Shopping List

Although the season is over for the Edmonton Oilers on the ice, it’s go-time for General Manager Kevin Lowe.

He has areas of need on the big club, will have to cull the herd in a few areas before the fall and with that comes the opportunity to shore up the procurement department with one or more added picks in the top 100.

As Kevin Lowe enters the summer, he has one first round draft pick (probably #26), a couple of UFA’s who might be signed (Glencross, Reasoner) and a plethora of RFA’s who will be looking for raises.
Here’s how I see the summer going:

  1. Signing Shawn Horcoff. I think it’s job 1 for Lowe this summer. A team that has Horcoff-Cogliano ++ down the middle can be strong for years no matter who plays the other 2 center positions. Losing Horcoff means the Oilers don’t have a strong #1C to protect the kids. Huge signing, and don’t give me “well they can wait until the deadline” because that’s what everyone said about Ryan Smyth. Make no mistake, the decision on Horcoff is going to be made this summer. If Lowe doesn’t sign him, he’s gone.
  2. Signing Joni Pitkanen. I know he makes mistakes and he’s a chaos defender and they cost you all the time AND at the worst possible time. However, the guy makes things happen and on a team that spends long periods looking like they’ll never score ever again that’s pretty damn important. Sign the man.
  3. Sign Grebeshkov and Gilbert. These two (along with Joni and Staios) should be doing a lot of the really hard work over the next few seasons. If Lowe can get them under contract at a reasonable number it makes the Souray contract a little easier to handle.
  4. Signing Nilsson to a three-year, cap-friendly deal. This guy’s value could rocket if he scored 55 points next season so they need to sign him to a fair price and keep rolling him out there in situations where he can have success.
  5. Signing Curtis Glencross. Everyone (including me) seems to assume he’ll be back no matter what, but unless his agent is an idiot Glencross will be shopped hard, especially in the NW division where he seemed to have a major impact in every game. Getting him signed is a pretty big deal if they are thinking about:
  6. Trading Raffi Torres. The Oilers on LW are pretty deep (Penner, Gagner, Glencross, Moreau, Jacques, Reddox) without Torres and he certainly has enough value to bring back a veteran defender, a big enforcer on the wing or a draft pick well within the top 100. He could bring 2 of those things in return (enforcer, pick) or a quality NHL defender whose contract is maybe a little too dear. Should they choose to move Gagner back to center there is room for Raffi and if they do then it probably means they’ll look at:
  7. Trading Jarret Stoll. MacT’s comments seem to indicate Stoll is staying and it does make sense based on who they’ll need to do the heavy lifting. Should they trade Stoll I think they payback would have to be a little richer than the Torres exchange, perhaps that veteran defender and a pick in the top 100.
  8. Signing Marty Reasoner. I have no problem with them signing Reasoner, the concern comes over the role he’ll play. Should the Oilers sign Horcoff, keep Stoll, use Cogliano at 3line and use Reasoner as Pouliot insurance that’s a nice plan. I am certain that won’t be the plan and the role for Reasoner (he was 11 minutes at EVs and 3 minutes on the PK per game) this season was the same playing time as Stoll at EVs. Plus he played against pretty tough competition and struggled in that role. Horcoff staying healthy will help but it might be a better plan to give Pouliot a full season or make a deal that improves the position immediately.
  9. Trading Dwayne Roloson. He has one year left at a large number, but the Oilers might be able to send him away for that veteran D some of us are hoping they add to force the youth to hold back their water.
  10. Trading Ethan Moreau. It’s probably the wise move. Moreau hasn’t been healthy for much of the last 2 seasons and he’s not 25 anymore. He has three years left on his contract at $1.75M.
  11. Trading Marc Pouliot. I think he’s probably earned enough fame to be considered a possiblility for a draft day trade. My guess is that the Oilers might get a pick 50-75 in exhange and he’s probably more valuable than that so here’s hoping they keep him.
  12. Cull the herd. The Oilers need to get some draft picks and reduce the number of bona fide NHLers who are knocking on the door. Schremp, Jacques and certainly Pouliot would qualify up front in this regard, and if Peckham or Chorney come quickly then Greene or Smid may also qualify.

Anything else?

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70 Responses to "Shopping List"

  1. doritogrande says:

    If you look at trading Roloson, then you might want to add the caviat that they re-sign Jeff Deslauriers.

    I personally think Grebeshkov should be the one to go at the deadline, because his skillset is duplicated on the roster (Gilbert), he’s probably going to garner a sizeable raise, and he’s probably got the highest re-sale value of all of our RFAs. I think he’d get us a second rounder as is, and possibly a first rounder if he’s packaged with something nice. That’s not saying I’m harping on Grebeshkov, he’s become a fine player, but I strongly believe he’s one of your “fringe NHLers who could/should be culled”, especially if you insist on bringing in yet another veteran defender.

    I also think it’s time to cut bait with some of the shit floating around our minor league teams to free up contracts. Almtorp and Johansson are obvious choices, along with some of those defensemen who were signed as “depth”. Get rid of Rourke and keep Kemp, but the farm really needs one of them. There’s a lot of crap down in Stockton also that we could stand to get rid of. Rholfs immediately comes to mind, McFlickier, Paukovich would free up 3 contracts right off the hop.

    Yes to signing Horcoff and Pitkanen. I’d give Nilsson a Pisani contract if it were up to me. Dump Torres, keep Stoll as your 3-line C. Seems pretty good to me LT.

    As a final note, if it hasn’t already been brought to your attention, MacT has been made an assistant coach for Team Canada.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Centre and defence certainly seem to be the major areas of uncertainty going into this summer, with a glut of quality wingers, and an almost 100% chance that Mathieu Garon will be handling the goaltending duties.

    That said, I think the defence will likely remain static through the summer, with the exception of one of Kevin Lowe’s bargain signings/trades. It worked out well with Staios a few years back, and if MacTavish had had a little faith in Hejda early on it could have worked out really nice there too. Anyways, a bargain vet to go with Staios/Pitkanen/Souray would help in easing the roles of three of Greene/Gilbert/Grebeshkov/Smid, with the odd man out getting dealt in the off-season. With Chorney, Peckham, etc. on the way, the logjam of youth on the Oilers blueline needs to be cleared a bit.

    Our #3 centre is a position I’m worried about. The likely challengers for that position include Cogliano, Brodziak, Stoll and Reasoner. Ideally, Stoll bounces back, because I think they’re going to give him another shot. If he fails, however, we’re left with Reasoner who at this point is a reserve utility forward, and despite Brodziak’s impressive late-season run, I’d be uneasy with him squarely in that position. This leaves Cogliano, and I’d rather see him on a scoring line. Perhaps a veteran signing from the Radek Bonk tree?

  3. Jonathan says:

    Doritogrande said: “If you look at trading Roloson, then you might want to add the caviat that they re-sign Jeff Deslauriers.”

