Oilers Acquire Visnovsky from Los Angeles

The Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for C Jarret Stoll and D Matt Greene.

A hat tip to Bob Stauffer from Team 1260 for getting to this before everyone else.

The trade just happened so I think it’s important to take a look at it one item at a time.

Visnovsky: His contract is 7M, 7M, 6M, 5M, 3M and isn’t complete until the summer of 2013. The annual cap hit is $5.6M, effectively making him the highest paid player on the roster.

He is a skilled puck mover who should be better on the powerplay than he’s proven to be and this season was about as effective at EVs as Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Pitkanen and Souray. His pedigree is much higher and obviously the Oilers hope he delivers.

He is undersized and coming off a poor season by his own standards. His point totals in the last three years were 67, 58 and then this season 41. His 33 assists ranked third on the Kings this season. Los Angeles was “in the range” offensively with Edmonton (Oilers outscored LA 235-231).

Visnovsky is an excellent puck mover and passer, creative and intelligent. He’ll be 32 in August and is definitely going to be playing big minutes in Edmonton 08-09.

Visnovsky’s Impact on the Roster
  1. It’s hard to imagine Joni Pitkanen being on the roster for much longer.
  2. I wonder if Sheldon Souray is going to retire. This trade means another financial shoe has to drop.
  3. The puck movers (Visnovsky, Pitkanen, Gilbert, Grebeshkov) now outnumber the muscle men so the next guy coming to Edmonton will resemble Jason Smith.
  4. Wade Redden isn’t coming to our town.

The Edmonton Oilers have traded C Jarret Stoll and D Matt Greene to Los Angeles. At first blush it is terrific news for Marc Pouliot and Ladislav Smid, but I think there are probably other moves to be made. Here’s a guess at the current depth chart on Lowe’s back wall in his office:

  • Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
  • Gagner-Torres-Nilsson
  • Cogliano-Moreau-Pisani
  • Brodziak-Pouliot-Stortini
  • Visnovski-Staios
  • Pitkanen-Gilbert
  • Souray-Grebeshkov
  • Smid
  • Garon-Roloson

Stoll’s Departure

  • I’m hoping it’s good news for Pouliot
  • It could also mean Kyle Brodziak is going to step into the role.
  • Marty Reasoner may be signed soon.

Greene’s Departure

  • Peckham’s development was a part of this in my opinion.
  • Jason Smith or a player of his type might be in the mix.
  • Ladislav Smid showed enough to gain clearance on Greene and so the UND defender is the guy who others (Gilbert, Grebeshkov) passed on the depth chart and left him jobless.

The Financial Show

  • Pitkanen is likely a goner.
  • Roloson might be too if they can find someone to take him.

Toughness, Shooter

  • They REALLY need toughness now.
  • They do have enough depth at center to absorb Stoll’s minutes but a veteran with size who can score goals has to be in the plans.

EDIT TO ADD: I’m moving this thread to the top of the page, there is a Salary/Cap Post below it I did this morning. I took today off so will be updating the blog as required. Thanks for coming, good discussion.

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178 Responses to "Oilers Acquire Visnovsky from Los Angeles"

  1. Lord Bob says:

    I love this trade with the exception of the fact that it effectively closes the book on Joni Pitkanen’s career as an Edmonton Oiler.

    Other than that, any time you can trade two bottom-half guys, one of whom wasn’t getting any better, for a real difference-maker, it’s a good day.

  2. Quain says:

    The trade is wonderful. I’m concerned about the cap number and the length of contract, but it seems like we’ve got a reasonable amount of room for the other important business in the next few years.

    Extend Horcoff now, please?

  3. Cam says:

    Check out his 2006/07 PP numbers.

    +6.99 +/- over 60.

    Not too bad at all.

  4. Black Dog says:

    I like this trade. Quantity for quality finally and its funny because was it last year that there was a lot of tubthumping going on for this very guy?

    I think Joni is a goner and that the return will be a top sixer or a young centre to play that third line role or a physical Dman in the Smith mode, as LT said.

    Whatever they do not pick up for Joni they will go to market for, I guess.

    In other news Malone has signed with Tampa for seven years. Foote and Liles have also signed.

    What do you think LT? Iirc you were one of those who brought his name up last season. Like it?

  5. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: I like the deal because Visnovsky is fairly healthy and in his prime. The pricetag in terms of player isn’t that much and if they can figure a way to get Roloson off the roster this would be an outstanding move.

    I’d like to keep Pitkanen, though.

  6. Lowetide says:

    That should have read “the pricetag in terms of players going to Los Angeles isn’t too that much considering return.”

  7. Black Dog says:

    Yeah I’d like to keep Joni too but he’s a goner. Has to be.

    Visnovsky will be the bridge to the next wave of kids.

    Interesting to see what the next move is. If they move Joni then they need a Dman. I would guess they move him for the elusive top sixer or a big man up the middle for the third line.

    Like to see Pouliot get a shot at that role though.

  8. Black Dog says:

    oops – hit the send button too quickly there

    and then sign a veteran for the backend I guess

    do you think Smith might be in the mix? or just throwing his name out as the type they need

  9. Lord Bob says:

    I think Joni is a goner and that the return will be a top sixer or a young centre to play that third line role or a physical Dman in the Smith mode, as LT said.

    A young defensive centre and a physical young defenseman? Los Angeles is a traditional trading partner for us, do you think they’d maybe give up Stoll or Greene?

  10. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Well now I think Jason Smith is a definite fit. RD might be Staios, Gilbert and Smith with LD being Visnovsky, Grebeshkov and Souray and Smid the extra.

    They need a psycho killer back there, and Raffi has to be healthy now because there are entire lines of no-hitters on this roster.

    Sign Glencross!

  11. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: lol.

    I forgot to mention Peckham. Or maybe I didn’t.

    Either way this is good news for him imo, the Oilers will start the season soft and he’ll be Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner in Springfield.

  12. Black Dog says:

    l.b. – ha ha, very good

    I’m thinking a veteran on the back end actually

    and for the third line role a guy who is made for that role and has had some success in it – I have no idea who that would be but a young Pahlsson or Holik is what I am thinking

  13. Dennis says:

    So many things to throw out on this one, so I’ll try to throw some stuff off the top:

    - I called Greene to LA as soon as I read Lombardi talking about his depth chart and how he needed stoppers

    - I would rather keep Smid then Greene so I’m happy that was the decision made.

    - I was all for keeping Stoll and giving him one more shot; but if this is the ’07 Vishnovski, then this is a damn good deal.

    - His contract’s front-loaded but the cap hit’s somewhat manageable as long as you can keep rolling affordable 4-6′s off the assembly line. Back to the front-load, that stuff doesn’t matter anymore with Katz on the hook.

    The only nagging thing about this is now we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. This means Pitkanen’s going for a scorer or a fine two-way player and that had better be a deal that’s announced in the next little while or else we’re back to too many D and not enough forwards OR we’re going with Cogs of Reasoner as the second tough min pivot and Schremp gets the Cogs spot on the soft min line.

  14. Black Dog says:

    LT – you mentioned Halpern before – Tampa is throwing money around wherever they can.

    Might have to clear some salary.

  15. Lowetide says:

    This guy MUST have Lowe’s original nickname. Right?

  16. Dennis says:

    I remember posting one time last year that while I hoped the Oilers Could land Vishnovsky, I could see no reason why LA would trade him.

    He’s had some great EV years on shitty Kings teams.

  17. gary b says:

    So does this make Ottawa Lowe’s next trade partner?

    Redden’s likely walking – wouldn’t Mike Fisher look good in Oiler silks!

    i like Vermette, too, but i think we have a logjam on the LW.

    Sens can have Roli, too – i’d take a flyer on a (cheap) Ray Emery.

  18. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – his name got thrown around a lot but it was very much hoping and dreaming iirc – he’s a good player and there just seemed to be no reason for the Kings to dump him.

    Oh well, a nice fit.

    Another move or two and this team is looking nice. Good thing too because there are a few other teams trending upward.

  19. Lowetide says:

    The other thing to keep in mind is if they’re going to get a sniper that player is probably a center now unless there are two acquisitions to come.

  20. Dennis says:

    LT: shouldn’t be too hard to figure that one out, no?

    Fisher, for instance, is not a sniper but the Sens will need D and we could use Fisher. Plus, Ott’s got a lot of money tied up in forwards already.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Fisher would be an outstanding Oiler, no doubt. There’s also Carolina for the sniper though and then the Oilers possibly looking to free agency or dealing a winger.

    A nice start to free agent season, just like last year (Garon, Pitkanen).

    Stay the course and don’t accept phone calls from any agents!

  22. DeBakey says:

    I think Halpern is out ’til Xmas with an injury.

    This must have got started during the Cammalari talks.

    I like the idea of Vermette.
    Cole looks more likely all of a sudden.

    How about Shaggy as the veteran D?
    just kidding.
    Smith would be excellant.

  23. Dennis says:

    It’s good news that the Lightning took the Malone Temptation away; and now we shouldn’t have to worry about Redden now that Lub’s in town.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Yeah, Malone and Redden are not possibles now which is terrific.

    Are there any other possible Lowe-mines?

    Jagr?

  25. Dennis says:

    I still fear that 14′s moved as a salary dump and we roll into Oct with a re-thread second tough min line of 18-19-34.

