Lowe

Kevin Lowe addressed the most pressing issues facing the Oilers in his post-season press conference yesterday. I’m going to quote the Edmonton Journal article “Lowe likes what he sees” which hit my front porch this morning.

RFA’S

“Am I concerned about our RFAs? Not one bit. We have lots of cap room and we know the players we like, so we’d match the offer if we chose to. If we think it’s too high, we’ll take the picks. We’re in a great position. We have lots of depth in the organization. Having said that, we have had some positive contract negotiations, so I don’t think it will even get there, but we will deal with it if we have to.”

Pitkanen, Grebeshkov, Gilbert, Stoll and Nilsson are all rfa’s and all but Stoll are looking at nice raises. The 3 defensemen on that list are a big part of the future and represent half of the top 6 on the blueline. Nilsson had a breakout season this year and Stoll is an important part of the club if healthy. There are rumors Pitkanen may be dealt and that Stoll might be taken to arbitration. My own feeling is that it would be foolish to deal Pitkanen and they lack the depth to force anything with Stoll. Grebeshkov, Gilbert and Nilsson are no-brainers unless another team makes a silly RFA offer.

MY GUESS: They all sign and the D get more money than anyone thought they would. Stoll going to arbitration is a long shot I think, the Oilers probably get it done moments before the hearing (although they have a helluva case). Nilsson gets a nice contract.

BIG TIME SCORER

“Prior to the last six weeks, I was anticipating we’d be in that (big money zone for an offensive free agent). Whether we got him or not remained to be seen. And not that we won’t look and try to be active but we won’t go into free agency like we did last year. We don’t have to bring players in. We will if we can.”

It was an amazing 6 weeks but the Oilers roster could still use a shooter. The team leader this season in shots was Dustin Penner (201) followed by Stoll (187) and Hemsky (184). No other Oiler topped 140. Penner ranked 71st overall, Stoll 86th and Hemsky 92nd, so although the Oilers had 3 shooters near the top 90 (which would be league average) all of them are in the bottom 30 of that group.

MY GUESS: Lowe trades for a sniper this summer.

MOVING OUT?

“We have to make some changes. We didn’t make the playoffs. In terms of the overall outlook of the team, we have a lot of forwards and we’re going to have some tough decisions. Jarret’s going to be in that category. Raffi had an off year. We’re going to have to spend a lot of time deciding who’s going to be in our top 12. We have a lot of options.”

Stoll has the confidence of the coach and that trumps all in my opinion. MacT would probably be most comfortable starting next season with 5 centers (Horcoff, Cogliano, Stoll, Brodziak, Reasoner) and so Raffi is probably the odd man out.

MY GUESS: Torres, a young D and Schremp for a marksman.

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53 Responses to "Lowe"

  1. Keegan says:

    I am curious (read: worried) as to who that young D might be. Any thoughts?

  2. doritogrande says:

    Why the fuck does everyone want to trade the 7th leading scorer in the AHL? I want to fucking know. Does nobody think he can work his ass off with Stoll and Moreau in the summer, take skating lessons from Andrew Cogliano, and impress the snot out of MacT come September to the point where he plays himself onto the roster much the same way Gagner, Coglaino, Brodziak, Stortini and Gilbert have the last two years? He’s the Hockey Jesus!

    You all whine and bitch that there’s no place on the roster for him because of the emergence of Gagner and Cogliano, but I disagree. They’re both centers, and both could go back to playing their natural positions, allowing us to free ourselves of Captain Concussion’s contract. I believe 90% of the Oilogosphere was referring to him as “the anchor” as recently as oh, say game 81?

    You want to add a sniper? Here’s your answer. Or you can still go out and get another and actually focus on some offense. I know it’s hard to imagine with all the defensive minded “coaches” these days, but we could have 3 lines of scoring and return to the Gretzky era.

    Horcoff-Hemsky-UFA/trade (PVP)
    Nilsson-Gagner-Schremp (soft parade)
    Penner-Cogliano-Pisani (medium difficulty)
    Moreau-Brodziak-Glencross (beating the piss out of every 4th line in the NHL)

  3. Jonathan says:

    //Why the fuck does everyone want to trade the 7th leading scorer in the AHL? //

    http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-is-rob-schremp.html

    Because he’s Jarrod Skalde.

