Sale On Sail On, Sailor (Update)

Curtis Glencross has certainly been a welcome addition to the Edmonton Oilers. When we last talked about the trade deadline and possible deals, I thought the Oilers might get a 3rd rd pick for Dick Tarnstrom. Lowe did way better than that, getting a live body who helped kick start the 4line (Brodziak moving to center, Stortini finding a home), a threesome that has been as effective as anybody (in a very small window) since that ridiculous Jim Dowd trio at the turn of the century.

Last time I listed Staios, Stoll, Pitkanen, Tarnstrom and Roloson. Tarnstrom is off the list this time, and I’ve added two more for your consideration.

  1. Jarret Stoll: Since the last update, he’s played 9 games (4-2-6, E with 3 PP goals) and has had several terrific games in the faceoff circle. He’s had an impact on both special teams and looks as good as he has at any time since the dual concussion problem of a year ago. I’m pulling for the guy, but suspect he’s still trade bait because Lowe is gasping for air against the cap. Last time I suggested he’d bring someone like Tambellini in return, this time I’ll upgrade to Tambellini and a pick.
  2. Steve Staios: He’s also had a nice run recently as the Oilers have had some good things going on. I liked his rugged play last night where he gave no quarter and he’s been in the right place at the right time a lot lately. Healthy and effective, he should bring back a solid young defender who is already playing at the NHL and is a bargain for next season.
  3. Joni Pitkanen: Has some “wow” factor because he can do some things with the puck most others aren’t able to do, Pitkanen has multiple reps (“lacks grit”, “uncoachable”) and every day he goes unsigned tells us there’s a chance he’ll be dealt. Oilers should get an NHL defender and a high pick in return if you believe in the theory that NHL D is at a premium deadline day.
  4. Dwayne Roloson: With all the shoddy goaltending in the NHL currently, I can see the Oilers being able to unload him. The payback isn’t important, but getting this contract off the books for next season helps the Oilers in their efforts to keep players like Stoll and Staios.
  5. Marty Reasoner: Some of us think he is being showcased. Marty is playing well, healthy and can do a variety of secondary things (FO circle, PK) that become vital for role players deep in the playoffs. I think he’s gone.
  6. Matt Greene: I know he’s coming off injury but to my eye Greene is being passed by all the other kids. An attractive contract moving forward and on a team that could use both a veteran on D and perhaps someone who can move the puck well as Pitkanen insurance, Greene is the obvious choice to go among the younger defenders.

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21 Responses to "Sale On Sail On, Sailor (Update)"

  1. Ducey says:

    Uh, Sanderson will be dealt, No?

    Reasoner will not be dealt. He is cheap, effective, and helps set the tone for being an Oiler. His wife is also key in keeping the Oiler wives happy – a very important role.

    Greene won’t be dealt either. He might be passed by Smid, Gilbert and maybe Grebs but he brings the size and strength these guys will never have.

    By the way, anyone else notice Smid is starting to really look like a good NHL defenceman?

  2. Shawn says:

    Honestly I don’t want to make a deal unless is quantity for quality.

    Roloson I guess would be the exception. I wouldn’t MIND moving he or Staios. Roloson is a guy that if we can’t move I’d buy out and run with JDD next year anyway. If he doesn’t pan out there’s lots of Cujo types out there youc an get cheap enough to be your back up.

    We could use the cap space next year however they get rid of Roloson’s contract.

    Staios I like a lot but if there’s something good to be had for him I think you have to do it. That would also free up more financial room for Pitkanen and you can find a pretty good defensive guy on the free agent market if you need to.

    Guys like Stoll, Greene, Pitkanen etc I don’t want to see shopped unless it’s a quantity for quality deal where the Oilers get the quality.

  3. Asiaoil says:

    Stoll is trade bait simply because: Gagner needs and deserves a soft seat on the 2nd line behind Horcoff, he pads his offensive numbers with PP time but not at a particularly good rate, and his ES production is simply dreadful

    Stoll is a useful player but he is no bargain and he never will be if he keeps getting this much PP time to pad his numbers. If this isn’t the old pump and dump then it’s bad coaching (and I don’t think MacT is a bad coach)

    Staios may be gone because of the Souray contract and the need to sign Pitkanen and Gilbert – no other reason – and you can hang that one on Lowe.

