Vanek at the Disco

Kevin Lowe and the Edmonton Oilers did the verboten today when they offered RFA Thomas Vanek a chance at the big money years ahead of schedule. The contract puts Vanek in exactly the same spot as the Philadelphia Philles put Von Hayes two decades before (Philly dealt a plethora of quality prospects for the “next big thing”) and Vanek may or may not cover the massive contract that is now tied to his name. For Kevin Lowe, it’s a chance to show the hometown fans he’s working hard at finding a quality option for Edmonton’s hard earned dollars.

I applaud the effort, but think it’s misplaced. First of all, Vanek has had exactly ONE elite-level season and could certainly be considered a candidate to fall back in terms of productivity next year. That’s not a putdown, it’s a fact. With the Sabres losing some premium UFA’s and likely unable to recover this season, Vanek will be exposed more and a downturn on all levels is predictable.

Secondly, the Oilers were never going to get him. Anyone who has gone as far as grade school could figure that Buffalo was going to sign Vanek despite the cost (they have the money after losing Drury and Briere), and in fact that was stated by Sabre brass in one of the truly entertaining press conferences in recent NHL history.

Later came the theory that Lowe was using this as a way of “sending a message” to teams that spending like crazy on UFA’s and signing their own RFA’s would mean several quality players would become available to teams like Edmonton (meaning clubs with cap space).

It sounds fine in theory, but Lou in NJ showed last season that there are ways to send money to teams without giving up any of your 10 best players. It’s a long shot at best imo, and although the RFA option is certainly out in the open now, I can’t imagine anyone of Vanek’s ability getting plucked from an NHL team.

Which brings us to Zach Parise. I fear he’s next up on the Oilers list; he’s not going to get a Vanek contract, there’s every chance the Oilers will end up losing their first round (and HIGH) draft pick in the very good 2008 draft.

It’s a bad bet. Kevin Lowe is going to get a player come hell or high water, and one suspects the impact will be long term and extremely painful.

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49 Responses to "Vanek at the Disco"

  1. McLea says:

    there’s every chance the Oilers will end up losing their first round (and HIGH) draft pick in the very good 2008 draft.

    Aren’t you the one that has been harping on the Oilers draft record all this time? What good is a high draft pick if the Oilers are just going to blow it? How valuable are high draft picks in a world where 23 year olds are getting paid full value?

    It almost like you guys are going out of your way to bash Kevin Lowe. Almost.

  2. McLea says:

    You’ve also been the one going on and on about how the Oilers have too many prospects already and need to find some immediate NHL caliber talent.

    Your Lowe hatred is starting to cloud your judgment. So far you’ve said:

    1) The Oilers don’t draft well
    2) They already have too many prospects.
    3) They don’t have enough NHL caliber talent.

    Then you say that going after Parise would be bad move. Why? Probably because you’ve heavily invested yourself in the “Kevin Lowe is incompetent” movement. That’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

  3. The Rage says:

    Mclea, what Lowetide has said is the Oilers lack high end prospects. That’s exactly what we would be giving up if lose our first round selection in 2008. Dumbass.

  4. Asiaoil says:

    Respectfully I think you are dead wrong here LT. EDM has big issues signing older UFA as demonstrated over the past few years – but Vanek shows that young elite RFA are willing to sign here. Why should we allow other teams in more appealing addresses to underpay young elite players and then use those dollars to crush us in the UFA market. Why let the NE and SW markets pay their elite RFA peanuts and then use those dollars to outcompete us in the UFA market. Make them pay heavily for elite RFA so that they become more rational about what a guy like Gomez and Smyth are worth – that is the only sound strategy in our situation.

    There is a rationaization of NHL salaries going on where we are moving from a system where age was a primary factor to one where performance is the major factor. You worries about a young RFA underperforming are no different than my worries about an older UFA underperforming. Why should Crosby make peanuts in an RFA contract while Smyth cashes in – makes no sense unless you introduce sever distortions in the marketplace like the NHLs RFA rules.

    I have no problem paying any elite player no matter what their age. If the kid from BUF was judged to be truly elite – then I exchange our cash for gold instead of draft lottery tickets without hesistation. We are moving to a system more like the NBA where we see max salary players spread throughout the league – and the best GMs know which guys to give those salaries to – and the bad one lose their jobs.

