Kings at Oilers G65/07-08

This is Rogie Vachon. Among the great goalies of the last 40 years he is all but forgotten, but Rogatien had a helluva career spent most famously with Montreal and Los Angeles.

The Kings have had some nice goaltending down through the years, trading for Kelly Hrudey and drafting Billy Smith before giving him up in the 1972 expansion draft.

The Kings current group of goaltenders are not of that quality, but this LaBarbara fellow (I always think of Hanna-Barbara) is having a pretty nice season all things considered.

His SP currently sits at .910, which is clear of JS Aubin (.886), Dan Cloutier (.894), Jonathan Bernier (.864) and Jonathan Quick (.855) on the Kings this season.

Tyler Dellow was the first I saw to suggest that this guy might be a player and it looks like he’s spot on.

Again.

The first time was in regard to Ty Conklin. Tyler suggested he was a player before he got the love from the Oilers and took a pretty savage beating in some quarters when Conklin’s career took a downturn.

I keep reading those sites that ripped Tyler, assuming (turnabout being fair play) we could expect some kind of acknowledgement of Conklin’s impressive surge and Dellow’s being correct. Since it appears not to be forthcoming on those sites, allow me to congratulate Tyler Dellow on the most difficult of all things: predicting future success for goaltending prospects.

That’s a tough one, folks. Right up there with “identify a good closer late in a roto auction when you have $5 left” and “what do women want?”

Perhaps Dellow can get started on either this morning.

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130 Responses to "Kings at Oilers G65/07-08"

  1. Slipper says:

    What really ices Dellow’s cake (does that sound gay?) is that Conklin is finally outperforming that shit sack they call a goalie over in Jersey. I guess that it was just a matter of time.

    Albeit, Brodeur has put up great results over the past two seasons (.920%). You could argue that he’s performed better with a weaker team in front of him.

    I’m browsing over GlenX’s numbers from CBJ. Considering his good Corsi and GA numbers, I’m left kind of baffled. He’s a blatantly useful player.

    Is there any doubt that Lowe acquiring him was by pure accident?

  2. doritogrande says:

    Slipper, quite the opposite actually.

    No Oilers for me tonight, unless you count watching Dan Syvret patrol the blueline for the Hershey Bears while they play the Moose tonight. My friend had an extra ticket and I’d much rather watch AHL live than NHL on tv.

  3. HBomb says:

    Ok, so what happens if Pitkanen can’t go tonight? Did they recall Rourke or something?

  4. Julian says:

    I’d prefer the women question answered. Thanks Tyler.

  5. Alice says:

    //I did put in a $70 bet on Wings tonight and that’s a really good way to ensure a win for the Oilers :) But it gets expensive in the long run.//

    Alright, who’s got 70 bucks for honkey?

    Last time anyone talked about “running the table” I think we gassed one with the Kings to put an end to it. This week, with MacT floating that notion again, we’ve got LA up following Detroit. Let’s hope they break the habit and don’t go 1-1 in that order.

  6. Doogie says:

    Is there any doubt that Lowe acquiring him was by pure accident?

    I’m operating under the assumption that every widely panned move Lowe’s made since ’06 — Pronger, Smyth, Souray, maybe Penner — has been the result of some sort of EIG meddling/PR neediness, and that the rest, regardless of result, was his own doing. It just doesn’t make any sense any other way. It can’t be the same person making both the Souray and the Garon calls.

  7. Bruce says:

    Favourite moments from a slow trade deadline in Edmonton (going from memory so quotes might not be perfect):

    Craig MacTavish: “The puck hit Joni in a vulnerable spot.”

    Translation: The puck hit Joni.

    Kevin Lowe: Roli’s played well this year, but Matty has outplayed him at times.”

    Translation: Between 6 and 11 p.m.

  8. Quain says:

    I fully believe Lowe has an issue where every high profile move he makes (Souray, Smyth, Pronger, sadly Penner, etc.) is awful. On the flip side, a good portion of the ho-hum moves he makes are pretty solid (Salo for Gilbert, Glencross for Tarnstrom, maybe MAB for Grebs).

    He just can’t be trusted with star players and money. And while it’s nice that he plucks an occasional gem out of nowhere, I’d much rather someone else be writing $5-6m checks. Especially with Horcoff needing an extension.

  9. Alice says:

    Since we’re still on a bit of a trade deadline thread, and Doogie brings up Pronger… Why did Lowe deal him in the summer? At trade deadline time a)you’ve got folks loading up for a run; b) you’ve got folks whose D’s don’t look as good as the D’s they thought they had in Aug, by performance or injury; and c) didn’t Mr. Pronger leave an indelible mark the previous spring? It seemed to me Lowe could have honored his trade request and asked for the half-season in return, to put him into a more highly motivated auction. Instead of hoarding him a bit, KL was rid of him like a hot potato. Strange way for the seller to behave, imo.

  10. mc79hockey says:

    You’re giving me too much credit LT, although I’m inclined to think that the argument I made in favour of the guy was never properly understood by people, which is probably my fault. My argument for him was always that, based on the information we knew, it was perfectly reasonable of Kevin Lowe to head into 05-06 with him in place as the starter. Who knows, maybe it was the injuries and such that were killing him that year. In any event, I never would have predicted that he’d put up these kind of results, either this year or in the past – I thought he was a reasonable bet to be a serviceable #1 in 05-06 and that didn’t turn out well.

    It is, however, astounding to me that Conklin has had three NHL seasons of any substance and that his results have varied so widely. One was quite respectable, with terrible PK numbers killing him, one was just all around atrocious and the other has been spectacularly good. As much as a part of me still secretly hates him for G1, he always struck me as a pretty classy guy and I’m happy that he’s enjoying some success. If this is real – and I’d like to see him do it for 60+ games – it’s pretty hard to begrudge him his success as he handled the down times in a pretty respectable fashion. Hopefully he gets a couple of million bucks out of someone.

    LaBarbera, on the other hand, I’m willing to take some credit for. Shame he’s not playing tonight with a bad groin.

  11. mc79hockey says:

    Since we’re still on a bit of a trade deadline thread, and Doogie brings up Pronger… Why did Lowe deal him in the summer?

    That question should be built into Blowin’ in the Wind.

    How many years can a mountain exist
    Before it’s washed to the sea?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some GM exist
    getting nothing for their best D?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
    Pretending he just doesn’t see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

  12. Paulus says:

    To answer Slipper’s query:

    As far as the GlenX trade, Howson’s deadline deals seemed to be its complete foil. If Columbus were mustering for a playoff run, getting Tarnstrom makes sense, but trading Foote and Fedorov does not. If Howson, however, was already planning to trade Foote at the deadline, then adding Tarnstrom was an apt decision.

    As for Lowe, he had probably seen quite a bit of GlenX when their teams matched up. It’s no accident that GlenX ‘just happens’ to be a cure for an obvious malady.

    Deprecating Lowe for his poor moves is fun and all, but give credit where it’s due, y’know?

    Hbomb: Last I heard, Rourke was also injured.

  13. Bruce says:

    What really ices Dellow’s cake (does that sound gay?) is that Conklin is finally outperforming that shit sack they call a goalie over in Jersey.

    No Slipper, it doesn’t “sound gay” — whatever the fuck that means — so much as it sounds downright ridiculous. After a 9-1-3 February, the “shit sack” has assumed the league lead in wins yet again, and is on his way to leading the NHL in that rather significant category for the 9th time in the last 10 seasons.

    Albeit, Brodeur has put up great results over the past two seasons (.920%). You could argue that he’s performed better with a weaker team in front of him.

    He’s performed great all along, but it is even more noticeable with a weaker team in front of him. Stevens, Niedermayer, Daneyko, and Rafalski are all gone, replaced by guys named Martin and Mottau and Rachunek and Oduya and … shit, I can’t even remember who’s in Jersey’s starting six. Sheldon Brookbank??

    Yet the Devils are leading the Eastern Conference with that defence, and with its TWELFTH leading offence. And with a shit sack in net, apparently. There’s no other explanation than Lou Lamoriello is god.

    Obviously it’s a fluke result, since last year (under a different coach), the Devils finished second in the Eastern Conference with its FOURTEENTH leading offence.

    Sorry, all due respect to the figure filberts — and I are one — but Brodeur doesn’t play for the best “shot quality adjusted save percentage”, he plays to WIN … and he’s “one of” the best ever in this regard. The only thing arguable about that last statement is the necessity of the words within the quotation marks, as Brodeur continues his assault on the record books season by 4,400-minute season.

    Still in his very extended prime at age 35, Brodeur is now just a half season away from being #1 all-time for regular season wins. 529 so far, plus 94 in the playoffs. Three Stanley Cups in the 30-team era. Olympic Gold and World Cup gold as Canada’s #1.

    All this winning as an ultra-consistent, utterly durable, no-maintenance, home-town-discount team leader. I can’t imagine what more one could possibly want from a goalie. Except maybe that he should outperform Ty Conklin.

  14. DBO says:

    We may slam lowe for the last few big deals he made, but everyone needs to remember we got Pronger for Brewer and career minor leaguers.

  15. dstaples says:

    Hbomb said, “Ok, so what happens if Pitkanen can’t go tonight? Did they recall Rourke or something?”

    The way Pitkanen is playing, Rourke would be an improvement, at least if Rourke can play the relatively simple and error-free hockey he demonstrated during his last call up?

  16. doritogrande says:

    Quick SAT question for all:

    Pierre Maquire is to Crosby as Bruce is to…..?

    He’s got a point though.

    Another question, because it will be inevetible that another D-man will go down, is who we call up? Pitkanen’s one tweak away from not playing, and Roy’s a walking injury to begin with, so we swipe Syvret out from Hershey, give Young another chance that he doesn’t really deserve, or reward Peckham for his hard work this year? Rourke’s injured from what I’ve heard. I better check and see when Chorney’s season ends, so they can call in the US reserves.

  17. dstaples says:

    Tyler wrote “As much as a part of me still secretly hates him for G1, he always struck me as a pretty classy guy and I’m happy that he’s enjoying some success.”

    I blame G1 on Roloson, who as I recall let in two fairly soft goals before he got hurt.

    The Conklin mistake, as I recall it, was pinned on Conklin, but wasn’t Jason Smith involved in that screw up behind the net?

    It reminds me of the 1986 incident where Steve Smith got blamed for scoring on his own net.

    Steve Smith was surely partly to blame, but he was coming out from behind the net, and if Grant Fuhr had been extra cautious, his pad would still have been against the post, just in case.

    Instead Fuhr had staked out a bit, which is why Smith’s pass hit him in the back of the leg and went in.

    So I’d argue Fuhr was a bit to blame for that fluke goal against, just as Jason Smith was a bit to blame on that weird play with Conklin.