  4. Bohologo says:

    Three things:
    -LT, did you notice in the Lowe press conference that he projected far less roster churn this offseason? A year ago he talked about 7-8 new bodies, and if I recall correctly, this offseason he’s reckoning there will only a couple of new faces. This portends either a) quantity for quality deals or b) less free agent frenzy, which can only be a good thing.

    -Schremp is not a sniper. Despite his obvious talents, the stats do not demonstrate a propensity for goal scoring. Playmaking, sure, but goal scoring? I’m not convinced. Besides, Lowe & MacT have been greasing the skids for some time-which is daft. Better to inflate an asset’s value before tying a can to him.

    -finally, I really like jonathan’s analysis on his blog-keep it up, dude, that’s good writing.

  5. Black Dog says:

    dorito – I presume you kid, yeah? The seventh highest scorer in the AHL? He’s Todd Simon, fer Chrissakes.

    Also mentioned in that article of note, LT, the fact that they have opened contract talks with everyone already but Joni. Also pjo had a nice quote from Nilsson regarding how much he enjoys playing in Edmonton.

    I think they all get done soon and I would guess Joni does too. As much as Stoll struggled the signs point to him staying and based on his play before he got dinged and the fact that they’d get absolutely nothing for him it probably makes sense. If he follows one bad year with another you cut him loose. If he rebounds and he’s a fit you keep him. If he rebounds and he’s not then you move him for a piece to he puzzle.

    As for a marksman, I don’t see it. Not a bad idea but who is out there? Although Petr Sykora is shooting that puck tonight for the Pens.

    keegan – Smid or Greene, likely the former.

  6. Jon G says:

    I would not be suprised if Lowe took a run at the #1 pick offering Schremp, Torres, and Pitkanen to a Lightening team that needs some depth

  7. godot10 says:

    The Oilers have to make a qualifying offer to Stoll at his existing salary (I think) to retain his rights.

    And Stoll will likely sign it.

  8. Ducey says:

    “return to the Gretzky era”

    Sorry Big dorito but I don’t remember the Oilers icing a line of smurfs. Those Messier and Anderson guys were pretty good all over the ice. Aside from the stuffies marketing possibilities of your second line, it would be a disaster. You have to think Cogliano fits there much better.

    I don’t think there is much doubt that Schremp can score. There are guys ahead of him in the AHL scoring race that don’t make it either. Why not? I guess it must be the other stuff, eh?

    I don’t see Shremp getting the halfboards job on the PP from Hemsky, do you? He might get some second unit time but is he likely to be much better than Gagne or Nilson?

    I do like that 4th line of yours though. It would be more a 3A.

  9. doritogrande says:

    jon g:

    If Tampa trades the first overall pick, someone deserves to be fired. Then shot. Tampa’s need is cheap secondary scoring…that’s Stamkos in a nutshell. They can’t afford to take on salary like Pitkanen (at a 4.5M estimate) and Torres.

  10. Dennis says:

    I still don’t trust Lowe when it comes to making a trade.

    And I don’t think there’s a whole lot of snipers out there that are:

    A: affordable
    B: could be had for the package LT proposed.

    I’d love to be wrong about that, though.

  11. Oilman says:

    That Pitkanen for Camilleri rumor seems to pop up every month or so. The concern there though is Camilleri being pretty close to UFA status – so that likely doesn’t happen.

  12. Jonathan says:

    //If Tampa trades the first overall pick, someone deserves to be fired. Then shot.//

    Feaster does a lot of oddball things, though I doubt he’ll go for the trade you’re critiquing. For one thing, ever since his team won the cup in ’04 he’s gon with Gerald Coleman, Sean Burke, John Grahame, Brian Eklund, Johan Holmqvist, Marc Denis, Karri Ramo and finally Mike Smith as the team’s goaltenders. The best of those goaltenders statistically? Mike Smith with a 2.79GAA and .893sv%. Oh yeah, and a 3-10 record. The team is a disaster, and Feaster should’ve been fired last season.

  13. Lowetide says:

    I don’t thinnk they’ll sign Hossa (3.7 shts/gme) because someone else will get him.

