Free Agent Day 2008: Isn’t This Where It Went A Little Wonky?

Last July 1, I wrote 5 posts on this blog. The titles were “Oilers to Hit Grand Slam with No One on Base” which detailed Bob Stauffer’s suggestion that the club was after Scott Gomez, “Running Depth Chart and $$ Count” which kept having to be updated through the day because of all the moves, “Oilers trade Jason Smith” which celebrated Pitkanen’s arrival, “When the Money Runs out, do they Give Nilsson top 6 Minutes?” which talked about Nilsson getting a chance on the top 2lines and suggested Lowe better get another forward (who would be Penner) and then rounded out the day with “Oilers sign Nylander.”

They’re all available through the Blog Archive if you’re interested.

We’ve already had the Jason Smith/Joffrey Lupul trade, but what about a free agent signing? Will there be something to talk about tomorrow? Is something Afoot?

Last season, Kevin Lowe dealt for Pitkanen and (on July 3) signed Mathieu Garon and frankly things looked good. Shortly thereafter, Kevin Lowe was giving interviews with local media that made him sound like Ray Milland just after the Lost Weekend wrapped. The names and stories come flooding back: Vanek, Souray, Penner and on it went.

What will happen tomorrow? Hell if I know. Here’s what I suggested they do in the post “Perfect” June 28:

  • Sign Curtis Glencross for LW insurance but play Raffi in the top 9 when healthy
  • Sign Shawn Horcoff to an extension
  • Sign Joni Pitkanen
  • Trade Matt Greene for a veteran D
  • Trade Stoll, Schremp and extras for a healthy two-way center with size

They’ve already dealt Stoll and Greene, but don’t look likely to sign Pitkanen. Glencross is down the list of priorities and is unlikely to go tomorrow. Horcoff’s extension awaits and the two-way center is not yet known to us.

I think it’ll be a crazy day tomorrow. I’m blogging all day, beer at the ready.

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43 Responses to "Free Agent Day 2008: Isn’t This Where It Went A Little Wonky?"

  1. Islandlife says:

    Isn’t that Vermette in the pic? Hmmm.

  2. PDO says:

    Glad to hear that LT. I have Canada Day plans that will likely involve the vaunted Pill Cube… but with the way things are going right now, and this ridiculous heat, I think I need to pick some beer up for right now.

    At this point, a PERFECT Summer involves getting Souray off the books, extending Horcoff and Garon, signing Vasicek to play between Raffi and San Fernando, and signing GlenX so we can have a pair of angry men on the fourth line in him and Moreau.

    I still think Cogliano could be packaged with Pitkanen, and all our shit will be rocked…

  3. spOILer says:

    Stauffer, Rishaug, Millard emphasized that the Oil are going after Hossa with the biggest salary pitch to Winter tomorrow.

    I’m beginning to belive them.

    How can this match up with a Pitkanen trade that is sure to bring back salary?

    How about:

    Joni & Roli to MTL for Halak, S. Kostitsyn (the younger one), and a 2nd rounder?

    Then sign Hossa to a 4 * $9M deal.

    HOSS HORC HEMS
    PENN GAGN NILS
    TORR COGS PISA
    KOST BROD STOR

    SOUR VISN
    GREB GILB
    SMID STAI

    GARON
    HALAK

    $50.75M before the spares. Enough for Souray insurance, perhaps in the form of J. Smith. Enough for deadline additions. Enough for Horc and Garon extensions. Kostitsyn is a cheaper improvement over GlenX, and I think shared a season on the Knights with Gagner.

    Or see if you can get a 1st if you don’t want Kostitsyn or MTL won’t let him go, drop Torres to for a 2nd, and sign GlenX– we’re still under $52M.

    A cheap young goalie and a pick, or maybe a developing stud like Marc Staal is all I can see Joni bringing, if the UFA rumour is true.

    And if it means we get Hossa, I’m all for it. Even at $8.5-9M per. It’s an unbelievable asset, even if it doesn’t work out.

  4. RiversQ says:

    I like your lineup except I doubt MTL does that deal and there’s no way Hossa signs for 4yrs. He’d have to be an idiot to do that.

    He’ll get 6yrs without question.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Does signing Hossa to a 6yr/$54M contract make sense to this organization?

    I guess they could suffer through 2 seasons of Souray and then buy him out before the Gagner windfall.

  6. Coach pb9617 says:

    Does signing Hossa to a 6yr/$54M contract make sense to this organization?

    Not without a whole bunch of changes.

    I’d much rather get Hagman at 3 million per…

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT – I think it also guarantees that Pitkanen will be moved for non-roster assets.

  8. YKOil says:

    Heh. If pdo reads my UFA season post he will see where we agree on Vasicek.

