Thanks Rod...

The Edmonton Oilers announced today that long time play-by-play voice Rod Phillips will be hanging it up only to return a few times next season to call some games the Oilers will call "Rod's Classics".

It will be strange to hear a game on the radio without Rod's voice calling the action, but like anything that ends, so does a staple with the Oilers of over 37 years. For many Oil fans, Rod's voice is the only one they know.

There isn't a better time do this in my opinion. Rod's exit creates a place for a new Oilers voice. A voice that will lead radio listeners and fans into a new Oiler era. If the team is rebuilding, why not rebuild the way we listen to it.

There has yet to be any announcement on who will be taking the reigns from Phillips this coming season, but logic suggests that Oilers color man and Oilers Lunch radio host Bob Stauffer is the obvious choice.

Stauffer, not only on merit, experience and pure hockey knowledge alone is worthy of the gig, but his fairly obvious friendship with Oilers owner Daryl Katz won't hurt his chances. Stauffer was brought in last year suddenly to replace Morely Scott. One has to imagine doing so was a way to set the table for Phillips exit down the road.

Here's to hoping Bob can bring some passion and excitement to his calls knowing he has some pretty big shoes to fill, should he in fact be the guy.

Thanks Rod, you will be missed.


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How Much Will Who The Oilers Draft Depend On Action Prior to the Selection?

The argument always tends to be BPA. Draft the "best player available" at all times. I would tend to agree if and when you are drafting a selection in the first or second round.

Once picks start moving into the third, fourth and fifth rounds; the philosophy of BPA turns into a muddled up mixture of drafting for need and who, regardless of position, is the best player available at the time.
So, when the Edmonton Oilers, who will draft first overall in this years NHL entry draft are ready to make their selection, who do they take knowing to many, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are a six of one and a half dozen of the other scenario?

With Hall's play at the Memorial Cup, many are leaning to Hall pushing past an idle Seguin as the consensus top pick. Others still contend that in the long run, Seguin is the better prospect. One consideration that the Oilers will make, is that they have a number of winger prospects in the system and a lack of true number one centers.

If we don't follow the rule of BPA, that leads us to believe the Oilers might be leaning towards Seguin. He fills a massive need and moreso than Hall might.

What if we're over-looking something? If we say the rule is to always draft the best player available (especially in the first couple rounds) and Taylor Hall is currently the "best player", why are the Oilers considering Seguin?

Simple. The rules don't always apply.

If that's accurate, what does that mean if the Oilers can make many of the rumored moves that might be coming prior to the first overall selection?

Talk has been on and off in terms of the interest in the Oilers moving either Ales Hemsky or Dustin Penner. I would hate to see them move either if the return wasn't tremendous, but should they actually do so, how much does that change the landscape of then drafting Taylor Hall? Logic would suggest that if you lose one or heaven forbid, two wingers, you better replace them. Hall is NHL ready. Would he then be the replacement?

If you're moving Penner or Hemsky for picks (the only scenario that makes sense to me), what new picks would you be obtaining?

The Edmonton Oilers have a lot of work to do to repair a lousy lineup/roster. It's not silly to assume that outside of the as many as 10 draft picks the Oilers have in this years draft, they'll be heavy on the trade front and Tambellini walking the floor a lot to swing other deals, potentially drafting some of those picks in higher positions.

Edmonton has a history of making moves on draft day and this year more than most, we know the Oilers want to move up to draft again in the top ten. We know the Oilers need to unload some bodies and salary. And we know the Oilers are actively shopping Sheldon Souray.

Should they pull it off one or many of these objectives, who would you draft and would it change who you are leaning towards as your number 1?

Regardless of your opinion of the rule of BPA, changes before the pick could drastically alter who we think goes first. I have no doubt about that.


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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.


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