    Or a veteran backup goalie. As much as Garon has shown, he’s only had one season as a starter, and I’d be much more comfortable with, say, Alex Auld than with Deslauriers.

  4. Shawn says:

    IMO Roloson is not going anywhere. Garon hasn’t shown the ability to run with the ball for more than one year… and had some injury issues at the end there. I think you hold onto Rolson and if Garon proves himself again next year Dwayne COULD go to a contender at the deadline, or he could be the Oilers playoff insurance before retiring.

  5. Bohologo says:

    LT, one thing you didn’t get into much, presumably because you’re focusing primarily on the roster, is what measures a team that’s already tight against the salary cap can do to compete in other departments.

    While player salaries are subject to the salary cap, as far as I know no such fetters exist for scouting staff, video analysis hardware, the team jet, cap-ologist lawyers & accountants, training staff, and gym equipment.

    While the net effect of these inputs may be marginal, if a newly wealthy Oilers team doesn’t have the best scouting staff or the best capologists money can buy, are they serious about competing? In particular, I’m concerned about European scouting, which appears to be moribund, and the training staff, which appear to oversee more than an average number of injuries. Time to upgrade, I submit.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Also, not to be a thread hog, but this seemed like a nice place to post this link: http://www.letsgokings.com/bbs/f4/state_franchise_word_word_long_version-75002.html , which is Dean Lombardi’s state of the franchise interview. He’s got some interesting, sensible ideas about team building, and looking at the Oilers current roster, I can’t help but wonder how much Kevin Lowe is on the same page. It’s a solid bet that he lets the young core of this team grow together surrounded by veterans he likes.

  7. Ducey says:

    Lets see:
    1) Lowe will need to keep his eyes peeled for a “Superstar”TM. Never know when another Pronger might fall out of a tree
    2) I am so impressed with Glencross and Brodziak I think they ought to try to take better advantage of them.

    Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner
    Cogs, Gagner, Nilson
    Stoll, Moreau, X (checking line)
    Brodziak, Glencross, Y.
    Reasoner

    X would maybe be the tough guy who can check. Maybe this is Stortini, maybe it is a free agent.

    Y would be someone who can hit and skate but still chip in 15 goals a year. It could be Torres (if he shows up every night) or Pouliot (if he shows up every night). Maybe a combo of the two.

    Getting 45 goals out of the “4th” line would be a huge advantage.

    In any event it looks as if the Oilers ought to be able to roll 4 lines next year.

    It might be nice to find a place for a Rolston in there somewhere as well. This would make it much easier to trade Stoll AND Torres.

  8. voxel says:

    Why does everybody forget about our lovable ragdoll, Roy? He’s signed for another year on a one-way. He’s the first to go…

  9. kanadienkyle says:

    If we are clearing out a logjam on the backend, I would prefer to keep Smid over Chorney. They are of a similar age and I would rather have Smid’s new found aggressive than Chorney’s offense.

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    In order:

    1) Agreed. Horcoff is a must sign. 4-5 Year deal at 5.25M cap hit?

    2) Agreed. Pitkanen locked up long term has the potential of overperforming the contract. Still, have to negotiate hard to keep the price down.

    3) Agreed. Grebeshkov and Gilbert should both be locked up long term.

    4) Everything indicates Nilsson wants to be back. A 3 year deal in the 1.75M range?

    5) Glencross – I want him back. I really do. If you think he can adequately replace Torres, you do it, because his cost will be less.

    6) Torres – prime candidate for trade. Though I wouldn’t mind him coming back – consistency is a concern. When he’s on his game, he’s Brenden Morrow.

    7) Trading Jarret Stoll – all depends on his trade value. Would I trade him for a 3rd rounder? Absolutely not. He was bad, but there is a good possibility he bounces back.

    8) Yup, Reasoner even as a 13th forward is useful. Utility forward, excellent PKer. Why wouldn’t you bring him back

    9)Trading Dwayne Roloson only makes sense if the Oilers are in cap trouble next year. If not, why not keep him around? He’s probably one of the league’s best backup. Let his contract expire. I’d be more comfortable with Roloson taking over should Garon falter, or gets injured – as opposed to JDD.

    10)I have no problem trading Moreau. His defensive game is vastly overrated, and he was pretty invisible in the Stanley Cup run. Good player, but redundant in the organization.

    11)I doubt Pouliot is worth more on the trade market than he’s worth to the Oilers.

    12) The HF in you is coming out Lowetide ;)

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    “Why does everybody forget about our lovable ragdoll, Roy? He’s signed for another year on a one-way. He’s the first to go…”

    One possibility is buying him out. 2/3 of his 500,000 salary spread over the next 2 years.

    Or keep him around as insurance

    Or, bury him in the Minors.

  12. rickibear says:

    PJO: Horcoff will be 30 at the start of his new contract. Langkow And Savard would be fair contract rates for the first 3yrs. St louis is only being paid 4m at age 34 and 35.

    A package at 5,5,5,4.5,4,3.5,3.0

    30M/7YR is fair. A cap hit of 4.25M up till the age of 36.

    Re the Fight for positions at camp: at what point is it better to free up the money of a player vs. retaining them as an asset.

  13. speeds says:

    PJO, Roy’s young enough that his buyout would be 1/3 of 500K, over 2 years.

    Who knows how he factors into their plans, but it certainly wouldn’t be much of a cap burden to buy him out.

  14. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Trade Torres. Can the Oilers really afford to pay 2.25 million for a guy who won’t contribute on special teams??

  15. PunjabiOil says:

    PJO, Roy’s young enough that his buyout would be 1/3 of 500K, over 2 years.

    I swear, you have the CBA handbook memorize from cover to cover ;)

    So, under this scenario, it would be 166,667 buyout, spread over 2 years. 83,333 cap hit per year.

    That’s pocket change.

    Though I doubt Lowe will buy him out.

    Too nice of a guy.

  16. speeds says:

    That one I remember from the Cleary buy-out, I’ll check on that in case it was changed in the new CBA.

  17. speeds says:

    Roy would only have to be bought out at 1/3 of the contract’s value.

    The cutoff in the CBA is 1/3 of the contract’s value for players under age 26 at the time of buy out, and 2/3 for players 26 and older.

  18. Jonathan says:

    //Roy’s young enough that his buyout would be 1/3 of 500K, over 2 years.//

    Why? Roy’s a 25-yr old depth defenceman who’s injury prone but plays an effective physical game. What more do we want out of a 7th/8th defenceman?

    Moving one of the more talented guys in front of Roy will probably bring a return, or for that matter, starting him in the minors and recalling him to be the PB guy when we get our first D injury (10 bucks on Souray) won’t hurt anybody, and if he gets picked up on waivers, so what?

    In any case, you could probably weasel an 8th round pick, or future considerations, out of a team like Tampa Bay for Roy. He’s probably a better option than a Janik or Lundin at this point.

