Big Night for Oiler Fans

Final pre-season games aren’t usually this interesting. However, the Oilers have a ton of roster moves to make and some of them are going to have long term impact. The Journal does a nice job of framing the issue today with regard to the D:

Between now and then, there are three avenues for the decision-makers. The Oilers will either carry eight defencemen, find a trading partner, or send Ladislav Smid to the minors. It is not the most probable course of action, but Smid is on a two-way contract.
Tom Gilbert, despite his standout play, will likely start the season in Springfield. He is the only other candidate who can bypass waivers on the way down.


I think the Oilers find a partner.

Up front, MacT is going with a lot of prospects in what is normally a final tune up game. Marc Pouliot will apparently play tonight in what is either a Last Chance Texaco for the opening night roster or a nice swansong before getting sent to the AHL again (or possibly being included in a package deal for immediate RW or D help).

Sam-wise (hat tip to Louise) Gagner will draw in on a line with Sanderson and Pouliot. The fact they can keep Gagner up for a few games but no recall rights apparently is in his favor at this time.

I don’t expect a trade today, but once again Kevin Lowe’s opening night roster looks out of balance, off key and ill-prepared. 8 defensemen they like but not enough of them are difference makers 5×5, three very inexperienced right wingers and about 5 prospects F and D who will eventually be traded so why not now?

Package them up for a healthy, veteran RW who can score you 15 goals and do some heavy lifting. This roster is crying out for it.

Right?

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71 Responses to "Big Night for Oiler Fans"

  1. Ducey says:

    Wrong. Sort of.

    1st, who the heck is going to trade a decent 15 goal scoring winger at this stage of the season? You might pick up an Anson Carter type but not any piano movers.

    2nd, the Oilers need some depth. Sending MAP and Roy to Toronto for some moop might look good now, but what happens when that moop gets a Souray slapshot upside the mellon? Right now they have Stoll with a potentially soft head, and Moreau with a bad ankle. 10 games in you have to expect at least a couple of injuries.

    3rd, what is 15 goal scoring veteran going to do for this team? Its not a cup contender. Its not even a likely playoff contender. MAP, Roy, JFJ, Thoreson, and whoever, are more likely to help you in 2 or 3 years – which should be the focus of this organization – otherwise its on its way to becoming the Leafs.

    Having said all that I would trade Tarnstom to clear the D backlog and maybe any other prospects who have become suspects – although I am not sure there are any. From afar I would give MAP, JFJ and Shrempt another year. They should all put up good numbers while hanging out with the Homer Simpson this year. If MAP ducks out of Chad Moreau’s camp early next summer, he’s gone.

  2. HBomb says:

    Why trade for that guy Lowetide?

    Mike Johnson is STILL available.

    I’m amazed this guy hasn’t been signed by someone yet.

    If you’re going to do a 3-for-1, I’m all in favor of making a bid for a BIG-TIME top sixer who can kick ass at ES and score 90+ points, if they can make the cap dollars work.

    Think Brad Richards, Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk. Or, dare to dream….Heatley or Lecavalier.

    Think Philly would give us Jason Smith back for Greene plus something else?

  3. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    Lain…

    That ‘hat tip’ belongs to Pleasure Motors – Covered in Oil – August 27 – 1st comment.

    http://www.justagame.ca/index.php

    ‘Just a Game’ has MacT’s scrum from yesterday. Get to it quickly, as it will be bumped for new interviews on Monday. Don’t know why the Oilers don’t have this on podcast. There’s some excellent insight into coach’s mindset nearing the end of TC.

    Louise

  4. Lowetide says:

    ducey: They HAVE to replace Pisani’s minutes. Just have to. I’m not talking about winning the SC, I’m talking about keeping a top 5 pick away from ANA.

    If Kevin Lowe can make the moves he did this summer, finish 13th in the conference, GIVE ANAHEIM a top 5 pick and survive well then I give the hell up.

    They need a 15-goal, tough minutes RW. If they sign Mike Johnson with the Pisani savings fine, but they need that guy.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that right after the TC cuts comes the pressure. For instance, Nilsson is 2line RW for now, but if he ends up playing 12 games and getting one assist then he’s Michel Riesen.

    This ain’t over, no matter who gets sent out.

    But they need a veteran RW. That’s a fact.

  5. Art Vandelay says:

    “It’s Moor, you idiot.”
    “Oh I’m sorry, it says ‘Moop’. My turn.”
    “Gimme that card.”
    “No.”

  6. NBOilerFan says:

    Thanks for the link Louise, definitely some great stuff from MacT and very telling on some players. I’ll say no more and let others hear it for themselves.

    I don’t know what to think regarding a trade. I would rather Lowe dangles a package which includes one of Horcoff/Stoll and try to land a big time #1 center. Are any of those guys that HBomb lists actually potentially available?? Only Lowe knows for sure.

    We could try to pick up a Johnson type to help with the heavy lifting and provide some offence, but that would really only help enough to stop some of the bleeding. Whereas a offensive #1 center upgrade could very possibly be enough to make us a cup contending team. And if we could land a #1 scoring center, then a second line of Torres – Horcoff/Stoll – Nilsson is gonna be just fine, IMO.

    That is the best thing about getting Penner, it didn’t cost us any assets to fil our large gap in #1 LW. Which now allows Lowe to make a pitch for the #1 center role using some big assets. But either way, if Lowe is seriously looking to make a deal it better be soon. I have to believe that the assets we have now would currently give Lowe some bargaining strength, but as soon as some of the rookies start to falter and obvious holes appear, Lowe will once again be in a position of weakness regarding any trades.

    I’d be fine with taking a chance on another high end prospect at #1 center. Any chance that Cammalleri is available? Doesn’t LA need some help on D? What would it take to land Cammy?

  7. HBomb says:

    I don’t know what to think regarding a trade. I would rather Lowe dangles a package which includes one of Horcoff/Stoll and try to land a big time #1 center. Are any of those guys that HBomb lists actually potentially available?? Only Lowe knows for sure.

    Of the five guys I listed:

    - I bet Tampa would move Richards’ salary for the right price, but he’d have to waive his NTC.

