Give Racki a warm FHS welcome. In addition to being one of our favourite characters from
Slapshot Youngblood he's also one of our favourite writers over at Putting on the Foil. Racki makes his Blogger's Breakouts debut this year but since he's representing the Oilers it shouldn't be too hard for him to find a breakout pick or two.
We asked Racki nine fantasy related questions about the Oilers and the NHL in general. Follow the jump to read his answers...
To see the rest of our Blogger's Breakouts click here for the main page.
by Racki from Putting on the Foil
Magnus Paajarvi. The Oilers have a wealth of young prospects. It is his first yea r in the NHL, but at 19, he's been playing hockey with grown men for 3 years now. We've seen great flashes of brilliance from him in the preseason so far, and I think there's a good chance he winds up on the top line with Ales Hemsky. This alone is going to help him rack up the points. But aside from that, he has a strong ability to do it all on his own as well, making something out of nothing. I may be drinking the Kool-aid, but I'm predicting him to win the Calder this year.
Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on the Oilers?
Shawn Horcoff. Calling it a break out might be a bit odd, since he already has a couple of good seasons under his belt. However the past two years have been anything but good for him. He's going to be this year's Dustin Penner, in my opinion, however. After a bleak last couple of years, he can only really go up. But if he keeps playing with the young kids (in particular Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle), then I expect he's going to put up very respectable numbers. So far this pre-season he's already shown what looks to be a return to his 2007-08 form, showing great speed and a nose for the net, along with fantastic chemistry with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Q3) Breakdown Player on the Oilers?
In all honesty, this team was horrible last year. This is a bit of a cop out, but aside from Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky (who had a very shortened season), none of the Oilers really produced enough that I could imagine any having a drop in production. If I had to pick a player though, I would say Dustin Penner will see a drop, due to a decrease in reliance on him and being possibly pushed down the depth chart in order to give heavy minutes to the young kids. But really, this team can only go up.
Q4) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
Jaroslav Halak. I am sure this guy is the real deal and Montreal made the wrong choice when they kept Carey Price. Expect big minutes / games for this guy, as there is no competition for him in St. Louis (sorry Ty).
Ovechkin, Crosby, Miller, Malkin, and Backstrom
Q6) Best Value for Money Fantasy Goalie?
I'll go with Halak again here. He should see a big increase in games.
Q7) Taylor or Tyler?
Taylor, of course! He's already surrounded with young players of his skill level. At first, I expect that he'll have some struggles, but in the long term I think he will be the better player. Really though, I think both teams are lucky in being able to draft these talented kids.
Q8) Your Stanley Cup Pick?
I think it's the Washington Capitals' turn. The President's Cup winners of last year will be rewarded with Lord Stanley's mug this year.
BONUS) Why the hell did the Oilers sign Martin Gerber? Are they collecting mediocre goalies?
Gerber was acquired because Nikolai Khabibulin's status with the team is unknown, due to his Extreme DUI charges (as well as back issues). The Oilers also have a new AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City that they would like to get off on the right foot, and while Gerber, Dubnyk and Deslauriers may be considered as mediocre at the NHL level, any one of them would make fantastic AHL goaltenders. Gerber was signed on a two-way deal, and will likely wind up in Oklahoma City, as Khabibulin's season is underway. (FHS Note: Gerber was place on waivers today meaning he's 'won' the starters job for OKC)
Many thanks to Racki... some great advice for you there. If you enjoyed this BB makes sure you check out Putting on the Foil.