08-09 Roster and Dollars (Cap Hit)

Below is a very early depth chart for 08-09 with cap hit (note: NOT 08-09 salary). Estimates have the cap around 53-55, so we’ll say 54M to make it fun.

GOAL-$4.767M

  1. Roloson (3.667M UFA SUMMER ’09)
  2. Garon (1.1M UFA SUMMER ’09)

DEFENSE-$14,393,000 (with 3 rfa’s to sign)

  1. Souray (5.4M)
  2. Staios (2.7M)
  3. Pitkanen (2.4M rfa summer ’08)
  4. Greene (1.15M rfa summer ’09)
  5. Grebeshkov (.95 rfa summer ’08)
  6. Gilbert (.907 rfa summer ’08)
  7. Smid (.886 rfa summer ’09)

CENTER-$7,883,000

  1. Horcoff (3.6M UFA SUMMER ’09)
  2. Stoll (2.2M rfa summer ’08)
  3. Reasoner (.950 UFA SUMMER ’08)
  4. Cogliano (1.133 rfa summer ’10)

LEFT WING-$10,083,000

  1. Penner (4.25M)
  2. Torres (2.25M)
  3. Moreau (2.00M)
  4. Nilsson (1.013M rfa summer ’08)
  5. Thoresen (.570 rfa summer ’08)

RIGHT WING-$9,256,000

  1. Hemsky (4.1M)
  2. Pisani (2.5M)
  3. Brodziak (.497 rfa summer ’09)
  4. Gagner (1.625M)
  5. Stortini (.534 rfa summer ’08)
  • Dollars Spent before UFA/RFA: $46,382,000
  • Approx. Cap Room: $7,618,000
  • UFA’s: Horcoff and Garon are a year away but should be signed this summer, Reasoner is a free agent this summer.
  • Approx $$ for those UFA’s: What’s fair for Horcoff? 5.5M? What about Garon? 4M? Reasoner I assume is 1.1M. My understanding is that none of these signings will have an impact on the 08-09 numbers (in Horcoff and Garon’s case, anyway) so total cost increase for next year would be limited to Reasoner’s small raise.
  • RFA’s: Pitkanen, Gilbert and Grebeshkov on the blueline are all rfa’s in the summer. Stoll, Nilsson, Thoresen and Stortini are rfa’s this summer up front.
  • Approx $$ for those RFA’s: What’s fair for Pitkanen? 4.5? What about Gilbert? 3M? Grebeshkov I’d suggest gets the small raise required by the CBA, and while we’re at it Stoll probably would be in that general area too. Nilsson wouldn’t be getting a big raise and should they make the team in the fall Stortini and Thoresen would get small raises too. So, if we estimate an increase to keep rfa’s in the $5M (per year) number would that be fair? Increases to Pitkanen and Gilbert, and then the minimum allowed for the others should they make the team? That puts the number at $51,582,000 (including Reasoner’s raise) and gives Kevin Lowe about 2.5M to play with in free agency.
  • Home Improvement: Anyone on the farm? Schremp’s cap hit is $775,000 and for Reddox it’s $508,000. Pouliot (942k), Jacques (668k).

With all this said, do you think Lowe has to move someone at the deadline to make room? If so, who does he move? Roloson? Staios?

You know, he might just move one of those rfa’s.

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37 Responses to "08-09 Roster and Dollars (Cap Hit)"

  1. Shawn says:

    What’s the point in Edmonton having money for free agents? Seriously, what’s the success rate?

  2. YKOil says:

    The move has to be a trade of (in order):

    Roloson (deadline)
    Grebeshkov

    That leaves Garon/JDD and a defense group of Souray, Staios, Pitkanen, Gilbert, Smid & ?.

    Nick Shultz, out of Minny, is the guy to offer a long-term $3-4 mill /yr contract to there.

    Team defense is MUCH too weak to move Staios.

    heh

    What am I saying?

    Staios for a 2nd rounder at the deadline and Burke picks 2nd overall for the WIN!

  3. HBomb says:

    Roloson and Stoll are the guys I’d be looking to move. Potentially in a package, perhaps?

    If Reasoner’s going to cost 1.1 million, let him walk. Flat out too much for a fourth-liner. Find this summer’s Josef Vasicek (1 year, 750k as a replacement). You cannot be spending seven figures on fourth liners or 3rd pairing defensemen, unless you’re breaking in a guy on an entry-level deal there.

