Riesen to Believe Update

A bunch of talk in the last couple of days about Marc Pouliot. Dan Barnes mentions MP in his column today as a penalty killing option “if he sticks.”

Barnes also talks about the players “in the mix” for the final roster spot, mentioning Marc Pouliot, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Guillaume Lefebvre.

Schremp and Lefebvre offer skills that are not duplicated by Pouliot, but should one of them make the roster it may mean only one of Brule and Pouliot make the Oilers out of TC.

I’ve (up to this point) suggested Pouliot as a heavy favorite to make the team this year. Now I’m not certain. There may be a feeling (as was suggested before TC by Ryan Rishaug) that it is time for fresh blood on the 4line, that last season’s Brodziak-Glencross-Stortini crash and bang 4line was the perfect template. That scenario would heavily favor Brule, especially if (as Barnes also mentioned) the coach is thinking of splitting up the “3line-with-no-center” experiment. Putting Brodziak on the 3line with Penner and Pisani and slotting Moreau alongside Brule and Stortini is an option that would satisfy those needs.

Which would mean the 13F is a battle between Pouliot, Schremp and Lefebvre. Here are the updated bets:


Safe Without a Throw: Horcoff, Cole, Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson, Pisani, Penner, Moreau, Stortini, Brodziak. Moreau has been added, as he appears to be completely healthy and isn’t blocking shots in pre-season this year. So that’s 11 out of 13 or 14 forwards.

  1. Brule 75% (up 25%)
  2. Pouliot 70% (down 25%)
  3. Schremp 65% (up 15%)
  4. Lefebvre 40% (new)
  5. Potulny 12% (down 29%)
  6. Reddox 10% (same)
  7. Trukhno 3% (same)
  8. Sestitio 1% (same)

Gone from the list are Lerg (minors) and Moreau (healthy). I’ve also increased the possibility of the Oilers going with 14F’s which impacts players below. I also think we can start talking about one of these men starting the season on IR until everything shakes loose.


Stealing Home: Visnovsky, Souray, Staios, Grebeshkov, Gilbert. Smid is very close but there’s still a slight chance they deal him for a veteran blueliner.

  1. Smid 98% (up 4%)
  2. Strudwick 80% (down 10%)
  3. Roy 11% (same)
  4. Peckham 2% (down 3%)
  5. Chorney 1% (new)

Could the Oilers start the season with just 6 defensemen? Highly doubtful, but they might place someone on IR until things sort themselves out (as above).


  1. Garon 100%
  2. Roloson 90% (up 5%)
  3. Deslauriers 41% (down 23%)

At this point I think the Oilers must be thinking long and hard about either risking waivers on JDD or dealing Roloson. The two veteran goalies look ready to go and Deslauriers, although impressive, would certainly represent a weak spot on the roster should Edmonton trade Roloson and move the rookie into the backup slot.

I think the three most likely scenarios for roster relief remain:

  1. Putting someone on IR
  2. Sending down Deslauriers
  3. Making 12 and 13F’s Brule and Pouliot

However, once again Marc Pouliot has come to training camp and not grabbed it. It is also the second camp in a row where he has played away from center, and I cannot remember a time when the Oilers boasted a healthy roster and Pouliot’s spot was safe.

It’s a tell, folks.

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58 Responses to "Riesen to Believe Update"

  1. Ribs says:

    Did Guy Carbonneau ever get shoved to wing in his young career?

    It does seem pretty silly to have Poo playing out of his natural position when he is clearly better suited to the center role. MacT likes taking the hard road when it comes to his journeymen and seeing him push Poo past his limits may actually be a good sign for him lasting on this team. You don’t become Shawn Horcoff over night, you know!

  2. Muller says:

    Still don’t know what you see in Pouliot. He doesn’t have enough sandpaper in his game to keep on the team.

  3. Doogie2K says:

    Didn’t Horcoff spend his early years on the wing, as well? Hell, for that matter, half our current crop of wingers seem to be converted centres of one form or another.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when you’re compared to a guy who had a fucking trophy named for him, you’re doing just fine. Don’t like the connotations of limitations? Prove the coach wrong, don’t sulk.

