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So the Jake Gardiner rumours have started up again. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the 23-year-old defenceman is a topic of conversation between the Leafs and other NHL teams, and given his difficulties getting ice-time from...
So the Jake Gardiner rumours have started up again. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the 23-year-old defenceman is a topic of conversation between the Leafs and other NHL teams, and given his difficulties getting ice-time from Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle that makes a certain amount of sense.Does it make sense for the Oilers to be interested? The Edmonton End It just might make sense for the Oilers.Some would argue that, because the Oilers have approximately a million defencemen split between the NHL and the AHL. And they might have a point: while the Oilers’ left side defence is relatively weak at the moment, prospects like Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin all play the position. Given enough time, things should work themselves out, and as to the interim that’s what Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference are for.The case for is pretty straight-forward, though: Gardiner not only has strong potential, but moved out of Carlyle’s system it’s not crazy to think he’s a solid top-four option right now. Gardiner had a solid NHL rookie campaign in 2011-12, playing 21:35 per game for Toronto. Last year he had to wait for his shot, but he was close to the point-per-game mark in the AHL and delivered strong two-way play in 12 regular season games with the Maple Leafs and six more in the playoffs. This is a guy who is ready for a significant role now, and he certainly fits Craig MacTavish’s vision of a mobile defence corps that can also move the puck.The Toronto EndHere’s how Elliotte Friedman assessed the return the Leafs might be looking for in his report:If the Maple Leafs do decide to do it, it's going to be for a young asset or assets. So, you have to look at teams with talented young players.James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail wrote on this topic too. The full article is here, but the gist of the argument is that the Leafs aren’t really a Randy Carlyle team on defence because they lack both physical players and shutdown types. Unfortunately for Toronto, they don’t really have the money to add that kind of player, so instead they have to settle for youth.A Trade?Toronto still needs defenders, and Edmonton would need to move some out, but the problem is that aside from Nurse (who can reasonably be excluded from trade discussions) they don’t exactly have a bunch of physical shutdown types they can move; David Musil might be the only guy who qualifies and he likely isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a trade with the Leafs. If it’s a Gardiner-specific issue, the Oilers could offer a bigger guy like Martin Marincin (who has a lot of the same skills) or unsigned defender Dillon Simpson, but these are ‘more of the same’ type moves. If not for the money, a guy like Nick Schultz might appeal (as might Ladislav Smid, though the Oilers may prefer to hang on to him), but perhaps that could be worked around if the Oilers took back a contract (such as Nikolai Kulemin).Still, it’s hard to construct a plausible scenario that would appeal to both teams, so while it might make sense for the Oilers to be interested it’s difficult to see how they get a deal done.
about 7 hours ago
Not quite 30 thoughts on the early part of the season.
Not quite 30 thoughts on the early part of the season.
about 8 hours ago
-I don't think I would suggest Winnipeg has the best crop of prospects but they might have my favourite group of young players. That opinion is largely influenced because of the number of WHL veterans the Jets have drafted and therefore,...