    You don’t pull this with every RFA – only the true elite and guys who are undervalued on teams in cap trouble. But for Crosby, OV, Kovalchuk maybe Phaneuf – it’s a no brainer to force these teams to pay and keep them out of the UFA market. If the Oil think Vanek is going to be a top 5 power LW – then you go for it.

    I really like looking at the cap situation of Philly and Calgary right now. Philly was reckless this summer and deserve to pay next year when Carter and Richards go RFA. If either has a big year then PHI is hooped IMHO – and so is CAL unless Kipper leaves millions on the table since he is worth at least $7 or $8 million on the UFA market.

  5. Vic Ferrari says:

    You sound stressed, mclea. Maybe even frantic. As a friendly suggestion, try chasing half a dozen Robaxacet with a litre of Campari. That should mellow you right out. :)

  6. Kurri_17 says:

    Side note to Asiaoil — By making this offer, you send out a signal that you are WILLING to make RFA offer sheets next summer as well. It’s quite possible some key ones DON’T lock up at 4 million long term when they know someone like the Oil might be willing to throw 8 million their way, or at least force their own teams hand when the time comes. (See phaneuf as a sample of that player type)

  7. Kurri_17 says:

    And McLea — Lowetide has been supportive of the oil draft record being above average in the last 6 yrs.

  8. Vic Ferrari says:

    I think that we are in the clear minority today, but i agree with completely.

    Another thing that has me scratching my head is the retrieval of their 3rd round pick from Long Island. As we both know, you need to use your OWN draft picks with RFA offer sheets.

    For all offers with an average annual salary over $2 million but less than $5 million … you need both 1st and 3rd rounders.

    So if they had been successful in securing Vanek … the trade they had made yesterday would have become meaningless. Unless I’m missing something, it just doesn’t make basic sense.

  9. Lowetide says:

    mclea: I’ve defended the Oilers drafting record since 2001. Previous to that it was horrible for over a decade.

    I don’t hate Kevin Lowe, he’s given more to this city that we can ever repay. Doesn’t mean I have to watch him rip apart a team that even at this point could have a good future.

    The Oilers DON’T have too many prospects, they have TOO MANY trying to break into the same part of the depth chart at the same time. It’s exactly the point where even good organizations lose their focus and end up shipping out quality.

    Anyone who argues the Oilers have enough NHL calibre talent at this point is smoking spliffs. Vanek doesn’t make this lineup THAT much better, he just doesn’t.

    I don’t heavily invest myself in any movement, which often means I’ve pissed off both sides.

    Which is cool, because the idea isn’t to post things you’ll agree with, it’s to post things that will make you defend a position.

    Which you’ve done. Good on ya.

  10. godot10 says:

    This wasn’t about Vanek. It was about the rich teams being able to overpay UFA’s because their RFA’s were cheap.

    Burke’s contracts to Schneider and Bertuzzi ($9.5 million) committed next year, when he has to re-sign Getzlaf and Perry.

    Phaneuf and Malkin and Jordan Staal may think about waiting for an offer sheet in a year, and two years time. Maybe Crosby and Ovechkin wait for an offer sheet next year now.

    It is about making Colorado squirm two year from now when Ryan Smyth is over the hill and consuming a lot of cap space, and they have to spend money on Paul Stastny.

    This is about resetting the balance in salaries between term and salary between the older UFA players, and the younger RFA players.

    It already forced the Rangers to take Lundqvist to arbitration.

    Kevin Lowe is demonstrating that the Canadian markets can be a pain to both the rich US markets and the poor US markets.

    Heck, he may have just shaken Wade Redden loose in Ottawa, because Spezza and Heatley will look at Vanek’s contract.

  11. McLea says:

    My apologies Lowetide. With respect to the Oilers draft record, I got you confused with somebody else (Tyler or somebody).

    But I still don’t understand your opposition of going after Parise. If the Oilers are lacking in average and above average talent, isn’t this exactly the kind of move they should be making? You’re never going to make any progress in that area unless you make some moves, especially considering the amount of cap space the Oilers have. I just don’t see how forfeiting a 2008 pick, a guy that in all likelihood won’t get a sniff of the show until 2010-2011, is a significant enough cost to keep you from at least trying to go after Parise.

