a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

Welcome to Oil Acumen. All Oilers, all the time... Occasionally other stuff.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

11/08/12 Trading One of the Big Four

We've talked about this before, and now some other media outlets like Jim Matheson's Oil Spills and Jonathan Willis at OilersNation are chiming in as well. It's going to be hard to keep this team together, and it could mean losing one of the Big Four in return for a balanced roster.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

11/07/12 Defense and the 2006 Entry Draft

Twelve defensemen were selected in the 2006 draft before Jeff Petry heard his name called by the Edmonton Oilers. 25 were picked before Theo Peckham. Now, some six years later, they may emerge as two of the best.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

10/03/12 Smid's New Contract

The 2011-12 NHL season saw Ladislav Smid come to the forefront on the Oilers' defense. He led the team in total ice time, played the toughest minutes, finished a plus-4, and even chipped in 5-10-15 in 78 games. He's going to need a raise.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

11/01/12 Cap Crunch 2013-14

The Edmonton Oilers are currently projected to have more than $21 million in cap space for 2013-14. But that's based on a $70.2 million cap. If the cap drops to $60 million or so in the new CBA, there will be trouble in E-Town.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

10/30/12 Can Yakupov Score 30? Part Two

Brandon Bochenski led the KHL last season with 27 goals. Nail Yakupov is currently on pace for 30 goals in just 45 KHL games. This kid looks like a scoring machine.

Monday, 29 October 2012

10/29/12 Can Schultz Keep This Up?

Justin Schultz has been a dominant offensive force in the AHL to start his professional career. He's currently leading the league in scoring with 12 points in 7 games. So can he keep it up?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

10/21/12 Luongo As An Oiler

On Thursday an article appeared in the Vancouver Province which suggested that the Oilers made a bid for Roberto Luongo, and could still be in the mix. What if this actually happened?

Monday, 15 October 2012

10/15/12 Catching Up With The Class of 2007

After a season where the Oilers finished 26th in the overall standings, they made just six picks in 2007. How's that class looking now?

Saturday, 29 September 2012

09/29/12 Damage Control

Edmontonians breathed a sigh of relief when Daryl Katz issued a letter of apology about his recent visit to Seattle. The owner hasn't grown horns after all. Good on him.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

09/20/12 Risk and the Downtown Arena

The downtown arena debate is a contentious issue among Edmontonians. Opponents of the project often point to the risk for the city that is associated with this kind of spending. So what are the risks?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

09/18/12 Oilers Versus: Chicago Blackhawks

Given the bleak news of the NHL lockout, Oilers Versus will bring some cheer to fans in Edmonton from an unlikely source: the Chicago Blackhawks.

Monday, 10 September 2012

09/10/12 NHL Lockout and the 2013 Draft

There will be many different consequences if the pending NHL lockout lasts for too long, and one of those will have to be how the draft order is selected. That's probably not a good thing for the Oilers.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

09/09/12 The Darkest Period: November 26 to January 21

From November 26th to January 21st of the 2011-12 season the Oilers played a block of games that defined their season. They had a record of 5-18-2. It was their worst stretch of the year, so what the heck happened?

Saturday, 8 September 2012

09/08/12 Oilers Versus: Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche were the only team in the division to lose the season series to the Oilers in 2011-12. Things certainly have changed between these two rivals. How did the Oilers pull off their series win, and will it continue?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

09/06/12 Oilers Versus: Minnesota Wild

The Oilers had another tough year against the Wild in 2011-12, and things aren't going to get any easier with Suter, Parise and several young Minnesota prospects entering the fold. What went wrong, and how can it be corrected?

Friday, 31 August 2012

09/01/12 Oilers Versus: Calgary Flames

The Oilers and Flames faced off six times in 2011-12. How did the Oilers fare against their provincial rivals?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

08/30/12 Top Heavy: New Contracts for the Big Four

Jordan Eberle's new contract shows that a standard has indeed been set for the Oilers' big four forwards. What could things look like if the Oilers spend $24 million on four players up front?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

08/25/12 Point Production By Age and the Implications For Edmonton

At what age do players peak in the NHL? At what age do they begin to decline? These are questions that will be important to the Oilers in years to come. Though at the moment there's nowhere to go but up, eventually the window will close. How much time do the Oilers have?