    But below 3.7/gme there is:

    Mike Cammalleri: 3.3
    Jeff Carter 3.2
    Brian Gionta 3.1
    Erik Cole 3.0

    You can argue my combination of (say) Torres, Greene and Schremp is enough for one of those guys and maybe it does take Pitkanen.

    If that is the price, do you pull the trigger and then add a UFA defender?

  14. Jonathan says:

    //If that is the price, do you pull the trigger and then add a UFA defender?//

    Yes. Also, if there’s interest in Moreau/Smid sub either of them in for Torres/Greene.

  15. godot10 says:

    //I still don’t trust Lowe when it comes to making a trade.//

    What is wrong with
    1) the Pitkanen trade
    2) the Grebeshkov trade
    3) the Glencross trade
    4) the Nilsson trade
    5) the Gilbert trade

    The Souray mistake wasn’t a trade. Pronger was a forced trade.

  16. Mr DeBakey says:

    You all whine and bitch that there’s no place on the roster for him because of the emergence of Gagner and Cogliano

    Schremp 74 games
    Pouliot 51 games

    Schremp 21 goals
    Pouliot 21 goals

    Not only Cogliano & Gagner

  17. Mr DeBakey says:

    Of course, those numbers above are AHL numbers

    But below 3.7/gme there is:

    Mike Cammalleri: 3.3
    Jeff Carter 3.2
    Brian Gionta 3.1
    Erik Cole 3.0

    I read somewhere this past week
    [it was about the Leafs so it must've been in the national media]
    that Fletcher had a deal to obtain Carter at the Trade Deadline,
    but someone wouldn’t waive his NTC.
    So Carter is available.

  18. Steve says:

    The Oilers have to make a qualifying offer to Stoll at his existing salary (I think) to retain his rights.

    And Stoll will likely sign it.

    It’s actually at 5%-10% (I can’t remember exactly where) above current salary, isn’t it? And if he signed that, that would be okay with me. I mean, if you’re not prepared to sign him for that, then you don’t qualify him.

  19. Ribs says:

    As others have said, there just isn’t many snipers out there these days to trade for.

    I think the problem will correct itself a bit once Souray starts to play.
    Run and gun hockey gets you one or two shots (Cogliano and Horcoff in NHL top 10 in shooting percentage), but getting shots to the net and loose pucks get you 4 or 5 shots (ala Pronger).

    They just didn’t have any D-Men this season that could dump the puck in and keep it in when the other team tries to throw it out. I hope it’s an issue Coach Huddy plans to work on in the off-season.

    I’d still throw out Ryan Malone’s name if you want a shooter who could come cheap/free. I don’t think you’re going to find a 1 Line guy that would be available and worth the assets you’d have to give to get him.

  20. Captain Morgan says:

    I think the reason they would deal Schremp is that he is still an asset that another team would over value. As part of a package, he could be the piece that would put it over the top as far as getting a legitimate offensive threat.And let’s face it, Gagner is everything we hoped Schremp would be, and is getting better by the minute.

    But if you get that sniper, where does he play? I assume you have to keep Gagner-Cogs together as Cogliano’s talents are wasted as a third line centre? Could Nilsson actually be on the bubble? Can’t drop Penner down as there’s no way he keeps up with the two water bugs.

    As for trading Torres, I just can’t get there. Love the idea of him and Moreau creating havoc on the bottom two lines. Kills me to say it but if you move out Pisani and drop Glencross on the third line RW, you have a pretty nice bottom six.

    Torres-Stoll-Glencross
    Moreau-Brodziak-Stortini

    I say avoid the high priced sniper, concentrate on bringing in a shut down defenceman who can play big minutes with Joni on the first pairing, in the mold of say Chris Phillips or Colin White.

    Is it next year yet?

  21. doritogrande says:

    Debakey:

    It was Kaberle who refused the trade.

    That being said, yes to Carter please. They were eyeing earlier this year. I’d have nothing wrong with giving them Stoll and our first rounder for Carter, as I firmly believe in the following equation:

    Established player >>> draft pick.

  22. YKOil says:

    If Nonis isn’t poaching Carter via an offer sheet he isn’t doing his job. heh. That team is in trouble.

    That leaves, in terms of worthwhile, Cole. No way Carolina trades him.

    Too bad, he’s a good player.

  23. doritogrande says:

    I love this Clowe fellah.

