Torres back for 08-09, Glencross Gone

This is Tomas Jonsson. Oh my GOD was he a beauty player. He is most famous as a New York Islander, having been a major part of their Stanley’s in 1982 and 1983.

Jonsson played for two NHL teams: The Islanders and the Oilers. Edmonton got him for a 1989 fifth round pick–Kevin O’Sullivan–who hasn’t made the NHL yet. The reason they got him for so little was that Jonsson wanted his children to be raised in Sweden so he went to Sweden and played until he was 38 years old.

There’s a lot to admire about this fellow, including the wonderful skills he brough to the game. He was a fine skater who could gain clearance in a heartbeat and close a gap at the same pace. He had a hard, accurate shot that helped the powerplay and he played a solid positional game. He was not a physical player.

Marty York reported in Metro News (who are gaining some credibility with recent hire Robin Brownlee) that the Oilers may be interested in trading Raffi Torres for a defenseman.

Jim Matheson in today’s Journal has a slightly different take: “If (Curtis) Glencross signs for two years, the Oilers might try to trade winger Raffi Torres — who ripped up his knee last season and has two years left at a salary-cap hit of $2.25 million US a year — in order to move up in the draft. The Oilers’ offer is reportedly for less than the $1 million a year similar role player Matt Bradley just received with the Washington Capitals.”

From this we can conclude several things:

  1. Curtis Glencross is gone.
  2. Raffi Torres is back.
  3. Edmonton is going to rely on Ethan Moreau.
  4. There are going to be problems.

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47 Responses to "Torres back for 08-09, Glencross Gone"

  1. Lord Bob says:

    Stupid Kevin Lowe! Trying to give the money of an established NHL player to a non-established NHL player whose entire hockey resume up to this point consists of “traded for Dick Tarnstrom, had a pretty good run for a bit there”.

    What are the chances that Curtis Glencross at, say, $2 million a year outperforms his contract? Zero? Much much less than zero? He’s an exciting player and I’d be thrilled to have him back but dropping a million and a half and up on a fourth-liner without much experience is not far-sighted.

  2. Black Dog says:

    Here’s hoping JF Jacques watched some tape from that end of the year run Glencross had. I would submit that he could do the same if he put his mind to it.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Anyone else note who was quoted by Matheson? Rick Olczyk. Rick Olczyk, who negotiated the deals with Nilsson and Gilbert.

    Sanity has come to the Oilers’ contract negotiations.

  4. Backhand says:

    Ya I pretty much completely agree with Lord Bob. Glencross should take the two year deal at around a million and earn a big raise on the next one.

  5. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t think that the Gilbert deal is all that fucking hot.

  6. DeBakey says:

    Glencross should take the two year deal at around a million

    He doesn’t have to
    Someone will give him more
    At least 50% more

    And if they won’t, oh well
    nothing ventured
    nothing garnered

  7. Jonathan says:

    I don’t think that the Gilbert deal is all that fucking hot.

    Better than the Souray deal ;)

  8. Jonathan says:

    For the record, I thought the Gilbert deal was middling.

    However, I dare say that someone who is being this hardline with Glencross likely wouldn’t have thrown boatloads of money at Pisani, Moreau, and Staios.

  9. RiversQ says:

    mc79hockey said…
    I don’t think that the Gilbert deal is all that fucking hot.

    Agreed. I’m not sure the Nilsson one is much better though. It’s certainly not great based strictly on the comps available. The difference is that Nilsson has a better chance of outperforming this deal.

  10. RiversQ says:

    However, I dare say that someone who is being this hardline with Glencross likely wouldn’t have thrown boatloads of money at Pisani, Moreau, and Staios.

    Nah. There’s just no good excuse available.

    Whoops I forgot… Glencross made Burke’s pick worse.

    How doesn’t he get an extra mil?

  11. RiversQ says:

    I guess I’ll comment on the depth chart too.

    I’m glad Torres is back. Assuming the knee isn’t a killer, this is good news.

    Honestly, the best thing about Glencross is his price so I’ll agree with Lord Bob. I don’t think you win in this league paying $2MM/roster spot to beat up on bottom sixers. It’s important to win the bottom six matchups, but you have to save some money there because just breaking even in the top six costs money.

