Ducks at Oilers, G38/07-08

This is Bobby Dollas. He played 30 games for the Oilers one season, back when people were being shuttled in and out of town so quickly it was impossible to get a feel for how good the team or a specific player would be over the long haul.

Sather bought low (Traded to Edmonton by Anaheim for Drew Bannister, January 9, 1998) and sold meh (Traded to Pittsburgh by Edmonton with Tony Hrkac for Josef Beranek, June 16, 1998).

Which brings me to a question: what is the worst trade in the history of the Edmonton Oilers? Please give specifics in regard to reasoning and Dennis I must insist on less than 10,000 words on this subject.

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64 Responses to "Ducks at Oilers, G38/07-08"

  1. Jay says:

    March 9, 1998 is a day that will live in infamy for Oilers fans. It was the day Glen Sather traded blueline stalwart Scott “Turd” Ferguson for a washed up Frank Musil.

    When discussing the biggest trades in hockey history, some will bring up the Gretzky or Lindros trades. For me, the Ferguson-Musil blockbuster changed the sport forever.

    Keep up the great work Lowetide!

  2. Mr DeBakey says:

    Mike Rogers for Wayne “Swoop” Carlton was pretty bad.
    Ol’ Wayne’s swooping days were pretty much done.

    I don’t think you can count any of the dismantling trades – the ones from the early 90s that saw the Cup teams go bye-bye.
    Pocklington was taking an undisclosed amount of cash in everyone of those deals.

    The Winner
    Chris Pronger to the Anaheim ucks for a fistful of assets.
    One of the best players in the game in exchange for a future top-4 dman, a guy who won’t take a hit to make a play, and 3 guys who might be NHLers in half-a-decade or so.

    That one gets wronger every day
    And wronger rhymes with Pronger.

  3. MikeP says:

    Mr debakey, au contraire – Lups surely will take a hit to make a play. I’ve watched a couple or three Philly games this year.

    My new theory is he loved his Oilers uniform so much, he refused to allow it to get besmirched by so much as the touch of an opposing jersey.

    Zholtok for a 7th rounder is my nomination. RIP Sergei.

    More seriously, Messier for Nicholls, Rice, and Debrusk ranks up there.

  4. goldenchild says:

    Well if the Ducks are picking in the top 5 for the first 3 rds this year then yeah that one will be an all-timer. The Pronger one looks pretty bad as well.

    The Messier deal was terrible prob the all time worst.On a lesser scale Geoff Courtnall for Greg C. Adams always pissed me off. So did the trading of Igor Kravchuck, I alwaus liked that guy.

  5. Dennis says:

    Is this an attempt to highlight bad Sather trades so that we get off the job that Lowe’s been doing?

  6. goldenchild says:

    Finally some good news, TSN says the MRI on Ales’ knee came back negative.

  7. Lord Bob says:

    Is this an attempt to highlight bad Sather trades so that we get off the job that Lowe’s been doing?

    Kevin Lowe is the best trading GM in the history of the Edmonton Oilers*!

    (* – of the two.)

    (P.S.: Messier, for sure.)

  8. HBomb says:

    Well, not including the Gretzky sale (because that’s what it was), it’s a photo finish between the Messier and Pronger deals.

    3rd place? Weight trade. Honorable mention to the Satan for Barrie Moore and Craig Millar stroke of genius, because Ron Low was upset that Satan couldn’t play on the fucking 3rd line. Gross.

  9. Gord says:

    Well, not including the Gretzky sale (because that’s what it was), it’s a photo finish between the Messier and Pronger deals.

    **********

    Why do I remember Pocklington getting $5 million U.S. in cash as part of Messier “trade”???

    (While not “Gretzky like” – that was still a lot of money in those days…)

  10. Dennis says:

    The best thing about that first period was the couple of hot girls that were sitting directly behind MacT.

    When you think about it, Fernie’s the forward version of Staios. It’s been 18 months since Staios hasn’t played with rookies shitting their hockey pants or overpaid PP specalists and, fuck, even Jason Smith got to play a few games with Jan Hejda. Meanwhile, Fernie comes back to play with two guys that should be on The Suite life and once Gagner gets the call to the top line, he’s replaced by Thor.