  12. Lowetide says:

    mclea: I think Parise is exactly the kind of guy whose situation on his current club pads the stats to the point where the player’s stats far eclipse his actual value.

    According to Desjardins’ Behind the Net stats, Parise played some of the softest minutes available in the 06-07 NHL (643 out of 676 players) at EV and he put up 40 ES points in 82gp.

    Dynamite numbers, no doubt. Parise played most often with Langebrunner and Zajac (which puts him 87/676 in terms of quality of linemates by the Desjardins’ metric). So he’s playing the soft parade with good linemates and he’s kicking ass.

    Now let’s look at Marc Pouliot. He had 10ES points in 46 games. He played against tougher opponents (182/686) and with Torres and Jacques (Desjardins’ lists two defensemen but I’m confident Jacques was his most often used linemate aside from Torres).

    Pouliot’s linemates sucked (630/676 and I’d like to see who the 46 guys saddled with worse were playing with) and he played pretty well.

    Now let’s look at the EV difference between the two, understanding Parise was placed in the best possible situation and that Pouliot was put in a very difficult one based on age and experience.

    Fair?

    Pouliot EV TOI: 511:29 (8.525)
    Parise EV TOI: 1171:47 (19.53)

    Pouliot EV/60mins: 1.17
    Parise EV/60mins: 2.05

    How much would the gap close if the roles were reversed? Would Pouliot have had a better season in NJ with the soft parade and those linemates?

    Even if he didn’t come out at 2.05EV/60 like Parise did, I just don’t think he’s SO much better that it’s a wise move to give him an offer sheet and surrender what is extremely likely to be a superior player.

    And I understand Asia’s point, but not this year imo. Too many good kids in the next draft.

  13. mc79hockey says:

    With respect to the Oilers draft record, I got you confused with somebody else (Tyler or somebody).

    I haven’t said much on the Oilers draft record, only that Lowe was an idiot to point to the number of NHLers he’s produced (defined as playing 1 game) as a measure of that. FWIW, I agree with LT that there’s a glut of B level talent in the system. As of today, the Oilers have a ton of interesting young guys, although admittedly some of them were acquired via trade.

  14. Big T says:

    Agreed LT;

    Because our draft pick will probably be in the top 10 with or without Parise, Penner, or whomever else.

    This is a tactic that is a good one for a quality team that will be surrendering picks outside of the top 20. Unfortunately, in a few years if teams get wise, it could be the way that rich teams continue to be real contenders – by making offer sheets and paying for them with watered down picks (20th to 30th)

    T

  15. RiversQ says:

    I’m a big fan of this move. I was hoping they would do this in previous offseasons, so I certainly can’t complain now. I’m not at all worried about the target either – tearing a strip off the bottom sixers has merit too, LT. Vanek can do that already and that’s something to keep in mind.

    I love how that mclea donkey comes out firing on the wrong guy altogether. He has a lot of opinions for a guy that obviously hasn’t read or understood anything in this blog.

    I agree on Pouliot vs. Parise though. They’re way closer in terms of impacting results than your average hockey fan would understand, I think. However, I’m not sure any of that precludes the Oilers from making an offer. Parise is a sure thing and if they can make the price right, they should get it done. Draft picks are way overrated and I’ve been saying that for years now it seems.

  16. jon says:

    Mclea: The Oilers have a good chance of drafting high end talent in the next two years on account of them being very strong drafts and the Oilers currently being a very poor team. I think that’s what LT was implying.

  17. momentai says:

    Geez. Everybody is piling on mclea here. Well, I probably would do the same just in a lighter tone. mclea probably hasn’t read enough of our opinions around here.

    I’ve just never been a fan of the offer sheet. As LT said, there was no way BUF wouldn’t match and I am still not convinced that the risk was worth it. I like Vanek. I liked him at the draft as well. But if we’re paying for a young player, I want to make sure he’s worth the money and the picks we’re going to lose.