    An enforcer upgrade on Stortini in the UFA market is a must. Watching this guy try to play and fight is embarrassing more often than not.

    Staios is playing much better ever since they put him with Souray (those two, for some weird reason, work together as a 2nd pairing), but if there’s someone willing to take on his salary, you at least need to consider if you can find the next Jan Hejda somewhere this summer (would have been easier if they had just kept the first Hejda, but I’m splitting hairs here). Could they get Brooks Orpik at a cheaper rate to replace some of those minutes (he’s UFA this summer), and could he handle it?

    Do NOT deal Pitkanen or Gilbert. Horcoff and Garon MUST be extended.

  4. Black Dog says:

    I would think this summer will be quiet and maybe this spring too.

    They have to clear out space for two seasons from now for Horcoff and then Garon or his replacement.

    Roloson is not a contract they can move, I think, unless they pick up an equivalent player in return.

    I think on the back end they are set for next year. Moving Staios is possible but I think its Tarnstrom gone, Greene moving up and Grebs and Smid fighting for the spot for 09-10, loser to be moved and replaced by Chorney, Peckham ????

    Up front Torres and Stoll are the candidates but Torres goes nowhere until he can prove that he is healthy and they can replace what he brings. Stoll goes when Gagner looks to be ready to be able to play a regular shift.

  5. DBO says:

    Resoner will and should be back for $1.1 million. the guys love him, and he can play on the third and fourth line and loves it here. We have a lot of youth, but reasoner still has a place.
    If we could move Roloson this year, along with the UFA’s Sanderson, and Tarnstrom for a pick or two that would be great. And at this point if Stoll would bring back a solid player, or someone offers him penner money then we say bye bye, and that gives the Oil almost $9 million to look for a top 6 scoring winger.

    Horc – Hemsky – Penner
    Gagner – Torres – ________
    Cogs – Moreau – Pisani
    Reasoner – Nilsson – Stortini/Schremp

  6. Devin says:

    That’s something that drives me nuts about Lowe: he overpays his marginal NHLers in a big way. Matt Greene is a perfect example – why give him 1.15M? Why not 650K? What was he going to do, bolt to Russia?
    Kent Huskins got 625K/2 last summer, Greg Zanon 725k/2 as well, Luke Richardson 500k, Bryan Berard 725k. These guys are comparables in that they’re marginal NHLers, like Greene.

    Same with Marty, why 950k? Blair Betts got 615k, Vasicek 750k, Adam Hall 525k, Kevyn Adams 625k, etc.

    Same with Torres, why 2.25M? Trent Hunter got 1.55M. Colby Armstrong got 1.2M/2, Peter Prucha got 1.6M/2, Eric Belanger 1.65M, Jason Williams 1.6M. These guys outproduce Torres (Prucha had a 30G rookie season to point to).

    Moreau, why the 1MM extra this year? Seriously, Ethan Moreau at 2MM/cap hit? Ridiculous.

    These aren’t all great comparables but the point is, based on production, these guys are soaking up millions too much when you add them up and calculate their replacement values. Guys like Grebs and Smid should be earning 600k on their next contracts, and should feel lucky to get one-ways.

  7. namflashback says:

    Devin,

    Some of it is the price of a long post-season run and what was not an unreasonable reward. (Pisani, Moreau, Staios).

    For the RFA’s — even a Qualifying Offer has to compensate them at a certain level (Grebs, Greene) — you can’t offer them under what they made on their prior contract. It’s now based on draft round etc. Huskins, Zanon had no draft pedigree so signed at the dollars they could. Richardson and Berard are on “last contract” types of terms.

    I don’t argue your logic on “value for the dollar” — but some of it is the escalating grid that is in place and not on the GM.

  8. Jonathan says:

    In my opionion, this post shows perfectly why Roloson must be moved if at all possible. He’s not a bad goaltender, but he’s not our number one either, and he’s making way too much to be the backup. I don’t believe his contract makes him untradeable – Tampa Bay, for example, desperately needs a starting goaltender, and if Roli’s starting his cap hit is very reasonable. Carolina should also be interested, as early as this year’s trade deadline, particularly if we were willing to pay Grahame for the rest of the year. Both of these trades should bring some form of usable return, in the form of draft picks or even useful players (3rd line centre, anyone?).

    Tarnstrom is a fairly safe bet to be moved too; he’s UFA, MacT doesn’t seem to like him, and he’s a useful depth player on a contending team.

