The Short Term?

That’s Marc Pouliot winning a draw in an NHL game. This was from early 2007 (I think it was the penalty shot game) and at that time (and this past season) Pouliot looked like he’d turned something of a corner.

“He played out of position [in the NHL], wasn’t comfortable and had a couple of bad games and put himself in the doghouse and rightfully so for the mistakes he made. He gets a confidence level from playing a lot in the AHL and I think looking at our young [NHL] guys and how they’ve come along, I think that he could establish that with this team next year. I think we’d have to play him at center though and make the decision that we’d have to live with [his mistakes] for the short term. He just needs consistency; don’t be afraid to make mistakes because they’re going to happen but limit the mistakes.” -Kevin Prendergast March 2008.

I think we know a little more about Pouliot than we did a couple of summers ago. The points won’t come easy but he has some skill and he appears to be a pretty smart cookie. Added to his natural gifts (the man can pass and take a pass, it’s what made him a top point-getter in juniors) he should have an NHL career.

Marc Pouliot won’t clear waivers if the Oilers ship him out during training camp. He’s one of the favorites to win a job on the 4line or as an extra forward, along with the unsigned Reasoner, agitator Stortini and Sugartits Schremp.

“Marc’s been one of our best players since he’s been down here and that’s been the majority of the season. He plays on the first line, he kills penalties, first line power play also and the one thing he does really well is protect the puck well down low in the offensive zone and he creates a lot of chances. He’s willing to battle, he’s been in a couple of fights, he’ll take hits to make plays and he’s very passionate about his game. If there’s one weakness it would be his down low coverage in the defensive zone.” -Kelly Buchberger’s scouting report given on March 4

In 2005 fall, Marc Pouliot was sent out September 29th as the Oilers reduced their roster to 28 (the last forward cut that year was Robbie Schremp). On October 3, 2006 the Oilers made their final cut and it was Pouliot. Last season Pouliot made the team and hung around until November 3rd when they sent him to the minors. He had played 9 games, and was 0-0-0 and -7.

All he has to do this fall is shine more than Ryan O’Marra, Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, Bryan Lerg, Liam Reddox and Slava Trukhno and he’s in. He’ll have to overcome his tendency to have pedestrian training camps but there is some hope he can play in the NHL and possibly (over time) emerge from the group that includes Kyle Brodziak and possibly Marty Reasoner.

“I think over the last few weeks Pouliot has been [Springfield’s] best forward. He’s assumed the No. 1 center role on that team; he’s gone down to Springfield and done everything we’ve asked him to do. I think we’d like to get him a few games with the big team before the end of the year but they’re trying to make the playoffs so if we don’t, that’s not going to affect his status with the team and we think he could play in the NHL next year.” -Kevin Prendergast on March 5, 2008. NOTE: Pouliot would in fact get a recall, playing in 15 games March 7-April 3 and going 1-6-7, +6.

All quotes courtesy Guy Flaming.

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45 Responses to "The Short Term?"

  1. PDO says:

    One of my favourites.

    Always hoped he’d become Horcoff part two. Doesn’t look too likely any more, but there’s still a lot to like there and I hope he sticks with the big club come fall, even if it’s just in the pressbox.

  2. Ribs says:

    I think Buchberger nailed it on the head about his weakness. He tends to look lost when the puck goes into the defensive corners. I imagine it was something he didn’t really need to use in the Q too much.

    With MacT and Huddy running the show I think he can learn. He’s already proven he is capable of adapting and polishing his game.

    Big year for Poo.

  3. heed says:

    Big year for Poo.

    there’s something awesome about cheering for a guy whose nickname happens to be “Poo”. i’m hoping this is his big year.

  4. Asiaoil says:

    The comment that they need to play him at center and be patient short term is bang on. They made a mess of him last year by playing him on the the wing and it took until xmas to sort himself out.

    LT also nailed it in that he has some skills we need – he’s a reasonably big guy, adequate wheels, good passer, decent faceoffs – and most importantly – probably the kid who is most ready to step into the tougher minute center slot between Moreau and Pisani.