  19. rickibear says:

    The thing with all the forwards is we have pairs of players with chemistry: Horcoff-Hemsky, Cogliano-Nilsson, Penner-Gagner, Glenx-Brodziak, and Moreau-Reasoner in Preseason.

    Torres, Storitini, Stoll, and Pisani: who do you slot them with. Do we not even consider Penner-Gagner.

    Glad I do not have to decide this one.

  20. RiversQ says:

    Trading Marc Pouliot

    You’re such a fucking try-hard, LT.

    Anybody that thought that one was sincere has been smoking the drapes.

    The less Lowe does the better, IMO. Besides the fact that I just don’t trust the guy, I don’t see this roster being conducive to a major overhaul, nor being close to a contender. There probably aren’t any magic beans out there and they have some good irons in the fire worth waiting for.

    This year should probably be a holding pattern. If they show something after 20-30 games, then look to buy and if they don’t then pare it down a little.

    As far as LW goes, I’d take Torres over most of the guys on the list. (BTW, why isn’t Gagner pencilled in as a centre going forward? He doesn’t seem like an obvious permanent switch to the wing) Doesn’t Torres, Penner, Glencross, and Moreau sound like a formidable LW? No clear #1, but that’s a rough road for the opp.

    Stoll? Meh. I don’t care one way or the other. I think there’s a lot of truth to the difficult situation he’s been playing in, but there are other ways to fill the minutes as long as Horcoff’s back.

  21. speeds says:

    I’m not saying they should or shouldn’t buy out Roy, only that it’s cheap to do so if they are so inclined.

  22. Dennis says:

    Found this while looking at some Sens stuff:

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Playoffs/Ottawa/2008/04/07/5217321-sun.html

    ___At $6.5 million, he is far too rich for the Senators’ blood, especially when there’s still a GM or two who believe a) Redden is simply having a bad season, b) that he feels unwanted by his current employers and it has affected his play, c) that he is far too young to be done, and d) that he can and will regain the form that made him a star blueliner.

    There’s talk that this summer, Redden will ink a similar contract with Los Angeles, the Rangers, San Jose or even Edmonton__

    Just thought I’d throw that in there because the guy didn’t know enough to find out the Oil would have to move a lot of things around to make room for Redden and I also thought it was funny that Redden would consider us now;)

    I don’t think the Oilers should make any big moves until they gauge the development of the young D. I’d really like to see us bring in a more experienced guy making say 3.5 mill or less but I don’t know if there’s the room for it. Though I would bring him in at the expense of say a 16-5 package and just give the 16 min to 51 or 78.

    Then again, maybe we should roll with the kid D one more season and maybe we’ve got enough of on our own to make some real noise in 2010. That’s not to throw away ’09, either; I think we can make the playoffs even with all these kids on the blueline.

  23. Jonathan says:

    //The less Lowe does the better, IMO. Besides the fact that I just don’t trust the guy, I don’t see this roster being conducive to a major overhaul, nor being close to a contender. There probably aren’t any magic beans out there and they have some good irons in the fire worth waiting for.//

    //I don’t think the Oilers should make any big moves until they gauge the development of the young D. //

    I agree with both these comments. That said, I think the smart money is on Lowe moving one of Horcoff/Pitkanen, more likely Pitkanen, this summer.

    Looking at Lowe’s history, he sent Hamrlik away for Eric Brewer, Josh Green, and a 2nd round pick, despite the fact that nobody could duplicate his skill set. Now he has an injury-prone Pitkanen angling for a raise, and his skill-set is somewhat duplicated by Gilbert/Grebeshkov and the number 1 PP slot goes to Souray. Throw in the negative comments that seem to trail Pitkanen around might indicate he’s a problem, or at least not terribly goo, in the room. Somebody phones Lowe up offering a young d-man, a middling prospect, and a decent pick and I don’t think it’s 5 minutes before that trade is done, and as much as I think Pitkanen is the only guy here right now with the ability to be a true #1 defenceman, I’m not sure that’s a bad trade.

    A more frightening scenario is Horcoff. 41 games of Mike Comrie convinced Lowe to move Weight, and I think full seaons from Gagner/Cogliano might do the same thing to Horc. We saw what happened to Smyth, Weight and Guerin, and Lowe’s been pretty consistent when these guys start lining up for raises. I hope it doesn’t happen, and maybe there’s a belief upstairs that Horc is the perfect mentor for these young guys, but I wouldn’t wager against it with Lowe’s track record.

  24. Black Dog says:

    Difference is that EIG would not/ could not pay Weight and Guerin. Smyth was a different case altogether.

    I think Horcoff gets signed for two reasons – he’s MacT’s boy and he was the star up front in ’06.

    As for the rest, its going to be stand pat. Raffi likely will get moved but other then that they want to see what they’ve got going on.

  25. HBomb says:

    Trade Torres. Can the Oilers really afford to pay 2.25 million for a guy who won’t contribute on special teams??

    Trade Moreau. Can the Oilers really afford to pay 2.0 million for a guy who won’t contribute for 60 games a season because he’s on the IR?

  26. HBomb says:

    Signing Shawn Horcoff: CHECK. I hope this one is done by noon on July 1st, a la Thornton last year. 6 years, 30 million dollars.

    Signing Joni Pitkanen: CHECK, unless there’s a Pitkanen+ deal out there for a Boumeester, and no matter how much Stauffer might talk about it and I’d like to see it happen, I can’t for a second believe Boumeester wants to play here at this point in his career. 4 years, 17 million for Joni.

    Sign Grebeshkov and Gilbert: Obviously. 2 years for Grebs, but I try to do 4 years minimum with Gilbert, and if there was an 18 over 6 deal to be had with 77, I’d do it if I were Lowe.

    Sign Nilsson: Agreed – does 5.4 million over three years make sense here?

    Sign Glencross: 4 years, 3.2 million or thereabouts. Perfect guy to drive the bus on the 4th line.

    Retain Torres, trade Moreau: I am firmly in the camp of the guy who is younger and likely more reliable on a few fronts going forward. If Torres/Pisani are your 3rd line wingers, well, that’s a damn good third line, allowing one to play either Cogliano or Pouliot in that hole.

    Cut bait with Reasoner AND trade Stoll. Yes, unconventional, but I’m on Riv’s line of thinking here – why is Gagner on the wing automatically assumed? Horcoff-Gagner-Cogliano-Brodziak-Pouliot at center IS young, but I am OK with that with the wingers we have. If they’re in a playoff position come late-February, maybe add a Josef Vasicek from a non playoff team for a 3rd rounder or something like that.

    Signing Marc Pouliot: Give him a 3-year, cap friendly one way deal. Maybe he’s a disappointment when compared to some of the guys the Oilers passed on at 17th in 2003, but if he pans out as a higher-end 3rd liner, that’s a win in my books.

    Cull the Herd: Simply put, this organization needs to be down around 46 contracts next year.

