Krueger Impresses, Schultz Signs, Tambellini Prepares...

We said it in our Same Old, Same Old post -- that Krueger should hopefully do most of the talking in the presentation made to d-man prospect Justin Schultz. Well, we found out Saturday that Justin Schultz chose the Oilers over 26 other teams and new head coach Ralph Krueger was a major factor.

The twitter world was buzzing all day waiting for the verdict and when the news finally broke, one tweet that caught my attention was from a reliable source...

James Duthie of TSN: Those who were in the room say Oilers new coach Ralph Krueger was incredibly impressive in his presentation to Justin Schultz.

This is why the Oilers chose Krueger. He has the ability to send a message that gets received loud and clear and makes you want to go to bat for him.

When asked, Justin Schultz commented "it was awesome when I met him and I'm really excited to hopefully get the opportunity to play for him".

Schultz was obviously wow'd by the Gretzky and Coffey phone calls and Edmonton was smart to use that tool if it was at their disposal, but if I'm the Edmonton Oilers or even more, if I'm Ralph Krueger, I'm thinking, 'not a bad first couple of days for the new bench boss in Edmonton'.

Just two days on the job and you get the first overall pick in Nail Yakupov who should get you 20-30 goals in his sleep and quickly after land one of the most touted UFA's in this years crop and an offensive blue-liner in Justin Schultz. Schultz, whether he wanted to or not, became the Brad Richards of last year, where everyone wanted him and only one team would win.

Fans from at least six other teams waited. They found themselves glued like Oiler fans were to the twitterverse until one at a time each team was eliminated. The masses quickly turned from optimists to haters when the news came via the Oilers twitter feed that they'd signed Schultz. As an Oiler fan, if you didn't know who Justin Schultz was, such reaction is the real tell that people think this kid will be something special. When everyone else hates on you because you got what they wanted, you know you've got something good.

But, with Yakupov waiting to start at right wing and Schultz working toward a top-four defensive role, what's left -- perhaps literally?

Well left winger Ryan Smyth still lingers. It looks as though Smyth has turned down Edmonton's final offer and will test free agency. My guess is that someone will give Smyth close to what he wants and that team won't be the Oilers. It means that while Edmonton potentially has enough offensive fire-power on LW in Magnus Paajarvi to fill the hole, a two-way LW is on the Oilers radar if for nothing other than penalty kill minutes. Paajarvi needs to find his groove offensively. To ask him to tackle the tough minutes that Ryan Smyth did, wil hamper Paajarvi significantly.

Edmonton also needs to add one more top-pair defenseman according to many and I would tend to agree. Their core seems to be coming along with the signing of Schultz, but they are at least one veteran top minutes guy away from having a good back-end that can handle tough minutes and injuries, if and when they arrive.

The Oilers could look to accomplish this task through trade instead of free agency. With names like Bouwmeester, Methot, and Yandle potentially on the block, they might find the value in terms of dollars spent for contracts that are running down instead of just beginning, this would make more sense.

Edmonton should have an interesting day tomorrow. I'm especially interested to see if free agents start to see Edmonton as a destination of interest instead of a plague you'd absolutely want to avoid.


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