    Roloson can stay or go – either is fine and not a big deal – same with Reasoner

  4. Black Dog says:

    Reasoner is gone. Horcoff, Stoll, Gagner, Cogliano, Brodziak, Pouliot etc etc. No spot for him next year.

    Stoll stays until they extend Horcoff. The next day he is gone. If they move him and then lose Horcoff they are betting everything on Gagner and Cogliano turning out. That is a lot to bet on two kids, no matter how nice they look.

    Greene sticks. Nice contract and he has the size and toughness that the team needs.

    Maybe Staios although replacing his vet presence might be tough unless they are thinking Greene for top four next year – if they are then they could move him – why pay a bottom pair guy that cash.

    Shouldn’t move Pitkanen which means that they will.

  5. Gord says:

    We started the year needing veterans to train the kids. While the youngsters have another 80 games notched on the bedposts, if Staios goes we will only have one D man over 25 years old. A similar replacement will cost more in salary than we are paying him – so why is Staios expendable?

    Unless Pitkanen overprices himself, get a high offer & we take the draft picks, our defense is set for next year…

    I do see Stoll, Reasoner, Nilsson, Sanderson, Thoresen (etc…) available if the offer is right – but the offer needs to be a 2nd line player from a “non playoff team”, or a good draft pick from a team going into the playoffs.

    As an example, Carolina losing Williams & BrindAmour puts them in a needy position – Stoll would look very attractive to them right now…

    As far as Roloson goes, we would have to give something of value in addition to Roloson for a team to take his salary off our hands… (i.e. Stoll & Roloson for Carolina’s 1st round pick…)

    Not saying this is a fair trade – just using a loose example…

  6. Tyler says:

    Stoll is trade bait simply because: Gagner needs and deserves a soft seat on the 2nd line behind Horcoff, he pads his offensive numbers with PP time but not at a particularly good rate, and his ES production is simply dreadful

    Just to chime in on this: I agree with what you’re saying but doubt that it happens. With Souray on the PP and Gagner likely a better option for the second line and soft minutes, I can’t see it making much sense to keep him. With that said, Lowe has never shown any particular ability to tell when a guy making less than $4MM no longer slots in properly so I figure he’s here for a while.

  7. Cory Klein says:

    mc79 went into depth earlier in the season that buying out Roloson makes zero sense. I can’t seem to find the post on his site at a quick glance (perhaps was an essay comment on another site). The summation was that buying out Roloson and then paying for his replacement, we gain no cap space.

    Perhaps we can clear this up as it is a pretty big point when talking about buying him out instead of hoping against hope we can offload him to someone.

  8. Bruce says:

    I know he’s coming off injury but to my eye Greene is being passed by all the other kids.

    Due respect, LT, but I don’t see it that way at all. Greene returned against Atlanta on Jan 20 and has played pretty soundly. He has played a shade over 15 minutes a night on the third pairing and second PK unit, hasn’t scored a point but posted a respectable +1 as the Oilers have themselves posted a respectable 6-4-0 mark.

    Greene has also been credited with 15 hits and 25 blocked shots in those 10 games. To put this in perspective, Greene’s rates in both categories since his return exceed the seasonal averages of the team leaders (Smid 1.47 HT/GP; Staios 2.18 BS/GP); and are nearly double the rates of the defence as a unit (0.8 HT and 1.5 BS / GP, not including Tarnstrom). Matt’s been making the most of his minutes. In Souray’s absence he’s the biggest guy back there (6’3, 233), and in a group that includes three finesse defenders his battling spirit and physical presence brings a much-needed element. He’s 24 years old, and with just under 150 GP of NHL seasoning the rough edges are starting to disappear from his game. After 2+ seasons of sometimes painful growth to this juncture, why on earth would we want to deal him now?

    By the way, anyone else notice Smid is starting to really look like a good NHL defenceman?

    Yes. Over those same 10 games Smid has also held his own at +1 in about 20 minutes a game, with 15 HT and 18 BS. He’s survived a couple of very rough patches earlier in the season, and while there’s no guarantees he’s turned the corner for good it is easy to see the upside. The guy turned 22 this month, he’s learning, and in the process he too brings size (6’3, 226) and consistent grit.

    I have been and remain pretty optimistic about both of these young players, and anticpate they’ll both have long NHL careers, hopefully as Oilers.

  9. Steve says:

    Uh, Sanderson will be dealt, No?