08/25/12 The Oilers and One Goal Games

How long has it been since we first started hearing about the Oilers' need to improve in one goal games? Before they started finishing 30th like it was going out of style (it is). So, has there been improvement?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

08/23/12 Oilers Players and 80-90 Points

Nail Yakupov is one of a quartet of players who could score 80, 90 or even more points as an Oiler. It's not an easy thing to do, but do the kids have the right stuff? Where exactly should we expect their production to peak?

08/23/12 What Will Hall Be Worth In Five Years?

Now that Taylor Hall has officially signed a deal that will make him an Oiler for a decade (combined with his ELC), it's time to do what we do best 'round these parts: break down the details.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

08/21/12 The 100 Point Plateau

Between Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov, the Oilers should have four players capable of scoring 100 points each season. Right?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

08/16/12 Khabibulin vs. the Defense

Conventional wisdom has it that the Oilers' defense is terrible, and still not good enough for the team to make the playoffs. That's at least partially true. But how much of the defensive weakness of the team can be laid at Nikolai Khabibulin's door? Could more starts from Dubnyk be as good as adding a quality defenseman?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

08/15/12 Can The Oilers Make The Playoffs? Part Two

Part one of this series established that the Oilers will need to be better at even strength. Now we'll look at the likelihood of that actually happening. Who needs to be better 5x5? Is it realistic to expect improvement?

Monday, 13 August 2012

08/13/12 Can The Oilers Make The Playoffs? Part One

A lot has changed since the last time the Oilers made the playoffs. Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr were at the top of the league in points. Jonathan Cheechoo scored 56 goals. Things have changed in Edmonton as well. Is the team good enough to make it to the dance?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

08/08/12 Dropping Out of the Top Eight

If teams like the Oilers are ever going to make the playoffs, at least one team (and quite probably more) will need to miss. So what teams in the Western Conference are likely to fall from the lofty heights of the top eight?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

08/05/12 Falling: Ryan Smyth

The mullet is no longer as fearsome as it once was. Ryan Smyth still has gas left in the tank, but his career is nearing its conclusion. After signing a new two year deal to stay in Edmonton, Smyth will have to hope that the Oilers can improve in a hurry if he is to have a chance to add a Stanley Cup to his list of achievements.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

08/04/12 The Truth About Shots On Goal

Evgeni Malkin led the NHL in shots for the 2011-12 season with 339 in total (4.52 per game). It turns out that getting a simple shot on goal is a very hard thing to do, and to expect even three per game from a player is a lofty goal. Here's why.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

08/01/12 Rising: Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky's 2011-12 was so bad that it's hard to imagine that next season could be any worse. But there's also some actual evidence to suggest that we'll see a better Hemsky in 2012-13. Let's have a look-see.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

07/31/12 Jason Arnott and the Great Eberle Debate

An off season debate is swirling around Jordan Eberle's shooting percentage. To some, Eberle has reached his high water mark; to others he's only just begun. Another Oiler had a similar problem in the early part of the 1990s and it created expectations that contributed to him eventually being sent out of town. That player was Jason Arnott.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

07/27/12 Rising: Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall is the first subject of a new series of rising and falling players and teams. Injuries have cut Hall's first two seasons short, but he's ready to explode offensively. Here's why.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

07/24/12 Can Yakupov Score 30?

It's hard not to look at a young Russian first overall pick and think: Alex Ovechkin. Ilya Kovalchuk. These are some of the most prolific scorers in the NHL today, but only Kovalchuk scored 30 before his 20th birthday, and that 2002-03 season was his second. Can Yakupov accomplish the feat as a 19 year old rookie?