    Plus, we moved out around ~3.5 combined cap-hit and brought in a 5.6 guy; when Pitkanen goes, salary’s certainly coming back.

    Is there room for a Horc extension?

  26. Black Dog says:

    Lowe-mines – very nice.

    Mr. D. – that’s right, he tore up his knee at the WC, right?

    Talk of Justin Williams, he’d be a nice fit.

    Fisher? Nice!

  27. Black Dog says:

    I would say so Dennis. I don’t think the return for Pitkanen is necessarily going to have a bigger hit. As a matter of fact if they go for a third line shutdown type or a defensive Dman we might be talking about less.

    Anyways next season Roli is off the books and that more then covers Horc. Plus Pisani, Moreau, Staios and dare I say it, Souray, all closer to the end of their deals. One more year and I think they might be able to dump Souray somewhere.

    He says, hoping and praying.

  28. Bank Shot says:

    Pitkanen+Grebeshkov for Chris Phillips.

    That’d solve everything

    Dare to dream Arnold.

  29. Dennis says:

    I”m not sure how the causual fan would go for a Pitkanen for a solid 3rd line centre to play with 14-34 but I’d be all for it.

    Quick, who’s the next Peca/Pahlsson;)

  30. Black Dog says:

    yeah but Dennis the casual fan thinks Joni is a pussy who doesn’t care about the Oilers

    seriously if I am Lowe this is what I am looking for – Justin Williams or Mike Fisher would be nice but a young Pahlsson is exactly what they need

  31. Oilman says:

    This guy MUST have Lowe’s original nickname. Right?

    I think they call him Lubo LT….but Vish would be perfect wouldn’t it!

  32. Oilman says:

    Seriously…if matheson has anything left in the tank at all – his headline tomorrow should be Vish gets Vish.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Reading HF right now, apparently Rona Barrett from Hockeybuzz is saying Pitkanen to a “canadian team” very soon.

    I bet it’s the Argos.

  34. Oilman says:

    Quick, who’s the next Peca/Pahlsson;)

    You think Pits could be talked into letting Jordan Stall go for Pitkanen and Raffi now that they’ve lost Malone?…or the same two to Ottawa for Neil and Vermette with maybe a pick thrown in?

  35. PDO says:

    The last time Lowe pulled off a trade like this, Pronger became an Oiler.

    Fantastic deal. Love it. Completely.

    On it’s own, it’s unbelievable.

    The question is: what happens next?

  36. grease trap says:

    Lubo quietly asks to be traded next summer.

    Oh Chorley, not again!

  37. therealdeal says:

    It’s hard to imagine Joni Pitkanen being on the roster for much longer.

    My first thought. I would say Pitkanen is gone for that top line forward we’ve been hearing about.

  38. Jonathan says:

    The nice thing about Visnovsky is that he can play some decent opponents in addition to being an ace offensively (5-on-5 and PP).

    This is a nice move, and the contract fits the Hemsky window nicely, but I’m going to be very curious to see what the return is on Pitkanen.

  39. RiversQ says:

    PDO said…
    The last time Lowe pulled off a trade like this, Pronger became an Oiler.

    It’s a good deal, but that just sounds wrong.

  40. RiversQ says:

    Los Angeles was “in the range” offensively with Edmonton (Oilers outscored LA 235-231)

    Oh for fucksakes… LA actually outscored them by six goals.

    I finally give up on this one. LT has made this mistake seemingly once a month since the RS ended and done it every fucking way possible.

  41. Bendelson says:

    Wonderful first big trade.

    Pitkanen to a Canadian team? Sounds like Steen, Vermette, or Fisher.

    All three provide an affordable, established YOUNGER player with speed, skill, defensive zone presence, and considerable offensive up-side.

    Nice group of choices.

  42. PDO says:

    It’s a good deal, but that just sounds wrong.

    I agree, it does. This is no where near that good….

    But am I wrong? I’m as excited about this as anything because it’s a step in the right direction, which hasn’t been too common outside of the draft floor the past few years.

  43. Sean says:

    Visnovsky is from Slovakia just like Hossa … haha

    If Detroit can run with Lidstrom, Rafalski, Stuart and Kronwell its not a huge stretch to suggest the Oilers could go with Pitkanen, Lubo, Gilbert and Grebs.

    My minds been buzzing with trade ideas for 2 hours. Adding Lubo doesn’t make Cole for Pitkanen acceptable but it sure makes him more tradeable – especially with Chorney, Petry, Wild and Hrabel in the queue.

    Anyone have an updated cap estimate with Pitkanen signed at say 3.5? I say keep him at least until the loser of the Campbell, Redden bidding comes knocking.

  44. Jeff says:

    his name got thrown around a lot but it was very much hoping and dreaming iirc – he’s a good player and there just seemed to be no reason for the Kings to dump him.

    I believe I started the Visnovsky to Edmonton on HF and also called Greene as the guy being dealt on the back end in a more recent thread.

    There’s more legit connections and info on HF than most would like to believe.

    Your also wrong if you believe Pitkanen has to be dealt. He’s very much so in Edmonton’s future plans. Although you can never rule it out completely, if the right offer came along of course.

    Why are people so scared to see such a strong defense for once?

    Staios WILL need a replacement very soon. Pitkanen doesn’t NEED to go anywhere.

    -jiggyman

  45. honkey says:

    To me Joel Lundqvist has the toolbox to be the next Peca/Påhlsson guy. He is UFA next year so we need a one year stand in.

  46. Sean says:

    Why do we have to follow Eklund around Eastern Canada? Here’s a random idea. SJ loses out on the Campbell sweepstakes – think Michalek could be had? He’d be a beauty addition with upside similar to Pitkanen’s.

  47. Sam says:

    If Pitkanen is signed at $3.5m for 1 year and Pouliot + Stortini come in at around then $1.75m combined we will have roughly $3.0m capspace remaining

  48. Rod says:

    I like the trade *except* for the after-effect that everyone’s mentioned–Pitkanen likely headed elsewhere. Not good. Trading Joni before he turns 25 will come back to bite the Oil. Pitkanen’s combination of skills is rare, and I just don’t see how trading him yields a good return.

    Vishnovsky is a rare talent too, and I’m excited to see him as an Oiler. Just wish there was a way to keep Pitkanen too.

  49. PDO says:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v165/PDARK/OilersSalary.jpg?t=1214810513

    Oilers Salary Structure.

    Pitkanen fits on a one year deal.

  50. HBomb says:

    Gut feeling says Pitkanen to Carolina for Williams in the next 48 hours.

    Just a gut feeling, nothing more, nothing less.

  51. Asiaoil says:

    Well I’m shocked that Stoll was traded to LAK………well no……you could see this coming from a long way off (like 2004).

    Greene is the other guy I’m glad we dealt since Smid is way way ahead if you consider age and will IMHO be a top pair shutdown dman in the mold of Phillips eventually.

    Lubo is fine and the PP is going to be frakin scary….and I am perfectly happy pairing him with Staios (and I bet Stevie is as well).

    We get the best player and he’s a vet in his prime – killer trade.

  52. PDO says:

    I’d do one of two things tomorrow if I were Kevin Lowe:

    1A) Sign Pitkanen for one year, make a decision between him and Grebeshkov a year from today.

    1B) Package Pitkanen and Cogliano for the best LW I can find to compliment Horcoff and Hemsky. I’m curious how much more it costs if those two are on the table to snag a Heatley or a Kovalchuk….

  53. Oiler Mag says:

    Do anyone think we could lever Pominville out of Buffalo with Joni and, perhaps, 14? Or have we burnt that particular bridge to the bottom of Lake Ontario?

  54. Asiaoil says:

    PDO…..Pitkanen and Cogs is the package I see us being very able to part with for top line LW. I think this is in the ballpark for Michalek who I would love to get….plus add a year of Peca and there would be fear in the NW next season.

    Michalek Horcoff Hemsky
    Penner Gagner Nilsson
    Torres Peca Pisani
    Moreau MAP/Brodziak Stortini

    Vis Staios
    Souray Gilbert
    Smid Grebs
    Roy

    Garon/Rolo

  55. PDO says:

    Asia:

    I’m worried about Michalek. He’s become very, very, injury prone as of late. That’s not even commenting on his ability to finish… if he can’t finish with Thornton feeding him, why can he finish with Hemsky feeding him?

    I agree we can part with that group without feeling it, but given the playoffs, the injuries, the inconsistencies, and the styles, I’m not sold on Michalek being the guy to target.

    Especially for that package. I want a sure thing.

  56. Quain says:

    Pitkanen needs to go because his skills are replicated by other players. You don’t pay a guy $5m long term, in the salary cap era, if he’s going to play the second power play (Souray and Vis taking first, ignoring the obvious injury coming a month into the season) and if you already have three viable puckmovers on defense (Vis, Gilbert, Grebs). You just can’t invest that kind of money into someone whose skills can’t be fully utilized.