  18. nameht says:

    If the Oilers do call up a blue-liner, Theo Peckham is the likely choice from a team that has nine injured players.

    http://tinyurl.com/357u3n

  19. Bruce says:

    We may slam lowe for the last few big deals he made, but everyone needs to remember we got Pronger for Brewer and career minor leaguers.

    Well said, DBO. I know it’s fashionable to break out just the bad deals, but the two Pronger trades together worked out to be Brewer, Woywitka and Lynch for Smid, (indirectly) Pitkanen, (indirectly) Riley Nash, and a first round draft pick to be named later. And in a very narrow window of opportunity, one Stanley Cup run.

    On balance that’s not too bad … the first Pronger trade was at least as good as the second was bad. Smid and Pitkanen may not replace Pronger, but they’ll do a reasonable job of replacing Brewer; and the incoming prospects are a lot juicier than the two we gave up.

    The fact that Pronger was available from St. Louis in the first place suggests some, uh, instability. I agree Lowe (seems to have) acted more hastily than necessary in unloading him, but who knows what was promised in mid-season when Lowe convinced Pronger to stick it out ’til the end of the palyoffs. To Pronger’s credit (he said heretically), he played hard down the stretch and in the playoffs when every series win delayed his requested departure by another couple of weeks. But with every game we fans saw the ultimate stud defenceman in Oiler silks, trading him away became ever more unthinkable, even though it was already in the works.

    When the epitaph — or is it epithet? — is written on Lowe’s career as Oilers’ GM, Chris Pronger’s name will appear in the first paragraph. But there’s more to that story than just a big black mark.

  20. mc79hockey says:

    I know it’s fashionable to break out just the bad deals, but the two Pronger trades together worked out to be Brewer, Woywitka and Lynch for Smid, (indirectly) Pitkanen, (indirectly) Riley Nash, and a first round draft pick to be named later. And in a very narrow window of opportunity, one Stanley Cup run.

    This is nonsense, in my view. I don’t know why you would look at the two deals together and take the position that it’s a net gain.

    First of all, you have to recognize that Lowe got Pronger at a liquidation sale. Every last one of his defenders basically refuses to consider anything that he did poorly prior to 2005 on the grounds that he was screwed financially – that’s a two way street. Pleau was over a financial barrel when he moved Pronger. IT GOES BOTH WAYS. You can’t excuse his various cock-ups pre-lockout on financial grounds and then paint him as a brilliant GM when he plucks Pronger in the summer of 2005 if you’ve got a shred of intellectual honesty. It’s also worth mentioning that Lowe wasn’t over a financial barrel when he dealt Pronger(or if he was, the EIG is brutal and we know from the MSM that they’re saints). He was clearly in a stronger position than Pleau was when he dealt Pronger.

    Secondly, the two trades are just not related. They aren’t. There’s no causal reason whatsoever to consider them together. As of the day after the Pronger trade, Lowe had Pronger. That was the position that he was in. With that sort of reasoning, I’m amazed that some of you don’t go “Well, in July of 1979, when Lowe became an Oiler, they hadn’t played a single NHL game yet. If you look at his total impact, they’ve gone from not having played a single NHL game to having played something like two thousand, won five Cups, played in seven Finals…” Insane? Of course – there’s no reason to take such a macro view of things when you can break it down into realistic sized chunks and get better analysis. The same holds true of the Pronger deals.

  21. mc79hockey says:

    The Conklin mistake, as I recall it, was pinned on Conklin, but wasn’t Jason Smith involved in that screw up behind the net?

    Sure, but it never should have got that far. Conklin had lots of time to either stop it and leave it or play it into either corner. He froze up and then made the worst decision possible – trying to move it when nobody expected him to.

    The fact that Pronger was available from St. Louis in the first place suggests some, uh, instability.

    I assume that you mean on the part of the Blues Bruce. I mean, the facts were out there – they were trying to shed money.

    I agree Lowe (seems to have) acted more hastily than necessary in unloading him, but who knows what was promised in mid-season when Lowe convinced Pronger to stick it out ’til the end of the palyoffs.

    Sure, I mean for all we know, Pronger was entirely justified to request a move because half of the EIG was sleeping with his wife and asking her to call them Lidstrom while they did so.

    What’s that you say? There’s no evidence that that was happening?

    Huh, based on this suggestion in his defence, I thought we were allowed to assume things into existence.

    Even if we want to have this debate on the basis of these assumptions, I’d just argue thjat all it does is move forward the time of Lowe’s grand fuck-up from July to whenever he made the promise for which there’s no evidence.

  22. Alice says:

    Thanks Bruce, it figures if Mrs. P decided to hate Edmonton, then winter would have been a good place to start. It was off my radar at the time, makes sense that there would be more(longer) story to it.

    Agree w Mc79 though, packaging a string of trades together and comparing what went into the sausage and what came out – well it’s dubious. You can take the snaphots anywhere you like to frame [your] performance in the best possible light. Maybe what the GM would like to do for his review, but no sense us going there for him.

  23. Doogie says:

    Sure, I mean for all we know, Pronger was entirely justified to request a move because half of the EIG was sleeping with his wife and asking her to call them Lidstrom while they did so.

    What’s that you say? There’s no evidence that that was happening?

    Huh, based on this suggestion in his defence, I thought we were allowed to assume things into existence.

    Even if we want to have this debate on the basis of these assumptions, I’d just argue thjat all it does is move forward the time of Lowe’s grand fuck-up from July to whenever he made the promise for which there’s no evidence.

    Seems like an awfully harsh reaction to what is a perfectly reasonable supposition. Pronger shuts up and plays out the season in return for a swift move after the season. Sure, there’s no evidence such a promise was made, and consequently, there’s no real way to use it in Lowe’s defence, any more than one can suggest for certain there was EIG interference in the determination of the return package, but they’re both at least plausible theories, unlike your slippery-slope rebuttal, and in the absence of a tape recorder in Lowe’s office, it’s what we’ve got to work with as we try to reconcile that dumbfuck move and others with some pretty clever ones.

  24. heed says:

    pronger ensured a trade in the summer of 2006 by leaking his displeasure to a certain member of the media prior to hitting the beaches in mexico. thanks buddy.

  25. danny says:

    mc79hockey said…

    This is nonsense, in my view. I don’t know why you would look at the two deals together and take the position that it’s a net gain.

    Its no more irrational than comparing Smyths dollars to Sourays, but it persists very prevalently amongst ‘lowe lynchers’.

  26. mc79hockey says:

    Its no more irrational than comparing Smyths dollars to Sourays, but it persists very prevalently amongst ‘lowe lynchers’.

    Well no, danny – in that case, it’s linked in that the organization presented a certain rationale for Smyth (age, injury), later acknowledged the real rationale (money) and then turned around and spent on the money on a guy with the same questions as to age, a worse history of injury and nowhere near the established level of performance. I don’t know who argues that the transactions should be taken together, just that the second one illustrates what a crock the line on the first was.

    Personally, I’d say that the Souray move doesn’t make the Smyth move any better or worse, it just illustrates the bullshit that was flowing from the Kingsway at that point in time.

    Pronger shuts up and plays out the season in return for a swift move after the season.

    That probably came off harsher than it should have. I just hate the constant invention of hypotheticals to defend the guy when consistently the stuff that’s obvious invites his condemnation.

    With that said, Lowe’s a big boy and he could choose to defend himself on that point. I don’t think that that’s a particularly great defence – “I bargained him down from a five year contract to a promised trade, to a list of teams that he’d approve, after one year, regardless of whehter the offer is good for the Oilers.” If you think that’s a defence of him, well, more power to you I guess.

  27. Bruce says:

    Agree w Mc79 though, packaging a string of trades together and comparing what went into the sausage and what came out – well it’s dubious.

    I largely agree, it’s dubious, the threads of roster building get irretrievably tangled. But it can also be inappropriate to isolate a single trade, as Jim Matheson did the other day in panning the Maltby-for-McGillis trade way back when. Looks bad now, unless you consider McGillis was later traded for Niinimaa, and Niinimaa for Torres. Framed that way, Maltby for Torres doesn’t seem like a completely one-sided exchange; Oilers got a few good years of service out of the Maltby return. It’s not a continuous single thread, but neither did the thread snap on Maltby the moment McGillis left town.

    I love your sausage analogy, Alice. Ultimately the GM is responsible for the whole sausage, which comes from a large combination of moves, almost none them completely independent but almost none of them “A therefore B”. It’s way more complex than that. I never mentioned the names of Jason Smith or Geoff Sanderson. Nor Lauren Pronger for that matter.

    You can take the snaphots anywhere you like to frame [your] performance in the best possible light. Maybe what the GM would like to do for his review, but no sense us going there for him.

    I don’t think I’m trying to frame Lowe’s performance in the bext possible light, I’m just taking the more-moderate-than-many view that he’s made good transactions and he’s made bad ones. Some take the good for granted (e.g. the Roloson trade, the Staios and Garon signings, the Glencross trade) and remember only the bad. The day after the first Pronger trade, Lowe had Pronger. So let’s just judge him on what he did after that.

    The trade that brought Pronger to Edmonton was a good one. So, ironically, was the decision to sign him to a five-year contract; without that, Pronger could have walked the way Peca did, with nobody screaming “Traitor!” at the player nor “Idiot!!” at the GM. Instead Oilers got a substantial return, even if it wasn’t full value. And certainly it wasn’t full value, I am not making that argument.

    While the situations were undeniably different, to some extent circumstances forced Lowe’s hands in 2006 as they had Pleau in 2005. You can be sure neither GM wanted to trade away Chris Pronger.

    We don’t know what promises were made mid-’05-06, but it’s on the record that Pronger requested a trade during the season. We also don’t know what kind of pressure EIG was putting on Lowe when he made his extended splash this off-season with a series of questionable high-profile moves involving Vanek, Nylander, Penner, and Souray. But those moves are on Lowe’s record, too, even and perhaps especially the two that (thankfully) did not wind up happening.

    You’re right, MC, it does go both ways. In fact, that’s my point.

  28. Dennis says:

    Nah, Ty, I like lumping things in together. When we do that we can say Lowe’s missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons and that gives us as good a reason as any to suggest his dismissal;)

    No disrespect to you, Bruce, but picking up Pronger paints Lowe in a positive light because he was the first to get in line but the reason why the Oilers had the space to pick up Pronger and Peca in the first place is because the EIG were so fucking cheap heading into the lockout.

    Staples: If I were you, before I’d argue what happened in 1986, I’d concentrate on the argument that first round picks offered by Ana in trades for guys like Pronger are equally as devalued as first round picks given up by the Wings in offer-sheets but, hey, that’s just me.

    As for Conks, I didn’t pimp him like Ty did but in looking at the numbers attached to Conkkanen and how they did down the stretch in ’04 I was content to give that combo a whirl in ’06. I felt that team was good enough goalie out that we could make the playoffs and maybe win a round as long as the boys didn’t implode. But implode they did and Conklin seemed to be among a number of guys who didn’t give enough of a fuck in the lockout year, ie all of Pronger-Brewer-Peca-Roenick admitted they weren’t in the shape to start the ’06 season because they didn’t think things would be resolved in that ‘quick’ of a fashion.