-I don't think I would suggest Winnipeg has the best crop of prospects but they might have my favourite group of young players. That opinion is largely influenced because of the number of WHL veterans the Jets have drafted and therefore, the number I have seen and dealt with the most. I really like the drafting by the Jets the last few years even though I wasn't sure they picked the best player available when they took Mark Scheifele, even that selection is panning out well. Eric Comrie, Josh Morrissey, Brendan Kichton, Nic Petan, Jimmy Lodge, JC Lipon - and that's just the class of 2013! Add to that mix Jacob Trouba, Scott Kosmachuk, Juho Olkinuora... there is a ton of talent in the system. 2012 Choice: Jacob Trouba - Anyone who has heard The Pipeline Show probably knows I'm a massive Trouba booster. I said it before the 2012 draft that he was my top D-man of the class and I hold to that now. I thought he was terrific at the 2012 WJC in Edmonton as an underage player but he was on a completely different level in Russia last year. At Michigan he nearly led the team in scoring as a freshman and this year with the Jets he's already playing nearly 22 minutes a night. S-T-U-D.My selection for One To Watch for 2013-14 with the Jets comes after the jump.Adam Lowry (C/LW)St. John's IceCaps6'5, 205 lbsDrafted 67th overall in 2011Photo: WHL.caSomebody told me that when Swift Current drafted Lowry 78th overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, he was 5'7 and 150lbs. I scoured the internet trying to confirm that but couldn't (someone else might be able to let me know). There is no question in my mind though that no player transformed himself more during my time covering the WHL than Adam Lowry. Here's a side by side of Adam Lowry from, I believe, his rookie year compared to his final season with the Broncos:Photos: WHL.caObviously a kid begins his WHL career a bit baby faced but Lowry's physical maturity, especially in the last couple of years, was ridiculous. He went from boy to man to WHL MVP in what seemed like four quick seasons. Lowry was drafted in the 3rd round of 2011 by the Jets, one of those selections that just a couple of years later seems impossible to believe. The next season he fell victim to injury, a fractured wrist, that ended his season right before Christmas. He'd compiled 37 points in 36 games up to that point. The follow up year for Lowry was huge; First there was just proving that the injury was behind him, then there was proving to the Jets that he was deserving of a contract. Pretty easy to say his 45 goals, 88 points and WHL Player of the Year award did that easily. Photo: Getty ImagesNow in the American Hockey League, and with St. John's first goal of the season already in the books, Lowry is ready for the next stage of his career. Does he continue to have success right away at the AHL level or is there a lengthy adjustment period? Is it unrealistic to wonder if a recall to the NHL could be in order before the end of the season? Lowry was a terrific junior player and a guy I find hard not to root for. It's why my pick of One To Watch for the Winnipeg Jets is Adam Lowry.Up Next: Dallas Stars To comment on this article, Tweet at us (@thepipelineshow) or email us (pipeup@theteam1260.com)
about 13 hours ago
The realigned NHL, with new conferences and divisions, kicked off its regular season with four Canadian teams in action. Who are the winners and losers in the realigned league? Which teams have the best chance of making it to the […]
The realigned NHL, with new conferences and divisions, kicked off its regular season with four Canadian teams in action. Who are the winners and losers in the realigned league? Which teams have the best chance of making it to the […]
about 21 hours ago
Being the opportunist that he is, Mark Arcobello managed to turn a training camp audition into a spot in the Edmonton Oilers’ opening day lineup. He then parlayed that appearance at centre into another game. So even when Ryan Nugen...
Being the opportunist that he is, Mark Arcobello managed to turn a training camp audition into a spot in the Edmonton Oilers’ opening day lineup. He then parlayed that appearance at centre into another game. So even when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was ready to return, Arcobello was able to hold down a spot in the lineup, which also meant the Oilers could then move Taylor Hall back to left-wing.
about 22 hours ago
 In the continued effort to move the Nation Network into fantasy gaming and continue raising money for charities at the same time our second game - the ol' reliable NationDraft player box game - begins today. For only $20 you should...