  24. breakerdog says:

    Stoll is an RFA this year and a UFA next if he is only signed to a one year deal. The common thinking is to sign him to a one year deal at his current price to see if he rebounds.

    So only one of two things happen. He sucks again and is an anchor in the line up all year and then he is cut loose. Or, he rounds into form and raises his salary demands going into his UFA year.

    If Lowe/MacT believe in this kid then why not sign him to a longer term deal at a bargain price. If not then get rid of him now.

  25. Dennis says:

    GD:

    1: Loved it
    2: Small deal
    3: small deal
    4: I’d still rather have Smyth with Penner not on the club
    5: small deal

    Lowe making small deals is fine. Lowe out there big game hunting proves to be disasterous.

    I wouldn’t move 25 for Cammalari and I was disheartened to hear Lowe was talking to everyone’s agent but Pitkanen. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

    Looks like joni and raffi are first on the auction block and in watching some playoff action tonight, we’re gonna need some help on D and we’ll need ever more if we move away Pitkanen.

  26. Jonathan says:

    //So only one of two things happen. He sucks again and is an anchor in the line up all year and then he is cut loose. Or, he rounds into form and raises his salary demands going into his UFA year. //

    I generally agree with this line of reasoning, but for the sake of argument, let’s look at some other possibilities. If Stoll rounds into form, given the current state of this team, it seems likely that Lowe ships him off at the deadline in a classic impending-UFA-for-prospects deal. You might argue that we’re likely playoff bound, but this is still a club that should be building rather than looking to contend. If, on the other hand, Stoll fails to find his offensive touch but looks like a really solid checking line centre, they sign him long term to be our third-line centre for years to come.

    I guess those are the best case scenarios, however.

  27. Jonathan says:

    //Lowe making small deals is fine. Lowe out there big game hunting proves to be disasterous.//

    In recent years, perhaps. I had quite a bit of respect for Lowe’s ability as a GM up until the Pronger fiasco and subsequent meltdown. Prior to that, however, he generally got decent value in his trades. We’re all pretty familiar with the 05-06 trades, where he faired well, so let’s look a little further back:

    03-04

    EDM trades S. Valiquette, D. Helminen, 2nd and 3rd round picks to NYR for P. Nedved and J. Markkanen – good trade

    EDM trades T. Salo and 6th round pick to COL for t. Gilbert – good trade

    02-03

    EDM trades A. Carter and A. Pisa to NYR for R. Dvorak and C. Cross – wash, maybe a little in Lowes favour.

    EDM trades J. Niinimaa to NYI for B. Isbister and R. Torres – see above

    01-02

    EDM trades T. Poti and R. Murray to NYR for M. York and 4th round pick – good trade

    EDM trades S. Brown to BOS for B. Allen – wash

    I think Lowe generally gets market value+ in trades, so I do not really have an issue with him that way. However, I think he fails to identify-address team needs at reasonable times, and the team winds up behind the 8-ball because of his inability to make a deal happen.

  28. godot10 says:

    //Stoll is an RFA this year and a UFA next if he is only signed to a one year deal. The common thinking is to sign him to a one year deal at his current price to see if he rebounds.
    So only one of two things happen. He sucks again and is an anchor in the line up all year and then he is cut loose. Or, he rounds into form and raises his salary demands going into his UFA year.
    If Lowe/MacT believe in this kid then why not sign him to a longer term deal at a bargain price. If not then get rid of him now.//

    Yeah…but the FIRST thing that happens is that the Oilers have to make a qualifying offer to retain his rights. Why would Stoll NOT just sign his qualifying offer? And thus take arbitration or a longer deal off the table.

  29. digger says:

    1) You will be given every tool to succeed.

    2) Life is short.

    These are the 2 prevailing thought processes that Lowe is receiving from Katz Manor, if he is to be believed.

    A relatively young billionaire with lots of cash, who just bought the team he grew up cheering for. I’m sorry, but I just can’t see him being a ‘steady as she goes’ kind of owner. Guys like him that make that amount of $$ before the age of 50 rarely do it by playing safe odds. They like to make noise.

    Put it this way…just to protect myself from getting too disappointed, I’m not going to put too much emotional investment in the idea of Taylor Chorney and/or Jeff Petry being future Oilers.