    Can you see anyone interested in him? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way – I’m asking because I can’t decide whether or not he’d be wanted. A decent enough depth player at this point in his career, and as Mirtle’s demonstrated cap space isn’t an issue for most teams come the deadline (it is for Toronto, but can you see them being buyers?). On the other hand, is there a single Cup contender that he’s good enough to play on regularly? And if you’re a Cup contender, is Sanderson the sort of player you give up even a mid-round pick to rent? I honestly can’t decide.

    Stoll is a useful player but he is no bargain and he never will be if he keeps getting this much PP time to pad his numbers. If this isn’t the old pump and dump then it’s bad coaching (and I don’t think MacT is a bad coach)

    I could be the old pump-and-bait: if, one way or another, Pitkanen’s not an Oilers RFA this summer, Stoll might net us a few picks from Anaheim when he’s the only available target for Brian Burke’s insane revenge move.

  10. mc79hockey says:

    Cory Klein: The post is here.

    About all that really makes sense with the contracts that you really regret is burying them in the minors and that’s IF you need the capspace for something else and can afford to eat the money.

  11. Black Dog says:

    Brian Burke’s own salary structure is an issue – he has to sign Perry. I’m pretty sure that he won’t be offerign Stoll a pile of money just to get back at Lowe.

  12. Devin says:

    I’m with Bruce – Greene has steadily worked his way down into the lowest GA/60 of any Oiler defender (2.08) and recently hasn’t been pulling any of those famous idiot moves for which I used to call him “that donkey”. A Grebs-Greene 2MM/yr 3rd pairing could be something solid down the line — so far they’ve been great together.

    Down is up these days — Grebs (2.42 GA/60, 2nd best) and Greene, and even Smid have been great. Bruce- I’ll even give you Stortini after you so successfully campaigned for him. He’s playing great in his role right now (can his 2.05 GA/60 last?!).

    We need to look at moving spare parts from the farm in any of these deals. Eg. any Reasoner deal should toss in Yan Stastny, er… Ben Simon so we can start paring back contracts.

  13. DBO says:

    If salary is a concern for next year, and Lowe makes signing Pitkanen a priority I think Stoll is defintely moved, and Reasoner resigned for $1 million or less. I don’t think, even thought at the moment we are using them, but 3 kids at centre’s 2-4 is a bit scary. reasoner brings solid d, PK and faceoffs and if we deal Stoll then he becomes our go-to guy in our own zone on draws.
    Move Rollie for anything to clear his salary, and move Stoll and Sanderson to someone needing depth for the run and you have the cash to resign Pitkanen and Gilbert, while still having close to $3.5 mill to sign someone if Katz goes to the cap next year. i guess the big issue is are we happy with this as our D next year:
    Gilbert – Pitkanen
    Staios – Smid
    Souray – Greene
    Greb

  14. Doogie says:

    Down is up these days

    That seems to be a general statement right now. Detroit has dropped five in a row. LA has gone 10-5-1 since the second week of January. The Habs have dropped four of six after being on the cusp of seizing the Eastern Conference lead. The Oilers have won four of five, winning games convincingly and also taking a game they really didn’t deserve from Minnesota. I remember telling a friend of mine that we were in the Twilight Zone now, and I’m glad I’m not the only one noticing.

  15. HBomb says:

    dbo: Reasoner at a million or less?

    If they re-sign him, it better not be for a cent over 750K, and no more than a one year deal.

    When you look at the guys who were picked up on the cheap later on last summer (Josef Vasicek being the textbook example), there is NO excuse for giving a fourth-line center anything approaching a million a season. I do not care how much he likes it here or if he is good in the room. Lowe’s overpaid enough depth guys already, and it has to stop somewhere.

    Make the offer and if he doesn’t like it, fine, let him walk and sign someone who will play for that money (and, if they turn out like Vasicek, could turn out to be an upgrade).

  16. hwy16 says:

    Salaries and salary cap: If a team has around 50m$ to spend then is the breakdown about 25m$ for forwards; 20m$ for defensemen and 5m$ for goalies. If so, then the top forward line gets 12m$, 2nd line 6m$ and 7m$ for the other forwards. Defensemen 6m$, 4m$, 3m$, 2m$, rest 5m$.

  17. Bruce says:

    Down is up these days — Grebs (2.42 GA/60, 2nd best) and Greene, and even Smid have been great.