    Add a quality veteran defenseman: I’m not talking a 3rd pairing guy. I want Mike Commodore to play with Joni Pitkanen. This allows us to deal one of Smid/Greene, and given the potential trade value, Smid’s the guy I shop.

    Sign, on the cheap, a true enforcer: Jody Shelley or Brian McGrattan for 30-40 games a year when Stortini’s “toughness” is insufficient. Maybe the guy is a 5-minute a night player, but the continual pounding of Ales Hemsky by guys like Regehr CANNOT continue. 2 years, maybe 1.2 million total.

    So after all this, we’re left with Stoll, Moreau, and Smid as trade bait, with Rob Schremp being the only Oiler prospect with significant value. I do two things here:

    1) One asset plus the Anaheim 1st rounder to move into the mid-teens of the 1st round. Cody Robak is a guy that would be interesting in this range.

    2) Three assets for one of Alex Frolov or Erik Cole. Cole’s a UFA in summer 2009, and I get the idea Frolov is undervalued in LA (and, as a bonus, he’s on a decent bargain of a contract for two more seasons). Size and scoring ability for the top nine. Once Roloson walks, part of his money goes towards an extension for either guy acquired.

    At the end of it all?

    (Cole/Frolov) Horcoff Hemsky (PVP)
    Nilsson Gagner Penner (soft parade)
    Torres Cogliano/Pouliot Pisani (2nd toughest minutes)
    Glencross Brodziak Stortini (energy)
    EXT: (McGrattan/Shelley)

    Pitkanen Commodore
    Staios Souray
    Gilbert Grebeshkov
    EXT: Greene

    Garon
    Roloson

    Fat trimmed, added veteran presence and toughness, nice depth on the wings. The weakness is youth at center, but even then, I think such a squad is a strong bet for the 2009 playoffs….

    This is what I WANT to happen. What I THINK will happen, I am worried will look nothing like this….

  27. Lowetide says:

    RQ: No it was sincere. Pouliot’s skills are duplicated on this roster by other players (save for youth).

    I’m pulling for the guy. I don’t think there’s any reason to play Marty in front of him on the C depth chart and even if he does lose that job he should be able to grab hold of another slot in the top 12F.

    However, MacT could “buy around him” pretty easily:

    Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
    Cogliano-Gagner-Nilsson
    Stoll-Torres-Pisani
    Reasoner-Moreau-Brodziak

    Extras: Glencross, Stortini

    I don’t think that’ll be the club mind you, Raffi I think is a goner but that means Glencross draws in and maybe the Oilers get a center back for him.

    Pouliot’s a player I’m hoping for and he showed well down the stretch.

    But he’s done that before and followed it up with mediocre-at-best training camp’s.

    I think it is in the realm of possibility the Oilers go with another plan and leave Pouliot in the dust.

  28. Jonathan says:

    //Sign, on the cheap, a true enforcer: Jody Shelley or Brian McGrattan for 30-40 games a year when Stortini’s “toughness” is insufficient. Maybe the guy is a 5-minute a night player, but the continual pounding of Ales Hemsky by guys like Regehr CANNOT continue. //

    This notion that a true enforcer will protect our star players… I seem to recall having the best fighter in the league on this team, and it didn’t make any difference because he didn’t indiscriminately pound guys who ran the stars, or pound the other teams stars, he just squared off with the other tough guys.

    You might argue that’s just Laraque, but McGrattan, to use your example, is playing for Ottawa, and they’ve had guys run all year, from McAmmond in the preseason to Alfredsson in game 82, and having an enforcer did nothing whatsoever about it.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: You bring up a good point, and of course MacT likes to roll 4 lines and having a goon on the roster hurts that.

    They have to be a grittier team, though.

    Stupid Jacques needs to emerge.

  30. Jonathan says:

    //They have to be a grittier team, though.//

    I think it’s coming. The Glencross trade helped that department out quite a bit, and if Torres returns or Moreau’s healthy that will too. Smid and Greene on the backend have increased in agressiveness, and if the veteran defenseman we’re wishing for shows up, it wouldn’t hurt if he was a nasty fellow to play against.

    The only glaring exception is that our top-6, which has plenty of courage and grit, is decidedly lacking in players who punish the other team. Penner could help address the problem, but that doesn’t seem to be his game.

  31. dawgbone says:

    About Reasoner… he struggled early on, but was pretty damn good down the stretch. The last 25 or so games (rough count) he was EV +14 / -16. Yes that’s a lot of goals over 25 games, but don’t forget he was starting from his own end for a lot of faceoffs, then coming off immediately if the puck was going up the ice.

    I think his play early on was hampered by the fact that the Oilers had a tough time putting a pair of decent NHL forwards around him. He was paired with Pisani down the stretch and they did a pretty good job.

  32. HBomb says:

    Stupid Jacques needs to emerge

    If that happened, we’d all be laughing I think. Size with the ability to have a physical impact and take on just about anyone when it comes to droppin’ the gloves. Stortini can try, but he doesn’t win many bouts, and say what you want, but that can hurt a team’s momentum, seeing a teammate get Bucky’d time after time.

    Of course, every team would love to have a Chris Neil (can play a bit, agitate AND take on even the heavyweights), but those guys are rare, rare commodities. Seems like this Carcillo guy in Phoenix might be the next one in that grouping, but I don’t know if he fits the heavyweight classification.

    Bottom line – have SOME way of making the other team accountable if they run at Hemsky. If that can be accomplished without having a “goon” on the roster, more power to ‘em.

  33. Sean says:

    I agree Horcoff is number 1 priority.

    Pitkanen is “just” an injury free season away from being an elite player. I’m just not sure it will happen but IMO he should still be resigned 3-4 years. I have enough confidence in MacT/Huddy making him a player.

    I’m for keeping Stoll/Pouliot. Both will be better next year than last. If KLo gets the right offer, I see no reason not trade, but I just dont see that offer coming.

    If Lowe signs GX (lets hope) I think that forces a decision btw Morreau and Torres. I really like the idea of Morreau beating on Phaneuf/Rhegher but Torres is clutch in the playoffs.

    I still think this team is a star away from being elite. We had Pronger in 2006, I dont see anyone on our roster being a top 10 player. Is it even possible to get a top 2 pick without giving up Hemsky or Gagner?

  34. DBO says:

    If we want grit, adding Torres and Moreau to the lineup full time makes us a grittier team (although health wise that is a stretch).
    If you let one of Stoll/Reasoner go, then your bottom two lines coudl be:
    Stoll-Torres-Pisani
    Brodziak-Moreau-Glencross/Stortini
    That is two gritty lines, who will make the opposition pay physically. Let the kids get the soft minutes, and roll the first line out there a bunch and these two bottom lines play equal minutes at EV (around 10). I’d like to see what that could mean, especially now that we aren’t counting on Stoll and Torres for offense, they can just play solid and if they turn it on and score a bit with Pisani then it’s a bonus. yeah it’s an expensive 3rd line, but it’s an older lineup, with the bottom 6 being responsible defensively.