    Souray gone.
    More Horcoff & Garon.
    Sign Tjarnqvist (the forward) or Vasicek.
    Sign one of Vandermeer, Salvador, Malik or Sauer – whoever works best in the line-up.

    Great summer.

  9. Devin says:

    I don’t think you’ll get Salvador without committing a few years and a NMC – he was vocal in the press about wanting to keep his family in one place, etc. I’d be game for Malik or Sauer, though. Actually Mark Eaton could be had on the cheap…

    I agree you don’t get Hossa for fewer than 6 years, and why would you want to? Since $ don’t matter anymore, we have to assume a long-term overpay with declining final years, so say an 8yr, 63M deal (10-10-10-10-8-7-5-3… I believe that’s legal…) for a cap hit under 8. You can trade him later, or buy him out, or send him down. In 6 years inflation will mean a much higher cap figure anyway.

    One would hope that this 9m/yr saber rattling means that the Oil have a plan to dispose of Roli immediately, and Souray soon. Unfortunately it smells to me like they are going to let Horcoff go and Pitkanen go for non-roster “assets”. Bah.

    First thing in the morning Horc should be offered a 6 or 7-year deal — yeah, you heard me — at something like 7-6-6-5-3-2-(2), which would bring his new cap hit under 5M. Another under-35 guy so can be buried in the minors later on if needed. Come on people, let’s spend Katz’s money ;)

  10. Jonathan says:

    Does signing Hossa to a 6yr/$54M contract make sense to this organization?

    No, not really. Hossa isn’t worth elite LW money because he isn’t an elite LW.

  11. PDO says:

    Okay.

    If, and this is a big if, we sign Hossa.

    Hemsky has never played LW or C in his life.

    Hossa has failed miserably at playing LW his entire life.

    So…?

  12. Lowetide says:

    I mentioned in the UFA post leading up to July 1 (it was one day last week) that Hossa would be one of 8 players that it seemed reasonable to target.

    However, my guess was they would go hard and come up short. That’s still my thought but lordy if they do sign him there will be massive phlebotomy:

    GOAL:
    Mathieu Garon (1.1M), Dwayne Roloson (3.67M)

    LEFT DEFENSE: Sheldon Souray (5.4M), Denis Grebeshkov (1.5M), Ladislav Smid (.886M)

    RIGHT DEFENSE: Lubimor Visnovsky ($5.6M), Tom Gilbert (4M), Steve Staios (2.7M)

    CENTER: Shawn Horcoff (3.6M), Sam Gagner (1.625M), Kyle Brodziak (.497M)

    LEFT WING: Dustin Penner (4.25M), Andrew Cogliano (1.133M), Raffi Torres (2.25M), Ethan Moreau (2M)

    RIGHT WING: Marian Hossa (9M), Ales Hemsky (4.1M), Robert Nilsson (1.833M), Fernando Pisani (2.5M)
    TOTAL SIGNED PLAYERS: 19
    TOTAL DOLLARS SPENT: $57,644,000
    CAP: $56,700,000
    DOLLARS AVAILABLE: over by $1M
    ROSTER SPOTS AVAILABLE: 4

    So you’re looking at filling with 4 players who make around $2M total and that puts you three million over.

    And that’s with Pitkanen gone btw.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    And that’s with Pitkanen gone btw.

    It’s looking like Pitkanen + Roloson + Torres will be traded for a ‘thank you for taking our cap hit’ note and nothing more.

  14. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Lowetide ever since I heard the 9million rumor I’ve been doing calculations just like the ones you did right there and no way I do it does it make sense to me. Torres, Pitkanen, and one of Roloson or Souray would have to be gone for it to work IMO

  15. spOILer says:

    Didn’t Horc and Hossa play on the same line with Mora IK for part of the lockout?

    And didn’t they tear it up together?

    If you have to:

    NILS HORC HOSS
    GAGN COGL HEMS

  16. spOILer says:

    sorry that 2nd line should be

    PENN GAGN HEMS

  17. RiversQ says:

    Jonathan said…
    Does signing Hossa to a 6yr/$54M contract make sense to this organization?

    No, not really. Hossa isn’t worth elite LW money because he isn’t an elite LW.

    Just for kicks, what’s the list of wingers period that are better than Hossa?

    Personally, I have a tough time finding a dozen. Since the NHL is dressing 2*4*30=240 wingers around the league, that pretty much means you’re an elite player.

    He’s a player that has put up big numbers for a long time and he’s shouldered a decent load almost everywhere he has played.

    The NE was unquestionably tough when he was there and I doubt he was cherry picking.

    The SE was pretty bad there, but if you’re the #1 option (and he was definitely taking tough min in ATL) you’re going to play some decent minutes regardless of division quality.

