Flames at Oilers, G20/07-08

This is Curt Bennett in his Brown University photo. Bill Almon (MLB SS) also went to Brown, but it isn’t exactly a powerhouse sports school (their hockey team’s record is 1-2-3, but I don’t know what it means in terms of ties or OT losses. Hockey lost a lot with this wonky tie system. I can tell you the ’73 Expos were 79-83 and you know what kind of team they were. Math is your friend, Gary Bettman) but Ivy league sports peaked many, many years ago.

Curt Bennett played for the Atlanta Flames. They were interesting because the team was good pretty much from the start, and they picked up Curt Bennett for 10 cents on the dollar and he turned into a useful player (scored more than 30 goals two times for the Flames).

I think one area where Calgary has run circles around Edmonton this decade is picking up useful parts for not so much. Others include signing their best players and having a team that combines skill, toughness and discipline. Kipper is a supreme example, but there are others. The Flames are run by smart people, have two impact players and are an organization to be respected despite the fact they aren’t looking great this season.

My guess is their GM makes a move to improve his team before Kevin Lowe does. Which is incredible.

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77 Responses to "Flames at Oilers, G20/07-08"

  1. godot10 says:

    //The Flames are run by smart people,//

    Has Kevin Lowe voluntarily given away defensemen as good as Mike Commodore or Tony Lydman?

    Daryl Sutter also managed to give away Chris Drury.

    The retirement contracts to Tony Amonte and Darren McCarty?

    Corey Sarich’s contract is as rich as Chris Phillip’s, and nearly as rich as Robin Regehr’s.

    Sutter had beginner’s luck.

  2. Lowetide says:

    godot10: How many seasons has Sutter finished ahead of Lowe in the standings?

  3. victor says:

    I lived in Calgary during the drought. The Flames were a much worse team than any I’ve seen in Edmonton. And I was here for Beranek, Corson, and all.

    Calgary had young talent, and in some cases, traded it away for players. Edmonton has young talent, but seems to be holding on to it. If the Flames had stuck with Drury and Lydman (and cap space not being an issue) I think that they would be a better team.

  4. Ribs says:

    Heh, how many seasons have they had Kiprusoff?

  5. danny says:

    attn Dennis :)

    You kinda called me out in a post a while back, about stating Stoll played a stretch of games (I said 25) before his injury against tough opposition and did well. You said people dont say stuff like that in the ‘sphere without backing it up good and plenty… I didnt have much time for due diligence as its been a nutso week, which included 3 client deadlines and planning/executing a suprise engagement ( to a flames fan ouch ).

    Anyways I’m not fast nor effecient with culling the stats, and this took a while to roundup, well tedious in my short attention span kinda way… but heres what I did, not sure how huge the flaws were considering theres no accounting for ES/PP/PK or ENGs.

    I decided to look at every home game from the hurricane game where Stoll turned it around, to the game until the canucks concussion. I used only home games to have a better indication of MacTs matchups. I recorded the stats and mins of horc and stoll to get a feel of how MacT was running the bench.

    Stoll for sure played pretty tough minutes in that stretch, and did quite well in fact by my naked eye. I published the spreadsheet from google docs, you can ahve a look here:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pxR2hoW8UDNvhhVw1cAuILw

  6. therealdeal says:

    Edmonton is far superior at actually developing hockey players though.

  7. danny says:

    oops… link is too long, join these below to get to the spreadsheet page

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/
    pub?key=pxR2hoW8UDNvhhVw1cAuILw

  8. Lowetide says:

    therealdeal: They’re better at drafting, and I’d like to be able to say that they’re solid at developing (Horcoff, Hemsky, etc).

    I don’t know that we can say that for a certainty either way. However, results be results (as Vic would say) and the Flames are a sucktastic team currently but STILL don’t have to worry about Edmonton.

  9. Dennis says:

    Danny, that link’s not working for me but I’m looking forward to checking out what you found. Most folks will say the OS is the strongest and smartest spot on the net but I love how it’s gotten to the point that you’ll challenge a guy on something and he’ll go and do some spadework to try and prove his point.

    LT, Flames can’t draft but Sutter’s made some beauty trades. I was talking about it with my buddies last night, they’re all Leaves fans and were wondering how in the fuck JFJ could turn it around, and I commented on how Sutter built that team pretty much on trades. Has anyone else been able to do it to the extent that Sutter has? Plus, they sign their Ryan Smyth’s to boot.

  10. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Danny: that’s some pretty interesting stuff. Well done putting that together for us!