    I don’t think there’s any surefire guarantee that that 7 million contract doesn’t become a Nash one where the player does fuck-all for the team while getting paid handsomely for it. I’m hoping Vanek doesn’t become that but it’s still a major risk.

    That’s not even mentioning the fact that the team is poor and there’s just no way that Vanek alone is going to make enough of a difference. I figure that like Vic and LT, I’m in the minority though.

  18. mc79hockey says:

    Well, I probably would do the same just in a lighter tone. mclea probably hasn’t read enough of our opinions around here.

    No, mclea reads all of the Oiler blogs. He’s pretty much CiO’s favourite commenter.

  19. RiversQ says:

    momentai said…
    I’ve just never been a fan of the offer sheet. As LT said, there was no way BUF wouldn’t match and I am still not convinced that the risk was worth it.

    Ah, I think it was worth it. I’m firmly convinced that the draft picks aren’t worth all that much.

    I agree about the matching dilemma. However, if Vanek was on a WC team it would be a no-brainer because it’s a huge plus to make a playoff rival blow an extra $2-3MM/yr in cap room for the next three years or so. (I say 3yrs because Vanek was likely to get paid next contract)

  20. McLea says:

    I love how that mclea donkey comes out firing on the wrong guy altogether. He has a lot of opinions for a guy that obviously hasn’t read or understood anything in this blog.

    This is a fair criticism. Admittedly, I just recently made Lowetide a daily stop, and that’s why my tirade was off the mark. Again, my apologies. I’ll make sure I go through your achieves before I take another run at you.

  21. Lowetide says:

    mclea: It’s all good. I especially liked your ‘eat crow’ post over at CinO. :-)

    RQ: re:draft picks. Even in a deep year? I think you’d have to adjust the odds, right?

    Vic: Agree completely on that weird trade to get their own 3rd back from the Islanders. If it’s EDM’s 2nd rounder for our own 3rd rder that’s like pick #33 for pick #63 and appears to be textbook insanity.

  22. jon says:

    It was Anaheim’s second for our 3rd, so less of a difference than we’d probably like.

  23. Mr DeBakey says:

    Pouliot played with

    Player ESTOI
    TORRES 185:00
    JACQUES 153:57
    PETERSEN 106:29
    PISANI 92:44
    LUPUL 86:59
    REASONER 85:27

  24. Doogie says:

    I’ll make sure I go through your achieves before I take another run at you.

    Unfortunately, this is the one place where that won’t do so much; most of LT’s archives got eaten when he changed the template (stupid Blogger).

  25. Vic Ferrari says:

    jon:

    Okay, Anaheim’s 2nd makes even less of a difference. Either way it was nothing to get upset about, but very clearly this was done to get back their own 3rd rounder.

    And they wouldn’t need that pick to get Vanek. And if they got Vanek they would have blown their wad on RFA offer sheets for four years.

    What were they thinking?

    .

    Rivers:

    I like RFA offer sheets too, and I know we both think that draft picks are wildly overvalued on the internet. But damn, the Oilers have a legitimate chance to draft guys at the very steep end of the curve here. Top five seems likely for next year at least, probably for two or three years given the makeup of the team and financial restraints. And Vanek simply isn’t worth it.

  26. Loxy says:

    I’ve been out all day and haven’t been able to comment, so hopefully I didn’t scan past this…

    The biggest frustration about this move by Lowe is that it’s such desperation. Had we seen this on July 1st when Buffalo (albeit minimally) still had a chance to re-sign their 2 main guys, at least it would’ve made Regier question the contract.

  27. rickibear says:

    I am an oiler fan who has been following the oiler blog crowd since may 2006. Reading you even motivated me to purchase the 2 weekender packs and drive 400km to attend oiler games.

    The mick mcgeogh game was the start of the down fall of the season.

    It is important to nte that it is ok to have differing opinions as lowetide pointed out. It is also ok to change that opinion Rigid thought is for Self intrested people.

    I like the offer since it will create the inclusion of your rfa in all max offer decisions.

    Will this be there last Rfa offer I do not think so.

    The third rounder from the o’rourke trade will allow us to make rfa offers in the first and third rounder compensation range.
    2.28M to 3.42M

    Page 56 of 475 in the cba.

    http://www.nhlpa.com/CBA/index.asp

    The possibilities from nhlnumbers site are intriguing. It requires some planned thought to acquire the pick. But does not mean you execute it.