    If anyone wants Sanderson or Reasoner they ought to be gone too – both players, while veterans, have not been able to consistently play above the 4th line.

    In any case, the really critical trade that should be made asap is sending Roloson to one of the 3 teams out there

  9. dstaples says:

    I can’t see how Pitkanen should be paid more than Gilbert. . . Gilbert is better on defence, close on offence, and I would much rather keep a Gilbert around than a Pitkanen, though I like the play of both.

  10. dstaples says:

    I can’t see how Pitkanen should be paid more than Gilbert. . . Gilbert is better on defence, close on offence, and I would much rather keep a Gilbert around than a Pitkanen, though I like the play of both.

  11. Black Dog says:

    Ok David, we get it, you don’t understand … :)

    Easy peasy – Gilbert has fifty NHL games under his belt. Pitkanen is in his fourth season. And he’s already making 2.4

    Gilbert is going to get a nice chunk of change but he doesn’t have the experience or pedigree of Joni, who has two seasons with 40 plus points and only last season’s anomaly in terms of his plus/minus stats.

  12. Devin says:

    NFB – then you don’t qualify them. Seriously, was someone going to offer Matt Greene 1.15M/2yr? I think Lowe is as guilty as the casual Oiler fan in vastly overrating his players. The Oilers are a bottom-feeder, so the results would suggest all these guys aren’t exactly superstars in the making.

  13. dawgbone says:

    Devin, the issue is whether or not you think Greene is going to be a better player down the road.

    You don’t qualify him now and he’s a UFA and there is a good chance he can sign elsewhere. So not only do you lose him for nothing, you lose a guy you’ve spent a lot of time developing.

  14. Devin says:

    dawgbone – I know, I know. I just didn’t want to get into the whole thing about spending time developing marginally useful players. The Oilers have been making poor decisions in that respect for awhile now. The issue of losing Greene shouldn’t enter into it because he shouldn’t have been playing the role he’s clearly not ready for in the first place. Uhh, if that makes sense. You overpay ELITE RFAs who have demonstrated upside, you don’t overpay marginal talents who may or may not be “the next Jason Smith” in 5 years. So: Pay Gilbert, don’t pay Smid (yet).

  15. Pat H says:

    LT’s original post is disconcerting to me, in that it goes to show how little we actually have – and have the potential to acquire – in light of our upcoming capspace. Sure, development is nice, we’ve got promising kids, and the future looks bright. But when have we NOT heard that? LT’s 08-09 Roster post largely confirms what many initially said about “the summer of Lowe” (he wasn’t decomposing, he was decompressing!!)

    Anyhow, wrt Reasoner, I think his situation gets odder by the moment. I’ve always been a big fan of his, but the guy is getting way too much freaking icetime these days. I don’t recall whether MacT ever used Reasoner as much as he has this season. Has he?

    So, if MacTavish sticks around, I think they drop 1.0-1.5 for Reasoner in a heartbeat. Personally, I think it’s time to let him walk, and I say that with a sombre tone. I love him, but come summer, it really should be time to move on.

  16. Bruce says:

    An enforcer upgrade on Stortini in the UFA market is a must. Watching this guy try to play and fight is embarrassing more often than not.

    I guess we see the game differently, hbomb. This Oiler fan gets embarrassed when guys like Boogaard and Shelley are running guys like Hemsky and Gilbert with impunity. At least Stortini is there to stand up for his teammates.

    Sure, during the fight I’ll cheer for the Oiler (unless it’s Shayne “Shame” Corson) but in the end it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you show up to play. Looking at the bright side, Zack has already won more scraps than Kelly Buchberger ever did, in roughly 1000 fewer fights.

    MacT has clearly given him the green light; Stortini has been in 9 fights the past 12 games after just 1 in the previous 17. In the process to my eye he has shed the huggybear approach and has been throwing them, and receiving them too. For this privilege he is THE lowest paid player on the team at $475 K.