    Personally, I’ve long felt that Stoll is a Horc in the making. He can play both ways, in all situations (PP, PK, ES), puts up some offense, and delivers leadership. At the mid-point of last season just before his initial concussion, I note that Stoll was a virtual PPG player (padded by his PP time, I admit).

    I think a MacT team is best rolling four solid lines rather than having distinct checking and scoring lines. To me, Horc and Stoll are the future in that they can centre two very solid two-way lines (assuming that we give them good wingers).

  11. Dennis says:

    Oh, forgot to mention, I was listening to the pregame podcast and MacT said they could call up Thor if 51 has to go on IR. So, I guess that settles the arguement about whether he’d have to pass through waivers if we brought him up, right?

  12. danny says:

    Dennis, heres the link shortened, should work.

    http://tinyurl.com/2udtqy

  13. Black Dog says:

    what’s wrong with Brodziak?

  14. Lowetide says:

    On Brodziak, I think there was some buzz about a knee or a shoulder. Sorry to be vague (how many hockey injuries AREN’T knee/shoulder) but he has something wrong.

    Lol.

    Question: is it POSSIBLE for the Oilers to win a hockey game in which Zack Stortini is a major ‘game story?’

  15. Lowetide says:

    And of course as I write that, Brodziak is in the game and takes a penalty.

  16. Bruce says:

    Brodziak had a “puffy knee” at the end of the Wild game.

    How about Gilbert crunching Phaneuf? Only a 2 on the Dion Scale, but the underlying equation is Fear Factor = 0. I love this kid.

  17. Black Dog says:

    Yeah, says knee on the Oilers’ site.

    I will never understand the Stortini thing.

    Good PK esp. Gilbert rubbing out Phaneuf. Love Gilbert. I believe I may have mentioned that before.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Oilers certainly should be comfortable playing in their own end, God knows they get enougn practice.

  19. Bruce says:

    Garon fighting the puck a little, having trouble tracking it and it was a bad rebound that led to that Iginla and Conroy v. kids pressure for what seemed minutes on end. No damange done yet, but rebound control is huge on this club.

  20. Lowetide says:

    It is taking three tries to get the hell out of their own end. You can’t win jack playing this way.

  21. Dennis says:

    Fuck, what an ugly period. 12 is junk again and it looks like Gagner shouldn’t be in the league. Gilbert made one terrible giveaway but he also made three or four really good plays.

    This reminded me of watching a college hoops game where my side has to work for absolutely basket they score but at the other end, the other team’s getting open looks and pulling down all kinds of offensive rebounds.

    BTW, Pouliot scored again tonight in an OTL for SF. Read some comments from him the other day and he said he’s working on his two way game and then bringing it back to the bigs. He specifically mentioned that he’s looking to grab a point per game.

  22. uni says:

    2nd good play by Rourke on the night defensively. That’s something I guess.

  23. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t like Storts but that’s a ridiculous call. It looked to me like there was a stick on Hemsky too.

  24. Bruce says:

    I guess it’s the benefits of low expectations, but I have been pleasantly surprised by Rourke.

  25. Bruce says:

    Nice to know Staios is our most experienced, reliable defender. That was just gawdawful.

    I’m doubly pissed that Nolan was even on the ice. How did Stortini get a misconduct and not Nolan? That was 50/50 if I’ve ever seen it.

  26. Bruce says:

    Marouelli and Nolan make a nice combination. Fuck, that’s just brutal.

  27. Lowetide says:

    What I just do not understand is standing pat. IF you have the lotto pick, then fine. But I distinctly remember Lowe saying his one great regret last fall/winter was not being able to help his team at exactly this point in the season.

    Nice to see he’s gotten over it.

  28. Bruce says:

    Just went back and watched the replay of Nolan-Stortini. There was one punch thrown, by Nolan (that started it), and a whole bunch of jawing, by both. Stortini gets the 10, Nolan a get out of jail free card, and then gets two points in those 10 minutes to put this one to bed.

    If Dan Marouelli has proven one thing in his 336-year career, it’s that he’s NOT a homer. Why does he have to keep proving it every time he comes home to Edmonton?

    He did make a nice pick play on Gilbert, though. Jumped right in front of the net, just like they teach in zebra school.

    Bottom line, though, is Oilers deserve to be down by a couple. They got nuttin’ tonight. And that more than anything the refs or the Flames have done, has me frustrated.

  29. Dennis says:

    Yeah, the refs fucked us on the 2-0 goal but Bruce is right, we have ‘earned’ our two goal defict.