  12. rickibear says:

    Didn’t Rick Olczyk get hired to replace our last contract negotiator whom moved to Columbus as GM.

  13. David says:

    I don’t understand. Glencross was clearly a better player than Torres at any point last season. Why in heavan’s name would anyone want Torres back for more money instead of Glencross?

  14. Lowetide says:

    David: If healthy, Raffi does a lot of things that Glencross hasn’t proven he can do. Torres has a history of good results against average or better opponents and brings a bit of what we might call “Tiger Williams crazy” to the proceedings.

    Glencross is nice insurance against another Moreau or Torres injury but they’ll never sign him at that number. Good news for Jacques though.

  15. Dennis says:

    Matty didn’t give it as a direct quote but the line about having a salary grid for fourth liners absolutely made my heart leap.

    I’m serious.

    I loved 20′s energy and I don’t blame the kid for looking for the big payday but if he’s looking for considerably more than one mill, than he’s in the catergory where he’s playing top nine and we have zero evidence to suggest he’s worth such a role or such money.

    Folks don’t like 14 but he can certainly play top six min and with him and 27 taking those tough portside min, 12 will be able to tiptoe through the tulips.

    As for depending on Moreau, well, maybe that’s the case. I’d look at as 18-51-46-78 making up the fourth line with JFJ hanging around as well. And, fuck, maybe you find the right mix to deal off 2-18 for a vet D. That’s the way I’d like to go because you know freight’s already been established.

    Seriously, though, hearing the Oilers talking about salary grids is damn refreshing. It seems like someone’s figured out that you can’t pay EVERYONE.

  16. Bill Needle says:

    “If healthy, Raffi does a lot of things that Glencross hasn’t proven he can do”
    Yeah, like taking significant sections of the season off and disappearing so noticeably that the Oilers would be better off dressing a hockey bag instead on many nights.
    And that’s before he blew out his knee.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Matty didn’t give it as a direct quote but the line about having a salary grid for fourth liners absolutely made my heart leap.

    Absolutely. I had the exact same reaction. A little bit of objective thinking is the biggest thing needed when the Oilers are negotiating contracts.

  18. HBomb says:

    I’d do Glencross for 1.4-1.5 million a season to play on the fourth line, IF:

    a) He signed for 3 years
    b) Torres was kept for 3LW duty
    c) Moreau was moved along

    I’m OK with having one “pricier” guy on the fourth line (i.e. 1-1.5 million). I’d rather that be Glencross than Moreau

    ?????-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-Nilsson
    Torres-Cogliano-Pisani
    Glencross-Brodziak-Pouliot
    EXT: Stortini, Jacques

    Pitkanen Gilbert
    Souray Staios
    Greene Grebeshkov
    EXT: Roy

    Garon
    Deslauriers

    If they can move Roloson and both acquire an Erik Cole type and a modest improvement in draft position for Stoll, Smid, Moreau and Schremp, well, then we’re all laughing, right?

    Veteran D would be nice too instead of Roy (say a Commodore type around 3 million a season) if they can fit it into the payscale, but I don’t know if they can. Another thing would be a veteran center with some grease for the second spare forward spot instead of Jacques, but that’s the sort of thing you get at the deadline if you think you’re playing past April 10th.

  19. Jonathan says:

    “If healthy, Raffi does a lot of things that Glencross hasn’t proven he can do”
    Yeah, like taking significant sections of the season off and disappearing so noticeably that the Oilers would be better off dressing a hockey bag instead on many nights.

    Torres, in his last two seasons, has had one bad year and one injured year. The year before that, he scored 27 goals. Even when Torres was playing poorly, he was facing tougher minutes than Glencross had last season and with some success.

  20. grease trap says:

    Commodore-Souray

    Does that even work?

  21. Islandlife says:

    Dennis: Seriously, though, hearing the Oilers talking about salary grids is damn refreshing. It seems like someone’s figured out that you can’t pay EVERYONE.

    Sounds like Olczyk may be feeling his oats.

  22. GSC says:

    Thank you, Lowetide, for stating the same thing that I’ve been chastized on HFBoards all day for…that keeping Glencross over Torres and relying on the unreliable and injury-prone Ethan Moreau is going to be problematic.