    - Atlanta is not making money. If they extend Hossa at 8 million per, perhaps, they have to move Ilya. And if they can’t extend Hossa…do they proactively move him a la Ryan Smyth (and, like the Oilers, end up regretting it).

    - Lecavalier is the pipe dream. It would take a 1992 Entry Draft Philly-type package to land VL. I think Tampa would ask for Hemsky plus Pitkanen for starters.

    - Heatley I don’t think is available via trade. HOWEVER, it’s interesting to see if he gets extended. The longer it goes, the higher his price will get, and Ottawa is a Cup contender so they will not move him at the deadline.

    I’d be quite mad if the Oilers didn’t have the room to make a run at Heatley on the off chance (i.e. 5% or less, IMO) that he hits the open market next July 1st because they blew 9.7 million on Souray/Penner this summer. The even worse part? I have an awful feeling that if it did come to Heatley as a UFA, Vancouver, with 6 million worth or Markus Naslund off the books at the end of this season, would look at Heatley as a nice RW fit to play with the Sedin twins…..

    Luongo and Heatley in Vancouver with Iginla, Phaneuf, Regehr and Kiprusoff in Calgary would be too much to bear for this Oiler fan….

  8. Ducey says:

    “I’m talking about keeping a top 5 pick away from ANA.”

    I hear you, I hate Brian Burke bigtime. But really isn’t that irrelevant now? If ANA picks 1st or 30th it doesn’t make any difference to the Oilers.

    The goal here in Edmonton has to be to win a cup. I don’t see how giving up on the future (no matter how murky) to avoid the lottery this year helps get the Oilers to the cup faster.

    If next year MAP is playing replacement level 3rd line minutes for another team and your veteran moop is on the scrap heap, you going to be happy then?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Interesting comments indeed, Louise. Thanks for the link. Reading between the lines if Gagner shows well tonight then I can see him staying for the 9 (or is it 10?) game look-see.

    Dennis mentioned awhile ago about Garon getting a lot of kind words from the organization, and it continues in this interview. 32 games? Complete difference from the past.

    Classic response to the Smid question. MacT is the best sports interview going imo. lol.

    “I see more of an influx in the lineup” from the guys who get sent out. Looks like a revolving door is possible, maybe a 30-man roster.

    Man he loves Cogs.

    Penner: He looked good early, just okay in the last two games.

    Pouliot: “He’s playing okay. With Pouliot you want the player to identify the urgency which is very much the case. It’s great that he’s put himself in this position, so it’s a matter of finishing the job through physical play and urgency.”

    Pouliot should be farther along on this roster. He just should be. There’s a disconnect somewhere.

  10. Lowetide says:

    ducey: Let me rephrase. I, like many Oiler fans, am very loyal to the Boys on the Bus. They played the best hockey I’ve ever seen.

    Kevin Lowe has careened in his GM career and I’m prepared to be patient based on the Cup run, forgive the Pronger miscue (not so much forgive as forget since I liked the deal at the time and move on.

    But if Anaheim steps up and takes a once-in-a-decade talent off the back of the Penner signing, then my faith is lost.

    It was a bad bet and it could be a disaster. Kevin Lowe’s teams have not had balanced cargo at takeoff and it continues this season.

    After awhile, it becomes too much. I’m pretty much there now.

  11. NBOilerFan says:

    The best thing about pre-season is all the prayers and wishes that guys like Nilsson, Brodziak, Cogliano and Gagner can continue to impress and elevate their game rsulting in exceeding expectations and end up being solid contibuters and difference makers in the long haul and not level off or lose momentem.

    But as we all know, it’s not very common and usually not the case come November/December.

    But, God I love HOPE!

  12. HBomb says:

    The goal here in Edmonton has to be to win a cup. I don’t see how giving up on the future (no matter how murky) to avoid the lottery this year helps get the Oilers to the cup faster.

    Funny….this is precisely the argument I keep running through in my head when analyzing the Souray and Penner signings.

    I’d have been quite satisfied if the Oilers had done the Pitkanen deal, picked up Garon, and stopped there.

    Then again, I’d have been happier still if they had got Smyth’s extension done in summer 2006 like they should have and then made a pitch for Scott Hannan to replace Jason Smith on July 1st. Go down that road, and they would have been a playoff lock, methinks….

    But on the other hand, if things played out that way, we probably wouldn’t have Sam Gagner to drool over….

  13. HBomb says:

    Tonight’s lineup, as per oilerinvan at Oilfans.com:

    27 Dustin Penner – 10 Shawn Horcoff – 83 Ales Hemsky
    14 Raffi Torres – 16 Jarret Stoll – 12 Robert Nilsson
    8 Geoff Sanderson – 13 Andrew Cogliano – 78 Marc Pouliot
    28 Patrick Thoresen – 89 Sam Gagner – 33 Anson Carter

    Thoughts:

    - Unless Anson Carter scores five goals, I don’t see a place for him on this hockey team. So why play him tonight over, say, Brodziak for example?

    - Tom Gilbert will have a good game. Yet he’ll still get demoted, despite the fact he’s probably better than Greene, Roy and Grebeshkov. Stupid one-way contract crap…..

    DEFENCE

    26 Denis Grebeshkov – 2 Matt Greene
    23 Dick Tarnstrom – 36 Mathieu Roy
    5 Ladislav Smid – 77 Tom Gilbert

    GOALTENDERS

    35 Dwayne Roloson
    32 Mathieu Garon

  14. IceDragoon says:

    Lain…

    MacT’s scrum was the source for the article you quoted. Like many, I like having access to the context and there was much more worth hearing, imo. Props to Jason Gregor for airing it.

    Gotta go, but I’ll be back to add grist to your context
    :-)
    L8r

  15. Gnash says:

    I think we’ll have to wait another year or so before we judge the Smyth trade. It looks like we might be very happy with Nilsson this year, but O’Marra and Plante aren’t likely to be impact players for the Oil this season.
    We’ll be able to compare Grebeshkov vs Bergeron directly this season – something to look forward to for the number crunching junkies.