    For shits sakes just give the kid a defined role and let him play. He’s always been a slow starter – but he’s also always come on well – and we need a big two way center pretty badly on this team.

    Anyone else for signing Gratton if Poo is not up to the task?

  5. Dennis says:

    I saw a lot of good things from this kid down the stretch and you could see that early on he really made an effort to backcheck and keep his eye on his check when things got in the pinned down stage.

    Then, later, he began to assert himself offensively and by the end of it he was seeing more time than 46 I believe. Either way, he was playing two ways by season’s end and was showing offensive skill along with defensive awareness.

    Just to clue up on a couple of things and one of them is what DB said in the Reasoner thread: this team does need another vet in the pivot role and it looks like 19′s the obvious trusted/cheap option. My only thing is I wouldn’t want a kid like 78 losing his spot in the process.

    If MacT wants to put the old RPM band back together to play the second toughest then I guess that’s a decent idea to start. I don’t know how much all three guys have left though we could certainly start and run with it. The problem with that is that Cole, Penner or Nilsson end up with really fuckall min at evens and someone’s gonna be unhappy.

    The other thing is I don’t know if the Oilers were ever in the picture but it looks like Peca’s resigned with CBJ and that’s a guy a few of us hoped would be reunited with first 14-34 and then later just 34. But now that’s no longer than option, then, yeah, 19 looks like an OK bet.

    I just don’t want it to be at the expense of a guy with upside like 78.

  6. Muller says:

    Don’t know what you see in Pouliot Lowetide. Always thought he was a little soft and inconsistent to be a role player. He’ll never be a first or second liner. Sometimes i wonder if Crosby didn’t play with him would this guy go in the first four rounds.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Anyone else for signing Gratton if Poo is not up to the task?

    I considered Gratton as a possibility, but Desjardins really seems to indicate that he isn‘t a fit with tough minutes, which seems to match my recollection of him (nice size and willingness to use it and offensive ability, but poorly suited to a shutdown role). If he could play tough minutes (and yes, I realize that QualComp is not a statistic that we can use as a final authority on the matter) than he would certainly be a candidate.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Sometimes i wonder if Crosby didn’t play with him would this guy go in the first four rounds.

    I‘d risk a “yes”, given that he was drafted before Crosby joined Rimouski.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Crosby didn’t play with him until after Pouliot was drafted.

  10. Asiaoil says:

    Yeah for the 999th time – Crosby did not play with Pouliot in his draft year.

    The kid was marked as a bigger (but not tough) two way 2nd line center with decent offensive skills – that hasn’t changed. Like I said – give the kid a defined role and let him play – he’ll likely be OK.

  11. Jonathan says:

    The other thing is I don’t know if the Oilers were ever in the picture but it looks like Peca’s resigned with CBJ and that’s a guy a few of us hoped would be reunited with first 14-34 and then later just 34. But now that’s no longer than option, then, yeah, 19 looks like an OK bet.

    I just don’t want it to be at the expense of a guy with upside like 78.

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I really think that a savvy veteran in the third line centre spot (and no, I’m not thinking Curtis Brown, or any of the other UFA-types out there, it would have to be via trade) is the difference between “maybe” and “probably” when it comes to the playoffs for this team. And I’m not worried about Pouliot’s development; someone will get hurt. Someone always does.

  12. godot10 says:

    //The other thing is I don’t know if the Oilers were ever in the picture but it looks like Peca’s resigned with CBJ and that’s a guy a few of us hoped would be reunited with first 14-34 and then later just 34. //

    Peca’s family lives year round in the Buffalo suburbs. He will only sign in reasonable commuting distance from Buffalo.

  13. Ducey says:

    Hopefully he shows up to camp in top shape. He has shown up out of shape for a couple of years and then had to work himself back into condition in the minors.

    As much as people have been screaming about Bucky as a coach, he likely will have key role developing the younsters who find themselves in the bottom six forwards.

  14. Bank Shot says:

    A Schremp/Stortini/Pouliot/Brodziak 4th line will be lacking a bit in the wheels department.