    Older Dennis, Dennis has told you that Lowe only talks about big trades but never makes them. Or at least not for them to benefit us. Don’t expect him to do anything and then it won’t hurt as much;)

    It’s hard to believe that this team seemingly can’t get up for a home HNIC tilt vs the Flames. And, man, Penner is just beyond lethargic out there.

  30. PunjabiOil says:

    Fuck, what a brutal game. Turnovers and turnovers in the neutral zone. It almost seems like the Oilers were hoping for 0-0 tie and winning it in the shootdown.

    In the pre-game they were talking about Hemsky would really put up the numbers if he had a sniper to play with. Can’t say I disagree – I always thought Torres overachieved early on in his career. Stoll is nothing but a PP specialist who occasionally scores 5 on 5. Damn frustrating.

    It’s pretty much all on Kevin Lowe, although MacTavish is eeking his way slowly out of my good books.

  31. PunjabiOil says:


    It’s hard to believe that this team seemingly can’t get up for a home HNIC tilt vs the Flames. And, man, Penner is just beyond lethargic out there.

    Have to disagree with you Dennis. He’s one of the few Oilers having a good game out there.

    Of course ‘good game’ is in relative terms, and doesn’t necessarily mean results.

    *sigh* Fucking Oilers.

    Fuck.

  32. Bruce says:

    Under the headline “Don’t believe every number you read”, Penner leads the Oil with 4 hits, Gilbert leads with 3 giveaways. This one I do believe: Horcoff is the only player with 2 shots.

    Game on, let’s hope they wake up in the third like in Vancouver.

  33. Bruce says:

    Who is this guy, Mick McGeough? That’s just terrible.

  34. mc79hockey says:

    Fuck Nilsson went all European soccer player after that shot was blocked.

  35. nameht says:

    wow everytime ganger + cogs get on the ice the puck gets hemmed in our zone

  36. nameht says:

    and they get a goal

  37. uni says:

    Well they got it back, now we need 2 more.

  38. Dennis says:

    Lasislav Ulanov. Sorta rolls off the tongue doesn’t it;), what is that guy does well?

    Seriously.

    I know 13 failed to check Conroy on the 3-0 goal but where in the fuck was Smid? Why was he turned side-on and in no position whatsoever to defend?

    Kid, you DON’T have a shot. You don’t blow anyone away with offensive skills so for fuck and pete’s sake, respectively, try and defend when you’re in your own end.

  39. uni says:

    I know Nilsson had his chance on the PP, but where the heck has that other Nilsson from the first two call-up games gone and disappeared to again? Christ this guy had better find the on switch again.

    And freaking Torres just can’t buy one right now, good game by him but geez, he could have a wide open net and divine intervention would make the puck explode before it found the goal line.

  40. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    That goal is a good example of the way Staios likes to chase the man behind the net. Greene does the same.

    All other Oiler D, recent past and present, would have checked up and taken the crease, leaving Smid, who was in position, to take the man. Then the deep forward goes in to support Smid.

    I don’t even think that it’s necessarily a bad thing to have the D stay on the man, but everyone has to be playing by the same rules or it’s confusing as hell.

    Ted Nolan’s teams have the D hold the zone, but if it’s the forward that’s hard on the man, then he seems to stay with them Staios-style. That makes sense to me, and it’s simple. And if the forward gets beat then the next line of defence is a real defenceman.

    Huddy seems to be working with a “just play your own style” theme. Always has.

  41. rickibear says:

    With tonites goal Cogliano has 12 points. Hemsky is still at 13.
    LT: I agree we have to make moves and we can starts with Hemsky’s two boat anchor linemates. Or else Cogliano will blow past him pointwise and EV.

    Heh here is an idea:
    Cogliano-Gagner-Hemsky
    Torres-Stoll-Sanderson
    Reddox-Reasoner-Brodziak

    Just a pathetic performance in the first two periods.

  42. Vic Ferrari says:

    As I still care just enough to bitch.

    What in God’s name was MacTavish thinking throwing out Sanderson-Cogliano-Gagner after the Oilers PP in the second? It ended up being a shift about one and a half minutes long. Everybody in the building knew that Iginla’s line would be coming over the boards.

    Is this a cry for help from MacTavish? Jebus.

  43. Ribs says:

    The game was scrambled eggs but it was fun to watch.

    A nice glimpse into the future for the Oilers. Cogs and Gagner were playing off eachother beautifully in the offensive end. Gagner showed some flair that he had been missing the past little while here. Perhaps he doesn’t enjoy the “Horcoff Experience” with Reasoner and Brodz.

    Penner actually threw a couple of hits after the first…Wow! Now only if we can get him to stop screwing up the clutch time-out plays. Two games in a row, ugh.

