Oilers 2 Players Away From First NHL Team Since 2006
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08-15-2014, 10:28 PM
The Drive for Nine
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern Alberta
That's pretty much every possible option at centre currently in the Oilers organization.
I think we have some "short term pain" before we see long term gain... I think that's MacT's thinking as well.
Either he struck out completely while trying to add to the depth down the middle in free agency this summer OR he simply sees that this current C depth is "good enough" and wants to keep the door open for guys like Draisaitl/Arcobello/Lander/Yakimov etc to win spots on this roster.
Playing Devil's Advocate... you have to keep the door cracked for players in the system who work hard and overachieve and push their way into the lineup instead of going out and overpaying a vet C who takes a up roster spot but are only here for the $$$ and will be gone when this team is a contender... off to chase the bigger buck.
RNH and Gordon are the only two legit established NHL centres.. but out of the other 10 on that list up above... in the next 1-2 years they should have at least 1 or 2 more establish themselves as legit roster players.
Hendricks is actually already a legit 4th line C... so really they just need one of Draisaitl/Arcobello/Lander to pan out.
Looking ahead a year or two... Yakimov or Khaira may excel and perform better than expected.
Maybe a player like Pitlick or Ewanyk develops into a solid 4th line option as well.
Miller and Acton are obviously AHL fodder BUT in the event of an extreme run of injuries... they can play a 4th line C role in the NHL as well.
All in all... it's obviously centre depth filled with question marks in the here and now but with the potential to turn into decent depth IF some of those players play up to their full potential.
I think that's what MacT is gambling on... taking that dirty dozen up above and trying to squeeze 4 legit NHL centres out of them by the end of this season.
I think that's certainly possible even though right now it looks to some like crap down the middle... full of longshots and inexperience. I think there is enough there to take an educated gamble on. That one important position could turn out as a strength if at least one or two of those question marks play up to their potential.
Besides... there's nothing saying a vet C brought in this summer would excel and be a strong asset on this club... nothing saying we wouldn't be seeing Belanger 2.0 this summer and instead MacT has decided to roll with internal options... not an abysmal move imo.. of course if it doesn't work out... pitchforks and torches.
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