    With regard to making a trade now – I’m getting the impression that, for the most part, all of the teams are in wait-and-see mode for the start of the season and there isn’t alot of interest in significant roster moves. Lots of other teams have also had rookies show very well in pre-season play and have high hopes for those guys stepping in to the lineup – take a glance at the preseason points and I think you’ll see lots of rookies with 5+ points. At the moment, I don’t think the deal is out there.
    Absolutely, keep looking for opportunities, but they seem limited.

    Without dropping some contracts, aren’t the Oil in a situation where they can’t sign any more players? That is, already carrying 49 contracts and needing some time to decide on Gagner?

    By the way, I seem to recall seeing a rumour regarding a Cammalleri for Pitkanen proposal that resulted in Edmonton calling Pitkanen untouchable.

  16. trader says:

    Listening to MacT’s comments I had to laugh at Jason Gregor. What is with his Man-Love for Matt Green?

    Now I know we need someone with the physical skills of Greene (and he will be and has been given every opportunity) but let’s be realistic – based on Green’s play in the TC and PS Gregor should have been asking about Greene as the 7th D-Man not Smid.

    Laughed at how MacT told Gregor (in a nice way) that he didn’t know s–t and his question was stupid.

    Agree with you LT that MacT is a great interview.

  17. uni says:

    My problem is I get too attached to the kids, or players, and I always dread seeing them go =(.

    So here’s my question, does anyone else think that Smid would do well to be sent down to the AHL where he can play 1D minutes and dominate? I mean he looked okay in the 2 periods of exhibition play I saw, made a few heads up passes and seemed to be more confident lugging the puck. But at this point do you think he’s ahead of Gilbert & Roy?

    Oh and this little tidbit by Darren Dredger. Apparently the Oil plan to keep players and lure new ones with this 3 million dollar makeover.

  18. NBOilerFan says:

    Not surprised to see MacT pair up Grebs – Greene on the lineup tonight after his comments regarding Grebs having offense and no defense, and Greene defense and no offense.

    I don’t understand the Carter thing either really unless Lowe is thinking about sending down Gagner and signing Carter as the 50th player contract?

  19. gary b says:

    i think Carter in the lineup tonight is just a courtesy move. i really don’t see him sticking around. Brodziak has impressed enough, i don’t think the coaching staff needs to see more from him tonight.

    i think Mike Johnson is in St. Louis at the moment trying out for the Blues (i think i read it on Mirtle’s blog). Looks like he’s played in… 2 exhibition games.

    Regarding the talk of a move for a veteran RW – who the heck would actually be a suitable and likely trading partner? As fun as it is to consider the ‘pipe dream’ trades mentioned above, i just don’t see any move shipping out Hesmky. And it’s hard to imagine most teams making a move of that magnitude (trading a Heatley/Kovalchuk) in the first week of the season.

    Tampa Bay DOES seem like an ideal partner, in that they would be seeking a Dman with the injury to Dan Boyle. but after the ‘big 3′, i don’t see much on RW there. Kozlov in Washington? Erik Cole from Carolina? Jamie Langenbrunner from NJ? i doubt it. Maybe the Canadiens and Micheal Ryder – but would they ship out a huge chunk of their offense for an upgrade on D?

    it makes your head hurt.

  20. trader says:

    I think Smid is ahead of Gilbert and Roy, and I hope in the end the thoughts are we should try to make the big team as good as possible. I do not want Anaheim to have a top 5 pick.

    The interesting thing with Roy is that if he is waived he is down on the farm for the year. He will not clear re-entry waivers as he then can be had for 250K as the Oilers would be on the hook for 1/2 his salary.

  21. Dennis says:

    A few things:

    - Writing’s on the wall for Roli, IMO. That two year pact for Garon was the first hint and now macT’s picking the scrum to announce that they’re gonna let the hot guy carry the ball and the short-term gain for the hockey club is more important the the long-term effects as far as how many games a guy’s played at year’s end. That’s as clear a pronouncement as you could make this early in the year.

    You have to wonder how Roli feels about this given that he was in the same sort of situation last year in Minny, he played his nuts off for the Oilers in ’06 and then had to play behind a shitty team in ’07 and then Andy Murray canned him for Cam Ward in last year’s worlds. Look, you have all kinds of goalies who talk about they like having their back-ups drive them and provide motivation but I’d imagine that all of them would like to be Brodeur and have their back-ups be Clemmenson. You’d have to think that this isn’t want Roli wanted at this point in his career but he did break down, IMO, with the expanded workload last year, you can’t fault the Oilers for wanting depth in the position and I think Roli might be a guy that uses slights, both real and imagined, to motivate him. I think this becomes a running story this season.

    - Along with Penner’s conditioning and lackthereof or his speed or lackthereof. The Oilers are clearly not overimpressed with him so I wonder how this will turn out.

    - Regarding the comments on Pouliot and Brodz, the way I heard it was the reporter thought MP’s play was improving and MacT said, “He’s been OK” and then he talked about urgency. And then he mentioned Brodz and it was almost like he was a little disappointed because Kyle’s nearly made the team but MacT wants more effort from him and wants him to put on the finishing touches.

    - He talked about the D and mentioned subjectivity and that means that the best seven or eight guys aren’t gonna be the ones you carry. He mentioned Greene shortly after and we know why they’re gonna keep him no matter what he does: because he’s a defender amidst a sea of puck-movers and the Oilers don’t want to give up on anyone in that boat. He also mentions Grebs as a guy that’s good offensively but gives you little defensively and they hope they can help that side of his game. It’s early on but how do people feel about swapping out MAB for Grebs given the apparent deficencies PLUS also giving away a second rounder in the process?

    MacT closed by saying that Lain Babcock’s old enough to have learned from recent history and that three for one deals only happen when you give up on Ryan Smyth;)

    And, yes, HB, though it would mean no Nilsson, no Gagner and no pick and no Penner, I would still rather have Smyth back.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Did he also mention I liked the Smyth trade? lol.

    For those talking about getting an impact player this time of year, I’m not suggesting the Oilers get Heatley. I’m suggesting they get an actual NHL player who can play RW, score some and possibly form a checking line when needed.