  57. doritogrande says:

    Damn. There goes one of my favourite goats ;)

    I don’t see any reason to trade Pitkanen yet, nor do I see any need to trade for “muscle” on the back-end. Way I remember, Souray could more than handle his own back there last year. Didn’t he go toe to toe with some Flame, albeit resulting in an injury. If our defensive depth chart at EV is:

    Staios-Gilbert (tough min)
    Pitkanen-Vishnovski (soft min with the kids)
    Souray-Grebeshkov (mop-up)

    then we’re a damn good team from the blueline out. Of course, I’m thinking only of offensive from the Pit-Vish tandem, but those two combined with the Gagner line would do some serious damage to the soft-parade.

    In losing Stoll, I think Schremp gets his shot on the 2-line, with Cogliano moving back to the 3C. After all, it’s better to let the kids have something to chase in TC (an open roster spot) than to fill the spot with a veteran if we’re in a rebuild year (which I believe we should still be). I like this young roster, and it should only be another year until it really starts paying dividends.

    Best of luck to Jarrett Stoll and Matt Greene in L.A.

  58. doritogrande says:

    “Pitkanen needs to go because his skills are replicated by other players.”

    Just who is replicating Joni Pitkanen on this roster? The only names I can think of are forwards. Ales Hemsky and Robert Nilsson. They are the only players who have enough pure skill to replicate Joni’s personal traits.

  59. danny says:

    I think MacT and Lowe have a bit of chess to play here regarding Horcoff.

    Horc is a staunch NHLPA guy, so theres no discounts coming from him. I’m guessing he hits the UFA pool without a 2nd thought.

    The thing about Horc is that he has never put up good scoring rates unless MacT had another center playing equal than or greater number of tough minutes than Horc.

    He doesn’t play ‘soft’ minutes per se… but he did much better offensively when he wasn’t being counted on to play the shut down role.

    If Lowe were to acquire a Peca/Pahlsson clone, they are pretty much pricing Horcoff out of the teams salary cap range. Given the same minutes this season, I’d imagine Horc is going to be near a PPG player.

    If Lowe picks up an offensive pivot that can play decent opposition, feeds him Horcs minutes between Pennsky, and lets Horc do teh heavy lifting that Stoll now vacates, then I think Horc coming off a 50 point season would do wonders for the 08/09 outscoring, and price him within salary range.

    If Horc is a PPG player this season, the Oilers are in for a major step backwards IMO.

  60. Lowetide says:

    RQ: I love how you get completely over the top mad at me. I don’t really do it on purpose but it always make me laugh when you go ballistic.

    For those who think Pitkanen will be retained, I’d love that but considering he needs to be re-signed and there are other holes and dolars, can they fit it in realistically?

  61. Jonathan says:

    I believe I … called Greene as the guy being dealt on the back end in a more recent thread.

    I think most of us had Greene as the guy heading out given his combination of age, distance to free agency, and inability to play naything but easy minutes.

    There’s more legit connections and info on HF than most would like to believe.

    Anyplace where the notion of Glencross-Cogliano-Brodziak as a legitimate checking line is accepted without qualification doesnt have as amny connections as its members would like to think. So much crap is thrown at the wall that some of it is bound to stick.

    Your also wrong if you believe Pitkanen has to be dealt. He’s very much so in Edmonton’s future plans. Although you can never rule it out completely, if the right offer came along of course.

    Visnovsky – 5.6M for the next 4 years
    Souray – 5.25M for the next 4 years
    Gilbert – 4M for the next 6 years
    Staios – 2.9M for the next 3 years

    Thats just a hair under 18 million for four defensemen, all on long-term deals. Would it be responsible cap management to sign Pitkanen to a contract, with the exception of a 1-yr deal?

    I like Pitkanen and hope he stays, but realistically, it only happens if they move Souray.

  62. Quain says:

    Oh, good lord, fine, I meant his roles, not skills, have been taken by other players who already have long-term contracts. Unless everyone is really excited to have four puck-moving defensemen making a combined $37 billion dollars over the next five years.

    But don’t worry, I’m sure we can find another, cheaper Finn to make everyone go ooh and aah as he skates around the ice and develops the flu.

  63. Lord Bob says:

    Unless everyone is really excited to have four puck-moving defensemen making a combined $37 billion dollars over the next five years.

    As somebody who thinks first-class puck-moving defensemen are worth their weight in myrrh, I totally am.

    That said, even I acknowledge the fact that, at some point, we have to put somebody else on the ice. A Roloson or a Staios trade would obviously open up our options considerably, but I have to believe that if there was a Roloson trade out there that didn’t involve taking big salary back, Lowe would have pounced already.

  64. Dennis says:

    I love a lot of things about this move and I understand you can’t tie up too much money in the D but it all keeps coming back to the Souray albatross.

    Not sure about anyone else but I’d rather have cash tied up in Staios-Gilbert-Lubbie-Pitkanen instead of subbing in Souray for Joni. I hope Katz is considering buying out Souray; considering all the money he’s gonna make off the new downtown building once he gets a sweet deal from the taxpayers pockets.

    But, I guess that’s unlikely and in the meantime, there are some good points being made here:

    1: I don’t think we have to deal Joni for the fuck-of-it. Maybe the kid catches fire and reverts back to old form and we can have a bloody good auction on him next year. Pitkanen/Williams seems like a decent enough bet but I’m not sure I’d deal him for Cole or a bad contract.

    2: If you keep Joni, then, yes, you can make the decision on him or Grebs next summer OR you could keep both and deal off Staios next summer. Assuming 24 stays healthy, I don’t think it would be hard to get rid of him.

    3: I’m a big Joni guy and I love his potential and I’d like to keep him one more year; but, still, I’ve been saying for awhile that if he doesn’t make the PP go, you’re basically gonna pay him a big chunk for his work at evens and on the PK. I’d have no problem with that.

    4: except for Souray

    5: the biggest fly in the ointment.

  65. Jonathan says:

    Dennis just summed up my thoughts pretty well.

    It’s nice to think that maybe Lowe has a trade involving Souray in the works- it just seems so unlikely that you have to believe Pitkanen is going.

  66. Lord Bob says:

    Unfortunately, Souray is a Good Alberta Boy with a no-movement clause and who is still magnificently popular with your Sun-reading rank-and-file Oiler fan.

    Therefore, the odds on a Souray trade being possible even on a theoretical level are minute.

  67. Lowetide says:

    I think he might retire. There was talk of it right after the injury and then it went away but this might be the other shoe that will drop.

    If they could keep Pitkanen AND get a free agent who could help out up front I’d a like to die.

  68. tcho says:

    No one’s mentioned it, but what about packaging up Vishnovsky instead of Joni? Joni’s upside/age works better with the Hemsky window, no?

  69. Lowetide says:

    I like Viznovsky enough to hope that isn’t true. He has killed the Oilers enough for me to know he’s the real deal.

    No, I’d like to keep both of them, but Pitkanen is the one to go imo.

    It better be good, is all I’m saying.

  70. Niedermayer says:

    Losing Stoll takes away a decent guy in the FaceOff department. And yeah, I agree, where’s the money gonna come from to sign Horc?

  71. Lowetide says:

    There’s little doubt center has some troubles today.

    1. Horcoff
    2. Gagner
    3. Brodziak
    4. Pouliot

    Would be a guess. Brodziak and Pouliot have some nice things (I’d be tempted to put MP on the 3line but have always liked him better than most) but have never played those roles.

    Horcoff is going to have to do some major lifting this winter and my guess would be he might not always be on the 1line.

  72. Black Dog says:

    Souray retire?

    Wow would that solve a million problems.

    But its likely Joni out the door.

    LT – do you think Stoll’s ouster means Horc gets signed sooner then later now?

  73. Islandlife says:

    lowetide said…
    There’s little doubt center has some troubles today.

    1. Horcoff
    2. Gagner
    3. Brodziak
    4. Pouliot

    Would Vermette work for you? 57 FO% and puts up decent numbers in limited ice time and is only 25.

  74. grease trap says:

    Sign Joni to a one year deal, see if Souray gets another injury (I think he does) and that will probably mark the moment of his retirement..

    Sign Horcoff and you start the season with a few million left in play.

    Drop Roloson down to Springfield, take on Emery?

    I just can’t see a whole lot of sense in dealing Pitkanen if Souray’s going to be out of the game by this time next year.

  75. Lowetide says:

    I thought it was job 1 before they dealt Stoll but now it’s vital. Say what you want about Stoll but he did have some experience in the tough jobs on a MacT team.

    I think Pouliot is the best candidate but he lacks experience, and I think Brodziak is the closest to being able to handle it (if that makes any sense).

    We shouldn’t kid ourselves about Cogliano and Gagner: they aren’t close to helping in the heavy lifting department.

    I do think Gagner might step into the 1line role at times this upcoming season when the everyone is struggling.

    But Horcoff is vital now, and one imagines MacT is ordering up a giant cup of Marty Sakic as we speak.

  76. Lowetide says:

    The other thing they may be thinking about is moving Penner to center.

  77. Black Dog says:

    yeah, except they are bleah on the left wing even with Penner there

    unless that is the other shoe that drops

  78. Lowetide says:

    The thing to remember is that MacT’s list of guys he can count on has dwindled. Here’s Desardins’ toughness numbers for F’s last season:

    1. Stoll .09 (with awful lm)
    2. Hemsky .08 (with vaunt)
    3. Reasoner .06 (with awful lm)
    4. Penner .03 (with vaunt)
    5. Torres .02 (with junk)
    6. Horcoff .02 (with vaunt)
    7. Pisani .02 (with junk)

    I’d question Horcoff’s number (I don’t recall them taking him off Hemsky’s line for easier minutes) but as you see MacT is down Stoll and Reasoner among the top 6 and the other guys are Raffi and the 1line.