Monday, 23 July 2012

07/23/12 Thoughts On A Paajarvi/Erixon Swap

Rick Nash is in New York at last, and the Blue Jackets received a defenseman in the deal who could be deemed as an extra. Already Tim Erixon is being linked to the Oilers, but would he be a good addition if it cost Magnus Paajarvi?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

07/22/12 Weber's Offer Sheet Could Be Good For the Oilers

At first glance it seems that Shea Weber's $110 million offer sheet will limit the speculation about where he will end up to just two teams. But if the Predators match the offer, as the Tennessean reported that they will, there's a chance that he still ends up elsewhere.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

07/18/12 Trading Jordan

That title didn't cause you to throw the computer against the wall? Well then by all means, read on.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

07/17/12 Bad Contracts and the Cap Floor

At the time of this writing, twelve NHL teams are sitting below the current salary cap floor. Eight of them have at least $3 million to spend to reach the lower limit, and five of those need to spend at least $5 million more. The opportunity exists for some teams to shed a bad contract or two.

Monday, 16 July 2012

07/16/12 Theo Peckham Vs. Ladislav Smid

Theo Peckham accepted his qualifying offer on Monday, and has been a bit of an afterthought for the Oilers. He showed potential in 2010-11, and one of his teammates should give him hope for returning to form.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

07/15/12 Oh, How The Depth Chart Has Changed

A lot has changed since the 2008-09 season. It's hard to get a grasp on all the players that have come and gone without looking back at the depth chart and seeing how it has transformed. In 2012-13 the Oilers will do battle with a group that is in many ways superior to the class of 2008-09.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

07/14/12 Perception Vs. Reality: Tom Gilbert

Tom Gilbert was the whipping boy of Oilers fans for a significant chunk of his time in Edmonton. Never able to replicate his 45-point season in 2008-09, many fans weren't sad to see him go. Apparently management wasn't either, and that's extremely worrisome.

Friday, 13 July 2012

07/13/12 Minute Munchers

How do you define a number one defenseman? He should be able to play in every situation and probably log 23 minutes or more per night. That's the type of player the Oilers need, but how many of those are there?

Monday, 9 July 2012

07/09/12 The Case For Cody Franson

Twenty-four years old. Six feet and five inches tall. 213 pounds. Right-handed shot. Given those factors it's amazing that this player was traded already, let alone that he could move a second time in as many years. But there's more.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

07/08/12 What Would It Take To Get JayBo?

According to The Fourth Period, the Oilers are believed to be one of five teams who have inquired about Jay Bouwmeester's availability. In many ways Bouwmeester would be a good fit for the Oilers, but what would Edmonton have to give their arch rivals to get it done?

Friday, 6 July 2012

07/06/12 Corey Potter's Future

Corey Potter had a strong enough season in 2011-12 to earn himself a new two year contract with a $775,000 cap hit. It's a bargain if he lives up to expectations, but will he play for Edmonton?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

07/05/12 Petry, Dubnyk Sign and the Picture Begins to Focus

Devan Dubnyk's new contract gives him the 22nd-highest cap hit of NHL goalies. There was always going to be pressure for him to perform next season, but now it's on another level. Some analysis of the Oilers' recent signings after the jump.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

07/04/12 Wild Make Big (Huge) Splash

Seeing that the Minnesota Wild signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, it seemed at first like a practical joke. No offense to the Wild, but if any team had a chance at both, it should have been Crosby's Penguins. Of course, the Wild had to pay.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

07/03/12 Odd & Ends: Hordichuk, Suter, Parise, Smyth

We're still waiting on the two biggest UFA names to choose their new homes. On the Tuesday edition of Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, Steve Tambellini was asked if the Oilers were in pursuit of Ryan Suter.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

06/30/12 Schultz and the Transforming Oilers

With Justin Schultz deciding to join the Oilers on Saturday, a message has been sent to the league. The team has been completely transformed in a few short seasons. Here's what it could all look like.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

06/28/12 Free Agent Field Thinning

Scratch Dennis Wideman off the list of free agent defensemen, but the Oilers may not need him. The list is reportedly down to two teams for Justin Schultz.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

06/27/12 Ralph Krueger and the Kids

Ralph Krueger is expected to be named the next head coach of the Oilers on Wednesday. Krueger stepped in for Renney in five games this past season. How did he use his players?