Fear and Dread in Our Town

This is Blair Barnes. He was drafted 126th (and last) in 1979 by the Edmonton Oilers. He did play in the NHL, becoming the first ever player to be selected with the final pick in the draft to make the show.

He played 1 NHL game with Los Angeles in 1982-83. Even before that Barnes had done some things to get noticed, like getting a lower jersey number (22) in the 1980 training camp and being sent out a little later than other prospects fall 1981.

Little things like that often do give an indication to fans about how the organization feels about a player. It’s my guess that all of the bubble boys (Schremp, Brule, Chorney, Peckham, Roy) will see some game action in the NHL. Roy will have to clear waivers so it may be in another city ala Alex Henry a few years ago.

I think this year’s group of players who’ll get cut is the best in quite some time. Rob Schremp has earned his NHL chance, Brule has some nice things and the two kids on the blue have good things ahead if they can remain healthy and continue to develop.

Mathieu Roy is a guy who could use a break and here’s hoping he gets healthy and plays a full season in the NHL. He’s certainly showed enough in his extended trials to get a full 500 at-bats.

I’ve been talking about the possibility of a trade for a few days and still believe it’s out there. We’ll find out in the next 24 hours about how the Oilers will start the season and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the final roster look different than the group most of us think will be the final 23.

I imagine these guys are running on no sleep. Tough day.

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54 Responses to "Fear and Dread in Our Town"

  1. HBomb says:

    Speaking of trades…interesting pick-up in Shane O’Brien by the Ducks today.

    Highly touted “stopper” type defenseman who netted the Anaheim Ducks a 1st round draft pick in a trade awhile back. Could he have been a useful pickup for the Oilers?

  2. Lowetide says:

    The Canucks have a nice D group but it’s not clear to me who their top 4D are at this point. I like the deal for them but am not certain they’ve addressed need as opposed to moving deck chairs.

  3. HBomb says:

    Yeah LT, that’s what it struck me as too….on both sides of the deal.

    The Bolts are thin on the blueline, so they acquire a blueliner by dealing a different type of blueliner.

    The Canucks need a forward, so they land a forward….that’s going to Manitoba.

    Is it possible they’re still waiting on Sundin? I’ll say this, with the current roster, if Vancouver makes the playoffs, Luongo deserves no less than a Hart nomination and probably would be a slam-dunk to win the damn thing.

  4. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: Gillis is going to make a trade. He has to. They have a terribly lopsided roster currently. Lowe-level.

  5. Dennis says:

    When I saw this move I immeadiately thought they were moving some toughness ( TB that is) in return for a guy that might be able to move the puck.

    Then when I read the blurb on Krajcek from one of the Globe guys he mentioned how teams have been waiting on him to be a puck mover but “he is what he is.”

    And that made me think of Smid.

    Regarding the Dys and the NW bracket in general, I’ll pick Col to be the worst, the Wild the best and then anything else wouldn’t really surprise me.

  6. Vic Ferrari says:


    I think that this was a very good trade for Vancouver. O’Brien’s numbers weren’t any hell, but he started in his own end of the rink a bunch, more than any other Tampa defenceman iirc. So Tortorella must have rated him. And with that context considered he’s not so bad. Certainly a good bet to help the bottom pairing and be able to step up if there are injuries.

    Plus he’s really big, and I think he can fight too. IMO big defencemen were maybe overvalued a bit by GMs not long ago, now they are cheap like borscht. Go figure.

    And Ouellet is an interesting case. He’s like Glencross in the sense that he had the big underlying numbers, that gaudy +/- was actually mostly earned (the .926 EVsave% behind him was way lucky on that Tampa team, but besides that, the puck just seemed to end up in the right end of the rink when he was out there, and a fair share went in). Yet other teams let him walk, so you have to wonder a bit about the guy. Still, a good bet.

    These guys must have had a poor camp, which shouldn’t matter that much, but with all the turnover in the Tampa organization this year that may be enough to send guys down the road. The new faces just don’t know enough about past player performance.

  7. Vic Ferrari says:

    You don’t like Colorado this year, Dennis?

    I really rate them. Strong everywhere except goal, with a bunch of young forwards who are getting to the point where they really start helping you win, and Stastny put up those big numbers last year against some pretty good opposition for the most part.

    Plus they have some cash free, and a long history of being willing to spend it.

    I like them to win the NW, though really, any of the five could if it’s their year.

  8. Dennis says:

    Vic: Yes, the space is there but the season’s about to start so if you’re citing room, I guess you think that one of Forsberg or Sundin might wind up there?