    Anyone who feels that Glencross deserves less than $1 MIL has either 1) not watched him skate, 2) not watched him hit, 3) not watched him contribute a bit offensively, 4) is willing to let a player that this team NEEDS walk. It’s ridiculous to suggest that his energy, speed, and physicality can be replaced. Forget the offence, he’s unlikely to ever score more than 15 goals a year. But it’s what else he brings to the table that this club needs, and it’s what Moreau can no longer deliver on a consistent basis.

    It’s making my stomach turn to think that Curtis is going to walk when a deal of $1.25-1.5 MIL would keep him in Edmonton for 2-3 more years. It speaks volumes of the issues Kevin Lowe has with determining who are the true assets on his team and who is expendable. I don’t believe for a minute that Torres will find his game again, he’s gotten progressively worse and his head just isn’t on straight. He needs to be dealt before it’s too late to get something in return for him.

    I couldn’t be more pissed off that Lowe is dropping the ball on Glencross. So we’re stuck hoping for JF Jacques who hasn’t done jackshit in ANY of his time as an Oiler to crack the 4th line on top of this all? No fucking thanks.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Why in the hell do you think that a reserve winger, who at the age of 25 who has just completed the closest thing he has come to a full season, is the second coming?! Before this season Glencross’ most games played in a season is 9. He has been a career reserve call-up winger, then he has a decent 62 game stretch scoring 15-10-25, and you blame Kevin Lowe for not backing up a dumptruck full of money to his front door? Gimme a break. Curtis seemed to gain some steam at the end of the season, and was fun to watch. You just don’t get successful in the NHL paying through the nose for fourth liners that have shown that they can be a flash in the pan.

  24. Quain says:

    Edmonton is apparently going to rely on Moreau to play fourth line minutes. How are there going to be problems (from that)?

    Our season isn’t relying on Moreau to stay healthy. We’re relying on Moreau to play eight minutes a night and hit guys. If he goes down, well, we have a whole bunch of AHLers who wouldn’t mind trying out for that gig.

    The only way Glencross was really going to stay is if he did it on the cheap, or we traded Moreau (not going to happen, for one reason or another) or Torres and pegged him for top nine minutes.

    This just wasn’t meant to be.

  25. oilerdago says:

    Before anyone says look at Torres 27 goals a couple of seasons back, let’s see how much of that also occured w/him on the ice at the same time as Pronger.

    Torres is a hot & cold kinda guy who had one great season and we overpaid him.

    Hmmm…sounds like a pattern here. If Glencross takes 1.25 a year, great, if not, let him walk.

    But you better find someone more reliable than Torres to fill those minutes cause when he’s cold, he’s useless. And hoping for JFJ to amount to something is not an answer.

  26. Doogie says:

    Torres, in his last two seasons, has had one bad year and one injured year. The year before that, he scored 27 goals. Even when Torres was playing poorly, he was facing tougher minutes than Glencross had last season and with some success.

    And that 27-goal season is getting more and more distant. Let’s not forget, he was no great shakes before his injury last season, and let’s also not forget how, as LT (I think) noted, Torres might as well have been in Fort Mac for all the team acknowledged him between his injury and the end of the season.

    Glencross is almost certainly not worth what he or his agent think he’s worth, but I’m not sure he’s worth less than Torres at this point. (Massive clarification because someone will fucking jump me for that last statement: that means Torres has not played like a $2M+ player in two years, not that Glencross is one.)

  27. Sean says:

    I agree with the Oilers stance on GX.

    Torres can be a good player with the right linemates (ie with a reliable C who can pass). 14-51-34 could be a solid 2b line.

    Anyone wanna bet GX signs in Calgary for Nilsson money?

  28. Bank Shot says:

    I’d rather have Glencross at $1.25 to $1.5 million, then Torres at $2.2.

    Moreau is due for a healthy season so either way one of Torres/Glencross is going to be pulling down 4th line duty.

    Torres won’t be pulling shifts with guys like Hemsky, or eating up 2nd PP minutes just because there is no one else around to play them like in years past. He’ll never be on the PK, and based on his track record since the draft, he’s unlikely to grow anymore as a player. The guy’s development curve has been pretty static.