    And you can count me among the guys that like Ty and wish him well too. He fucked himself and the Oilers by showing up to camp like he did in sept of ’05 but he was gracious in leaving and never did bare his post-Oilers teeth and I like guys like that.

  29. Dennis says:

    Bruce: how about the idea that it takes a whole lot of good little moves, ie Garon-GlenX, to make up for fucking the big moves, ie Pronger-Smyth-Souray?

    Is that a fair assessment?

  30. PDO says:

    No Slipper, it doesn’t “sound gay” — whatever the fuck that means -

    Hey now – quit being so old, this is the intranet!

    Sure, I mean for all we know, Pronger was entirely justified to request a move because half of the EIG was sleeping with his wife and asking her to call them Lidstrom while they did so.

    Jesus. lol.

    Anyway, tonight is actually a huge game for the Oilers. I’m not talking playoffs, and refuse to talk playoffs unless someone in the Oilers org has sold their soul to the devil and we’re about to go on a ridiculous 13-0 run, (please?), but a win tonight and we could once again be out of the lottery, and we can pretty much bury LA (9 points with 17 games remaining is buried – right?).

    A win tonight can also potentially have us all of 1 point out of 22nd… which is starting to become a lot less painful come draft day.

  31. dstaples says:

    Tyler.

    I agree with you that the Souray signing was a bad risk, a terrible risk even. But wasn’t the Smyth signing also a bad risk?

    Not as bad a risk as Souray, for sure, but it’s still a bad risk to give a massive five year deal to an aging winger with a history of injury who plays the type of game that invites injury. . .

    It’s also a bad idea to tie up that kind of money in an older guy when your window for truly competing for the Cup isn’t right now, it’s two or three years down the road.

    This is in no way to defend Lowe on the Souray signing. That was a bad move and it calls into question his team-building philosophy.

    But not signing Smyth would seem to me a good move, consistent with someone trying to rebuild a team out of the ruins of the Pronger fiasco.

    As for Lowe’s defence of the Smyth move, I suspect he’s constrained by the need to be respectful to Smyth and Smyth’s fans (Lowe’s customers). So he could not lay out the harshest of truths here, that the Oilers didn’t want to give many millions over many years to an aging and beat up winger, no matter what his great history with the team.

    All that said, Lowe’s move with Souray is all the more baffling and indefensible, to risk that kind of contract on an aging and beat up d-man, no matter his fine history in the league.

    P.S. And for all those who loved Ryan Smyth, I loved his play as well, he was a great hero here, but business is business.

  32. DBO says:

    So if Lowe knew all along that Pronger was a one year rental, then perhaps we should judge the deal against what other teams pay for playoff rentals/impending UFA’s? 3 first round picks/prospects seems to be the standard, so getting two first round picks, a 2nd and two young players (one coming off a big season goal wise) seems to be a pretty good deal. Like Lowe poaching him from St. Louis, we were the team in the hard place, so no team was going to offer top players in return.

  33. Dennis says:

    Staples: did you see Lowe on HNIC just after the Smyth trade? He didn’t exactly mince his words regarding the move.

  34. dstaples says:

    Dennis wrote, “Staples: If I were you, before I’d argue what happened in 1986, I’d concentrate on the argument that first round picks offered by Ana in trades for guys like Pronger are equally as devalued as first round picks given up by the Wings in offer-sheets but, hey, that’s just me.”

    Dennis, no argument with me on this one. The first picks the Oil got from Anaheim for Pronger could never be considered to be worth a great amount (though it looks like Riley Nash might well be a player).

    I’ve never said the Oil got equal value for Pronger, but I’m not so certain as some that Lowe botched it, that he didn’t take the best deal out there.

    No one knows what other offers were out there. No one knows what promises he made to Pronger. All we know is what Lowe got, and the deal must be judged in that light.

    Four years of Chris Pronger in his early to mid 30s for sniper Lupul as he headed to his peak years, promising Smid as a prospect and some draft picks, always risky.

    This was clearly a great deal for Anaheim, and an average-to-good deal for the Oilers, but not a terrible one for this team(not like handing over big money over the long term to old and beat up wingers and d-men tends to be a pretty terrible idea).

  35. dstaples says:

    Didn’t see him, Dennis. So maybe he did give the hard truth about Smyth then.

  36. Dennis says:

    Listening to the Oilers pregame audio podcast and if you get a chance, go ahead to about the 5:20 mark. Basically, Principe tries to be a real reporter and and a realist when he asks Penner about how tough it is to play when the playoffs aren’t a possibility and Penner says, “next question.”

    I got a kick out of that, I can just picture Gene going home with his chin on his chest, kicking and can being forlorn and muttering, “I knew I shouldn’t have tried to Not be a suck.”

    Speaking of Penner, maybe he’s the guy that finally gets Lowe fired. Dustin has been looking terrible lately and it’s about time he work up.

  37. Dennis says:

    Staples: If Lowe made any promises to Pronger than that only makes him look worse in my eyes. That’s not a defense, IMO.

  38. Alice says:

    dbo! I was going to let this just peter out but
    /we were the team in the hard place/
    is my point exactly: we weren’t in the hard place, we had CP on a 5yr contract. Lowe acted like the tables had been turned on him, when he still held the strong hand. There are a couple of answers to “Trade me,” that come to mind: “No” being one, “Ok, but not yet” being the other. My guess is he was less afraid of Pronger per se than the effect of having his “I don’t want to play here anymore” hanging over the dressing room and the rest of the team, but who knows. Hey, it’s 2008, I was just curious as to what kind of rationalizations were being floated at the time.

  39. Tyler says:

    So if Lowe knew all along that Pronger was a one year rental, then perhaps we should judge the deal against what other teams pay for playoff rentals/impending UFA’s? 3 first round picks/prospects seems to be the standard, so getting two first round picks, a 2nd and two young players (one coming off a big season goal wise) seems to be a pretty good deal.

    Yes, you’re right, if you ignore the fact that he was signed to a below market deal for four more years, it doesn’t look so bad.

  40. Bruce says:

    I seem to be in a feisty mood today. Even the gracious host of this fine blog is not immune …

    ***
    The Kings have had some nice goaltending down through the years
    ***

    Say WHAT???!!!

    Sorry LT, I can’t let that statement go unchallenged. The Kings have had a black hole between the pipes for pretty much their entire 40-year history, with the notable exceptions of Vachon and Hrudey. They’ve had a few guys who were nice goaltenders elsewhere but when exposed by the Kings’ “defence” turned out to be not all that nice. Terry Sawchuk didn’t have his best year in LA, nor did Billy Smith, nor Grant Fuhr.

    But those household names are rarities in a very long list that includes nobodies like Ryan Bach, Marco Baron, J.C. Bergeron, Daniel Berthiaume, and Mike Blake. (And that’s just the B’s … for the whole sorry list see http://tinyurl.com/ynves6 )

    I distinctly recall one season around 1984 when the Kings played four games here in Edmonton and used five different goaltenders (probably Marco Baron, Bob Janecyk, Gary Laskoski, Mario Lessard, and Markus Mattsson, although my lasting memory is of one Kings goalie with sunburn on his neck skating off the ice while another skated on).

    It’s not just the goalies themselves, it’s the Kings. Mathieu Garon was a better goalie in Montreal than he was in L.A. Same can be said for Cristobal Huet, the guy the Kings traded to get Garon. Felix Potvin was better in Toronto for goodness sake than he ever was in LaLaLand.

    The poster boy is Ron Grahame, a solid goalie for the Houston Aeros and Boston Bruins before being acquired by the Kings. Grahame’s GAA ballooned from a respectable 2.76 in Boston to 4.21, 4.19 and 4.67 in Tinseltown.

    The Grahame trade was infamous in that it cost the Kings the pick that became Ray Bourque. Due respect to Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey, Steve Duchesne and Rob Blake, the Kings never really have had that stud defenceman who cleans up messes in his own zone. Their star forwards — Marcel Dionne, Wayne Gretzky, Bernie Nicholas, Luc Robitaille — were hardly renowned as two-way players either. The Kings haven’t had anything remotely resembling a defence-first posture since Rogie’s days in the 1970s. And without that it doesn’t matter if your name is Ron Scott or Travis Scott, it’s gonna be a challenge to stop the puck.

  41. DBO says:

    Alice and tyler:

    i realize we had him signed, the point was “if” there was a handshake agreement between Lowe and Pronger when he signed him, that if he wants out he’ll deal him then we were in a hard place. i always wondered why Pronger signed a deal knowing his wife didn’t want to live up here, so did Lowe tell Pronger it would be easier to deal him if he is signed, allowing the Oil to get a chance to get some assets back instead of losing him for nothing if he was only a one year deal. I realize that is a lot of if’s, but how else do you explain Lowe’s comments when he dealt him that he had hoped Pronger would have changed his mind with the cup run, and that Lowe knew for a long time Pronger wanted out. With Prongers public trade demand, we were fucked and in a hard place and thus GM’s weren’t giving us great deals. Thanks you Chris and Al.

  42. Slipper says:

    I’m not trying ot YANK Bruce’s CHAIN or deFELATE any fellow MEMBERS of the Oilogosphere (does THAT sound gay?), but I’m pretty disappointed that nobody could absorb the irony/hyperbole/bullshit factor of my initial post. I thought the second Terry Jones style paragraph would negate the smirk all over the the first. Oh,well. Whatever. I’ll try to be more OBVIOUS next time.

  43. HBomb says:

    I agree with you that the Souray signing was a bad risk, a terrible risk even. But wasn’t the Smyth signing also a bad risk?

    Pretty simple really. You either sign Smyth AND Souray (signalling a win-now mentality), or you do neither (signalling a rebuild).

    What Lowe did was a half-assed rebuild while trying to present the illusion this team was a playoff squad short-term. In the process, he makes the Penner offer sheet that, while I don’t mind Penner as a player, has the potential to fuck this organization (and its fans) six ways from Sunday if that first rounder leaves the Ducks with Doughty or Schenn learning under CFP’s wing or with Getzlaf-Stamkos as the next great 1/2 center punch in the NHL.

    And Dennis….me and a friend were discussing this a few weeks ago, about Lowe promising Pronger a move. What Lowe should have done, in hindsight, is told Pronger and Morris to go fuck themselves, you signed a five year deal, you either play for the Oilers until we can get fair value for you, or you sit. He played hardball with Comrie, but he should have played hardball with the big backstabbing fucker from Dryden.

    It’s not like letting Pronger sit for a year in 2006-07 without any help from some sort of trade “return” would have left us any worse off, really – Lupul was a non-factor from minute one, and whatever Smid gave us last year, Gilbert could have, and then some…..