    I don’t see how Pouliot can win the assignment between Moreau and Pisani with Cogliano and Nilson kind of floating without a secured spot at the moment.

    I have a hard time seeing one of those guys getting busted down to the 4th line to make room for Marc.

  15. Sean says:

    For some reason when I started thinking veteran player to play hard minutes I though of Rob Zamuner. Guess he is out of hockey. That 1998 olympic roster was stacked but his name sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I’m willing to run with who we got, be it Pouliot or Cogliano. Save the cap space and find out that maybe our need is something we never thought possible.

  16. Asiaoil says:

    Bank Shot – while Nilsson and Cogs are superior offensive players – they are not realistic options for a tougher minute 3rd line role. Cogs may be in the future but he’s simply not ready for that unless he found Marchant’s defensive smarts over the summer. He’ll be a great 2 way player eventually – but he isnt right now against any sort of stiff competition.

    IMHO it’s between MAP and Brodziak unless we bring in a vet – and while Brodziak had a nice year on the 4th line – his performance against tougher matchups was not great either. So by default it’s MAP in my view as the guy with the best mix of size, skills, experience and track-record (limited as it is) out of the young centers.

    I don’t know what we will do with the top 6 either since we have Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Cole, Gagner, Nilsson and Cogs needing minutes – plus Schremp knocking on the door. Putting a kid like Cogs in a role (3rd line shutdown center) that he’s not ready for just doesn’t make sense if you want to both win and develop young players. We just have too many small offensive top 6 guys around and need another move eventually that plugs other holes.

  17. HBomb says:

    I hope Pouliot earns a spot on the team. If they play Cole with H&H and are hell-bent on keeping the kids together, maybe Pouliot plays between Penner and Pisani?

    Oh, and of course….just say no to Marty Reasoner.

  18. Doogie2K says:

    For some reason when I started thinking veteran player to play hard minutes I though of Rob Zamuner. Guess he is out of hockey. That 1998 olympic roster was stacked but his name sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Last I heard he was the superstar of the Australian Elite Ice Hockey League or whatever it’s called.

    I’m not making this up. I don’t think you can.

  19. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I hope Pouliot earns a spot on the team. If they play Cole with H&H and are hell-bent on keeping the kids together, maybe Pouliot plays between Penner and Pisani?

    I really, really hope this happens, because who wouldn’t want to cheer for the PeePiPoo line???

    Nice shot of Gator, LT. He looks like he just stepped off the set of Zombie Hockey Players from Hell.

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don’t see how Pouliot can win the assignment between Moreau and Pisani

    He won’t have to. Brodziak is going to win the privelge of playing between Cole and Pisani on the 2nd line.

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Cole – Brozdiak – Pisani
    Gagner – Cogliano – Nilsson
    Moreau – Pouliot – Stortini

    Reasoner / Potulny

    The second line is the tough minutes line, the first line is the most minutes line and the third line is the easy minutes line.

    Just a hunch, but I think those lines set up nicely that way and end up getting TOI in that order.

  21. HBomb says:

    There is absolutely no way that Erik Cole doesn’t play with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. None whatsoever. Those three WILL play as a power vs. power trio.

    Cole-Brodziak-Pisani is a waste of Erik Cole, as much as Marty Reasoner is a waste of a roster spot.

  22. transplantedjetfan says:

    I’d be happy to see the oilers wait until well into the season before acquiring a vet C. It’d suck to trade assets only to see Brodziak, MAP, Cogliano become that type of player. May as well give them a shot first.

    Also, sounds like Thoreson is going back to Europe.

  23. Dennis says:

    If the Oilers factored in the ’07 season when weighing 51 vs 78 for the third line pivot role, then I think they’d have to go with MP.

    In ’07 him and 19 played nearly the same level of comp, ie 19 lagged slightly behind and I remember a few games where 78-19-34 played together, and 78 finished with a very impressive 1.96 GA/60. Last season, he was -7 when he was sent down and I doubt either of those happened in an EN situation so given he finished 10/11 at season’s end, he was on an absolute tear by the end of it and once again, for the biggest part of his career, there just isn’t a lot of GA when 78′s on the ice.