    Those players are available now because they’re always available.

  23. Dennis says:

    Yeah, it’s weird that we don’t see Brodz or JFJ yet Carter gets a game. Fuck this courtesy shit, unless AC’s willing to work himself into shape in the AHL playing shotgun on a wing with RS or MP. Maybe there’s something afoot there and if he got another big league offer then the Oilers would agree to let him go.

    Anyone else get the feeling that Dreger’s an Oilers schill?

    - As for that list of possibilites:

    Langenbrunner’s out for a while with a wrist injury and Ryder CANNOT play any kind of mintues other than soft and he gets killed when he does that. He’s a flat out PP specalist and only still holds a job because there are so many teams in the league. The whole Cole thing’s been mentioned before but I don’t know how strong it’s legs are.

    When you talk about this quanity for quality thing, I really don’t see it unless the Oilers know that Pisani’s gone for the whole year and they put his money towards a deal. Plus, the other team would have to take on Sanderson’s salary. So, that would mean approx 4 mill out the door.

    How much money do we have left right now, counting Fernie’s money against the cap? What do we have to work with if he is indeed done for the year, which I believe he is, BTW. Look at those figures, throw Sandy in there as a money dump as well, and there’s your basis for a deal.

    Off the top of my head the only name that jumps out is Glen Murray

  24. Dennis says:

    LT, you know what? He DID mention that;) And he also said that even he hated the Lupul move:D

  25. HBomb says:

    And, yes, HB, though it would mean no Nilsson, no Gagner and no pick and no Penner, I would still rather have Smyth back.

    Me too. I’d take Smyth, the three 2008 draft picks, some extra cap space and (say) Brandon Sutter instead of Gagner, Penner, Nilsson, O’Marra, Plante and Souray.

    You could sign Smyth for five years and still call this a rebuilding year, IMO. This whole “what about Smyth’s health later in the contract?” argument doesn’t hold water with me for a second. The guy will still be damn effective at 36.

    Funny how you never read a thing about Souray’s age in the papers, no?

    Now if Gagner pans out to be a 1st liner in the Briere/P.Bergeron mould, maybe I change my position on Smyth…..I still think that the Penner deal and, even moreso, the Souray deal were unnecessary moves where it would have been better to save the cap space for summer 2008, adding a stay-at-home d-man, and extending Stoll and Pitkanen for 5-6 years beyond this one.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: From what I can see, the Oilers have three million BEFORE they put Pisani on long range IR. From the rumblings about Pisani, I think they’re talking about “if” as opposed to when.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: lol. There was a play the other night where the puck came whipping around the half boards and the RW had to muscle it out over the blueline. Same thing as we saw 1,000 times last year, 5 tired players trying to get some relief.

    Last year, Lupul failed at that maybe 15 times I saw, this year a success first time I saw it.

    Reasons? It was the first time in 4 games/scrimmages it happened (in the games I saw), and second the winger crashed the D as the puck arrived.

  28. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t be shocked if 34′s career is over and I don’t throw that out lightly because I was an immeadiate fan of that guy and I loved him long before he almost “Druced” us to a Cup in ’06. I really love the guys who take on the tough min or the guys that didn’t have the jobs handed to him and just worked their way up through. I know you love those guys too so it’s no wonder that both of us are MacT guys.

    In any case, I was speaking to the wife of one of my best friends and her mother recently was afflicated with the same condition and she’s over the worst now but she’s in hard shape as opposed to the everyday living. We’re hearing nothing about Fernie being back this month or that month so I’d say at the very least, he’s done for this season.

    So, we’ll have his money to use along with another three mill so we could certainly afford a big ticket item.

  29. original fan says:

    Roloson for Redden by the trading deadline

  30. Dennis says:

    Just wanted to mention, too, that for fans outside the West, or those within that are hacking BEV;), this game’s on CI.

    I’ve been looking forward to it for awhile. I was hoping I’d get an early look at the opening night lineup but three of our top four D won’t be in there and neither will Brodz or JFJ so starting from the defense out, it’s the last audition.

  31. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t think that we’re going to have his money to use Dennis, unless the Oilers decide to stop paying him.

  32. Lowetide says:

    And if they stop paying Pisani, there’s going to be more hell than a little bit. Not implying they are thinking that way, and if it does become a career ender they’ll cash the insurance (right?) but the Oilers aren’t there yet thankfully.

  33. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I forgot, you only get to use his money if his money contributed to you being tight to the cap, right? They’d have to Numminen him in order to claim back the cash, right?

  34. mc79hockey says:

    As I understand this, insurance isn’t a question in cases like Pisani or Numminen. His contract has a clause that requires him to be fit to be play; he isn’t fit to play so they don’t have to pay him. If Pisani wanted to insure his earnings, he could have got disability insurance.

    We haven’t yet heard what the Oilers are going to do with him, as far as I know. That said I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t pay him and while that might sound sleazy, I don’t particularly think that it is.

  35. Lowetide says:

    MC: Makes sense, and probably indicates that it’s unclear this is a career ender.

  36. mc79hockey says:

    LT,

    Even if it’s not a career ender, why would they keep paying him? I suppose that the effect of declaring him medically unfit may be that his contract ceases to exist and he’s an FA but nobody is going to pay him more than Edmonton would coming back from this.

    The only reason that you pay him is that you feel like it’d be wrong to screw him over because he got sick. While that’s admirable if that’s the case, money is a finite resource and you’re hurting the team on the ice to do it.

  37. Lowetide says:

    MC: One thing I should mention is that in my original post on the subject I was unaware it was the player who takes out the insurance (or at least that was my thinking when posting). So if they have to stop paying him and he collects the insurance (once it’s clear that he can’t play) then I’m fine with it.

    I guess you could make a case that it might hurt an organization already seen in a dim view by some players, but you’re right rules are rules.

  38. Oilinator says:

    Redden for Roli? Are you Serious? Just what Ottawa needs, 12 million in 3 goalies..lmao.

    I personally think Brodziak has made the team and that is why Old friends are giving Anson a courtesy shot tonight against Vancouver. If any team is going to snap him up I believe it would be the canucks.