  35. doritogrande says:

    I don’t see why everyone wants to suddenly make this team older. The youth movement worked like a charm the last quarter of the season, what’s to say it won’t continue next year when everyone has a season under their belts? Adding “veteran presence” on the defense sounds like a bad idea IMO. Our kids have shown great poise back there, and to peel back their minutes would seem a detrement to further development. We are already getting back a veteran in Sheldon Souray, where’s the need to add a third grey-beard? Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Greene and Pitkanen aren’t 20 year old punks either, they’re 24. And they were performing like 10 year vets by the end of the season. I’m prepared to go further with this youth movement and see where it takes us. Even if it completely blows up in our faces next year, that Viktor Hedman kid looks damn nice.

  36. godot10 says:

    Question: If Stoll accepts his qualifying offer, or signs a one year contract, is he a UFA after the season?

  37. Steve says:

    Hey DG – the Oilers have a lot of guys who are playing well on defense for their age and level of experience, but I think we’re playing too many of them beyond the level to which they’re suited. Souray should be a third pairing guy and power play specialist, but when he’s health we’re putting him top pairing more often than not. Pitkanen’s probably a legitimate top pairing guy, but he should be paired with somebody experienced and dependable, which is somebody we just don’t have. Gilbert’s been great, obviously, but at this stage I think a good team would have him as a number four defenseman. Staios is slowing down – still a valuable piece, but he’s not what he was a couple of years ago (and on the Cup run team, where was he in terms of minutes? Third or fourth, I think).

    There’s no question that we can ice a full compliment of legitimate NHL defensemen, I just don’t think we have them in the right mix. If we could replace Greene or Smid with their equivalent, but with about five more years experience, I’d be a happy man.

    (I welcome correction from statheads if I have any of my facts wrong above.)

  38. Jeetz says:

    Lowetide, 1st post, I have been reading your blog for quite sometime and really enjoy it…

    I agree with your thoughts on Horcoff, but how much is too much in resigning him? Would/could we use him as a key part of a packeage to get Stamkos?

    Also I am not big on trading Pouliot. Haven’t you been a big supporter of injuries and sickness slowing down his progress? Look at what 1 healthy year did for him. I think he is just scratching the surface now…is he a late bloomer? I think so.

    As far as Glencross, 20+ games ago he was just trying to get into an NHL lineup. I think there will be some loyalty to the Oilers…plus he must reconize the youth and energy of the team and the fan loyalty he already has. He won’t get that anywhere else IMO. To me it loooks like he has found a home in the NHL. He should be an easy signing.

    As far as Roli goes, I think there is value in not being too rash and moving him quickly. What is wrong with going through this season with 2 strong goalies, going through the playoffs with them, then having Roli retire as an Oiler? Is that worth giving up for a 2nd round pick? Garon gets 1 more year with a safety net before he is our undisputed #1. The consensus is Dubnuk and JDD are not quite ready for NHL work anyways.

  39. doritogrande says:

    jeetz,

    No way the Lightning trade Stamkos. He’s exactly what they need: cheap scoring.

  40. Slipper says:

    I agree with Steve. If the Oilers are taking the next competetive step, then they have to fill the holes in the defense.

    Pitkanen-__________
    Staios-Gilbert
    Souray-Grebeshkov

    Don’t worry Smidly and Greener fans;) Someone’s groin or shoulder should ensure your boys get their time in the sun next season.

    One avenue is free agency. There’s a list here of UFAs this summer, sorted by salary.

    http://nhlnumbers.com/freeagents.php?team=none&pos=D&status=ufa&type=salary0708

    I like some of those New York area defenseman like Salvador, Malik, and Rozsival. They’re the right age and they have the results and minutes.

  41. Dennis says:

    On Oilers possible draft selections: MacKenzie had a blurb on TSN lately about a kid named Leville, sp, who’s supposedly the fastest kid in the draft, can score goals and is now shooting up the rankings because he’s had a growth spurt that’s taken him to 6 feet. That sounds like someone the Oilers would be all over.

    Failing that, I know this is the year of the Dman but the Oilers have rearguards falling out of their rear;) so I’d be shocked if they decided to move up and get in on that particular stock. But with all of Paukovich, Jacques and McDonald losing their Coke Machine Glow, I think the Oilers might go back to drafting some size and that would bring that kid from Camrose into the mix, no? Failing that, not sure where the goalies are ranked but it might be time to draft another one of those as well. Fisher doesn’t look like any great shakes and JDD’s about to graduate so maybe it’s time for another tender.

    Regarding deals, considering the Oilers were supposedly one of the two teams hot for Kubina, how about a Torres/Smid for Kubina deal? Or, we could throw Stoll in there as well. I really don’t think we need to keep both Reasoner and Stoll though I wouldn’t be shocked if Jarrett bounced back, either.

    I’m one of those guys that could live with the Oilers not doing a whole lot but Kubina was an actual plus 6 playing on a bad TO team this year and he sorta got throw out with the bathwater. He’s got 2/10 left though so him coming on probably mean we have to cut on Roli. One of the things that would excite me about having Kubina, though, is it gives the 37-77 combo another year or two to earn their stripes. Perhaps they’re good enough by the end of ’09 that we look to move Kubina or perhaps we keep him for his last two seasons. I think all things Lowe does now has to move toward the 2011 payroll because that’s the first year were 13 and 89 really have to get paid.

    The Kubina point brings me to Pitkanen’s status and I don’t think we need to sign him longterm right now unless we’re getting favourable terms. Like I said, perhaps in another year’s time, the 37-77 combo are ready to carry a bigger load and then you don’t need to invest in 25. But I certainly think you need in ’09 though perhaps not if you have Kubina;)

    On Horcoff: I don’t think MacT had much say in the Smyth and Souray decisions so I hope he takes a stand on Horc. Yes, 10 might overprice himself to the point where it makes the most sense to walk away but if that’s not the case, I want him back.

    On netminding: I think it was a self-fufiling prophecy when you consider the Garon injury. Roli had really put himself behind the playing time 8-ball after two awful performances in first Wsh and then TB but I still don’t think there was any need of riding Garon as hard as they did.

  42. Steve says:

    This is unrelated to the above, but does anybody have any insight on the so-called sophomore jinx? How widespread is it? Are some types of players more vulnerable to it than others? What are the causes? The one thing I can think of is that a lot of sophomores get tougher minutes than they did as rookies; I don’t see that happening at home next year, but I suppose it could on the road.

    We’re all feeling optimistic about this team because a bunch of rookies (Gagner, Cogliano, Brodziak, Glencross, Gilbert) and a couple of pseudo-rookies (Nilsson, Grebeshkov) looked really good at the end of the season. How concerned should we be that they won’t look as good next year?

  43. Dennis says:

    Steve: that’s a really good question and I think you scratched on it when you talked about the role of the players.

