players ike Hemsky and Penner?

Whether these moves all happen or not, (they likely all won't), Oiler fans don't need much to perk their excitement for hockey. It's what makes Edmonton fans so unique. Win or lose, they love the Oilers. They simply want action. If Moreau, Souray, and Visnovsky all go, action is definitely what Oilers fans will receive.


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Is All the Souray Talk Actually Leading to Something?

The National Post is now reporting that Sheldon Souray has added to his public statements that should the Oilers need or want to move the defenceman, that he wouldn't stand in the way. Souray has followed up by supplying the Edmonton Oilers with a list of teams he'd be willing to join before his no trade clause expires.

So we know Souray wouldn't stop the Oilers from making forward progress. We also now know he's got a list of prefered teams in the event the Oilers start receiving offers or are making calls. I guess the question is, are the Oilers in that situation right now?

Well at a league worst 30th, and getting closer and closer to outright walking their way into the #1 lottery spot at this years draft, Edmonton needs to move it's high priced tickets in order to successfully rebuild. Sheldon Souray of the many big money players the Oilers have, is one of the few that would generate a return big enough to making moving a piece you'd like to keep worth it.

The Oilers don't want Sheldon to leave. Souray doesn't want to leave the Oilers. Both however, realize that there may be little option when it comes to getting value back during a time that re-stocking for the future is the only option.

No news has come out regarding which teams Souray has listed, but we do know that the L.A. Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are two of them.

So what can the Oilers get in return? The answer will likely depend on two factors. If the Oilers can move Souray for pieces they see helping this team in areas they sorely lack and if those teams who hold those pieces have any interest in Kovalchuk.

Should their be a three team move, a strategy not new to Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, the Oilers may be able to sneak an extra piece or two from a team that either needs to move cap space like Chicago or is so keen on the idea of adding Kovalchuk that they let slip what could be the silent winning ingredient of a big time trade.

No matter what, a trade is difficult to create in todays NHL. Cap space, standings, contracts and more all become issues and add to that Souray isn't excited to leave nor is Edmonton excited to move him, and you've got a recipe for a trade that has to be just right for the Oilers to take place.

Don't let Sourays comments and the medias willingness to discuss them lead you to thinking this trade will happen over the next couple days. It likely won't, if it happens at all.


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