    Anyone else get pure delight over Calgary getting a spanking at home by a Canucks team without most of the top two lines and Luongo while icing a veteran squad themselves. Everyone in the hockey world thinks they are going to do so well this year but I think that Calgary is going to be the biggest dissappointment in the NHL.

    Anyways, I agree with most opinions that Gagner gets his look then another year in the O to sharpen his skills (maybe even Captain Team Canada at the world Juniors) and then he knows what he has to bring to the table next year.

    I am pleasently surprised with out record so far and although it is only preseason, confidence goes a long way and this is definately a confident group going into the season..unlike our neighbours to the south. Can’t wait to see the ass rippin Keenan gives the team after last nights game.

  39. Dennis says:

    My thing would be if you had planned to use the money elsewhere in ’07, then you talk to him and hopefully he insured his contract and then you decide not to pay him and let him “live”, as it were, off his insurance.

    But if you aren’t gonna use that money to help the on-ice product, then I say you pay it to him rather than put it back in your own pockets. But I imagine that’s not really a realistic way of looking at things, either. The EIG’s running this as a pure business and always have. It’s gonna be interesting to see how they deal with this, though, if the team comes out struggling and there’s an issue of the money being able to help us on the ice.

  40. Dennis says:

    I pretty much hate the Dys as much as I do the Flames. The Dys are better, using last year as the guide, so it’s easier to hate them.

  41. Ducey says:

    From what I hear, Pisani’s condition is not responding to drugs and he has been in and out of hospital. He was close to having surgery last week.

    Doesn’t look good at this stage. Whether they want to or not, (I think they are being good guys here) the Oilers will have to wait for better, more final medical opinions before turfing the rest of his contract.

  42. Pat says:

    LT:

    Sorry to deviate, but I just want to go back to this for a sec:

    “If Kevin Lowe can make the moves he did this summer, finish 13th in the conference, GIVE ANAHEIM a top 5 pick and survive well then I give the hell up.”

    Now I apologize if this has been repeatedly addressed, but I’m starting to think that this point is becoming more and more crucial.

    Apart from the fact that Penner now has the weight of the world on his shoulders, that RFA offer sheet also puts a bit of gun to Lowe’s head with regard to THIS season. I mean, obviously I’m just as pissed as a lot of people about Lowe’s seeming ineptitude, but even post-Smyth, I was and am willing to resign myself to the reality of a very mediocre season. However, the Penner situations changes things. Either we give a good showing, or Anaheim gets a (likely) terrific pick. Does the cost outweigh the reward?

    So not only does Penner himself have to produce, but we have to ensure – like you said – a finish that is satisfactory enough to avoid handing Anaheim a basement-dweller type pick. Barring a monumental trade, I don’t see it happening. Maybe I’ll be wrong though, and we WILL exceed expectations.

    But if we tank, and Anaheim does get a top 5 pick from us, please, oh please, can we assure ourselves that such an event will finally mark the end of Lowe’s tenure?

  43. LittleFury says:

    I really need to know why the ‘nucks are calle dthe “Dys.” It’s been bugging me for, like, 3 years.

  44. Dennis says:

    Lowe’s contract hasn’t been re-upped and there haven’t been any whispers of talks, so I imagine he won’t be brought back if the Oilers don’t fare well this season.

    The whole Dys thing is mine. I’d say my biggest contribution to the Oilers net community has been nicknames and catch phrases and years ago when I posted on Oilfans, we had some dandy fights with Van fans once they got back into the playoffs in ’99 or ’00. A lot of those guys were convinced that the Hideously Obscene Twins plus NasBert;) GAG, and of course Cloutier:D, would lead them to the promise land and they were pretty cocky.

    So, in jest and mockrey, I labelled their team the “Dynasties” to allude to all the Cups they’ve won and the name stuck.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Thanks for explaining that, I never did know where it came from. I am out of beer. Happened once in the 70s too.

  46. chiefbender says:

    Don’t you think the Carter move is a favor to the guy? He’s still looking for a job, probably returning too quickly from the concussion. This is a gift from the Oilers with a hope that he shows well and someone else tenders him a contract.

  47. Dennis says:

    Here’s my take on the first period.

    - You can blame it on our D because this is a group of backenders that resembled our run down the ’07 stretch, read: young and sometimes awful, but the Oilers don’t seem like they’re trying to match lines and even if they tried, I don’t know if there’s anything they could do with the Obscene twins. Those guys are just killing us and controlling the puck down low and waiting for the Oilers to fuck up on their coverage. Smid lost his shit on the first goal and overloaded to the other side and Shannon or Raymond was left open for a tapper. Later on the D faltered again and Gagner made a very heady play where he moved from the slot to the left wing to help Carter stop another open side shot for young Raymond. AC got the penalty for hooking but Gagner’s play stopped a sure goal. A really nice play by a guy so young.

    Later on, after the Carter penalty, Matt Greene decided that he’d take a new kind of penalty so he took a delay of the game and the Dys made it 2-0 on the 2 man adv.

    Back to Gagner, he made a wicked pass to Carter off the left sideboards. Two Dys converged on him and knocked him down but before he fell he dished in to Carter on the backhand who then strode into the high slot for a nice scoring opp. Late in the period, Gagner made a nice pass again from the boards and picked up the rebound and almost tucked it in when he swept around the net. he needs to put on mass or get stronger but everything else is there. I don’t think this kid ever sees the A unless it’s on a rehab stint. Knowing that MP has shown in the past that he can play in the top nine but doubting that’s the plan for him anytime soon, it’s hard to imagine keeping Pouliot over Gagner at this juncture.

    Carter was put on the first PK unit on the first kill and later on when he got out of the box after the 5 on 3 goal, macT kept him out there to again kill a penalty. I don’t know what this means unless they plan on giving him a 4th line shot while they send MP down to the A for another kick in the ass. To note, AC blocked a shot and looked rather adept on the PK which shocked and stunned the Dys TV announcers.

