If Not Now, When?

Since the Pronger trade Kevin Lowe has been collecting prospects methodically.

We must ask ourselves “why?” and the answer of course is “to wait for the day when we can give away 3 prospects for 1 established NHL player.”
I believe the photo illustrates the idea nicely, but if there’s still doubt about the concept we can look to Garth Snow this time last season when he unloaded the 15th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra for one Ryan Smyth.
Of course that kind of trade makes sense only if you’re “loading up” for the stretch run. The playoffs need to be in sight, your club needs to be able to see 8th place on a clear day.
So Kevin Lowe (or “Mr. 50 contracts”) entered the week by losing Patrick Thoresen on waivers and then his captain decided to test the strength of wood. The Edmonton Oilers at this time appear to define that old phrase “neither fish nor fowl”: They don’t really have any interesting players AND if they acquire one more unproven prospect the collective will puke into a Tim Horton’s “rrrroll-up-the-rim-to-wwwwwwwin” cup.
So here were are, between the Devil and the deep blue sea. Unlikely to do much because Staios and Roloson and Reasoner are either too dear price and salary wise or not really available to other teams. A team might come calling for a Schremp or a Pouliot but all 30 teams have guys like that so it’s a “changing the deck chairs” type of deal.
We’ve talked about this deadline here, here and here. As day turns into night on the Eve of the Trade Deadline, the reality is beginning to sink in. The teams that are in the hunt for the post-season are talking to teams about players that can help them win.

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33 Responses to "If Not Now, When?"

  1. mc79hockey says:

    Garon!

  2. Lowetide says:

    They won’t trade Garon.

  3. Gord says:

    Our number #1 trading chip is Stoll. He can QB the PP decently; he is really good killing penalties; great face off results – basically a jack-of-all-trades player.

    Stoll is a RFA so if he sucks, they let him go after the playoffs; if he is good, they make a qualifying offer…

    And considering we have Horcoff & Gagner as our top two centres next year, he is expendable…

  4. David says:

    Good post. Your conclusions further serve to highlight the mess that Lowe has created in the past few years. It is a tough day when you have spent to the cap, can’t win, and don’t even have anyone to sell at the trade deadline.

  5. uni says:

    I wonder if there’s a GM out there that will take Smid, Nilsson, and futures for a stud defenceman signed at a very reasonable rate for the next 4 years…

  6. Showerhead says:

    At last night’s game vs. the Avs, future hall of famer Principe had a quick chat with Wings GM Ken Holland about his deadline day plans in the city of Edmonton. Apparently Holland had several of his pro scouts in attendance as he went on to say the kind of supplementary player Detroit wants the most is “reliable”, “veteran”, and a “defenseman”. Did anyone else think that he was describing Steve Staios?

  7. Traktor says:

    I know this team shouldn’t look to dump more vets but I honestly think trading Staois is the smart thing to do.

    This team needs the cap space to bring in a player that can make an impact.

    I think Staois is going down the same road as Gator. Defensemen with zero hockey sense and a big heart don’t age well and it would be best if we trade him before we have another Roli contract.

    Is this team better with Staois or Grebeshov and 1.7 million to fill holes?

    Stoll also has no place on this team. Horcoff, Gagner and Cogliano are all set in stone at center. Brodziak has made huge strides this year and wouldn’t be surprised to see him have the better career from here on out.

    I can’t think of any possible reason why Edmonton wouldn’t move Reasoner with 20 games left in a rebuilding year.

  8. Bohologo says:

    I dunno, LT. Maybe Lowe’s been stockpiling prospects (best characterized by his near-obsessive Five Assets mantra, post-Pronger) because he’s taking a portfolio approach to roster management; a diverse range of assets mitigating the risks of a narrower band of assets. Or, in this case, a bunch of guys who might pan out for one guy (Smyth, Pronger) who is an established player.

    Maybe he thinks he can improve his odds of finding a future star if he’s holding more cards, or maybe he’s amassing sufficient prospects to make a quantity for quality deal, but a) as George Carlin pointed out, “Ever notice how your shit is stuff and everyone else’s stuff is shit?”, and b) my understanding is that most other NHL teams were within shouting distance of the 50 contract limit anyway.