    I could see a big name forward coming here over the summer via trade, definitely.

  30. godot10 says:

    //I could see a big name forward coming here over the summer via trade, definitely.//

    Save a little dry cap room powder.

    Luongo might be on the trade market soon. He’s only got two years left on his contract, and he can’t be too happy with the work of Nonis and Vigneault.

    If Nonis screws up this summer like he did last summer, and at the trade deadline, Luongo isn’t going to be signing an extension.

  31. alan says:

    12. Cull the herd.

    Would you like to improve upon your position at the draft?

    I’d love the opportunity to move up into the top 10. We have the assets to do it, which we’ve built up over the years. We will try to utilize our asset base to improve upon the high end aspect of our organization.

  32. HBomb says:

    Looks like joni and raffi are first on the auction block and in watching some playoff action tonight, we’re gonna need some help on D and we’ll need ever more if we move away Pitkanen.

    Why trade guys you should be keeping, honestly? I still can’t get onside with the idea that they’d look at moving these guys.

    Greene or Smid should be the guy moved off the backend – we need our top-end guys. And I am still firmly of the belief there is no good argument to keep Moreau over Torres as the 3LW at this point based on everything we know (upside, age, injury record, etc.)

  33. godot10 says:

    //And I am still firmly of the belief there is no good argument to keep Moreau over Torres as the 3LW at this point based on everything we know (upside, age, injury record, etc.)//

    Character? The real NHL is not a rotisserie league. Character matters.

    Plus, it is probable Glencross signs with the Oilers.

    I am not necessarily for trading anyone in particular. In fact, doing less (tradewise) is probably better than doing more this summer.

    I think Torres is unlikely to be traded anyways until teams see if he has recovered fully from his injury.

  34. heed says:

    lowe needs to get grebs, nilsson and gilbert done first. an overpayment for one of these guys (via an offer sheet) will not result in serious compensation. these are the guys that other teams target if they actually do “target” lowe. that would be some serious business genius right there. everyone knows that the best way to succeed in business is to take it personal.

    i think lowe is willing to pay joni somewhere between $4M and $4.5M range. an overpayment for this guy will lead to penner type compensation maybe more.

    he gets the first three wrapped up and moves onto pitkanen.

    just one man’s opinion.

  35. jon k says:

    The funny thing is that no one seems to be mentioning the sniper that I believe the Oilers are most likely to obtain: Michael Ryder.

    Obviously as a RW he wouldn’t play with Hemsky but I think the top line is set anyway. Maybe to play with Gagner and on the PP?

    He’s had a bad year because he wasn’t shooting this year (possibly injury? Confidence?), but his shooting percentage has been pretty steady.

    He’s an UFA who won’t get a huge pay raise, Canadian, and will be leaving Montreal.

    Here are his stats recently.

    Season Shots % Goals
    03-04 215 11.6 25
    05-06 243 12.4 30
    06-07 221 13.6 30
    07-08 134 10.5 14

  36. Dennis says:

    Slipper: I thought the same thing and now I’m going back and forth on what should really happen here.

    People seem to forget but it’s now four of the last six playoffs happening without us so while on the one hand I’m anxious to get back in the mix, I don’t want us to make a short term gain trade that really causes us pain in the long term, either.

    Also, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of guys out there who’d fit this catergory anyway. Vic likes to pimp Havlat and while I still believe in his ability to make a difference, what’s the chance he’s gonna be healthy for a full season?

    From where I’m sitting, I’d worry more about cutting down on GA then increasing GF and to that end — and considering 14 seems like he’s a goner — I’d package 14 plus the Leaves choice of 2 or 5 in return for Kubina.

    14-25-Kubina-37-44-77 gives us a chance to get out of the first round, IMO.

  37. doritogrande says:

    jon k:

    Character counts in Alberta, and trust me when I say the Ryder family isn’t playing 52 pick-up with a full deck.

  38. HBomb says:

    godot10: I completely believe the character argument in favor of Moreau would hold and justify a Torres deal IF Moreau hadn’t missed 132 games over the past two seasons.

    Character matters, but so does durability.

    I hope you’re right about no Torres deal due to his injury recovery – I’d be much more upset if the Oilers gave up on Torres as compared to if they gave up on Stoll.