    Now the question is could he do it in a top six tough min role. I say yes and especially if ?/10-83 is taking on the top line and ?-78-34 is taking on the second liners.

    Anyway, Jon, I don’t you’re the only one who believes that the 3rd line role is the major thing keeping us from the playoffs in ’09. I think it’s that plus one spot on the D, though. As Lain said before me, if you could move Souray out and bring in a guy who can come out on top in a top four role, then I’d like the balance way more in the D.

  24. Hemsky_83 says:

    Hey LT I noticed you didn’t mention Schremp in the list of guys he’ll have to outshine in order to make the team.

    Does this mean you’re thinking Schremp’s probably gonna lock up a spot come TC in September?

  25. Dennis says:

    You’d have to think HB is right about Cole being earmarked for that top LW spot. Here’s a guy who’s played tough min before and seems like a perfect line for the 10-83 combo.

    That sorta puts 27 or 12 in limbo but so be it.

  26. HBomb says:

    You’d have to think HB is right about Cole being earmarked for that top LW spot. Here’s a guy who’s played tough min before and seems like a perfect line for the 10-83 combo.

    That sorta puts 27 or 12 in limbo but so be it.

    Really Dennis, I think the idea is to give at least one of Pouliot or Cogliano, and perhaps even both, an on-the-job education in tough minutes.

    Assuming Cole-Horcoff-Hemsky, there’s a couple scenarios:

    Penner-Gagner-Nilsson
    Cogliano-Pouliot-Pisani

    Cogliano-Gagner-Nilsson
    Penner-Pouliot-Pisani

    Scenario one could see Moreau moving up late in close games from the 3rd line with either 13 or 78 at centre. Scenario 2 provides some flexibility in that maybe Cogliano takes some games between 27/34 and the 2nd line becomes Nilsson-Pouliot-Gagner. And then if Schremp’s an extra foward, maybe he draws in at centre or RW for these games and Pouliot sits down or drops to 4RW with Moreau-Brodziak. Maybe we see something like this, a “soft-and-young-but-skilled” lineup:

    Cole Horcoff Hemsky
    Nilsson Gagner Schremp
    Penner Cogliano Pisani
    Moreau Pouliot Brodziak

    Lots of options for MacT. Bottom line is that I think you’ll see Pouliot and Cogliano both tackling some sort of 3rd line role at times this year, Penner may play a role there too (his faceoff ability could be used to help shelter one of the kids at centre), and Nilsson-Gagner as a duo are going to lead the charge when it comes to “roasting the marshmallows” (aka destroying the soft).

  27. Jonathan says:

    Anyway, Jon, I don’t you’re the only one who believes that the 3rd line role is the major thing keeping us from the playoffs in ’09. I think it’s that plus one spot on the D, though.

    I’m with you there. Still, I think the team will have an easier time implementing a “by-committee” approach on the backend than up front, barring one of the kids stepping up. What you mentioned above RE:Pouliot’s start to the season has me thinking he’s the best bet, if he shows up to training camp in reasonable shape (for a change). Otherwise, it’s pretty much the trade route to address that hole, because of the UFA’s left, I’d say Reasoner’s one of the better remaining options for the position, and he couldn’t hack it last season. Curtis Brown is the best UFA left for the role.

  28. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    Sorry, Lain.

    I’m going OT again, but I thought you’d want to see this.

    According to:
    http://prosportstransactions.com/hockey/index.htm

    Fredrik Johansson
    Glenn Fisher
    Jonas Almtorp
    T.J. Kemp
    Troy Bodie

    were not tendered qualifying offers on July 1.

    L8r
    Louise

  29. Dennis says:

    It could be the case where the GM loves 78 — much like he did with Rita and Chimera — but MacT makes the final call and that’s what really matters. I forget now whether it was Craig or Kevin who mentioned 78 during the end of season PC but I believe it was the GM.

    51 has some fine looking PK rates but his GA/60 isn’t all that great and, really, 78 should get the first shot at that gig.