  9. doritogrande says:

    Spell it with me everyone:
    S-T-A-I-O-S

    Sorry, but shame on you after 3 times.

    With Moreau out, there’s no way we can afford to lose another vet to the trade route, or we suffer another March to remember for all the wrong reasons. I’d love to see us empty the cupboard of 3 of our 6′s and 7′s for a 10 of spades, but I’m expecting a quiet Tuesday for our team.

  10. Slipper says:

    Hey Steve, you sheltered every last one of these punk bitches on the blue line for the last 150 games or so, they look to have benefited, so now get the fuck outta here!

    Go be old with that hack Jason Smith you Just for Men junkie.

    Maybe Detroit will give us Brett Lebda for him straight up!

    2008-09

    Souray-Pitkanen
    Gilbert-Smid
    Grebeshkov-Lebda
    Roy

    Yee-haw!

  11. Slipper says:

    Oh, I forgot to add that I agree with Traktor.

    Grebeshkov>>>>>>>>stois

  12. Mr DeBakey says:

    Uh-oh, a certain blogger has his cranky pants on!

    I was disappointed today to see that Eklund posted something about Schremp for Alex Bourret.
    That looked like the best Schremp option.
    And now its guaranteed not to happen.

    I agree about Stoll – he’s the best option to go. Which means I disagree with the Black Dog – first time, I have to go circle the day on my calendar.

  13. DBO says:

    I think we are i na postion where a 3-1 deal from our end is the way to go. Dum,ping Staios i thin kis the wrong move. We hvae to have some defensively responsible players, and his contract is what we would pay to get a guy like Staios. We have enough kids, so getting more youth defeats the purpose. Dealing some of our young prospects and picks for a op end player woudl be the move I would do.

    Personally I think a guy like Jokinen from Florida would fit well. the issue being what woudl they want for him? he’s a consistent 35 goal scorer, and is still young. Could we packsage some youth for him? Would you move Schremp, Chorney, Stoll and a pick for him?

  14. Lowetide says:

    Ottawa got killed with Emery in net and apparently he didn’t stay on the bench. If they could deal Roloson without taking salary that would be a victory.

  15. Ribs says:

    Roloson to Ottawa seems like common sense at this point. You have to figure Murray is looking for someone to go into the playoffs with. Who else would be on his radar?

  16. godot10 says:

    Eklund probably stole that from Lowetide’s Sunday blog posting.

    Staios is a reasonably paid character veteran defenseman who is going to mentor Chorney and Petry over the next couple of years.

    As Lowetide has suggested, the Oilers need asset concentration, fewer better assets. Excepting that much of the Oiler blogosphere doesn’t like the 3 assets for Penner deal.

  17. Dennis says:

    Ok. Traktor, I’ll bite on your Staios deal.

    If you believe that by 2010 or ’11, most of Grebs-Gilbert-Greene-Smid, and throw in Chorney, Peckam and Petry if you dare, are as good as Staios is now, then you deal Staios for a package this year that absolutely has to contain a first round pick.

    Then you go even younger with the D next year and you use the saved 24 cash to outbid for Hossa come July 1st.

    Is that something that interests you?

  18. Slipper says:

    3 assets for Penner deal…

    Holy smoke screen.

  19. Dennis says:

    Throwing something else in here as well.

    Not sure if Chi’s still interested or if Richards has shot down that idea but why wouldn’t he want to play with the Hawks?

    They’ve got Seabrooke-Keith on D plus they’re breaking in Barker now.

    Kane-Toews up front and Sharp’s damn good all of a sudden.

    Chicago is a major american city with a tonne of things to do.

    They’re about to lose Lapointe’s money off their books and Khabby comes off in ’09 so they’d even have the space to put him without cutting players in the process.

    Doesn’t this seem like a no-brainer?

  20. Simon says:

    I agree with ribs and lowetide: Ottawa taking Roloson is a killer of a steal. The problem is it might have to be a three-team deal, with a third team taking Emery / Gerber.
    Roloson to Ottawa
    Emery to third team
    NHL-caliber player from third team to Edmonton.
    Would that really be that hard to put together?