  44. PunjabiOil says:


    Well no, danny – in that case, it’s linked in that the organization presented a certain rationale for Smyth (age, injury)

    Did the Oilers organization present this rationale for Smyth (age, injury)?

    Unless you can find I source, I don’t buy it. That sort of rationale was only coming from Lowe-apologists from HF.

    Lowe simply flat out stated that he thought Smyth was a good player, but not an elite player. Never mentioned injury or age.

  45. PDO says:

    Punjabi:

    Kevin Lowe said it on national television, along with “he’s not good enough for the elite money he’s asking for.” Or something like that.

  46. Bruce says:

    I thought the second Terry Jones style paragraph would negate the smirk all over the the first.

    Sorry, Slipper, my bad, I’m a literal kind of guy. I shoulda known better; you generally write thoughtful and interesting stuff. My interpretation of your choice of words seems to have been fellatious.

    At least you motivated me to write a nice essay about my man Marty.

  47. Slipper says:

    You know, Conklin is still disgustingly irresponsible whenever he leaves the net. I’ve watched quite a few Pens games on my CI package and, I swear, he’s replicated that Finals game one gaffe half a dozen times over the last two months. Still, you can’t deny the numbers. He’s giving the Penguins a chance each night. I wouldn’t bet on him to sustain this run, but only time will tell.

    As for Pronger… Sigh.

    As far as the available info read, Pronger began making noise about wanting out halfway through the season. I trust that Lowe went into that 5 year deal in good faith, and I really think the trade demand surprised him. I don’t think, given the same situation, I would have entered the playoffs that year without 44. I don’t think you can seperate any person completetly enthralled with hockey from the next , and so even if Lowe had previously been informed that a certain player was looking to get off my team, you can’t crucify him for believing that a Stanley Cup run would change their opinion. Afterall, it surprised the entire Oiler nation, did it not.

    The decison, pre-deadline, to stick with Pronger is completely defensible in my eyes. Ecspecially if the Oilers are privy to the simple stats that were available to any interested paraty online at the time, which screamed that they were far less of a dog than predicted, once they shored up their goaltending.

    The deal itself sucks, considering what they had and at what price. If what alot of posters claim is true, that the move was made with financial considerations first and foremost, than you cna’t hang the blame entirely on Lowe’s shoulders. That would entail that Lowe was handcuffed by ownership’s demands.

    The following summers moves are equally interesting. If you advocate the idea that the EIG was a group of money grubbing shysters, than you have to conced that the Smyth moves was, again, a financial decision directed form above. I can’t see Lowe, on his own directive, taking a hard stand over 100K. Consider the post-season presser where Lowe basically leap frogged Nichols by pleading to the entire EIG board for more salary budget.

    And then he gets money. Right?

  48. Bruce says:

    Bruce: how about the idea that it takes a whole lot of good little moves, ie Garon-GlenX, to make up for fucking the big moves, ie Pronger-Smyth-Souray?

    Is that a fair assessment?

    Yup. If you consider the Garon move “little”, I guess it is. If you consider the second Pronger trade a big move, but not the first one, I guess it is. And until we start calling the Smyth trade the “Nilsson trade”, I guess it is.

  49. Slipper says:

    Bruce, no worries. I love you(does that sound… aww , fuck it).

    I guess context is important. So. A few seasons ago Tyler (mc79…) used statistics to assert that Conklin MIGHT be as capable as Brodeur. This put more than one hockey fanboard into convulsions. I admire Tyler’s guts, and since I find all things internet entertaining, and as a person I am all around annoying, I thought it proper to rehash it.

  50. dstaples says:

    HBomb, as to your point. . .

    Even if you want to win right now, Souray signing was a risk, as players comparable to him pretty much all blow up good around age 30-31. Players of Smyth’s type tend to be shot around 31-33, so the window for winning with either is very small. This doesn’t mean Souray or Smyth can’t defy odds, as some players do, but both were both bets to rebuild with over four-five years, and not even super bets to win over a two-three year windows.

    Dennis, let’s enter the realm of pure speculation and say that in mid-winter 2006, after Pronger realized he never properly hashed things out with his wife, and he went to Lowe and asked for a trade, and Lowe made a deal saying, stick with me this year and I’ll trade you after that to New York, St. Louis or an L.A. team, would that be a good deal in your mind?
    Lowe would say such a thing knowing
    a) you can’t get a rep for pissing off star players in the NHL, because that is death in a league where players hold all the cards.
    b)if the Oil start to win and weather improves, maybe Prongers will change their minds.
    c) with Pronger, team had a dark horse chance to compete for Cup.
    If Lowe made that agreement with Pronger, it would be a defence for what happened later.

    But, of course, we do not know if that agreement was made between the two, so we’re left guessing and can only judge the trade on its own merits, which makes it not a great move for the Oil, but not a bad one either.

    If you can point me to trades where a superstar demanded to be traded, and the team that traded him made out like a bandit, that might be stronger proof that Lowe screwed up in this instance. For now, I see making the best of a bad situation with the Pronger deal.

    P.S. Cal Nichols has said he might well have played it different with Pronger, made him wait for a deal, made him sit, made him honour his contract, that kind of thing. This resonates with a lot of folks, but given the reality of the NHL — whether any of us like it or not, players are king, and the smart teams know that, and treat them like kings — if your superstar wants out, you have little recourse but to move him, or get a bad rep.

    Of course, the way things played out with Pronger’s weird silence and then all the rumour-mongering, Edmonton’s reputation took a hit anyway.

    Frakkin’ mess, the whole thing. I’m yet to be convinced there was any smart way to handle this fiasco, so am hesitant to blast Lowe on this point.

  51. Tyler says:

    I don’t think, given the same situation, I would have entered the playoffs that year without 44. I don’t think you can seperate any person completetly enthralled with hockey from the next , and so even if Lowe had previously been informed that a certain player was looking to get off my team, you can’t crucify him for believing that a Stanley Cup run would change their opinion.

    I agree with this. Of course, he didn’t need to make any promises to him to make him play in the playoffs that we know of. If faced with him saying “You promise to trade me or I’m walking out”, I wouldn’t have made that promise.

  52. Tyler says:

    Brian Burke has never recovered as a GM from forcing Bure to sit until he got an offer that he liked.

  53. Slipper says:

    Oh, and for the record, I’m a Brodeur fan. If the current Conklin anomoly can teach us anytihng, it’s that goaltending is not a solid and consistent thing. Marty’s has surely posted a few sub-par seasons on a good team, but if we’re to believe his current run, then Vic Ferrari is right, and sometimes patience and commen sense is a hockey GM’s best attribute. Over the long haul I think sticking with Brodeur has done the Devils well. Would anyone disagree?

  54. Tyler says:

    Nor, for that matter, has Darcy Regier from forcing Mike Peca to sit out for a year. What success has Buffalo had since?

    And the Ottawa Senators have been a complete mess since they told Yashin to go fuck himself when he wanted his contract redone. They got cleaned out on that trade to, although I can’t quite recall what they got in exchange for him. Draft pick and a depth D or something? Have they been back to the playoffs since?

    Suffice it to say, I don’t think that teams need to bend over for stars demanding to be moved, I don’t think that the reputation thing David keeps trumpeting matters. I would bet my considerable net liabilities that the Oilers habit of publicly shitting on every player of substance who leaves is far more harmful to their reputation than standing up to a guy like Pronger would have been.

  55. Slipper says:

    Tyler (are you mudcrutch? I get confused, the thign is that there is no record of “promises” being made. If Lowe is instructed by his bosses to make a financial trade, then he’s handcuffed. If he’s allowed free reign it’s a different story all together.

    Who’s in competetion for the best players at the deadline? The contenders? Of whom all have less than stellar first round picks to offer.
    Who else is in the sweepstakes a super elite NHL defnder? It’s not going to be a team in the bottom ten. If the other GM’s are reasonable, why would they part with their future for a player who is awesome, but in the greater scheme of things, only makes them marginally better? Rhe Prongers and Lidstroms of the world can only make hay from the roster around them. It’s the same line of thinking that would have made a Richards or Hossa trade a ridiculous venture for this Oilers team at the deadline.

  56. dstaples says:

    Tyler, of course, I never said that teams in the past have never recovered from trading superstars. Of course, this happens all the time.

    I am asking for examples of superstars demanding the hometown team for a trade, and the hometown team then making a steal of a deal in return.

    When I talk about Lowe needing to watch out for the reputation of the Oilers, I do so in the context of the new NHL, where players have more freedom than ever before. This changes everything in how you must operate your team. The hardass approach is getting to be less welcome than ever before. So playing the hardass with Pronger wouldn’t have cut it.

    As for Edmontonians attacking Pronger, that’s partly on all the rumour mongers, but party on Pronger himself, for being not stepping up and truly explaining why he wanted out.

    His agent Pat Morris tells me that Pronger had no obligation to explain anything to anybody, and while that is true in a legal sense, it’s certainly not good form on Pronger’s form. If he was a stand up guy, he would have stood up and explained why he wanted out.

    Other star players have left, such as Doug Weight, and there has been no lynch mob out for him. Pronger’s weird inaction invited speculation. The law of public relations states that in the absence of good information, bad information will rule.

  57. Slipper says:

    Staples:If I recall correctly, in the same article you sight where Nichols threw Lowe under the bus, he also advocated divorce as a solution to family objecting to move to a certain market.

    Did you write that piece?

  58. dstaples says:

    Yes, I wrote it. Of course, I was
    simply reporting Cal’s opinion and observations, not agreeing or disagreeing with them.

  59. dstaples says:

    For the record, I didn’t see Cal as throwing Lowe under the bus, and Cal made that clear in the interview that this was completely Lowe’s call and he was content with Lowe’s decision.

  60. jon k says:

    Slow day at work in Edmonton eh? This post is out of control and the puck doesn’t drop for few hours yet. ;)

  61. Bank Shot says:

    There hasn’t been a fair trade for a star since the cap was implemented. The Ottawa/Yashin example is pretty outdated I think.

    In the summer of 06 it seemed like free agents would be pretty bountiful (It turns out they are pretty rare after all). Lowe could have sat on Pronger all season long and still not have gotten a better deal in 06-07.

    Other GMs were probably telling Lowe to fuck off when he asked for their sure thing blue chippers. By their line of thinking it was probably better to hang onto their valuable assests and add a potential difference maker through free agency instead.

    Why trade Erik Johnson for Pronger when you can have Johnson and Kariya?

    Kevin Lowe’s lack of vision destroyed the franchaise more then any single trade. The Ponger one likely turns out to be the best star for package trade of the last three seasons anyhow.

    It certainly is a fuck of a lot better then Luongo, Thornton, Havlat, and likely Richards as well.

    I think some guys like Dennis are tying the fact that they hate rebuilds into the evaluation of the deal which is a different issue.