    Nilsson started to fight back after the first, that is something he needed to do. He’ll still need to improve on his efforts before anyone really believes he can handle the big boys. Too bad on that blocked goal. That sucked almost as much as the damn ref jumping in the way of G-bert.

    Brodziak looked like he was hurting. It was sure nice of MacTavish to throw him out there so much in the middle of the game there, sheesh. He must have fell down 5 times and lost his stick twice as he was proving his worth there. I’m guessing he’ll be needing a bunch of ice bags tonight.

    Torres… It’s hard to watch him when he’s a this cold. the puck looks like yo-yo everytime he touches it.

    Stortini – Why do we have this guy again? This isn’t the first game that Stortini received grief from the refs before he even does anything. What’s big Georges up to lately?

    Horcoff, Stolly, strong games. I hope Stoll’s working on his wrist shot in practice these days. You can see that one-timer chip shot from a mile away and it’s almost never accurate enough to reach twine.

    Hemsky was Sandersoned into a fine mist and sprayed over the entire game intermittently. Cogman and Gagner stole a bit of his limelight I believe.

    Gilbert looked like the only defenseman who knew what he was doing on the ice this game. A lot of scrambly mess all over from the D-men tonight.

    Grebs stayed a bit farther away from the train tracks tonight. I think it’s best for eveeryone when he does that. He did manage to make a couple of braindead plays though (Like passing to Horcoff as he is about to jump the boards after a shift).

    Tarnstrom wasn’t at his best this game. He just wasn’t making a lot of the passes he needed to. Hard to gain the offensive zone without those passes *Flashbacks to last season*.

    Rourke made some nice defensive plays on the scramble-spew. I guess we have to add his value to the Penner ordeal now that he’s proving to be an effective fill-in man.

    Staios was good at times, and really bad at other times. Something is disconnected here. Plug’im back in Mac! Smid needs him! (and that’s all I’ll say about Smid)

    All in all it was another entertaining game. Not many whistles and end to end action. Plenty of bad, and glimpses of good. The stuff you would normally get with a young team like this.

    I’ve been liking Simpson on these CBC broadcasts so far. He doesn’t water down his commentary as much as others seem to.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Craig Simpson’s appeal imo would have been insight into the town team, but he appears to measure his Oil comments to the point of blah.

    Terrible decision by him or the CBC. You know, Craig, it would be okay to pass along a few things about the team.

  45. RiversQ says:

    Penner was awful in this game. He skated for a couple of shifts to start the third and that was about it. I guess he wasn’t kidding when he said in training camp that he was going to pace himself to conserve energy for the second half. He doesn’t win puck battles, he turns the puck over repeatedly in the neutral zone and he fails to get it deep when crossing the blueline. Chip the puck in deep and use your size.

    Is there an Oiler dman in recent memory that looks as bad as Smid does in odd-man situations?

    Good grief, I realize Staios shouldn’t have pinched on that one 2on1, but do you think Smid could take away the shot or the pass or the second pass or the second shot? What a shit show. Check him out on the next 3on2 or better yet watch him when his side of the ice is overloaded on the PK – he’s just ridiculous.

  46. Ribs says:

    I dunno LT, I kind of respect Simpson/them for not going that route. I agree that it would be a lot more interesting to hear about the inner workings of the Oilers in a bit more detail, but I also think that it would get old pretty quick. He does sprinkle some Oiler info through the broadcasts though that are fun to hear. When he was harping on Hemsky for not going to the net on a PP opportunity it brought a smile to my face.

  47. Lowetide says:

    ribs: Yeah, I see your point, but the NFL does it right imo. When that RB from PITT retired (the bus?) he had the Steelers head coach (whatever his name is) leaving in like week 2 the following year.

    Cut the cord, write the book, tell us why MacT won’t play the French guys.

  48. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide,

    I think the entire crew on HF that was stepping on your toes this summer for ”being too negative” RE: the Penner RFA offersheet owes you an apology.

  49. goldenchild says:

    A couple of things. 16 is killng Hemsky, Hemmer looks like he is trying to do everything by himself out there put 10 back with him and let 16 sink somebody less importants season.

    I know 78 has not exactly looked like a HOFer out there but he wouldn;t be more capable and valuable tben Stortini? or Nilsen or even Brodziak?

  50. Bruce says:

    I agree we have to make moves and we can starts with Hemsky’s two boat anchor linemates.