    Oilers are pitiful without Hemsky but Ty linked me to a piece where Matheson called Souray a stud so I guess everything will turn out in the end.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Lupul with 2 more tonight.

  12. Dennis says:

    Stuff that Vic will like: Oilers aren’t likely to win this given they’re tied heading into the third but leading in goalposts.

    Stuff that Vic won’t like: I know he hates this stuff because it understandably defies logic, but, sometimes certain teams own certain others. Remember those days when all the Oilers had to do was show up and they’d beat the Wild? Well, these days you just wait until Gaborik scores the first one and 2.5 hours later you’re telling yourself you’ll never watch another Wild/Oilers game again. The last time the Oilers lost to Ana at home during the reg season was Feb of ’99 and I know that because I was in a bar watching when Kariya or Selanne scored the winner against, TA DA, Steve Passmore. Well, those things too shall pass and when they do, it could be at least three years before we beat them again.

    Some other things:

    The Oilers have three defensemen. That’s it, four when Tarnstrom plays and perhaps 5 if we shield Souray or Smid doesn’t leave his brain at home.

    13-12-89 on the ice at the same time and there’s a goal against? Wow, that’s a shocker. Just as last year’s lesson was you can’t have a bunch od dmen who can’t pass, this year’s is that you can’t have three kids playing on the same line.

    Finally, it doesn’t matter what Lupul does in Philly. He wasn’t ready to play in Edm and it was Lowe’s job to know that. Remember when your boy Staples said we can’t judge Lowe because he has all these inside avenues where he grabs his info? Well, who told him that Lupul could handle playing in Edm? Say what you want about Penner but he doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of him. Maybe, though, the same guy who told Lowe Lupul could handle Edm was the same one who told him that the cap wasn’t going up in ’07.

  13. mc79hockey says:

    What the fuck was that about Pronger?

  14. mc79hockey says:

    Boy that ad for the PPV is tricky. The voiceover says “See what happens when the skates come off”, you instinctively think that the next line will be “The story of the last 16 months of Ethan Moreau’s life” but it’s totally not.

  15. Loxy says:

    How’s the game?

    Is anyone keeping up to date on the blogs?

  16. Lowetide says:

    Loxy: Oilers have holes.

  17. Tyler says:

    That was a heady play from Pisani there, recognizing that Souray was on the forehand and letting the puck go. Would have been a nice time for Souray to load up the slap pass to Gagner, but that’s life I suppose.

  18. Loxy says:

    Obvious point taken.

  19. PDO says:

    Lets see here…

    Few points on that first goal:

    Problem #1: Gagner, Nilsson and Smid are on the ice against the Getzlaf line.
    Problem #2: Gagner, Nilsson and Smid are on the ice against the Getzlaf line.
    Problem #3: Gagner tries to beat 2 men instead of dumping the puck deep.
    Problem #4: Smid has a complete and utter inability to play a 3 on 2. First person who can explain to me what Smid thought he was accomplishing on that play besides going to the weak side of the ice while never once taking the time to look back up ice wins a prize. Not only was he out of position, he got caught with his pants around his ankles because he was busy watching the puck, which he then missed, because his stick wasn’t in the passing lane to begin with.
    Problem #5: Nilsson did a good job to bring support back, but there is no way he can let Perry get a stick on that.

    Moving on…

    Rawbear was absolutely full value for his -2 tonight. What a disgraceful defensive effort on the Weight goal.

    And finally, moving forward…

    I think we have to play 34 with 10 and 27… 89 is just FAR more comfortable at C, and his game absolutely does not mesh with 10 and 27. 5 has to be ready for a scratch, if not a demotion, and 23 can check in and play decent minutes.

    That moves us to:

    27-10-34

    25-77
    23-24
    44-37 (How do you spell chaos? =D)

    Up front is still a bit of a blender, but with 18 back we have some more options…

    19-16-51
    18-89-13

    … and the fourth line remains a mess, but probably 8-28-46.

    Yuck.

