It’s Raining RFA’s

This is Larry Parrish. Although he was a baseball player, Parrish has some things that make him a nice comp for Jarret Stoll.

Larry Parrish had some strengths (good power, tremendous arm) but also some flaws (he was a raw, erratic man with the glove and I don’t recall his exact BA but it wasn’t .320) in his game and he had an old player skill-set even as a young man (in baseball, if you are fast with some power and ability to play SS or CF there are more places for you to play as you slide down the fielding slots from CF, LF, RF, 3B).

That’s fairly similar to Stoll. He’s a good faceoff man, but is he a good center overall without the puck? He can score goals, but does he deliver totals that make him “above average” based on his minutes and type of minutes?

They are also similar in that injury is a big part of each story. On May 3, 1980, Larry Parrish was hit on the wrist by Ed Whitson. He stayed in the lineup but he wasn’t the same player, and combined with an Ellis Valentine HBP (Roy Thomas broke his cheekbone May 30, 1980) had a large impact on the pennant race 1980. Quoting Bill James (Abstract 1985, page 140) “Parrish was derailed as a hitter and really didn’t get back to where he was before the accident for more than two years afterward” by which time the Expos had traded him for Al Oliver who couldn’t throw a pebble.

Stoll took a hit in February 2007 that knocked him a bit silly and then followed it up in April with one that did more damage. The two combined to put his career in doubt for a time and one could very easily argue he hasn’t been the same player for pretty much a calendar year. Based on his current level of play and his contract number he has to be considered a major disappointment.

Which brings me to the Oilers and RFA’s. They have a bunch of them and a big part of the offseason will have to do with how they’re handled by Lowe and the management group. Here, let me list them for you:

  1. Pitkanen – 2.4m
  2. Stoll – 2.2m
  3. Nilsson – 1.013m
  4. Grebeshkov -950k
  5. Gilbert -907k
  6. Thoresen -570k
  7. Stortini – 534k
  8. Pouliot – 942k
  9. Syvret – 725k
  10. JF Jacques -668k
  11. Almtorp-588k
  12. Bodie-581k
  13. J.D.Deslauriers -502k
  14. Sestito -487k
  15. T.J.Kemp-475k
  16. Johansson-500k

I’ve done a quick cut and paste from a post on HFboards (thanks Sponge Joni) and believe it to be accurate. I’ve placed in bold the contracts that are of special interest. The same thread that supplied that list also gives us the RFA qualifying numbers (thanks speeds):

  • League min up to 660K = 110%
  • QOGreater than 660K but less than 1 mil = 105%
  • QO1 mil and greater = 100% QO

Which means Stoll’s QO must be 2.2 million. The key contracts are Joni Pitkanen’s and Tom Gilbert’s and are likely to be very large, multi-year deals in the best case scenario. Grebeshkov, Nilsson, Stortini and Thoresen would seem simple enough and then we get to Pouliot, Jacques and the rest.

I think we can make a few statements and count on being right:

  1. Lowe will solve a few of these problems between January 1 and the deadline by signing people like Gilbert and (hopefully) Pitkanen.
  2. Lowe will probably deal off one or two of these men at the deadline (providing there is interest) or at the draft.
  3. There’s a chance some of these guys who we think are pretty good won’t get qualified.
  4. There’s a very real chance the Oilers aren’t going to offer Pouliot and Jacques one-way deals.
  5. Pouliot may end up being cast away ala Brad Winchester should the team feel the investment is too dear. Should he not be an attractive asset in trade, faced with giving him a 5% increase on a contract that eats a million on the cap, they may not qualify him. If they do, it would certainly be on a two-way deal.
  6. Jarret Stoll can make Kevin Lowe’s life easier by continuing to play poorly. He cannot qualify him based on current circumstances.

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14 Responses to "It’s Raining RFA’s"

  1. Pat H says:

    Good post, and a helpful breakdown of the RFA situation.

    I don’t necessarily think that Grebeshkov is among those that are “simple enough”. And we’ve had an exchange along these lines recently. I actually am quite interested in seeing what becomes of him. All else being equal, I would be pretty disappointed in Lowe if he allowed Grebs to demand a one-way deal again. On the other hand, a one-way deal might be a lot easier to swallow if we (finally?) see a trade that ships off a few of our D. I mean, if our depth is decreased a little, then the one-way deal isn’t so bad, I suppose (though like you said in an earlier comment, it’s also worth considering that we may have youngsters like Chorney knocking on the door).

    I have no idea what kind of a dude Grebs is, but it does strike me as incredibly arrogant for a guy with his level of experience/success (or lack thereof) to demand a one-way contract. The fact that we caved to the demand is just as bad.

    I don’t hate the guy though – I realize that he put together a much improved stretch somewhere around the 15-25 game mark. I just hope that Lowe has all his other defensive ducks in a row if he decides that Grebs gets another one-way deal again. I’d rather not have to hear a repeat of the ol’ ‘holy mackeral, we’ve got a lot of guys here’.

  2. honkey says:

    I like Grebs and I think he has alot of offensive potential.
    And you can’t really blame him for wanting a one-way deal after playing 1st pairing in Russians World Championship team and he did score a couple of times on the PP.
    I take him over a guy like Smid any day of the week.

  3. Vic Ferrari says:

    I don’t think it is fair to characterize Grebeshkov as arrogant.

    If he were to play in the AHL he would earn $60k-ish, and be riding the buses.

    If he were to play in the RSL he would earn several times that, and live a better life nearer family and friends, and in his home country.

    Like a lot of young European tweeners, they have no interest in coming over to North America if it means playing in the AHL. And how can you blame them?