  4. HBomb says:

    I don’t get it. I’ve seen Pouliot play both preseason games he was in, and I thought he looked good.

    Based on playmaking ability, he’s a way better fit between Penner and Pisani than Brodziak, IMO. And given some of the numbers floated in yesterday’s discussion, I don’t see how he’s a worse option for that role.

    We also know that Brodziak and Stortini worked well together. Throw Moreau on their LW and forget this utter nonsense of “making sure the captain isn’t on the fourth line” (which makes about as much sense as the Eskimos playing Ron McLendon over Calvin McCarty at RB because they “need McCarty fresh for special teams”, despite the fact he is superior in every way to “Goldie).


    That’s one of the stronger bottom sixes in the league, IMO.

  5. Stuart van says:

    I don’t think Pouliot not making the team is being considered at all. They passed on Reasoner because of Brodiak/Pouliot.

    I think the real question is Schremp or Brule. If you go by the numbers, Schremp has earned a shot. He’s another weapon on the PP and shootout. Brule, on the other hand, has struggled at the NHL level. Brule’s young. Brule, like Nilsson did, needs a year in the AHL to complete his game.

    Who’s this Lefebvre character anyways? He’s 27 and played in the LNAH for the past 2 years. I don’t buy that he’s a real option for a spot (unless they’d rather sit him than a Schremp or Brule).

  6. Lowetide says:

    Stuart van: I don’t really buy Lefebvre either to be honest. He was impressive in a fight but was chaos everywhere else. Very, very raw talent and a one dimensional one at that.

    The other thing is that they CAN keep Pouliot, Schremp and Brule if they do this:

    1. Horcoff
    2. Cole
    3. Hemsky
    4. Cogliano
    5. Gagner
    6. Nilsson
    7. Brodziak
    8. Penner
    9. Pisani
    10. Pouliot
    11. Moreau
    12. Stortini
    13. Brule
    14. Schremp

    All they have to do is make a decision in net, which would mean waivers for Deslauriers.

    Who would fetch more in trade? Pouliot or Deslauriers? Would either get you much?

  7. Paper Designer says:

    I’ve been exasperated before that people keep trying to write Pouliot’s name in ink. The thing about Pouliot is that other than the fact that he’s a bit bigger than the bazillion skilled centers the Oilers have drafted, he doesn’t really have anything that stands out. People keep talking about Schremp being redundant… well, what makes Pouliot so special? Does the fact that he can play some defence really make a difference when the coaching staff is clearly making Brodziak their pet project as the next two-way center for this team?

    At this point, I’d rather deal Pouliot for picks, and clear the path a bit for Brule if he shines in the minors.

  8. HBomb says:

    I think the real question is Schremp or Brule.

    You know what? I think that’s the ONLY question at this point.

    3 goalies, 7 defensemen (with Strudwick a “tweener”), and 13 forwards.

    They’re not going to just give Pouliot away. I’d almost think it’s more likely Schremp gets moved than Pouliot (even though I wouldn’t agree with that either).

  9. Lowetide says:

    paper designer: The trick is to have as many actual NHL players as possible. They've invested all kinds of time and effort in Pouliot and he has played enough NHL games that one can imagine him helping win games at some point down the line.

    That's a valuable thing. We can rave about a guy like Slava Trukhno all we want but he isn't going to be a > player for some time even if he makes the roster.

    To a lesser extent, Schremp is also a player who'll struggle as a rookie before getting back to do.

    So, the issue with Pouliot is a big one imo. He's a guy (like Brule) who has enough NHL experience to help with things like the penalty kill and MacT's stated problem of "it's what you leave."

    So, if you place him on waivers and a team like the Kings grab him well then you have fewer options with his level of experience.

    Certainly you make the move if it's a black and white issue, and that's where I think the organization is right now.

    I think it's a mistake, frankly. They might cut Pouliot loose on a Thursday and need him like mad by the weekend.

    There's a danger here.