    Glencross on the other hand has shown improvement every season of his career. He’ll never have a tonne of offence, but he could be successful on the PK, and he’s likely to continue to improve at the NHL level.

    I don’t think Glencross and Torres are all that far apart considering their play in this past season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Glencross end up with the better NHL career when all is said and done.

  29. Bill Needle says:

    It’s far more likely the Oilers will receive Torres’s 06-07 performance (15G, 19A) than his 05-06 campaign, the only one of his NHL career he’s bested the lofty 40-point plateau.
    The personification of expendable.

  30. MetroGnome says:

    Anyone wanna bet GX signs in Calgary for Nilsson money?

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Sutter take a run at GlenX if he walks away from the Oilers. Afterall, we “saw him good” a lot last year.

    That said, the Flames have an extremely limited budget and more pressing roster needs.

  31. Jonathan says:

    It’s far more likely the Oilers will receive Torres’s 06-07 performance (15G, 19A) than his 05-06 campaign, the only one of his NHL career he’s bested the lofty 40-point plateau.
    The personification of expendable.

    Torres shooting percentage this season was half of his career average. He was dead last among Oilers regulars in shooting percentage. He’s bottomed out as a player, and doesn’t have anywhere to go but up.

    Curtis Glencross, on the other hand, with an insanely good shooting percentage, only managed to tie that 15-goal effort and ended with fewer assists. He may continue to improve, but the smart money says he drops down to league average shooting percentage.

    Has Torres been worth 2-mil? No. Is Glencross worth more than 4th line money (1.25M or less)? No. That said, the smart money says Torres gets better and drives his value up, while Glencross has a bit of a drop-off and settles into a 4th line role.

    Final biased manipulation of statistics: IF Raffi Torres had played 82 games, AND had scored at Glencross’ percentage (14.4, as opposed to 5.7), Torres would have finished the season with 33 goals.

  32. Steven says:

    Not to derail any of this Torres/Glencross talk but it looks like we’ve signed Hrabal? Wow wasn’t expecting that one… totally thought he was off the radar. Interesting considering we’ve got loads of young prospect type D-men.

  33. Bank Shot says:

    Final biased manipulation of statistics: IF Raffi Torres had played 82 games, AND had scored at Glencross’ percentage (14.4, as opposed to 5.7), Torres would have finished the season with 33 goals.

    What if Glencross had played 180 minutes of icetime with Hemsky, and received almost 3 minutes a game on the PP?
    He’d have probably had alot more shots on net at least.

    Torres will likely be playing in a more limited role this season, and he’s lost his PP time to Nilsson among others. I don’t see a recipe for a comeback.

  34. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    As I’ve said before, Raffi Torres is a ‘wildcard’… a game/series changer. A coach needs his kings and jacks, but he always wants a wildcard.

    Torres is not smart, (to put it kindly) but he has developed very strong instincts that rely on ‘following’ his centre. If his centre is erratic, as Stoll was (to put it kindly) this past year, he’ll follow the chaos all the way into the black hole. If his centre plays a smart & simple game, he’ll follow and complement the play.

    Before Stoll’s melon got mushed, he was playing a very simple north-south game, with Pisani supporting the play and Torres complementing. It seems that everyone was raving about Stoll’s leap in development, some even draming about him replacing Horcoff-a great 3rd liner on any other team, don’t you know ;-). In reality it was all of 16-14-34 working together. And, it was some of Raffi’s best hockey since the beauty run of ’06.

    This past year there were so many holes that all the line juggling and prayers to the hockey gods (finger crossing) couldn’t plug.

    Torres started out with Stoll, but part way thru losing the first Canucks game MacT put him out with Cogliano and Hemsky. After two more games of this line MacT bumped 14 up to the first line to play some solid hockey with Horcoff and Hemsky for seven games.

    Because of the above mentioned holes, Horcoff was needed to haul around some of the young’ns and help Penner adjust to tougher marking. Torres and Hemsky were then given the assignment of trying to keep Stoll afloat… against some tough competition, no less.

    Hemsky lasted all of five games before he’d seen enough plays die with Stoll and was tired of chasing back to defend on every shift… against that same competition. Hemsky was then set free, for the time being anyway, and Torres got to keep that #16 millstone.