    I had a bad feeling about this game as soon as Hughson started talking about how that’s our best line. Tonight Stoll attempted five shots but only one got through to the goalie; Hemsky attempted five with only two (from really bad angles) reaching Kiprusoff; while Torres managed to get two of four shots through. As a line that’s 5 shots, 9 missed/blocked shots. And 0 goals. Hemsky just frustrates the hell out of me with his decision-making, while Torres has gone 9 games without a freaking point. And any thought Stoll was out of his funk disappeared when he missed the net from about six feet right in front. If that’s our best line, we’re in very serious trouble.

    I was happy with exactly one forward tonight, namely Shawn Horcoff, although Cogliano and Gagner did have their moments as ribs pointed out. Unfortunately, they were “moments” in Calgary’s end and “minutes” in Edmonton’s.

    On the blueline Gilbert played his B game which is still pretty OK, and Rourke was solid with 3 blocks and no real glaring mistakes. I wish I could say the same about Staios and Smid, who battled but lost more than their share. The supposed offensive guys, Tarnstrom and Grebeshkov, generated nothing.

    Between the pipes Garon was OK but not brilliant which is pretty much the minimum requirement these days. And I agree with Vic and Andy that MacT was outcoached tonight, although given the popgun roster he’s been saddled with it’s hard to know where to draw that line. But some evidence the team has a clue in the offensive zone would be a real welcome change.

  51. Dennis says:

    So, it has come down to this. We’re at the quarter pole and we have seven wins, just three in regulation, and 15 points. We’ve blown the first two games of a six game homestand. Ron Maclean brings up the 100 K for Smyth when talking about all the renovations for the Oilers room.

    Oilers finally decided to spend money this summer. Then they purchased all the wrong items.

    It would all be much easier to stomach if I thought Lowe could get fired. MacT’s making some curious decisions but at the end of the day, he doesn’t have enough to work with.

  52. PunjabiOil says:

    Ron Maclean brings up the 100 K for Smyth when talking about all the renovations for the Oilers room.

    Didn’t you know? 3M in dressing room renovations will help attract free agents in the future?

    That is, after the annual combined contracts of 10M/year of Penner/Souray expire in the summer of 2012.

    The EIG honestly don’t give a f***

    As long as Lowe keeps giving the fans the shiny candy (Souray) (Gagner in the NHL at 18), enough so that they commit to season tickets in record numbers and keeps the profit train chugging, he’ll be rewarded with f ****** 4 year contract extensions 2 games into the season.

  53. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    Yeah, looking at the shiftchart just now, it looks like Reasoner was gone and Brodziak (who was just terrible on this night, the knee must be affecting him) done by then. All of Horcoff/Stoll/Penner/Torres had played on the PP … really MacTavish just ran out of cards on the Cogliano line shift after the Oilers PP. And that happened in the third period BTW. My bad.

    All that fuckery early in the game, with Iginla heading to the bench straight away … then not getting his proper first shift of the game until about 2:40, while MacTavish kept rotating his top two lines out there …

    I think that had shagall to do with Stortini/Regehr and everything to with Keenan bushsitting to get Iggy out against the kids, Cogliano and Gagner. MacTavish won that first waiting war, the kids got their first shift immediately after Iggy left the ice (only to be penned in their own end by Langkow/Huselius, and remain there while Lombardi/Nolan line continued the pain.)

    Calgary is just too good of a team. Keenan looks like a master tactician, but it’s easier to look like that when you have all of the facecards.

    Sutter doesn’t need to make any trades IMO. All that team needs is more saves, and they’ll probably start getting those soon enough.

    What’s the deal with Reasoner BTW? I watched most of the game, but I missed seeing him get hurt.

  54. mc79hockey says:

    Someone recently referred to MacLean as thinking of himself as the Shadow Commissioner, and that’s totally correct but he’s basically one of us when it comes to Smyth.

  55. Rod says:

    What I just do not understand is standing pat. IF you have the lotto pick, then fine. But I distinctly remember Lowe saying his one great regret last fall/winter was not being able to help his team at exactly this point in the season.

    Nice to see he’s gotten over it.

    If there were any trades of consequence out there, we’d probably have something to complain about. As it is, the Ducks waive Bryzgalov because they couldn’t get any takers, while Burke is campaigning to change the rules to facilitate trades.

    Cut the cord, write the book, tell us why MacT won’t play the French guys.

    Maybe someone should ask Ted Nolan as well. With Berard healthy enough to play, MAB’s been benched 5 straight games. Sorry, couldn’t resist. :-)

  56. Lowetide says:

    Rod: I just don’t buy that there are no moves available. Mike Johnson was available, would he be a better option last night than Gagner when the Oilers had three tries before they got the puck out?