  28. rickibear says:

    Forgive the grammer!

  29. rickibear says:

    You Know there will be other attempts to improve the team.

    However I will still renew my tickets to see this team.

    Mikhonov/Horcoff/Hemsky
    Torres/Stoll/Nilsson
    Sanderson/Pouliot/Pisani
    Moreau/Reasoner/Thoerson
    ???????/Storitini

    Pitkanen/Staios w/ good knees
    Tjarnstrom/Greene
    Grebeshkov/Gilbert
    Smid

    Roloson/Garon

  30. jerk clown says:

    godot10:

    you knocked it out of the park on this one…exactly right.

    at the end of the day, i don’t see it as desperation as some on here have suggested. it was lowe doing what he said he would – use every option available, leave no stone unturned, etc…the guy wants to win and he wants to win for the city of edmonton….that’s at least one thing you guys can’t fault him for.

  31. Chris! says:

    No, mclea reads all of the Oiler blogs. He’s pretty much CiO’s favourite commenter.

    Pssh. McLea may be an incendiary clown who thinks he’s “keeping us all in check” by intermittently posting half-baked contrarian hoo-hah once every three weeks. But for my money, he doesn’t hold a candle to the venerable reggie jr. and his beloved Falmes.

  32. The Rage says:

    Great post title by the way. I laughed out loud when I read that one.

  33. Colby Cosh says:

    If you made a list of 23-year-old guys who made the Second All-Star Team I think you’d find that nearly all would have been well worth the contemporary equivalent of an upfront investment of $50M. The frontloaded nature of the deal would have done much to protect the precious linen of the EIG members, and the cap hit is already a bargain if you’re convinced Vanek is the real deal. As far as being a fit with the team the argument makes itself.

    The real issue is the draft picks, which are still the bricks and mortar of a franchise. Look around: you’re not going to find a lot of rosters that consist entirely of captured UFAs/RFAs. Even a clueless scouting department handed the Oilers’ next four #1s should be able to flush out a Vanek-grade guy just by dumb luck. (In some scenarios they’ll come short, but then, in some scenarios they get John Tavares.) Basically that doubles the price for this category of RFA; you’re giving away nearly equivalent talent AND the UFA market price. It would make the most sense for a team that was really confident in its readiness to contend now, and willing to borrow against the future.

    The other scenario in which it makes a lot of sense, of course, is if you’re a GM whose ass is hanging out on a limb and you don’t really give a crap what the team looks like in 2011…

  34. Black Dog says:

    I liked the Vanek move – even if his total fall off this season, the fact is the guy absolutely feasted on soft minutes and I think his linemates were Roy and Maxim A. – decent players but Vanek and Hemsky would make sweet music – and for seven years …

    But, even with Vanek I figure the Oilers for a lottery team at least one of the next two years, especially if they move Horcoff. Its the D, folks.

    So, is Vanek worth, say, a #2, a #4, a #15 and a # 21??

    That’s the question. If this was happening a few years down the road when the kids have matured and they have had a few lottery picks (say 2011) and the picks are a # 19, a #25 and a couple of #30s :)and it was a keeper to put them over the top then its less of a gamble.

    As for Parise, take a pass.

  35. mc79hockey says:

    I am an oiler fan who has been following the oiler blog crowd since may 2006. Reading you even motivated me to purchase the 2 weekender packs and drive 400km to attend oiler games.

    Wow. Someone should run that past Alan “I don’t talk to bloggers” Watt.

  36. Colby Cosh says:

    Maybe Lowe will invite you and Grabia to dinner next time instead of Matheson and TJ. Try not to eat your salade niçoise with the oyster fork, you philistines.

  37. momentai says:

    Riversq said
    Ah, I think it was worth it. I’m firmly convinced that the draft picks aren’t worth all that much.

    I agree about the matching dilemma. However, if Vanek was on a WC team it would be a no-brainer because it’s a huge plus to make a playoff rival blow an extra $2-3MM/yr in cap room for the next three years or so. (I say 3yrs because Vanek was likely to get paid next contract)

    Well, it’s worth a whole bunch if you think the Oilers are going to be struggling with or without Vanek for the next 2 seasons. If the picks are top 5, you’re likely to get a strong player. If they’re mid-round I’d certainly understand.