 In the continued effort to move the Nation Network into fantasy gaming and continue raising money for charities at the same time our second game - the ol' reliable NationDraft player box game - begins today. For only $20 you should totally sign up here! A FAMILIAR GAME FOR ALL We have been running this game for a long time and you may have seen it on the Nation Network before. You may have seen it elsewhere too. Perhaps you have even won a game like this somewhere or other.Well can you do it again? It's only 20 bucks why not win again rather than living in the past like a former High School Football player who still wears his faded letterman jacket at the age of 43.Basically you take a look at 4 palyers in a box and decide who is going to be the leading scorer. Who will outscore whom? Ovechkin or Crosby? Eberle vs someone who won't outscore Eberle?Think you know? You Sir/Madam are a genius. Totally sign up here! PRIZES FOR DAYS If we are asking you to sign up for something for $20 beans obviously you are gonna win some sweet stuff should you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.In this instance we are playing for the following:1st - $1000 prepaid Visa card2nd - $500 prepaid Visa card3rd - $300 prepaid Visa card4th - $100 prepaid Visa card5th to 20th - One of The Pint, Oodle Noodle, or iTunes gift cards worth $3021st to 30th - A NationGear t-shirt in your choice of sizeThe season will end at the Olympic Break and then the swag will rain down on the winners. Totally sign up here! WHY BOTHER PLAYING? Because a portion of the proceeds of NationDrafts will go to our good friends at Earth Group."In 2011, Earth Group donations helped WFP provide nearly 200,000 meals to children in school. It is The Earth Group’s mandate to give 100% of our net profits from the sale of our water, coffee & tea products, to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support their global fight against hunger through school meal programmes.‘Earth Group’s support could not have come at a better time for children in Kenya. We are currently reaching 680,500 children with a daily school meal and all the support counts to make a difference in the lives of school children affected by the worst drought in 60 years. Thank you Earth Group for making a difference!’ Rose Ogola, Public Information Officer, WFP Kenya."We sell Earth Group water at Oodle Noodle and we try and make donations to this awesome cause as often as we can. So help us out and play NationDrafts, win some dope prizes, help charity and the good karma generated will lead to your favourite team surely winning the Cup this year.Unless you cheer for the Flames. Ain't no good karma in the universe gonna help you cats this year. Totally sign up here!
about 23 hours ago
Edmonton's game-changer at rest.
Edmonton's game-changer at rest.
about 24 hours ago
There were times when he was with the St. Louis Blues that David Perron was torn when the New Jersey Devils were next on the schedule. A part of him — the part that had always wanted the chance to score on future Hall of Famer Mart...
There were times when he was with the St. Louis Blues that David Perron was torn when the New Jersey Devils were next on the schedule. A part of him — the part that had always wanted the chance to score on future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur — wanted to see the veteran in the net.
1 day ago
We start a new weekly item today called, Tuesday Tidbits. After last night's stunning come-from-behind Oiler victory, our timing couldn't be better. After two periods of the Oilers/Devils game Oilersnation was on the verge of a ment...
We start a new weekly item today called, Tuesday Tidbits. After last night's stunning come-from-behind Oiler victory, our timing couldn't be better. After two periods of the Oilers/Devils game Oilersnation was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The season was going to be over. The Oilers were destined for another top-ten pick, and I even received my first outlandish trade request of the season.I was asked about a Nail Yakupov for Ryan Miller trade. Trading a 19-year-old first overall pick for a soon-to-be UFA, 33 year-old goalie, is the definition of panic. Or delusion. Calm down, three games does not make a season, but I don't believe you can downplay last night's third period.Through 40 minutes the Oilers looked disinterested, excluding one excellent rush by Ales Hemsky, that actually started with a lucky bounce after a bad clearing pass.It took the Oilers almost ten and a half minutes to register a shot on goal, and after 40 minutes they had more turnovers than shots on goal, eleven.The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Oilerville 20 this night...But then they got a break.Bryce Salvador shot the puck over the glass at 5:19 of the third frame, and that minor miscue injected some much needed energy into a listless Oilers squad.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 24 seconds later on powerplay and suddenly the Oilers had a pulse.   Three minutes and 45 seconds later Andrew Ference scored on a shot from the point, and Rexall Place erupted. Prior to that the biggest applause was for Joey Moss' 50th birthday celebration.   