  20. Lowetide says:

    One of the things that we can point to in terms of where this organization’s head is at this season and last is the treatment Hejda (’06-07) and Tarnstrom (’07-08) are getting.

    I’m all for working in the kids and honestly Grebeshkov is growing on me, but you have to know the number of at-bats being given out to kids on D would be insane with 12 veteran forwards.

    And we know the story up front.

  21. Loxy says:

    Loxy gets angry when she hears the name Hejda.

    Well, first she gets slightly hot and bothered, but then angry.

  22. dubya says:

    The Oilers have three defensemen. That’s it, four when Tarnstrom plays and perhaps 5 if we shield Souray or Smid doesn’t leave his brain at home.

    You know, I’ve seen the Fenwick numbers, and he’s slow, but I just don’t get this. With the exception of a pretty unlucky -2 last game, Souray has been even in 7 games since his return playing 25+ min against tough competition. We get that he’s overpaid, but shouldn’t some objectivity creep in here…I might go so far as to say he’s been pretty solid. His mobility can be exposed, but he can actually separate the puck carrier from the puck along the wall, he’s got a nice reach and an active stick, and he’s about the only Oiler besides 34 that can get the fucking puck out of the zone short-handed. Staios gets a free pass, but how many weak-ass ring around the boards to the other teams D do we need to see before anyone will call him on it?

    On the other hand, Smid needs to go back to the AHL. He is absolutely beyond terrible right now. And I actually thought 44-24 looked pretty good out there. I’d go 25-77, 24-44, and 37-23 for the near future.

  23. Dennis says:

    Oilers are a bad home team. Of course, they’re a pretty bad team in general as well.

    The Oilers played tonight with basically a full line missing: 14-16-83. 14 sounds like he’s gone for the season. He’s in wait-and-see mode right now but that hardly ever turns out well. 83′s got a sore knee and it could’ve been worse so he could be back any game now. Meanwhile, 18′s going to play on Sat night vs Minny.

    So, the question is, how much better would we be if all three of these guys played on Sat night and we had total health for the last 44 games of the season?

    I don’t think it’s going to turn out great but at least we have some hope up front; some help IS on the way and to the point where two guys who are on the downswing or need a rest are about to get one. It could be any of 8-12-28-51 and the fact that the list is so long lets you know there will still be a lot of trouble even when some vets return. But, still, some help is coming.

    On the backend we’ve got 25-77 doing an admirable job playing tough min and 24 looking for a partner. Ladislav Ulanov makes at LEAST one head shaker a game and the Oilers are playing a dangerous game giving Souray so many min at EV. To round out, it doesn’t look like MacT likes Tarnstrom enough to trust him to the point where he can help us and/or Grebs has enough support in the org that he’s going to play pretty much no matter what, which impacts Tarnstrom.

    Overall, just not good enough.

    Remember where we were BEFORE Pronger, take stock of the stock we got in return for THE aforementioned PLUS Smyth and tell me you’re surprised we’re in this mess.

    Then tell me why Staples and Lain are conspiring against good sense:)

  24. Tyler says:

    …first she gets slightly hot and bothered, but then angry.

    You’re at the point where you get a bit of a buzz from the thought of a cheap, competent defenceman too?

    Christ it’s been a long 7 regulation wins in 58 games.

  25. PDO says:

    Just a note on Moreau finally coming back…

    The last time he played a meaningful game, on a team that could actually play….

    He was on the fourth line. And this was nearly two years ago.

    How much of an impact will he really have?

  26. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: You’re right, we’ve got a pretty good team here. I wonder why Tarnstrom doesn’t get more playing time? It’s a shame. I mean he’s not Spacek but the guy has some sense and mobility and he’s a veteran.

    As for Ethan returning, it does give the back 6 a different look and if Hemsky returns soon maybe they can think about rotating Cogliano, Gagner and Nilsson in and out of the pb.

  27. Dennis says:

    PDO:

    - The whole “Smid is clueless on own zone coverage and odd man rushes” thing is Cam’s. No doubt about it. He talks about it incessantly; mostly because Smid gives examples on a nightly basis.