  30. dwillms says:

    I agree that Cole has the top LW spot locked up, at least to start the season.

    I get the feeling that Lowe is a 78 fan, where MacT is a 51 guy.

    Not sure if anybody has taken a look at the depth chart listed on the Oilers site, but here’s what they show:

    Cole-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Nilsson-Gagner-Cogliano
    Penner-Brodziak-Pisani
    Moreau-Pouliot-Stortini

  31. IceDragoon says:

    And…

    Pouliot signed to a two year contract today. As per Louiss at HF. iow – book it.

  32. dubya says:

    2yrs, 825K cap hit (again, according to Louiss)

  33. IceDragoon says:

    Official terms:

    1 way deal

    1st year: 725K
    2nd year: 925K

    his Q-offer was 980K so its under that but 1 way

    no bonuses so cap hit is 825K for the next 2 years

  34. IceDragoon says:

    Ha… dubya beat me.

    One of these days I’ll learn to refresh the page before posting.
    ;-)
    na

  35. IceDragoon says:

    Compliments of our same source:

    JF Jacques has also resigned for 2 years.

    2 year deal

    1st year is two-way (but he is waiver eligible)
    2nd year is 1 way

  36. Dennis says:

    Not much to complain about that there; MP should certainly perform to that contract and he has a decent shot at outperforming it. These are one way deals and there’s no way he’s clearing waivers so I guess that means he’s on the team.

  37. Ribs says:

    Looks like the Sens got Jason Smith…

    TSN

  38. PDO says:

    Good value on the Pouliot deal.

    Smith signed in Ottawa…. LT is cursed.

  39. goldenchild says:

    Thats a very good contract, the type that MAP could make himself very valuable to the team with if he just comes in and plays with the confidence he had at the end of the season. The Oilers need his size in the middle especially ith stoll gone.

  40. Sean says:

    I like the Pouliot contract.

    I’m with Jon when he says we need a third line shutdown guy, I just don’t like the UFA options available. Guys like Reasoner and Brown I consider lateral moves. Brodziak, Cogliano or Pouliot have more upside and I’d be willing to give them a shot if a trade cant be made.

  41. CM says:

    I’m loving that STL just made an offersheet to bernier.

  42. Ozzieoiler says:

    Zamuner came to my home team in the 06 season. Played all of 3-4 games. Pretty sure it was more a holiday on the sunny beaches as he was let go by either his italian or swiss club unexpectedly. When he arrived he lasted half a game played in Melbourne before his groin gave out. I’m pretty sure he was damaged goods.

    Good for a bit of promo. At the moment we seem to be getting a few guys from the LNAH league in Quebec.

    Lowetide you seem to mention every off season that the team always ends the summer disjointed in certain positions. It would seem that way again that we are missing less pieces this season but have failed to sign anyone to fill even these lesser roles.

    Seems like these should be easier to fill?

  43. Lowetide says:

    They need a nasty defender and could use some insurance at center where they are really lacking in experience. But you’re right, the balance is going to be better on takeoff.

  44. Coach pb9617 says:

    This

    There is absolutely no way that Erik Cole doesn’t play with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. None whatsoever. Those three WILL play as a power vs. power trio.

    and this:

    That sorta puts 27 or 12 in limbo but so be it.

    combined with this:

    Really Dennis, I think the idea is to give at least one of Pouliot or Cogliano, and perhaps even both, an on-the-job education in tough minutes.

    Is just piss-poor roster management. The team goes a full year making fantastic asset decisions along with amazing roster management decisions and now all of a sudden they throw all of that in the toilet?

    Terrible idea.

  45. Dennis says:

    Coach: well, this is what we’re been saying; all the pieces don’t fit.

    They move heaven and earth to try and land Hossa and Jagr, yet, we’re still an EV vet short on D and we need a pivot on that checking line who has some hair on his back. So, you’ve got to believe they want to push for the playoffs but there’s a couple of holes that might prevent that. As much as I love 13 and 78, even if you put them with 34 plus on the checking line you still know they’re likely to take some bad minuses away from it.

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