  21. doritogrande says:

    Simon, either that or a draft pick. We could always dust off Sanderson, and there’s our vet for the lineup.

  22. mc79hockey says:

    If I’m Ottawa, why do I want Roloson? Haven’t they been down the fading, prickly veteran goaltender path before?

    You get to move Salo once in your life and you sure as fuck don’t get to do it when he has another year left on his deal. I can’t imagine Roloson leaving.

  23. Vic Ferrari says:

    One of the bloggers (YKoil?) suggested Roloson for Denis a while ago. Apparently that saves Tampa some salary and the Oilers some cap space. Plus it gives both guys a clean slate. Makes sense to me.

    MC:

    You describe Roloson as prickly here, and I have to agree. At least there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that. Including Stauffer, who comes right out and says so.

    Remember back when Minny were heading towards UFA status with both Fernandez and Roloson? There was a lot of talk about how Roloson was much easier to get along with and was more popular with his teammates.

    Which has me wondering, exacly how much of a prick is Manny Fernandez? Damn.

  24. Dennis says:

    Gregor just reported that NYR’s sniffing around Pitkanen and Stoll and the Hawks are on Stoll’s trail as well.

    If we give up on Stoll at this diminished price, his salary had better go towards a Hossa, a Horc re-up or Pitkanen long-term.

    BTW, that Tugnutt/Barrasso move is the kind of thing I’d love to see tomorrow. I don’t remember anyone seeing that coming.

    Vic: Manny’s enough of a prick that Lemaire is his uncle and they still couldn’t get rid him fast enough.

  25. asif says:

    that’s interesting, did he comment on what the oilers would get back from either of those teams?

  26. jon k says:

    Dennis: lol

    Yeah it’s sort of funny how he ended up in Boston, but then again they don’t seem to have any problems taking guys with less than likable personalities (Chara, Kessel, Savard, Fernandez).

  27. Dennis says:

    Asif: Nah, he didn’t qualify it or anything, just threw it out there.

    NYR has a lot of pricey items so I’m not sure if they could afford to ink Pitkanen if they picked him up. Or perhaps Sather isn’t really worried about that right now. It’s never a surprise when Slats is linked to Oilers trade talk.

    As for Chi, I think the Hawks have been interested in Stoll for a long time now. If I’m not mistaken, he usually does pretty well against them so it could be a case of “seeing him good”, too.

  28. Traktor says:

    Dennis: It’s not just if I believe Grebs/Greene/Gilbert/Smid are all going to be solid in a few years. You also have to ask yourself how is Staios going to look in a few years from now too.

    If you think Staios is on the decline and you can get a first round pick for him then that is a deal you have to make. This team has to shed a contract or 2 anyways if we want to keep Horc.

  29. Mr DeBakey says:

    Chicago has been lookng for a face-off guy for a while

    Ruutu, Brouwer…

  30. Lord Bob says:

    Let’s be fair. Roloson is both better and less of an asshole than Tom Barrasso was at that stage of his career.

    That said, I‘m both better and less of an asshole than Tom Barrasso was at that stage of his career. But Roloson’s prickliness seems to come less from being a natural jerk and more from being a backup goalie on a crummy hockey team.

  31. Pat H says:

    //bohologo said: Maybe Lowe’s been stockpiling prospects (best characterized by his near-obsessive Five Assets mantra, post-Pronger) because he’s taking a portfolio approach to roster management; a diverse range of assets mitigating the risks of a narrower band of assets. Or, in this case, a bunch of guys who might pan out for one guy (Smyth, Pronger) who is an established player.//

    This portfolio analogy strikes me as being highly appropriate, especially when you consider how fond Lowe is of describing players as “assets”. Regardless, what ends up happening, imho, is that we have a non-operative portfolio, or a portfolio that is in a constant state of potential. It is never realized. It never DOES anything.

  32. Bruce says:

    Roloson to Ottawa seems like common sense at this point.

    Funny, I had Roli pegged for going to Ottawa two years ago. Instead, he wound up coming here. He’s still a good fit on the Sens though.

  33. Ribs says:

    Roloson and Ottawa sweeping Anaheim in the cup finals this year

    *cheer*

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