  10. JohnnyOil says:

    LT, regarding who gets the 12th, 13th, and 14th spots for forwards, since the percentages don’t add up to 100 (they add up to 276), I gather you’re weighing their possibilities of making the team comparatively. If so, I thought it would be interesting to see how the percentages work out for the two scenarios:

    Thirteen-man forward lineup (spots 12 and 13):
    1. Brule (2*75)/276 = 54%
    2. Pouliot 51%
    3. Schremp 47%
    4. Lefebvre 29%
    5. Potulny 9%
    6. Reddox 7%
    7. Trukhno 2%
    8. Sestito 1%

    Fourteen-man forward lineup (spots 12, 13, and 14):
    1. Brule (3*75)/276 = 82%
    2. Pouliot 76%
    3. Schremp 71%
    4. Lefebvre 43%
    5. Potulny 13%
    6. Reddox 11%
    7. Trukhno 3%
    8. Sestito 1%

    We could conflate the two scenarios also, but that would depend on what how likely it is we’d have 13 forwards over 14, and I have no idea.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Johnny Oil: I’m using the entire 23-man roster. So, 23×100% minus the numbers beside each player no matter the position.

    I think it’s wrong by 1%.

  12. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    “Based on playmaking ability, he’s a way better fit between Penner and Pisani than Brodziak, IMO.”

    If play making ability is the criteria then wouldn’t Schremp be the best fit?

    Pouliot, as usual, didn’t show up to camp. Or even worse.. maybe he did and this is Pouliot at his all time hungriest. This guys upside is Marty Reasoner. Soft, can’t fight, can’t really score but he can PK and kill the clock. Why waste time developing these type of players when they could be had for a 4th round pick?

    Is Pouliot wasn’t a first round pick and he was just some guy on a tryout would you guys really look at his play thus far and think he should have a place on the team? The hype that this guy gets around these parts is crazy.

  13. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    Pouliot has been outplayed by Tyler Spurgeon for Christ sakes. A 8th round pick who didn’t even play last year.

  14. DeBakey says:

    Its gotta between Pouliot & Brule.

    Pouliot was better than Schremp last ear and there's no indication the Schremp has caught him.

  15. JohnnyOil says:

    Thanks, LT. I see how you did it now: there are six more or less contestable spots among all positions, and your percentages add up to 599. That divided by 6 = 100%.

  16. Bruce says:

    For all the Oilers have a pretty good track record in the Lowe/Prendergast era, it’s still pretty hard to forgive this sequence at the great 2003 draft when the Oil traded down to bypass a bunch of these guys, then bypassed a couple more when it came their turn to pick:

    17 NJD, Zach Parise: 244 GP, 77-82-159, +9
    18 WAS, Eric Fehr: 48 GP, 3-6-9, +7
    19 ANA, Ryan Getzlaf: 216 GP 63-116-179, +55
    20 MIN, Brent Burns: 267 GP, 27-63-90, +11
    21 BOS, Mark Stuart: 114 GP, 5-6-11, +8
    22 EDM, Marc-Antoine Pouliot: 78 GP, 6-13-19, -2
    23 VAN, Ryan Kesler: 238 GP, 39-42-81, +1
    24 PHA, Mike Richards: 211 GP, 49-92-141, +8

    Only Fehr has played fewer games than Pouliot’s 78, while 5 of the others are well over 200 GP already, with a bunch more playoff games to boot. More to the point, they’ve already made huge contributions to their teams and are major building blocks for the future. Meanwhile Pouliot tools around somewhere between the 3rd and 6th line on a playoff outsider, showing flashes of competence but nothing resembling elite talent, sustain or intensity.

    Patience, schmatience; it’s about fucking time the young man stepped up the plate and proves his worth. The time is now, son.

  17. HBomb says:

    Pouliot has been outplayed by Tyler Spurgeon for Christ sakes. A 8th round pick who didn’t even play last year.

    Ridiculously inaccurate. Pouliot had a VERY good game on Thursday night. And I was in the building and paid special attention to him and Brule.

