Bait

In last night’s game thread we got to talking about trade bait. It is always somewhat predictable based on things like contract and who is struggling, plus this season we have the added bonus of MacT and his new-found Turrets.

If we know the Oilers problems (PK, RH C, maybe another veteran D to play in the top 4D and some grit) then sure as hell the guy coaching them has an idea. They need a Mike Sillinger, an Ian Laperriere, maybe a Brendan Witt.

So if we can identify need, can we also pinpoint successfully what teams might want in return? I think we can.

The initial reaction is to suggest names that we as fans might want to get rid of, and that list is wide-ranging depending on who you’re reading.

The reality is that other NHL teams already have their own stalled prospects, million-dollar free agent flops and men who have lost a step.

Here then are (imo) the top 5 players who could be in play now through the trade deadline. The list assumes the Oilers are buyers:

  1. Robert Nilsson: Reasonable salary ($2M in the next two seasons) and cap hit (1.833) plus the fact that he’s already done some things in the NHL at a fairly young age make him attractive. I imagine Nilsson is among the first players mentioned by the other side, and that’s despite the comments from MacT. In fact, Nilsson’s response (he played well last night) may even further his value.
  2. Jeff Deslauriers: We seem to be having quite the conversation here about JDD’s value or lack thereof, but if Jason Gregor says teams are asking after the big goalie then I believe him. Gregor is an established broadcaster and doesn’t need to make crap up to succeed in his business. I also think that there may be NHL teams who liked him on draft day and haven’t been especially impressed with how he’s been handled since turning pro. A wise organization may see a diamond in the rough here. My own opinions about JDD are well known, but I’m prepared to accept the “smoke–then fire” theory in regard to his trade value.
  3. Mathieu Garon: Reasonable contract and he showed last year that when things break right Garon can play. Has a super friendly contract and would do as a rental so teams don’t have to be in “dump” mode to acquire him as the Oilers already have the position covered. Teams would likely be getting a hard worker too, as nothing inspires like getting a new life in the bigs.
  4. Marc Pouliot: I can see a team like the Islanders dealing off their veteran for a younger man who can perhaps fill the job in the future. I don’t know about Sillinger’s health but it seems to me that a deal with those two men is reasonable. I’m a Pouliot fan and would hate the deal but it does make some sense if you’re trying to save the coach and make the playoffs.
  5. Denis Grebeshkov: An RFA at season’s end and with Ladislav Smid’s emergence perhaps a player the Oilers could afford to part with at this time. Edmonton has already invested heavily in 09-10 on 4 defenders (Souray, Lubo, Gilbert and Staios will cost about $19M) so picking up a gritty defender who can play and is signed to a reasonable 09-10 deal might be an option. Perhaps Edmonton could even pick up someone like Jason Smith from Ottawa, as an example.

I haven’t listed players like Rob Schremp or Liam Reddox (or even Theo Peckham) because it’s probably too soon for any team to flush the season for a pure prospect. As we get closer to the deadline we’ll look at the kids on the farm (and in college, junior and Europe).

The Oilers have a coach who needs a lifeline, a clear need and a new GM looking to make his mark. I’m betting he pulls the trigger in the next couple of weeks.

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60 Responses to "Bait"

  1. HBomb says:

    Ok, I’ll be the first to say it, and this is purely based on gut feeling….but I bet Brodziak goes before Pouliot does.

    Why? I’m not sure, but I just see a higher upside in 78, and given recent assignments in such, I think the coaches do too.

  2. knighttown says:

    Hey LT. Sorry to jump in on a new post but I did some math on our boy Smid in response to a poster over at HF and was shocked at the this:

    Ladislav Smid is leading NHL defenseman (>10 mins/20 GP) in GA On/60 at 0.97, and by a lot. Quoted below.

    Um, to try and make it fit with your post, Smid for Malkin?

    By the way, how the heck do you bold or use italics on this site…the control + B doesn't work for me…

    "OOF, I've always respected your opinions and your supposed negativity has never really bothered me because you back it up with facts. In it's simplest form, this has been a below average team for a decade so why would anyone have more positive than negative posts. Anyway, in this case, I think you are off base.

    Forgetting draft pedigree, the Pronger trade etc. the key question is "has Ladislav Smid shown improvement and if so, how much?" Agreed?

    Qualcomp

    Last year was .01, this year .02 which is insignificant. He's playing against the most average of average, the leagues second and third liners, say Brendan Morrison.

    Qualteam

    Last year he was on the ice with duds (-.13) but this year he's on the ice with the stinkiest crap known to man (-.21), the worst on the team.
    Merit point added

    Corsi

    This metric measures the number of shots directed at your net versus the opponents net when you are on the ice. Smid has improved, but only slightly, from -7 to -6.1. Far better than "Steady Steve" or Strudwick's phenomenal -18 but not good enough.