    Take last night when Stortini took on Kings’ tough guy, 263-pound Raitas Ivanans. The Latvian Leviathan is an example of what could be obtained on the UFA market, but I’m not at all sure he’d be an upgrade. Their career NHL stas are roughly similar:

    Ivanans 109 GP, 6-5-11, -22, 220 PiM
    Stortini 61 GP, 2-2-4, -12, 219 PiM

    So Stortini is the more willing scrapper for whatever that’s worth. More importantly he’s 22 years old to Ivanans’ 29. The experience factor certainly was apparent in their fight as Ivanans essentially tied Stortini up in his own sweater. But Ivanans gained that experience the hard way, playing 489 GP (1525 PiM) for, by my count, 11 different teams in 4 different North American pro leagues (UHL, CHL, ECHL, AHL). He was a low-scoring player everywhere, a low-scoring minus player in the AHL. He scored 5 goals in 191 AHL games, whereas Stortini has 14 in 115 AHL GP, including 3-2-5 in just 4 games this year. And when it comes to playoff experience, Ivanans has all of 20 GP in his 10-year pro career, whereas Stortini has already played 42 playoff games as a pro, including 22 games last season on the Calder Cup champions.

    Now maybe you’ll say all this proves is we shouldn’t go after Raitas Ivanans as a UFA enforcer, we find somebody better. Well I say “good luck”. And in the meantime, I watch Zack Stortini improving by the week at the NHL level, taking on all comers, taking the body, maintaining his discipline, learning how to take the play to the goalmouth, and I think maybe we’re just growing our own. He may ultimately even turn out to be a hockey player. Takes time, is all.

  17. Devin says:

    Just to add in- the sensible thing is to let these guys make their mistakes on another team or in the A, and spend a little more to get them when they’re established or on the uptick. Eg. Mark Eaton or Dan Tjarnqvist or Jan Hejda, who are cheap but much better bets to hold their own than Greene.

    The high cost of having your 6th D-man be a black hole for 5 years isn’t worth the minuscule savings down the road.

  18. Lord Bob says:

    Eliminating Roloson in the offseason would be great if Garon proved the rest of the way that he could carry the load (and not ‘Ty Conklin pre-lockout’ prove, either), obviously, but his value has never been lower than in today’s NHL and Lowe might be reluctant to just waive the guy and pray.

    Seriously, if Roloson was waived today, what are the chances he gets claimed?

  19. Oilman says:

    The way Bryzgalov and even Conklin have worked out for there respective teams, and Cujo out of the picture – you’d have to think there is at least one team that would have to think that claiming Roloson or trading for him might be a good idea prior to giving Eddie Belfor a cup of coffee and a cold shower.

  20. Jonathan says:

    //Seriously, if Roloson was waived today, what are the chances he gets claimed?//

    Less than the chances of dealing him. If Roloson goes, I see little reason why the Oilers wouldn’t be willing to take some salary in exchange. In some cases (ie John Grahame) this would than allow the team to pick up an asset as well, either a useful player or a decent draft pick.

    On second look, Tampa Bay has enough room to add a goalie w/o closing in on the cap. Given that TSN is reporting them looking at Marty Turco, don’t you think they’d pick Roli up off waivers?

    Looking at how many teams must be at least thinking about a goaltending upgrade, the more convinced I am that Bryan Burke made a big mistake plopping Bryzgalov on waivers.

  21. Andy Grabia says:

    Dollars Spent before UFA/RFA: $46,382,000

    This seems way off to me. Looking at NHL Numbers, I get a cap hit for 08/09 of $36.761. That doesn’t include RFAs and UFAs. That includes:

    Penner ($4.25)
    Hemsky ($4.1)
    Horcoff ($3.6)
    Pisani ($2.5)
    Torres ($2.25)
    Moreau ($2)
    Gagner ($1.625)
    Cogliano ($1.133)
    Brodziak ($0.5)
    Souray ($5.4)
    Staios ($2.7)
    Greene ($1.15)
    Smid ($0.786)
    Roloson ($3.667)
    Garon ($1.1)

    Did you include RFA’s by accident. LT? Or assume that at least the base price of what they got paid this year will carry over? I’m confused.

    That being said, we he have 9 forwards, 3 defencemen and 2 goalie playing right now who are under contract for next year. But if I am correct, there is more cap room than we think to sign the rest. About $17 million, if the cap is at $54.

    RFA’s who are currently in the show would be:
    Stoll, Nilsson, Stortini, Pitkanen, Grebeshkov, Gilbert

    UFA’s who are currently in the show would be:
    Sanderson, Reasoner, Tarnstrom

    No way Garon should earn $4 million. I wouldn’t even broach an extension with him until next year. And I don’t see Gilbert getting $3 million, unless someone like Burke goes after him out of spite. Pitkanen might cost. The rest should be cheap, unless Stoll starts lighting it up or gets an insane offer (which the Oilers shouldn’t match).

    Sorry for repeating so much. It helped me keep my head on straight.