    I’d be all aboard with this move if Lowe and company opened the purse strings and brought a dman and a vet forward like a Johnson. That I think I can get behind. But Vanek alone and leaving the rest of the team intact? I can’t justify that one.

    I’d pay for a Patrice Bergeron instead of a Vanek.

  38. Oil Stain says:

    Asiaoil-. Why should we allow other teams in more appealing addresses to underpay young elite players and then use those dollars to crush us in the UFA market. Why let the NE and SW markets pay their elite RFA peanuts and then use those dollars to outcompete us in the UFA market.

    Well one day the Oilers could be the team with some big performers in RFA staus. We’re probably looking at a couple of top ten picks in the next couple of years.

    Does it make sense for Lowe to screw that up for himself in the near future. I don’t think so. I think he is being pretty shortsighted.

    Edmonton will also shed the lame duck in the UFA market problem when they begin to look like they are competently managed.

  39. rickibear says:

    Sorry Mr Mudcrutch I am not into the divine intellectual consciousness. I am Dad that is passionate about his oilers and will take his son to the games. Right now we are at that point about showing him how to play fair.

  40. Vic Ferrari says:

    Two things:

    1. That mclea guy is really unique. And judging by his comments I’m almost certain he’s never actually played or watched a game of hockey in his life. I mean I like the reaction that he draws from the CinO smart alecs, but watching Lain be “try like hell nice” with this kid kinda grates my tit. Is it just me?

    2. rickibear: You’re off your nut, my friend. Stay at home and spend some time with you son. Take this from someone who once spent so much time physically and mentally absent because of this hobby that my own child thought I actually played for the Oilers at one point (she thought I was Jason Smith, which is wacky).

    Plus these deceptive buggers who own this team right now simply don’t deserve the custom of decent people like yourself. They just don’t.

  41. mc79hockey says:

    Sorry Mr Mudcrutch I am not into the divine intellectual consciousness. I am Dad that is passionate about his oilers and will take his son to the games. Right now we are at that point about showing him how to play fair.

    That comment wasn’t meant in a bad way, only that I’m always surprised to hear that people care about what’s written on the internets.

  42. Lowetide says:

    I think it comes down to some people not really understanding Parise’s position.

    It’s like all of his at-bats are against the mop up middle relievers while the guys carrying the mail are facing the #1 starters and the closers.

    From my pov, Parise is a solid NHL player in a narrow view (kind of like Comrie) but why a team would sacrifice a golden opportunity to get that impact player in the draft is beyond me.

    The best info I’ve seen (the Desjardins’ opposition numbers) isn’t perfect but they verify what we kind of knew: Parise has good/great linemates and plays against butter.

    Mclea (and others) is looking at those hockey card numbers and thinking ‘if we could just get his 31 goals to EDM life would be good.’

    I have a bad feeling about the Parise offer sheet that could come at any time. Lou in NJD is going to have to think long and hard about matching an offer that gives him a chance at a very high pick in an historically strong draft year.

    Losing Chris Pronger is painful enough, losing 15 years of one of those impact-type players because of a Zach Parise offer sheet would be the hill I die on.

    Seriously. Stupidity is one thing, but getting Ernie Hicke for Guy Lafleur smells bad in any era.

  43. IceDragoon says:

    I’m with you, rickibear.

    This is a perfect opportunity to show him that our GM played by the rules.

    Anyone who colluded to keep the cost of RFAs down, however, did not play by the rules… to put it nicely.

    With a salary cap, it is inevitable (with some growing pains) that the wealth should shift to those who deserve it… smart GMs and high level talents.

    Lowe used this CBA tool the right way. He made a legal offer to Vanek, a player he truly wanted, including a steep compensation (especially this year) to the Sabres if they didn’t think he was worth it. Regier matched and established Vanek’s worth to his team. The fact that he’s miffed about HAVING to pay him what he is worth is his problem. It’s just business, after all.