    As for Schremp, in theory he’d be the “best” fit, but that line with Penner and Pisani on the flanks is probably going to be counted on for the second toughest minutes, so the center’s going to have to be pretty good in his own end.

    Schremp’s not a fit there. If he’s fitting in on this team, it’s sometime after game 20 of the season when MacT decides to ratchet up Gagner’s assignments, throws him between 27 and 34, and puts Schremp on LW with Cogliano and Nilsson.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Pouliot certainly hasn’t kept up with his draft class. I think it’s reasonable to be critical of the organization for not getting that pick (and the one at 51) right.

    As for Pouliot, it’s important imo to rememeber his development was hurt by numbers injuries:

    *Injured at the Top Prospects game in 2003 when Dion Phaneuf leveled him with a vicious (and imo clean) check.
    *In the summer of 2003 he got hurt at the Canadian WJC camp in Calgary (hip) and that had a major impact on his 18-year old season. It also hurt his performance at the Oilers rookie camp just two months after being drafted.
    *In November 2003 he suffered an abdominal injury and missed the Q/Russia prospects game and he played on 42 QMJHL games that season, finally having surgery in Montreal in summer 2004 to repair the abdominal tissues.
    *He played 3 weeks with a broken wrist during the 2003-04 season.
    *Mono just before the Stanley run.

    He was injuried quite often in 2003 and 2004 and hasn’t been at a level that would have covered his draft bet since.

    Cue the “excuse” making replies but we know that during the KP era MANY of the players who haven’t covered their bets.

    Here’s a brief look at the 2001-04 injuries:


    Ales Hemsky: Was bothered by that shoulder injury pretty much the entire year, November 30, 2006 is the first report I can find. No obvious long term impact on his career.

    Doug Lynch: A wrist injury that was not properly addressed and then a knee injury after being dealt to the Blues organization have derailed a promising NHL career. That wrist injury came on the heels of a very impressive AHL season. Injuries have had a major impact on his career.

    Dan Baum: Was a long shot prospect who had an agitator style and fell victim to concussions. Injuries ended career.


    Jesse Niinimaki: Niinimaki showed a lot of promise until a (Guy Flaming described it as a “devastating injury”) severe shoulder injury 10 games into the 2003-04 season ended his year. Possible major impact on his career.

    Jarret Stoll: The concussion and the quick return are probably the number one reason he hasn’t been signed long term. Possible impact on career.

    JF Dufort: Suffered a career ending concussion late in 2002-03.


    Marc Pouliot: See above.

    Mikhail Zoukov: Suffered a “serious injury” that wiped out his 04-05 season. Unkown impact on career.


    Rob Schremp: Suffered a serious knee injury end of 06-07 season and required surgery. Unknown impact on career.

  19. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    I thought Pouliot was horrible besides the 3rd period. Even then he looked like a jack ass when instead of getting back in the play after he missed a breakaway he sulked and made sure all the fans knew the reason he missed his shot was because his stick was broken.

    Spurgeon i thought played flawless. He always made the right play and he was first to the puck on his own dump-ins. Great speed, great work ethic. I bet he ends up with a better career then Pouliot.

  20. Mark-Ryan says:

    hbomb: I disagree. Pouliot has been the worst player on his line twice in preseason now. He doesn’t look like he’s in midseason form and his midseason form is the only version of him good enough to play in the bigs, IMO.

    I think Schremp and Brule have both outplayed him easily.

  21. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    I don’t think Pouliot was a bad pick at the time but sticking with him makes as much sense as staying with an abusive husband because he was nice 4 years ago. Maybe one day he will be like he was 5 years ago!?!?!?!

    Let it go. There’s better prospects in the sea that won’t break your heart every year.

  22. Lowetide says:

    I’m not sure about comparing Pouliot to an abusive husband but do get your point.

    Mentoned it earlier, but it’s important to remember that experience is a huge consideration here. The Oilers have a chance to start a season with way more actual NHL players than they have in a long time.

    Pouliot’s not an established player, but he’s closer to being one than Schremp. It’s an important item.