    Points per 60
    Amazingly, Smid's even strength production has tripled from 0.25/60 to 0.75/60. It's still not much of a number but it is definitely better.
    Merit point added

    traditional +/-
    He's +2 this year and was -16 last year.
    Merit Point added

    GFOn/60 vs. GAOn/60 Plus Minus
    If we are going to try and measure a player who produces so little we need to put a lot of weight into what he gives up. There can be no question that Smid's improvement in this metric has been exceptional. Last year Smid was a -1.02 and this year he is a +0.49. Most significantly, his GAOn/60 stands at 0.97/60 a huge improvement over the 2.91 he posted last year and BEST on the team. Ladislav Smid has only been on the ice for 4 goals against at evens the entire year!

    What do Malkin and Smid have in common? They are both leading the NHL in a category. Among NHL defenseman averaging over 10 minutes per game with a minimum of 20 GP, Smid's 0.97GAOn/60 is first. By far (1.26 is second). Smid for Malkin?

    Oh, and his penalty killing GAOn/60 is best on the team at 5.74.

    In summary:

    Ladislav Smid can play with bums and shut down average talent better than any other defenseman in the league and he's 22 years old. If that's not a platform to top pairing shutdown guy, I'm not sure what is. The next step is either producing offense against the mid level talent while continuing the shutdown, or more likely, moving on to tougher competition. Could he fail? Sure, but the math says that is unlikely."

  3. knighttown says:

    One man that is no longer discussed is Dwayne Roloson. If you want to talk asset management, Roloson is Nortel at $140. We would have dumped him and a 2nd rounder in exchange for a 7th a year ago to rid ourselves of the contract but if he can get you a late 1st rounder from Detroit do you do it? How about Roloson for Helm?

    With Roloson, we are contenders for 7th or 8th spot if you give Cal/Van the division (and I do) and spots to SJ, Det, Chi and Anaheim. Without Roloson? We’ll that leaves us with Garon and JDD (and an asset) in a development year and I still think we make the playoffs.

    How worried are we about our 2010 goalie anyway?
    A few years ago the market was pretty tight but I think a few are around, no?

  4. DeBakey says:

    The list looks pretty right
    Tho’ I’m not sure that Deslauriers has any value and Brodziak is as likely to go as Pouliot.

    I can’t imagine Oiler braintrsut favourite Peckham going unless its a blockbuster [part of a Kovalchuk package for instance]

    Who in return:
    Not Spezza – the guy’s numbers suck; of that “True #1 Center” type, Jokinnen from Phx would be better – only $5.25 for 2 yrs instead of $7 for ever.

    D upgrade
    UFAs – Havelid, Malik, Morris
    or Volchnkov, two years at $2.5.

  5. Black Dog says:

    yeah hbomb I figured Brodziak to be a MacT guy but fact is we’re getting deep into the season here and other then the situation where Pouliot had one game with 18/26 and was then replaced by Brodziak right away it looks like Pouliot has clearance.

    Grebeshkov is going to get moved this summer I think with Smid rising and Peckham on his way.

    Thing with Nilsson is does the org have confidence in Schremp to step in? I don’t think so.

    And I don’t think they give up on him yet.

    I think they wait and wait and then move the redundant guys at the deadline – a goalie, Schremp, Wild or Chorney. A guy like Sillinger isn’t going to cost much, which is good because the guys the Oilers will move, imo, aren’t worth much.

    Then it will be Grebs gone in the summer.

  6. Black Dog says:

    Pass on Jokinen too mr. d

    They need a hard minutes left winger. Need him. A guy who can PK and make life miserable for the other team.

  7. Nelson88 says:

    Knighttown

    Count me on board w/r/t the excellent Smid analysis.

    Many fans seem far too anxious to trade a potential top tier shutdown defender for a bag of pucks early in his career. Personally I think he makes the leap and is a very valuable commodity in 2 or 3 years.

  8. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Black Dog said…
    Pass on Jokinen too mr. d

    They need a hard minutes left winger. Need him. A guy who can PK and make life miserable for the other team.

    For instance?

  9. Traktor says:

    We went big after Hossa and struck out and we’ve done nothing since.

    Our playoff chances are about the same as Big Slick vs a pocket pair.

    I suspect nothing has been done as of yet because Lowe is going big – you don’t throw 91 million and then sit pat. He’s looking for star.

    Will he get one is another story but I think if he was going to get a veteran center he just would’ve signed Marty. I think his plan was to probably pick up a veteran at the deadline like Marty but a little more physical.