    Would anyone really blame Lowe for overpaying in order to dress qualified D/RW?

    The Oilers used to have a few irritating habits, but we all do. I have too many empties in the family room this morning, forgot to put the lid down (barbeque, smartass) and generally speaking there’s “work to do” around the house.

    Oilers have those things too. They play hurt people and pretend they’re fine, they have a powerplay that is just real bad but refuse to get their feet moving so the opponent can force Hemsky to make a play because none of the Oilers behind the checker who is rushing 83 have moved and everyone knows it.

    But this season is coming down to not having enough NHL players. I understand Souray is hurt, I understand Pitkanen is hurt, I understand Pisani is hurt. I understand we’re closer to the cap than ever before, and I understand we’re at 50 on the roster.

    WHen I was a kid, there was a poster of two vultures (maybe buzzards) on a branch with the caption “patience my ass, let’s kill something.”

    Last fall, Kevin Lowe was in this same position, got nothing done and in the summer admitted it being one of his major frustrations.

    How is this different? How is this in any way acceptable?

  57. Ribs says:

    …They play hurt people and pretend they’re fine, they have a powerplay that is just real bad but refuse to get their feet moving…

    Ah, so you were yelling at the screen trying to get them to move too then. Glad I’m not alone.

  58. Pat H says:

    yes, yes…my frustration is pretty similar to most of yours. I suppose that we all get a little more shrill after a game like last night, but jeezus. jeezus! The problem is just so freakin systemic, from the EIG to the coaches (incidentally, I don’t put a lot of the overall blame on individual players, more on the org’s (in)ability to assess players).

    Dennis:Ron Maclean brings up the 100 K for Smyth when talking about all the renovations for the Oilers room.

    I missed that part. So did Maclean bring it up as a backhanded shot at how Lowe dealt with Smyth? Or was he even more explicit?

  59. Dennis says:

    Ty, I think you’re right about Maclean. I get the idea that he wants all the Can teams to do well but especially the two from his old province.

    Pat, here’s how it happened. They went to Hrudey and Oake after the game to get some comments, and keep in mind that the focus of Behind The Mask was showing the renovations the Oilers had made to their room, and after their postgame comments were made, Maclean basically said, “you know, when I watched Kelly’s piece on the Oilers spending four million dollars on their dressing room, all I could think about was how they lost Smyth over 100K a year.”

    Then the panel started talking about it and Stock has basically nothing enlightening to say, Galley said 94 was pissed because everyone else got paid that summer before he did and Morrison said that he feels both sides have regret about it not getting done.

    LT, I don’t know why you keep expecting Lowe to do things. He did it ONE season, man.

    ONE.

  60. Pat H says:

    thanks Dennis. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think MacLean is a guy who doesn’t tend to rock the boat a heck of a lot in terms of openly criticizing ownership/management of Canadian teams. And I say that as a big fan of MacLean, not as a criticism. For him to make that kind of remark…well, in my mind, it shows us how blatantly obvious it is – to nearly EVERYONE – that Lowe f’d up.

  61. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: He CAN’T keep all these assets. He just can’t. He HAS to make a trade at some point involving quantity for quality.

  62. Rod says:

    Point taken re: Mike Johnson. That said, while Johnson would have been better in a specific scenario than Gagner, are you saying he’d be in Gagner’s roster position as well?

    BTW, I was directing my moves comments more at trades. I figured that’s what you were talking about.

  63. Dennis says:

    He’s done it once, Lain.

    Once.

    How many years have we all kicked this around? How many times has it been said that we need to do a three for one move? And how many times has it actually happened?

    Once.

    Larry Pleau is a moment of madness.

    Once.

    Weight was once moved out for Reasoner, Horachek and Hecht. That was qual for quan. Later on, York for Peca because we had cap room and the Isles needed to move him. That was about having space. Ryan Smyth was moved for Nilsson, California Dreaming Ryan O’Marra and a first. Once again, qual for quan.

    And, now, you expect Lowe to do the oppositein a year when we only have, what, 1.3 mill left to work with? That means that today, we could pick up a guy making around 1.7, right? Yeah, I’m sure we’d be sending salary out but still, quanity for quality trades will ALWAYS mean you pick up salary. And unless Penner’s moved, and I don’t think you can deal guys the first year after signing them as UFA’s, right?, or Souray waives his no movement clause, then how do we move salary in order to pick up a Marian Hossa?