  23. Bruce says:

    LT: You’re right, that is important. That’s why I have Pouliot pencilled in on my third line. But is it too much to expect him to pull his head out of his hole from the get-go this year?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: The only complaint I have about him is that offense seems to be a seconary consideration. He needs to drive to the net more and make things happen, and really has only done it in spurts.

    Away from the puck and positioning, I think he’s made one poor play (a lazy one refered to earlier in this thread) but the rest of the time has been solid.

    I very much doubt he’s a player who clears waivers.

  25. Mustafa Hirji says:

    I really think JDD get sent down. It’s bad for Dubnyk’s development, but MacT cares about the team in Edmonton. And JDD will NOT help the team as long as both Garon and Roloson are healthy. You don’t dress JDD as long as Garon and Roloson are healthy and are playing well. Period. JDD’s purely excess while Pouliot, Schremp, and Brule are all in the mix for that final roster spot without anyone clearly taking it.

    JDD’s getting sent down. And he’ll probably clear waivers—no one will claim him for their #1, and does any team really think he’s better than their #2? Maybe a team might want him as their #3, but I really doubt anyone wants a #3 right now. At the start of a season, every team has some new talent to field test. They’re not going to waste roster spots on an unproven goalie prospect they probably won’t use.

    Roloson maybe gets traded during the season if Garon proves he’s up to the #1 job again (trade deadline perhaps?). Then JDD can come back. But not until then.

    JDD goes down. 14F, 7D. So Brule, Pouliot, Schremp, Smid, and Strudwick all stay.

    - Mustafa Hirji

  26. Asiaoil says:

    Some things you can set your watch to:

    - every year the Oilers try out some ill-considered plan to shift a vet winger to center (Smyth, Pisani, Penner)

    - every year they play MAP out of position in TC even though it never works out well.

    - every year a lot of people think Rob Schremp can actually help a team win. There’s a difference between doing things that entertain and doing things to help your team win. Schremp is great at the former – not so great at the latter.

    - every year the Oilers go into camp with a glaring hole and this year it’s 3rd line center

    I’d be perfectly fine with MAP and Brodziak as the 4th line centers with Moreau and Stortini – someone will get injured soon enough and there will be plenty of ice to go around. Brule can go down free of waiver worries to work on becoming Mike Peca for 4-5 months and then get the recall. Package Schremp and JDD for a real 3rd line center (Malhotra is my fav) and then start the season.

  27. doritogrande says:


    Why would Columbus want our castoffs? Howson’s no dummy and knows both players well. Also, Columbus already has a very good established goaltending depth system. Leclaire’s good enough to be a legitimate starter, Norenna’s got the ability to really challenge Leclaire for the top-spot, and Steve Mason is a legitimate blue-chip goaltender.

    To get Malholtra, we’d need to offer some defensive depth. A Chorney or Wild, if you will, packaged with someone experienced. And given how the Blue Jackets are expected to actually push for a playoff spot this year (not my opinion, but assuming that of the management) they need all the veteran experience they can get.

    Nice idea though.

    Brian Smolinski’s still available. For cheap.

  28. Asiaoil says:

    Dorito – Malhotra’s UFA in July so Schremp alone should be enough or pretty close. He’s a useful player but not worth a ton.

  29. PunjabiOil says:

    Jason Williams was available for cheap – and he plays the tough minutes.

    I don’t think there is much of a market for Schremp. Maybe there was when he was posting north of 2 PPG in London – but reality is setting in. He is 22 – if he was really anything special, he’d be demonstrating it in the pre-season a la Cogliano last year or Dustin Boyd (Flames) this year.

    Robbie Schremp is Kyle Wellwood. I wish it weren’t true – but it is. It is vital to preech this message.

    Interesting note – I was talking with Scott Howson at the top prospects game back in January. One of my friends was wearing a London Robbie Schremp jersey – Howson scoffed at it (of course in a friendly way – class act).

    Kevin Lowe really shouldn’t have let Reasoner go. A move that really makes no sense if the goal is to win hockey games this season – it may have made sense to wait and see while after Hossa and Jagr
    - but Reasoner wasn’t signed until much later.