    I honestly don’t like their netminding and I don’t think they’re good enough to the point where they Won’t need to depend on their netminding.

  9. PDO says:


    Quite the request here…

    But is there any chance you have the numbers of Shots For/Shots against and Blocked Shots For/Blocked Shots Against with Oiler vets on the ice in preseason? Everyone and their dog seems to be losing from their mind, but from the action I saw the veterans were moving the puck in the right direction just fine… maybe getting a bit too cute sometimes… but refusing to block shots.

    Am I on base here?

  10. Dennis says:

    Vic: they do have some guys that can score and then they’ve got some hard workers for the other spots and there’s a tonne of depth on their D.

    But I just think they’re gonna be ’06 Oilers esque in terms of outchancing opponents but losing because of lesser tenders.

  11. Sean says:

    Dennis: Maybe we should trade them Roli ;)

    Anyone have an idea of who is still over the cap? The Oilers roster is stuck btw going for it now and building for a year down the road. Schremp=Salmelainen and I’m with LT that a trade could be coming.

  12. spOILer says:

    The difference between Krajicek and Smid is three years, 1″, and 26lbs. Krajicek has never put up the points expected of him out of junior and isn’t big or strong enough to be more than a positional guy.

    I think VCR wins this trade hands down.

    Smid would obviously bring more.

    But like HBomb, I think it makes more sense to get rid of Grebs, since we already have that quality in Gilbert and to a degree, Visnovsky.

    Only problem is, there’s little out there available for RH defensive centres, with the possible exception of Peca, and I doubt he’d want to come back unless Bernanke has him scared.

    Then again, he has a better chance of going somewhere in the playoffs on our team and that has to be some consideration for him at this point in his bridesmaid career.

  13. Vic Ferrari says:


    Yeah, that’s the problem. Really effective defensive centres that can score as well … they just don’t get moved that often. Richards did last year, but he carries a big contract and it took a lot to get him in terms of players. He’s probably one of the best out there, Modano is still just as good though.

    Around the NW; Sakic, Kesler, H.Sedin, Koivu, Belanger, Langkow and Conroy all have the game to play that role and not get killed. But none of those guys are going anywhere (Stastny will probably be on that list by March and at some point Conroy will surely fall off of it due to age and mileage). Horcoff belongs on that list, and he has a good chance of retiring an Oiler as well.

    The Madden/Pandolfo tandem in N.J and the Sillinger/Hunter tandem in NY are the bomb out east, and they will all probably retire in the colours they wear now. Savard (seriously) has the game now, and he’s become hugely valuable, he ain’t going anywhere.

    Staal in Pitsburgh is another, I was really impressed with him the the playoffs, but PIT would be mad to trade him methinks.

    Holik is the only guy I can think of who is really a quality guy for that gig and may actually be available if Atlanta falters badly out of the gate. He’s still got a lot of game, but absolutely nobody looks good playing the shift after Kovalchuk and taking a million own zone draws.

    Malhotra in a narrow view might be a fit. Hitchcock used him and Chimera a tonne for own zone draws, but not much against good players otherwise. The numbers say that he got Fedorov and Glencross out a lot with the puck headed south, and Nash, Zherdev and Peca a lot against good players with the puck headed north and offensive zone draws. Hitchcock is officially off the hook, btw.

  14. Vic Ferrari says:


    I don’t watch much preseason at all, but I’ll take your word for it.

    You can check the shots for any game using
    and the faceoff zones with

    That’s for the last game vs DAL, just change the number in the URL to look at other games.

  15. HBomb says:

    Vic: Call me crazy, but didn’t Holik sign back with New Jersey? Wikipedia says so….

    But like HBomb, I think it makes more sense to get rid of Grebs, since we already have that quality in Gilbert and to a degree, Visnovsky.

    Especially considering Grebs is only signed for one year AND is a serious KHL-jumper risk.

    You know what I’d do? Grebeshkov for McLaren. Straight across. Today. Get him here, see how he does, maybe try for an extension at some point (after Cole is done and once a determination is made on Garon).

    Then you can “Salmelainen” Schremp for a defensive center after New Years.

  16. HBomb says:

    Shit, that’s got me thinking…..

    New Jersey’s got some sick center depth, eh?


    They’re not being talked about, but between some decent forward depth and Brodeur, I don’t think the Devils are going away this season.