    I’d like to have GlenX back… as a fourth liner with a ~$1MM cap hit. But, if it’s a choice of one or the other, I pick Torres every day of the week.

    He’s proven what he’s capable of with a solid centre. And, it just so happens, we have some lovely centres coming along.

    OT – Lain…

    “Oilers sign Josef Hrabal”

    http://oilers.nhl.com/

    I wonder how this this impacts Chorney.

    L8r
    Louise

  35. Jonathan says:

    What if Glencross had played 180 minutes of icetime with Hemsky, and received almost 3 minutes a game on the PP?
    He’d have probably had alot more shots on net at least.

    Torres will likely be playing in a more limited role this season, and he’s lost his PP time to Nilsson among others. I don’t see a recipe for a comeback.

    I’ll see your “ice-time with Hemsky” argument and raise you an “ice-time with Stoll against tough opposition”.

    Yes, Torres has lost his PP time (although he could earn it back with 5-on-5 production), but it’s worth noting that when he had his breakthrough in 2006-07, Torres had less PP ice time than he did this last season. 21 of his 27 goals were scored at EV, and he’s a guy who has done stuff without PP ice time in the past.

  36. Jonathan says:

    It’s also worth noting that Torres’ sh% the year he scored 27 was 16.5%. I don’t expect him to return to that, but 10% is a fairly reasonable possibility, as is 20 goals.

  37. Dennis says:

    Hrabal has been a LT fav for a long time now but anytime the Oilers spoke about him — mostly to Flaming — it never sounded like they would get him inked.

    Without looking at their ages at the time the Oilers signed them and brought them to camp, you have to make the Hejda/Hrabal comparisons but that only goes so far because the latter is seven years younger. Anyway, the Hejda moved certainly paid off…..for the Blue Jackets.

    But the point is the Oilers seem to have a knack for this kind of procurement so here’s what I’m thinking in light of this signing:

    - one of Smid or Greene are gone at the draft for a pick
    - one of smid or greene will be packaged for an experienced forward or D. I think you’re looking for a guy with say two years left on his pact; which means you stop paying him just at the time you start to play Gagner and Cogliano
    - Pitkanen’s out the door.

    Souray-Staios-Pitkanen-Greene-Gilbert-
    Grebs-Smid-Hrabal as our D depth right now. If Chorney comes out, he’s gonna have to kick a lot of ass to be anywhere but in SF come the first of October.

    So, someone’s gonna be on the move and it could be:

    Grebs: because if he’s already being tempted by the dollars of the new RSL, well maybe we get rid of him now and let someone else try and convince him to stay OR an org that has the money and the yearning to take a chance on him for longterm and big dollars

    Pitkanen: because he’s still a question mark after five pro season and he might be overpricing himself

    Greene: because he’s getting close to being paid and might not be worth what he wants

    Smid: because you wonder how valued he was outside of Burke and Lowe in the first place and maybe it’s time to sell somewhat high.

    Souray’s unmoveable, Staios won’t be moved and Gilbert just got paid. But the Oilers aren’t bringing Hrabal over here to deal him so at least one of those aforementiond D will be on the move.

    Everyone thought the decision on 20 would be the first domino but I think today’s signing is the first step towards shaping the ’09 club.

    One last night on 20 vs 14 and who should get paid and who’s getting overpaid. Reddox was having a very good first season – albeit his second as a pro – before he got hurt and from what I remember, the injury incurred isn’t something we’ll have to worry aboug going forward. Truk had a nice close to his first pro season and if anyone was paying attention, Pouliot had a nice close as well.

    My point is we have enought depth not to expand the salary grid for 4th liners.

  38. Dennis says:

    In the interest of fairness and acknowledging all good points, BS has a dandy once when he says you’re gonna pay 14 for nothing more than EV work. I never liked Raffi on any PP unit and he won’t get close to that unit now with all the kids in offensive bloom.

    And I’m not sure if he’s ever killed penalties in the O or A but I haven’t seen it up top. Of course, there’s no reason why they couldn’t ask him to do it, though. The kids line or HorPenSky is gonna get that sugary sweet first shift after the opposition’s PP expires so it’s not like Raffi couldn’t be a candidate to kill penalties.