    - If Smid was acquired for anyone but Pronger AND IF he was acquired by any other GM than Lowe, Lain would have a seperate blog dedicated to just how bad Smid can be. He would and deep inside he knows it;)

    - I am still a MacT guy but the Ducks have one line and that’s it. At home, MacT HAS to start running HorPenSky PVP. Doing anything else just doesn’t make sense unless we can go 18-16-34.

    - This is the first game I’ve seen since the SO loss to Dal but it looks like 12′s blipping again. I still see some decent and newfound grit in the O zone but he just lost track tonight in the D zone. The fact that he turned away from Weight on the winning goal, the error was of such a glaring nature, the it was like a fellow who never played hockey before.

    Dubya:

    I know that Souray isn’t the minus machine I thought he would be but I look at what he did last year and I keep waiting for it. One thing I will say for him is he’s not getting walked around like he was last season so maybe he’s learned a little. It’s just a feeling and is based on little else but I had a thought tonight that we’re gonna get a better performance out of him on D than expected and a lesser one of him when it comes to offense.

  28. PDO says:

    Dennis said…

    - The whole “Smid is clueless on own zone coverage and odd man rushes” thing is Cam’s. No doubt about it. He talks about it incessantly; mostly because Smid gives examples on a nightly basis.

    I knew it was someones, and I read it a few months back… but I’ve been noticing every god damn game since. Good to know where it originally came from though, because it was a damn good by Cam.

    - I am still a MacT guy but the Ducks have one line and that’s it. At home, MacT HAS to start running HorPenSky PVP. Doing anything else just doesn’t make sense unless we can go 18-16-34.

    Agreed on all counts… and we both know 83 wasn’t here tonight, but there’s no way that you can have 89, 13 AND 5 all on the ice against that line at once. It’s fucking batshit, I’m going to trade Pronger and Smyth for magic beans and think I’ll still make the playoffs, crazy.

    - This is the first game I’ve seen since the SO loss to Dal but it looks like 12′s blipping again. I still see some decent and newfound grit in the O zone but he just lost track tonight in the D zone. The fact that he turned away from Weight on the winning goal, the error was of such a glaring nature, the it was like a fellow who never played hockey before.

    Funny, hard to not say the same thing about 5 on the first goal… even if 12 was on Perry, and doing a terrible job ;)

  29. Lowetide says:

    Dennis, you see Smid out there with Grebeshkov (I believe they had at least one shift tonight) and say “where the hell was Smid on that play?” and I wonder what the coaching staff is thinking.

    21 year old defensemen make mistakes. That’s why most teams break them in one at a time. Smid has some holes and yes he was traded for Chris Pronger but the only one left who needs to get over it is you.

  30. PDO says:

    Dennis, you see Smid out there with Grebeshkov (I believe they had at least one shift tonight) and say “where the hell was Smid on that play?” and I wonder what the coaching staff is thinking.

    And I wonder, why are Smid, Grebeshkov and Souray all on a cap team that doesn’t have a first round pick.

    But maybe that’s just me :-)

  31. Lowetide says:

    I think we need to answer this question: Given the option of playing Tarnstrom or Smid tonight, why would coach MacTavish choose Smid?

    It’s one thing to keep Grebeshkov and Smid in the lineup when Tarnstrom is hurt, but that isn’t the case.

    Wouldn’t it be more prudent to keep Tarnstrom in the lineup (say with Staios) and rotate Smid and Grebeshkov until Greene gets back?

  32. Tyler says:

    Smid has some holes and yes he was traded for Chris Pronger but the only one left who needs to get over it is you.

    Well it’s pretty clear by now that that was a brutal trade. Sure would be nice to know why the guy is still in the bloody lineup, night after night after night…kind of a new thing to discuss with the bloody guy.

    Hey I’m in the process of checking out Lups’ whine about MacT and ice time…is anyone else completely shocked to learn that his complaint makes not a lick of fucking sense?

  33. Lowetide says:

    Does anyone want to tackle the question “why would MacT choose Smid over Tarnstrom?”