    Marty’s coming back unless they trade for Vermette (who Desjardins says played against mid-level competition with dregs).

  79. Backhand says:

    I’m not a fan of the Souray contract, but I like the player on this roster. He brings toughness, pk ability, and a shot to finish off Lubo’s passes.

    The great thing about have a deep defence is that you can hide guys from situations that expose them, making them all seem like better players.

    As for toughness on the backend this team has Souray, Staios and *ahem* Smid. So you can have at least some toughness on the ice at all times. As well Gilbert is no softy in the Pitz/Lubo/Grebs mold.

    I think we shouldn’t really panic about this defence, though I agree I would like it tougher, it just doesn’t have to be.

    Forward is another story….

  80. Backhand says:

    OH and what about Roy? he is on a one way now so he takes up a spot no?

  81. Lowetide says:

    He certainly could take a spot. Also “in the mix” would imo be Peckham who is very tough and then we can’t completely discount Chorney coming in and forcing the issue.

  82. Lord Bob says:

    One possibility I’m surprised we don’t hear about is releasing Roloson. His contract is the perfect release fodder: expensive for an old backup. And while he’s a solid backup, given his cap hit he is arguably worse than a replacement-level Scott Clemmensen type.

    Sending him down to Springfield has the problem that if we have to bring him up, he’s going to hit reentry waivers, which is probably the worst of all possible worlds.

  83. mc79hockey says:

    I’d question Horcoff’s number (I don’t recall them taking him off Hemsky’s line for easier minutes) but as you see MacT is down Stoll and Reasoner among the top 6 and the other guys are Raffi and the 1line.

    I figured that this was due to Horcoff missing the back part of the year when they needed to protect the kids at all costs.

    I’m writing a post on this and, while I think that the Oilers won the trade, I’m not as wild about Lubo as you all seem to be.

  84. CM says:

    Brendan Morrison on a 1 year deal?

  85. godot10 says:

    The Oilers are stuck with Roloson’s cap hit if he is on the roster, if he is in Springfield, or if he is on the moon.

    Why do people keep forgetting this?

    The ONLY way to get rid of Roloson’s cap hit is to trade him.

  86. Lowetide says:

    godot10: We keep forgetting because there’s 10,000 bloody things to remember!

  87. Black Dog says:

    You can tell godot is young – man, when you get older you lose it quickly

    Case in point this morning – my wife calls and says “um, did you remember that you were supposed to bring the car in this morning?”

    the answer is an easy one because I passed said car on my way to the subway this morning

    she then asked me if I recalled a conversation we had about this last Friday

    don’t remember a single word

    you’ll see

  88. grease trap says:

    So sending Roloson down doesn’t help, the benefit of buying him out is almost negligible, and no one wants that 3 million hit for an old goalie…

    At least he’s a fairly reliable player between the pipes for 20-odd games. True?

  89. Lowetide says:

    When I was a kid, the funniest thing my Dad did was lose his pencil. He was always building things so needed it to draw a straight line before cutting. Because he was measuring and moving the 2×4 (or whatever) he would often place the pencil between his ear and head.

    And then forget!

    He’d be mad as hell! “Where did you put my pencil, boy?!!!” My brother and I laughed until we couldn’t breathe.

    He probably did it 500 times when I was a kid.

    I understand now. :-)

  90. grease trap says:

    Oh man, I already fit too many of these stories.

  91. Oilman says:

    My wife and I will be pulling out of the driveway and she’ll say “can you stop at the mailbox on the way out?”….I always say “OK” and then in the 400feet between our house and the right turn to the mailbox, I’ll make the left turn off our crescent and drive away. Not sure if I’m losing my mind or if I’m so used to tuning her out that I hear the teachers voice from Charlie Brown when she’s talking and just nod and say “OK”

  92. Black Dog says:

    Oh I can beat that LT.

    Now i just turned 40 too, ok, but I have noticed I have gone downhill in a big way.

    A couple of weeks ago I was working from home and needed to make a call. Portable phone of course so I was looking everywhere for the goddamn thing. Everywhere. Figured the boy had flushed it or used it as a puck or something.

    The dog was staring at me as I stalked around the house cursing and turning red.

    Of course I was talking on the phone at the time.

    And yesterday morning I lost the milk jug. I put it in a cupboard. Took me 15 minutes to find it.

    Then my daughter turned around and hid it on me, the little wench.

    I’m doomed.

  93. Lowetide says:

    BD: lol. Right now, there’s this woman who comes on the phone when you don’t dial the “780″ portion of a 10-digit number for local calls (we’re just going to this).

    She’s so jerky about it. The message sounds like “well now, I see it’s you again. Let’s REPEAT what you’ve heard 200 times already. DIAL 780, lunkhead. What a loser! Sheesh!”

    And yet, first thing this morning I make a local call without 780, and did it again 5 minutes ago.

    It’ll be 2025 before I remember and that woman has the most condescending voice in the world.

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh for fucksakes… LA actually outscored them by six goals.

    I finally give up on this one. LT has made this mistake seemingly once a month since the RS ended and done it every fucking way possible.

    Meow!

  95. jon k says:

    Article of interested, translated from a Slovak daily, translation by an HF poster:


    The major news of Monday morning in hockey circles in Slovakia was undoubtedly the unexpected trade of Lubomir Visnovsky from Los Angeles Kings to Edmonton Oilers for Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene. This information surprised not only the fans and experts, but also the 31-years old offensive defenseman himself. Last summer, Visnovsky signed a new 5-year contract for 27 million dollars, which goes in effect next season. The contract also contains a no-trade clause, according to which the club can only trade the player to another team, if the player agrees to it. But the Kings used pretty much the last chance to avoid this clause, since it kicks in at 1st of July.

    “I’m frustrated and very sad. They pretty much didn’t do anything that they couldn’t, according to the contract. However, there was a verbal deal under the table, according to which they shouldn’t trade me at all. They told it to me and my agent straight into our faces a year ago, when we were signing the contract. ‘You’re our player, we won’t trade you.’ Even the owner called me back then and told me: ‘Lubo, your home ain’t Bratislava and Slovakia, it’s LA. You’ll play here for us. We’re happy to have you here, and you’ll stay here.’ So I was 100% sure, that I’ll stay in LA, and if they wanted to trade me, that they’d trade me after a mutual agreement, so both sides were content.” stated Lubomir Visnovsky on a press conference about this trade.

    The best hockey player of Slovakia in 2005 and owner of complete medal collection from world championships was still obviously disappointed a few hours after the deal was made public, especially because of the way the management of his former team acted. “As far as two weeks ago the GM gave me word via my agent, that they want to trade me. We agreed, that OK, they can trade me, but after mutual agreement. They listed me six particular teams, with which I was basically content. I even expected, that something would come from this, but out of nowhere my agent called me at 2:30AM on Monday, and told me, that they traded me to Edmonton. It was also a surprise for him, and even bigger one for me. I admit, I was in quite a shock and didn’t expect I’d end up on that team.” stated the Topolcany native, who admitted, that Oilers weren’t on the mentioned list, and also weren’t among the clubs he himself would be interested in.

    “Everybody was waiting for the 1st July, for the free agent market to open. So I expected, that I certainly won’t be traded before that date. After 1st July I had a no-trade clause in my contract, and thus I’d have to agree to a trade to a different team. However they made it so fast and unexpectedly, they didn’t even talk with me or my agent.” related his feelings one of the best slovakian players of today.

    Aside from change of team, he also has to deal with a major move. He’ll have to change the summer clothing, which he wore in the ‘city of angels’, for warm clothes, he also needs to sell the house in LA and buy a new one in canadian Edmonton. “I hope, that it’ll be better hockey-wise. Edmonton is a hockey town and GM Kevin Lowe called me, that they’d like to aim for higher spots. He didn’t talk directly about the Stanley Cup, but they surely want at least into the playoffs. Even that’s a big challenge for me, because I didn’t play in playoffs for five years. I know that they would also like to sign one older, experienced forward, to be the offensive leader. We could put a good team together.

    As for weather, it’s great when I can go on the beach after training and the sun is shining. But hockey life is about something else. I’m deeply wounded by how they acted. For my family, girlfriend, it’s even much more harder. I have to say she’s been brave about it, she even cheered me up instead of the other way around. She was very strong. I still have a five-year contract to fulfill, which I hope won’t be the last one, and I’m there to play hockey and not to pick cities, where it’s warmer. I just hope we’ll be much better than LA and that we always beat them when we square off with them.” states the best player of slovak national team on recent world championships in Canada.

    For the first time ever he could feel himself, how players can be handled overseas. “Never before could I feel it so much. I came here to NHL in 2000 and played all 8, or rather 7, seasons in Kings jersey. So I couldn’t realize how does a player feel in such situation. Actually I pretty much gave all I could there. Even if I had a small contract, I produced big performances. Now when they should pay me properly, they gave up on it and traded me. Hockey is a big business and we can’t influence that. Now I have to pack up some stuff, sell my house in the US and look for new place to live in Canada.” the younger of Visnovsky brothers admits the uncomfortable discovery.