    With the way Ana played in ’06, the only hope I had that they weren’t about to become a power was if they had a collective sophmore jinx. That didn’t happen because their kid line never played against the big guys and Caryle tore his ass off making sure that Pahlsson’s line saw all the toughs.

    Now this season we saw things like MacT allowing 13 to take an own zone faceoff with less than a minute to go in a period but that was without Horc being available. Let’s be honest, MacT wasted a few points this year throwing the kids to the wolves but with Horc hopefully being back in the fold, I doubt he’ll do that next season. Plus, this team’s now missed the playoffs in four of the last six fucking years so I think he’s running his bench for keeps next year.

    Now, that might not mean he breaks his road cadence all the time to make sure the kids don’t see the toughs but at home I’d be absolutely stunned if the 12-89-13 line aren’t seeing some of the softest min in the league.

    Back to the jinx for a second, only team in recent memory that might’ve been nailed by it was perhaps the ’07 Flyers. Without looking at it, I guess Carter and Richards broke in during the ’06 season and maybe that was Umberger’s rookie season as well? That being said, they didn’t have the sheer number of kids playing big roles like we did, either. Both Smid and Grebs we’re in their second full seasons in the league and Gilbert was in his first and Greene played in his second.

    Perhaps the only saving grace might be that with some guys like Grebs and Gilbert being older, that might help them deal better with the ups and downs of the second go-around.

    Then again, that didn’t help Bieksa this year though, did it?

  44. doritogrande says:

    Dennis:

    Prospect-wise I don’t want to see us moving up unless it’s for Boedker or Boychuk, which would probably require a move into the 9-11 spot.

    I’d love the Camrose kid (Joe Colbourne), and think he’d be available there.

    Take Chet Pickard (Tri-City) or Harri Sateri in the second round, giving up a couple contracts to get the pick.

    I had a much better post on this, but it didn’t post and was erased from the comment section. This is really just a scaled down version of what I was trying to say. Fucking wireless.

  45. Dennis says:

    Just checked DB and Umberger was a kid in ’06 and fell back in ’07.

    Without looking at PPG, though, seems like injuries were the biggest factors in Carter and Richards taking a step back. And that’s true because both Richards and Carter was on pace to best his rookie season counting stats.

    So, in the most recent example I could think of, it was injuries that knocked the kids back a peg and not inconsistency.

    I really don’t have a lot of worries about our young forwards falling back, though. Both 13 and 89 really have their heads on straight and when you listened to 89 opine on just why those jinxes sometimes happen, then you could understand why I have such faith in him. And the same thing goes for Cogs. Young 13 is a born PK difference-maker and shutdown specialist.

    I think we’re gonna be just fine.

  46. Slipper says:

    I was looking over Philly at behindthenet today, Dennis. That team still looks pretty weak. Umberger did rebound in a big way from last seaosn, though. From +25/-61 in 2006-07 to +41/-43 this season. I wonder how much of that is due to getting his eggs beaten, whipped and scrambled in the ’06 “Tell Lindy to Fuck Off” Playoffs?

    Briere looks like an anchor, dragging down anyone he lines up with.

    Thor’s second amongst Philly forwards in QaulComp and Corsi/60. Still can’t score for the life of him.

  47. MattM says:

    DG: I’m completely on board with your draft suggestions. Not that I know a damn thing about the draft this year, but I grew up in Camrose so I’m hoping the Oilers take Colbourne.

    On the goalies, how can you not take a guy named Harri Sateri? Although, I think that’s why we drafted Dragan Umicevic, and that didn’t quite work out.

  48. Bruce says:

    //Sign, on the cheap, a true enforcer: Jody Shelley or Brian McGrattan for 30-40 games a year when Stortini’s “toughness” is insufficient. Maybe the guy is a 5-minute a night player, but the continual pounding of Ales Hemsky by guys like Regehr CANNOT continue. //

    You might argue that’s just Laraque, but McGrattan, to use your example, is playing for Ottawa, and they’ve had guys run all year, from McAmmond in the preseason to Alfredsson in game 82, and having an enforcer did nothing whatsoever about it.

    I’m with Jonathan on this one, Hbomb; there’s no point. We’re a four-line team and need twelve forwards who can play. I caught Jody Shelley’s act on NHL network on Sunday when he played all of 3:29 and racked up 41 minutes in penalties trying to settle scores with Steve Ott. Shelley took one double minor (cross-checking, roughing) on Ott in the first period, and an instigating-fighting-misconduct-game misconduct four-play in the second, with Ott drawing nary a penalty on either occasion. Dallas gladly accepted the 11 minutes of PP time, though. BTW, Ott did fight Joe Thornton, one of the guys Shelley is supposed to be protecting (taking Thornton out of the game for 19 minutes in the process), and later scored the clinching goal with Shelley already showered and dressed. You really want a muttonhead like that on the Oilers??

    Stortini can try, but he doesn’t win many bouts, and say what you want, but that can hurt a team’s momentum, seeing a teammate get Bucky’d time after time.

    I agree that Stortini doesn’t win a huge number of scraps, but there’s a long gap between not winning, even losing outright, and “getting Bucky’d”. I grimace at the memories of many a Bucky-as-beanbag beating, and that doesn’t happen to Zack. For one thing, Stortini has the first clue about self-defence, something which seemingly never once crossed Bucky’s mind. His derisive nickname Huggy Bear speaks to that. Zack is a grappler to be sure, but as the season went on he became more aggressive about throwing ‘em, and while he may have been outpointed more often than not, he didn’t get shut out either (an alternate but not mutually exclusive definition of “getting Bucky’d”).

    Bucky could play the game, but he couldn’t fight. Shelley can fight, but he can’t play the game. Obviously, what you want is somebody who can do both, and I’ve been quite encouraged with Stortini’s progress on both fronts in ’07-08.

    One thing Zack did do was stand up to the guys who took liberties with Hemsky (Regehr and Lapointe this season, Boogaard last). If you like that sort of thing, here’s a couple of links; if you choose just one, pick the first and listen to the commentary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOT25L5akNQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91l-lfhRuY8

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3cZFFooc4nQ&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFMgW-NAcw0

    Rather than one or two major goofballs I would much prefer a team of guys that can look after themselves, and each other. One thing Oilers have been mostly missing the past two years is guys like Ethan Moreau and Sheldon Souray to be putting in enough ice time that there’s a decent chance they’re actually out there if and when (and preferably before) something happens. Unfortunately both those guys got hurt doing exactly that, fighting the good fight on behalf of a teammate. But their extended absences certainly impacted “team toughness”, which is MacT’s preferred approach since the Laraque experience.

  49. Dennis says:

    Never saw this mentioned anywhere else — and I’m not saying I agree with it — in the closing interviews, Hemsky mentioned it might be a nice idea to bring in a real tough guy.

    Now, I can’t remember if he brought it up or if he was just answering a question but I’d imagine those clips are still online for anyone who wants to dig and I think that was a pretty short clip so you won’t have to wade through much.