  30. Dennis says:

    You honestly have to wonder what some people are watching or if some people even watch the games.

    Some guys will say Pouliot was brutal besides the 3rd period and in the first period alone he set up 51 on a backhand pass from behind the net that Brod fumbled and then later on he walked from around the net to attempt a wraparound.

    And for the guy that said Schremp has been better; he needs to get new glasses, a new computer for his internet connection or he needs to get a new TV.

    I’m not saying Pouliot’s the shit but there’s no way he Shouldn’t be in the starting 12.

  31. B.C.B. says:

    I can’t believe you have Potulnry lower the Lefebvre on his chances to make the team. Does Lefebvre even have a contract? If Lefebvre makes the team and Potulny is waived then what was the point of getting him in the first place. Why has Potulny only got one pre-season game and Lerg and O’Marra been given more before they where cut? I’ll stop here since I just went in this post on my own blog.

  32. boopronger says:

    Schremp is not wellwood. Schremps conditioning is much better.

  33. Bank Shot says:

    Smolinski played against weak competition the last two season and did poorly against them. I don’t see how he helps the Oilers compete for anything. Malholtra played middling competition and didn’t do much.

    If the Oilers want to seriously contend this season and give up futures to do it, then bite the bullet and package something around Cogliano/plus for Steen and and/or Kubina.

    Or hammer out something for Sillinger if you want a stop gap for less futures.

    They might as well cram one of the Oilers kids in the third line role, if they only other options are below average vets.

  34. doritogrande says:


    For me, the point of getting Ryan Potulny was to evacuate Dan Syvret. I’m still happy about that trade.

  35. B.C.B. says:

    dg: so moving out syvret gives Chorney, Peckham, Harabal, and Wild more minutes? but doesn’t bringing in Potulny take away minutes from Trukhno, Schremo/Brule, Lerg, Goulet, and Spurgeon?

    I guess it is easier to find minutes for forwards then defense, but I thought Potulny would be a good replacement for Glencross. Can Potulny get any better in the AHL? is he a project or a write off?

  36. uni says:

    Potulny’s been around for some time now. I was really pulling for the guy and felt bad for Nedved but was happy for him when he seemed to move past Petr on the Philly depth chart, however, Potulny didn’t run with it.

    At this point, I’d think that he’s nearing the end of his potential arc…I’m uncertain if he can improve much anymore. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see him making any big jumps in the future.

  37. NBOilerFan says:

    I too thought that Poulny was going to be pushing hard for a roster spot this TC. Though his name rarely has appeared so far this pre-season. I missed the one game he played, how bad did he look (obiously not too good)?

    My vote for the 12th spot is Brule and the 13th for Pouliot. I think Brule wins out simply because he not only has some offensive skills, but he is a checker. Might as well put a checker on a checking line. I’ve read some comments that Brule has reminded guys of Torres stlye. We need that on this team more than anything else, IMO.

    Except enforcers that can play, which is why Lefebvre also interests me. I’ve read that some did not like his play, but I thought he did pretty well. Don’t except him to make teh club out of TC, but maybe he gets a 2-way deal and starts in Springfield?

    I also think that although Schremp’s time is closer then ever, there is still just no room or need for him at this point. I think its better to send him down now telling him that he will be getting his shot very soon and wait for injuries to make room for him. I just don’t think there is a rooster need for him out of TC which means he will only get a few games and probably sent out soon anyway which I think hurs his confidence even more.

    12th – Brule
    13th – Pouliot
    14th – Schremp/Poultny
    16th – Lefebvre

  38. Bruce says:

    Dennis: I agree that Pouliot had a solid game against FLA the other night. My impatience has nothing to do with what he’s done in camp and everything to do with him needing to consistently bring his A game from October to April. If he does he’ll help this team.

    Needless to say his track record isn’t v. good in this respect, but I expect the organization is primed to giving him One more chance to put a good season together.

    Which is exactly how many more chances he has in the eyes of this Oiler fan. I’m resigned to the fact he won’t ever be a Kesler or a Richards but if he can start the season as the same guy who centred the Pisani line last spring and build off of that, fine. The kid will never get a better shot; this organization’s biggest need is a reliable third-line centre, and he’s first in line with a one-way contract to prove it. He just has to Do it.