  22. godot10 says:

    //Dollars Spent before UFA/RFA: $46,382,000//

    Lowetide is including the existing salaries of the UFA’s and RFA’s in that number.

    The only two free agents who would get significant raises are Gilbert and Pitkanen.

    So the Oilers really have no cap problems for next season.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Andy: Yeah, I included the rfa numbers and added in small raises for all but Pitkanen and Gilbert.

    Garon I think gets signed by Lowe before summer ’09 and I think he has to sign Horcoff this summer.

    Horcoff is a very important part of this team moving forward, and in looking at what is happening in Buffalo right now Lowe would be wise to get this done this summer.

    Or sooner.

    Pitkanen is going to get a pile of money, and Gilbert is not that far from UFA so I’d think the Oilers would try to sign him long term and that will be a little more money.

  24. Shawn says:

    Moving Roloson is just not realistic I don’t think. His numbers and play have been fine, nothing special. Who is going to take that cap hit for next year for a guy who isn’t going to be much of an upgrade for them? We’re just gonna have to bite the bullet and frankly I’m glad to.

    How much has Garon proven? 20 games of success here and some marginal success in LA? I’m not sure I’m comfortable saying he’ll absolutely be the man for all of next year.

  25. godot10 says:

    The OIlers can’t spend the money they are spending on Roloson on anybody else anyway, since Garon will be getting his money after next season in “Garon’s extension.”

    Nothing wrong with having a proven solid backup who can carry the load if necessary.

  26. doritogrande says:

    Just thinking out loud here, but do we really need to extend Horcoff? Shouldn’t Gagner and Cogliano be ready to take on the #’s 1 and 2 C roles by the end of next year? I know Horcoff does much much more for the team than merely provide offense, but we don’t want to open the vault to a then mid-30 year old, do we?

    Also, I’ve been peddling this idea around a couple other boards, but I’m willing to pay a premium to pry Nigel Dawes out of the Big Apple. I think he’s a great fit on Hemsky’s other wing with his speed and ability to snipe. How nice would it be if someone could keep up with Hemsky and finish his passes?

  27. Lowetide says:

    If they don’t get Horcoff signed and we have another Ryan Smyth thingy I give the hell up. As a fan I’m willing to put up with a lot but at some point you have to stop getting younger and hang on to your difference makers.

    What, exactly, has Shawn Horcoff done to make people wonder why he isn’t worth 5.5M and a long term deal?

    I want to know right fucking now.

  28. doritogrande says:

    LT,

    Look at last season. We needed him to be that difference maker, especially when Smyth left. What did he do?

    I’m looking long term here, and a 36-38 year-old Horcoff sucking 5.5-mil out of our bankroll so we lose out on resigning Sam Gagner or heaven forbid, John Tavares, would mess with my brain.

    I could see extending him, but not long-term. 2 years tops for me.

  29. Lowetide says:

    dorito: There’s just no way. Horcoff will turn 30 in September and imo the Oilers would be more than justified in offering him a 4-year deal in that 5-5.5 range.

    As for last season, it wasn’t just Smyth that went, Hemsky was hurt and it was a terrible, terrible team.

    When Shawn Horcoff has been healthy he’s been able to play quality hockey and do the heavy lifting. When he has good NHL linemates he’s proven he can put up points and outscore the other guy.

    I would suggest conservatively that the Oilers could sign Horcoff for 4 years and at the end of the term none of the current centers will be playing at a level beyond what he’s doing now.

    Shawn Horcoff is a really good hockey player. Sam Gagner might be.

  30. godot10 says:

    Horcoff, four or five year extension @ $5.5 per…I’m in.

    Unlike Smyth, Horcoff is worth the money.

  31. CM says:

    I would have been way happier to see horc for 5.4 than souray…

    On a side note the oilers are a bad hockey team it seems to me that we have much of the same on the horizon would it then make more sense to trade Garon? I mean his value has never been higher and the oilers are going nowhere over the next couple years anyway…he might bring back enough to start the rebuild…Oh if only we had the penner pick back…we could see the farm and not worry about the irish laugh.

  32. David says:

    On a side note the oilers are a bad hockey team it seems to me that we have much of the same on the horizon would it then make more sense to trade Garon?

    I am not sure I agree with trading Garon, but I did have a similar sinking feeling when reading this post. With pretty much the same cast as this year, it promises to be pretty much the same season as this year. Cogs and Gagne aren’t going to turn into Gretzky and Messier overnight, so it is hard to see where there is a lot of potential improvement.