    Despite a bitter ending, he’ll have nice memories of his stay in LA. In first two seasons, his team made the playoffs and he loves to remember especially the first one. “We eliminated Detroit, which sought to retain the Cup, in first round and then lost in game 7 against Colorado, which ended up winning it all. All put together, it’s been seven beautiful years of life there and I got accustomed to it. I have friends there and considered staying there to live there. Now I have to start again and it’ll be something new for me. Edmonton may be a hockey town, but not so good for living. For family, which I’m starting to plan, it’d be much simpler in LA. Hockey-wise, though, Edmonton will be more suitable.” reveals fresh medailist from inline hockey world championships in Bratislava.

    Visnovsky still didn’t comprehend, why the Kings management decided to act so. Before the press conference, the club didn’t even contact him. “They talked only with the agent. They said, that I’m too expensive player for them. The owner supposedly decided, that he won’t pay so much to just one player. That was a surprise to me. If he told me that a year ago, I’d play through this season and be a free agent now. But no, they offered me a decent contract, which I signed, and now they said it’s too much money and that they want two players for it. It’s quite weird, they didn’t keep the promise we made.” said the triple Slovakia champion in jersey of Slovan Bratislava.

    The defenseman, known for his accurate shot and offensive tastes still doesn’t know, when he’ll head overseas. Either he goes to LA to pack up and sell house right before the camp begins, or he goes to Edmonton as soon as 26th July. GM Kevin Lowe has invited him for a car race. During that race, he could meet the management, the owner and also check out summer in the city, which he only saw in winter before.

  96. Black Dog says:

    good stuff LT, I have some more good stories about this affliction but of course it goes without saying that I have forgotten them

    it makes me crazy because I can remember the cap hit for each player on the Oilers roster or the name of everyone in my sixth grade class but I’d lock my keys in the ignition every time if my car wasn’t dummy proof

    the joys of getting older – could be worse – whenever we go and visit my folks my dad invariably offers my wife a drink over and over again despite her insisting that she will pass due to the fact that she is quite pregnant!

    something to look forward to ;)

  97. Steve says:

    Wow. Thanks for that, Jon – it doesn’t exactly bode well, does it?

  98. Lord Bob says:

    Sounds like Visnovsky’s consistency just dropped.

    (That one other guy who’s played as much Eastside Hockey Manager as I have reading this just crapped himself laughing.)

  99. Coach pb9617 says:

    Wow. Thanks for that, Jon – it doesn’t exactly bode well, does it?

    I disagree. It reads like a guy that had the rug pulled on him and he was very honest with his reaction. I also think there was a tinge of excitement to go to a hockey town and environment.

  100. grease trap says:

    I think he’ll find Stabmonton to be a great family environment. Much better than… Um… Los Gungeles?

    No? Not good?

  101. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide – how did you arrive at the possibility that Souray may retire? Outside small speculation on HFboards, the media hasn’t picked it up. Of course, you may have connections :)

    I wonder if the contract is insured. That would still be a massive drain in Katz paycheque, in the event he retires.

    For what it’s worth, Souray was doing a playoff blog at askmen.com. Said his shoulder is healthy. I believe the Oilers team doctor mentioned his shoulder will be better than it was in the original state. We’ll see.

  102. Black Dog says:

    Not too worried about those comments, if anything the guy sounds like he will be happy as long as he is treated well.

    He felt a contract was a contract and that the spirit of the deal meant he was going to retire a King. Can’t blame him for being blindsided.

  103. Dennis says:

    Fuck, you don’t think YOU’D be disappointed if you were dealt from LA to Edm???

    The guy eventually talked about how much better it should be hockey-wise but there’s lots of guys who really don’t care a whole lot about winning and they would never move from anywhere nice to Edmonton.

    The thing that interested me is Lowe telling him about this veteran offensive forward.

    Does this mean Jagr?

    Just how old WAS Ryan Malone?;)

    Is Nylander available again:D

  104. Sean says:

    Nice find Jon!

    He didnt seem upset by coming here moreso by how LA handled him. He hasn’t made the playoffs in 5 years and appeared to be ok going to a hockey town.

  105. grease trap says:

    Is it weird that I CHOOSE to live in this town? I’ve been lots of places, but this is where I decided to hang my hat. I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for.

    As for Visnovsky, he can always go to the WEM Waterpark after practice. Or hit up the newly renovated Fireside Grill. Brand New Look, Same Great Food.

    My biggest lament is that he’ll never see that old monstrous mural of the two fists, one decked out in five Stanley Cup rings. “Ready for the other hand!”

  106. Coach pb9617 says:

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=d560dcc5-9c68-4544-aa9a-2be363a4eb12

    Soooooo, Smyth’s departure wasn’t Lowe’s fault after all.

    There are a shitton of people that will be dining on roast crow this eve.

  107. grease trap says:

    I love the image of the EIG giving Lowe a standing O. Following the articles it’s crystal clear what a “hockey decision” meant to the EIG.

  108. Jonathan says:

    Coach: how do you figure?

    Lowe kept in close contact with Nichols, knowing the chairman would have to be onside in order to publicly defend whatever move was made. Nichols’ own take was that it was best to let Smyth go, but the decision belonged to Lowe. “You have to trust your hockey people, your hockey management,” Nichols says.

  109. Coach pb9617 says:

    Jonathan:

    The board didn’t want the guy back that’s in the article. And if you read the whole series, I highly, highly doubt that the decision was Lowe’s. It doesn’t fit with EIG’s MO, and it doesn’t fit with the series.

  110. Lowetide says:

    I know this has been beaten to death and maybe others are interested in “he said he said he said” but imo the Smyth case comes down to two points:

    1. Lowe didn’t consider his contract a priority after the Stanley run.

    2. You cannot tell me $100,000 is the difference on a player of this calibre. If he’s worth it, pay the man and cut some bonehead in the back row.

    We’ll see how Lowe handles Horcoff. If he skates through the summer and says “we’ll see” then Horcoff is gone and they’re bringing in David Backes and two knobs at the deadline.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    1. Lowe didn’t consider his contract a priority after the Stanley run.

    Board didn’t want him.

    2. You cannot tell me $100,000 is the difference on a player of this calibre.

    To a sausage-fingered board, it is.

  112. doritogrande says:

    Veteran offensive forward to lead the charge?

    Maybe we can pull the rug out from under Gillis and get Demitra to a contract. Play with fellow countryman Vishnovsky again and get the cherry minutes with Hemsky.

    I wish Oilers were in Pacific division, and played Kings 8 times per year. Given the way Lubo cut into management and his desire to crush with efficiency of Slovakian mafia, may make for entertaining hockey match for Oiler fan-dom.

    God I love translated articles :D

  113. Lowetide says:

    Still, the spirit of the Smyth deal is on Lowe imo. Look, I have no problem saying that:

    1. Smyth’s long term health was an issue when looking at years/money

    2. What Lowe got was a nice payback (said so at the time)

    but the EIG would have felt differently I suspect if Lowe had decided that was the hill he was willing to die on.

    I’m not saying Lowe’s wrong, but I am saying it was his decision.

    I say this not having read David Staples article. I make a point of waiting until all of it has been released, reading and reflecting, and then going ahead and making an ass of myself.

    :-)

  114. jon k says:

    I like how the article seems to imply that Visnovsky is going to have to run out and get some warmer clothes before he can visit the city. I imagine our current weather will be quite a shock from the nearly identical forecasts in Slovakia right now.

  115. danny says:

    LT: Do you think Horcoff would sign a contract without testing the FA waters, for anything less than an overpay? Hes a staunch PA guy, and I think he has more loyalty to his union than his employers. He might have a soft spot for MacT, but I think Lowe is climbing a greased pole with Horc.

    best case scenario… Horc gets major shutdown minutes and only scores 50pts. Thats the only way his market price might stay within range.

    I don’t think Horcoff has any intentions of doing an extension to be honest. So its really outta Lowes hands.

  116. Steve says:

    Do you think Horcoff would sign a contract without testing the FA waters, for anything less than an overpay? Hes a staunch PA guy, and I think he has more loyalty to his union than his employers.

    If he’s so loyal to his union, he should take a discount so as to leave more money for his brothers.

    (I’m not seriously suggesting that he should do this; I’m just pointing out that “loyalty to union” as a reason to seek as much money as you can get makes no sense in a capped economy.)

  117. Lowetide says:

    Danny: Is there any proof of this?

  118. jon k says:

    Reading between the lines a bit in the article suggests to me that Lowe is going to make a run for a free agent forward.

    Possibilities from least likely to most likely, keeping in mind that Lowe has stated previously they are looking for a top3 forward:

    Hossa
    Sundin
    Jagr
    Demitra

    Demitra is a strong possibility I feel given that Lowe made a hard push for him the last time he was a FA, and Demitra spoke favourably of his dealings with Lowe.

  119. HBomb says:

    LT: I know, for one, didn’t like the Smyth deal at first, but I could see why they did it.

    Then they went and signed Souray and ended up looking like a big bunch of hypocrites. THAT is what bugs me, not the decision on Smyth, but the doublethink that lead to the Oilers paying 27 million dollars for a slap-shot.