    Vanek is the first whose contract can now be used for arbitration purposes. There WILL be others… btw – Wasn’t it nice of Mr. Snow to help load the ammo by trading back our third? ;-)

    Lowe just gave the “balance of power” pendulum a big ol’ kungfu-kick, and told the GOBs that they can’t hoard their talented RFAs AND load up on the best UFAs anymore. They’ll have to make hard decisions on who they value most.

    If UFAs want the big bucks, they are going to have to earn them, just like every other NHLer.

    IMHO…

    It’s all good.

    Louise
    ………

    Sorry for the drive by, Lain.
    Just poked my head out for some air… can’t stay and converse… still hangin’ in there, tho.

    L8r

  44. Dennis says:

    I’m gonna call you a liar on that one, Lain, about you dying on that hill I mean. If you put up with jumping early on Pronger and Lowe being a total dummy on Smyth, focusing on a Parise offer-sheet as the tipping point seems somewhat silly to me.

    BTW, nice to see you staying current with that headline;)

    I had a long post earlier on Vanek and it got lost so here’s my take on things. I think it was a bit of an overpay, myself I would’ve liked to see it at no higher than 5.75, but if this was the case where the EIG was prepared to actually spend money, then hey, why the fuck not give him all that money. It’s not like anyone else wanted to come here. As for the compensation, I wouldn’t mind giving up two 1sts and a 2nd but four 1sts is a lot. As much as I’ve liked Vanek since his AHL season, the truth of the matter seems to be that the next time the Oilers win a playoff round, one of Horc or Stoll won’t be here and possibly both will be gone. So maybe it’s best to try and hold onto the next couple of draft choices because ’08 will see us in the top 10 for sure and ’09 might not be much better either.

    Regarding what role Vanek would play if he were here, I think we’ve got enough guys to outscore and play tough opp, ie 10-16-14-34-18-and perhaps Pouliot, that Vanek would be brought here to team with Hemsky and tear up the soft opp and drive the PP. It would be nice if the guy we brought in could be an outscorer and PP guy, like for instance Ryan Smyth, but more than likely it’s gonna be a soft min muncher and Vanek does a damn good job of that and the fact that in Year 2 of his career he murdered soft opp, to mean it sorta seems like he might be a candidate to do half decent against tough opp in a couple of years. And if that happens then this kid is gold. As I said above, I think it’s awhile before this team makes it to the playoffs and it’s probably better to grow a core together and have the 08′s and 9′s be a big part of it. But if you’re talking about making an offersheet, TV seems like the right cat to try it with.

  45. Dennis says:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sabresnhl/story/114586.html

    Interesting take from the Buf writers. Seems like a crowd that wouldn’t cotton to a GM undervaluing a Ryan Smyth, for instance

  46. Lowetide says:

    Louise: Nice to hear from you kiddo, you’re always welcome.

    Dennis: Huge difference between trading Pronger and giving up the center of your cluster moving forward 15 years. Pronger being dealt was a mortal blow to Lowe, but losing an impact player in the 2008 draft could have long ranging implications for the Oilers franchise. Huge difference.

    As for Smyth, I still believe they decided not to sign him summer ’06, and with that as the backdrop they got a nice package for a guy who wasn’t coming back anyway.

  47. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t know about those Buffalo writers Dennis. I listened to that press conference and they’re all idiots who hate the team. They were worried that someone else might try and sign Vanek to an offer sheet even though the Oilers offer sheet had been matched. Such people’s views can be safely discarded, I think.

  48. Dennis says:

    That’s not good enough though, Lain. 94 didn’t come back because they didn’t want him back, it’s not like he overpriced himself or anything. Lebrun is as reputable as anyone in the game and he said on HNIC that Smyth even offered to buy a luxary box off them to srta offset the difference. So, no matter what ROM or Plante end up doing, the wrong decision was made in not re-signing Smyth and that’s on Lowe.

    I didn’t listen to the PC, Ty, but those guys made some good points about not locking up Vanek early and about letting the early talks with Drury die on the vine.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I’m not defending the trade, I think (and thought) they should have re-signed him (although they got a beauty payoff for 20-some games).

    If we can agree that Lowe decided not to sign Smyth summer ’06 then everything after that makes sense.

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