    There’s something in the way that Lowe treats big ticket items that’s foolhardy and for an org that’s really improved their drafting, there’s a disconnect in seeing a kid at 17 and having a good idea he’s worth the trouble, then looking at him 10 years later and measuring his value. That’s how I’ll explain Smyth. Pronger was just a bad move for anyone who didn’t think the five assets angle was real, the other day on HF there was an audio link to a Lowe int while he was in SF to watch the Falcons and right off the bat, there’s the five assets thing coming out of his mouth.

    Kevin Lowe doesn’t know how to MAKE qual for quan. And even if he did, now our payroll’s so bloated that he couldn’t make once even if he A: wanted to B: knew how to do it.

    I said, good day, sir!!!

  64. Pat H says:

    there’s another thing about the whole dressing room issue that really bothers me, though I imagine the gist of it has been brought up before. Why would the organization be so willing to spend 3.5-4 million when it’s intending on taking steps to build a whole new arena (even if that’s effected 4-5 years down the road). The conspiratorial answer? They don’t intend on building a new arena.

    I wonder if this is the non-Penner/Souray part of the ‘collateral damage’. I imagine that they had these dressing room upgrades in the works for a while (it’s only trades and signings that are done without foresight). So Katz comes in and ups the ante – “I’LL build a new arena”. EIG’s response? “uh, yeah, uh…we’ll look into that too, we promise!”. pfffffft. In fairness, I know that there were pre-Katz rumblings about it, but I doubt it would have amounted to much, unless the EIG got the money practically handed to them.

  65. Bruce says:

    I understand Souray is hurt, I understand Pitkanen is hurt, I understand Pisani is hurt.

    I keep waiting for the day (week/month/year) when our captain rides in on his white horse and all is right with the world. This team misses Moreau’s intensity, experience, speed, grit, penalty-killing and leadership more than can be properly evaluated, suffice to say that the replacement level guys bring maybe one or two of those elements at best.

    Of course Ethan won’t/can’t fix everything that’s wrong with this team, I’m not sure Mark Messier in his prime could do that, but the Oilers’ll be a hell of a lot closer to respectable the day (week etc.) Moreau returns.

    Any word as to him being close? It’s a quarter of a season already with a shot-blocking injury.

  66. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: You just can’t keep collecting 6′s and 7′s, though. I tend to split Lowe’s era into the pre and post CBA which imo is fair based on the forces that made deals like the Weight trade.

    So, summer 2005 he had a value-wise team and a willing victim in Pleau. He also offloaded York (was York hurt?) for Peca and then had a deadline to remember.

    Summer 2006 he is at the other end of the spectrum. He doesn’t sign Smyth, sends away Pronger for the future and then doesn’t sign enough help for the backend and it costs him.

    Summer 2007 he signs the wrong people and signs them to long term contracts that hurt moving forward.

    Agree?

    So, now we’re near the cap and have a bunch of players who can’t play in the NHL. Some of them will be able to, and others are enjoying their cup of coffee.

    Lowe and MacT have apparently decided that Robby Nilsson (credit for Hughson for the “Robby” part, makes him sound like an Osmond) is ahead of Pouliot, Schremp, Jacques, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

    Good?

    Then deal them. Deal Pouliot and say Smid plus a pick or another prospect to a team that has too many RWers or too many Dmen. St. Louis has 8 guys on D for crying out loud, the Rangers have strength in some areas and need help in others.

    We’re at the point where overpaying for help is not only reasonable, it’s also vital.

    How many prospects are knocking on the same door? How long before one of them proves he’s the one?

    Is THAT what this season is about? If it is, then the Dustin Penner offer sheet may well be the absolute worst move in history.

    ALL history.

    It’s worse than the French pointing all their cannons in one direction.

    Doesn’t anybody else feel rage about this? We’re going to give DENIS POTVIN TO ANAHEIM for Dustin Penner!!!!!!!!

    It’s like buying a 1974 Pinto for $2M, and it’s public knowledge.

    AND you buy cars for a living.

  67. Rod says:

    Dennis, re: cap room: Maybe they counted on getting cap room by dealing away Roli. Of course with no trade partners for for Bryzgalov, there’s no market at this point for Roli. Only way it would have worked was picking up Bryzgalov and then waiving Roli. That would have freed up 2.5… It’s not like we need to keep Roli for a rebuilding run. Another possible move dashed. Did the Oil really have a shot before Phoenix (as Mirtle posted)? If not it’s a moot point I guess.

  68. Rod says:

    LT: Yes, at this point it’s a lottery pick. And I’m getting nervous about the pick in the Ducks hands right now. That said, there’s still 60 games left. Plenty of time to get out of the bottom five…presuming some NHLers start making an appearance soon by returning to the game day roster.