  120. Black Dog says:

    I still see this mystery guy coming in a trade – unless they move Joni for prospects and picks.

    Because unless they move Roli too signing a big name UFA is going to put them right at the cap.

  121. HBomb says:

    Because unless they move Roli too signing a big name UFA is going to put them right at the cap.

    Maybe you move Pitkanen for a 2009 first rounder, which on its own doesn’t seem like enough, but the team also takes Roloson off your hands as part of the deal (he’s probably got negative-trade-value right now)?

    If you could do that and turn the cap space saved (probably in the 7-8 million range) into Hossa or Jagr to play LW with Hemsky, that would be a win, wouldn’t it?

    More likely it would be Jagr at around 5-6 million on a 2-3 year deal, with the leftover dollars going towards a tough defenseman to fill a void on the back-end.

  122. Lowetide says:

    I’m beginning to think this is going to be a huge freaking deal. If Lowe is talking like he’s getting a veteran forward to lead the way, we need to be talking about Pitkanen plus plus.

    And including names like Cogliano and Horcoff.

    Seriously.

  123. Sean says:

    Lowe better not go after Demitra. We dont have room for another small top 6 forward.

  124. doritogrande says:

    I like H-bomb’s thinking on moving Pitkanen for futures, but making them take Roli to boot. Who’s rebuliding, could take on salary, and are the dumbest group of dumbs that ever did dumb?

    Pitkanen and Roloson to Toronto for their 09 first rounder. Then we drive the Brinks truck to Slovakia for Hossa.

  125. doritogrande says:

    Sean:

    Pavol Demitra is 6′, 202lbs. Given our group of forwards, that isn’t small.

  126. Black Dog says:

    Kovalchuk?

  127. Black Dog says:

    Actually the other name worth mentioning – Havlat.

    Chicago is apparently hot and heavy for a puck mover, if they fail to land Campbell or Redden then Pitkanen would likely interest them.

    Only one year left on his deal and I would guess Lowe would want a little more but he’s a name that makes sense as a flyer.

  128. Lowetide says:

    If it’s a UFA, maybe Jagr? Would he come here? Didn’t he like playing with Hemsky during the lockout season?

    If it’s a trade, then i think we’re probably looking at a monster deal for someone like Spezza, Gaborik or Brad Boyes.

  129. danny says:

    (I’m not seriously suggesting that he should do this; I’m just pointing out that “loyalty to union” as a reason to seek as much money as you can get makes no sense in a capped economy.)

    Sure it makes sense, it drives the operating costs of teams that spend well below the cap up. If said teams have Horc comparables, they are paying an extra million or so on their payroll next contract. Right?


    lowetide said…
    Danny: Is there any proof of this?

    I don’t expect you are asking this sincerely… but no, this is speculative on my part. He’s a PA guy, i don’t see any discounts being likely at all… especially after the way the organization unceremoniously ushered his linemate (94) out. He was the first to say afterwards that its a business.

    Thats my read on the situation anyways.

  130. Black Dog says:

    Jesus we’re like a bunch of schoolgirls.

    Watch Lowe trade Pitkanen for Mark Bell and sign Duvie Westcott.

  131. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: lol. If I had Kevin Lowe’s phone number he’d be hearing about Jonathan Cheechoo about now.

    Buy low, Kevin.

  132. Sean says:

    Demitra may be average size but he is always hurt and plays small. Signing him for anything over 2 years is a big risk.

    I didn’t realize Havlat is 6″2. Too bad him and Sourray would collide shoulders in TC.

    Kovalchuk on the other hand …

  133. Oilman says:

    If it’s dummies you’re looking for, I think Tampa has moved up a few notches on that scale in the past week or two…shit, tell Koules than Roloson is a huge fan of the Saw movies and Pitkanens favorite TV show is Two and a Half Men and you might get two First rounders out of them;o)

  134. Steve says:

    Sure it makes sense, it drives the operating costs of teams that spend well below the cap up. If said teams have Horc comparables, they are paying an extra million or so on their payroll next contract. Right?

    Yes, except that, since the total money going to players is fixed, that’ll just be clawed back from other players next escrow calculation.

  135. Oilman says:

    They’ll just get their escrow payments back when Edm, Cgy, Tor, and Mtl increase ticket prices another 20% and the league trumpets another huge increase in league revenues.

  136. Coach pb9617 says:

    Maybe we can pull the rug out from under Gillis and get Demitra to a contract. Play with fellow countryman Vishnovsky again and get the cherry minutes with Hemsky.

    Nooooooooooo. He’s soft like blankets from the dryer. He’s soft like butter left out on the table after a picnic. He’s soft like an infant’s hair.

    He’s softy softerson and needs insanely soft minutes to flourish.

    Did I mention he’s soft?

  137. honkey says:

    But why would Jagr come to Oilers for only 5-6M a year when he can get 35M for 3 years going to Russia.

  138. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m beginning to think this is going to be a huge freaking deal. If Lowe is talking like he’s getting a veteran forward to lead the way, we need to be talking about Pitkanen plus plus.

    Only if the forward arrives via trade.

  139. Vic Ferrari says:

    Lowe pursued Demitra after the lockout, but I think that Pavol’s injuries have really diminished his value. He’s not one of the game’s big difference makers any more, the numbers aren’t as gaudy, and starting this past year he wasn’t going toe to toe with the other team’s best any more. He just isn’t as tenacious in the puck battles now, those core and groin injuries are worrying for any player. I hope Lowe doesn’t risk it.

    My guess is that Hossa is the big fish that they are gunning for. Ritch Winter (Hossa’s agent) doesn’t conceal his desire to be an NHL GM, specifically Oilers GM. And he states that the biggest challenge for the cold climate, small market franchises is being able to attract big name UFAs. I don’t know whether he came up with that idea on his own or somebody put it in his head. In any case this would be his chance to prove his mettle to a billionaire owner.

    That’s the way I would play it if I were Katz (who has himself stated that he can help by appealing to name players directly, no?). And he’s a hell of a lot wealthier than me, so presumably is a helluva lot more devious as well.

    Pure speculation of course, but I hope that’s what they are doing, and I hope they pull it off.

    On Visnovsky … some damn impressive underlying PP numbers. I’m one of those people that think that if you’re going to shell out big money for a defender, he’d better make a difference on the PP. So I’m down with this.

    Entering UFA season, this deal shows the players that the Oilers are serious about becoming a very good team. I mean 29 other teams say that too, but only a few of them really mean it.

    Stoll’s gig won’t be easy to fill though, and few will look good doing it. Eric Belanger (terrific player in that mould IMO) signed for $2.75 in Minny last season as a UFA [by memory]. Good player, best available in that vein I thought, and a tough role … but damn, that’s a lot of scratch.

    Realistically I think the Oilers will revert to power v power now. Horcoff has the game, Hemsky has grown a tonne in the last couple of years, he can handle it, and seems to want to. Wonderful player.

    And there will be some bumps in the road with Penner on this job, if he gets it, but I think he has the game. A much better player than I thought he was before he came here. To this end, running him at centre for a stretch last season was a good move I think.

    Damn though, like YKoil says, the quiet Oiler summer we all expected has turned into another adventure. ne or two more shoes have to drop now, they just do.

  140. GSC says:

    Torres in the top 6, LT? Time to let go, he’s finished.

  141. jon k says:

    The more things happen before the 1st, the more I believe that Hossa’s contract is going to be an absolute whopper. He’s got a brawler of an agent, and at least a few teams that might fight tooth and nail for him. Minnie, Phoenix, Boston, and possibly Vancouver come to mind.

    7 years, 8.5 million average cap hit that’s significantly front-loaded might be in the neighborhood.

  142. Jonathan says:

    Incidentally, LT, apparently when pencilling in Visnovsky, it should be as a right-side d-man.

    From Tencer’s blog:

    Visnovsky’s numbers declined a bit last year as he registered just 41 points. Pretty good by average standards, but not up to par for a guy who will make $7 million this season. Visnovsky says there’s a simple reason why his numbers went down: Marc Crawford, the head coach, made him play the left side instead of the right for the first time in his career. He’s emphatic that he wants to play the right side in Edmonton. “It’s everything for my one-timer. My strong side is the right side. I hope the coach gives me the right side on the powerplay because I’m stronger there,” Visnovsky says.

  143. HBomb says:

    someone like Spezza, Gaborik or Brad Boyes

    One of these things is not like the other….

  144. DeBakey says:

    OT

    Springfield, MA – The Springfield Falcons, announced today that Gerry Fleming has been named assistant coach of the Falcons by their National Hockey League affiliate, the Edmonton Oilers.

    Fleming spent the previous seven seasons (2001-2008) with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades compiling a regular season record of 282-162-60 in 504 career games as Florida’s bench boss. The 40-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec led the Everblades to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of his seven seasons with Florida

    Fun Facts:
    - Fleming played in 11 career NHL games, all with Montreal.
    - he became only the 2nd player in Fredericton [AHL]team history to have his jersey retired.

  145. Sean says:

    I’m with ya Vic.

    Ok my best case is now Sundin 2 years and a Pitkanen OS @ 5.3 million. Pipe dream?

