Broadway Joni?

An item in today’s New York Post (Larry Brooks) has the Rangers and Oilers talking trade at the deadline: “Kevin Lowe wasn’t selling when Rangers inquired at deadline about Edmonton’s puck-rushing and power playable defenseman Joni Pitkanen, but Sather is expected to go back after the 24-year-old restricted free agent who earned $2.4M last year. “

I think we can agree that even with the current roster the Oilers need to make a couple of changes before training camp. Aside from the RFA’s and the UFA’s and the draft (and sign Shawn Horcoff!) there’s still the serious business of finding 12 forwards and 6 defensemen who can help you win every night.

Let’s list the Oilers depth chart really quickly here without any regard to cost:

  • GOAL-Garon, Roloson, Deslauriers
  • DEFENSE-Pitkanen, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staios, Souray, Smid, Greene, Roy
  • CENTER-Horcoff, Cogliano, Stoll, Brodziak, Pouliot, Schremp
  • LEFT WING-Penner, Nilsson, Torres, Moreau, Jacques, Reddox
  • RIGHT WING-Hemsky, Gagner, Pisani, Stortini

We could list others but those 27 players would seem to be the favorites for most of the at bats in 08-09. I think it’s reasonable to list a few specific needs for this roster:

  1. Sniper. A first shot scorer.
  2. Veteran defender who can eat EV minutes.
  3. Some kind of LW/Moreau insurance.
  4. Draft picks.

That’s my list, but I think most Oilers fans would have a similar one. Here’s the problem when dealing with the Rangers: it is not clear to me that they have any of these things I’ve listed to offer up in return. New York has a lot of money, what with free agency pending for Jagr, Shanahan, Straka and Avery up front as well as Paul Mara, Marek Malik, Mihal Rozsival and others on the blueline.

At forward, after you get past Gomez and Drury (both 7+M cap hits) we’re talking about people like Petr Prucha, Brian Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. On the blueline, I guess the Oilers could ask after Fedor Tyutin but the Rangers just signed him to a new 4-year deal at a pretty nice number considering what he delivers.

I really don’t think these two teams match up.

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27 Responses to "Broadway Joni?"

  1. Ribs says:

    I’ve liked Calahan for a long time now… But yea, not very sensical for these teams. It looks like most of the Rangers team is UFA.

    I’d give them just about anything they’d want for the King though.

  2. Moose says:

    Do you think Sather would ever “offer-sheet” Kevin Lowe?

    The Rangers have a ton of cap space to play with. Don’t know if they wanna surrender 4 #1′s ($5 million +), which is what it would take to get Pitkanen.

  3. Lowetide says:

    moose: Good question. Sather has been on a 15-year opium ride imo but I very much doubt he’d think twice about an offer sheet if there were a player available who could help him win.

  4. rickibear says:

    Moose: At a 56M dollar cap RFA compensation is:

    1,304,304-2,608,609 2ND RD Pick
    2,608,609-3,912,912 1st & 3rd
    3,912,912-5,217,217 1st, 2nd, 3rd
    5,217,217-6,521,525 2-1st, 2nd, 3rd

    A 4.75M offer to P itkanen only gets us! Teams looking at Pitkanen might offer Weber and Bouwmester 5.2M and only have to pay the same compensation.

    There are alot of 2.6M and 3.9M rfa’s offers teams with no prospect depth should be chasing. Though Erats contract sure changed what I thought players were worth.

  5. rickibear says:

    Even with an over pay up to 6.5M that is 2-1st 2nd 3rd.

  6. rickibear says:

    Must qualify: the numbers could be lower in % if the Average league Salary does not jump proportionally with revenue which could be the case.

  7. Ducey says:

    I don’t know, the Rangers seem to have some decent prospects.

    Everyone was screaming for Cherepanov around here last year. Maybe he could be had straight up for Pitkanen?

    Sanguinetti seems to be a younger Pitkanen with the same issues physically.

    Lauri Korpinski is a Finn who plays good defense in a second line role. He looks to be a MacT kind of player.

    Byers looks to be a good young 4th liner

    Some combo of a prospect(s) and a draft pick from the Rangers would be good for me.