  39. Traktor says:

    You know you got it bad when the the highlight of your game is a wraparound attempt. haha..

    Did Pouliot have a nice pass to Brodziak? Sure, but how many times did he turn the puck over? How many times did the puck die on his stick? The errant pass in the slot on the PP reminded me of Stoll.

    Pouliot has been passed by Spurgeon if we’re looking for a defensive specialist/energy player.

  40. Vic Ferrari says:

    bank shot:

    It’s dangerous to just accept anything at face value. I wrote a post a while ago showing how strongly Desjardin’s QualComp meshed with a few other metrics for the Detroit Red Wings.

    But that has something to do with the way Babcock runs his bench (and MacTavish did as well, before having to deal with last season’s young and weak roster).

    I think I said “next up: Columbus”, and then never did get back to it.

    Hitchcock, MacTavish (last season), and Carbonneau (according to Sisu, and the facts support it) seemed to run the bench by both opposition and zone. In the Oilers case, it was clearly a matter of trying to keep a bucketful of corks all under the water at once, it was a weak roster, I can’t speak for the other two guys.

    Smolinski started in his own end, with faceoffs, 225 times, as opposed to 148 in the good end.

    Malhotra started in his own end, with faceoffs, 292 times, as opposed to 200 in the good end.

    That makes a hell of a difference to your results, obviously.

    The other thing that comes into play is the changes made on the fly. Hitchcock is off the hook again btw, one of the reasons I liked the Glencross acquisition though. And both these are reasons that Nash’s big QualComp numbers do NOT make him a Selke candidate imo. 61 is a much improved player though, props to Hitch on that.

  41. Dennis says:

    I guess I just believe there’s value in a guy that has a proven track record of being hard to score against.

    I’m funny like that.

  42. Schitzo says:

    Dennis: The word you were looking for is “boring”. You’re boring like that :)

  43. Master Lok says:

    Lowetide – what are Spurgeon’s chance of making it? He’s still in camp isn’t he?

  44. relic says:

    Have to agree with Dennis. Low event pker and FO option in the bottom six just seems to be a better fit for this roster. Especially given the number of away games to start the season.

    Is Spurgeon really an option?? How many games did he play last year? Pouliot is definitely the safer choice at this point.

  45. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    “I guess I just believe there’s value in a guy that has a proven track record of being hard to score against.”

    Well Michel Ouellet, who posted an impressive +11 on the worst team in hockey (TBAY) was just waived.

    So much for your theory.

  46. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    Michel Ouellet on the worst team in hockey.

    -.01 QUALCOMP
    -.08 QUALTEAM
    2.00 PTS/60
    2.88 GFON/60
    1.92 GAON/60

    A full +8 better than the next player.

    He has scored over 15 goals 3 this and already has a 48 point season under his belt. He only had a 1.25 million cap hit.

    Pretty hard to imagine that Pouliot has any value at all.

  47. Slipper says:

    So one team near to the cap ceiling, who are implenting 7 new forwards into their line-up this season, makes one waiver transaction.

    This debunks Dennis’ theory how exactly?

  48. Asiaoil says:

    Look MAP has disappointed but with his very affordable contract, youth, potential and skill set – no way he makes it by the first 3 teams on the waiver list.

    Is MAP the best guy out there to center our 3rd line? No a proven vet would be better. Is MAP the best option out of Schremp, Brule, Brodziak, Cogliano? Probably yes given the track record of all the other young guys (including Brodziak) against anything remotely looking like tougher opposition. Saying MAP may not be up to the task is reasonable – but fantasizing that some other young center on the roster somehow is just doesn’t jive with past performance – it’s pure optimism.

  49. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    The difference in Brodziak or Cogliano is while they might not be as good of option as a veteran they high much higher upside than Pouliot.

    I mind playing a kid at that spot because we’re probably not going to win the cup anyways but if we are indeed going to play a kid at 3c then he should at least be worth the growing pains.