  146. Lowetide says:

    Interesting about the RD thing. If Smid were actually a player instead of a prospect trying to learn at the NHL level he might be a fit, but it’ll probably be Souray or Grebeshkov.

    The more I think about it, the more I hope they just sign Peca, keep Pitkanen and bring back Marty Sakic.

  147. Bruce says:

    Devil’s advocate time (again). I’m trying to get my head around the universal condemnation of Sheldon Souray’s 5-year, $27 MM contract compared to the general happiness and acceptance of Lubomir Visnovsky’s 5-year, $28 MM contract (signed elsewhere, but Edmonton now on the contractual hook for every penny). First things first:

    Visnovsky: DOB August 11 1976, Topolcany, (Czecho-)Slovakia
    Souray: DOB July 13 1976, Elk Point, Alberta

    … meaning Souray was almost a year younger at the time of acquisition.

    Souray: 6’4, 233
    Visnovsky: 5’10, 180

    Hmmm.


    Cost of acquisition:
    Souray: Unrestricted Free Agent
    Visnovsky: Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene

    Hmmmmmm …. so far it’s advantage Souray. Of course, it’s what they do on the ice that counts. Statistical comparisons below concern each player’s pre-Oiler career (essentially throwing out Souray’s aborted 2007-08 season, which was an unknown — if predictable by some — future at the time of the signing).

    Visnovsky: 499 GP (7 seasons, 71 GP per)
    Souray: 506 GP (8 seasons, 63 GP per)

    … and of course Souray missed one entire season in there, so LV has the durability edge, although he too has missed more games than I would like.

    Visnovsky: 70 G (39 ESG, 31 PPG)
    Souray: 66 G (30 ESG, 33 PPG, 3 SHG)

    Pretty much a wash, with the odd fact that Souray scored more than half of his career PPG in one season.

    Visnovsky: 209 A, 279 P; 0.56 ppg
    Souray: 127 A, 196 P; 0.37 ppg

    Visnovsky is clearly the better playmaker.

    Visnovsky: +11
    Souray: -27

    Advantage Visnovsky. Any kind of plus figure after 500 GP in Tinseltown is no mean feat to put it very mildly, esp. for a guy whose ice time dictates he will have far more SHG and ENG against than for.

    Visnovsky: 214 PiM
    Souray: 821 PiM

    PiM is a double-edged sword, but I don’t mind the big minutes at all. Room for both chalk and cheese on my team.

    Playoffs:
    Visnovsky: 12 GP, 0-1-1, Even
    Souray: 34 GP, 3-7-10, -6

    Not much here. Visnovsky has a better international record.

    Previous season:
    Visnovsky: 82 GP, 8-33-41, -18, 34 PiM
    Souray: 81 GP, 26-38-64, -28, 135 PiM

    Those big minuses look ugly for both. Visnovsky experienced a major drop-off from his previous post-lockout seasons, which combined with his age and contract status is a cause for concern. He did have his two best seasons before his disappointing 2007-08, while Souray had two pretty decent seasons before his spectacular 2006-07. So let’s compare their last 3 pre-Oiler seasons as their “established” production levels:

    Previous 3 seasons:
    Visnovsky: 231 GP, 43-123-166, -10, 110 PiM
    Souray: 219 GP, 53-85-138, -35, 355 PiM

    Visnovsky: 69 ESP, 96 PPP, 1 SHP
    Souray: 45 ESP, 86 PPP, 7 SHP

    Visnovsky: 23:32 TOI/G
    Souray: 22:56 TOI/G

    Visnovsky 16:24 ES; 1:16 SH; 5:51 PP
    Souray: 15:25 ES; 3:13 SH; 4:18 PP

    Visnovsky got far more PP TOI than Souray as a matter of course; in his breakout 67-point season he averaged a whopping 7:03 in that dept., scoring 10 goals and 41 points with the man advantage. In Souray’s banner year he averaged a relatively paltry 4:52 PP TOI but scored 48 points, including a whopping 19 goals. I know, different powerplays, I’m just saying don’t sell Souray short. I’m frankly looking forward to seeing these guys in tandem on the PP, which is one area where their games should complement each other (if they can figure out which one plays right point; Souray’s the early favourite since he’s the purer shooter of the two). With Hemsky and Gagner feeding them and Penner providing the heavy shade in front, there are no more excuses for the Oil not to have one of the top PP units in the league now.

    Bottom line: accepting Souray’s first season in Edmonton as the write-off it was, the Oilers are essentially entering 2008-09 with two “new” veterans patrolling the blueline. Both are 32 come training camp, and will command $11 MM between them for the next four seasons, so K-Lowe better be right. No time like the present for those guys to produce, it’s hard to envision them getting much better over the long term of those contracts.

    Finally, to echo DG, best wishes to Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene for future success in LA. Both are hard-working character guys who gave Edmonton fans the best that they had.

  148. Oilman says:

    Incidentally, LT, apparently when pencilling in Visnovsky, it should be as a right-side d-man.

    so who’s one timer takes precedence on first unit?

  149. Oilman says:

    Souray: DOB July 13 1976, Elk Point, Alberta

    Thanks Bruce….so much talk of Souray being an old player. I never realized he is two years to the day younger than me!

  150. Sean says:

    there are no more excuses for the Oil not to have one of the top PP units in the league now

    As per Bruce’s comment. We better have a top end PP next year because we are soft as margarine. Its almost fitting our enforcer has the nickname “huggy bear”.

  151. boopronger says:

    I swear that i read if you send an nhler down to the minors your on the hook for the salary but not the cap hit? Dude am i wrong?

  152. HBomb says:


    so who’s one timer takes precedence on first unit?

    How about both of them? considering Hemsky sets up on the left boards on the PP, it would work, right?

  153. mc79hockey says:

    On Visnovsky … some damn impressive underlying PP numbers. I’m one of those people that think that if you’re going to shell out big money for a defender, he’d better make a difference on the PP.

    Am I missing something on Lubo? His rates on the PP, outside of the two years immediately following the lockout, aren’t that great.

    Obviously, we gave up not much, but I don’t think Lubo should be seen as saviour for the PP.

  154. Oilman says:

    But, I’d imagine that playing the right side “is everything” for Souray’s one timer too no? One of them would have to play out of position.

  155. Dennis says:

    Quick, let’s talk about the fact Souray played against nobodies in Cuntreal!!!!

    In terms of things that are actually real, Peca seemed to show last year that he still has something left so let’s put him back together with 14-34 on the other tough min line.

  156. Lowetide says:

    I like the idea of two shooter on the blue, especially if one of them can handle the puck (Viznovsky).

    Souray is a real nice shooter but the plays were all telegraphed during his 11 minutes of good health a year ago.

    Hemsky is the PP monster on this team, but I like a Souray-Viznovsky tandem with Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky up front.

    Maybe throw Gagner in there over Penner for a ridiculous all hands team.

  157. Jonathan says:

    Am I missing something on Lubo? His rates on the PP, outside of the two years immediately following the lockout, aren’t that great.

    So… what you’re saying is that outside of 2 of the last three seasons, Visnovsky hasn’t been that good on the powerplay? Sounds like Dawson Creek logic to me… ;)

    But I kid. For me, the big thing about Visnovsky is that he can play against relatively tough opposition at evens. The other, kind of big thing is that Pitkanen does too (tougher, actually) and that’s really the Oilers big need on the backend- they have PP personnel, and PK personnel, but at EV the list of guys who can play against tough opposition is awfully short- Souray, Smid, Grebeshkov, and Staios are all clearly over their heads at this stage of their careers.

    If Pitkanen’s dealt, as seems likely, this team is probably worse at 5-on-5. I guess I can hope that Lowe has a Souray trade up his sleeve.

  158. PDO says:

    LT:

    I’ll bite.

    Why Viznovsky, not Vishnovsky? The guy just got here and we’re already having issues regarding how to spell his name!

  159. doritogrande says:

    boopronger:

    Depends on age, if I’m not mistaken. Roli’s age status kicked in because he was over 35 when the contract was signed. That’s how I read it at least.

  160. doritogrande says:

    Just thinking out loud here…

    We have a rich-ass owner now. Could we somehow offer Mrs. Marian Hossa 2-M per year to be Katz’ “assistant in charge of Marian Hossa’s affairs”?

    Something to think about if we go over the cap. There’s a way we can have Hossa AND Pitkanen on this team.

  161. Lowetide says:

    I’m spelling his name wrong? Seriously, I deliberately tried to spell it right.

    Good grief.

  162. mc79hockey says:

    So… what you’re saying is that outside of 2 of the last three seasons, Visnovsky hasn’t been that good on the powerplay? Sounds like Dawson Creek logic to me… ;)

    Please. The Fort St. John phonebook lists nothing but escort agencies for all the rig pigs and you’re going to crack on me?

    My point, good sir, is that the four years before the lockout happened and he was shit in them on the PP. His rates – while very good – still weren’t spectacular in 05-06 and 06-07 and there was a definite falloff last year. I’m not sure that he’s any better on the PP than, for example, Jarrett Stoll.

    For me, the big thing about Visnovsky is that he can play against relatively tough opposition at evens.

    Can he? He got slaughtered thi syear playing second pairing minutes. LA was just a disaster through and through, so I’m not sure he deserves all of the blame and I haven’t looked the whole way back but still…

  163. Bruce says:

    Thanks Dennis, I knew I could count on you for an impartial opinion on Souray.