  69. Pat H says:

    LT: Doesn’t anybody else feel rage about this? We’re going to give DENIS POTVIN TO ANAHEIM for Dustin Penner!!!!!!!!

    It’s not at the point of being a ‘given’, but it’s certainly getting there. I share your rage about this, and have (honestly) been concerned about this since day 1. And the Vanek sheet was no different – worse, in fact (4 first rounders vs. 1). By going through with it, you’re also giving your scouting staff a backhanded little slap in the face: we’d rather gamble on Penner than gamble on our scouts drafting the next Alex Plante ahead of the next Cherepanov/Esposito.

  70. Ribs says:

    Is THAT what this season is about? If it is, then the Dustin Penner offer sheet may well be the absolute worst move in history.

    I like to think of it this way… Even if the Oilers bomb the season and Burke ends up with a lottery pick, the Oilers have the power forward that they have been searching for and he’s a year older and wiser. No need to waste more picks trying to find him.

    The top ten or so prospects for the draft are mostly defensemen and there are only a couple of bigger forwards (I assume the Oilers wouldn’t draft small forwards over big ones).

    Unless Burke gets first pick and grabs Stamkos, he’s stuck picking defensemen in the top five, an area he doesn’t need too much help in.

    Same would go for the Oilers if they had retained their 1st rounder. They’d likely get stuck with a defender and more developing time would be needed before that player made an impact. Acquiring Pitkanen and Smid kind of dullen the impact of not getting one of these guys.

    Of course, it’s still early and a forward could emerge from the prospect bunch by draft day, but today it looks okay.

  71. Rod says:

    Bruece said: Any word as to him [Moreau] being close? It’s a quarter of a season already with a shot-blocking injury.

    Only cryptic clues, like this one from Tychkowski in today’s Sun:

    “It would help if the team had a captain, but casting Ethan Moreau’s broken foot six weeks after he broke it isn’t going to speed up his return any.

    What is that supposed to mean? That Moreau was just casted? Not entirely. Moreau took the shot off his ankle back on Sept. 22nd. By my count, 6 weeks would have been Nov.3rd. We’re now another two weeks past that… Apparently in a cast.

    Any intelligible info on Moreau’s status?

  72. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Moreau got a new cast this past week which basically means 6ish more weeks or more. We’re looking new year for him.

  73. Bruce says:

    $#!+

  74. Rod says:

    Unreal. 6+ more weeks. Wow. Thanks for the update though.

  75. Dennis says:

    Lain, I guess it wasn’t pointed directly at me per se:) but don’t talk about rage. Or at least not to me because I’m the guy that pretty much went nuts the day I heard about the possibility of Smid/Lupul plus for Pronger. Also, how many days in a row did Ty and myself write about the Smyth debacle?

    I can’t say that I’m past the point of rage, but I think I’ve exhibited sufficent levels of rage since the day they dealt away Pronger.

    And, look, you make some good points about why Lowe MIGHT make a deal, ie once you give away that pick via offersheet you’re basically saying we’re trying to win and we’ll burn any bridges along the way to make it necessary.

    But, I’ll keep stating my original point that any quan for qual trade means PICKING Up salary and right now, we simply don’t have the capspace. Now, if we’d just picked up Penner and we hadn’t signed Souray, we’d have enough money that we could consider qual for quan a possibility. But, that’s not the case so I don’t think it is a possibility.

    You name me the last time a team made a quan for qual trade that didn’t involve accepting salary and I might start moving to your side.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: But that is Lowe’s JOB. His job right now is to go find help that fits under the cap in exchange for extra parts he has lying around the yard.

    He’s going to be on “Oilers live” tomorrow and I imagine he’ll talk about the injuries and the Moreau setback and on it goes, but he has to know that at some level the hockey world is watching him twist in the wind here.

    And I’m betting his ego/desire to win is enough to overpay by half in order to get back to even.

    What’s holding it up? What to address first, and the cap situation.

    But his JOB is to figure it out and address need. Last night’s shift where Iginla is out against teenagers made my point beautifully.

    Unless he and MacT have decided to give Brian Burke a present, or that the lottery pick doesn’t matter, the season doesn’t matter, then they’re going to do something.

    Is there a man alive who would let himself drown without a struggle?

  77. Dennis says:

    Lain, I had a long reply written up here but I decided to take it and make it into a topic over at Ty’s place. This is a gametread from two days ago so eventually this topic will fall to the backpages and I thought that we’d wind up wasting some good stuff here. I hope you and everyone who was interested in this topic will make the trek to Ty’s place and talk about it over there. I should have something up shortly.

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