  39. Lord Bob says:

    “Oilers sign Josef Hrabal”

    It’s not April Fool’s Day, is it? After all we’ve heard about this kid, he’s actually coming? :P

  40. HBomb says:

    I’d rather have Glencross at $1.25 to $1.5 million, then Torres at $2.2.

    Moreau is due for a healthy season so either way one of Torres/Glencross is going to be pulling down 4th line duty.

    Why is Moreau automatically ahead of Torres on the depth chart? Should the debate not be which of Torres/Moreau to keep, NOT which of Glencross/Torres to keep?

    This “heart and soul” shit only goes so far when a guy has played 32 games TOTAL the past two years. Moreau should be the guy on thin ice, but, unfortunately, it seems like he’s got a job for life here. Which is just pathetic.

    Five years from how, he and Staios are getting assistant coaching gigs with the Oilers on Kelly Buchberger’s staff. Book it.

  41. GSC says:

    Why is Moreau automatically ahead of Torres on the depth chart? Should the debate not be which of Torres/Moreau to keep, NOT which of Glencross/Torres to keep?

    This “heart and soul” shit only goes so far when a guy has played 32 games TOTAL the past two years. Moreau should be the guy on thin ice, but, unfortunately, it seems like he’s got a job for life here. Which is just pathetic.

    Five years from how, he and Staios are getting assistant coaching gigs with the Oilers on Kelly Buchberger’s staff. Book it.

    That’s what the debate SHOULD be, but isn’t…not with Lowe and MacTavish in control, they love Moreau and his half a season durability.

    And if Bucky somehow becomes our next head coach with those two on staff, God help us all. Nepotism at its ugliest, baby!

  42. PunjabiOil says:

    RE: Nilsson’s contract – it’s livable, and fair value given Chuck Kobasew ended up getting 2.5M/year for 3 years.

    Just the contract structure – 1.5-2.0-2.5M that bothers me – that 2.5M is going to be the starting figure in the next negotiations. Of course Nilsson will have only 1 year left to free agency..

    RE: Gilbert – information asymmetry – Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish know more about his character and other factors than the fans to give him a 6 year contract.

    Precisely why Pitkanen wasn’t materially prioritized this off-season, and public quotes of signing him to a 1 year contract more likely.

  43. Doogie says:

    Just the contract structure – 1.5-2.0-2.5M that bothers me – that 2.5M is going to be the starting figure in the next negotiations.

    I’m not sure why that’s inherently problematic. $2.5M at the high end is still pretty fucking cheap, all things considered. If he continues to develop into a soft-opp killer, you may pay through the nose for counting numbers in three years, but you also know what you’ve got and can bargain accordingly. If he stagnates, then either (a) Sign him for one year, since $2.5M is still okay for a 40-50 point player, based on today’s market (and might be better in three years), and try for a pump and dump, or (b) Deal him at the deadline in Year 3 and find a cheaper kid to replace him. I’m not seeing where the Oilers lose on this contract, as long as management’s awake; in fact, of the two contracts released this summer, this is the one I’m less concerned about.

  44. oilerdiehard says:

    Lowetide said…

    David: If healthy, Raffi does a lot of things that Glencross hasn’t proven he can do. Torres has a history of good results against average or better opponents and brings a bit of what we might call “Tiger Williams crazy” to the proceedings.

    Remember a couple of seasons ago when Raffi knocked that Red Wings player into the hospital? It appeared to me his “Tiger Williams crazy” (right from the start of the interviews asking him how feels about he was very timid about it) went right out of him? I do not recall really any big hits or crazy temper numbers (as in the past) since and his hitting across the board seemed to have lost a little zip taken off the top.

  45. oilerdiehard says:

    Dennis – I believe Matheson’s comments said Yaroslavl was interested in having him back. It said nothing about him wanting to go back. I think he signed a 1 year deal because he hopes to build on last season and increase his bargaining position for the next NHL contract.

  46. Dennis says:

    I thought it said he might have been — or was — tempted as well but in any case, if we’re living year to year with him, then we should always be looking around the corner.

  47. Black Dog says:

    I think this year they decide who to pay – Grebs or Pitkanen – and the other one is a goner.

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