    Right now we have engine problems so I can’t see Lowe spending assets to fix the breaks. If it’s fixable and we get this bus rolling then yeah it makes sense to get those new breaks before a long road trip. Otherwise we’re going to be taking Moreau, Staios and Roli and out to the boneyard to sell as parts.

    We can trade away Nilsson, Grebs and Pouliot and pieces like Chorney for upgraded vets like Mike Sillinger and Brendan Witt but were not winning the cup anyways this year so it would be like spending your last 20 bucks on a women at the bar that isn’t going to sleep with you.

    If we can get established players that will still be around in a couple years when Gags/Cogs take the next step then I’m all for it but I think trading assets for veterans this year will just delay a cup return to Edmonton.

    Either move young players like Gagner for impact players like Spezza or Horton and go for it now or save your assets for when the kids take the next step and go for it in a couple years. Moving assets for marginal talent on the wrong side of its career to insure that we’re a 7th-9th place team is shortsighted and will just prolong REAL success.

  10. Lowetide says:

    knighttown: Excellent stuff. The only thing I can think of that might skew the numer is random luck (could he do this over a long period with the on-ice shooting percentage having an opportunity to graduate to the median).

    That said, it’s kind of needle in a haystack. We’ll see soon, as MacT should elevate him to top 4D at some point if he keeps going (at the latest next fall).

  11. mjsh says:

    I still think this team will make the playoffs as is. Spending to the cap, they darn well better. I was thinking last night about getting Spezza and Smith from the Senators for Horcoff and Staios?

    Not really sure if that is the right answer as I love Horcoff and queasy about Spezza’s work ethic. But Spezza has to be in the top half dozen centers in the league while Horcoff is middle of the pack no ones. But very valuable to the current Oiler team. I likely am one of the few who like both Grebs and Nillson. I think Grebs has a higher upside than Gilbert.

    And yes, both have some growing up to do but both have big time talent.

    Now some one can tell me that I am out to lunch.

  12. Black Dog says:

    Fake MacT

    Damned if I know. I’m just the idea man. ;)

    Honestly though I’m not sure.

    Would Ponikorovsky here in T.O. qualify? He’s a little inconsistent but he can play the tough minutes, I think, and brings some offence. Reasonable contract. A big body.

    Maybe he’s not the right guy but that type of player. Cleary, Avery (without the drama and the big contract).

    I don’t even know if those names are reasonable ones.

    I’m thinking Ethan Moreau, six or seven years ago, without the dumb penalties.

  13. HBomb says:

    BDHS:


    They need a hard minutes left winger. Need him. A guy who can PK and make life miserable for the other team.

    Not to be a dink….but how about Ryan Smyth? There have been multiple occasions this year where I’ve mentioned guys like Hejda and Glencross, and while I am a guy who sees the logic behind not retaining 94…..many nights this year what he brings is exactly what this team has been missing.

    On that topic, with regards to the first line and all this Spezza for Horcoff busines….I’m of the belief that “upgrading” at center from Horcoff to a guy like Gomez or Spezza doesn’t make sense. Past 83, Horcoff’s the most legit first liner on the roster currently.

    The place to upgrade is on LW. Which means Penner’s perhaps in play in a package deal, IMO.

    The ideal target? Sometime between now and trade deadline 2010, Ilya Kovalchuk. Build a five or six player package around Penner, Grebeshkov and Nilsson, and try to make a pre-emptive strike. Atlanta needs depth, and between those three, Moreau, Staios, Schremp, Chorney….the Oilers could afford to do such a deal.

  14. Art Vandelay says:

    Somewhere between that picture of Natalie Wood and that list of players, there’s a joke about floating….

  15. Lowetide says:

    Oh, Art. Feel shame. :-)

  16. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Somewhere between that picture of Natalie Wood and that list of players, there’s a joke about floating….

    My goodness Art…that was almost as tasteless but no less funny than songs about Martin Hartwell and his Northern Diner.

  17. HBomb says:

    Art: I’d call that tasteless, but I made a joke about clubbing one baby seal to death using another baby seal on Friday during the Oilers/Canucks game to some friends, so I’d be a hypocrite if I did…..

  18. Lowetide says:

    This is the end. Of everything.

  19. HBomb says:

    My goodness Art…that was almost as tasteless but no less funny than songs about Martin Hartwell and his Northern Diner.

    The obscurity of that reference required a Wikipedia search, but the result has left me in stitches.

  20. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ hbomb

    “On that topic, with regards to the first line and all this Spezza for Horcoff busines….I’m of the belief that “upgrading” at center from Horcoff to a guy like Gomez or Spezza doesn’t make sense. Past 83, Horcoff’s the most legit first liner on the roster currently.”

    While certainly not pimping a Horcoff for Spezza trade, your statement that “Horcoff is the most legit first line centre on the roster” is just a little elliptical.