  34. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Smid over Tarnstrom: MacT doesn’t like him perhaps? Even going back to the 2006-2007 run, MacT opted to start breaking in Greene over playing the safe veteran. To me the question has always been why’d we bother bringing him back?

    However to change the subject, the ‘sphere is always focusing on our defense and our defensive lapses. And sure, there are many of them. But at the end of the day, neither this year nor last year were we losing on defense. Our GA was respectable, our goalies had respectable save percentages. Our troubled last season and this has been our offense: we don’t score enough to win.

    Sure, if we eliminated these defensive lapses, we’d get a few more wins out. And maybe with current personnel we can address them more easily. But we’ve got an elephant in the room right now and no one seems to notice.

  35. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Er, I meant 2005-2006 run above.

  36. HBomb says:

    Hey I’m in the process of checking out Lups’ whine about MacT and ice time…is anyone else completely shocked to learn that his complaint makes not a lick of fucking sense?

    tyler: Please direct me to said article/interview with Lupul?

    Fact is, all those goals he’s scoring in Philly, I still don’t want him back. Just like I don’t begrudge Lowe for not taking Perry for Comrie in 2003.

    Complementary players. And if they’re not scoring, they’re hurting you.

    Now not insisting on Getzlaf as part of the return for Pronger….that to me is something we can have a beef about…..

  37. Tyler says:

    All in due course sweatyo…all in due course (there’s a link on PDO’s site).

  38. Lowetide says:

    The telling quote there is the one from Jason Smith.

  39. Tyler says:

    Oh that Jason Smith quote is money. Lupul is completely out to lunch in his comment about the ice time though.

  40. PDO says:

    Seems everyone but me knows I have a site, and where the said Lupul quotes can be found…..

  41. godot10 says:

    //I think we need to answer this question: Given the option of playing Tarnstrom or Smid tonight, why would coach MacTavish choose Smid? //

    This is easy.

    Smid is 21. Tarnstrom is 32. MacT isn’t coaching only for the present. He is considering player development more than he has in the past. Both MacT and Lowe have lots of time left on their contracts.

    Smid either plays 75% of the games or gets sent to Springfield. They haven’t decided to sent him back to Springfield yet. They want to see if he can play himself out of this bad patch. (He was playing not so bad for awhile.) So he sits one game, and gets put back in immediately. If they have to sit him a lot more, they won’t sit him, they will send him to Springfield.

  42. Lord Bob says:

    Finally, it doesn’t matter what Lupul does in Philly. He wasn’t ready to play in Edm and it was Lowe’s job to know that.

    Damn that Kevin Lowe and his lack of omnipresence! The guy should have a perfect read on the mental makeup of every player he trades for? I think we’re getting a bit out of whack there.

  43. PunjabiOil says:

    He probably meant PJO. You’re welcome to come back anytime if you want by the way.

    On that note, Lupul with 2 goals today. *sigh*

    The problem this year hasn’t been 1st line. It’s been the secondary scoring. Torres and Stoll have been major disappointments. I recall the 2003-2004 team – the Torres-York-Dvorak line. We have nothing to resemble that, and the Gagner’s and Nilsson’s even when they do score, tend to give it back right up on the wrong end.

    This team is too young to win hockey games [and hold leads], and reading LT harp on that point for months – I’ve come to more appreciate his knowledge of the game.

    The team has won 6 games in regulation. This is just simply put, a bad hockey team.

    It’d be nice to get a break and see Gagner pull a ”Eric Staal” or ”Patrice Bergeron” at 19 next year.

  44. godot10 says:

    //Remember where we were BEFORE Pronger, take stock of the stock we got in return for THE aforementioned PLUS Smyth and tell me you’re surprised we’re in this mess.//

    If the Oilers had kept Smyth (who has returned to being a minus player without Horcoff), the Oilers would not have Penner, Gagner, or Nilsson.

    I’d take Penner and Gagner over Smyth every day.

    Penner is going to be able to do everything Smyth could do and more.

  45. PunjabiOil says:

    Forgot to mention the horrific 30th ranked PP in the league.