  62. doritogrande says:

    So hey, when did we release Ryan Flinn? He’s on the Hershey Bears roster now: http://stats.theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=637

  63. PDO says:

    bank shot:

    Hossa for Heatley?

    Forsberg for Parent+?

    As for the Luongo trade, keep in mind that not only is Keenan insane, but he also had a raging hard on for the Todd Bertuzzi types of the world.

    What about the fact that several GM’s nearly shit themselves when they heard Ryan Smyth had been traded, and saw what he’d been traded for?

  64. Bruce says:

    I guess context is important. So. A few seasons ago Tyler (mc79…) used statistics to assert that Conklin MIGHT be as capable as Brodeur. This put more than one hockey fanboard into convulsions. I admire Tyler’s guts, and since I find all things internet entertaining, and as a person I am all around annoying, I thought it proper to rehash it.

    I admire Tyler’s guts too, and annoying people have their uses too (again, I are one). Conklin’s only 482 wins behind Brodeur, and he’s almost four years younger, so who knows … I will say that he has been playing fantastic in Pittsburgh, and that I for one am happy to see him resurrect his career. I don’t hate him any more than I hate Grant Fuhr, Smith or Jason Smith … shit happens, every once in awhile at the worst possible time under the greatest possible pressure. Ty was dumped into an incredibly difficult situation in G1, and he fucked up. End of story. He’s a stand-up guy, took his lumps, never pointed any fingers, and probably suffered worse than anyone when Markkanen took the team to G7 only to lose out at the very end. But he suffered in silence.

    Oh, and for the record, I’m a Brodeur fan. If the current Conklin anomoly can teach us anytihng, it’s that goaltending is not a solid and consistent thing.

    Nope, but Marty comes closest to that of any goalie I’ve ever seen.

    Marty’s has surely posted a few sub-par seasons on a good team,

    Oh? Which ones would those be? I guess 2001-02, when he went only 38-26-9 with a crappy 2.15 GAA and didn’t even lead the league in wins, then blew up in the playoffs when the Devils went out in 6 thanks to Marty’s terrible 1.42 GAA.

    but if we’re to believe his current run,

    … the one that started in 1993?

    then Vic Ferrari is right, and sometimes patience and commen sense is a hockey GM’s best attribute. Over the long haul I think sticking with Brodeur has done the Devils well. Would anyone disagree?

    Uh, no, I’ve been in a disagreeable mood all day but I can’t find a reason to disagree even with Vic on that one.

  65. Bank Shot says:

    bank shot:

    Hossa for Heatley?

    Forsberg for Parent+?

    Hossa for Heatley happened before the cap took effect didn’t it?

    Ryan Parent has done what exactly?
    I’m not sure how that is an example of a star for star trade.

    There may have been something better out there for Pronger, like a trade for Luongo during the 05-06 season, but it’s far from a proven fact.

    The trade that did happen for Pronger will not go down as a total fiasco ala Joe Thornton or Luongo. Less then fair vaule sure, but not that bad considering the circumstances.

  66. Slipper says:

    I wouldn’t expect a journalist to hold any specific opinion when interviewing a subject. Still, this might be the most exciting insight available since you became a contributer here on the sphere. Cou;d you pretty please describe the tone, delivery and your overall reaction to Nichols “divorce yor wife” quote?

    How does a steward of a professionl sports franchise even arrive at that juncture, ecspacially within a conversation “on the record”?

  67. Slipper says:

    Bruce:

    Just to be a stickler, and since I’ve clearly stated I’m prone to being excessively annoying, I’ll try at this one.

    I don’t put as much weight in wins and GAA as an old dude like yourself probably does. The ammount of a goals a team scores and the ammount of shots they allow is totally out of a goalies control. The precentage of shots they save versus the shots they face is the best indicator of their ability, in my limited opinon.

    Brodeur had a stretch of 4 years where he was hard pressed to break the .910 mark. A mark that stands as a basic minimum for a competetive team, regardless of anything else. If anyone can enlighten me of teams in the recent era that have succeeded with a a SvPct of or below .910 than I’ll shut the fuck up. I promise.

    Just to elaborate on the Ferrari statement, he tends to be right alot. You, and I, can extol the virtues of Stortini until our fingertips are purple, but if he doesn’t change the fact that more pucks are sent against his team than they are sent the other way when he’s on the oice, in the long run, he’s going to suffer. Keep in mind, I’m a betting man, and guys like Vic have reinforced in me that things like this even out over time.

  68. Oilman says:

    That probably came off harsher than it should have. I just hate the constant invention of hypotheticals to defend the guy when consistently the stuff that’s obvious invites his condemnation

    Isn’t it just as hypothetical to assume that the reported Smyth money he would have signed for was the same as what Souray actually got, seeing that Smyth makes quite a bit more money with the Avs, and even denied himself that the gap was much larger than what was reported….you can’t pick and choose what you think is fact ad fiction.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Mario Lessard had a couple of nice seasons, Byron Dafoe, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin had some moments.

  70. Lowetide says:

    In order to make a credible argument about not signing Smyth due to his age and health worry and THEN signing Souray afterward we must make the case that something changed in the mean time.

    Possible arguments:

    1. EIG wanted to make news because Katz was rolling across the media landscape like one giant oilspill.
    2. The Oilers realized no attractive UFA’s were going to come here.
    3. Kevin Lowe had a panic attack.

    I don’t know why one would bother to argue either case, but that’s where you should start imo.

  71. Lowetide says:

    Did Marc Pouliot get called up today? I must have missed it. Did Kevin Prendergast have a press conference outlining the 09-10 starting lineup?

    Just wondering.

  72. Lowetide says:

    Conklin gets pulled against Orr’s team. You say one nice thing about a guy.

  73. Oilman says:

    Brian Burke has never recovered as a GM from forcing Bure to sit until he got an offer that he liked.

    I assume this is sarcasm….which is funny, because Burke sat on Bure and then got a return that was really comparable to the Pronger return – a bunch of prospects, and an aging Dave Gagner.

  74. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide, it’s probably a combination of all 3:

    Forsberg for Parent+?

    If you think Smid is bad offensively, check out Parents line: 53GP, 1G, 7A, 8 PTS.

    Upshall is probably the best piece of that deal, and they added a 1st round pick from that.

    Bankshot may have a point – you probably won’t get full value when trading the best player. That’s not to excuse Lowe for the return on the Pronger trade – he probably should have waited it out a bit more or taken a hard stance. At the time of the deal, everyone felt we’d be getting the motivated, in shape 2007-2008 version of Joffrey Lupul rather than the 2006-2007 one. In any case, we basically got Pitkanen back for him. Smid will probably be a 2nd pairing defenceman, of the Toni Lydman variety. Then there are two late 1st round picks – not excellent, but better than the return Tampa Bay for for Richards, Ottawa for Havlat, Florida for Luongo, Colorado for Tanguay, and Atlanta for Hossa.

  75. PunjabiOil says:

    Perhaps Lowe should be given a break (including myself) for the return on the FCP and Smyth deals.

    Of course that doesn’t excuse the overall performance and decision making, but perhaps we’re too hard on him for the return on those deals, when in reality, they’re better than many deals involving star players around the NHL.

  76. Kev says:

    icedragoon
    Where are you? I’ve been missing your comments here, hope all is well with you.

  77. Tyler says:

    Who else is in the sweepstakes a super elite NHL defnder? It’s not going to be a team in the bottom ten. If the other GM’s are reasonable, why would they part with their future for a player who is awesome, but in the greater scheme of things, only makes them marginally better?

    It’s probably like a lot of things in life, man – timing is everything. The one thing that I’ll say about that Yashin deal is that Ottawa waited for the right time – the Isles were desperate to improve and willing to move anything. I have to admit, I’m of the “something will happen” school on this. Don’t like the offer for one of the three best defencemen in the league? Something will happen. Only crap available on the FA market? Something will happen.

    Personally, I have a tremendously difficult time thinking that, with the steps a team like Philly made last summer and the young talent that they have, that they wouldn’t have been salivating over Pronger last summer. They were a bottom end team that decided that they wanted to aggressively pursue improvement. The Oil had a hardon for Kyle Turris. Would Philly have moved the #2+ for Pronger?

    Ultimately, I guess I agree with Nichols on this (not that I’m a divorce enthusiast) – you tell the guy to sit down and that you’ll give him a call when he has a new team to play for.

    As for David’s point about player control, I just think that it’s flat out insane and I’m a guy who’s a bigger player advocate than virtually anyone who follows the Oilers – I was pretty much onboard with the players during the lockout. You can treat people with respect, which the Oilers are notorious for not doing when a player leaves (see LaForge saying that the Smyth situation was like when your kid does something wrong – you want to support him but then you learn the facts or Nichols saying that the difference between NY taxes and EDM taxes was more than $100K, as if the Oilers weren’t getting a discount), while at the same time standing up for yourself.

    Hockey players are by and large reasonable people. If Kevin had said “The offers aren’t good enough yet. Chris has an obligation to do what’s best for his marriage and his family and I respect that – I would do the same thing if that’s what I needed to do for my family. I have a duty to the guys in this room, to the owners and to the fans of Edmonton to get a return that matches what we’re giving up. In addition to being a good family man, he’s a hell of a hockey player, so it’s a big price”, no reasonable person could have quibbled with his person. I doubt that that would be a reason for any NHL player to avoid coming here AND to be brutally honest, what did Lowe get for bending over? Nobody will come here anyway. If you’re going to suck, you might as well retain your dignity.

  78. PDO says:

    Good news: Cloutier still sucks.
    Bad news: Garon nearly gave me a heart attack.

  79. Lowetide says:

    kev: Ice Dragoon (Louise) is happy and as insightful as always. Had a nice chat with her today (too much business, not enough Oilers) and I’m sure she’ll drop in at some time.

  80. Slipper says:

    Richards looking pretty good.

    Three assits.

    5-1 Dallas.

  81. YKOil says:

    To me it is a very simple thing: the Pronger and Smyth deals make sense IF Lowe doesn’t go out a get Penner and Souray. Since he did I know the deals made no sense.

    There is rebuilding and not rebuilding. There is no try.

    Doing it half-assed means you shit all over yourself. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the 2007-08 Edmonton Oilers.

  82. uni says:

    I guess Hemsky’s wrist is feeling better…wow.

  83. PunjabiOil says:

    Pitkanen has been terrible tonight.

    Lets his man walk in free on the Kings 3rd goal, shows absolutely no will or battle.

  84. PDO says:

    PJO, I don’t get how someone who has bitched about the loss of Joffrey Zoolander can complain about Pitkanen’s battling….

  85. uni says:

    Does anyone else really miss Cloutier now that he’s not in VanCity any more?

  86. PunjabiOil says:

    PJO, I don’t get how someone who has bitched about the loss of Joffrey Zoolander can complain about Pitkanen’s battling….