    LT you left Glen X off your list.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Glencross is UFA. As for your list, they’re all unproven at the NHL level. If Lowe trades Pitkanen without getting an established NHL player in return then there is no hope for this team. They’ve already moved back the center of the cluster since the Stanley run, why on earth would they go younger from here?

    They haven’t made the playoffs for two seasons, going younger would by crazy.

  9. Moose says:

    ricki – yeah I must have been looking at an old compensation list, but I think at $4.75m Lowe would match…grudgingly. $5m and above is where it gets dicey.

    Lowe likes to talk about how he sort of did Regier a favor by locking Vanek up long term. Well, I think if someone came along and did that with Pitkanen for $4.5 – $4.75, he would see it in the same light.

  10. Moose says:

    Ducey: I gotta agree with LT. If Pitkanen isn’t used as bait for a first pairing defender or top 6 forward then Lowe will have fucked it up.

    I’d rather overpay (slightly) then send him away for more youth.

  11. Ducey says:

    Lowetide,

    I think that if the Oilers traded Joni for prospects and then signed a UFA like Redden, they should be a good bet for the playoffs this year and stock the cupboard as well.

    Cherapanov + Redden > Pitkanen

  12. Jonathan says:

    Everyone was screaming for Cherepanov around here last year. Maybe he could be had straight up for Pitkanen?

    If the Oilers had an interest in Cherepanov they would have taken him with the 15th overall pick.

    If Pitkanen goes, the only acceptable return is a top-three defenceman. Looking at our blueline, would we really want to go into next season with Gilbert-Grebs-Staios-Souray-Smid-Greene as our top-6?

    I just don’t trust that if Lowe gets a forward for Pitkanen that he’ll sign a defenceman. When he traded Pronger he got a forward, and I expected another trade/signing to shore up the blueline, so he went out and got Tjarnqvist. A defenceman must be part of the return package.

  13. Lowetide says:

    ducey: I don’t like that either. Lowe made his trades and moved the median age back to 24 on D (22 at the time). That’s fine, we’ve suffered through the errors but now this group has a nice little window of opportunity together.

    Dealing Pitkanen (25 in fall) away for picks and prospects moves another important player away from the middle of the group and adding a 31-year old Redden means we’ve added another old and well paid veteran to the payroll which will impact the middle again when they need to sign Grebeshkov, etc.

    Redden’s contract will probably be multi-year and that means another Souray in the fold (in terms of money).

    The center of this club (Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson, Pitkanen, Grebeshkov) has Horcoff as the outer marker age-wise and I think they need to trade for someone in that range (24-29) and avoid more 19 and 35 year olds.

    And if the guy is 31 years old and helping you win while making less than 5M bring him on but Lowe had better be right about this. Despite the past two seasons it looks like the Oilers should be able to contend for a playoff position with what is idling in the driveway.

  14. CM says:

    Pitkanen and Torres for Nash?

    If its may and your team is out of teh playoffs it should be ok to dream.

  15. CM says:

    I know he has a no Trade clause but if the oilers are interested in Redden do you think Ottawa would take Roli for Redden Straight up? it would give us a head start on negotiations and dump Roli’s salary in the process.

  16. Lowetide says:

    I think Ottawa would be looking to dump goalie salary, since they have Gerber at 3.7M (1 year) and Emery at 3.167M (2 years) already under contract.

  17. Slipper says:

    Nigel Dawes?

  18. jon k says:

    Dubinsky is truly an intriguing player who has more skill than his numbers indicate so far. He’s also strong on the puck and coming out of the corners, from what I saw this post-season.

    He’s more of a playmaker than a goal scorer however, and I think your analysis of the Rangers’ assets is spot on. Nothing there that we need that we can’t just bid on after July 1st anyway.

  19. doritogrande says:

    Fuck. Slipper beat me to him. I’ve been plugging Dawes since we were looking to get rid of Tarnstrom. He’s your first shot scorer, and he’s young enough to fit into an up and coming talent pool that already contains Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Smid and (possibly) Chorney and Schremp.