    Pouliot had a good scoring chance and flattened a Dy on the left boards but he also lost what I thought were two winnable puck battles, one of them to Mike Brown who might be big and strong but isn’t the most fleet of foot. It looks like the kid’s awash in the confusion and quagmire of playing the wing and doing it with less than stellar linemates.

    Grebs bounced off Cooke and looked postitively clueless on the defensive end,in fact. Bergy in his youngest days looked more able without the puck. I can’t see the Oilers taking a chance on him if there was any chance he was this bad in his own end. Roy’s having a bit of a tough game, as well.

    Penner had one early shift where he pushing guys away and fellows were boucning off him. It’s sick what size can do for you but he looks like an elephant among hares with the way he skates compared to his linemates. I said this awhile back btu I think there’s something to be said for all his previous offense coming on a cycle line with Getzlaf/Perry. You can say he’s finding his way but he should be better at this point. He did score the Oilers goal though and actually did it from the slot which means that fellows who’ve scored from the slot as Oilers since ’97 are as follows: Guerin-Carter-Pisani and Penner.

    Not really much happening from Horc as he’s being shuffled and not much at all from 16′s line either. The Oilers went on their 5 on 3 because Cooke gave stoll a little run from behind and I audibly gasped when it happened but Jarett jumped right back up and went to his position on the right point so that’s a good sign.

    I guess that just about covers everything. Roli had no chance on either of the goals and like I said, because of the D, the Oilers are spending way too much time in their own zone to get any kind of gauge on what their forwards are like.

    Couple of other things. Besides the odd burst of speed, nothing to report from Cogs and the Oilers broke out their Cogs-Nilsson-Torres second PP unit to start their first PP opp.

    Any questions from the poor buggers who can’t see this for themselves?

  48. K says:

    Watching this online. Seems they’re doing much better in the second period.

    -Nilsson is crazy. Really hope this kid keeps his game.

    -That save from Luongo on Cogs open PP shot was sick.

  49. Dennis says:

    So, before we get to Cogs and to a lesser extent, Nilsson, let’s talk about a funny thing that happened to Pouliot. Namely, once Stoll was put on his line, the guy came alive.

    The Oilers took control early in the 2nd period and never really let go. The Dys had one scoring chance for sure and maybe a second one but that was about it. The Oilers began working like dogs down low and kept the heat on and only for Luongo, it’s at least 5-2.

    Early in the frame Gagner drive the net and Bieksa drilled him with a crosscheck and Anson Carter rode in shotgun and started tossing a few jabs at Bieksa’s jersey. Mike Brown was also on the ice at the time and wound up scrumming with Thor and tried to goad him into a fight and Carter wades into that too. Maybe there IS something to my earlier point about Carter doing whatever it takes to win a job. I’m not saying he’s gonna be an enforcer, though Buchy might disagree;), but he’s sticking his nose in and playing the vet role so there could be something to that.

    As I said, Cogs wasn’t really visible in the first but I did mention the 12-13-14 2nd PP unit being put into action. Well, they got another chance on the PP early in the second and Cogs almost scored on a sweet pass from 12 so macT played a hunch and moved Cogs to centre 12-14 while moving Stoll down to play with 78-8. Cogs and Nilsson clicked right off the bat and made it 2-2 immeadietly and were a threat every shift they were on the ice. Cogs has another gear that we really haven’t seen since Marchant and outside of Marchant and Russ Courntall, I haven’t seen another guy that can put dmen on their heels so effortlessly.

    And the trickledown was that as soon as Stoll wound up with 8-78, you could see Pouliot come alive. All of a sudden he was battling hard down low and keeping on to the puck and waiting for Stoll to get open and they created three scoring chances in quick fashion. So, once again, maybe there’s something to the theory of him having guys to play with.

    I have a theory about Penner as well. I’m not sure if it’s the way he plays, if he’s lazy or if he’s just not well conditioned but it looks like he has one burst of energy a shift and then he’s done. It’s not fair to compare anyone to Horc who’s go-go all the time but Penner can go down and have guys hanging off him and he can drive the net but if the shift continues with Oilers pressure, he makes less and less of an impact.

    Lots of bad things happen with the Gilbert-Roy tandem but I’ve kept a close eye on them and besides one situation, tehy all happen on Roy’s side.

  50. mc79hockey says:

    Man, I am loving that this is televised.

  51. mc79hockey says:

    Oilers on the PP here…I’m already getting sick of watching them play for point shots.

  52. mc79hockey says:

    Dustin Penner kind of reminds me of George Muhresan or Shawn Bradley.

  53. mc79hockey says:

    Anyone else starting to wonder if KP sold us a bill of goods on Grebs?

  54. Dennis says:

    You know that a lot of us believe that the team who has the most scoring chances deserves to win and in this case, the Oilers carried the day. But Luongo is awesome and the Dys 3rd goal was bad and their 5th goal was lucky and we lost by a single marker.

    Grebs looked bad tonight, really really bad.

  55. PunjabiOil says:

    Dennis: Penner was mentioned in the papers a day or so ago…said that he’s ”pacing himself so there is enough left in the tank for February” due to the short summer.

  56. PunjabiOil says:

    Grebs will be a long term project. He’ll stick as the 7th defenceman.

    The guy who just doesn’t get it is Matt Greene. I want no part of him. He’s still young, and big, and a cheap contract (1.15M) – I’d imagine he’s carry value around the league. Pouliot has been equally disappointing – I had hopes he’s take the next step, but it doesn’t appear he did so this summer. Wonder what’s in the cards for his future.

  57. mc79hockey says:

    said that he’s ”pacing himself so there is enough left in the tank for February” due to the short summer.

    Right, like how Roy Halladay stopped striking people out so that he could pitch more innings.

  58. Jonathan says:

    What’s with Roy? He turns into the boards with Rypien on the forecheck? I mean, I really hope the guy’s okay, but that’s a situation where he made himself vulnerable.

    On a related note- there’s no way Gilbert gets sent down. Carry eight guys and stick Grebs in the pressbox. Maybe scratch Greene too. If Roy’s ok, try and sneak him to the AHL on waivers. He won’t get picked up.