    Seriously, I can’t figure it out. Why is it struggling so much? Why can’t the Oilers gain possession in the opponents zone? Losing Pronger of course hurts the results, but from 15th ranked to dead last for 2 consecutive years?

    This is really MacT’s responsibility, and he’s simply got to do a better job. We’ve had many opportunities to bury an opponent with a 1 goal lead on the PP, and have failed to do so. A better powerplay and this team has at least 5 more points.

  46. PunjabiOil says:

    If the Oilers had kept Smyth (who has returned to being a minus player without Horcoff), the Oilers would not have Penner, Gagner, or Nilsson.

    I’d take Penner and Gagner over Smyth every day.

    Penner is going to be able to do everything Smyth could do and more.

    ________

    I’m a fan of Penner, but that last line is relying on nothing more than sheer optimism.

    Not that he even belongs in your equation. Who is to say if the Oilers had kept Smyth, they couldn’t have gone after Penner with an OS? That would just mean no Sheldon Souray. Big Whoop.

    As for Gagner in your equation, that should tell you the impact Smyth can make on this team.

    Using that logic, the Flames should start trading Langkow and Huselius right now – after all, they’ll get a higher draft pick doing so.

    The deal is nothing more than Smyth for Nilsson, O’Marra and Plante. O’Marra finally graduated to the AHL, so there’s some hope he can carve out a career in the NHL. Plante is a wildcare. Nilsson’s ceiling is likely a 2nd line forward [but who knows - H. Sedin wans't putting up numbers at 22 either].

    We’ll see.

  47. godot10 says:

    //Seriously, I can’t figure it out. Why is it struggling so much? Why can’t the Oilers gain possession in the opponents zone? Losing Pronger of course hurts the results, but from 15th ranked to dead last for 2 consecutive years?//

    With Hemsky and Pronger, the Oilers gained the offensive zone with ease on the powerplay via a pass from Pronger to Hemsky flying down the right wing.

    Pronger is a much better puck handler than Souray, and thus was able to be open for the point shot a lot more than Souray is.

    The other problem with the Oilers powerplay is Hemsky’s perfectionism. He over-waits looking for the perfect opportunity (this gets everyone standing still), and he seems unwilling to play fast or to make plays down low. And well, Hemsky doesn’t shoot enough, which contributes to the defense overplaying his passes, which contributes to his over-waiting (looking for the perfect opportunity).

    Gretzky didn’t care if his assists were ugly. He wanted points and lots of them regardless of whether they were pretty or not. Hemsky seems to abhor points that aren’t works of hockey art.

    The Oilers also have to stop playing Stoll at the point. Without Pronger, Stoll is basically useless as a pointman on the powerplay.

  48. Tyler says:

    Damn that Kevin Lowe and his lack of omnipresence! The guy should have a perfect read on the mental makeup of every player he trades for? I think we’re getting a bit out of whack there.

    Might want to check in with David S. at the next Defenders Of Kevin Lowe Anonymous meeting – according to him, Lowe’s inside information gives him an edge that makes him virtually unjudgeable.

  49. RiversQ says:

    This Oilers team is a bad team.

    This Oilers team minus Hemsky is astonishingly bad.

    I don’t think there’s much point in commenting on Smid anymore. He has made the same mistakes every game he has played in this season. The only benefit to be had from this is an experiment – Can a young dman learn to make those kinds of decisions in a timely manner?

    Someone above complained about the offense… It’s true, this team outside of the first line can’t score. However, they also can’t keep the puck out of their own net – the GA is an issue this year and it certainly was one last year even before the goals dry up. Like Vic is so fond of saying, it’s damn hard to separate offense from defense. This team is no different and they’re bad all over the ice.

    Personally, I think it all boils down to winning puck battles. The Oilers simply don’t win enough of them. The kids can’t do it – either physically or they just don’t know how or somehow don’t care enough. When a guy like Reasoner steps up his game and wins battles all over the ice like he did tonight, it really hammers the point home. Unless the Oilers get more Horcoffs, Pisanis and consistent Reasoners, they won’t be scoring much or keeping the puck out. This team is too soft on the puck. Way too soft.

  50. RiversQ says:

    godot10 said…

    I’d take Penner and Gagner over Smyth every day.