  39. HBomb says:

    jok k: I hope you’re not right on Ryder. I hated the Souray signing enough, and signing Ryder for any sort of term past one year would be in the same ballpark in terms of stupid.

    I like LT bringing up Cole and J. Carter, those are two of the top three guys on my list. The other would be Alex Frolov (people always menetion Cammalleri out of LA, but he’s another undersized skill guy, and we have plenty of those) – I don’t know if he’s a shooter per se, or if LA’s even willing to part with him, but he’s a legit top line LW that would allow Penner to play with Gagner and Nilsson on a line that would feast on the soft.

  40. Dennis says:

    Carter: Are the Flyers gonna be tight enough to the ’09 cap that they’re gonna need to walk about from this young fellow? Can someone do a treatment on this?

    Oilers have enough young and cheap guys that they Should be able to step in and help Holmgren get something roster-wise for this guy before July 1st comes and Van walks in with some draft picks. Once again, not sure how tight Philly will be come next year and that will make the difference.

    Ryder: Not sure what DG’s connections are but I play ball against Ryder all summer and we have mutual friends and while Ryder’s a guy who’s not even as smart as Ryan Smyth, he is a fellow who’s in excellent shape and puts the work in during the off-season.

    Now, if you want to move Cogs to a shutdown role with 34-PLUS and then have Ryder come on ON THE CHEAP to play soft min with 12-89, that’s perhaps not a bad idea. Just say sign him for a one year deal and that gives the 12-89 combo another year to mature and then come 2010 they’re expected to carry their line and whomever ends up on their right side.

    But, I only support this move if Ryder comes on the cheap and honestly a lot of his value’s on the PP and with 83-27-89 earmarked for PP time, just how do we fit him in on the first unit? And if he’s not on the first unit, is it even worth spending ice-time on him even if it does come on the cheap?

  41. Slipper says:

    2011-12 appears to be expiry date on this generation of the team. Hemsky’s last year before UFA status seems to be the drop off point of Lowe’s most recent long term deals (Souray, Penner).

    2009-10 is the final year of Gags and Cogs entry level contracts. You might want to capitalize on the cheap goals before they’re extended at some outrageous price, so in my mind, that’s the season you really start going for it.

    Next season it might be best to maintain the status quo and continue the development process. If they’re well positioned at the deadline, then they should make some moves for a competetive playoff.

  42. Slipper says:

    I think the window to strike with a particular set of players is smaller under the cap.

    The Ducks have 16 players signed at 49 million for next year. Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz started getting paid some serious coin and the off-season after this one is where Pahlsson’s, Rob Neidermyer’s and Moen’s contracts all expire.

    With players getting the serious donair before they’ve played 200 NHL games, many teams are in for a rude awakenings when their affordable veteran contracts are up.

  43. doritogrande says:

    Dennis:

    I have no connections, I’m just remebering how commitment isn’t something the Ryder family has in spades? I refer you to his brother, Daniel, who is technically still property of the Flames.

    http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=80634&sc=79

    “Ryder, a rookie pro in the American Hockey League, is reportedly back in Newfoundland after quitting the Quad City Flames a couple of weeks ago.
    Sutter confirmed Ryder remains suspended by the organization and he doesn’t have a timetable as to when, or if, Ryder will return.

    Yeah, it’s painting both kids with the same brush, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  44. Coach pb9617 says:

    If that is the price, do you pull the trigger and then add a UFA defender?

    Brooks Orpik

  45. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’d still throw out Ryan Malone’s name if you want a shooter who could come cheap/free. I don’t think you’re going to find a 1 Line guy that would be available and worth the assets you’d have to give to get him.

    I don’t think the Penguins are going to sign Hossa, and I do think they will resign Sykora and Malone. Unless you break the bank for him, he’s not going anywhere.

  46. YKOil says:

    Dennis,

    I wrote this back in January but it is still relevant for the most part:

    http://ykoil.blogspot.com/2008/01/conventional-wisdom-cracked-wise-part_26.html

    Suffice to say that ANY team, needing a young center to augment the core group they want to build, that is NOT preparing a RFA offer sheet for Carter is NOT doing their job.