    Of course he is, but that doesn’t mean he is the best option in the league.

    Use Vancouver as an example.

    Henrik Sedin arguably brings more to the party than Horcoff but is about to be supplanted as first line centre by Sundin.

    IMO, if the Oilers could pull off a similar upgrade the team would be far stronger.

  21. HBomb says:

    FCM: I get what you’re saying….note that I explicitly said first liner (should have said first line forward to be clear). In other words, I think Horcoff is more of a first line C than Penner is a first line LW, trying to compare apples to oranges.

    All around, Horcoff, a C, is the second best forward on the team. I think the hope is that Gagner can be Eric Staal to Horcoff’s Brind’Amour (idiotic arguments from some about how Gagner is just another Comrie notwithstanding).

    That being said – if they could get Spezza without giving up Horcoff, they could either have a ridiculous 1/2 punch at center or play Horcoff as the 1LW, as he can play the wing as well (based on his earlier days as an Oiler).

    No doubt that Spezza’s an upgrade on Horcoff, but the question is if the benefit of the upgrade outweighs the incremental cost (i.e. is Spezza instead of Horcoff worth an additional 1.5 million a year PLUS giving up Tom Gilbert and perhaps something else? Debatable, I’d say).

    At least one could make an argument for Spezza being a worthwhile upgrade. It’s when I hear about how Gomez instead of Horcoff would be SO much better….that’s when I question if people are paying attention or not.

  22. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    “That being said – if they could get Spezza without giving up Horcoff, they could either have a ridiculous 1/2 punch at center or play Horcoff as the 1LW, as he can play the wing as well (based on his earlier days as an Oiler).”

    What does Ottawa need?

    Goaltending? Check.
    Puck moving defenseman? Check.
    Prospects? Check.
    Draft pick? Check.
    Ottawa is about done for this season. Check.

    Time to move?

  23. HBomb says:

    FCM: Even though I suggest moving “quantity for quality”, most teams are going to want a pretty good young player if they’re moving a Spezza or Kovalchuk who isn’t a pending UFA (Gaborik might fetch less, due to his status and injury history, but he’s a RW who is property of a division rival).

    Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert, etc. Lupul plus Smid and three picks won’t land you one of these guys, in all likelihood.

  24. Asiaoil says:

    I’ll go with the needs by position:

    Defense – my top 4 going forward are Souray, Lubo, Gilbert and Smid – then fill out the 3rd pair with cheap effective guys of which we have none right now. We should deal Staios before the wheels fall completely off to free up his cap space. Grebs is a nice player but we can’t afford that contract so he’s a trading chip as well. The biggest need going forward IMHO is affordable veteran depth for the 3rd pair.

    Forwards – too many small offensive forwards, not enough cheap effective bottom 6 guys, no veteran presence at center beyond Horcoff. Basically a horribly unbalanced lineup which is typical Lowe. Last year LW was a major strength – but Lowe managed to make it a weakness by sending out Torres and Glencross without replacements. Moreau is done as a useful player and expensive to boot for a 4th liner. What a mess. We need cheap effective bottom 6 guys – especially a center – and a big tough 2nd line LW would be nice as well.

    Goalie – should not have been an issue here – Garon and Roli should have been a solid tandem with JDD nowhere near the NHL roster. Instead we let JDD rot, humiliate Garon in public by game 5, and run with a 90 year old UFA (who fortunately is playing quite well). Another mess that will need to be completely sorted out over the summer – but I grab and impact goalie with our trading chips if we can.

  25. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    FCM: Even though I suggest moving “quantity for quality”, most teams are going to want a pretty good young player if they’re moving a Spezza or Kovalchuk who isn’t a pending UFA (Gaborik might fetch less, due to his status and injury history, but he’s a RW who is property of a division rival).

    Try this:

    Gagner, Garon, Grebeshkov, Chorney or Peckham, and a pick for Spezza.

    Oiler centres: Spezza, Horcoff, Cogliano, Brodziak.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    My lord she was decent looking.

    Most significantly, his GAOn/60 stands at 0.97/60 a huge improvement over the 2.91 he posted last year and BEST on the team. Ladislav Smid has only been on the ice for 4 goals against at evens the entire year!

    Imagine Smid and Hedja :)

    With Roloson, we are contenders for 7th or 8th spot if you give Cal/Van the division (and I do) and spots to SJ, Det, Chi and Anaheim. Without Roloson? We’ll that leaves us with Garon and JDD (and an asset) in a development year and I still think we make the playoffs.

    It’s essentially Montreal trading Huet at the deadline.

    A few years ago the market was pretty tight but I think a few are around, no?

    I mentioned this in the previous thread: Biron, Fernandez, Roloson, Garon, Labarbera, Thomas

  27. Coach pb9617 says:

    For instance?