    Oh for sure man. Pass the bong.

    There’s nothing quite as sweet as 7 regulation wins in 58 games while being right up against the cap.

    There’s no way I’d give up that feeling for anything.

  51. Doogie says:

    (* – of the two.)

    You’re forgetting Bep Guildolin, Larry Gordon and, if memory serves, Wild Bill Hunter. ;)

    Boy that ad for the PPV is tricky. The voiceover says “See what happens when the skates come off”, you instinctively think that the next line will be “The story of the last 16 months of Ethan Moreau’s life” but it’s totally not.

    Whereas I always think of CinO when they say that for some reason. I can’t explain it.

    Does anyone want to tackle the question “why would MacT choose Smid over Tarnstrom?”

    I think we’re past the point of optics. Compromising pictures? An irrational desire to let perfectly decent veteran D sit in the press box? (Also, anyone else catch that look on MacT’s face after Smid’s penalty? He looked like he wasn’t sure whether to run onto the ice and strangle Smid or just go back to the dressing room and start over.)

    Once again, I think we saw a team that got one goal than didn’t know what the hell to do with it. They can’t maintain consistant pressure, they can’t seem to turn it on when they’re tied or up one, and then you get a brilliant piece of work like Nilsson on Weight, and…yeah. I was just starting to let myself believe this team had an outside shot, but they’re once again playing like a lottery team, though maybe we can hope that they’ve gotten all their shitty injury luck out of the way this year and we can actually see the whole team next year. Maybe they’ll even try to win.

  52. Bruce says:

    The last time the Oilers lost to Ana at home during the reg season was Feb of ’99 and I know that because I was in a bar watching when Kariya or Selanne scored the winner against, TA DA, Steve Passmore.

    They said the same thing on the broadcast tonight. Don’t believe everything you hear, Dennis.

    I went to the Pronger return game last year when Kunitz scored with the goalie out and then Getzlaf buried the winner in overtime. Yeah, we got the Bettman Point, so I guess it wasn’t “really” a loss, but it sure as fuck felt like one.

    Lately, though, Oilers can’t even bag a loser point. After a productive run of 5 straight ties in which they garnered 8 points, Oil have now lost three straight in regulation and that little run is now 8 points in 8 games, or even 8 points in 10 if you want to go back. So the little run was indeed a mirage. And the last time the Oilers actually beat the other team was way back on December 2.

    What really hurts is that in these last three losses Oilers had a lead in all three games, and were leading or tied heading into the third in all three, and lost those three third periods by a combined 5-0. Ouch.
    ***

    Problem #3: Gagner tries to beat 2 men instead of dumping the puck deep.

    PDO: wasn’t that Nilsson? Man, did he have a brutal night, not just -2 but a defensive blunder on both goals in a 2-1 loss. Ouch, again.
    ***

    Glancing at the stat sheet I see where Oilers’ much-maligned FA signings Souray and Penner collectively fired 7 of the Oilers’ 16 official shots, and were credited with 20 of the team’s 47 attempted shots. Seems to me we could use a couple more guys like that who are actually trying to score.

  53. Dennis says:

    Bruce, I meant to say IN regulation, honestly;)

    LT, once we get into things like “why make Smid one of the centrepieces of the Pronger deal” then we can get into “big” issues like why play 5 or 38 over Tarnstrom. Remember when Keenan told Pronger who he was traded for? So, yes, rooks make mistakes but rooks dealt for Pronger better not make as many this quick and if they do, then people normally say why the fuck did they think he was worth the bloody time in the first place?

    The last thing is I’d take Smyth over Gagner and Nilsson and why couldn’t we have both Smyth AND Penner? I think it’s easy to fit that in had we taken Smyth at 5.75 per. We could’ve then had them at 1-2 on LW and dealt Torres for a dman.

  54. Dennis says:

    Oh yeah, thanks to Tyler for that point about Staples defense of Lowe where Lowe knows all and sees all.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: So, Smid’s progress is measured differently than another player because he was traded for Pronger? That I don’t get, it makes no sense.

