I think Smyth is going to surprise a lot of Oilers fans. He was great in the first 45 games or so last season. He's an older guy now and Renney played him way too much and wore him out. On the 2nd or 3rd line I think he's going to be golden. Just limit his TOI a bit.
Hopefully Schultz gets to play with Smid. Smid is our best option for Schultz and I think it's really important to give Schultz a rock solid partner. Schultz could transition relatively seamlessly this way.
I want to believe that the short season will help Smyth play better and tire him out less
Krueger's noted that Yakupov will set up on the RW during powerplays. I don't see any good reason why he shouldn't be flying down the RW at evens with Hemsky to his left. It just seems like a no brainer to keep the gun cocked and loaded at all times.
I'm not going to venture a guess at what we'll see in the forward lineup, we'll see soon enough with training camp. But if Yakupov plays a Top-6 role, I'd imagine the other Top-6 line will have a power-vs-power aspect to it.
The blueline IMO is more clear cut. We'll see 5-2, 15-19, 6-24.
I would like to see RNH play with Yak, as Yak is a shooter and with a player like RNH that can feed the puck he will be that much better. Hall and Eberle have proven that they can produce without RNH and Gagner is still good with the puck.
Hall; Gagner; Eberle
Hemsky; RNH; Yak
PP1; Hall; RNH; Eberle
PP2; Hemsky; Gagner; Yak
If Whitney is some what healthy or defense won't be that bad;
Whitney; Peckham-Unless Sutton is healthy some how