    I was sitting on the fence with Joffrey. I thought he’d bounce back like guys like Drury and Gomez, who had a bad season early on their career. Joffrey didn’t show up last year – but at least he acknowledged that and corrected his mistake.

    Joni is Joni – extremely talented, but like Philly fans were exclaiming, playing only when he wants to play. I can live with mistakes – but there have been numerous occasions where you wish Joni shows more fire in his game.

    The guy is in his contract year and still not putting forth a full effort – what happens when he’s earning ”well north of 5M?”

  87. uni says:

    Richards with 5 assists on the night. Yep, it seems it’s a leap year again, and he’s interested in playing. This could be a very long 3 years of games vs. Dallas; unless Zubov and Modano retire soon.

  88. PunjabiOil says:

    I like the Cogliano kid. Excellent vision and pass making ability. Ditto with Nilsson.

    Dustin Penner is reverting back to his October play. Not moving his feet.

  89. jon k says:

    *cough* How did Richards look tonight boys? ;)

    Heh heh.

    Obviously it won’t last but I just thought I’d bring up the whole point that TB was and is a grossly unbalanced team.

    Hard to believe that he’s still only 27.

  90. Ribs says:

    Saw some nice things tonight. The best being Hemsky taking control of the power play and leading “his” team into the offensive zone. I was about ready to harp on the guy for not stepping up the way he should and he quieted those thoughts tonight.
    He’s not off the hook yet as he needs to continue this type of play.

    This was one of those games where MacT decides to be brave and try some new things on the PP and it surprises everyone in the building but rarely works. I fully expect to see nothing new from the PP for a while now.

    Quinn was fun to listen to tonight. “Cloutier makes a goal saving save!” made me chuckle. It was right after he botched Visnovsky’s name and I swear I heard him say two players were “taking a shit together” at one point in the game. It was also odd when the camera was replaying Hemsky down in pain and both Quinn and Ray decided not to mention anything about it.

    Thanks to the hockey gods he was okay.

    This was definitely a throwaway game but it was nice to see some goals count for the good guys tonight.

    …Are you guys still bitching about Pronger? *takes away everyones CFP cards*

  91. Dennis says:

    Staples: Ty laid out a Pronger defense as good or better than anything I could. I don’t think you’ll be convinced because you’re just not open-minded when it comes to Lowe.

    I might want the guy fired but I can see some of the good things he’s done. But I don’t think you’re ready to accept that. And until you are then it’s pretty pointless to try and convince you.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    This was one of those games where MacT decides to be brave and try some new things on the PP and it surprises everyone in the building but rarely works

    I think the unbridled PP creativity was mostly due to the fact that the LA PK is eerily simliar to the team defense I used to employ in table top hockey.

    LA takes bad defence to another level.

  93. Dennis says:

    As for the game:

    - Glencross is a maniac out there. It’s fun to watch

    - Didn’t take long for 83-89 to figure it on the PP. Our PP’s looked good for awhile now and I’ve never seen it look better in failure.

    - Sanderson made two brutal passes to try and break out of his own end. Sweet dish on the 34 marker though.

    - Time to give Roli a start. Garon was solid in the third but he’s been blipping a bit lately and the rebound control is a concern.

  94. Bruce says:

    Hey Slipper, let’s talk this thru.

    I don’t put as much weight in wins and GAA as an old dude like yourself probably does.

    I’m not just an old dude, I’m an old goalie. Maybe it’s old-fashioned but I put a hell of a lot of stock in wins. Maybe it’s cuz I grew up watching Grant Fuhr, who made the Hall of Fame by emphasizing winning first and last and caring precious little about personal stats. He wanted to be known as a winner, and he was.

    Brodeur is a winner who also has great stats, the best of all worlds.

    The ammount of a goals a team scores and the ammount of shots they allow is totally out of a goalies control.

    On the first point New Jersey provides precious little goal support for Brodeur, but he wins anyway with what they give him. There’s precious little margin for error and very few laughers where the Devils score 4 or 5 goals. Last year the Devils wound up with 107 points with 206 “real” goals, the 27th best offence in the league. Brodeur won 20 games in which the Devils scored 2 real goals or fewer, an astonishing number.

    On the second point I very much disagree. In my view Brodeur is a huge part of the reason New Jersey allows relatively few shots. He’s like a sweeper back there, has allowed Jersey to play the stand ‘em up at the blueline and force the shoot-in since forever. He’s great at anticipating where the puck is going to go, at jumping out of the crease to field it, handle it flawlessly and make the safe, sharp breakout pass. He’s extremely good at rebound control, not so many cases of whack-whack-whack into the pads which “pad” the ole save percentage but into the corner or onto a friendly stick with the first shot. He’s exceptional at what I call “housekeeping” of loose pucks behind the cage and around the crease, or at deflecting goal mouth passes out of danger. Those non-shots don’t exist in the statistics, don’t show up in save percentage, but they are reflected in GAA and they very definitely show up in wins.

    It’s simplistic to credit the “Jersey system” as if Brodeur was merely the beneficiary of it. Fact is they’ve turned over their entire defence in the past few years, gone through half a dozen or more coaches, yet always the Devils seem to have a disciplined defensive crew. Part of that is on Lou Lamoriello, sure. But a huge part of it is due to the steadying influence and consistently proactive play of their goalie/sweeper/defensive captain, Marty Brodeur.

    The precentage of shots they save versus the shots they face is the best indicator of their ability, in my limited opinon.

    It’s one indicator, but certainly not the only one or even the best, for reasons cited above. There’s more to playing goal in the modern game than simply stopping the puck.

    Brodeur had a stretch of 4 years where he was hard pressed to break the .910 mark. A mark that stands as a basic minimum for a competetive team, regardless of anything else.

    Seems to me the Devils were pretty darned competitive throughout those four years (1998-2002), winning one Cup and losing in Game 7 of the SCF the next year. Brodeur’s regular season save percentage was between .906 and .910 all four years; he played between 70 and 73 games each year, winning between 38 and 43 of them, with a GAA between 2.15 and 2.32. If those are bad years, well, bring ‘em on.

    If anyone can enlighten me of teams in the recent era that have succeeded with a a SvPct of or below .910 than I’ll shut the fuck up. I promise.

    Nikolai Khabibulin 2003-04 — .910

    Cam F. Ward 2005-06 — .882
    (Carolina team pct. .898)

    oh yeah …

    Marty Brodeur 1999-2000 — .910

  95. CrazyCoach says:

    I’m with Bruce on this one.

    The only things I care about a goalie are:

    1) Does he stop the damn puck?
    2) Does he care to win more than he cares about his save %?
    3) If I leave him unsupervised will he burn down the dressing room?

  96. Alice says:

    And remember Marty robbed Brett Hull in the 3rd period, Gold medal game Salt Lake City. Hull turned on a one-timer, might have been a power play, didn’t even look at the net. Didn’t have to, he knew exactly where it was going, delivering a perfect rocket against the close post and Brodeur’s pad meeting it there at the exact moment. How many other plays does anyone remember from that game?

  97. Oilman says:

    since when did a .910 save percentage become “average”?

  98. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    You goalies are all trucking insane.

    Just wanted to make sure you knew… it’s my obligatory remark.

    New Jersey had the best offense in the entire NHL in 2000-2001, averaging about 3.6 goals/game. They have certainly had years of problems with creating offense, but they’ve also had a few years where they’ve been dominant offensively… largely thanks to the style they played. All the turnovers created at the blueline lead to nice rushes the other way and a lot of PP’s ;)

    I also think, if we’re talking stats, we need to compare goaltenders to their peers on a year-by-year basis. Brodeur certainly had a stretch where he certainly wasn’t a top 5, maybe even a top 10, tender in the league, but he got a lot of Wins and SO’s, and won a lot of vezinas…. I think that is one of the big reasons why a lot of people have a strong distaste for him.

  99. Oilman says:

    Hasn’t brodeur always been near the top of the league in wins? The fact that he faced fewer shots in Jersey probably had some effect on his SP number. He’s always been a big save big win goalie…and yes there is a difference between a save and a big save.

  100. Bruce says:

    You goalies are all trucking insane.

    Largely true, PDO. It’s part of the job description, isn’t it? “You don’t have to be crazy to be a goalie, but it helps.”

    I also think, if we’re talking stats, we need to compare goaltenders to their peers on a year-by-year basis. Brodeur certainly had a stretch where he certainly wasn’t a top 5, maybe even a top 10, tender in the league, but he got a lot of Wins and SO’s, and won a lot of vezinas….

    Wasn’t a top goalie, all he did was win. Comparing him to his peers he has led the league in wins 8 of the last 9 years, and is doing it again. Works for me.

    As for the Vezinas, he’s only won three, fairly modest considering his career record; it wasn’t ’til his tenth season that he won his first. There’s been a few great goalies over his years, notably Hasek, Roy and Belfour, all of them prima donnas that were more likely to attract attention and votes when they were playing well (which was frequently). Brodeur is a little younger than those guys, less flashy, less volatile, more durable, more consistent, and fairly easy to take for granted in the Jersey wasteland.

    I think that is one of the big reasons why a lot of people have a strong distaste for him.

    I understand why people have a strong distaste for the Devils, the San Antonio Spurs of the NHL. And I guess if you hate the thought of the Devils winning, you might develop a strong distaste for Marty Brodeur, because winning is what he does best.

    It’s also interesting to note that at the tail end of his four-year “bad stretch” Brodeur was chosen as Canada’s #1 goalie in Salt Lake City, and promptly won Canada’s first gold medal in a half century. Not too many Canadians had a strong distaste for Marty on that occasion. Nor when he won the World Cup two years later.

    And remember Marty robbed Brett Hull in the 3rd period, Gold medal game Salt Lake City.

    I certainly do remember, Alice, the huge stop in the dying minutes is Brodeur’s stock in trade.

    there is a difference between a save and a big save.

    Bang on the mark, Oilman. I happened to attend live the last two Devils games in Edmonton (in 2001 and 2007), and both were typical Jersey wins, 2-1 and 3-1 with an empty netter. Both times Jersey limited Oilers to around 20 shots, controlling territorial play with Brodeur himself controlling the defensive zone to a large extent. But both times it came down to a great opportunity in the dying minutes, and both times Brodeur made the big stop (this year on a perfectly-placed Souray rocket through six-attacker traffic). Watch enough Devils highlights and you come to accept it as being routine; with the game on the line Brodeur’s at his best. Seems like his Sv% is about .950 in such situations. But who keeps track of that? Barring the availability of “shot-importance-weighted save percentage” I think I’ll just continue to look under “Wins”. And by golly, look who’s on top of the list yet again. :)

  101. Tyler says:

    It’s also interesting to note that at the tail end of his four-year “bad stretch” Brodeur was chosen as Canada’s #1 goalie in Salt Lake City, and promptly won Canada’s first gold medal in a half century.