  56. Dennis says:

    No, Lowe’s abilities are measured differently because of whom Smid was dealt for.

    When you decide to deal Pronger as quickly as you can, you’d better not make the wrong move. And in picking up a guy with basically zero offensive potential who also doesn’t know the D zone inside out, it looks very much like Lowe made the wrong move.

    THAT’s my problem with Smid fucking up over and over again. When you deal a guy like Pronger, it had better pay off or you should pay for it.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Oh yeah, agreed. Lowe made an awful deal and even though I liked it at the time there’s no argument on that issue. It put the team in a different spot in a cycle for no good reason and could only be justified if the Pronger money was going to be spent on another quality product that summer (which I thought would happen).

    I’m talking about Smid as a player. There’s no real use hammering the guy for being another other than 21 years old.

  58. Dennis says:

    Well, I don’t see a lot to like about him as a player either. At least nothing to get excited about in the least.

    Remember early on when Grebs was making the odd breakaway pass? I don’ think we ever saw Smid do that. And while you’re correct when you say he can make guys “miss” coming out of his own zone, it never leads to anywhere.

    So that leaves me pretty much knowing that his value will lie almost totally in being a shutdown guy and then I remember how he forgets which side of the ice he’s supposed to be playing on.

  59. Lowetide says:

    I think there’s a lot more there, Dennis. It certainly isn’t showing up in the stats and that’s frustrating but this team often features 4 or 5 forwards a night who couldn’t hit the ocean from English Bay.

    I’ve been disappointed by his outlet passes but encouraged by his toughess (seemingly always after the whistle, though).

    The other problem I think we’re facing is a growing list of defensemen that haven’t developed under the current admin. I have no idea who to blame but other teams seem to be able to help their young D progress, why can’t the Oilers?

    And if we KNOW one of their few strengths is grabbing a Staios or Hejda off the free agent/who the hell is this guy tree, why do they bother suffering with kids?

    I do agree with a general statement that Smid’s upside is probably not worth suffering the growing pains we’re seeing though, and suspect MacT is close to pulling the plug.

  60. Ribs says:

    I do agree with a general statement that Smid’s upside is probably not worth suffering the growing pains we’re seeing though, and suspect MacT is close to pulling the plug.

    If Matt Greene has been granted over 180 NHL games, I can’t see the Oil not giving at least that many to Smid.

    This team is hurting and I can’t think of a thing to make them any better that seems to make sense. Trading away players never seems to be in the Oilers short-term interest and firing MacT doesn’t sound like the right move with all of the prospects coming along slowly but surely.

    The answer? Wait it out.

    That’s all I can come up with and it means some crap hockey for a while but that’s what it’s going to take, I’m afraid. Scout the heck out of Tavares and company and find the young superstar we need to quarterback our young complimentary players.

    Or else, you know, fire MacT and trade away anyone of any worth and turn into the St.Slouis Blues from a few years ago.

  61. Dennis says:

    Lain, when a guy doesn’t posess an offensive upside, he needs to have a damn fine understanding of his own zone.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I think Smid will deliver enough offense to keep him out of the Sean Brown area (3-4-7) but it would be nice if he delivered a little something offensively just to keep the dream alive.

    As for his defensive ability, pretty much all defensemen I’ve ever seen went through growing pains without the puck. If you look at NHL history, lots of good ones were given up on early and then delivered big time.

  63. RiversQ says:

    And if we KNOW one of their few strengths is grabbing a Staios or Hejda off the free agent/who the hell is this guy tree, why do they bother suffering with kids?

    Bingo.

    This is the million dollar question that has been asked around here for at least three years.

    Lowe is unquestionably very good at exactly one thing. Why the fuck doesn’t he constantly do that?

    If Lowe built a defense entirely of 30+ yr old veterans, I bet he could do it for less than $15MM/yr and have a much better unit back there.

    Then he could afford to throw stupid money at shit he knows nothing about like good forwards that can get the puck back and goaltending.

  64. Dennis says:

    You keep on wishing Lain and we’ll see how it turns out.

    You’re picking the wrong hill to die on here. The upside isn’t worth the trouble.

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