    BtN just has his last year in Montreal, showing him playing QUALCOMP of +0.02, with a QUALTEAM of -0.10. Slightly-above-average opponents, well-below-average teammates. I realize there are problems in the method but they’re all I’ve got; maybe you have rock-solid data proving Sheldon just played against “nobodies”?

    Speaking for myself, I’m going to hold off on hating the guy’s guts just because I don’t like his contract (which I don’t), and be hopeful that he will be healthy and help the team.

  164. godot10 says:

    //The more I think about it, the more I hope they just sign Peca, keep Pitkanen and bring back Marty Sakic.//

    Another seemingly forgotten fact:

    Peca will only play for an eastern team commuting distance to Buffalo, so he is not to far from his wife and kids, who are based there.

  165. Jonathan says:

    Please. The Fort St. John phonebook lists nothing but escort agencies for all the rig pigs and you’re going to crack on me?

    Completely untrue. The phonebook also lists liquor stores.

    My point, good sir, is that the four years before the lockout happened and he was shit in them on the PP. His rates – while very good – still weren’t spectacular in 05-06 and 06-07 and there was a definite falloff last year. I’m not sure that he’s any better on the PP than, for example, Jarrett Stoll.

    Stoll has always been underrated as a powerplay option, but his numbers were not that good. This past season, which IIRC was pretty average for him were 3.77 PTS/60 and +6.15 GFON/60. Nice numbers, but not as high as Visnovskys established rates post lockout. What were his numbers like previous to the lockout- I haven’t gone back that far and I haven’t seen them posted anywhere either.

    Can he? He got slaughtered thi syear playing second pairing minutes. LA was just a disaster through and through, so I’m not sure he deserves all of the blame and I haven’t looked the whole way back but still…

    This past year was pretty ugly for him, but it was ugly for everyone in L.A, as you allude to. In 2006-07, though, playing 2nd pair minutes, he was a +0.21 ON/60, while the rest of the team was -1.20/60 with him off.

    Still, that’s straight from Behind the Net and represents most of my knowledge about his ability to play tougher opposition, so I would hardly (to borrow a phrase) pick that hill to die on.

  166. mc79hockey says:

    What were his numbers like previous to the lockout- I haven’t gone back that far and I haven’t seen them posted anywhere either.

    Ah…maybe that’s the problem. I’ve got ‘em and they aren’t pretty. I’ll throw ‘em up tonight.

  167. Dennis says:

    Bruce: if by rock-solid, you mean “I watched a lot of Habs games and knew who was being sheltered” then, yes, that’s what I have.

  168. RiversQ says:

    Bruce said…
    BtN just has his last year in Montreal, showing him playing QUALCOMP of +0.02, with a QUALTEAM of -0.10. Slightly-above-average opponents, well-below-average teammates. I realize there are problems in the method but they’re all I’ve got; maybe you have rock-solid data proving Sheldon just played against “nobodies”?

    Well personally, I think the BtN stuff has little value outside of the team of interest, but it’s certainly informative within a team.

    So for MTL in 06/07, we’ve got Komisarek and Markov way out in front as would be expected.

    The 2nd pairing according to quality of comp is actually Dandenault and Bouillon.

    So by my count we’re 4 dmen into the MTL roster and still no sign of Sheldon Q. Souray. Draw your own conclusions…

  169. RiversQ says:

    mc79hockey said…

    Ah…maybe that’s the problem. I’ve got ‘em and they aren’t pretty. I’ll throw ‘em up tonight.

    I’ll look forward to it. I had a quick look and it doesn’t look like he had 1st unit ice until 03/04. 3.6 PPP/hr is by now means good for a dman, but A) we’re talking about a dman and B) we’re talking about pre-lockout PP numbers.

    You’ll have to refresh my memory as to where he fits in the league for 03/04, but I’d guess that mediocre number still puts him in the upper quartile.

    Personally, I think this is a decent deal. I think Greene is overrated and while I’m not sure the Oilers have a replacement for Stoll, it was always hard for me to get over his skating.

  170. boopronger says:

    thanks doritogrande i remember that silly old thing about age now.

  171. Bruce says:

    Well personally, I think the BtN stuff has little value outside of the team of interest, but it’s certainly informative within a team.

    RQ: I agree with that wholeheartedly.

    So for MTL in 06/07, we’ve got Komisarek and Markov way out in front as would be expected.
    The 2nd pairing according to quality of comp is actually Dandenault and Bouillon.

    I looked at that too, but my (imperfect) recollection of Montreal in 2006-07 was that Dandenault played more forward than defence. He and Streit were both bouncing around between the blueline and up front. NHL.com lists Streit as a defenceman but Dandenault as a forward. The D listed at BtN (including Dandenault) played a total of 548 GP for the Habs that year, meaning 7 of them were dressed most nights. For the life of me I can’t remember who Souray’s regular partner was (Rivet?), mostly I remember him as a special teams presence. But he did finish just behind Komisarek and Markov and far ahead of the rest in ES TOI, which hardly suggests third pairing.

    All of which is a moot point cuz Sheldon got killed 5v5; it’s piling on to say he got killed playing soft minutes … he just got killed. ‘Nuff said.

  172. Jeff J says:

    I looked at that too, but my (imperfect) recollection of Montreal in 2006-07 was that Dandenault played more forward than defence.

    He played just a handful of games on RW in 06/07. He was also hurt for awhile early on.

    For the life of me I can’t remember who Souray’s regular partner was (Rivet?), mostly I remember him as a special teams presence. But he did finish just behind Komisarek and Markov and far ahead of the rest in ES TOI, which hardly suggests third pairing.

    Early on it was Rivet, and that pair was brutal. Carbonneau eventually split them up and used (mostly) Souray-Dandenault and Bouillon-Rivet. Once Rivet was traded, Souray’s icetime skyrocketed – that was the only stretch he was used as a trusted 2nd pair guy. For almost the entire year, I guarantee Bouillon was preferred on the left side in defensive situations.

    I think Souray racked up a lot of that -28 early in the season. Maybe it was injuries and maybe it was just the breaks – he’s not the worst defensive player in the league. The planets of suck just aligned that year for him.

  173. Ribs says:

    06/07 Souray saw a lot of prime time minutes. It was hard for me not to pay attention to the guy because he was leading that team to the playoffs almost single handedly. He wasn’t sheltered nearly enough and was made the goat on many occasions because of it. I can remember screaming at the television a bunch of times when Carbonneau would throw the big guy out there with 1-2 mins left against the other teams scorers and they would make him look silly because he shouldn’t have been out there (usually he was dead tired at this point as well).

    The only knock I can justify having against Souray is that his endurance could be better. It’s too late for him to do anything about that but if Souray can return to 06/07 form we’re in for a real treat here.

    As for this trade…Awesome. teams are going to war trying to get Campbell and we snag nearly his equal for a rainbow blow-pop and a gunny sack.

    I like Pitkanen but not signing or saying anything to the fans is incredibly annoying and makes him look very bad in my eyes. I wish someone in the locker room would make friends with him and turn him into an Oiler but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Does he have any buddies out there we can pick up?

    Stoll seems like a necessary casualty as he wasn’t fitting into the teams offense any more and I’m not happy to see him go but I think he may be better off.

    Greene… hah. Bye-bye. I think you’re right on target with Peckham, LT. It looks like he’s the real deal so far. I wouldn’t be suprised if he takes Greene’s spot on the roster as soon as this season.

    I hope we see J.Smith’s return today.

  174. Dennis says:

    It’s piling on but it’s also true: he played third pairing and get killed.

    C’mon. Bruce:)

  175. Bruce says:

    Dennis: now you’re piling on me! :)

    Thanks, Jeff J. and Ribs, though I can’t say I’m any less confused. Souray wasn’t preferred in defensive situations but he saw a lot of prime time minutes and wasn’t sheltered nearly enough?

    Reading between the lines, he should have played thrid pairing, but didn’t?

    Whatever, his 2006-07 record is something of an anomaly — fantastic on the PP and PK, brutal
    at ES. Both the 48 PPP and the -28 were off the charts and completely out of whack with the rest of his career.

    Not sure what kind of player we got going forward … it’d be nice if he stayed healthy and we could find out.

  176. Ribs says:

    Reading between the lines, he should have played thrid pairing, but didn’t?

    That was pretty much the case when it came down to it. He was put into a lot of situations where he shouldn’t have been just because he was leading the entire teams offence. It backfired many times but it also allowed him to have a lot more opportunity to score.

    The reward was more often high enough to cover the risk but sometimes you just had to shake your head at situations he was placed in. I think MacT is less of a risk-taker when it comes to these things so I think it’s a good match.

    We’ll see, hopefully!

  177. Bruce says:

    Thanks, Ribs. Looks like Montreal fans are/were a bit divided on this guy too. Oiler fans OTOH seem to be pretty universally against him …

    One thing Dennis and I do agree on is that Souray would be the best fit if MacT played the shit out of him on special teams but limited his minutes and sheltered him at evens. MacT seems to agree too, given that in his injury-limited season Souray led the Oilers blueline in TOI/60 on both PP and SH, but ranked 4th in ES TOI.

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