    Pouliot has Reasoner potential who was deemed unwanted by management.

    Players that are pretty average in every department (Reasoner, Pouliot, Peterson, Rem the gem, Boyd Devereaux) are a dime a dozen. They’re always available for free on the open market or for mid-round picks. Wasting prime developmental real estate on a future 3rd line player with no toughness or energy factor is freaking idiotic. The fucking kid thinks he is too good for the role anyways. You don’t want the tin-man as your 3rd line C.

  50. Ribs says:

    Yea, we should have traded that Horcoff guy a long time ago!

  51. HBomb says:

    The difference in Brodziak or Cogliano is while they might not be as good of option as a veteran they high much higher upside than Pouliot.

    Cogliano maybe, but would someone please explain to me why in the hell Brodziak is hot shit and Pouliot is garbage?

    Last time I checked, the numbers seem to indicate that Pouliot is at least Brodziak’s equal. Is it possible people are rooting for the 215th overall “underdog” here and are holding it against Pouliot because he’s not Getzlaf or Mike Richards?

    News flash: I seem to remember a time prior to February 1st, 2008 (i.e. the Glencross acquisition) that Brodziak did SFA for an extended period of games.

    I like Kyle and the guy has to get a ton of credit for even getting to the show given where and when he was drafted (big time “late bloomer”). But to continually laud Brodziak then say Pouliot only has Reasoner upside is, in a word, misleading.

    Both guys have a place on this team, and based on knowing who fits with who (78/34, 51/46), a bottom six that looks like the following makes the MOST sense from where I sit:

    Penner Pouliot Pisani
    Moreau Brodziak Stortini

  52. JohnnyOil says:

    No one’s mentioned the picture LT used for this post, for shame. It’s PERFECT for the subject, and also prescient, considering the harsh comments subsequently posted here about Pouliot. (Thwack!)

    The respective futures of our main 12th-spot contenders appear equally murky, their baggages different but comparably weighty. In this light, picking on any one over the other two seems disproportionate to me. Poor Poo.

  53. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I think the Hate For 78 has a lot to do with throwing the underachieving baby out with the stellar ’03 draft class bathwater.

  54. Bruce says:

    Dennis: It’s not hate, at least not coming from me. I do think MP is down to his last strike, and after last year’s weak foul that just barely kept his AB alive, I’m looking for a line drive in ’08-09.

    Patience is essential, but there is a statute of limitations on it and Pouliot is nearing that time where he has to prove he both has it, and wants it.

  55. Bank Shot says:

    “Smolinski started in his own end, with faceoffs, 225 times, as opposed to 148 in the good end.

    Malhotra started in his own end, with faceoffs, 292 times, as opposed to 200 in the good end.

    That makes a hell of a difference to your results, obviously.”

    Vic- I can appreciate that.

    Mike Sillinger for example had 265defensive draws compared to 145 offensive ones. He played the tougher opposition then any other center on his team, scored more points then the other two, and is one of the best faceoff men in the league.

    If the Oilers are going to go for it this season then they might as well get top quality. If they just want someone who “won’t get killed” then they may as well see if one of the kids can do it. They aren’t going to be competing for the cup this year anyway.

  56. PunjabiOil says:

    Martin Gelinas is still available.

    Food for thought.

  57. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I guess it’s hard to define “it.”

    For me, it’s enough to earn a roster spot — draft pedigree not withstanding — if he can keep the GA down.

    Good call on Gelinas, BTW. Had the Oilers not picked up Cole, I’d have been fine with 27 on the first line LW and Gelinas rounding out the third line checking unit wings with 34.

  58. HBomb says:

    RE: Gelinas.

    Might he be a smart add even if they settle on Pouliot as the 12th forward?

    Reasoning being that he can play C and LW (hint: Moreau insurance) and that if they sit him down in the pressbox for a game or two here and there, it’s not killing his development.

    If you’re going to have Schremp or Brule here, you want them playing.

    Add Gelinas and McLaren to this squad, and I shudder at the possibilities of how good they could be….

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