Two minutes and 19 seconds later David Perron ripped one over Brodeur's shoulder and the game was tied. Prior to that shot, Perron, like most of his teammates, was fighting the puck, but once he scored you could literally see his body replenishing with confidence.   One minute and 43 seconds later Taylor Hall found himself all alone in front of Martin Brodeur, after a nifty tap/push pass from Ales Hemsky. Hall made a quick move to avoid the pokecheck and slid it home for a 4-3 lead. Prior to that goal, Hall had been visibly frustrated. He couldn't make a pass, and he'd been fighting the puck during the previous 153 minutes of play. His goal celebration and reaction seemed like more relieve than joy, but like Perron, suddenly Hall had confidence with the puck.   To add to the drama the Devils got a lucky goal in the final minute to send the game to overtime, before Jordan Eberle and Perron displayed their version of shootout "Horse." Eberle went first, had a few quick stick handles/dangles, before roofing a backhander upstairs. Perron mirrored Eberle's attempt, and then Jason LaBarbera stopped Ryan Clowe for the victory.   The Oilers clearly needed the win, but I think the psyche of the fanbase might have needed it more. By the sounds of it, some of you turned the game off after 40 minutes and missed the epic comeback, but for those who stuck through the painfully agonizing first two periods, for once you were rewarded for your undying loyalty. OTHER TIDBITS It was a great comeback, but it doesn't overshadow the fact the Oilers are still turning the puck over far too frequently, and most of the turnovers are coming from their skilled forwards. Dallas Eakins will have lots of examples to show during their video session. If the turnovers don't stop, I'm curious to see when or who he will use to make an example of. It is a bad habit that needs to stop, if the Oilers are serious about becoming a contender in the next few seasons.   Ryan Hamilton didn't come out for the third period, and for the final 22 minutes (17 regulation and 5 in OT) Eakins only used eight forwards. Nugent-Hopkins played a career-high 28:12. Does anyone still think they rushed him back? Hall played 25:44. Perron played 25:15 Eberle played 22:34 Eakins isn
1 day ago
-Another club with a lot of prospect depth is Florida who has chosen to add veterans to the roster meaning much of their youth will continue to develop in the minors. Recent additions of Tim Thomas, Scott Gomez, Brad Boyes, Ryan Whitney ...
-Another club with a lot of prospect depth is Florida who has chosen to add veterans to the roster meaning much of their youth will continue to develop in the minors. Recent additions of Tim Thomas, Scott Gomez, Brad Boyes, Ryan Whitney and Tom Gilbert mean the likes of Jacob Markstrom, Nick Bjugstad, Quinton Howden and Alex Petrovic won't be as much of a factor this year as expected just a month ago.Tough break for those young players but down the road they may be the biggest beneficiaries of those signings.2012 Choice: Rocco Grimaldi - Injured seriously and early in his freshman season, Grimaldi was given a do over and made good on it last year with North Dakota. His 36 points in 40 games was bested only by a pair of seniors so Grimaldi's year has to be considered a major one offensively. He was part of USA's gold medal at the 2013 WJC in Russia going from scape goat to hero over the course of the 10-day event. Grimaldi is poised to have a massive year as a sophomore at North Dakota. My 2013-14 selection as One To Watch for Florida comes after the jump. Sam Brittain (G)Denver Pioneers6'1, 215 lbsDrafted 92nd overall in 2010Photo: Denver AthleticsSpeaking of a player heading into a pivotal season in his career, there is no debate that this is a crucial year for goaltender Sam Brittain. The Calgary native's college career has been like a picture of the Rocky Mountains; peaks and valleys. Brittain's freshman year was impressive, so much so that he was on the radar for Hockey Canada. But a serious knee injury knocked him out of contention for the World Junior Championship and competition for the starting job didn't help his cause either. The last two seasons saw Brittain fighting, perhaps losing, a head to head battle with Juho Olkinuora for starts. The platoon system and the injuries limited Brittain to just 25 games over the last two seasons, 8 games less than he played as a freshman. This year the job is his to lose (again) as Olkinuora has turned pro. Brittain's main competition comes from local product Evan Cowley, a raw freshman who also happens to be a Panthers prospect. Photo: Denver AthleticsBrittain will be pushed to keep the starting job but that's a good thing. With conference realignment seeing Denver move to the new NCHC, there won't be many light nights. Can Brittain regain his freshman form having missed so much time over the last two years? Does a successful season end with a contract from the Panthers or a testing of the free agent market in August? Lots of reasons to for Florida fans to follow the progression of Brittain closely this year and that's why he's my selection of One To Watch for the Panthers in 2013-14. Up Next: Winnipeg Jets To comment on this article, Tweet at us (@thepipelineshow) or email us (pipeup@theteam1260.com)
1 day ago