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:
- Pitkanen – 2.4m
- Stoll – 2.2m
- Nilsson – 1.013m
- Grebeshkov -950k
- Gilbert -907k
- Thoresen -570k
- Stortini – 534k
- Pouliot – 942k
- Syvret – 725k
- JF Jacques -668k
- J.D.Deslauriers -502k
- Sestito -487k
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:
- Lowe will solve a few of these problems between January 1 and the deadline by signing people like Gilbert and (hopefully) Pitkanen.
- Lowe will probably deal off one or two of these men at the deadline (providing there is interest) or at the draft.
- There’s a chance some of these guys who we think are pretty good won’t get qualified.
- There’s a very real chance the Oilers aren’t going to offer Pouliot and Jacques one-way deals.
- 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.
- Jarret Stoll can make Kevin Lowe’s life easier by continuing to play poorly. He cannot qualify him based on current circumstances.