    Plus, they’ve still got Elias. Talk about a friggin’ star who’s flat out unappreciated. He’s still on my list of high end LW’s. If not for the fact the Devils are old school checking line in their approach, the guy would be a tough minutes monster if on a team that played power vs. power.

  17. RiversQ says:

    Lowetide said…
    The Canucks have a nice D group but it’s not clear to me who their top 4D are at this point.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. If it’s hard to pick their top 4 it’s because they have five or six of them. Mitchell and Ohlund are good stoppers and now they have O’Brien, Edler, Bieksa and Salo. That’s an impressive group.

    Look I know every fall we come out here and rip the other teams, so I take all this silly talk with a grain of salt but I’m with Vic here. This division is still really freaking good. The individual weaknesses may be more apparent than the last 3-4 yrs, but none of these teams are going away.

    Colorado has the forwards and the defense. If they get league average goaltending they’ll probably finish in front of the Oilers. Even if they don’t (a la 05/06 SCF Oilers) I expect they’ll be within shooting range for the last dozen games of the stretch run.

    Vancouver has the best goaltending and maybe the best group of dmen. The Sedins can match anybody up to Datsyuk/Zetterberg and Kesler’s a hell of a start on a checking line. The forward depth is poor, but they have enough to win some games. If they do add Sundin, they will pass the Oilers all things (like injuries) being equal.

    We know the deal on the Flames. They may be giving away even more up front than last year, but the defense and goaltending should still be above average.

    The Wild have probably dropped a notch, but still have too many pieces.

    The Oil are in tough.

  18. Gord says:

    If the roster is going to change very soon – I envision a Roloson trade with LA… They have $15 million in cap space to burn…

    Plus Justin Goldman at Dobberhockey states: Is there a team more desperate for competent goaltending other than the Los Angeles Kings?

    Full details & explanation at…


  19. Lowetide says:

    RQ: I like VCR’s D plus their goaltending, but have yet to see how their forwards are going to shake out. Wouldn’t it be better to cash one of those D (say Bieksa) for skill up front. That’s my point with regard to the Canucks.

    As for the Avs, aside from their goaltending I think we can at least ask the question about whether or not their D is improved year over year. Plus the Sakic age/injury and despite a wonderful fwd group Colorado would seem to be a little behind.

    Agree it’s a tough division though. The NL East/NFC East of the NHL.

  20. HBomb says:

    To me, when “slotting” the division, I go based on how pronounced each team’s “weaknesses” are.

    Minnesota’s not perfect, but they don’t have an obvious weakness. They’re in first.

    Vancouver’s forward depth is the biggest issue in the division. I’ve got them last.

    After that, Colorado’s issues in goal could be killer, so I have them fourth.

    So we’re left with Edmonton and Calgary. The Flames deficiency on the first line after trading Tanguay vs the Oilers need for a veteran 3rd line center and perhaps a shutdown d-man? Coin flip. I’d say slight edge to the Oilers, as it’s easier to find what they might need than for Calgary to find a top end LW.

    So I have it like this, with each team being plus/minus in the final standings as shown (i.e. where I could see them finishing based on luck)

    1. Minnesota (as low as 2nd)
    2. Edmonton (as high as 1st, as low as 4th)
    3. Calgary (as high as 1st, as low as 4th)
    4. Colorado (as high as 2nd, as low as 5th)
    5. Vancouver (as high as 3rd)

  21. spOILer says:


    Madden’s the first guy I think of when I think of trading Grebs. I think NJ could really use a player like him on their D, and the Big Apple might motivate him to an extension.

    Madden’s a leftie, but he’s so top echelon I wouldn’t care.

    Again like HB (maybe it’s from the OFNO’s), McLaren is a name I’ve raised before too.

    Has freakin Vasicek been signed anywhere?

  22. HBomb says:

    Has freakin Vasicek been signed anywhere?


  23. Doogie2K says:

    Holik is the only guy I can think of who is really a quality guy for that gig and may actually be available if Atlanta falters badly out of the gate.

    He signed in NJ this off-season.

    And Hbomb’s logic/placements are essentially the same as my own, so I’ll just say, “what he said,” and call it a day.

    Has freakin Vasicek been signed anywhere?