    Umm, he was “chosen” after Roy decided not to play and Cujo got hung with a loss in the first game. Not to say that Brodeur wasn’t a better goalie than Cujo at the time, or that Cujo wasn’t playing because Quinn was his coach, but Team Canada is a pretty political beast.

  102. Dennis says:

    Did anyone else know that Souray’s been outstanding this year? Or that he’s a grade above Hemsky? Or that Lowe might’ve kept Sanderson to help drive the Oilers UP the standings?

    Btw, David, I’m pretty sure I said I’d bring up the two kids and play them ahead of at least Sanderson and probably Reasoner as well. While I still think the 4th line’s success is based more on the 20-51 combo than anything that has to do with Stortini, you write it to make it sound like I want to bust up the 4th line.

    Then again you think Souray’s been outstanding and that his signing was nothing more than ill-advised so…

  103. Bruce says:

    Tyler: He won. Three sudden death games, 4 GA, 3 wins. Alice remembers the gold medal save off Brett Hull; I remember his performance in the spine-tingling 2-1 quarterfinal win over Finland that was very nearly disaster for Canada.

  104. Oilman says:

    Roy “decided” not to play after winning the gold in Nagano – no?

  105. Dennis says:

    Lots of talk around Jokinen and interesting to see someone bring up that quarterfinal win because that’s the first time I really noticed Jokinen being a force.

    I remembered that when I was looking up Jokinen’s stats the other day and was wondering when he turned the corner.

  106. Mr DeBakey says:

    Did anyone else know that Souray’s been outstanding this year?

    Whatever
    One man’s opinion
    A list like that you can go through & pick it apart
    I mean
    Geoff Sanderson C+ Rarely makes a defensive miscue
    I know for a fact he let Jonesy get ahead of him at he Pressbox buffet table a few times.

  107. Doogie says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have picked a fight in a game-day thread, especially when I wasn’t going to be able to watch the game.

    With that said, Lowe’s a big boy and he could choose to defend himself
    on that point. I don’t think that that’s a particularly great defence – “I
    bargained him down from a five year contract to a promised trade, to a
    list of teams that he’d approve, after one year, regardless of whehter
    the offer is good for the Oilers
    .” If you think that’s a defence of
    him, well, more power to you I guess.

    Obviously, I doubt he intended to do this, and I wonder whether he (a)
    legitimately thought the package was the best idea for the team, or (b)
    was forced to take picks and prospects for financial reasons. If a, he’s
    a dunce, and it’s no defence; if b, he was fucked by ownership. Based on
    patterns of behaviour, b seems exceedingly likely, though again, you can’t
    prove it.

    Hossa for Heatley happened before the cap took effect didn’t it?

    Nope. 2005, first year of the cap.

  108. IceDragoon says:

    kev said: icedragoon
    Where are you? I’ve been missing your comments here, hope all is well with you.

    Why, thank you, Kev.

    Everything in the world is wonderful, albeit, as seen thru the eyes of sleep deprivation.
    :-D

    I’m still trying to get caught up on everything that I had to let slide while influencing the rotation of the earth around my new grandson, Liam. And I’ve given up hope on ever getting up to date on the many Oilogosphere discussions I missed. Man, do you guys ever talk… a lot. Don’t stop. :-)

    Lowetide said: Had a nice chat with her today (too much business, not enough Oilers)

    Agreed.
    Especially since you started the Oilers talk with… “You were right…”
    ;-D

    L8r
    Louise

  109. Bruce says:

    Welcome back, Louise. Congratulations, Gramma.

  110. Slipper says:

    Let’s look at the save percentage that’s more relevant to my argument.

    Playoff SvPct:

    2001-02
    Hasek 0.920

    2002-03
    Brodeur 0.934

    2002-03
    Giguere 0.945

    2003-04
    Khabibulin 0.933

    2005-06
    Ward 0.920

    2006-07
    Giguere 0.922

    Ho hum.

  111. Bruce says:

    Funny, Slipper, I was going to mention playoffs, except I was responding to your comment:

    Brodeur had a stretch of 4 years where he was hard pressed to break the .910 mark. A mark that stands as a basic minimum for a competetive team, regardless of anything else.

    … which seemed to refer to his regular season mark, which as I mentioned was between .906 and .910 for those four years. Since he had percentages of .927 and .938 during two of those playoff years your remark about .910 didn’t seem to apply.

    But playoffs is where it’s at, so let’s go there. Extending your list:

    1992-93
    Roy 0.929

    1993-94
    Richter 0.921

    1994-95
    Brodeur 0.927

    1995-96
    Roy 0.921

    1996-97
    Vernon 0.927

    1997-98
    Osgood 0.918

    1998-99
    Belfour 0.930

    1999-2000
    Brodeur 0.927

    2000-01
    Roy 0.934

    … which goes to show that it generally takes .920 or better to win the Cup. The numbers are consistent year-to-year. But the names keep changing, except for two. Only Roy and Brodeur have won more than one Cup in the last 15 years (3 each).

    So what’s your point? That big time goalies step it up in the playoffs? Check out these career marks for Marty Brodeur:

    Regular season: 950 GP, 2.20 GAA, 0.913 Sv%.
    Playoffs: 164 GP, 1.93 GAA, 0.920 Sv%.

    By golly, there’s that Stanley Cup benchmark of .920, not for just one playoff year but for Brodeur’s entire 15-year career!

    So what exactly is your argument?

  112. dstaples says:

    Don’t know if anyone will see this, but I was away on vacation, didn’t get a chance to answer a few direct questions, so I’ll do that now.

    Slipper wrote: ‘Could you pretty please describe the tone, delivery and your overall reaction to Nichols “divorce yor wife” quote?’

    Cal was serious when he said this. He felt Pronger and his wife should have been on the same page, that this is how marriage works, and it’s up to them to live up to their commitments.

    Tyler wrote in regards to Lowe’s quick trade of Pronger: “As for David’s point about player control, I just think that it’s flat out insane.”

    Tyler is right that Lowe might well have got more if he held out longer for a better deal for Pronger. It’s possible that would have worked, though it was no sure thing. Lowe basically held an auction when teams were in a buying mode. It’s true that teams might well have been more desperate in November, December, January, and that the Oil could have let Pronger sit till then, but if Tyler really thinks it would do no harm to the reputation of the Oilers to let Pronger sit for that long, he’s not thinking clearly. These kind of situations are ugly and bitter, and if part of Lowe’s calcuation was to try to limit the calcuation and bitterness by making the move sooner, rather than later, I don’t fault him for that, especially as there was no certainty that waiting longer would bring a better return.

    Superstar players run this league, not GMs, not owners, not coaches. Superstar players win Cups. They chose where to play. You don’t want to be the team that is known for mishandling and pissing off superstar players.

    So if your superstar wants out, best to see if you can work things out (which Lowe did January to June, 2006), and if that doesn’t work, move him.

    And my friend Dennis wrote: “Did anyone else know that Souray’s been outstanding this year? Or that he’s a grade above Hemsky?”

    I can’t answer for anyone else, of course, but as ill-advised as the signing of Souray was, a strong argument can be made that he played very well this year. As I’ve written about until the cows come home, I’ve been reviewing every goal agaisnt the Oilers, watching the replays 10-20 times to find who the main culprits were, and very, very rarely did I see Souray make a goal-causing blunder. He and Greene have set themselves apart from other Oilers defenders in that regard. Compared to an error-prone player like Pitkanen, they are defensive Gods. Then there is Souray’s play on the powerplay. He was very strong back there, and I don’t think the powerplay has looked more dangerous in years than when we saw Stoll, Souray, Hemmer, Penner and Horc as a unit.
    So, yes, Souray was playing very well, even better than Hemmer, who has been strong offensively, but not so strong in his own zone.

  113. Slipper says:

    Yeah, nobody is probably going to see this.

    Staples: I once divorced my second wife because she was allergic to peanuts and I became addicted to Thai Satay on a visit overseas. Although, I admit, she was flawless and the love of my life, but when it came down between true devoted companionship and her uncomfortability to my diet choices their was only one solution.

    So obviously I’m on board with Cal on that one. Bitch, get on board or get boarded!

    Your error stat has proved atleast one thing to me: that you have eyes and can operate a mouse. There’s so many events in a game where a goal coulda/shoulda/woulda occured that it’s unreasonable to only reward or penalize a person when a puck finds the back of the net. Too even compound this error stats irrelevance is to not take linemates, opposition, or game situations into consideration. You do realize that the people who get the puck, or atleast get to the puck more will tend to make more mistakes with or around it, right? Your system has the ability ot reward a floater who is rarely involved in the play.

    If you’re really going to take the time to see wha a player contributes to a game, then all things should be considered.

    And there shouldn’t be a cap on how many signifigant “errors” add up to a goal. If event A is keeping the puck in the right end of the rink than event B, C, D, etc, cannot occur.

    Bruce: Brodeur didn’t control the offence or defence for the Devils any of those sub .910 seasons. How many goals the Devils scored has nothing to do with him (although they seemed to produce alot more than you can recollect). Wax poetically about all the intangibles and produce all the situational evidence you like (and keep in mind, I was never shitting on Brodeur at any point in this thread, it might just be that you’re a hyperactive fanboy), if the Devils were procative they would have had a decent argument to move Brodeur over that 4 year stretch. So, in my mind, they were patient which I already stated was a decent move.

    Some people are going to judge goalies by Vezinas and W/L and GAA’s. I think it’s all crap. I think the “win by any means” line of thinking is bullshit too, or else I’d be pretty satisified with the “.500″ Edmonton Shoot-Out Oilers. Save Percentage is the greater indicator of a goalie’s contribution to winning than the number in their Wins column. That’s how everyone knew Luongo was a man God even though he had an inflated GAA and few wins while playing in Florida.

    No goaltender will ever agree to this line of thought though, so it’s a pretty pointless argument.

  114. dstaples says:

    You have won me over with your convincing argument, Slipper.

    I mean, there are so many key plays in a game, it’s foolish to single out those few plays that contribute to a goal being scored, to focus on them as if they were more important than other key plays.

    You are right that “it’s unreasonable to only reward or penalize a person when a puck finds the back of the net.”

    And to not take” linemates, opposition, game situations” into account, makes such a stat utterly irrelevant, right?

    So I’m sure you will agree with me that we should disregard the “goal” stat and the “assist” stat, because this is exactly what these stats do, focus only on players who do the most to contribute to a goal, but these stats ignore all that other good stuff.

    It’s only the tradition of the game that has us talking about goals and assists. Why we should declare that the team with the most Corsi shots wins the game, don’t you think? Or hand victory to the player who advances the puck into the other team’s end while facing the greatest quality of opposition.

    These are the real tests in a hockey game.

    By now, Slipper, I’m guessing you detect sarcasm here, but you dropped the gloves, my friend.

  115. Slipper says:

    You’re catching on Staples.

