MAB: The game, the trades, the nostalgia
Listen this game kind of sucked. I didn’t watch it live last night. I woke up from a peaceful slumber and saw ENS had a DM about the game (shout out to James). Well, basically what James said made me look at the score immediately. Saw it was 2-1 for the Canes. Thought, meh, not too bad. Then I saw the boxscore and I knew what James was talking about. We’ll dive into a brief recap. I say brief because outside of the first, there’s not a lot to talk about and most of the action came after the game anyway. Let’s go.
Puck drops let’s gooooooooooooohhh and it’s in the net:
Puck doesn’t get cleared, Zack Kassian is so far gone he’s sitting courtside at the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, Nino Niederreiter is wide open, and it’s GIRL?!?
it’s in our net.
Okay so confession time, I didn’t talk about Carolina’s lineup in the GDB because they have some annoying as hell names to spell ESPECIALLY including Nino Nieder-fucking-reiter but something about life had me feeling that I’d be spelling his name out at some point in the MAB. Sure as goddamn shit. Two seconds into the game. Piss in my eyes.
The Nino had nine goals in 46 games with Minny prior to getting traded. He has eight in 12 with Minnesota. It is possible that the Wild went full Oilers on that one.
Anyway we got it back like actually right away:
Actually a really nice play by Zack Kassian. Trade him now. Go get a pick back for him. Keith is busy fixing all the problems that Peter created and he’s not blowing it so far. Move Zack for some value. Move Chiasson for some value. Go do smart things! By the time you finished reading that blurb, Carolina scored again:
This is the Mona Lisa of Oilers goals against in 2018-19. Milan Lucic’s $6 million leadership coughed up the puck in the offensive zone. This was followed immediately by Adam Larsson running into an errant skater at approximately 1.6 miles per hour, but that force was still enough to make him fall like Jesse on the rush. This left Darnell Nurse back to defend four Carolina Hurricanes, so Nuge needed to skate like hell just to give support. But the chaos was too much in our own end. By the time Chiasson and Lucic made it back, it was already too late. Larsson was nowhere to be found.
I don’t know, they scored again.
3-1 Carolina I think
Alright let’s get to the good stuff because that game was shit.
Here’s Gary from North Carolina thinking he was being super incognito as he eye-banged the absolute bejesus out of that Storm Squad member but oh no. The ultimate definition of red-handed
Gary’s lucky that clip was on Sportsnet otherwise the wife would be kicking his ass with a MAGA hat after the game.
Now for the actual good stuff. First, right after last night’s game, Keith made his first move as interim GM:
This was bittersweet. On one hand, it had to happen. We needed to move the 5th winningest goalie in franchise history to make room for a player we already had. Anthony Stolarz is by no means a world mover, but he should get a decent enough look down the stretch. And he’s 25. And he’s played in only played in 17 fewer career games than Mikko Koskinen. Stolarz’ agent must be doing jumping jacks right now. That multi-year no movement contract seems inevitable.
I will miss Cam, though. He was the Iceman. He leaves the Oilers 5th all-time in wins, and 3rd all-time in shutouts. More importantly, he and Kelly were incredible in the community. I had the pleasure of meeting him once and he was as genuine of a human as you’ll ever meet. I wish him the absolute best in Philly. One more time, for old times’ sake. So long, partner:
And then this morning, in maybe the most universally agreed upon Oilers trade since we moved Eric Brewer for Chris Pronger:
Sam is beloved in Edmonton. He will forever be. I remember his eight-point night better than my first time having secks. He was all three stars in that game!! ALL THREE. They were just like fuck this shit, Sam gets all the stars! And I was there. I sat row seven and watched Sammy Gagner knock the Hawks back a century* and tie Wayne Gretzky for an Edmonton Oilers record. That was maybe the best moment B.C. (before Connor) that I’ve experienced in the decade of darkness. Ryan Spooner was never playing for the Oilers again. And Sam is… Sam, man. Sammy’s back. Get Taylor Hall back next please.
*Hawks won more Stanley Cups in the years that followed than we have playoff appearances.
And both moves, of course, were:
Keith Gretzky has done better moves in his 3.5 minutes with the Oilers than Peter Chiarelli did in his 3.5 years. I’m not saying these are earth moving trades, because they’re not. And to say that Keith Gretzky deserves the GM position because he moved Talbot and Spooner for Stolarz and Gagner would be as preposterous as saying I deserve a recording contract because one time I crushed “Paint it Black” at 100% on expert while playing Guitar Hero. Let’s see who did this:
Jamethon is applauding Keth for not trading players for even worse players with bigger contracts and 50 years of term left. That is Stockholm Syndrome.
Seriously though, I want to shift the attention back to Sam Gagner. I am genuinely giddy that he’s playing for the Oil again. I loved Sam. I think the overwhelming majority of Oilers fans loved Sam Gagner. I was sad when we traded him. He was literally the poster boy for Rebuild 1.0. And now he’s home… on Rebuild 4.0. Get your nostalgia boners ready:
Back where it all began. Welcome home, Sam. Now trade the orange jerseys for those blue ones.
Speaking of moves for older pieces that make us better, I’ve compiled a list of trades I think Keith should make:
Kris Russell for Andrew Cogliano
Half of Dallas’ blue line will be UFAs on July 1. They get a player who they’re familiar with, and the Oilers get a versatile third liner with speed who has freakishly good health and was once Sam’s best buddy during Rebuild 1.0. We get a bit of cap savings out of it as well. Reunite the fellas!
Zack Kassian and a conditional 2nd for Devan Dubnyk
Minny gets some sandpaper into that lineup and a player with first line experience who can help fill the hole left by Mikko Koivu. Also, they move on from Dubnyk and get to see what they have in Stalock. The condition is that the draft pick becomes obsolete if Dubnyk does one of those commercials again.
And I know what you’re thinking: Shan, that’s three NHL goalies now! What are you thinking?! And my answer is come on, I’ve already thought of this:
Mikko Koskinen for Gilbert Brule
HC Novosibirsk Sibir gets maybe the best KHL goalie in the last 10 years and, more importantly, they get him before his NMC kicks in on July 1. We bring back Gilbert Brule, who was a staple (on the IR shelf) during the 2008-09 season with Gags and Cogs. Brule most recently was on TV during those Olympics that nobody watched. I can’t stress the cap savings that come with moving a future $4.5 million
Milan Lucic for Robert Nilsson
And we finally get the trio back together. Last I saw, Bobby Nil was playing in the Swiss league for Zurich. Have you ever been to Zurich? Wonderful city. Literally beautiful. Breathtaking, actually. I know Lucic has that full NMC clause, but you try telling me that he wouldn’t move it to play in fucking Switzerland. Zurich gets a younger player who they can market and use to sell hundreds of jerseys. We reunite one of the top four Kid Lines™ we’ve had in the last 12 years.
Brandon Manning for Jason Smith
Get me Gator back in an Oilers uniform. I don’t care if he hasn’t played since 2009. I don’t even want him to play, per se. Just put him in the locker room. I’m pretty sure Gator isn’t anywhere in particular, either. Don’t even need to trade for this to happen. Just fire Manning into the sun and go get me some Gator. Need Gator back.
I won’t be watching the game tonight as I have a wedding to attend but if Sam gets a point feel free to blow up our Twitter and/or Facebook page like Zack Kassian blew up Sam’s jaw that one time.