    That’s the issue. People keep saying things like “Bring in a legit #2 center” “Bring in a top 4 dman”.

    Who? And at what cost?

    Once Pisani comes back, the look at evens and on the PK changes significantly and Hemsky, Pisani, Cole down the right side is one of the best combos in the league. Moving Cogs or Gagner to the LW alters the lineup significantly as well. I can’t see either one at center in a stretch run or in the playoffs right now and would be much more comfortable with Pouliot and “Reason’r” down the middle.

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    That said, it’s kind of needle in a haystack. We’ll see soon, as MacT should elevate him to top 4D at some point if he keeps going (at the latest next fall).

    I thought he was going to pass Grebs next month until last night. Last night he looked like the Grebs we saw in the last 30 — acid free.

  29. rickibear says:

    “Thing with Nilsson is does the org have confidence in Schremp to step in? I don’t think so.”

    Omark! Remeber the list of U22 players in the top 10 in scoring in the SEL. Nilsson, Gradin, Berglund, Mats Naslund, Loob, Sundstrom, Sandstrom, Marcus Naslund, Foresberg, D. Sedin, H. Sedin, Huselius, Zetterberg. Now Omark. I will be sick if he Does not come over and become the type of player on that list.

    Nilsson and Shremp gone at the deadline or in the summer?

  30. rickibear says:

    "Ladislav Smid is leading NHL defenseman (>10 mins/20 GP) in GA On/60 at 0.97, and by a lot. Quoted below."

    Good to see you read Comments on HF Board.

  31. godot10 says:

    Spezza is the worst value for the dollar in the league.

    I am still flabbergasted by how many people are interested in getting him. I am praying that Calgary gets him and that horrendous contract.

    His stats are all Alfredsson and Heatley. He is soft and lazy and cowardly and unphysical. He drop passes to the opposition as much as Gagner does.

    He is NOT a team player. One of his best buds was Emery, and he refused to read Emery the riot act.

    Hitchcock has to demote him from the 2nd line to the 4th line at the World Championships last year.

  32. Dennis says:

    1: Does LT jack it to anyone born BEFORE 1960?????;) Then again, he’s a Catholic and from his pic selections I’d say he embodies the Madonna/whore complex and the former was a lot easier to find back in the olden days. The latter has and will always be around:)

    2: Nice to see that Smid’s finding a groove. If he keeps doing it Without putting up points – no worries there I’d imagine – then we should be able to bring him back. Then we move Grebs and dump 24 because we shouldn’t be paying guys to play bottom pairings. Go out and find a Mark Eaton-like vet or scan Europe for another Hejda and then pair that guy with a Peckam and pick up another Strudwick type for the 7th D.

    3. Listened to MacT’s off-day presser and he sorta defended 12 for missing today’s optional skate by saying he did a voluntary workout workout after last night’s game. We’ve got nearly 120 games worth of info that says 13′s gonna be fine, Everyone Loves Sam Gagner, Pouliot’s showing a little so it’s easy just to cut bait on Nilsson.

    4. Take the 12 forwards from last night and replace 43 with 34 and we’ll start from there. Take out 12 and 46 as well and look to replace those guys with two fellows who can PK: one of them can win draws and both can kill penalties.

    5: Be open to moving 18 given that he’s going downhill and he’s expensive but he only has one more year of full freight left so maybe someone takes him for the stretch drive and worries about 2010 in the fall of 2009. Also be open to using the same platform to move 24, although I know he has two years left, and then move 5 into the top four with 44-71-77 and bump 37 down to the third pairing with 43.

  33. Coach pb9617 says:

    As for left wingers, you’ve got Handzus, who has picked up his game a bit since he’s been moved to the LW this season, but at 4 million through 10/11, it’s not doable unless you’re sending Moreau and Nilsson or Staios and Nilsson and even then, he’s a guy that has salvaged some game with a position move – how much game does he have left?

    If you go huge for a guy like Kovalchuk, the roster is shredded and there are still no centers on the team, nothing is fixed and you’re likely opening a bunch more holes.

    Man, a guy like R.J. Umberger would help. So would Armstrong.
    I’d still like “Reason’r” and “Armstrong” and open the vault for a LW in the offseason.

    Halpern, Reasoner, Sillinger, Marchant, Peca, Malhotra, Weight, Fiddler, Bonk all seem like rental options that fill the “Reason’r”.

    “Armstrong” is much harder to find, but “Hunter” would also work.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    His stats are all Alfredsson and Heatley. He is soft and lazy and cowardly and unphysical. He drop passes to the opposition as much as Gagner does.

    This cannot happen. I’d have a stroke.

  35. HBomb says:

    Coach: Trent Hunter? Nice. He’d be a good add for any team in the league.