    The sample size is too small in PIT and it’s blurred by the injury.

    $9MM/yr for 6 yrs is a tough pill to choke down, but I think it’s hard to argue that Hossa can’t approach that in this market. He’s certainly a better player than guys like Gomez and Briere and they cashed in, so something like$48MM is probably the starting point in terms of total contract value here.

  18. Lowetide says:

    RQ: How do you get him on the roster, though?

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    No, not really. Hossa isn’t worth elite LW money because he isn’t an elite LW.

    Just for kicks, what’s the list of wingers period that are better than Hossa?

    I think his point was that Edmonton needs a LW and Hossa is a RW.

    I think.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Just for kicks, what’s the list of wingers period that are better than Hossa?

    Personally, I have a tough time finding a dozen.

    My personal definition of an elite player is top-5 at his position, as opposed to 1st line player, which would be top-30.

    I did a quick look at Hossa here:

    http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/2008/06/ufa-option-marian-hossa.html

    and the biggest thing that I get a kick out of is that a guy who managed a grand total of 66 points this season is suddenly worth 9M/yr.

    Let me quote some excerpts:

    At even strength, Hossa played the 3rd most difficult opposition (tied with Malone). He averaged 2.07 PTS/60 (Hemsky, by way of comparison, managed 2.36) and, even though he spent the majority of the year on a lousy Thrashers team, there isn’t much excuse for finishing with a 2.49GFON/60 and a 3.16GAON/60 if you’re about to be paid like a superstar. To be honest, I’m rather surprised by how poor his numbers were (they were much better in 2006-07, playing similar opponents).

    On the powerplay, Hossa again wasn’t anything special. He averaged 3.98 PTS/60, and the powerplay only scored 5.96 GFON/60 while allowing 1.19 GAON/60. These are not impressive numbers, even if we allow that Atlanta had a poor powerplay (23rd overall). Again, by way of comparison, Hemsky managed 5.93 PTS/60 and a 7.90 GFON/60 on a powerplay that wasn’t significantly better.

    TOI/60:
    2006-07 – 14:16 EV, 2:07 SH, 5:17 PP

    Hossa played the 6th hardest minutes among Thrashers forwards at even strength. The team score 3.46 GFON/60 and 2.66 GAON/60. He scored at a 2.67 PTS/60 clip. On the powerplay was where he really racked up the points, scoring at a 6.09 PTS/60 rate, with the team putting up a +6.35/60 when he was on the ice (good for 1st on the Thrashers).

    We aren’t talking Zetterberg here. We aren’t talking Iginla, or Alfredsson or Gaborik. Hossa is an exceptional player, but he doesn’t belong in the conversation with that upper tier of guys, an while I’m not averse to paying him 9M/yr over 2 or maybe even 3 years, it’s probably going to be a 6-yr contract. It will hamper every decision the team makes moving forward, and he simply is not worth it.

  21. Jonathan says:

    I think his point was that Edmonton needs a LW and Hossa is a RW.

    No, that’s just a dumb brain cramp on my part, but it is true as well, btw- we don’t need an elite RW; I’m plenty satisfied with the lineup we have there.

  22. RiversQ says:

    Well, I haven’t said he’ll fit in, have I?

    ;)

    Obviously more money has to go out the door. Personally, I’d love to send Souray and Pitkanen packing and then fill their spots with vets who can still do the job.

    After all, this what Lowe is truly good at.

    The man has two skills – he kills at finding veteran dmen on the cheap and he’s built a draft machine.

    On the flipside he’s pretty much a dope when it comes to goalies and his choice of forwards is suspect at best. Throw money at those problems – don’t build a $25MM blueline.

  23. HBomb says:

    Ideal scenario: Oilers land Hossa, but to make it work, they somehow get three teams to take Souray, Roloson and Moreau off their hands (in that order).

    I’d have a lot less of a problem with Hossa at 9 million than I do with Souray at 60% of that.

  24. CM says:

    Remember that beauty cup run where we had so many players outplaying their contracts. I just don’t see how Hossa can outplay a 9 mil a year contract.

    As much as I would love seeing Hossa in oiler silks I think we still have to keep the eyes on the prize. we need to stick to players who will out play their contracts. Hossa at 7 mil there is a chance. unfourtunetly Hossa at 7 mil means he’s playing somewhere else.

  25. Jonathan says:

    Ideal scenario: Oilers land Hossa, but to make it work, they somehow get three teams to take Souray, Roloson and Moreau off their hands (in that order).

    That scenario I could live with. The more likely scenario is that he sends away Pitkanen and Torres now and Horcoff at the deadline (because hey, Gagners ready, right?)

  26. grease trap says:

    Does it have to be such a hit? I like the idea of a longterm signing heavily frontloaded so it’s easy to dump or buy out if he becomes ineffectuve 7 or 8 years down the line.