  50. Mr DeBakey says:

    how can you not take a guy named Harri Sateri?

    This leading scorer of a NCAA Div 1 team is available [both his dad & grandad played pro]

    Bear Trapp RW
    Born Nov 10 1984 — Regina, SASK
    Height 6.00 — Weight 185 — Shoots R
    2007-08 Sacred Heart University
    GP G A Pts PIM
    34 13 27 40 55

  51. godot10 says:

    //Never saw this mentioned anywhere else — and I’m not saying I agree with it — in the closing interviews, Hemsky mentioned it might be a nice idea to bring in a real tough guy.//

    He was been fed a suggestion by a reporter that the Oilers needed a goon. It wasn’t volunteered, and it wasn’t in reference to himself. He said it might be nice to have a goon to protect the kids.

  52. Jeetz says:

    Bruce,

    Kinda getting off topic here but in respnse to your thoughts on an enforcer…

    while I agree an enforcer can get you into bigtime trouble, if done right I think it can be a successfull deterent. You need to get away from ‘Team toughnees OR the goon’ theory and find an appropriate blend of the 2 philosophies.

    I think you need a modern day ‘Hanson’ line of sorts who can skate, be physical and put in the their share of goals. The problem is the lack of centers. If say J. Shelly was a center why not:

    Glencross Shelly Stortini?

    As a line they could get 5-8 min per game and if a Boogard or Regher goes after your top guys, put them out against Gaboric/Dimetra, Iggy/Tanguay/Langkow and play real hockey while treating those guys like grinders and pound on them. Hard. Who is going to do anything about it? Any of those guys will drop the gloves with anybody. They just have to ensure they wouldn’t be scored on. Glencross and Stortini play excellent away from the puck. You just need a center who could fill that role. I dont know who that could be.

    I think a more modern version of that would be:

    Glencross Pouliot Torres

    A line that can be a threat offensively and physically dominate(though Pouliot was strong in the corners and in the tougher areas during his last appearance..he would have to toughen up quite a bit). Not considered a goon line but doesn’t have to respect the ‘leave the stars alone’ code

  53. MattM says:

    This leading scorer of a NCAA Div 1 team is available [both his dad & grandad played pro]

    Bear Trapp RW
    Born Nov 10 1984 — Regina, SASK
    Height 6.00 — Weight 185 — Shoots R
    2007-08 Sacred Heart University
    GP G A Pts PIM
    34 13 27 40 55

    Sign the man!

  54. Bruce says:

    Bear Trapp RW
    Born Nov 10 1984 — Regina, SASK
    Height 6.00 — Weight 185 — Shoots R
    2007-08 Sacred Heart University
    GP G A Pts PIM
    34 13 27 40 55

    Good one, Mr. D. Is that his nickname, or do his parents have a weird sense of humour? If that’s his given name, do his mates call him “Huggy”?

  55. Bruce says:

    Kinda getting off topic here but in respnse to your thoughts on an enforcer…

    Jeetz, not OT at all in my view, we’re shopping for next season aren’t we? This question goes right to the make-up of the club.

    You need to get away from ‘Team toughnees OR the goon’ theory and find an appropriate blend of the 2 philosophies.

    I agree whole-heartedly. Having a guy who can play regular (even if limited) minutes and not hurt the team with either his play or unnecessary penalties, as Stortini has proven capable, fits with such a blend of philosphy.

    I think you need a modern day ‘Hanson’ line of sorts who can skate, be physical and put in the their share of goals.

    Well Brodziak-Glencross-Stortini did all of that, didn’t they? The Oilers were a hell of a lot better team after Lowe acquired GlenX and MacT worked him onto an effective line.

    The problem is the lack of centers.

    Brodz did OK and could grow into the role. He’s no Kevin McClelland, though. Thankfully, he’s no Jody Shelley either. But scrapping centres are pretty rare: of the 28 NHL players who had more than 10 majors this year, 26 play wing, 1 plays defence (Douglas Murray) and 1 plays centre (the afore-mentioned Steve Ott, who was the only centre in the league this year to reach 100 PiM. He’d be perfect, but good luck getting him out of Dallas. Guys like that are gold, and we (still) need to grow our own.

  56. Jonathan says:

    //One thing Zack did do was stand up to the guys who took liberties with Hemsky (Regehr and Lapointe this season, Boogaard last). //

    I commented earlier this season (the Chicago game on TSN, IIRC) that Stortini’s probably a more efective deterrent than Laraque was because guys don’t consider it suicidal to fight him, and he’s willing to fight ANYBODY, whereas Laraque wouldn’t deign to fight anyone with less than 150PIM.

  57. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bear Trapp is no mere nickname handed down in some dirty, crapped lockeroom, but the name that was given to the quiet forward from the far reaches of Saskatchewan the minute he was born.
    …..
    Trapp, a rugged old school hockey player is a Bear (pardon the pun) along the boards and behind the net. Heralded among the league’s coaches and players as an excellent forechecker, Bear has quietly lured opponents into his own Bear Trapp during his three years in the league — take the Saskatchewan native for granted and he will punish other players with his combination of offensive ability and strength.
    “Bear has great hockey sense,” Hannah said. “He adds a physical element that you can’t teach. When he is playing, he finishes checks and plays with a purpose. He always goes all out.”

    I wonder if he can skate good enough for pro?

  58. Jonathan says:

    //12. Cull the herd//

    Trading Rob Schremp should be somewhere up there on the organization’s priority list. I did a list of comparables on him over on my site the other day, focusing on high draft picks who played OHL and had an AHL apprenticeship. What I found, in brief, was that the decent scorers (Stillman, Cassels, etc.) had graduated by now, and that Schremp’s career path looks way more Jason Dawe than Jason Allison.

  59. Jeetz says:

    To Johnathan,

    I just don’t get the trade Shremp camp. This guy had the 2nd best points this year of the guys his age or younger. (i didn’t figure that out, I read it somewhere).

    The point is we use a 1st round pick to get him. We have developed for 4 years (2 CHL and 2 AHL). the most we could get for him now is a 2nd or a similar potential bust prospect.

    Why not give him 40 games? Just like we did with JFJ and Winchester. Where is the risk? Loss of value? Please he isn’t worth much now. Using a roster spot? There is always room for 1 more good player and there is always someone coming behind him to replace him if he isn’t. I say really commit to him for 1/2 a season. Just like we did with Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano, Grebeshkov, Gilbert etc… We have seen the rewards in doing so first hand. Nobody I know has a crystal ball so nodody can for sure say he is a bust, but his potential is too big to ignore. Now is the time to give the most controversial Oiler draft pick in recent history his genuine chance.