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Shouldn’t Deslauriers be in bold?

    The number one guy on the Oilers trade list must be Stoll.
    $2.2 is too.too much for a checking line center.
    After Stoll, one of Grebeshkov or Smid should go.

    Almtorp back to Sweden.
    I wonder if the Oilers are hoping to move Syvret to a European club for the rest of this season.

  5. Lowetide says:

    If they can rid themselves of the Roloson contract the Deslauriers is an option. However, I don’t recall a time in NHL history when there were this many great goalies so the value on all of them is low.

  6. Black Dog says:

    So what do you think is done with Stoll? Agree on a one year deal with both hoping that he gets it back on the rails?

    Agreed with Vic on Grebs. And the Oilers did not have to give him that deal. Likely they had him pencilled into the lineup when they dealt for him and knew the type of contract they would give him.

  7. godot10 says:

    Grebeshkov doesn’t get a qualifying offer

    1) Gilbert and Pitkanen are signed.
    2) if neither Smid nor Greene are traded.

    Stoll is trade bait, but the OIlers will qualify him if the trade is not done by next summer. They won’t offer him a long term deal though. (Why would Stoll want to sign one?) 1 year at his existing rate wouldn’t be horrible for either side.

  8. Pat H says:


    You guys bring up some good points wrt Grebeshkov, and perhaps my ‘arrogant’ remark is too harsh. Maybe it’s some old-fashioned sort of Cherry-eque part of me, but I guess I just think there’s something to be said for paying your dues. Regardless of whether Grebs is a rock star in Russia, his NHL performance/experience does not justify a one-way demand.

    Imho, a guy needs to make a decision about being a big fish in a small town, or vice-versa. If he opts for the big show, then I don’t see why there should be an onus on us to coddle him. Garth Snow wouldn’t, and that’s largely why Grebs is ours now.

  9. Dennis says:

    I don’t think there’s much of a choice here. We’ve got 13/89 down the pivot pipe, 44′s already making a lot of money, we need to pay 25 and 77 and 10 needs to get even more money.

    I just don’t think there’s any room for Stoll and I would say that even if he was having a much better season. Horc has to get paid and then we wait for the 13/89 to mature and keep 19 around or find a guy a little better for the same price.

    If the whole Katz thing happens, I hope we’re a “have” team to the point where we just take Roli in ’09 and give him his salary in SF. Of course that would keep him off our books which would be a bit of a help for sure.

  10. Gord says:

    After a bumpy start this year, Grebeshkov has been one of the top +/- Oilers over the past 20 games.

    Grebeshkov was the first-round draft pick of the Kings (18th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

    Grebeshkov led all AHL defensemen during the 2004-05 season with 44 assists. He had two goals and 25 assists in 48 AHL games for Manchester in 2005-06. He played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2005 and 2006.

    He played 4 games with Los Angeles in 2003-04 plus split 29 games between Los Angeles & the Islanders in 2005-06.

    From: (March 4/2007)

    After not being able to arrive at an agreement with the New York Islanders, now an Edmonton Oilers prospect Grebeshkov signed a deal with his Russian home club HC Lokomotiv. The young defenseman has consistently been one of the Russian club’s top four defensemen, skating on a pairing with former Boston Bruins prospect and Olympic team member Sergei Zhukov. The club underachieved earlier in the season, but has picked up recently after the second coaching change, and Grebeshkov has become more aggressive and assertive in the latest games on both ends of the ice.

    His performance did not go unnoticed, and Grebeshkov represented Russia at the LG Sweden Games and delivered a spirited and strong performance. At the tournament, under an offensively-minded head coach, the New York Islanders prospect has become more willing to shoot the puck. He has also become more assertive at the boards, and defensively sounder, though still occasionally prone to an occasional turnover. Overall, Grebeshkov is an NHL-caliber defenseman who belongs back in North America next season.

  11. godot10 says:

    //If the whole Katz thing happens, I hope we’re a “have” team to the point where we just take Roli in ’09 and give him his salary in SF. Of course that would keep him off our books which would be a bit of a help for sure.//

    Roloson has a $3.7 million cap hit next year, but only $3 million in actual salary. Because he is over 35, his cap hit is on the books even if one sends him to Springfield. Garon and him are only $4.8 million against the cap next year, so there is no problem going with this pair again next year.

  12. Dennis says:

    Thanks for that, GD. I thought my idea was too good to be true.

  13. Pat H says:

    I didn’t catch all of the game on TV tonight, but I caught some of Rod’s broadcast, and there was a funny segment involving Grebeshkov. I believe it was a 1st period pp. I’m parphrasing this, so grant me some leeway, but here goes. Keep in mind that this is all within about a 1 – 1 and a half minute span:

    Grebs shoots wide – “oh, you have to hit the net with those”

    Grebs coughs it up to the opposition -”ohhh, and Grebeshkov just handed it over”

    Grebs recovers it – “Grebeshkov has the puck, who knows what he’ll do with it!”

    Grebs gets a shot from the point that is (or results in) a good scoring chance – “a very good play by Grebeshkov!”

    Ah, Rod. I love him.

  14. Dennis says:

    I haven’t Had to listen to Rod since March of ’00 and I must say I don’t miss it.

    I know that Quinn/Labouradis plus Ferraro can be bad enough but while watching the Wild feed on FSN North on Saturday night I was reminded of just how had it is to try and watch a game when the announcers think they’re wearing jerseys.

    I know Rod’s an institution in Edmonton but homerism in pretty much all forms just drives me crazy:)

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