    Which I forgot until after I finished the annual cuts in my keeper league. Stupid Vasicek…

  24. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I may take heat for this, but Rhett Warrener is/was available on waivers from Calgary. His numbers vs. Oiler defensmen. (Souray’s numbers from 06-07)

    GFON/60 ~ GAON/60 ~ +/-

    Grebs 2.90 ~ 2.64 ~ +0.26
    Gilbert 2.89 ~ 2.98 ~ -0.09
    Warrener 2.69 ~ 2.86 ~ -0.17
    Visnovsky 2.63 ~ 3.30 ~ -0.67
    Staios 2.29 ~ 3.20 ~ -0.91
    Smid 1.91 ~ 2.93 ~ -1.02
    Souray 1.92 ~ 3.43 ~ -1.51

    Warrener is 3 years younger and $300,000 cheaper than Staios. IMO, he’s an upgrade. Whether he would want to play for the enemy, that’s a different story.

  25. R-Gib says:

    Some of you have heard this from me already, but I’ll say it again:

    Nashville is a team lacking in a skilled forward (loss of Radulov is gonna hurt) and a solid vet goalie (Ellis and Rinne have less than 50 games experience combined). The Preds are solid up the middle tho, with Arnott, Legwand, Bonk, Nichol, Fiddler, and Smithson.

    Sure would be nice to see someone like Nichol coming our way to fill a 3C checking role (and FACEOFFS) in exchange for a Schremp or a Roly.

  26. Dennis says:

    I’ve been a Nichol fan for awhile now and I don’t know how he did last year but I’ll go out on a limb and say it was good.

    Brule, Peckham and Chorney were sent out today.

    I’m not knocking RS but I find it hard to believe that he was more effective than Brule. Yes, I know that there are lots of years when the extra forward isn’t long for Edmonton but with the physical element that 67 brought, I thought he’d get the initial job over Rob.

  27. oilerdago says:

    Schremp is not sent out. Hmmm could that trade you’ve been hinting at be in the works?

  28. R-Gib says:

    I’m with you Dennis. Doesn’t add up to send out Brule and keep Sugartits… unless something is brewing behind the scenes. I think LT is right – there may be a trade in the works. Maybe one or a couple of Schremp/Smid/Roloson/Grebeshkov/Pouliot are headed out the door?

    Also, don’t like the idea of keeping up MacIntyre AND Stortini. If Mac stays, and I hope he doesn’t, then it makes more sense to keep Brule then Stortini. I really like rolling 4 with speed. We’re trying to win games, not a heavyweight title here!

  29. Coach pb9617 says:

    Colorado has the forwards and the defense.

    They have the defense? Really? I don’t see it at all.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    Schremp is not sent out. Hmmm could that trade you’ve been hinting at be in the works?

    Sweet Pete, if not that means that he’s on the third or fourth line.

    If that’s the case, Mac better find someone that can take own zone faceoffs right now.

  31. HBomb says:

    Schremp is not sent out. Hmmm could that trade you’ve been hinting at be in the works?

    Something’s afoot. You’d think they’d just have demoted Schremp with the other three guys.

    Maybe they’re trying to turn a package of Schremp and someone else (Roloson) into something of tangible value? Or will they just take a draft pick for The Hockey Jesus and be done with the 4-year “experiment”?

    Because if Schremp goes, there goes the last direct link to Mike Comrie….

  32. uni says:

    Colorado has the forwards and the defense.

    They have the defense? Really? I don’t see it at all.

    Brett Clark
    Adam Foote
    Scott Hannan
    Jordan Leopold
    John-Michael Liles
    Ruslan Salei
    Daniel Tjarnqvist

    Seems like a pretty good D group to me. All veterans and no question marks as you know what each person on that list brings. I suppose injury woes with Leopold and Tjarnqvist over the last little while, age with Foote but that’s about it. Not flashy (cept for Marc-Andre Liles?) but they all get the job done.

  33. bookie says:

    I am going to make a different call. Shremp stays as a reward for his dedication and as a reflection of what the other young guys did last year when they actually got a chance. So, it’s give him a chance and then dump him if he fails (in a month).

    So, how to make room. Trade or buy out Roli. Then its a matter of someone else going onto IR or getting sent down.

    Or Shremp is just kept around for the Jasper trip to allow him to ‘get a feel’ for it and then sent down with a ‘we really wanted to keep you up here’ note on his lapel. Essentially – you will get your chance.

    Brule did outplay him, but Brule can handle some time in the AHL again, Shremp may have real trouble with that.

  34. HBomb says:

    I stand by what I said a couple weeks back – they’re going to try and make a pre-emptive strike by moving Schremp, because another demotion to the AHL may completely torpedo his trade value.

    He has an NHL career in his future. But it’s not with the Edmonton Oilers.

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hate when LT oversleeps and misses his daily update.