    My top 3 lines to start the first 20+ games:

    Nilsson Gagner Hemsky
    Penner Horcoff Shremp
    Glencross Cogliano Torres

    Pick any senario for the next 5 roster players

  60. Jonathan says:

    I wasn’t in the trade Schremp camp super-firmly until I did this: http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-is-rob-schremp.html

    The fact is, the hype about him going into the draft was largely because he had a really, really good 16-yr old season. He didn’t improve on it as a 17-yr old, and he slipped into the late first round. Right now, he’s more comparable to Jarrod Skalde or Jason Dawe than any more favourable player. Aside from that 16-yr old season, and his extremely impressive final year in junior, he’s never scored at a level that really makes him look like an elite prospect, and I think people tend to get misled by the hype and his draft pedigree.

    I’m not saying throw him away for nothing, but a 2nd-3rd round pick at this point would be a pretty decent return, especially given the number of comparable players we have.

  61. Lowetide says:

    The problem with Schremp is he has been passed by younger and better players.

    I understand keeping him around in case of injury and one of the players slipping backwards but there will be a pile of kids along any minute who will be younger for sure and maybe better (Trukhno was ripping up the PP there for a nice stretch in Springfield).

    He’s Gary Roenicke. A nice platoon player but when Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine and Warren Cromartie are ahead of you then there’s no room now and no room in the future.

    He’s stuck, and the Oilers aren’t so loaded elsewhere they can afford to let him rot in the minors. Schremp may survive this summer and win a job in the fall but if he does it will be from a helluva long way back.

    Where would they play the man?

  62. Jeetz says:

    I’m not going to say he isn’t like all these other players that have been a bust at the NHL level. But for every 10 of these ‘busts’ there has to be 1 success story.

    Shremp has 1 gift. scoring. He has a 6th sense for finding te sweet spot in the high slot and scoring if someone can get him the puck. He isn’t going to compete in the corners or battle in front of the net.

    He is a genuine kid who wants to play NHL hockey. Like a trooper he has devoted himself to doing whatever the Oiler organization has asked of him.

    There was another guy with the same knack for scoring , drafted by the Flames. The flames gave up on him and he was given a real opportunity with one of the all time set up men..Adam Oates.

    If the Oilers have a surplus of anything, its setup men. I am not saying Shremp for sure is the next Brett Hull. but what if he turns out to be on another team? Maybe he isn’t that guy on a #1 line, but what if he is like a Bernie Nichols who was one of the best #2 line scorers in the game.

    Again I say..what is wrong giving the kid a real 40 game kick at the can? Where is the risk? We should be sure of what we are giving away before we make the Brett Hull, Cam Neely et al. mistake.

    Sometimes putting faith in a player is all you have to do.

  63. godot10 says:

    //Shremp has 1 gift. scoring. He has a 6th sense for finding te sweet spot in the high slot and scoring if someone can get him the puck. He isn’t going to compete in the corners or battle in front of the net. //

    You just described Joffrey Lupul, who although a skilled hockey player, couldn’t play Oiler hockey. If you can’t battle, you ain’t an Oiler.

    Hemsky and Nilsson and Gagner battle and compete, so being talented and playing Oiler hockey can be done.

    If Schremp isn’t going to compete in the corners, he is never going to be an Oiler.

  64. doritogrande says:

    We’ve got room on the farm for Schremp next year, so lets leave him there as “sophomore jinx” insurance. He’s top-10 in the AHL in scoring, so I’d consider his scoring as a plus. Springfield’s going to need him if they want to be competitive next year, and I firmly believe that having a strong farm team is good for player development.

  65. Jeetz says:

    Godot10 said…If Schremp isn’t going to compete in the corners, he is never going to be an Oiler

    There is a difference between competing in te corners and compeing at your higest level and being a team guy. Shremp has demonstrated that he is willing to do what it takes to make it. (Woking on his def. game and his skating)

    Lets see what happens if we do trade him and he becomes a 40+ goal scorer, how you feel then? In my opinion there is always a role on any NHL team for a player like that. It also seems to me that as a player like Shremp matures, his competition level increases because winning becomes more important than just scoring.

    Remember, Gagner was -21, Penner was -11. Why the double standard with Shremp?

  66. godot10 says:

    //There is a difference between competing in te corners and compeing at your higest level and being a team guy. Shremp has demonstrated that he is willing to do what it takes to make it. (Woking on his def. game and his skating.//

    Oiler fans booed Lupul and Poti and Arnott out of town because of their lack of compete level in the corners.

    If you aren’t willing to go into the corner with Robyn Regher, you aren’t an Oiler.

    If you are going to argue FOR Schremp, you better find a better argument than “he doesn’t compete in the corners”, because that is like screaming from the rooftops that Schremp is NOT an Oiler.

    Schremp is an average skater at best. That means he is going to have be willing to get his nose dirty to be an NHL player.

  67. Bruce says:

    Lets see what happens if we do trade him and he becomes a 40+ goal scorer, how you feel then?

    I would be surprised if both those things happen (esp. the 40-goal scorer part). K-Lowe has a pretty good record of not coughing up prospects that turn out well elsewhere. (Depending how you feel about Joffrey Lupul I guess) When I think of unproven young scorers who got away, I have to go back to Miro Satan or Martin Rucinsky or even Ray Whitney, but I think Lowe’s slate is pretty clean in this respect. Who am I forgetting?

    As for Schremp, what I’ve “seen good” is an outstanding powerplayer who is a very dangerous shooter from the right circle. Whether he has the flexibility to play second banana to the likes of Hemsky or Gagner I’m less sure … he seems like a guy who likes to run the show on the PP. And he seems like a big banana.

    He is an intriguing prospect to be sure — his hands are just sick — but MacT’s double knock about RS lacking both speed and strength sounded like a death knell for his chances in this city. If he works his ass off all summer in skating school and Chad Moreau’s camp (and doesn’t pop a groin or a vein in the process), that should earn him a longer look, but he’s in pretty deep on this club. OTOH, his skill set should put food on his table for years to come … in Switzerland.

    I’m struggling to come up with a comparable for this guy … Robbie Brown?

  68. Steve says:

    I’m struggling to come up with a comparable for this guy … Robbie Brown?

    I’d have to hear his between period takes to be sure.

  69. Jeetz says:

    Bruce, You summed it up perfect.

    My angle was hoping Shremp could find his touch at the NHL level on a second line and second PP unit.

    I’d like to see him after a hard summer of training earn a 40 game real look at that position.

    Then let the chips fall, and take the good or the bad.

  70. Jonathan says:

    //I’m struggling to come up with a comparable for this guy … Robbie Brown?//

    Not to repeat myself, but:

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

    My 12 comparables were Andrew Cassels, Cory Stillman, Jason Allison, Marc Savard, Jason Dawe, Todd Warriner, Jody Hull, Tim Taylor, Brandon Convery, Jarrod Skalde, Chris Taylor and Jason Bonsignore. Size differences made Allison and Bonsignore less-than-ideal, but all of those players resembled Rob Schrenp’s career path at one point or another. My conclusion was that he’s somewhere between Jason Dawe and Jarrod Skalde.

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