    Dennis: I’m pretty sure Moreau AND Staios are both under contract with the Oilers through 2010/11. Which sucks.

    (NHLNumbers.com confirms it: 24 at a 2.7 million cap hit, and 18 at a 2.0 million cap hit. Boourns.)

  36. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I like to stay in my age bracket. :-) The rest is pretty much true although I didn’t grow up RC so don’t have that background.

    The problem with acquiring Spezza is that he’s already in the “getting paid” portion of his career and the Oilers have spent all this time in development mode.

    Years ago Bill James wrote an article about Darrell Porter and his three-pronged career. Basically, Milwuakee did the development work (age 19-24), Kansas City got him good (age 25-28) and then St. Louis overpaid his big pay years (29-33) and Texas got the Avery years (34-35).

    Edmonton is becoming Milwaukee.

  37. DeBakey says:

    For your consideration.
    A selection of NHL centers sorted by Face-offs Won:

    Shawn Horcoff EDM 397 52.5%
    Samuel Pahlsson ANA 379 52.5
    Jay McClement STL 341 54.8
    Jason Spezza OTT 321 50.8
    Matt Stajan TOR 301 53.8
    Todd White ATL 292 51.1
    Dominic Moore TOR 288 55.1
    Marty Reasoner ATL 273 50.2
    John Madden NJD 267 53.6
    Manny Malhotra CBJ 261 58.5
    Brandon Dubinsky NY 239 50.8
    Radek Bonk NSH 227 64.3
    Michael Peca CBJ 216 52.6

  38. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Trent Hunter? Nice. He’d be a good add for any team in the league.

    Yessir. 6-3 210 lbs, plays big and is not afraid to bang. Kills penalties as the 3rd set out, can play on the second power play and on a beauty contract, 2 million per through 12/13. He’s played the LW previously and could hole up there for the season until Cole is gone next year and then he could slide over there. Hemsky, Hunter, Pisani at 8.6 million is, cost-conscious.

    For some reason though, I can’t see the Islanders being interested in a Grebeshkov, Nilsson ++ package for Hunter and Sutton :)

  39. Lowetide says:

    We should just hire Hitchcock.

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Hunter – Gagner – Cole
    Cogliano – Reason’r – Pisani
    Pouliot – Brodziak – Stortini

    Souray – Gilbert
    Lubo – Sutton
    Staios – Smid

    Roloson
    JDD

    Swap Hunter over to Cole’s spot, bring Peckham into Staios’ spot, throw Pouliot or Brodizak into Reason’r's spot, bring in Biron/ Fernandez/ Thomas/ Emery/ Gerber/ Labarbera and sign a LW.

    I should be a GM.

  41. Coach pb9617 says:

    To complete my plan, next offseason, I throw dual offer sheets at Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev.

  42. Lowetide says:

    I’d like to see the Oilers take a chance with Avery too, Dennis. Just to play the Raffi role for the rest of the season and the team that gets him is going to get a few months of clean living out of him (unless he’s really, really stupid).

    It would force Moreau to the 4line which is an added value.

  43. Lord Bob says:

    Just to play the Raffi role for the rest of the season and the team that gets him is going to get a few months of clean living out of him (unless he’s really, really stupid).

    But isn’t it possible that he is just really, really stupid?

    Still, I’d take him on recall waivers in a heartbeat too.

  44. Rod says:

    Avery? Better not happen. As in ever.

    Remember how Avery’s impact on the Rangers was completely overblown? Now imagine if the Oilers make the playoffs with Avery. Guess who’d get the credit? Does that sound like a positive step for the team? Or Avery for that matter.

    Besides, a few “clean” months from that punk isn’t worth the damage he’d unleash “in the room”. Raffi factor? Since when did Raffi start scraps but never drop his own gloves? Everyone else in Dallas had to fight Avery’s battles while he turtled every time. I don’t see how that helps the Oilers at all.

    Buy low, sell high doesn’t equate to buying anything and everything “low”. A player punted from Detroit, LA, New York, and Dallas isn’t just low, he’s a bad bet. Factor in the three remaining years on his deal, and the immense risk obliterates the improbable and scant reward. The Oilers better stay far, far away from Avery.

    At least that’s how I see it.

  45. Oilmaniac says:

    Coach:

    Please stop with the 'reasoner' banner waving, and yes i get that its your way of saying FO-PK specialist 3C.. Im with you as long as that 'reasoner' isnt marty reasoner, which means its probably not an suitable label (imo)..