    We need a Riesen to believe good sir!

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    Seems like a pretty good D group to me.

    It seems slow and dangerously one-dimensional to me.

  37. NBOilerFan says:

    Schremp is not sent out. Hmmm could that trade you’ve been hinting at be in the works?

    Could the fact that he is out of town due to the passing of his grandfather be the reason that he was not waived?

    Is there some type of ‘family emergency’ type thing that allows them to keep Schemp on the roster as an additional player (like being on IR) without it being counted?

    Just a thought.

  38. NBOilerFan says:

    I hate when LT oversleeps and misses his daily update.

    Perhaps he ran out to buy a new 3rd jersey… not realizing they are not available until mid-Nov?


    (PS – I love the new 3rd jersey, BTW, so I couldn’t blame him)

  39. NBOilerFan says:

    Some interesting stuff on teh waiver wire today;

    Kyle McLaren
    Aarob Downey
    Peter Schaefer
    Jason Krog
    Matt Pettinger
    Staffan Kronwall
    Boyd Devereaux

    I remember someone suggesting we land McLaren… well there is ripe for the picking at a $2.5mil cost.

  40. Matt N says:

    kyle mclaren cut loose by the sharks according to tsn


  41. Dennis says:

    Coach: that’s a really good group of D in Col. Clark doesn’t get a lot of love but he should if you look at his numbers; overall, there’s a lot of really dependable guys there, a few that can make a first pass and if Leopold bounces back, they’re in business.

    If the Oilers hadn’t picked up Strudwick or if they had unloaded Moreau, they’d have the space and or money to take on McLaren.

    And, yes, I think that Schremp staying on the roster is nothing more than a by-product of him having to leave the team for some time with his family.

    I imagine that the Oilers going with a 13-7-3 set-up with Macintyre as the extra guy out of the gate.

    I’m not really sure how they’re going to clear up this goalie logjam but I’m interested to see how they do it.

  42. Coach pb9617 says:

    Kronwall is not horrendous.

  43. SquidRx says:

    At the end of camp Schremp had 2 pts and Brule 0. Yes, Brule plays a more physical game, but if we are keeping SMacIntyre, Stortini, and Strudwick, do we need physical or do we need someone who put up 70′ish points in the AHL last year and produced (point wise) like several veterans in the preseason this year. I think he stays and deserves to get a look against regular season talent. I think we will see Roy go on the IR and possibly another ‘ailing’ body which gets us to 23.

  44. doritogrande says:

    Can Schaefer play C?

    He’s the one in that group I’d poach, were I to take anyone.

  45. HBomb says:

    I think he stays and deserves to get a look against regular season talent.

    I will ask it again, even though someone else already asked it earlier in this thread.

    IF Schremp stays, who gets sent out instead?

    F: Cole, Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Penner, Pouliot, Pisani, Moreau, Brodziak, Stortini, MacIntyre

    D: Visnovsky, Souray, Staios, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Smid, Strudwick

    G: Garon, Roloson, Deslauriers

  46. rickibear says:

    Last year in the league, There was 8.5 min of PP, 8.5 min of PK, and 43 min of EV.

    The Ev time was broke up (approx)into
    13min 1st line
    12 min 2nd line
    11 min 3rd line
    7 min 4th line

    There has been increased emphasis on penalties.

    A rough review indicates an average increase of 2min in penalties. With a loss of 4 min of EV time.

    Which line(s) do you think will lose that EV time.

    Do we end up seeing a league where we are rolling three lines at ev and having a fourth line of specialty players.

    Do you want to be paying that fourth line guy 2-2.5M/yr.

    If this trend holds. Do you change the way you alocate $/line.

    Just wondering based on what is being discussed.

  47. Hoos says:

    The problem with Colorado is going to be their horrible, horrible coaching. Book that.

  48. Doogie2K says:

    @Rickibear: I don’t know that I’d be worried too much about an extra penalty or two a game. We saw it in ’05-’06, and sure enough, everything calmed down after a year or two. Or, put more succinctly, “this too shall pass.”

  49. bookie says:

    HBomb….you asked “If Shremp stays, who goes?”

    IF Shremp stays, I suggest Roli goes…

    Its an oddball call, but I think that they Oilers are feeling confident in turning the page and going with more youth. I also think they can afford the buyout with the cap as it is.

  50. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, do you hate us?

  51. Lowetide says:

    Coach: No. Why?

  52. Coach pb9617 says:

    Because we’re in withdrawal!

    Well, at least I am.

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