    Personally, I’d offer 64 over 8 with little intent of keeping him after 5.

    All that being said, we won’t sign Hossa. I mean, come on…

  27. gary b says:

    crikey, i feel like a 8-year old on Christmas Eve!

    will we get a shiny new bike (Hossa), a super Stretch Armstrong™ (Cole/Vermette)… or a sweater (draft picks?)

  28. CM says:

    Grease Trap you need to look at how the buy out rules work.

    http://nhlscap.com/cap_faq.htm#buyouts

    If the oil gave Hossa 64 for 8 years at 11.5 11.5 11.5 11.5 8 4 3.5 2.5 and the oiler bought hossa out after 5 years. we would have a cap hit of almost 5.1 5.6 6.6 1.1 1.1 1.1 for years 6 7 8 9 10 and 11. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  29. PunjabiOil says:

    Hossa did only have 66 points in 72 regular season games, but last year he had 100, and the year before 92.

    He also put up 26 points in 20 games in the playoffs.

    I think he’s worth close to the 9M figure.

    The issue is getting someone to take on the Souray contract. Perhaps Dustin penner can be expendable for picks.

  30. NotLeeFogolin says:

    I have a feeling Lowe didn’t expect to land Souray last year. I submit as evidence Souray’s testimony that the Oilers “hadn’t even kicked the tires” before their offer, and that we started camp with way too many defenders. Because Lowe didn’t expect to land him, he had no idea what to do when he did. Hence his dumbass comments about having all the defencemen.

    My point is that I doubt they have a plan for Hossa either. I think we’re going to witness a near-record amount of player movement if we do land the prize. I almost hope we don’t land him because of the havoc it’ll bring.

    But I do hope we sign him, because it’s always the best move to land the best player.

  31. grease trap says:

    cm:

    Yowza!

  32. grease trap says:

    Am I the only one who can’t sleep?

  33. Lowetide says:

    No.

  34. IceDragoon says:

    You guys are crazy.

  35. Lowetide says:

    I wish it was noon.

  36. Black Dog says:

    icedragoon – crazy like foxes

    um, or something

    go to bed you bunch of girls! pajama party is over

    its Kyle Calder and Ian White I tells ya! ;)

  37. IceDragoon says:

    Insomnia rocks!

    um, or something
    ;-D

    meh… There’s nothing we can do about tomorrow(later today), so I’ll save my worrying for when its really needed.
    ;-D

    fwiw – We have survived zany summers before.

    Good night, all.

  38. grease trap says:

    Well, I thought many beers would make me sleepy but I passed over into wide awake drunk mode. My solution, I think, is more beer. I have many Sleeman flavours to choose from, but I think I’ll stick with the 20. It’s a pleasant surprise.

    Also, I do think we miss the Hossa train, but I’m not sure if I mind as long as Lowe can get the ever elusive strong veteran forward presence we need.

  39. Bruce says:

    On the flipside he’s pretty much a dope when it comes to goalies

    RQ: You talking about the dope who dumped Tommy Salo for Tom Gilbert? The dope who grabbed Dwayne Roloson for a pick at the deadline and nearly won a Cup with him? Or the dope who signed Mathieu Garon on the cheap as a UFA last summer?

    PS: It’s an Islay single malt night in Bruce’s house. Lovely.

  40. grease trap says:

    A Bruichladdich, by chance?

  41. grease trap says:

    I’ve got a bottle they don’t make anymore, the Celtic blend. Very Peaty, but beautiful. It was a collaboration with an Irish distillery, but it turns out that to make the stuff Scottish law was broken so this is the only vatting. A smart man would save it and let the price rise. A smarter man would drink it!

    And I do and think I will go pour a dram right now.

    :P

  42. Bruce says:

    It’s Bowmore. Or maybe it’s Bouwmeester, something like that.

    (Hey it’s easy to get distracted at this time of year!)

    Either or both are mighty fine.

  43. RiversQ says:

    Bruce said…
    RQ: You talking about the dope who dumped Tommy Salo for Tom Gilbert? The dope who grabbed Dwayne Roloson for a pick at the deadline and nearly won a Cup with him? Or the dope who signed Mathieu Garon on the cheap as a UFA last summer?

    Yeah I’m talking about the dope that pissed away a couple of years while Salo stunk the joint up. That year they got Roloson, they barely treaded water and squeezed into the playoffs. That was a very good team that nearly missed because Lowe couldn’t get the goaltending straight.

    I’ll give on Garon. For the price he’s a heck of a deal. I’m not sold on him beyond the shootout though.

    I think the Oilers management has had plenty of trouble with the goalie position since they’ve been in charge.

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