    Well if not great, they’re certainly getting a hell of a lot better. It’s a little harder to tell with Grebs, but Smid and Greene both wear their hearts on their sleeves. I frankly love their attitude, as do (I suspect) Lowe and MacT. Charlie Huddy, who worked his way from an undrafted afterthought to a five-time Stanley Cup champion with hard work, discipline and smarts, likely deserves some credit here too. If the kids are prepared to work hard in this environment, they are going to get better, and the results are starting to show.

    I’m less confident in the coaching staff’s collective ability to get the most out of the deep end of the talent pool. That said, Grebeshkov appears at first glace to be “skill player” and he seems to be light years ahead of where he was in November, far fewer spastic blunders and far more effortless puck movement.

    Bruce- I’ll even give you Stortini after you so successfully campaigned for him. He’s playing great in his role right now (can his 2.05 GA/60 last?!).

    Another smart, coachable kid with a great attitude, who works his ass off and has developed his admittedly limited skill set into a useful role on the Oil. I think he’s going to get better, maybe a lot better. In time I frankly expect him to assume a leadership role with this club.

    In some ways he reminds me of Kelly Buchberger, who when he first arrived on the local scene had no discernable skills other than a willingness to get his nose dirty (and punched). But he willed himself into the best player he could possibly be, and for the most part (other than his fights) it was fun to watch.

    As for Stortini’s defensive record it’s frankly astonishing, he’s now 19 games and counting since he last recorded a minus game, no mean feat on this team even at 7-12 minutes a night. There are times that he’s been spared by a big save from Garon, but that’s true of every player on the team. He plays an ever-more-solid positional game, is often the high forward who is first back through the neutral zone, and is beginning to resolve a tendency to get sucked down low in the defensive zone a little too far away from his point. And he hits, even on the backcheck (ask Mark Parrish). As the season has worn on, Zack seems to be spending more and more of his time in the offensive zone, crashing the boards, cruising the slot, cycling the puck. Keepaway has always been an effective form of defence, and his well-matched line is starting to generate some offensive chances from this style.

  18. Steve says:

    Brian Burke’s own salary structure is an issue – he has to sign Perry. I’m pretty sure that he won’t be offerign Stoll a pile of money just to get back at Lowe.

    I’m hoping that the appearance he gives of being so insanely angry that he’d jettison Pronger to find money to offer an Oilers RFA is an accurate one.

  19. Dennis says:

    When did 46 hire Bruce as his agent?;)

    Seriously, though, Bruce, nice work on the Greene stats. I still don’t like how he carries the puck out from behind the net and through the crease but even I have to say that Greene’s looking better than usual. If he rounds into a guy that stays even on the third pair and can PK, then I’m in his corner.

    In terms of who gets dealt and for what, I think it all depends on what Lowe’s plan is for Horc. Honestly, that’s what it comes down to. How much for him and how much we have left. Or what can we get for him and what does that mean for the 2010 team.

  20. jon says:

    I’m with D-bo in that we should not have kids down the middle 2-4. Stoll brings intangibles and is it any wonder he was in a slump…he came back from an injury to the noggin and they put him with a green nilsson for 5 games and then 10 games of being lined up with Stortini. Hard to be successful when you look to the wing and see that toothless grin.

    I’d roll with:

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Torres Stoll Gagner
    Moreau Cogs Pisani
    Glenx Brods Storts

    If you look at that lineup you will notice no Nilsson and that is because I do not think he has a future on the team. I think he is packaged with Roloson or on his own at this deadline. Just a feeling…

    A few people have been talking about bargins this deadline and here are my top three the Oilers should chase.

    Jaroslav Modry/ Kings
    Josief Vasiek/ NYI
    Boyd Devereaux/ Leafs

    All can be had for cheap and help this year with Devereaux being signed for cheap next year too.

    What’s yours?

  21. Dennis says:

    89 with the 14/16 duo could be interesting. MacT has for years tried to find a guy that could make those guys pop offensively and the closest he’s come was putting 34 with them when they rolled in Dec of ’06.

    Maybe a more grown up Gagner could be the setter for some shots from Stoll from the slot and Torres could do his job by being the man for puck retrieval and then go to the net and look for rebounds.

    That could be an interesting line.

    As for Nilsson, he baffles me. The guy puts up points so what can you say? I wish he was the kind of guy you could put with 10/83 and then deal him before he put up enough points where he was getting expensive.

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