    Im liking the talk of a potential trade going down, but would prefer to get the big body for the 3C (with wheels in a dream come true) instead of bringing in a big LW.. a big time/ big game LW is a different matter, its just that penner is a big 2LW (or cole is a 'biggish' guy as 2RW).. a 2LW is a less pressing need than a grity 3C (other than a homerun 1st line LW)…

    Im thinking the Org gives nils a longer go at it (if both nils and grebs leave than they havent done a good enough job with the (troubled) youth/ prospects acquired.. mind you, its been business as usual for those that arnt a fit – pitkanen – to get cut out… (he'd be a crazy top 4 addition to the current roster, if the coachable/personality issues werent so problematic).. So nils could be gone w the right package, but i think he stays for another year..

    recap: Just say no to spezza unless its a flat out fleecing (horc/cole/+ -> spez/fisher), even then 'just say no'.. grebs is gone (at the deadline if another trade for a dman transpires).. Roli will stay, but its so hard to believe its come to this (garon being shunned) – tho if some detroit deal materializes then fuck it, deal'm.. wrt smid, there seems to be a growing optimism for this young man and I like how he has developed a more consistant (mean) tenacity..

    Two last things,.. pisani wasnt doing very well on the pk prior to the injury so dont look for him to single handedly right that ship.. and Thanks for the Great Comment by Knighttown, parading around some of smids improved numbers (not just the 'crazy' goa/60)

  46. hunter1909 says:

    Smid is one of my fave Oilers. Big tough defenceman, still wet but learning at a fast enogh rate to keep me happy.

    They really need a rule that doesn’t allow former players to be discussed on message boards, lol.

    Nilsson is my fave choice to go. He’s like another Torres, he loves the high life, he coasts on his pedigree, and when you seriously look at him will he really ever ‘get it?’

    Avery LMAOOOOOO maybe 20 games ago but now the team looks a lot better so wtf might as well put up with what we have.

  47. godot10 says:

    Re: Avery

    Character matters. Avery hasn’t any. The Avery “fans” are like women attracted to “bad boys” who think they can change them, and wind up beaten and fleeing to a shelter.

  48. Schitzo says:

    To complete my plan, next offseason, I throw dual offer sheets at Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev.

    Tough to do when they both require the same picks to be available in compensation.

    Unless you meant you’d fire off the second one on the day the first is matched by the NYR.

  49. Lord Bob says:

    I still think that Avery was thrown under the bus in Dallas as a scapegoat for the fact that his team is struggling so badly.

    Was the dressing room unhappy? Losing dressing rooms usually are. But I didn’t notice the New York Rangers releasing Avery in disgust after he did the truffle shuffle in front of Marty Brodeur.

  50. Doogie2K says:

    But Spezza has to be in the top half dozen centers in the league while Horcoff is middle of the pack no ones.

    Spezza is a top-five centre in the NHL if he shows up. In a way, he’s Bobby Nilsson with five times the cap hit: the talent is there, but it’s sometimes hiding, and if he’s not scoring, what else can he do? With Horc, if he’s not scoring, at least he’s not bleeding goals.

    In other words, Spezza is only an upgrade on Horcoff if he’s playing like he did in ’07. ’09 Spezza? Eh, not so much.

    Remember how Avery’s impact on the Rangers was completely overblown?

    Is that necessarily the case, though? The Rangers are doing it with mirrors this year just as much as the Oil were last year. When everyone else was fawning over their 20-11-2 record at one point in the year, it was pointed out that they were 11-11-11 in regulation, a .500 team with a predilection for incest.

    That’s not to say I want or like Avery — I don’t — but I think his impact on the Rangers’ roster was real. BTN has him fourth in the NHL among forwards with 40 GP and 10 min/60 with 2.5 penalties drawn/60. His betters, for the record, were Strong Muscular Legs (3.4), Cole (2.6, appropriately), and Alex Burrows (2.5), two net-drivers and a fellow pain-in-the-ass. At evens, he played tough minutes with middling linemates by BTN metrics and had one of the best +/- per 60 numbers on the team: 3.05 GFON/60 (1st) – 2.25 GAON/60 (3rd) = +0.80/60 (2nd). His point production was pretty solid, too (2.25 PTS/60), though did enjoy the third-highest EVSH% (11.1%) of any forward on the team behind Straka (12.3%) and Dawes (11.3%).

    Bottom line: the fact that his production and, ah, locker room presence weren’t up to snuff in Dallas is no indictment of his time in New York.

    Another fun fact: Our Man Strudwick was dead last among Rangers D with -0.20/60 playing butter minutes with weak teammates. Low event, mind you (+1.47/-1.67), so your mileage may vary, but it’s worth noting.

  51. Rod says:

    Avery forced his teammates to fight his battles while he consistently turtled. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a damn effective and efficient way to get a dressing room ticked off. Ask Matt Niskanen how happy he was to be fighting Avery’s battles (vs. Boston, search Youtube if you don’t remember it). Speaking of Niskanen, 8 of his 12 points have come in the dozen games since Avery was sent packing. Perhaps that’s nothing more than coincidence, but there’s no doubt “the room” in Dallas wasn’t healthy with Avery around.