  59. NBOilerFan says:

    Firstly, I agree that it was so nice to finally see a game on TV. I saw one game on CI online but that small window is just not good enough to get a good look which is the sole reason I would never order CI online (but then again, why would I, since I have CI for TV).

    Well, with Roy obviously not looking very promising to be fit to start the season, it looks like that helps make the decision on D easier (hope he’s okay btw). I could easily see what MacT meant about Grebs having offensive abilities but defensive issues. Perhaps some time in the A might be good for Grebs, let Bucky et al hone his defensive skill. Again, I’m a big Gilbert fan, so I hope that he sticks to start and I suspect they still decide to go with 8 defensmen so he’s safe.

    Idon’t know if anyone else will agree with me but I personally thought Smid looked horrible more often then good. And Greene didn’t look very good either. I realize that this team was missing our Top-3 D-men, but this game still made me a bit nervous that the defense might still end up being our achilles heal.

    Roloson looked awesome and Garon looked solid too, just had a couple bad breaks on those two early goals. Anyone else wondering why Rolie didn’t finish the game? There is a 5 day break before the season opener so it’s not like Rolie needed the rest. And it’s not like Garon is still auditioning for his role as a back-up, or is it? Would they be considering using Garon in a deal and fill the hole with JDD? I know that Garon will be playing the role of coming into games like this at times, but I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t have left Rolie to finish out the final preseason game to help make sure he is completely ready and has as much confidence as possible.

    As far as the forwards go, IMO Nilsson was the best player of the game followed by Cogs and Gagner. I thought all three were awesome, especially Nilsson and I was really shocked because I expected they would have good spurts, but I didn’t expect that they would be making an impact pretty much every time they hit the ice. Very impressed and excited. I never really expected Gagner to make this team, but after this game I certainly see how it is a very real possibility. Other than being a bit small on the puck, he has all the skills and is ready now, IMO. He sure has a head for the game.

    And I think all of you guys have to get over the Smyth thing and put it all behind you. I was a huge Smyth fan and although I was absolutely shocked when it went down and was not happy for a couple months but I now think it might be the best thing to have happened. And I’m very happy to be heading into the future with Gagner, Penner, Nilsson, O’Marra, Plante…etc. Other than Penner needing better conditioning, I really like the dimension he brings to the team, and I think he will come into form by December and have the “Oiler” game figured out. Man he is big.

    In summary;
    I think there is a lot to be optimistic and excited about regarding our forwards to start the season.

    Our goaltending is great.

    And our defense is still suspect.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Well I’m still not over the Messier trade so good luck with that. My own belief is that once they decided not to sign him (which imo was a mistake, said it at the time) they got terrific value (said it at the time) and the Islanders paid dearly for March-May.

    Deslauriers was the only guy cut last night btw.

  61. NBOilerFan says:

    Well, I uderstand that LT… #11 has been my favorite number since 1984, and you know why. ;-)

    I just think it is time to look to the future with this team and not the past. I honestly think we are looking very promising with the young talent we got in the deal and I think it will pay off quite well in the long run.

    And Penner is gonna pay off as well ad I’m happy with what I saw in last nights game. Especially how he causes so many problems for the opposing D and goaltender in front of the crease, creating room for others to scoop in and bang away at lose pucks. That’s important to note, even if it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard or stats sheets.

  62. Vic Ferrari says:

    Nice to hear that Cogliano, Gagner and Nilsson looked good. I don’t think the Oilers have had an 18 year old impress this much at camp since Hemsky. Within a few short years Hemsky was helping the Oilers win hockey games, let’s hope Gagner is able to follow in those large footsteps.

    ALL the smart will say that Cogliano won’t be able to match Horcoff’s rookie season EV+/- of +10, but the Oilers will need him to do just that somehow.

    I notice from the NHL.com data that Greene and Grebeshkov played the most against the Sedins. That might be part of the reason that they looked poor to many.

    Looks like Staios/Pitkanen will be the top pair, and Huddy will have to be sharp to get the matchup against the other team’s best.

    I think the most important thing is that the Oilers attempt to play an entertaining style of game this season. MacTavish seemed open to that in the link Louise left yesterday, when he said that he needed the Stoll line to be a + line, whether they did that by scoring a bunch or by not giving up much, he said he wasn’t bothered either way, so long as they created more than they surrender. The way this shit ALWAYS works is that the players try to score a whack of goals and surrender fewer. If that spins sideways, if they bleed too many GA, then the coach cracks down and they are made to play a safer game. We’ll see.

  63. kanadienkyle says:

    If Nillson-Cogs-Torres stay together for the PP, can we call them the adolescent line? (12-13-14)

  64. Lowetide says:

    Vic: Are you going to do odds on how long this experiment lasts before MacT goes button-down?

  65. Dennis says:

    Starting off with Smid and continuing into a look at the D, Laddy did look a lot more comfortable handling the puck last night. Remember last year when he could easily skate it into the O zone but then he didn’t have a clue what to do with it once he got there? Last night I remember a play in the second period where he took it in from the left side and held onto it until Cogs was ready to take it and then we started a cycle. So, he’s picking up smarts in that regard.

    Last night, though, it was hard for anyone to look good considering the quality of opp and there just wasn’t either D tandem that could handle tough min and whomever got the Sedins invariably looked like monkeys. And it drove home another point: Smid, like a lot of these fellows, belongs on a third pairing if a team is interested in winning. There’s a thing to be considered in Edm where they’re trying to both develop and win at the same time so there’s no way we can build a real top 4. A year ago, last night’s opponent had a top four D fall out of their ass, ie Bieksa, and all of a sudden him and Mitchell were playing tough mine and Salo/Ohlund were the 3-4 and bam, the Canucks had a D corps. I said earlier this year that we needed a Bieksa to emerge, whether it was an unknown like Grebs or a vet like Tarnstrom or the maturation of a Greene. It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen for us.

    So, I think Staios can handle tough mine and JP has the pedigree to be able to hang in there in short order so that’s the first pairing. After that it gets dicey. It appears that Greene-Souray have been ticketed for second pair duty which leaves a bunch of guys jostling for 5-6 though I think we can certainly pencil in Smid-Tarstrom at this point. That leaves Grebs in the pressbox, and that’s deserved, and Gilbert out in the cold too which is really unfair because that guy looks ready.