    I really hope Lowe can find a way to pick up some more high draft picks, because that’s the only way I can see things picking up over time.

  33. Black Dog says:

    Agreed fully on Horcoff – guy is a college guy so he has less miles on him, he is in terrific shape, he is a true #1 centre and probably one of the best two way centres in the NHL.

    Anyone remember who he outplayed in round two of the playoffs a couple years back – head to head no less, iirc?

    As LT said – Gagner and Cogliano may be very good. They also may not amount to anything – this is a possibility.

    If they let Horcoff go they take another big step back.

  34. Jonathan says:

    //How much has Garon proven? 20 games of success here and some marginal success in LA? I’m not sure I’m comfortable saying he’ll absolutely be the man for all of next year.//
    That’s all very true. Which is why, in the offseason, Lowe should invest 1-2 million in a 1A goaltender. Just in case.

    //Nothing wrong with having a proven solid backup who can carry the load if necessary.//
    When the backup’s making 3.667 million there is. Roloson’s cap hit is too high to be the backup, and frankly, his play hasn’t dropped to the point where he isn’t a legitimate starter for some teams. But why on Earth would Lowe trade the younger, cheaper guy who’s performing better? Track record or not, Roli should be the one on the move, and not only will there be a market for him, at the deadline or over the summer, but he should bring some kind of asset in return.

    Last season, at the deadline, Biron (3.04 GAA, .899SV%) was dealt to Philadelphia for a 2nd round pick. The previous offseason, Denis (3.25GAA, .900SV%) was moved for Fredriks Modin and Norrena. The same offseason, Raycroft (3.70GAA, .879SV%) was traded for Tuukka Rask.

    Roloson (3.12GAA, .901SV%) is a proven goaltender, and despite Burke’s inability to get a return on Bryzgalov, there will be a decent return on him. He should be traded, not because he plays badly, but because he doesn’t and goaltender is the strongest position the Oilers can trade from. They could ship out some defenceman, but with the exception of the guys they dare not trade, the return won’t be as good.

  35. ABMAN says:

    I’m curious if anybody knows how much cap space the oilers will have available at the trade deadline barring any outgoing players, and what size of pro-rated salary that would allow them to pick up.

  36. Bruce says:

    Bryzgalov might be the best thing to come off a waiver wire since Steve Sullivan. Methinks Brian Burke has made at least as many enemies among NHL GMs as Kevin Lowe ever will.

    I agree with Jonathan, why trade the younger cheaper hotter goalie? Geez Louise, that would be batshit crazy. For all that Lowe didn’t overwhelm us with veteran acquisitions up front (Sanderson) or on the blueline (Tarnstrom minus Hejda) this off-season, he certainly delivered a solid veteran in Garon to play the most important position.

    With Roloson’s advancing age and the continued development of JDD it would seem Roli’s days are numbered to at most, the end of the current contract. I for one would have no problem dealing him far sooner than that for a rest-of-this-season salary dump and a magic bean. Ultimately it’s about cap room, and while $5 MM for two solid keepers isn’t bad at all, we’re currently getting 80% of the bang for 20% of the buck. Roli is eminently expendable.

  37. Dennis says:

    Riv had a good line over at Vic’s place about how the Oilers treat their own guys when they reach their 30′s. Can’t remember it now but it hit it pretty much dead on.

    Horc was banged up like a Mofo last year, was hitting post after post and had his +/- fucked by a tonne of ENGA. Plus, he didn’t have his linemates either. But, we’re looking at him carrying the mail two out of three seasons so which year looks like the anomoly at this point? The guy put up looked good in the ’04 WHC, put up scoring numbers the next year in the SEL and all the talk was he’d turned the corner. That looks to be true outside of ’07 and he was hurt that year. But, he doesn’t have a long injury rap sheet and the guy is good.

    There should be no trepidation over extending him. The Oilers need to get him on paper, plus Joni and Gilbert and also Garon as long as he looks to be able to hold up to what will almost assuredly be an expanded ’08 workload.

    The Oilers have to get these four guys signed and if that means someone has to get moved to make that happen, well so be it as long as it’s not Hemsky or Penner.

    Get that quartet inked, hope 13-89 make a step next year and then maybe we can win a playoff round in 2010. All that being said, we might sneak into the playoffs in ’09 if we have close to total health and a couple of the bubble teams don’t enjoy said advantage.

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