    Was Avery entirely responsible for the slow start in Dallas? No more than he was responsible for the Rangers playoff success. During the Rangers run, he received waaaay too much credit (I recall the media fawning over him as though the Rangers would have lost every playoff game with him). This year, way too much blame in Dallas. That said, there’s no debate he’s awful in the room:

    Dustin Brown is a hit on and off the ice
    >>It was something that Brown said was unimportant, but Avery would mock his speech, among other things. The friction in the room resulted in fist fights, with other Kings players jumping in on Brown's side.<<
    —–

    There’s a reason Avery was punted from Detroit, LA, NY, and now Dallas. The Oilers would be monumentally stupid to pick him up.

  52. Rod says:

    Er, em…about that link to nowhere…try this instead:
    Dustin Brown is a hit on and off the ice

    Ah, yes. Much better when I’m paying attention.

  53. Dennis says:

    Avery may well be an asshole but he can help you win games.

    For years you couldn’t read one of the dailies, or even one of the fan sites for that matter, without hearing about how the Oilers needed a “disturber” like Tyson Nash.

    So it’s gonna be interesting to see if anyone’s got the balls to suggest it locally when he’s eligible to return to the league.

  54. Rod says:

    Sorry Dennis, but poisoning “the room” doesn’t help win games. Avery has proven extremely adept at that very thing, with multiple teams no less. Consequently, he doesn’t help the Oil. He’s a bad bet waiting for a desperate manager to call. Like godot10 said, character matter, and there’s only one outcome with Avery.

    Agreed that sandpaper helps win games. No question about that. Avery is far from the only sandpaper in the league though.

  55. Lord Bob says:

    Again, Dallas’s room was plenty poisoned without the Avery factor. They were losing like hell and they were filled with guys like Modano and Morrow who were supposedly their leaders but have always had question marks over their heads.

    He wasn’t exactly driven out of New York, either.

  56. Doogie2K says:

    Sorry Dennis, but poisoning “the room” doesn’t help win games. Avery has proven extremely adept at that very thing, with multiple teams no less.

    He got results on the ice, and there were no reports of him “poisoning the room” in New York.

    Maybe they were unique circumstances — maybe like an ADD child he was sufficiently stimulated by other things to keep from acting out — but the numbers are plain as day.

    And unless Avery told Turco he was banging his wife during training camp, I doubt very much he was the primary problem in Dallas, at least not initially.

  57. dave says:

    On today’s episode; Pouliot to deathgrip on 3rd line C. If that happens our bigger gap is LW. I think the D is fine. We can’t trade a goalie soon enough. If we trade either Garon or JDD we basically have no goalies going into next season. Trade Roli tonight his value hasn’t been this high since 06. We still make the playoffs with Garon.

  58. Lord Bob says:

    I don’t know why Avery is so obsessed with Turco’s sloppy seconds.

  59. slipper says:

    On re-entry waivers you get that player at 50% for the remainder of that year, right? So you’re on the hook for the remaining 3 years at full price?

    It’s 4 million dollars. It’s not peanuts. That’s a gamble for a player who obviously plays well and wasn’t the cause of Marty Turco’s shitty start to the season, but who disrupts the locker room of wherever he travels.

    Hockey players are traditionaly tight lipped in respect to their opinions of one another, so when there is a line-up of Avery’s former teammates, who are willing to throw him under the bus, that stretches from sea-level to the moon, it speaks volumes.

  60. Bruce says:

    Late to the discussion but what the hey, this point has not been made strongly enough. From a fan’s perspective, I don’t want Avery within 2,000 km of my team. (So far, so good.) I have pride in my Oilers, and with that dirtbag on the team I’d be looking for a hole to crawl into.

    One of my favourite pastimes is dissing the assholes on other teams — e.g. Cooke, Bertuzzi, Hollweg, etc. — but if the biggest Asshole is on your own team then that kind of goes away.
    I want to win, sure, but I want to win with honour.

    And ultimately, how much does this guy help his team win? His record of 402 regular season GP to just 18 playoff games doesn’t speak to much post-season success. Moreover, he was widely hated in his own dressing room in Detroit, L.A. and Dallas, which can be a drag on performance, esp. when the easiest way to see the last of him for at least the summer is to lose the next series. He clearly puts Himself way ahead of his team, and that’s just no good.

    Maybe if we still had Mark Messier in his prime we could handle a selfish, nasty little prick like this and get him focussed in the right direction. Even then, I doubt it.

    PASS, with a bullet. Preferably a silver one.

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