    Vancouver, Columbus, Atlanta, etc – all should be looking to poach Carter. Oddly enough we are one of the few teams that should not be in that sweepstakes (not that we could anyways).

  47. godot10 says:

    //Not sure what DG’s connections are but I play ball against Ryder all summer and we have mutual friends and while Ryder’s a guy who’s not even as smart as Ryan Smyth, he is a fellow who’s in excellent shape and puts the work in during the off-season.//

    Not-so-intelligent players and MacT don’t mix.

    Ryder is another Lupul, and has NOT-AN-OILER written all over him. If you can’t play for Guy Carbonneau, I doubt that one can play for MacT.

    Plus, with Hemsky and Nilsson, there is no ice time or PP time for Ryder. If the Oilers get a forward, they need someone less one-dimensional.

  48. Dennis says:

    DG: it would be wrong to paint both guys with the same brush.

    Ryder the young is a real piece of work while the eldest fellow has his head on straight.

  49. Dennis says:

    I listened to the Lowe int. this evening and here’s what I remember:

    On Pitkanen: said that 25 told him he wanted to come back and said the Oilers want him back as long as the price is right. Also talked about how Joni’s a quiet guy who has to take time to fit in but didn’t shouldn’t be a problem. Also mentioned that they could see his value when he’s healthy and while he didn’t have instant chem early on with 83 and Co., it started to come around at season’s end. Also mentioned injury problems so my take is Lowe thinks Pitkanen’s a bit of a head-case who’s also oft-injured and he’s coming back only if he comes on the Oilers terms.

    Stoll: maybe it’s just me but I thought be broke out the hammer on 16. He mentioned MacT going to bat for him but then he came out with his quote about making harsh decisions with the number of forwards in-house. I just got the idea that they’re really gonna use this opp to put the finanicial screws to Jarrett and that if he balks, he’s gone.

    Torres: began to discuss 14 in what became a meandering discussion on the benefits of picking up a heavyweight. Started off talking about raffi having an off-year and then went on to mention they might like to have a guy who can score but would also add toughness and finished by saying that when raffi’s on, he could be that guy; along with saying that toughness didn’t seem to be an issue or a hinderance down the stretch. After listening to this, I got the feeling MacT tried to put a scare into 14 with HIS end of the season missive but then Lowe basically played the org’s cards when he expressed they know what the good Raffi can bring.

    On missing the playoffs: expressed disappointment in missing them but then pointed out a couple of HTH’s vs the Preds that swung the tide when the Oilers blew late leads. Now, this struck me as funny because I knew we gave up a late lead in the last game in Nsh but I couldn’t think of the other one. So I went back and found the Oilers gave up the game winning goal with under 8 min left in Nsh’s first visit to Edm. Now, it’s splitting hairs as to whether that’s a late goal or not but at least it is in Lowe’s mind;) Also, he mentioned the game we lost to Det late and mentioned the bad line change that lead to it without naming the player. We all know it was 78 and there was lots of speculation that was the final grease for his Springfield skids and Lowe’s comments gave creedance to that. Though, for fans of 78, he did say it was an innocent play and didn’t dwell on it at all.

    On sophomore jinxes: in Lowe’s mind, the only really young kids are 13-89 and he feels they’re such mature and hard working kids that they won’t be affected. He went on to say 12 should be old enough now that he’s established and he doesn’t consider the 37-77 combo to be kids given they’re ’83 drafts.

  50. Ringo says:

    Marco Sturm?

    [runs away]

  51. Sean says:

    Teams that might be reloading if they struggle in the playoffs.

    Ottawa – Spezza?

    San Jose – Marleau (dibs out)

    Minnesota – Gaborik, I doubt it but he is UFA in 2009 and if he doesnt sign this summer, Minnesota might look to move him. How grose would Gaborik – Horcoff – Hemsky be?

    NJ – Elias (dibs out – overpaid)

    Teams who might be willing to trade upper-end players.

    Atlanta – Kovalchuk

    LA – Camalleri. Personally I’d love to get Dustin Brown but good luck.

    Florida – Jokinen, Bouwmeester

    Toronto – Kaberle. Dont really have anything worth trading… losers.

    Vancouver – Sedins could be in play or a D man like Bieksa or Mitchell. Some kind of changes are needed.

    Chicago – Havlat (dibs out – injury prone)

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