    Huddy really doesn’t have the tools to do what needs to be done and with all the clamouring for another tough min forward, I wonder if we wouldn’t be just as smart to get rid of Greene and use his and the available money to overpay Danny Markov on a two year deal.

    Up front, I think the Gagner-Hemksy comparios are apt, Vic. I think 83 was the last guy who gave the Oilers pause for thought in his first camp and damn near made the team. I think Gagner makes the team as well but I don’t think he sticks but I think he’ll wind up playing as many games in the A as Ales has. The guy’s not a burner and needs to put on mass but he’s gonna be an absolute terror from the opposing blueline down. He has a wicked set of hands and just outstanding anticipation. And there was play he made in the the neutral zone last night that blew me away. He held onto the puck and stickhandled through the Cancuks betwnee his own blue and centre and then he made this nicehanded flip that had excellent draw weight and allowed his line to change. The guy gets is and is well more aware of the other two zones than Ales was at this age. The other thing is we need one more flat out skilled player like Hemksy if we’re ever to be serious contenders again. Well, we’ll either need that OR we’ll need Cogs to develop into a Smyth type who can take on tough min and come out on top.

    Speaking of Cogs, if 27-10-83 could keep their heads above water at ES taking on tough min, maybe the second tough min line could be Moreau-Stoll-Pouliot and this would allow 14-13-12 to feast on the soft. That’s just me wondering if the 16-78 duo from last night could be reunited come the reg season. It’s probably more likely though that Pouliot gets farmed out.

    The Journal mentioned Thor probably getting the shaft today and that makes sense. I still believe in the Kid as a top niner but he’s certianly low event and where he tops out offensively is certainly in question. It probably serves the org better longterm to farm him instead of a Gagner or Pouliot.

  66. NBOilerFan says:

    //Speaking of Cogs, if 27-10-83 could keep their heads above water at ES taking on tough min, maybe the second tough min line could be Moreau-Stoll-Pouliot and this would allow 14-13-12 to feast on the soft.//

    Good point Dennis, the 14-13-12 line looked nice last night and had some good chemistry. I’d try a Moreau-Stoll-Brodziak second line as well. With a Sanderson-Reasoner-MAP/Stortini fourth.

    The good thing is there are various options up front right now for MacT. Seems like a lot less on the backend out of the gate. Hopefully they can come together quick.

  67. Dennis says:

    Just a couple of more notes here.

    Here’s who I’d say has this team made: Penner-Horc-Hemsky-Stoll-Torres-Cogliano
    Nilsson and Moreau.

    That leaves five spots for Reasoner, Brodz, Sanderson, Pouliot, Thoresen, Gagner, Carter, Jacques and Sortini. Let’s agree that JFJ and Sortini are battling for 13th spot so take those two guys out and we’ve got spots 9-12 up for grabs with seven guys in the mix. Note: I’ll say the Oilers keep Stortini and farm out JFJ but I think it’s down to these two guys for the first pressbox seat come Thurs.

    It’s pretty hard not to pencil in Reasoner and Brodz for 9-10, as it were. Marty’s played fuckall in the Ex season which seems to indicate that MacT’s had his mind made up on him. Brodz didn’t play in the last one either so I’m thinking he has a spot. There’s been no talk of demoting Sanderson so let’s give him a spot as well.

    So, that’s one spot for Carter-Gagner-Thor and Pouliot. I don’t think it came from out of the blue, so today’s Thor to SF musings does make some sense and especially considering that the guys you might keep have more potential going forward and on a team that has intentions of competing, you’d keep him for a 4th liner but this team is more about ’09 and beyond so you keep a kid. So, delete him. You can also delete Carter because it’s just the wrong place at the wrong time for him.

    And this leaves Pouliot vs Gagner for the 12th spot.

    And I would imagine the Oilers take Gagner.

    I’m a big fan of Pouliot and I believe that he’s been behind the eight ball because of his quality of linemates and the change in position but if I’m saying you keep Gagner over Thor because of the future celings, then I’d have to use the same logic in defense Gagner over Pouliot. That being said, I’d be more comfortable in keeping the kid if we had two lines that could take on the tough and then we could plop him into the soft min centre role.

    So, I’ll say that Sortini is the 13th forward and the lines are like this:

    27-10-83
    14-16-12
    18-19-13
    8-89-Brodz

    Personally, I’d get rid of Sanderson and keep Pouliot because Sanderson has obviously topped out and no matter if I think MP’s a headcase or not, I still think going forward it’s worth more to keep him around and I keep going back to how he didn’t really get to play with anyone this camp and when he did, ie last night with 16, he looked like a player.

  68. K says:

    We have to remember regarding Pouliot was that he was a guy that knew where to go and put the puck when he had Crosby as a linemate and put up big numbers due to that.

    I would say that the issue of who his linemates are definitely comes to play here. Although I wish we could’ve seen this kid step up and make his linemates better during TC.

  69. voxel says:

    Pouliot’s draft year numbers (2003) have nothing to do with Crosby.

    He produces on his own right a small pace(Q + AHL + NHL), but unlike Pisani doesn’t make his linemates infinitely better.

    He’s a tweener now… not a good place to be.

  70. Devin says:

    Fernando wasn’t making NHL linemates better at 22 yrs old either. I think it would be silly to give up on Pouliot, because he is a reliable NHL forward. Really only one NHL season under his belt (if that). Same with Thor. This team just doesn’t have enough NHL level players, why give up on young ones to promote even younger guys who have plenty of time to develop without costing the team wins?

  71. Nelson88 says:

    dennis,

    i like your analysis but think at the end of the day they keep pouliot over gagner (perhaps after 9 game trial). I like gagner but unless he is a real special player who is going to be high impact as an 18 year old why keep him around? they already have the small skilled forward role covered with hemsky, nilsson and cogliano (it seems).

    Best case is Pouliot appears to be a slow starter that needs confidence. Making the team and settling in might just give that to him. Worst case he is trade bait and sending him to AHL again doesn’t serve that purpose.

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