    I love arguments that use words and statements like traditional and “superstar players run this league… win Cups”.

    Results without context are meaningless.

    Thank-you for playing.

  116. dstaples says:

    Is Slipper short for “slippery?” :)

    You present a moving target, that’s for sure.

    The mercurial and quicksilver Slipper.

  117. Slipper says:

    Alright, I am going to ask a few questions of you Staples. You may that I’m being completely sincere here.

    During the last CBJ game Rick Nash scored a beautiful goal. It was “perfectly placed” right under the bar and he was given ample time and space coming down Garon’s right side that he put all the mustard he could on it. Later in the game he had a nearly identical chance with similar time, space, and location.

    What was the difference in the defensive breakdown that resulted in the scoring chance?

    What was the difference in Nash’s shot that resulted in two different results (one shot falling a micromilladecameter under the bar for a goal/the other not so much)?

    Is there luck and randomness involved in the result?

    If Nash fans on the shot but the puck hits a divet in the ice, bounces twenty feet in the air and hits Garon’s mask on the way down and falls into the net, are the players responsible for the scoring chance occuring absolved of the breakdown? What if it bounces of Garon’s head and inot the corner?

    What’s the bloody difference?

    Another line of questioning if you would be so kind as to humour me. You’re playing scrabble with Terry Jones and John MacKinnon. You makes a six letter word that leaves a precarious opening for a triple word score for the player on the following turn. Given the same seven letters at their disposal, would you have a prefernce between Jones and MacKinnon going after you based on either’s command of the english language? Or in your mind, does it make a difference?

    Plus, where’s my royalty cheque?

  118. dstaples says:

    Slipper.

    It seems you want a stat that is a perfect stat.

    I admit, the “error” is not a perfect stat.

    It’s a stat that is meant to be the equivalent of the “goal” and the assist, and just like the goal and the “assist,” and it doesn’t tell us everything, it only tells us who are the key people who contribute to a goal being scored, in this case a goal being scored against.

    So we give a guy credit for a goal, and no credit if his shot hits the post, or if a defender makes a great defensive play to stop him. That is how that stat works.

    Do you have a problem with that? I don’t.

    We herald a player as a great scorer if he scores 50 goals, even if he misses on 60 other great chances. And if scores 20 goals and misses on 80 close calls, we don’t call him a great scorer (we call him Todd Marchant).

    So the fact that one perfect Nash shot goes in and another Nash shot doesn’t go in, and one leads to errors being assigned, and another leads to errors not being assigned, that is OK with me. That is exactly how this stat is supposed to work.

    It doesn’t cover every “event” in a hockey game. It’s not meant to do so. It only covers those events that directly contribute to a goal against. I see that as the strength of the stat, just as I see the “goal” and the “assist” as a durable and revealing stat.

    Are you getting hung up on the name here, thinking that “error” should mean any mistake in the game?

    Or do you have a problem with goals and assists, too? Do you think goals and assists are a weak indicator of a player’s play?

  119. dstaples says:

    Slipper, to get to your exact question, what is the difference between Nash’s two shots . . . One went in, the other did not!

    There may be very little difference otherwise.

    But, again, I think you’re mistaking what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to add up every mistake in a game. I’m trying to add up the mistakes that contribute directly to a goal against, and that’s it. I’m trying to create a shadow stat for the “point,” for the “goal” and the “assist” as I think that would be useful information.

    In your own post, you write about how Nash had ample time and space to set up for his wrist shot. Well, who caused him to have such time and space? That person gets the error.

    Here is how I scored this goal (I’m now posting all of my error-assignment rationales on my own blog).

    1. Rick Nash’s goal.

    This play starts in the offensive end with Columbus getting the puck and moving it up the boards. Sam Gagner has a chance to shut it down, but he utterly misses Manny Malhotra with a check. So that is an error for Gagner.

    Malhotra then steams up ice, gets harassed a bit by a recovering Jarret Stoll, but is on with Rick Nash on a two-on-two. This should be covered, as there’s no real threat, but Mathieu Roy plays Nash very softly, giving up the blueline to the big winger. Malhotra passes the puck to Nash, and the inexperienced Roy allows Nash to cruise into the top corner of the slot, where he fires a fantastic shot past Garon. But upon reflection, and some discussion with readers, I think the shot comes from far enough out, that Garon should have had it.

    In assigning errors, the first error — the one that sets off the negative chain of events — is usually considered the primary error, the worst one of the bunch, unless a following error is much greater in magnitude. I see Roy’s error in this light, as he could have shut this whole thing down if he had only played Nash with more confidence and stopping the big forward from gaining such a deadly shooting position.

  120. dstaples says:

    Mackinnon is a man of many words. No doubt he’d whip all of us in Scrabble.

  121. Slipper says:

    Well, it comes down to a philsophical difference then. My faith lies in the idea that there is alot of randomness involved in the results (ie goals/assists) and more control over the opportunities(ie scoring chances). The scales I employ to judge ability are further swayed by the ability of opponents, and the allotment of icetime (both duration ann situations).

    In a short 82 game season, any player can run through a string of bad luck where they pay for greater share of their mistakes. The likelihood increases depending on the opposition they’re facing (ie Nash vs Marchant). In that regard, you sort of make my point regarding a player like Gagner, who has been on the losing side of the ledger for shots for/against all season, but fortunately for him, he plays most of his minutes against players of far lesser pedigree than Marchant (who’s been a hell of a hockey player in keeping the play at the right end of the ice for most of his career).

    So in my mind, when goals can be dictated by luck, ice shavings, bounces of heels and asses, and the difference between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch, than accounting for every mistake made on the ice regardless of the end result is the greater indicator of a player’s contribution.

    For me, every scoring opportunity is an error, regardless or the result, since the result can be so arbitrary. A player who makes a ton of positional and defensive mistakes but doesn’t pay for it will have that shit catch up to him over the long run.

    As for +/-, nobody around here has ever advocated it as flawless. There’s a whole slew of other factors taken into account in order to see the clearer picture. Things like shots for and against, on ice save percentage,on ice shooting percentage, penalties drawn/taken, what situations the players are being thrown over the boards in, linemate quality, opposition quality, posts hit. To me that appears more exhaustive than just who fucked up wehn the puck finds twine.

  122. Slipper says:

    Just to simplify all my overly wordy responses. I feel the difference between Nash’s two nearly identical opportunites comes down to chance. Surely he was aiming for the same result.

    Afterall, there’s a reason those targets during the shooting accuracy competitions are the size of turkey plates and not the mouth of an extra large cup from Tim Hortons.

  123. dstaples says:

    Now we are making progress. . . Yes this all comes down to something of a philosophical difference, though I doubt we are that far apart.

    Yes, you and I rely on different stats to judge a player. I personally like the “goal” and “assist” and think it is a damn good indicator of who the best offensive players are.

    My frustration was that there was no equivalent stat for when a goal against was scored, and hence this work on the “error” that I am doing.

    As for our differences, perhaps they are overstated.

    Is there really no correlation between goals scored and the total screw ups a player makes? I think there is.

    So if you must measure the events around a goal being scored, and also goals being scored against, I’m betting these will give you a strong indication of all the events that the player is involved in during the game.

    So if a Forward A makes 100 bad mistakes and 100 great plays over a 20 game period, I bet he will have about 10 errors and 10 points, while if Forward B makes 200 bad mistakes and 50 great plays over that same period, I bet he will have close to 20 errors and 5 points.

    But how can you really measure all bad plays during a game? And all good plays? That is way too much to measure. I’m not a big believer in the “turnovers” and “giveways” stats the NHL collects.

    Man, trying to assign errors on only a few even strength goals against each game is hard enough!

  124. dstaples says:

    I agree that chance had something to do with the two plays Nash was involved in.

  125. dstaples says:

    And to be clear, I think there is a lot merit in the stats you mention. They are useful, though many of them could be expressed in simpler terms.

    The one stat that intriques me the most is quality of competition, though my concerns about plus/minus gives me pause about putting too much weight in this stat right now.

    I mean, Robert Nilsson gets a +5, but would you really rather be out there against him than Andrew Cogliano or Shawn Horcoff?

    I wish I knew the “error” totals for all the NHL players, so that I could work out a quality of competition that way.

    But that’s just me :).

  126. Slipper says:

    DAvid, we used to play a little game around the Blogs where people made note of scoring chances for and against. Not a far stretch from what you’re doing now, and I’m certain every NHL team has been documenting the same tihng since Roger began utilizing tape. In fact during one game when Roli was backing up on the bench and he did an interview he showed Gene (probably) that he was doing that exact thing for the coaches.

    Whenever there’s a scoring chance, regardless of a goal being scored or not, note the time and the two team’s centers. For extra fun, rate the chance quality between 1 and 4 or 5 bells (those are the minute details that can be hammerd over time, but most people used to come to some sort of agreement on the range of quality).

    Vic Ferrari’s icetime site and NHL.com can be used to identify who in totality was on the ice for each event.

    All of these things are already being exhaustively employed by every NHL team, I’m sure.

    So if Horcoff and Hemsky are theoretically outchancing the Sedins 2 to 1 throughout a couple games, both in quality and quanity, but the Sedins outscore them 2-1, my mindset leads me to believe that the Sedins got the bounces , but over the longhaul 10/83 are going ot prevail.

  127. Slipper says:

    And I wish I knew the scoring chance totals for all the players in league David. The Corsi expression is a good place to start.

    Case in point: The Philadelphia Flyers. Began the season hot, with what many around here noted as unsustainablly high shooting and save percentages. They were routinely being outshot by 8 or more a game ON NET and their Corsi numbers were even worse. Now it looks like they’ve come down to Earth, as many had predicted.

    The kids on the Oilers’ are a goood example because they have been given a great share of the cherry minutes this season. The shifter after a penalty kill, when the other team’s best scorers are on the bench, and they see more draws in the O zone than their own, yet they’re routinely outshot and outchanced. If they were facing the competitors that 16/10 face regularly they would have payed more than they have.

  128. dstaples says:

    I saw Dennis post this very type of thing where he looked at scoring chances one game earlier this year on MC79. Frankly, I think it’s a helluva good idea.

    Counting up scoring chances and seeing who is on the ice is something that can be done, should be done, and it would be great if we all had access to those stats for the Oilers, if not every other NHL team.

    It might be the happy middle between my extreme focus on the goal, hockey’s main event, and others focusing on the totality of the game, which is both hard to measure and to express.

  129. dstaples says:

    Just read Vic Ferrari’s post on Gagner and Corsi numbers and the Oilers.

    Where can I find a list of these Corsi numbers on a website?

    I’ll check Behind the Net.

  130. Slipper says:

    BHN has Corsi rate per hour I believe. Vic’s site also has each team in straight number. Just change the shorthand for various teams (ie. BUF, T.B, N.J, CAL)

    http://timeonice.com/tshots.php?team=EDM

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