    I disagree that we need this “veteran defender” everyone’s harping about. We’ve got two who can handle themselves at EV (yeah, I said it) so long as they aren’t paired together. Run Staios with Gilbert as your primo EV pairing, Souray with Greene. Grebeshkov with Smid as your sheltered EV pairing, Grebs’ minutes are supplemented with powerplay, Smid’s with PK.

    Dawes isn’t worth Pitkanen, so throw a first rounder in there as well. I think that’s fair so long as we find some way to use one (or both picks) and a prospect to move up into the upper-echelon of defensive prospects to get a player like Pitkanen but without the European stereotypes.

  20. LV says:

    Jonathan: If the Oilers had an interest in Cherepanov they would have taken him with the 15th overall pick.

    I think many clubs would have liked to have taken Cherepanov higher, but the lack of an agreement with Russia on player movement made him too hot to handle for most clubs. NYR felt it had an inside track on him through JJ as far as I understood that pick, if not I think they might have left him on the table as well.

    W.r.t. current circumstances I haven’t read anything on him – caveat that I don’t generally follow prospects or the NY system. However from the discussions I did note last year he might not be the easiest fish in the pond to reel in in terms of getting him under contract and playing for you.

    I really wouldn’t put him on the list for what Edmonton wants in return, based simply on the risk you have to take on him jumping ship if he’s unhappy.

  21. Dennis says:

    It seems like I’m hearing a couple of good things about Lowe lately; he’s hedging on 20′s contract demands and he refused to give up on 25 last deadline.

    Joni might have a few warts but he’s not costing us a whole lot of bread and 77-37 are young enough that we need a guy with more GP that makes a good first pass.

    Plus, it looks like 37′s gonna wind up looking for enough money to keep him from going back home come 2010 so it might wind up that if we deal off 25, we’re in a corner with 37 as a puckmover unless we want to keep going young and thus bet that Chorney’s able to do that job.

    There’s a huge decision to be made on 10, paydays are just around the corner for 13-89 and you can only pay one of 37 or 25; in the meantime though, there’s no rush to deal off 25 unless there’s something real coming back in return.

  22. doritogrande says:

    Dennis:

    Was Chorney signed? If no, when does the window for signing underclassmen close for the summer?

  23. Bruce says:

    you can only pay one of 37 or 25

    While Joni was tending to his tender hangnails or his bruised ego or whatever it was that kept him out of the Worlds, young Mr. Grebeshkov advanced his career nicely, winning a gold medal while leading the World Champion Russians in plus/minus with a very impressive +12. He also co-led Russian defencemen in scoring, with 6 points in 9 games. Didn’t get much chance to see him in action since Russia was based in Quebec City and TSN in Halifax, but from the stats it looks like the Russians cycled eight defencemen each game with pretty much equal ice time.

    Grebs had a quietly efficient game today, seemed like just another Russian defenceman who could connect on a 90-foot pass at will. I didn’t really focus on him, was far to wrapped up in the fucking goddamn game itself. Which much as it pains me to say, the better team won.

    That one REALLY hurt.

  24. Dennis says:

    DG: I’m not the guy to address such matters. I’m sure someone will chime in soon, though.

    I just threw out Chorney because I’m trying to figure out when Lowe’s pegged this club’s window-to-win and I’m wondering how he’ll stack this club leading up to that date.

    If we deal Pitkanen for more magic beans and Grebs walks at the end of next season, we’re gonna be back to pretty much square one.

  25. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I watched the first period and then I decided to read some newspapers online and I had the game on in the background. I thought I saw Grebs being part of a five man unit with the Caps line but I can’t be sure of it.

  26. Dennis says:

    LT: The way I look at things, it’s unlikely taht either of 14-16-25 would be replaced by guys with as many GP so why not keep them around for one more season before you start throwing the kids to the wolves?

    A year of 14-16-34 means that the kids can play against absolutely nobodies for at least 41 games in ’09. And 25-44 both back at the expense of 2 or 5 makes us a better club and a little more seasoned.

    Then again, who the fuck knows. Lowe might feel so safe in the big chair that he’s willing to so super young again and miss the playoffs for the 17 time in the last 19 seasons.

    Or there-about; it just feels like it’s been more than three of the last four years:)

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